Sorry for the gap between emails, but with limited computer access we must pick our spots. So in advance I apologize for the length. If Judah and Ephrayim are to be a weapon in Abba’s hands, then there is going to be a whole lot of bending and straightening.
The Shomeron: Yisrael’s Heartland
Abba blessed us by giving us the opportunity to visit the Shomeron. We spent 2 nights in Alfei (pronounced Al-fay) Menashe (meaning thousands of Menasses). We had a blessed time with our hosts who took us further inside the Shomeron visiting Har Bracha and seeing the Land which is destined for the sons of Ephrayim. We were able to visit with an old friend who I have not seen in years as he made aliyah from South Africa. We conversed about Ephrayim’s return and what would need to take place for Judah to receive Ephrayim. Shall Ephrayim truly realize that they are an untrained calf? Will Judah receive his late arriving brother with joy?
There are unavoidable observations in the Shomeron. We gained an understanding how the spirit of Islam spreads out and believes wherever they have placed their foot; their god has given it to them. They attempt to erase evidence of Yisrael’s existence here at any opportunity. The enemy steals spiritual truths from the Word to use to spread their religious influence. The Shomeron is crying out for the sons of Ephrayim to have as great a regard for this land as the rest of Yisrael. This really is Yisrael’s heartland and the enemy is trying to take it away and steal any sign of our heritage. Abba is destined to use a bow filled with arrows to accomplish a victory over the mountains of Ephrayim.
Back in Yerushalayim
Being away from Yerushalayim for 2 nights was quite an adjustment. I felt a spiritual oppression or heaviness upon arriving back into the City. I asked Abba to show me if I was allowing any spirits to have their way with me, but he was quiet on this matter. The oppression left 3 days before Yom Kippur at the Kotel (Western Wall). As I was sitting on a chair watching everyone pass by I saw an ultra Orthodox man speaking in American English to 2 other men. One was referred to as Rav Kook. He asked the men, “What are they singing over at the Wall?” They responded that it was a song of grief. The man responded, “I don’t understand, it’s Shabbos! Shabbos is joy!” Abba pierced through the oppression as it began to lift that night.
Simcha (Joy) in the Whole House
We were invited to go to a house of an Orthodox rabbi in Yerushalayim. He opens his house to any one who wants to come and has a love for Yisrael. As many come, he happily packs them in! They make sure you feel at home and comfortable. You definitely feel welcomed there!! Throughout the night we were eating as he discussed tidbits on Yom Kippur. Some would break out in song after the discussion. It was a very joyous experience. Afterwards, I was speaking with a big, burly Orthodox Jew (I say this out of love)! We stayed late laughing and talking as he was teaching me Hebrew using a child-like approach. As he was testing me, others behind him and Reyyna on my right side, would move their lips to give me a clue. He would comment and say, “Hey no helping!” It became like a game. It was hilarious! There was such a sense of family and acceptance. They asked no questions, nor did we, regarding beliefs. We were there together and we were family. I thought about it later and it brought joyful tears to my eyes. The night was a lesson that people of Ephrayim need to know. Take the opportunity and just be with your brother and leave your agenda at YHWH’s altar.
Joy on Yom Kippur?
About 7 years ago I attended an Orthodox Yom Kippur service in Cape Town, South Africa. It was a somber occasion. So going to the Kotel on Erev Yom Kippur, I will have to admit, I came with some preconceived notions that Abba dispelled. It was not somber in the least. I prayed at the Wall thanking Abba for bringing me in the midst of my brother Judah. I genuinely felt a sense of family during that time like at the rabbi’s house.
Had we not gone to the Wall, we would have not had the chance to witness to a precious group of Indonesian brethren. They were curious to know what the day “Yom Kippur” was all about and what everyone was doing at the Wall. After we shared with them, they asked us to pray for them because they’ve witnessed an increase in persecution in Indonesia. Like in Yisrael, the spirit of Islam has been the persecuting force amongst believers there. In the humbleness of heart, they mentioned that the purpose of their pilgrimage was to pray for the peace of Yerushalayim and the people of Yisrael.
After speaking with the Indonesian kinsmen, we heard singing behind us! About 25 young men, sitting in a circle, with others behind them, started singing the songs of Yisrael!!! The ones we knew, we sang along with them! The Spirit of shalom emanated through the brisk autumn air. What a way to start a fast!!! Full of His Shalom!!!
Abba has shown us so clearly that we are not here to push an agenda. Ephrayim’s role is to stand with Judah, to love their brother, and through our life demonstrate the life of Messiah. If you come with the right heart and attitude, you will see Judah bending to receive Ephrayim. Our experience at the rabbi’s house demonstrated alot of bending on Judah’s part. Ephrayim are you ready to do what is necessary to straighten your arrow to fill Judah’s bow?
Tzefanyah and Reyyna
Chazak Chazak v’nitchazek
Let us be strong, let us be strong and let us
strengthen (encourage) one another!