Sukkot 2019 in Jerusalem. 16 days, Just $945!!

You can be in Jerusalem for Sukkot this year and experience the feast in a whole new way while being obedient to the command to ‘go up.’ Price of just $945 USD includes lodging and two meals per day as well as community and fellowship opportunities unavailable anywhere else. Space only available for 70 participants and about 30 are already spoken for.

October 7-22, 2019. Details at Ani Yosef!

Present yourself before the Lord in Jerusalem this Sukkot!

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Restoring Kol Israel: The Family (Introduction)

The restoration of Israel, all Israel: it occupies my every thought and is prominent in every prayer.  It is a factor in every major decision I make, and most minor decisions. I continually ask the Father, ‘What does it look like?  How will it function? What is my part?’

Over the last couple years He has repeatedly brought me back to the basic building block for any society: Family.  And, as I have studied. He has again and again taught me lessons regarding the many parts, but the most foundational, Biblical manhood and headship, keeps coming to the fore.  He has also brought or connected me with other men who have various parts of the answers and together we have discussed and emailed/texted/phoned hundreds of hours. We have read and processed books and teachings as we’ve dug deeper into what a true Biblical family looks like, how it functions, the roles of each member, etc.

I count it a special blessing to share one of these resources over the next few weeks or months as together we assemble some lengthy posts covering aspects of this topic. Truly, many books, can and have been written on the topic, but so many, maybe most, have a significant amount of tradition and inherited falsehoods that do not lead us to correct conclusions or results.  Our desire is to spark a conversation within the Messianic/Hebrew roots community about what Scripture really says about the family, headship, patriarchy, man’s role, woman’s role and marriage.  

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Where have all the good men gone?

22 Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “Every son who is born you are to cast into the Nile, and every daughter you are to keep alive.”

Exodus 1:22 NASB

The Hebrews were multiplying and the new king in Egypt was getting nervous. He began with enslaving the Hebrews and making their lives miserable through forced labor, but when that did not stymie their obedience to ‘be fruitful and multiply’ the Pharaoh commanded that the boys be thrown into the Nile and the girls be left alive. Presumably, he thought to destroy the seed and future headship in one fell swoop.

While we do not know how many were thrown into the Nile or otherwise killed, but we can understand from the grave dangers facing Moses as a child that the dangers were exceedingly great and many sons of Israel died in this type of Shoah. Did it leave a generation of women wringing their hands and wondering how to fulfill God-given desires and Creation order? Did Israel simply allow their precious daughters to leave the fold and seek men elsewhere because of the shortage? Maybe they all just became old maids and spinstresses? Is this even relevant today?

I’ve heard the question quite a few times in recent years. “Where have all the good (Godly) men gone?”

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Do we REALLY accept Torah?

Now it will come about that
In the last days
The mountain of the house of the Lord
Will be established as the chief of the mountains,
And will be raised above the hills;
And all the nations will stream to it.
And many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
That He may teach us concerning His ways
And that we may walk in His paths.”
For the law (Torah) will go forth from Zion
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

Isaiah 2:2-3

Do we really accept Torah?

This awakening to Torah that is happening across the planet is amazing, messy, crazy and fascinating. Clearly, Abba is up to something, because there is no other explanation that fits this phenomenon.

Still, do we really accept Torah?

No doubt, this is a process. We are learning and the understandings are varied. There is no monolithic opinion or system, though many try to control or direct it… I myself am guilty as I share what the Father and His Word teach me. But, do we really accept Torah?

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Is Jerusalem really THAT expensive??!! (Or, is there a better way?)

Someone special sent me the following two and a half minute video touting budget accommodations in Jerusalem. Take a watch, then let’s talk…

Certainly, I appreciate entrepreneurship and Jerusalem is a bit pricey if traditional hotels are on the menu, but $50/night for this?? I don’t care how ‘trendy’ this may look, it is not the best way to visit Jerusalem.

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100!! Prayer request and Ani Yosef update.

Neat update with some cool info and a few prayer requests just put up over at Ani Yosef.com Please go by and check it out!

Shalom!!

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Israel: Off the Beaten Path

Many who visit Israel, do so with a tour group and spend most of their time staying in hotels, thus missing prime interaction with people who live in the Land. There are some who take the ‘road less traveled’ and adventure on their own. These souls who wish to drink in the fulness of the Land and experience the richness of Divinely guided interaction, often seek lodging in apartments, bed and breakfasts or even, when opportunity presents, with a family, open to interaction.

I want to share a couple places that generally only get passed along by word of mouth, special places where the fellowship is sweeter and you are treated like family. If you need a ‘base camp’ for a few days in Tiberius, Jerusalem or a nice retreat for a medium sized group in the Judean hills, keep reading.

Tiberius – There are not many places on the shore of the Galilee that have a better view than Avi’s three bedroom home with expansive patio. Perfectly tricky to find and only available through direct contact, we have enjoyed this gem for a weekend with several other couples. Our Shabbat fellowship was wonderful and the late night chats were priceless. The sweet hostess is a wealth of information and a dedicated watchman, called to this particular perch.

Avi, originally from the US, has lived in the Land for about 25 years, if I remember correctly, and been in the Tiberius area for at least 10, hosting travelers from the northern house. She sets a daily scrumptious breakfast, included in the recommended 170 NIS/person/night donation. Fruit, fresh eggs, yoghurt, dates, nuts and lots of fresh delicious coffee and juice.

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“…mindsets are difficult to change…”

On several recent trips to Israel, I have watched with interest the construction of a high speed rail from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The rail, significantly, connects Ben Gurion Airport to Jerusalem via a non-stop, 28 minute luxury trip for just 11 NIS. Very, very convenient and nice. I can’t wait to ride this ‘magic carpet made of steel‘ at Shavuot.

The Jerusalem Post Magazine has a fantastic article about the rail line as well as a mild chiding of the Israeli media for their incessant negative reporting surrounding the line, inspite of excellent service, wonderful experiences and glowing reports from users. I read the article and it only increased my excitement to ride. You’ll have to check it out yourself…

But, the article had a few lines that jangled my thoughts. The author very nicely recounted aspects of Theodore Herzl’s vision and the fulfillment that even this high speed train is a part of. One quote that really caught my attention follows,

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I never saw that before…

We were seated around the living room, preparing for Shabbat afternoon fellowship. More people than normal were here and light banter was going on as we paused for prayer and entered into our designated time of discussion.

With a couple of us having just returned from Pesach in Israel, we gave a good report from the Land. My recent articles concerning The Skeleton in Independence Park came up and we discussed elements and how we can better get people to the Land at feast time. One gentleman commented on some of the negative feedback the articles had received and pointed us to a passage of Scripture I have never seen before!! Further, he spelled out an answer to one of the most bothersome questions that plague most Hebrew roots/Messianics.

The question is ” I am worried about my family. They won’t listen when I tell them about our need to keep Torah. How do I get them to hear and understand?”

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Still More, Re: The Skeleton in Independence Park

The first installment in this series created a stir and got lots of hits. While some were offended by my tone and/or content, others, both publicly and privately, praised the message. Offense was not my intent. It was/is a hard message. The follow-on article offered a really good solution that hopefully fell/falls on tenderized hearts and softened soil.

Jeroboam’s altar at Tel Dan and the story of our repentance.

As I have continued to ponder and study, I think it imperative to explain the magnitude of WHY. Why is the topic of feasts in Jerusalem so gut wrenching? Why do we tend to be so resistant? And, why must we go up?

I Kings 12 is one of the most important chapters in all of Scripture. Certainly, it is the hinge from which all of history and prophecy swings. Yeshua the Mashiach… very important, but His mission of corporate redemption for the house of Israel and kol Israel is not necessary had 1 Kings 12 never happened. I detailed the significance of the rebellion several years ago in this short but jam packed post, then the details of the two houses and their necessary restoration, according to prophecy in Ten Parts in the King.

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MORE, Re: The Skeleton in Independence Park

This morning, as I was answering emails and eating breakfast, my eldest came downstairs to get ready for work. He said, “Dad, I read your skeleton article and if I didn’t know that you were really trying to make a serious point, I would have thought you were mad.”

I chuckled, “You’re not the only one. Apparently, I struck a nerve. More than a couple people did not appreciate that article.” We continued with a very good discussion and a solution that I’d like to share.

Deu. 16:16 Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the Lord empty-handed:

We read these verses every year both as part of our reading through Deuteronomy as well as during our Pesach readings. Some, like one member of our crew in Israel, argue that this only applies in the Land, while others offer that not only is there no caveat in the passage and Deuteronomy 30:1-4 clearly require obedience while still scattered as a prerequisite for being gathered. Zechariah 14:16 and following clearly outline the fact that even the enemies of Elohim will be required to send representatives to Jerusalem annually at Sukkot to insure rain.

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Committing an act of war….

We were sitting in the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv last night waiting for our flight. Kelly was using the time to catch up on some reading when she read a quote out loud. While the author is not Messianic and is speaking of Christian communion, her mention of ‘feast’ immediately set my wheels turning. Here’s the quote in sidebar…

Wow, interesting to think that feasting at the table, in Jerusalem, in obedience to the command and counter to the many challenges that seek to prevent us, is an act of war. Spiritual war!

I guess I knew that any act of obedience or stand for truth is an act of war against the adversary, but this was a great reminder, particularly in the midst of my musings about how very important it is for us to be appearing in Jerusalem for the feasts. It is not just our physical presence that Jerusalem needs to see. It is our spiritual presence that offends the forces of darkness. We are taking a warrior’s stand that if it delights the Father, then it enrages the adversary.

Hmmm.. gird up, boys! Jerusalem for the moedim!!

Selah!

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The Skeleton in Independence Park

She got under my skin and I was getting angry. She didn’t mean to as she leaned across the table with pointed questions.

It was not her very direct interrogation that was more appropriate for cross examining a hostile witness, but the fact that she exposed an unarticulated question that has been boiling in my own frame.

We were in a restaurant in Jerusalem at the end of Unleavened and she asked,’where is _______?’ naming a prominent Torah teacher in the US.

I tried to smile, gave a light shrug and said nothing. I was about 99.9% sure the teacher she named was not at the feast.

‘Maybe he is at an Orthodox community. Do you think so?’

Again I just shrugged.

‘Where is ________?’ She named another.

I pursed my lips in a forced smile, but was feeling my temperature beginning to rise.

‘Maybe they just don’t want to meet with us, or they are too busy to come to the Park?’

I grimaced. Thinking through the last five feasts I’ve attended, I recall only seeing

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Pesach Shabbat

Today, the Ani Yosef team slept in from a late Pesach Seder, then we dug in the Word this morning. Discussion took us many places, beginning in the Torah portion.

Then, this afternoon we drove to Independence Park in Jerusalem to meet other observant non-Jews from around the world. I was able to refresh/renew connections with many friends from all over. James Block showed up

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Busy, busy!

Jerusalem is always special, but this trip with Ani Yosef us more special than most! Besides multiple days of clean up, we planned, prepared for and hosted a wedding… all in a two day timespan. Details and lots of pics across several posts at AniYosef.com

Pesach Sameach!

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