Solomon and the baby… today!

IMG-20161015-WA0003I woke with a jolt, realizing that I did not know where I was. The sheets and pillow felt different in the darkened room.  The sounds were all wrong. I lay motionless, frozen, waiting for the fog to lift from my mind as my eyes glanced around the room in an attempt to orient myself.

At the same time, strangely, the story of Solomon, the two harlots and the baby was playing in the corners of my awareness. Slowly, I began to recall my surroundings.  Kelly and I had fallen into bed exhausted the night before from hours of travel and late arrival at Tzemach’s guest house in Giv’at Ye’arim, Israel.  It was Shabbat morning and we were again in the Land of the Patriarchs!

But, why Solomon? I pondered before slowly getting out of bed to stand on the outer porch with a cup of hot tea to listen to the birds as the sun climbed higher in the sky.  I had been considering the whole division of the baby a week earlier, but it seemed an odd thing to wake thinking about.  I pushed it to the back of my mind with the excitement of the day. Continue reading

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Breaking Israel News writes about Ani Yosef.

Breaking Israel News has just posted an article from an interview Eliana Rudee conducted with us last week.

Check it out at: https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/114576/torah-awakening-bnei-efraim-returning/

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Simchat Torah!

Joy in the Torah, Yemenite Jewish style…

Lots of pics and video at Ani Yosef.

Teaser…

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Dates for Ani Yosef trips in 2019 announced…

‘Next year in Jerusalem!’

Ever said that? Well, here us your chance

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Lazy day in Ein Kerem

The Ani Yosef trip has been incredibly blessed by the Father and has gone very well. It has been loads of work which our small leadership team has shared and handled very well. The constant work, though, has left little personal time and the team finally kicked Kelly and me out for the day.

We have been in this community the last couple times we came to Israel

and have driven through the charming little town of Ein Kerem, but we’ve never stopped to explore.

Today, was that day.

We’ve strolled a number of flower drenched alleys stopping admire

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Shabbat Shalom from Israel

Just posted an update at aniyosef.com. Incredible day, but winding down for Shabbat… We want to wish you a blessed and peaceful Shabbat from Israel!

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Ani Yosef update

Just posted an update to aniyosef.com

Limited internet and time. Much to write/report later. Stay tuned.

Shalom.

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Two sisters needed…

A dear friend and prayer warrior feels called to come to Israel in October for a nine day prayer journey.  She and a friend believe that they are supposed to be a four-some.  If you are a lady who feels called to this place and time, please contact me and I will connect you with the lady heading this team up for a specific assignment.

Shalom!

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An unusual Shabbat…

Just over 24 hours ago our plane landed in Ha-eretz, The Land.  For us and those who love Israel, there is only one ‘Land,’ and this is it, the apple of God’s eye.  We arrived right on the eve of Shabbat with stores already closed and as we pulled into the drive of our host’s guest house, all lights were off.  We knocked and after no answer, just let ourselves in.

I had informed Tzemach, our host of having to evacuate South Carolina ahead of hurricane Florence and our impending early arrival asking if we could come and if he would be so kind as to stock the refrigerator.  Well, he wasn’t here and the refrigerator was empty.  My 16 year old, Silas, growled, “Nice, dad! Some kind of welcome.”

I retired to the porch to listen to the Shabbat quiet as it covered the Land with only a few birds chirping in the back ground.  After Kelly and Silas had both had showers we had a protein bar and decided to get ready for bed while I hit the shower.

Mid-shower, I heard excited voices in the living room and assumed Tzemach had arrived with usual fanfare.  He is a bundle of broken English speaking energy. I rushed to finish and get out the join the flash party and Tzemach greeted me with a huge hug and announcement that dinner was ready downstairs.  Apparently, through miscommunication, a staple in this relationship, he had been waiting expectantly at his parent’s house for several hours.

He indeed had a sumptuous meal prepared with a nice wine accompaniment. He was, I believe, more excited to see us than even my heightened state.

Dinner was a long exchange of family details and stories of the events over the last six months since we last saw him.  The best part was him relaying that when he got the emergency message of our early arrival he thought the entire 50+ Ani Yosef group was coming and he panicked and went grocery shopping!!  It was a memorable Shabbat dinner that ended late.

Our plan was to laze around the house today, but not Tzemach.  The last two times we have come he has been insistent on taking us touring to some of his favorite places, but his work and our schedule have not meshed.  Upon his insistence again last night, and knowing that today would be our only day available, we agreed with the caveat that we not spend any money.

I rose early and enjoyed the Torah portion on the porch before our effervescent host again came up the stairs.  Breakfast, a very traditional Yemenite farm spread was laid out waiting for us.  Wonderful.  We followed it with coffee and more talk before packing a few water bottles and heading for the car.

Interestingly, at some point last night, I dreamed of David and Goliath and not getting there the last time we were here. It was one place I wanted to go but again, scheduling didn’t work out.  So, this morning Tzemach gave me a run down on the places he wanted to take us and …  David and Goliath’s encounter at Azeka was on the list! WOW!

We spent an incredible day driving at a leisurely pace from one point to another and getting out and walking.

Our first stop was a memorial park for Air Force ‘soldiers’ who died in the line of duty.  This was a nice park very near the Giv’at Ye’arim. We walked, looked at the monuments and I ooh-ed and aah-ed over the rotary engine atop the monument at the amphitheater.

Next we proceeded to a forest called the Forest of the Holy Ones to see an 30 or 40 foot tall bronze featuring an interpretation of Ezekiel 37:12, 14.

The idea of Russian immigrants, IDF soldiers, and patriarchs all answering the call simultaneously was impressive.  I guess I often imagine the whole even in contemporary terms not considering the many ages, customs, dress and peoples who will be present.  So easy to get locked into our own little sphere interpreting everything within our own little cultural paradigm.

Next we visited Samson’s grave.  It was interesting and one of those places that I wonder how the interpretation was made that it was on or near that location.  While on the top of that hill we were drawn into a nice cave that was under a huge stone and I thought it odd there were dozens, maybe a hundred candles that had been burned as well as two seven day candles about five days gone.  I puzzled over the thought of ‘worship’ on that ‘high place’ as we moved on to a nearby military memorial to Operation Danny (Dani?), the taking of Jerusalem through the adjacent valley.

It suddenly dawned on me as we looked back toward that place and continued to discuss Manoach that the cave was an obvious hiding place and the large overhead rock may have been where the Angel of the Lord visited!  WOW!!  How dense I was not to see that while standing there.

We moved on through a sculpture park and then headed to the valley of Elah and Tel Azeka.  Truly, the walk up to the Philistine stronghold was wonderful and crested onto a hilltop with unparalleled vistas.  Looking across the valley in the direction of Jerusalem at a much lower hill it was easy to imagine the cowering army of Israel as a young shepherd stepped forward to face down Goliath.

We drank in the views and talked of the victory.  Kelly and I discussed an article I wrote several years ago connecting David and Goliath with the Mashiach and the Anti-Maschiach.  I was so glad to be able to stand on the hill and look across and savor the prophetic events and a soon coming drama.

Once we walked down we meandered through several other stops before finishing the afternoon at Sataf, an ancient terraced community with a cave, spring and cistern set up that was fascinating to see.

As with several stops, Tzemach ran into friends and was treated as a celebrity.  We had a ball.

The day ended with more food around his table and planning for the coming weeks as the whole Ani Yosef group comes in tomorrow to begin a little work and touring while we celebrate Yom Kippur and Sukkot in the Land.

These and more pics in the gallery below.  Enjoy!!

Keep an eye both here and aniyosef.com in the coming days for updates.

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Heading back to Israel…

The sunset was stunning as we saw hurricane Florence from the Almighty’s perspective. We were not scheduled to fly out until tomorrow, but the deteriorating weather and Abba’s provision carried us out 24 hours early. What a blessing! Miss the storm AND get another day in Israel. Win – win!

Details of our escape are posted at aniyosef.com.

As I looked down on the sunset while it slowly changed through a spectum of vibrant colors, I

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Denying Yeshua

In recent months I have watched with some dismay as multiple people around me have strongly considered or actually taken the leap and converted to Judaism.  The move itself is not so problematic except that the conversion process generally demands a firm denial of Yeshua as the Messiah and that is monumental.

My journey out of a Christian pulpit and to the Hebrew roots of the faith began when I started to evaluate many of the traditions I had been handed.  Each traditional understanding of Scripture, handed down from Christian theologians for up to 1600 years, had to be evaluated against what Scripture actually said.  And, central to it all was the looming question regarding Yeshua/Jesus as the Messiah.

I knew coming into the study that Christianity had some things very wrong, but experience told me that somethings were right.  The key was to tease out the valuable elements and leave the rest behind. I was a bit perplexed as I began exploring many sources of information to find that Judaism, like Christianity, was filled with traditional interpretations that simply do not add up to Scripture.  Continue reading

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Ani Yosef update and Tees for sale…

Yosef Front.JPGYesterday morning, as I pulled out of my drive to head to work, I glanced west and saw a huge moon sinking toward the horizon and it hit me! SukkotYosef back is a scant four weeks away!

We have been diligently taking care of details for the first Ani Yosef trip to Israel and Abba has been very good.  Currently we have about 60 paid participants…  Not as many as we prayed for, but more than I originally thought we might marshal on such short notice!

(Plans are already being formed for Pesach next year…  Remember? “Next year in Jerusalem?” So, follow the aniyosef.com blog to be sure not to miss any news.)

In interesting news…  in the last week we have added an additional activity to the itinerary… A Paul Wilbur Concert!  Most exciting, the event is being recorded for a live album and DVD!

Ani Yosef Tees, pictured above, are available to any who want one… Details and to place your order, go here.

Expect lots of pics and updates during the trip.  Just keep an eye here and the Ani Yosef blog.

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A blank check….

Have you ever written a blank check?  Most of us have at one point or another, but always with a general idea what the amount would be when whoever we gave it to filled it in.

Not long ago I wrote a blank check with NO IDEA how much it would cost.  I did it in complete faith that the One to Whom I wrote the check would fill it out as He saw fit without overcharging me.

Yep, scary stuff, but I said, “Father, any price.  I’m willing to pay any price, just lead me to fullness of truth.”

I should have expected it, but Continue reading

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Ruth, Jordan and the Balm of Gilead

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a blog and the first couple posts jumped out at me.  They spoke directly to some areas where the Father has been teaching me.  The beauty of this blog is that it is a sabra telling her story of ministry to the heart of God and a wound that we unwittingly exacerbate by picking sides.

I pray you will take the time to not only read the first three posts in Orna Grinman‘s current series, but also take the time to peruse her blog.  Read her story, and pray for this dear sister that is on the cutting edge of healing and restoration for kol Israel!

And, as a side note….  I am so excited that during Sukkot she is going to be the guest of Ani Yosef one evening to come and share with us!  I can’t wait!!

Here are those three posts:

Part 1: Crossing Over – A Hebrew

Part 2: You Look Like a Ruth

Part 3: It is Being Produced Again

May Abba bless you as you absorb and ponder what HE is speaking about the region!!

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Is hate the answer? Yishai Fleisher and the Palestinian Question

My plans for the summer did not include reading or in any way weighing in on the discussion of Palestinians.  Honestly, while I probably should have been more educated on the issue, I can say that aside from driving through Judea and Samaria during each of my last three trips to Israel and avoiding roads that have the big red and white ‘enter at your own risk’ warning signs, the Palestinians have not been on my mind.  I’ve been minding my own business.  Until a few weeks ago.

While the circumstances and players are not important to this article, a sequence of conversations and confrontations brought me face to face with a simple and very uncomfortable fact: what if I’m related to the Palestinians?

Now, some of you are chuckling because you know well my Swedish blue eyes and very European ancestry, even if I tan easily to a deep bronze.  But seriously?  What if I am related?

The simple truth is that I believe I am.  Continue reading

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