I have no idea where to begin!! So much could have been written soon, however the internet service at the Eshel Hashomron was overtaxed and spotty. Honestly, that is my only complaint about a terrific hotel in the Shomron that I have come to love and call a second home.
Since getting here to Tzemach’s and renewing old friendships, I have been able to go back to the several posts I put up from the Eshel and add or update the videos that previously would not load. You will want to go back and take a gander!
The Congress itself was amazing and I want to share a few stories and incredible moments. Be sure to scroll through and see the many pics and videos.
All presentations were very good with several exceptional highlights. Dr. John Conrad was the first presenter on Shabbat morning from Parasha Tzav with a fascinating teaching about the role of Aaron and Levi in today’s restoration. His topic carried us into the human body to consider the unique duties of many various types of cells. What was extremely interesting was his discussion on cell specialization followed by a comparison to the nucleus free red blood cells that are not specialized or ‘loyal’ to a particular organ or tissue type. Rather, their job is to transport oxygen to all other cells, much like the Levites who were responsible for the whole body, not one particular tribe. Dr. Conrad’s further exhortation was that we each have unique functions and should not impose upon each other whatever the Father has called us to because the calling of others may be different. And, in an extending thought he spoke of those who may be called to functions that minister to the whole body and not to particular aspects of the restoration. Excellent, excellent talk.
I shared a talk regarding an ancient wound in the House of Israel taken from a post I put up six months ago. Tzefanyah Papas followed me with a good discussion about Elohim’s blueprint for Ephramite identity. He related research that evidences DNA changes from positive and negative inputs as well as the epigenetics that help identify specific groups. Other presenters included Hanoch Young and Mikel Clayton who had a strong contingent at the Congress fresh off of a Connect to Israel tour. (Their next tour…Highly recommended!!)
The talk that I was most anticipating was Dr. Rivkah Lambert Adler’s Ten From the Nations: The Aftermath. She did not disappoint! Dr. Adler shared the whirlwind of experiences she has had since publishing her compilation of stories of non-Jews turning to Torah. Many from the Congress will be attending her Torah School for the Nations two days after Passover.
The single most amazing and impactful presentation was by Rabbi Harry Rozenberg, founder of the Lost Tribes Beverage. While he has an amazing story of the journey the Almighty has had him on over the last few years to cause him to begin searching out the Ten Lost Tribes, the events surrounding his talk were clearly the hand of God. As is the habit of those at the Congress, we stood at 3pm, stopped Rabbi Harry mid-sentence (a hard thing to do…) and turned to face Jerusalem for the Sh’ma. When we finished he struggled to collect himself.
Well, earlier in his talk he had related that his car was broken down in Jerusalem and he had to beg his secretary (I think), Shira to drive him to the speaking engagement. Well, as Rabbi Harry collected himself after the sh’ma, Shira stood and asked for the microphone. She proceeded to relate that when we stood she panicked and looked for an exit, fearing we were about to do something that would make her unclean for Passover. Then she was shocked to hear the Sh’ma pour forth from us and immediately recognized us as family!
Shira then told a story that brought most of us to tears! She explained, as many are familiar with, that during WWII, many Jewish children were hidden in orphanages and Catholic homes. After the war, most did not know or express their identity, so a clever Rabbi began to visit orphanages as sing the Sh’ma wherein the children would instinctively cover their eyes and self identify. Shira continued by explaining that her late Rabbitzin in Tel Aviv was one of the found children. Then she said something to the effect that ‘the Sh’ma identifies you as one of our lost family members.’
Like many in the room, my eyeballs began to sweat. As soon as Rabbi Rozenberg finished his talk, he and she were mobbed with questions and personal interaction that extended about 45 minutes beyond the planned break. Rabbi Harry and Shira then proceeded to stay for dinner and for a while after before tearing themselves away from what we all agreed was an amazing Divine encounter. Ephraim Frank described it as the heavenly connection that happens when the two sticks come together i genuine trust and fellowship.
Honestly, it was absolutely heavenly! At least as amazing as any previous special encounter I have had with brothers of Judah. But, that wasn’t even the high point of the Congress!
The following morning, the last day of the Congress, as we finished final pieces of business, Ephraim Frank stated that he had been sent a video telling the story Shira had told the day before.
We watched the video with big tears, then turned to face Jerusalem and sing the Sh’ma. Where the Sh’ma had been belted out with vigor during the Congress, this time there were loud sobs and choke3d singing as we all understood the gravity of the moment, the parallel of Jews coming out of the church singing the Sh’ma and now us, walking with stumbling steps out of the same buildings, singing the Sh’ma. It was incredibly powerful!
The weekend could not have ended on a more spiritual or powerful note.