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

two ‘big name Torah teachers.’ One wasn’t there for the feast so much as for a conference, the other was leading a tour that did celebrate the feast, but chose to do so 100 km outside Jerusalem.

‘Do they teach to come to the feasts?’

My mind drifted back to a weekend event I attended the summer of 2015 in Jacksonville FL when a host of big name teachers taught but not a single one that I heard encoraged the attentive sheep to go to Jerusalem for the feasts, but they all promoted each other’s CDs, DVDs and latest teachings… oh, one guy promoted his trip to Israel that was not at feast time because it was cheaper.

The dam broke. I leaned back across the table and growled, ‘they aren’t here. They rarely come and when they do it is to promote self. Sell CDs and DVDs. They don’t come at feast time, they do it before or after because it’s cheaper.

My interrogator leaned back and said, ‘they don’t come? None of them?’

‘One does. She’s here every feast. Kimberly Rogers.’

‘Ah yes, Kimberly. And and Efraim and Rimona, right?’

‘Yes, but they live in the Land. It’s a little easier, though they are older.’

Our conversation continued, less abbrasive, but by then I was seething underneath, feeling the betrayal of the ‘teachers’ who rarely if ever teach the flock to ‘go to the feasts as Scripture commands.’ When ny questioner asked why they don’t teach this I could only surmise that sending people is less profitable than taking them during the ‘cheaper’ windows, or teaching at Sukkot gatherings in the US. Jeroboam comes to mind. The house of Ephraim apparently still wants to do their own thing at their own time and place.

Earlier in the day we had fellowshipped in Independence Park. All those who frequent Jerusalem at the feasts knows that every Shabbat at 2 pm during the feasts there is a gathering in the park. This gathering was small, but incredibly diverse. Perhaps 75 to 100 representing 15 or 20 nationalities from the four corners of the globe. I saw the majority there last Sukkot and the Pesach before, and Sukkot two years ago. Most are the same dedicated pilgrims with a few new faces peppered in.

Some come to Jerusalem with nothing and camp, others may have more and stay in hotels or apartments. Those who come consistently are a well connected group sharing accommodations, travel tips, food and needs. Each has an incredible testimony and is battle hardened as a warrior, beholden to no particular teacher but truly seeking Elohim and His face at the moedim in Jerusalem. Some have been three tines a year for more than eight years and know Abba is faithful to provide when one commits to obedient ascent.

It was while I was in the park and Chris was talking about bones that I realized I was looking at the skeleton. Lots of Torah teachers and Torah organizations talk about being dry bones, but they are scattered. The real bones, the warriors who are the network I see Abba using, Gideon’s band, are the ones in Independence Park, the obedient watchmen making constant effort to get back to the next feast.

Now, it’s 4 a m somewhere, I’m 35,000 feet in the air flying toward Madrid. As the wheels left the tarmac in Tel Aviv I was already missing Jerusalem, Giv’at Ye’arim and my Ephramite family returning to the four winds. Maybe I’m a little salty right now, but I don’t know how better to articulate how disappointing that so few from the nations who claim to be part of kol Israel actually make the effort to be in Jerusalem even once a year at feast time. There should be thousands.

Congregations should be sending representatives at least once per year to one of the three pilgrim feasts. Stop paying for Torah teachers that don’t tell you to get your hindparts to the feasts. Stop attending or promoting tours that avoid the feasts because of cost*, congestion or other convenience issues. Start going! You need to be in Jerusalem for the feasts and Jerusalem needs to see you!

*Cost is a lie. Ani Yosef has proven that you can spend 13-16 days in the Jerusalem area for less than $950 that covers lodging, transportation and two meals per day. Airfare not included. Guided tour options extra… The unvarnished truth is, if you want to be there, you’ll be there. No excuses. (Elohim won’t accept your lame excuse any more than I will.)

If these dry bones are going to come together, it is going to be in the Land, at the appointed times. It simply ain’t gonna happen out in the diaspora. STOP kidding yourself. Become a part of the solution. Get to Jerusalem during the moedim as commanded.

See you in Independence Park, Jerusalem, at 2 pm on Shabbat during Sukkot.


About Pete Rambo

Details in 'About' page @ Basically, husband of one, father of four. Pastor x 11 years, former business and military background. Micro-farmer. Messianic believer in Yeshua haMashiach!
This entry was posted in B'ney Yosef (Ani Yosef) and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to The Skeleton in Independence Park

  1. Tom Washburn says:

    Will you be there for Shavuot?

    I’ve heard this “Torah bashing” from others who have somewhat recently “returned to Torah”. They attend a feast or two here and there. They have jobs that provide funds for this. They don’t bring their sons and daughters, as the commandment says. They are not consistent in appearing before Him three times a year. But they are quick to tell us that we are wrong for not obeying the commandment.

    I’m still looking for that verse that says, “Speak unto the children of Israel and tell them that if they partially obey my commandment some of the time they shall rebuke their brethren for not obeying the commandment fully, all of the time.”


  2. hadassah18 says:

    Maybe I dont understand your thoughts when you wrote these words, but what I read out of your words is not my experience (I dont speak of myself) : ( “The real bones, the warriors who are the network I see Abba using, Gideon’s band, are the ones in Independence Park, the obedient watchmen making constant effort to get back to the next feast.”) . I know precious pioneers in the four winddirections of the earth (not at Ipark) during the biblical feast precisely where the Father have lead them so far. Ask them and you will hear their reasons…
    Shalom, Hadassah

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pete Rambo says:


      Blessings. I do understand that sometimes the Father has us doing something different on some feasts. I saw your blog and read the story of your trip to England. It was a blessings. And, I have seen you in Jerusalem for a number of feasts.

      My post is more general, where are all the thousands, even tens of thousands of Messianics who love Israel, but rarely come up if ever. Where are the Torah teachers that should be setting the standard, leading the way? Why do they ‘avoid’ the feasts in favor of other times, or in favor of staying home and teaching somewhere? Pretty much all of them. Why?

      You have walked Jerusalem. You know how very small that city is. On any given day, walking through Ben Yehuda, strolling Yaffo or wandering through the Old City and Kotel, you run into people you know from all over the world. In fact, it is almost impossible to be in the City at Feast time and be out and about while remaining hidden.

      This is the problem I am addressing. I will be writing much more about this in the coming days.

      Blessings to you and your family, I look forward to seeing you again in Jerusalem some time soon.


      • hadassah18 says:

        Don’t put us as family in the row of the ones in who your eyes dont earn critic. please. When we are concerned we need to be careful how to put our tone to the brethren. We need to carefully read our hearts, mind and desires inside of us. Is it our own desire to create activities or was it build by the revelation of the Ruach haKodesh ánd His written Word? I know for sure there are lots of people who dont participate in your project AY, and are volunteers who are helping Israel where they can with no name and no yellow shirt. They take off from school, job or duties in their own country for a certain time to spend with helping hands and a lovely heart. They are as non jews Yosef too.
        Many are working in the vineyard (not going to the moadim in the land, but in the nations, inviting the brethren who never have experienced a moéd, spreading the news to the brethren with tears and a burden on their heart, always with the longing to be regathered with all Israel).
        I wonder about the apostles…were they always in the land during the feasts?
        You mentioned about costs “*Cost is a lie. Ani Yosef has proven that you can spend 13-16 days in the Jerusalem area for less than $950 that covers lodging, transportation and two meals per day. Airfare not included. Guided tour options extra… The unvarnished truth is, if you want to be there, you’ll be there. No excuses. (Elohim won’t accept your lame excuse any more than I will.)” and made known your project AY. For a third of these costs people can volunteer at least at elderlyhomes for three months or more, full board, weekends off. Two third of that price people can give freely to the poor, widow etc.I can give you details…
        My dad, a businessman with his own factory said to us, take your time and see if a project will come through at least “winter’ and “summer” then it could be a serious thing..
        Thats how we look to our own activities too.
        I try to explain, as far as I could understand and experienced your tone was not with humble love. Every action of us will have result. …Also those of mine.
        Let us go to Abba YHVH and ask Him what He prefer what we will do for Him…again and again…
        Test my words
        This is what I have experienced last Sukkot 2018:


      • Pete Rambo says:

        God bless you, Hadassah. I appreciate your thoughts, but you must understand, every message does not need to be wrapped in sugar plums and gumdrops. Frankly, we are at a very dangerous point in history and our restoration. While I am not a prophet or the son of a prophet, I know well the words of a prophet. They all were killed for truth spoken with very pointed and strong words. Often, my posts have a much more gentle tone. This did not because we ALL need a very strong prod to take the next step.

        Here in the US, many began planning Sukkot while packing the tent last year. We all sit around the table at Pesach and say ‘next year in Jerusalem. ‘ Very, very few actually turn their eyes toward Jerusalem and begin earnestly seeking how they can be there in obedience.

        Yes, I mentioned AY as an example. I also mentioned a friend who went up with about $300 and no plans or reservations and began an amazing feast sleeping in a park. We also both know if tours that go between feasts that cost thousands and include nice hotels, great dinners and lots of sites… so? My point was that budget in not a consideration in Yah’s mind. If someone wants to be there, He’ll make a way.

        A final note on AY. We are not the only opportunity, but we are a good one. Anyone who has been knows that part of our goal is to acclimate new participants to public transportation, Jerusalem, culture, etc so that they are comfortable coming back on their own. I want people going up to the feasts in Jerusalem, I don’t care with whom they go. This is not about me, or personal agendas. This is about obedience and coming together as a people in the place Yah said He would meet us.

        I’m just the messenger.


  3. Rosemarie Pinto says:

    Thanks for the wake up call, Pete.


  4. Glenn says:

    Well said, “My good and faithful servant.”


  5. Bonnie says:

    Wow! As a person who discovered your blogs and videos years ago, my husband and I were blessed by the Good News, but this is not good news, this is heartbreaking.
    First of all, you may think that by not mentioning people’s names you’ve avoided slander, but it’s easy to connect the dots. With our tongues we bless our Adonai and with it we curse people who are made in His image. These things should not be!!
    These Torah teachers you have so blatantly pointed out our His Shepherds, and they have ministered to me much. They always encourage me to go to The Land during the Feasts and especially the foot festivals, but Pete The Land is in me! Israel is in my blood!!!
    You say there is no excuses. I spent most of last year having major surgeries and in a motorized scooter. I’m disabled. I have been since my early 40’s and I thank Yah for that daily for it has given me much time to study His Word and become more intimate with Him. It’s also given me empathy for those who suffer. After losing everything I owned, I was homeless for a year over my health. It was an incredible journey learning to trust Abba daily for bread. He supplied both spiritual and physical and brought complete restoration in His timing.
    My point is, how many sheep will read this and feel guilt and shame and condemnation because they are on a fixed income, disabled or have children or family with disabilities.

    Where’s the fruit in this smug message? You sit in the park and grow angry. I read this blog and weep.
    I have a friend whose son is in his 20’s in diapers. He was born so early he requires care round the clock. Her husband is disabled. And yet, you say no excuse? I’d rather break bread with these humble servants than sit in smug pride in The Land.
    I hope you rethink this message. It grieves me. It grieves others. Not sure if you’ll post or allow this comment, but I’m praying for you.


    • Pete Rambo says:

      Dear Bonnie,

      Thank you for your comment and message of concern and I am sorry if you did not understand or hear my heart. I will be writing more on this subject in the coming days, but please allow me to clarify a few things here.

      First, this is not a smug or angry message. It is heartbreaking for me as well because as a body, as a whole, we are not doing what we need to and the shepherds will be held accountable. Calling them out and stating enough information to demonstrate that I know exactly what and why, is not sin. Indeed, it is tough love, a rebuke that I genuinely hope they will hear and amend. But, it is also a blot on all of us that we each can take steps to amend.

      Note carefully what I wrote. I said, “Congregations should be sending representatives at least once per year to one of the three pilgrim feasts.” I will be sharing more in the coming days, but every believer can be represented, even if they themselves are not able to make the trip. Please stay tuned to the blog for the next few installments related to this topic so that you have the full picture. For some things I said, maybe the shoe doesn’t fit. If it doesn’t, please do not be offended or hurt by it. But, we should all be grieving and hearts should break knowing that there are not more people in this movement making the effort to be in Jerusalem at the hagim!

      Blessings and I appreciate your comment. I even look forward to more interaction on this message as I develop it in the coming posts. Thank you for your prayers.


  6. Douglas Eblen says:

    I think this post and thread show the difference between being torah observant and torah pursuant.


  7. K. Gallagher says:


    I am greatly saddened to read this diatribe against Adonai’s people. I grieve for those that will read it and be infected with condemnation and wariness toward their fellow brethren.

    While you might believe it is a stern kick of “tough love” for the Body, and especially “Torah teachers,” it is in reality a self righteous rant, and a recounting of the lashon hara you participated in at a restaurant in Jerusalem.

    Though you were careful not to name names, we know how to read between the lines. You have effectively placed doubt and suspicion in the minds of your readers, which is destroying another’s name and shedding their blood. Thus, I don’t find it a coincidence that your following article was entitled, “Committing an Act of War.”

    Whose side are you really on?

    As of right now, you are an accuser of the brethren. You speak as if you KNOW the hearts, minds, and intentions of those you accuse. You speak as if you know the mission Abba has given them. No one else is battling for the Kingdom – just those in Independence Park at the feast days. They aren’t “beholden to any particular teacher,” is spoken as if this is something to be proud of. You speak as if only you and those joined to you in Independence Park are the “real” deal.

    You accuse them of being like Jeroboam – going their own way – when you, Pete, should look at the fingers pointing back at you. You are truly “Ani Yosef,” tattle-telling on his brothers. What do you expect to come from this type of behavior?

    You speak as if all the “big name” Torah teachers are not pointing the Way to Jerusalem, that they are instead out for nothing more than profit and gain. Really, Pete? This is actually laughable. There is no monetary gain in teaching Torah. Just getting by would be much more accurate.

    You might have intended this message to encourage people to travel to Jerusalem for the pilgrimage festivals; but instead, you slandered your brothers and sisters. You want to build Adonai’s House and Kingdom? You want to put feet on the ground in Jerusalem at the feasts? Then, STOP tearing the House down. STOP kicking the pillars in the gut. STOP shedding the blood of her leaders and her helpless. STOP being an accuser. You can’t build by destroying – that is a fool’s mission.

    Consider the spirit that you revealed: Your “anger” rose, “boiling in your own frame,” you “growled,” and you were “seething underneath.” Is this what righteous anger looks like? Or does this sound more like an angry bull in the field?

    The Torah teachers you so cunningly didn’t name ARE pointing the Way to the Land, the People, and the Covenant. They are wise builders. They don’t build on the blood and destruction of others. They might not move as fast as the beasts of the field, but they are steady, carefully going at the pace of the children and clean cattle. The Ruach HaKodesh is gentle and tender toward the nursing babes.

    I’d rather spend all my days caring for them, loving them, than ensuring I make every pilgrimage feast to Jerusalem – even though that is also my heart. I know so many that suffer. So many that don’t have a local congregation. So many that are constant caregivers. So many that struggle to keep a roof over their head. So many that have eyes that are just opening. So many that are broken and bleeding. You don’t think Adonai’s eyes are upon them? You don’t think that binding their wounds and paying for their recovery is more important than meeting in “Independence” Park? They are NOT independent, but needy.

    Jerusalem is physical AND spiritual. It is Land and People, as is Adonai’s House. The minute you forget that, your right hand forgets what it is supposed to do.

    Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are weak, and the flocks and herds which are nursing are with me. And if the men should drive them hard one day, all the flock will die. Please let my lord go on ahead before his servant. I will lead on slowly at a pace which the livestock that go before me, and the children, are able to endure… Gen. 33:13-14 (NKJV)

    May Adonai have mercy on us all,

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: MORE, Re: The Skeleton in Independence Park | natsab

  9. shaylamonique says:

    So blessed to be a new face at Independence Park this year!!
    It was so incredible to connect with like-minded believers from all over the world and share our stories and insights.
    My prayer is for Peace, Trust and Unity in this movement of His Hand throughout all people involved. May we dance on disappointment and keep moving forward into all His incredible GOODNESS!
    Yehovah- willing, I will be back!


    • Pete Rambo says:

      I did not have the pleasure of meeting you, though I think I can guess who you are. The group was small enough (too small).

      Blessings on your journey and I pray you make it back again and again!


  10. Pingback: Still More, Re: The Skeleton in Independence Park | natsab

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