Memorial for Esther Moore: Touching eternity on a Jerusalem rooftop
On a roof top overlooking the city that will receive Yeshua, under a moonlit Jerusalem sky, cooled by a strong summer breeze, a bereaved family gave whole-hearted praise to God. Through their tears, the Ridings-Moore-Rosenthal-Boyd family declared “Hodu L’Adonai Ki Tov, Ki L’Olam Chasdo – Give thanks to the Lord for He is good and His mercy is everlasting.”
These words, “Hodu L’Adonai Ki Tov – הודו לאדוני כי טוב” were the last words spoken by their 29 year old daughter/wife/sister, Esther. She repeated them to each member of the family at her bedside, even as she was departing to be with her Lord. Over and over, at the memorial held in her honor on August 26, 2018, her family and close friends spoke of the courage, faith, and love shown by Esther in her two and a half year battle with cancer.
What left me unable to hold back tears was the unreserved way this remarkable family lifted their voices to give glory to the Creator/Redeemer/Healer to whom they had doggedly appealed for the rescue of their precious Esther. This was a young woman in the prime of life—a composer/singer of stirring songs, speaking directly of the dark storms of life that threaten to block out the light that yet will shine. Despite their crushing loss—three generations stood on that summer eve lifting their voices and their hands before the Most High, affirming “You’ll never let me down, never let me down. NO, you’ll never let me down.”
I thought to myself, these people are the real thing. Here they are, not pretending to understand why or how their exceedingly lovely young daughter/wife/sister has ended her earthly journey. Nor are they withholding their unspeakable sorrow. Yet they are giving tribute to Messiah Yeshua, whose coming kingdom they are so dedicated to hasten. Not incidentally, the Ridings’ have made this an around the clock pursuit by establishing Succat Hallel (Tabernacle of Praise) in Jerusalem in 1999. It has grown to be a 24/7 center of worship and intercession, with participants drawn from both Israel and the nations.
One could only be moved by the God-glorifying response of Esther’s husband, Will, her sisters, Bethany and Anna, her parents, Rick and Patricia, and all the nieces and nephews (who also sang and spoke movingly). Yet It was also the recounting of who Esther was (we should say “is”) and how she responded to the excruciating trial of watching her body being eaten away. “Esther was a free spirit, always wanting to be out doing things,” reflected Bethany (her big sister by 11 years). “It was so hard to see her hooked up to all those tubes in intensive care for so long. But even there, she still shone with the love of God and the joy of life. She didn’t hide her reaction of anger and grief to the initial shocking news of cancer, or of having a Downs Syndrome baby (Esther left behind her prized four year old son, Calev). She was neither bitter toward God, nor did she stay in self-pity.”
Bethany’s conclusion summed up the message of Esther’s life and of the entire evening. “All we have to take into eternity is our heart. This world is like a womb that we temporarily reside in. We can only hear God’s heartbeat—just as the child within his mother hears and feels her heartbeat.” What a thought—that our current stage is preparing us for a far more brilliant and lasting reality! Big sister continued, carried by a wave of lasting wonder. “Esther is my hero. She showed me, more than anything, LOVE—true love, unconditional love. Esther’s love for God wasn’t dependent on her healing or fulfilled dreams. I just hope I can be like that.”
Then she poured out her heart before us in a song she wrote shortly after Esther’s passing. What gripped me was that, again, it was a cry out of the raging storm of grief and love. “From the womb of time, soon we’ll see clearly.”
Esther’s second sister, Anna, was no less eloquent, no less passionate in describing Esther, no less compelling as she added “This world in its broken state is not what God intends. We have a choice—to dwell on questions or to catch the wind and rise on the winds of praise.” Her song—one of startling, tender witness to Esther’s legacy—spoke of penetrating the earthly, worldly measures of what’s important to get to the ultimate reality of Messiah’s reign.
I am undone by this family. All three girls (including Esther, who sang to us through a gritty, gutsy black and white video “Height of the Storm” are writers of deep songs of devotion, sung hauntingly with humility and whole-hearted authenticity.
This was an evening when we touched eternity. We experienced the gracious presence of God on that rooftop overlooking the city of the King. We felt, together with Esther’s family, the incredible worth of one person who lives life to the full. We wept and we sang. And we listened in amazement, to a true tale of suffering and loss—met with unshaken trust in the goodness of God.
Eitan is the Founder and Executive Director of Tents of Mercy Network of Messianic Congregations is Northern Israel. He's a published author, having written "What About Us?", which answers the question about Gentile participation in the restoration of Israel.
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Israeli Immigration Appeals Court rules foreign tour leaders are not missionaries
The Ministry of Interior refused to allow the entry into Israel of a Christian married couple who have served as tour leaders, bringing thousands of tourists to Israel in the past decades. A successful appeal to the Jerusalem Immigration Appeals Court overturned the decision.
Mr. and Mrs. Johnson (their names have been changed for the purposes of this article) are South African tour leaders who have been guiding pilgrimages in Israel for the last 20 years. Obviously, pilgrim groups coming to the Holy Land are an important source of income for the Israeli economy and help improve Israel’s reputation abroad, especially if the group leaders are friends of Israel. Half of all tourists entering Israel are pilgrims who are here to visit historical holy sites.
The Ministry of Interior is aware of the importance of tourism and used to make concessions to make the life of travel agents and tour leaders coming into Israel easier. In the past, Ministry of Interior policy permitted foreign tour leaders to operate in Israel with a tourist visa, as long as the tour group is accompanied by a certified Israeli tour guide.
Refusal of entry into Israel
The Johnsons have worked with Israeli tourism companies for decades. They accompanied hundreds of groups over this period and even rented an apartment in Jerusalem so that they would have a place to stay while guiding pilgrims. In 2015, suddenly and with no prior warning, they were both denied entry into Israel, each under a different pretext.
Border control officials argued that Mr. Johnson, in whose name the Jerusalem apartment was rented, meant to illegally settle in Israel. Mrs. Johnson, on the other hand, was refused entry on the grounds that her work as a tour guide was not properly certified. The couple made an internal appeal to the Population and Migration Authority at the Ministry of Interior, which decided to approve the renewal of their tourist visa, with the right to repeatedly re-enter Israel.
Information about alleged missionary activity
In early 2017, Yad L’Achim (a Jewish orthodox organization dedicated to maintaining religious and racial purity in Israel) sent a letter to the Ministry of Interior claiming that the Johnsons were engaged in missionary activity. Therefore, the Johnsons were summoned to an interview at the Ministry of Interior office. As a result, their request to extend their visa was refused. The internal appeal they filed was rejected, and they were ordered to leave Israel.
Thus, the couple – supporters of Israel whose livelihood depends on having permission to enter the Holy Land – had no choice but to turn to a law firm specializing in appealing Ministry of Interior decisions. Advocate Michael Decker submitted their appeal to the Appeals Court.
The parties’ arguments to the Immigration Appeals Court
Lawyers’ representatives of the Ministry of Interior claimed:
That the Yad L’Achim organization provided information claiming that the appellants were missionaries and that missionary activity is a criminal offense in Israel. According to the claim, the appellants were involved in converting Jews to Christianity.
Moreover, the Ministry of Interior’s own sources claimed that the appellants’ center of life is in Israel, since they have been here for extended periods of time. Thus, the Johnsons either intended to illegally settle in Israel or have already de-facto settled here.
Representatives of the Ministry of Interior found it difficult to present actual proof of missionary activity. Therefore, they presented the secondary claim regarding the couple’s center of life and suggested a possible compromise; the Johnson’s tourist visa could be extended for six months, subject to depositing a bank guarantee. After the visa expired, the couple would have to apply for a work permit in Israel.
Advocate Decker, for the appellants, claimed:
The accusation of missionary activity was based on information from a rival tour guide and was, in fact, a false allegation submitted to Yad L’Achim in order to harm the livelihood of the petitioners.
Moreover, the Ministry of Interior had no proof that the couple engaged in missionary activity. Furthermore, there could be no proof – the couple focused their activities on work with Christian pilgrims; as such, they never guided groups of Jews. Thus, any preaching of Christian doctrine was aimed at Christian tourists. If a person really wants to engage in missionary activity in Israel (converting Jews to Christianity), then guiding pilgrims is the least effective course of action.
Also, since other tour leaders are not required to obtain a work permit, there is no reason the Johnsons would require one. This request was a backup “condolence prize” for the Ministry of Interior after their main accusation could not be proven.
Lastly, the Johnsons are South African citizens. They and their family members all reside in South Africa, and their wages come from foreign pilgrims, so their center of life is not in Israel by any definition. Therefore, there is no reason to require a work permit that is not required of other tour leaders. The position of the Ministry of Interior is unfounded, and it needlessly harms both the appellants and the Israeli tourists, since the appellants will not be able to guide pilgrims who have already arrived in Israel.
Immigration Appeals Court verdict: There is no basis for the Ministry of Interior’s claims
Judge Menachem Pashititzky went straight to the heart of the matter when he asked whether the Ministry of Interior had proof that even a single Jew had converted to Christianity because of the appellants’ activity. In addition, the judge emphasized to the legal representatives of the Ministry of Interior that in any case, missionary activity is not in itself forbidden in Israel. The law in Israel only prohibits granting favors or money to entice a person to convert and/or persuade minors to convert. Since the respondent did not have evidence of any conversions (due to the appellants concentrating on work with Christians), the Ministry of Interior’s entire line of reasoning is baseless. The conclusion is that the Ministry of Interior rushed to conclusions that harmed the appellants on the basis of entirely invented, false claims.
Furthermore, his Honor agreed that the appellants’ center of life is in South Africa, and that they have no intention of settling in Israel. Beyond the arguments’ above, the allegation was disproven by common sense, the decades during which the appellants lived in South Africa and guided groups to Israel without settling here. In this context, the judge also noted that he did not understand the reasons for the change in the Ministry’s long-standing policy regarding the requirement for a work visa.
In conclusion, the judge ruled in favor of the appellants, since the respondent’s decision was deemed unreasonable and disproportionate. The couple will receive a tourist visa by the end of 2018, subject to a bank deposit of NIS 30,000 in order to ensure they do not illegally settle in Israel. They will need to apply for a work visa to continue working in 2019 and declare that they will not perform any illegal missionary activity during their stay in Israel.
Joshua Pex is a partner at the law firm Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh, which represented the appellants in this matter.
Advocate Joshua Pex is a partner at Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh law firm in Jerusalem. He specializes in immigration to Israel.
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‘My Face Toward the Lord:’ New Messianic album released
Almost one year since Panai el-Adonai (My Face Toward the Lord), hosted by Yuval Messianic School of Music and Arts and the Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries, an album of the same name is being released with all the songs from the special concert which drew believers together from around the nation.
There is no better time than now, right before the High Holidays, to remember this blessed evening and the meaningful songs for the people of Israel.
The concert was perfectly timed. In the spirit of Yom Kippur, believers from all over Israel and the world came together with songs of praise and prayer to pray for unity among the Body of the Messiah and to inspire unity among all the people of Israel.
The name of the concert was taken from the book of Daniel. The prophet Daniel prayed not only for his people but also with his people, for forgiveness and repentance:
“Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking Him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession […] ‘We have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules.’” Daniel 9:3-5
“The whole idea is to awaken our hearts to repentance: to return to Him, to approach Him, to long for Him – especially now, before Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) and after Rosh Hashana (the Jewish new year); to prepare our hearts for this time, together with the people of Israel and to join us to the current mood of the nation,” Yaron, one of the concert’s musicians, told KNI.
Panai el-Adonai was different from previous concerts. It presented the Messianic faith and believers as inseparable from the Jewish people and showed how the Messianic community thoroughly identifies with Israel’s seasons and culture.
Many of the children, teens, soldiers, men and women in the audience felt that at the concert they prepared their hearts for introspection before God. They were encouraged that God is eternal and His forgiveness and grace are unconditional and limitless. He is always at work.
It is meaningful to be able to approach God on such important days – when all the people of Israel are in prayer and supplication before the Lord – in unity and love.
Musicians led worship singing touching and moving lyrics from Jewish holy and literary sources along with original Messianic hymns based on biblical verses. The fact that believers can sing Jewish songs of supplication together is not to be taken for granted and we thank God for it.
This season as we approach Elul, the Jewish month of repentance and introspection, we invite you to purchase the recording for yourself and your loved ones and to listen to the music. We hope and pray that through these songs many will recognize God’s forgiveness and experience His heart.
To purchase the digital album: yuvalarts.org/worship
Yuval – Worship Center of Music and the Arts is a center that trains, equips and guides artistic expression, creativity and musicality to bring honor to the Lord. Yuval also takes part in producing national Messianic music festivals and concerts in partnership with other Israeli Messianic organizations.
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Seaborne solidarity mission sets sail for Israel’s shores
A highly unusual voyage has just been launched in Scandinavia’s far north. On Saturday August 25, 2018, a remarkable sea voyage with Israel as its final destination set sail from Gothenburg, Sweden.
The ship bears a unique name and inscription that match its unusual mission. The sleek sailing vessel is the Elida V, which means “fast-sailing ship” in old Norse. Like its Viking forbearers, the ship is wind-powered but its crew is moved by a very different spirit. Emblazoned on both its port and starboard sides is the phrase “Sailing for Jesus.” The long cruise from Scandinavia to the Israel’s Mediterranean coast has a two-fold purpose: to show support and love for Israel and to highlight the increasingly desperate plight of Christians in the Middle East.
Activist flotillas and sailing initiatives to breach the blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza enclave from the sea have become somewhat of a sad routine in Israel. Therefore, it is surprising and refreshing that a grassroots sailing-initiative coming out of Sweden, a country not known for overwhelming support of Israel, has a different destination and purpose. Instead of seeking a confrontation with the Israeli navy to cause bad PR for Israel, this mission is intent on recognizing Israel and promoting genuine dialog.
Israel is the natural destination for a ship that wants to show support for the Jewish nation, but if the twin goal is to discuss the plight of Christians in the Middle East, why Israel? Well, there’s really nowhere else to dock. The Elida’s Captain’s Blog compares Israel’s national values and character to a lighthouse in the night surrounded by dictatorships and regimes that trample on human rights.
The proof of Israel’s unique tolerance? Where else in the Middle East would a ship emblazoned with the phrase “Sailing for Jesus” be officially welcomed by a government ministry?
Visiting Israel during the celebratory 70th year of existence as a genuine democracy with a proven track record of co-existence between different ethnic and religious groups is therefore highly appropriate. Furthermore, Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the national Christian population is actually growing. It is sad that activist groups generally take Israel to task when the country battles extremists while protecting its own minorities. This ignores the Muslim-majority nations in the region that actively discriminate and persecute their Christian minorities.
By calling on the Herzliya Marina in Israel, the Elida cruise seeks to highlight and recognize Israel’s unique national achievements and state character while breaking the silence on the plight of Christian communities in the wider Middle East.
The Elida’s Prophetic Calling
Even though the Elida V only just set sail for Israel this weekend, this voyage has long been expected. Ever since the first Elida vessel put to sea in the 1960s, each ship has been painted in a blue-and-white color scheme resembling the blue bars on Israel’s national ensign. Stefan Abrahamson’s father, Lennart, who captained the Elida I, explained to people inquiring of the color scheme that he had received a prophetic message, namely, that one of his future ships would sail to Israel. He believed the prophetic word and therefore painted the ship and every subsequent one in the colors of Israel’s national flag. The Elida V is now underway to fulfill this prophecy.
The Elida’s Political Purpose
Dialog is not easy and depends on your interlocutor, and the Elida’s crew know this. The Elida’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict does seek dialog, but its corner stone is a recognition of Israel’s right to exist before everything else. Theirs is not a hapless blue-eyed effort that hard-nosed Middle Easterners should dismiss. Rather it should be recognized as a deliberate endeavor to show support for Israel’s core values while providing a platform for constructive dialog with people who are willing to recognize Israel’s fundamental right to exist.
Further, the Elida’s voyage amounts to more than just a symbolic gesture. It has a well-thought through practical and political dimension. The kick-off event for the voyage occurs at a pivotal time in the Swedish political cycle, as elections are scheduled to be held shortly on September 9, 2018. Elida’s casting-off event itself involved a political happening, where e.g. Swedish parliamentarian Magnus Oscarsson for the Christian Democrats party took part.
Israel literally parts the political waters in Sweden. Many in the electorate are openly dissatisfied with the incumbent government’s line toward Israel. One of the changes that many voters hope to see after election night is a different Swedish stance concerning Israel.
Engage with and Visit the Elida
The Swedish sailing vessel will be arriving at Herzliya Marina around October 12 for a ten-day-long visit in Israel. There is a standing invitation to visit the ship while it is in port, and if you’re lucky you might even be able to go for a short sail. If you wish to support the Elida or even join one of the other legs in the voyage, you can find more information here under the Captain’s Blog.
A special thanks to Leif Danielsson, who provided photos and background materials for this article.
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A womb, a crib and the Dead Sea
Zigzagging – this is what we did on our first day on the road. “Hebrewism” – as I started calling it, trying to start feeling comfortable with this word in my mouth. Crossing over the wounded rift again and again. South to north on the Israeli side, than north to south on the Jordanian side, all the way to our first stop at the dead sea.
May 17th turned out to be one of the hottest days I have experienced in our area! When we exited the van at our first overnight location, it felt like somebody had left an oven door open. A scorching desert wind was burning our eyes as we hurried into the hotel in the territory of ancient Moab.
A leaking refrigerator in one of our rooms required us to call maintenance. After a few strangely futile attempts to fix the simple problem, we gave up and went out for dinner. Later we found out that maintenance did show up, but not in order to fix the leak. The man left us a surprise in the room.
He probably had the wrong room number, and most likely left another guest with an unnecessary fixed refrigerator and a much needed crib. But the crib confirmed what God has been already forming in our spirits: that He is about to birth something in or through us, and that He is preparing the necessary space for us to nurse and nurture it.
The next morning we escaped the heat by hiding in the hotel room, planning, praying, gleaning precious truths from the Word, still figuring out the details of our mission. And weeping…
Many of our prayers and conversations were recorded. Some of them are so profound and multi-layered. I can sum it up for you in a paragraph, but than it will not carry the same weight. This journey was not about bottom lines, but about a process. And the process is what I would like to take you through, especially if you have Israel and this region on your heart. Understanding what happened to us during that short week should impact your prayers on our behalf and your stand in the gap.
Excerpts From These Recording
Rania gently asked if Naomi (meaning Israel) fears approaching God directly, if she really still needs a Ruth to do that. If there is fear and lack of trust in our national being. After all, according to Naomi’s perception, God is the one who made her life bitter (Ruth 1:13, 20). All throughout the book of Ruth there is no direct communication between her and Boaz. It is always done through Ruth. Why? What was there in Naomi’s soul concerning God? Rania also asked how do I think our relationship with God (as a nation) can be restored.
I believe that such restoration can take place only with the assistance of all kinds of Ruths, who see us through the process. Israeli Jews are so used to one of two common dynamics with Gentile believers. They either love and pamper us because of our horrific history, even to the point of worshiping us for our glorious destiny; Or they compare our wounds to those we inflict on others (especially on the Palestinians), and expect us to take the lower path and constantly repent. Both dynamics are not serving God’s purpose. They only deepen the wounded rift and make it bleed even harder.
That morning, in the hotel room, I could see a third option for the first time. In the Biblical story, Ruth is accompanying Naomi through her progressive transformation. Her identity changes from a bereaved and bitter widow to a restored woman, who can nurse and nurture the next generation (Ruth 4:16). Ruth also shows her that men can be trusted, especially men in authority.
Priscilla then asked me to connect with my own journey (remember, this trip to Jordan was not just prophetic. It was also a peak of my own healing process [see I Will Tabernacle Inside You]. I paused to look inside my heart: how do I feel about crossing over into the unknown?
I found loneliness there, a familiar yet unpleasant feeling, that has been accompanying me for many years. It has already been touched by God in many ways, and through the years lost its sharp sting, but it was still there, especially in face of the unfamiliar. I wondered if Naomi also felt lonely on her way back from Moab. Yes, she had her companion, but in her brokenness, was she waiting for Ruth to also turn her back on her? She was used to it. They all left her one way or another, right? Yes, Ruth made a fabulous declaration of faithfulness, but Naomi was still testing her. Ruth is the one who promised to cleave to Naomi. Naomi, on the other hand, made no promises.
I was crossing over back and forth, north to south and south to north inside my soul, looking for cross points where my heart echoes with the heart of my widowed nation. The team listened, enabling me to reach deep, into places I could not see and touch without trustworthy listeners around me. There were moments I knew I was talking only about myself, but there were moments when my identification with Israel was so deep, that I could feel its heart beat. The girls asked for the details of the wound, in order to understand it better and take it to the next level.
What Do You Need From Us?
“What do you need from us in order to go deeper?” Priscilla asked.
“I need to know that my companions will be there even when the wound is in the open”, I shared what was in my heart. Even though our relationship as a team only started, I had a lot of trust in all four of these Ruths. I had no idea what I will find deep inside once we go back into prayer, but I wanted to touch that “something”.
Tian Jie was weeping quietly, at first. Then it turned into a bitter, deep, painful travail. I tried to connect in my spirit, but felt so dry. As a nation, I thought, our tears of true repentance have dried up. Hermana reminded Jeremiah’s cry about the absence of Balm in Gilead – the absence of the Tears, Flesh and Blood the Messiah offered us for healing (Jer. 8:22). The prophet does this just before he summons women to wail skillfully over Zion, in order to help her start reproducing tears again. Apparently, this was necessary since the Nation’s source had dried up (9:17-18).
I listened to Tian Jie’s travail, allowing the Spirit to move. Only as I write it I realize she was doing exactly that: wailing skillfully to arouse something dry within me. She was doing what I saw before the journey started – the wounded rift will be watered by tears coming from the north. O, dear China, you have a bounty of them.
Israel cries, and a lot. Hard and loud at times, but this is not yet the bitter grief described by Zecariah – a cry birthed by a spirit of grace and supplication (Zec. 12:10). Once we will be able to weep that way, our mourning will be over.
I wondered why is it that I myself cannot cry a bitter cry. “Because it is too intimate”, I realized. It involves opening our deepest wound, being extremely vulnerable, and we / I don’t trust Him enough to do that. What if He will use it to break our heart again?
That is why we need the nations, including the Arab Ruths. We need them to push through for us. To show us that one can cry bitterly before Him and come out alive, restored, healthier.
Our national attitude towards grief is typical to the one of a bereaved woman, not the one of a Bride who can lean on her Beloved’s chest and draw from His bank of strength. We are not sure if He will be there to dry our tears and ease our pain. We have not seen His compassionate Face for so long, so we no longer approach Him as a Husband or as the Lover of our soul. That part of Him needs to be re-birthed in us.
Rania then mentioned that Israel is the one who divorced herself from God when she married the Baal. But God is still working towards the restoration of that marriage, until His Faces can shine again over the nation.
Hitting The Road Again
Late in the afternoon we finally left the hotel and drove to Mount Nebo. Summing up the riches and depths God had taken us into that morning, there were four major points we felt led to address on the mountain:
1. We wanted to see the Promised Land from its peak, just like Moses did. We wanted to have his eyes, as he says his final words to the nation.
2. This is where Moses warned the nation from the severe punishment of Hidden Faces (Deut. 31:16-18). We wanted to pray into it and make some declarations.
3. After Balaam’s failed attempt to curse Israel, he introduced them to the Baal worship. This happens immediately after God’s clear warning mentioned above. The proclaimed punishment was getting into motion as the true identity of the Angel of God was about to be hidden from our nation for centuries.
4. Moab was cursed there for not welcoming the children of Israel (Deut. 23:4). Ruth, as a Moabite, broke into that curse when she chose to embrace the God, the people and the destiny of Israel. We knew there must be a way out, a path of redemption, for all Moabites who would make the same choice.
We found a spot away from tourists, that overlooks the rift, and allowed the soil, the view, the history it carries, to sink into our souls and spirits and connect with what God wanted us to carry there.
This article originally appeared on Ot OoMofet Ministries, August 5, 2018, and reposted with permission.
Orna, born and raised in Israel, is a lover of books, and especially The Book. She is fascinated with the Hebrew language and with the God who created the world through the mere expression of Hebrew words. In 2003 she established Ot OoMofet Ministries (Hebrew for “A sign and Example”), whose main focus is turning stories of brokenness and hardships into stories of victory. Besides ministering to the broken hearted in Israel, she now teaches worldwide about the widowhood of Israel, the role the church plays in its restoration and on a variety of other subjects.