By Dr. Daniel C. Juster, Director
When you receive this newsletter, we should be sometime between the
Feast of Sukkot or Tabernacles and the American celebration of
Thanksgiving. In the Jewish feast we remember the time in the wilderness
when God supplied all our needs. We dwell in tents or sukkot for seven days
and we celebrate the last, ingathering harvest with great thanksgiving. The
Feast of Thanksgiving in the United States was modeled on the biblical
Feast of Sukkot. This inspired me to pen some thoughts about the United
My friend John Dawson, the president of Youth with a Mission, writes that
there are one or more significant distinct purposes for every ethnic group.
These purposes are sometimes difficult for us to discern and purposes can
overlap. Each ethnic people have their distinct expressions of art,
literature, music, and cultural ways that enrich universal culture. Because
he is a world Christian leader and identifies deeply with various cultures,
John's insights are wonderful and instructive. John also has a deep
identification with the Messianic Jewish community and embraces the unique
purpose of the Jewish people.
However, the United States is not an ethnic people. Rather, it is a
blending of many ethnic peoples, which share a common language (English).
The phrase of the founding fathers, "out of many, one"
demonstrates something unique to the national purpose of the United States,
which is distinct from God's intention for the ethnic nations. Today,
in the United States, there are more ethnicities than ever. Yet to be a
coherent nation, it is crucial that in our diversity that we find deep
unity and integration around shared values.
I believe that the United States was divinely called to fulfill two
great purposes: one, to demonstrate human rights and to spread human rights
throughout the world. Two, to be a key missionary center to spread the
Gospel to the nations. These two purposes are intertwined.
Human Rights as National Purpose
The human rights purpose, was inherited from our British forebears. The
human rights tradition; including free speech, real freedom of religion, a
checks and balance system of government powers, and the right to vote, was
the achievement of centuries of struggle. In the middle of the 19th
century, this was expressed in the Christian inspired British opposition to
The Declaration of Independence's affirmation that all men are
created equal is the foundational statement enshrining human rights
within the culture and government systems of the United States. The
Founders understood that freedom is a divine intention and gift. The
Constitution and the Bill of Rights are great statements on human rights,
including the establishment of freedom of religion, including the right
to propagate one's faith. The state is not to control religious
institutions and the religious institutions are not to control the state.
The inspired purpose of the United States is to demonstrate to the world
that many peoples, from many cultures can join together and form a just,
prosperous and free society, if they join together on the basis of sound
My friend and fellow leader, Asher Intrater, first pointed out to me that
the United States is parallel to the Church. The United States is an
amalgamation of many different ethnicities joined together in unity, based
on the foundational principles of the constitution. The Church is made up
of many ethnicities joined together in unity in Yeshua, based on the
foundational teaching of the Bible.
The Gospel Purpose
Because of religious freedom, the churches of the United States have
flourished. The human rights foundation of the United States made it the
greatest center for spreading the Gospel to the nations and also the
greatest refuge for the Jewish people in history. It is no accident
that both are characteristic of this country. Indeed, the legal system of
the United States goes beyond any other in allowing money to be sent out of
the country for world missions. US charitable laws even allow tax
deductions for giving to missions. In addition, the laws of the United
States recognize the jurisdiction of church law to govern the life of
religious organizations and the courts will only interfere on the basis of
egregious violations of human rights.
It grieves me to see the moral decline of the United States and I wonder
how far things will go. Will US society continue to embrace human rights?
Will true freedom of religion be undermined by political correctness and
the cry of the "Muslim minority"? Will Israel continue to be supported?
Recently there has been backsliding on the issue of Israel.
Most of those I consider spiritually wise think that the only answer to
America's current moral decay is a great revival. We need to pray for
this revival with great desire and zeal. Should current trends continue, we
could lose God's purpose for the nation as an example of human rights
and strong morals, and as a base to finance and spread the Gospel. Of
course, for those of us who live in Israel, the United States continued
support as a strong ally is crucial.
INTRODUCING TED SIMON
I am writing this paragraph to introduce Ted Simon to all our
readers. Ted has been part of our circle of leaders for over 25
years. In 1992 he succeeded Asher Intrater as the leader of El
Shaddai congregation, in Frederick, Maryland. Ted led El Shaddai to
continued growth and maturity for nine years. His wife Dianne and his
family were a great blessing in serving together in that
congregation. He also served on the Tikkun International Board and
the Tikkun America team. Ted became one of our best preachers and
teachers of the Word. Beyond his congregation he spoke at large
gatherings, the most noteworthy being at the prominent Promise
Keepers events. Ted served us as our Director of Development and
later became a development leader with the Salvation Army. Ted now
serves as an elder in our Tikkun congregation, Rosh Pina, in
Baltimore. I am now introducing him to you all as a senior emissary
for Tikkun, sent forth to preach, teach and foster closer
relationships between Tikkun and those who would want to connect in
heart with Tikkun's leaders and ministries. I trust that many of
you will enjoy Teds ministry.