Leon Mazin

Shavei Tzion Messianic Center
Tents of Mercy Network
"Two thousand years later, we, the modern Messianic Jewish believers, are seeking the restoration of the faith of our forefathers, the Jews of the 1st century."

Shavei Tzion is a Jewish Messianic congregation. For those who have never heard of such a thing, probably the most fitting way to describe it, would be to draw a parallel with the New Testament's description of the followers of the Messiah, namely an assembly of 1st century Jews who believed in Yeshua. Back then it was called an Ecclesia or the Hebrew equivalent - Kahal - a community of people united by the same belief.

Why not Christian?

Some may ask why we do not call ourselves Christians and prefer to be identified as Messianic Jews. What is the difference between the two? Well, if we look at the New Covenant, the first mention of Christians is in Acts. This is what the local Antiochians called the Gentile followers of Yeshua. The choice of this term is not surprising as the word itself takes its origin from Christ (or Messiah in Hebrew). Moreover, for the Gentiles of that time to believe in a Jewish Messiah and in the God of Israel, was revolutionary. It was a radical transformation, as they had to turn away from their pagan ways of life. On the other hand Jews who accepted their Messiah, didn't stop being Jews. Though their lives were transformed by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, they were in fact still following the Law of Moses, namely believing in the prophet like Moses who had been raised from among their brothers (Deuteronomy 18:18). The first Jewish believers were actually called the people of the Way, for their Leader proclaimed that He was "the way the truth and the life".

Two thousand years later, we, the modern Messianic Jewish believers, are seeking the restoration of the faith of our forefathers, the Jews of the 1st century. We practice our faith by participating in all aspects of daily life in Israel - in our work places, in the army, at school. We seek to live our faith out by bringing the light and the goodness of God to all. In our congregation you will see traditional elements of Jewish fellowship and liturgy celebrating and honoring the Lord's feasts and His Sabbaths, which He established for Israel to observe forever. Therefore, our faith in the Messiah and the New Covenant is represented as a natural extension of the Hebrew Scriptures ("Old Testament") and our worship of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

This is who we are, and the model of the First Century congregation is the one we aspire to live out here in Israel.

Returning to Zion

The name of our congregation, when translated from Hebrew, means those who Returned to Zion. It reflects the majority of our members whom God has returned to Zion from the exile abroad. There are those among us who came to faith in the God of Israel and His Messiah in the diaspora and were prompted to move to Israel.

However, we also have people in our fellowship who have found God and faith in His Messiah here in Israel, as it has been written: "I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws" (Ezekiel 36:24-27).

Reaching Out

One of our key aims as a congregation is to help those who are returning to Israel and to revive the desire of those who are still living abroad, in the Diaspora, to move to the Promised Land.

Besides meeting in fellowship throughout the week, worshipping and praising God, we also dedicate time and effort to help those who are in need. We study the Word in its original language and context, taking into consideration the traditions of those times. Essentially, by God's grace, we have become one large family that continues to grow, spiritually as well as physically.

After almost two thousand years, God is restoring faith in Yeshua among the Jewish people. Having accepted the call, we reach out to our people with the message of Messiah.

By Shavei Tzion
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22:41 28Jan16 Wayne Fleming -
Hey Brother,I praise God what he is doing in your congregation in restoring the first century church. I thank him! for the Aliyah and prophetically calling the apple of his eye from the four corners of the earth. The 1st century church is the divine model for the church today. The scripture stated that they had all things in common, that no lack existed among the body of Christ. I thank Yeshua for the evangelistic spirit that he has planted in your heart to reach out to the outcast and down trodden. God Bless You and may his eyes ever shine upon you, that you might preach the word with power and conviction. Be encouraged!!!

04:17 29Jan16 Virginia Pattison -
My husband and I belong to a Messianic Kehilah here in Gateshead, England. We have one of the greatest centres of Torah study outside Israel but sadly besides praying for them we have no contact with them, only physical and verbal rejection. Great that you have a servant heart also.

09:55 29Jan16 FRank Onofrio -
Although a Gentile, I have found that Messianic Jewish teachers (Rabbis) of the Gospel often are able to give much more insight into what is found in God's Word because of their Jewish perspective (writings, traditions, culture, etc.). Even unbelieving Jewish theologians have been able to ponder on Scriptures, gain possible insights and record those thoughts for posterity in ways that Gentile theologians simply could not be expected to do. Also, I would like to learn Biblical Hebrew one day. I know that no matter how good the English translation might be, something is lost in translation and this can result in errors of theology. Finally, I feel it would be good for all Gentile Christians to be aware of the Hebrew (lunar based) calendar, which is really the true Biblical calendar, as well as be aware of all 7 Biblically mandated Feasts by God that Israel was supposed to observe FOREVER. Yeshua has fulfilled the first 4 Feasts IN ORDER and I expect He will fulfill the last 3 Feasts also IN ORDER ... perhaps very soon!!

Also in this issue of the newsletter:
Dan Juster: Head or Heart?
Etian Shishkoff: From Generation to Generation
Guy Cohen: Obstacles on the Journey
Asher Intrater: Moving What Mountain?
Ron Cantor: Hanukkah Outreach
Asher Intrater: ISIS, Israel & Islam