"Anyone who wants to read and believe the Torah may do so, even if he is from Moab - a people who were a bitter enemy to the Nation of Israel at that time."
 
 

Editor's note: Recently a local Hebrew newspaper in the Jordan Valley region published a feature article about Messianic Jews in the area. This very favorable (!) article was largely an interview with Eric and Terri who lead the Poriya congregation as part of the Tents of Mercy Network. This article is made up of translated excerpts from the original.

The Jordan Valley is a small valley, but it has a great variety of natural and human treasures. There is something very communal about this valley, which was founded by idealistic and cooperative groups of people. Even today kibbutzim, moshavim and those who differ in their faith and in their way of life, live together in an interwoven network of relationships. Among these communities, is also a Messianic community. As we approached the Feast of Weeks [Pentecost], we went out to meet representatives of the Messianic community in the area, Eric and Terri Morey, leaders of a home congregation in Poriya Illit ...

The reading of the book of Ruth during [Pentecost] emphasizes the universal aspects of the Torah. Anyone who wants to read and believe the Torah may do so, even if he is from Moab - a people who were a bitter enemy to the Nation of Israel at that time.

Therefore we went ... to meet representatives of two Messianic fellowships who live among us and feel a strong connection to the Jewish people and the nation of Israel. As we gathered the information for this article, we discovered they really are an inseparable part of Israel. The Messianic Jews believe that their faith has ancient roots. They see themselves as a continuation of the first disciples who followed in the way of Yeshu[a].

Members of the independent fellowships who belong to this faith define themselves as Jews, though the movement is not recognized as a branch of Judaism by almost any of the other branches [within Judaism].

A Revelation and a Love Story

The position of the Messianic fellowship in Israel causes a conflict. The government is not happy to give Messianics citizenship, and therefore those being interviewed wanted to know the purpose of the interview. My answer: "Because we want to broaden the picture, especially due to a lack of awareness, and suspicion toward the Messianic community. We want to show the human variety in the Jordan Valley and the importance of community."

Q: (Interviewer) What does the word Messianic mean?

A: (Eric) Messianics see themselves as continuing the way of Yeshua. We have in our fellowship both Messianic Jews and Messianic Christians. All of Yeshua's first disciples were Messianic Jews, and this faith drew multitudes ...

Q: (Interviewer) Terri, you come from a Jewish home. How did you become Messianic?

Terri and Eric Morey, pastors of
the Messianic congregation in Poriyah Illit
A: I came from a secular Jewish home. In 1967 I lived in Philadelphia, and when the Six Day War broke out, I wanted to be here in Israel and help my people. I was 29 years old and no one understood why I wanted to go to a war zone. But I was sure that was what I was supposed to do. When I did get to come to Israel, the war was over. But as soon as my feet touched the land of Israel, I knew that it was to become my home. I wasn't religious, but when I came here I had a divine revelation. I returned to the USA and opened a job-personnel business. Only 18 years later did I at last fulfill my desire to move to Israel. All those years I wanted to make aliyah, but it didn't work out. I never found the right time to do it - I also was single. Finally I understood that if I didn't do it now it would never happen!

At that time Eric was a good friend of mine, but we were not involved romantically. The day I decided to close the business and to immigrate to Israel, Eric rang my office to ask about employment possibilities. When Eric arrived, I had just come back from a lawyer who thought it would not be advisable to sell such a successful business and immigrate to Israel. Eric knew from the expression on my face that something was not right. He asked me if he could pray for me and I was happy for his suggestion. While he prayed for me, I saw a vision of us being married and living in Israel. I didn't tell him that, but 13 months later we got married! After two years we immigrated to Israel, and we have lived here together for 30 years.

Interviewer: That's a good story!

Terri: It's an encouraging story to all women who are looking for the right husband, because God has a plan for everyone in His own time ...

Q: (Interviewer) What festivals do you celebrate?

A: (Eric) We celebrate all the festivals in the Tenach [Old Testament] ... We hold to everything written in the Bible. For instance, we don't work on Shabbat, but other things like driving on Shabbat or turning on the lights on Shabbat that are not written about in the Bible are not relevant for us ...

Where is God?

According to Messianic Jews' faith, the prophecies in the Tenach [Old Testament] speak about the New Covenant and Yeshua the Messiah; and The New Testament does not contain new dogma, but is a continuation of the Tenach ...

Prayer and worship
at the Poriyah Congregation
Q: (Interviewer) In Purim 2008 a religious Jew sent a bomb wrapped up like a holiday gift for Purim to a Messianic family in Ariel and their son was injured ...

A: (Eric) Look, this man was doing the same thing to Arabs. He views people who are different as his enemies. Thank God it only happened one time. This kid went through many medical treatments, and now his condition is much better. The family even said that they forgave the criminal.

Q: (Interviewer) How can you forgive?

A: (Eric) You have to see the enemy from a Godly perspective and see him first as a human being and forgive him ...

Q: (Interviewer) How do you explain that Yeshua came to give us a better world in light of the Holocaust in which millions of innocent people, including children and babies, were murdered. Where were Yeshua and God?

A: (Eric) I think many bad things happen to Jews in the world, unfortunately even through the acts of [nominal] Christians, and the Holocaust was the worst of all. Therefore, many Jews in the country see in the believers of Yeshua a threatening danger. If we believed in Buddha, it would not have created a reaction. I personally understand the attitude of the Jewish people to the Messianics. On the other hand, here in Poriya we don't feel any hostilities from the locals. On the contrary, we are in great relationship with everybody. They trust us and our good intentions.

By Osnat Lev-Ari
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Comments:
23:03 01Aug13 Donald Anamalai -
Thank you for your ministry. It is very encouraging.

Also in this issue of the newsletter:
Daniel Juster: The Biblical Origins of Human Rights
Guy Cohen: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow!
Hannah T.: "Far Above Rubies"
Asher Intrater: Modern Chinese Spiritual Developments