"God's presence was connecting heaven and the earth."

Ephraim & Ivetta
The vision of our congregation is to be lights of Yeshua to the darkening world around us and to the Jewish people who don't yet know their Messiah. We want to be a spiritual lighthouse in downtown Haifa and to the ends of the earth. The ark that houses the Torah scroll in our congregational sanctuary is modelled after the pillar of fire. The one-of-a-kind design is highly symbolic of our vision and is the visual focus of our sanctuary. It was created by our dear friends and founding members of Return to Zion congregation. They are a husband and wife artistic team. Ephraim is a sculptor and graphic designer, and Ivetta is an architect.

Leon Mazin - Congregation Leader

Removing the scroll from the ark
When the Israelites left Egypt, God Himself led them through the desert in the pillar of fire and cloud. He was the light shining in the darkness by night, shielding them from their enemies. By day, He showed the way and refreshed them with shade. In the midst of His people, God's presence was connecting heaven and the earth. He was molding His people into a nation, by His commandments and by His presence.

God has brought our generation from the northern lands and from other lands all over the world. We were scattered for so long. Now we need to become a united nation once again, to become His nation. We need God in our midst. God will teach us and unite us, by His Word and presence. He will lead us, give us shade and scatter our enemies.

That is why the design of the Torah ark was inspired by the pillar of fire and cloud. It "breaks through" the concrete ceiling to the sky prompting us to break through in our prayers and in our lives.

"The Word was with God ..." (John 1:1) The Torah scroll is housed in our Pillar of Fire.

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us ..." (John 1:14) We take the scroll out of the ark. We read, and the Word becomes alive in us.

The light of the Word of God spreads all over the world to those who already know Him and to those who do not, shining into the darkness. Like the waves of clouds going forth from the Pillar of Fire, the Word of God goes forth and spreads throughout the world. The words "For out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Isaiah 2:3) are engraved in the wood around the top of the ark.

The pillar of fire moved. It moved forward. We too should not stop, but move forward, seeking the answers for many questions.

This world is far from being perfect. It is not time for us to sleep. Tikkun olam, the correction and restoration of this world, is underway. We still have a lot of creative work to perform, together with the Great Artist, the Creator of the whole Universe. Amen.

By Shavei Tzion
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14:23 01Feb15 Llew -
It is inspiring for me, a Gentile,to see the The Lord God making His presence known and real to you through the Torah. I just want to honour you and say thank you that through you God has allowed me to share in the wander and awe of His presence that you can legitimately lay claim to as his chosen people. Together we can both say Yeshua/Jesus is Messiah. Truly the Lord God is at work (Jews and Gentiles and the church) to will and to do of His good pleasure.

16:39 01Feb15 Eddie Hart -
Once again we see how the gift of inspiration and art are essential to the transformation of a simple space to an exceptional one, but only when the depth and beauty of the message exceeds the highest quality of the art can the work truly be considered Glorious. Humble spirits always create the greatest harmony in the hands of our Awesome G-d. Wonderful!

04:33 02Feb15 David Bowen -
A beautiful, subtle, piece of creativity pointing to the Great Creator ... inspirational!

Also in this issue of the newsletter:
Daniel Juster: One State Solution
Eitan Shiskoff: Undercover Rescue
Eitan Shishkoff: Standing on Victor's Shoulders
Asher Intrater: Prophecy and the Middle East
Greta Mavro: Can Any Good Come Out of Nazereth?
Eddie Santoro: A New Home