FROM THE KIBBUTZ TO THE KEHILAH

Tal's Testimony

My name is Tal and I am 24 years old. Both of my parents were born here in Israel - my father is of Persian descent and my mother Brazilian. I have three brothers ages 24, 20 and 17. Two years ago my family adopted my baby sister who is eight. We live on Kibbutz Tzora - the same kibbutz where my mother grew up. My mothers' youngest sister and I are the only believers in my family.

A kibbutz is an Israeli collective community. It aims to combine socialism and Zionism into a practical and attainable way of life. However, due their very nature, kibbutzim are rather closed communities. As a result, growing up on a kibbutz one does not choose who he knows, what he does, or what he knows. For example, until my aunt became a believer in Yeshua, I thought that one could only be either Orthodox or secular. I had never even heard the name Yeshua.

My aunt and I were always very close. With only 10 years between us, she was like an older sister. She was drawn to religion and chose to become Orthodox. Religion really attracted me as well because of a deep desire to know God. In the meantime though, rather than remaining Orthodox, my aunt miraculously came to faith in Yeshua. At this time she began to share the good news with me and pray over me. She returned to our kibbutz for a time, and her witness there was very powerful.

When I turned 18 I began to write a personal journal. In this journal I wrote directly to Yeshua about everything in my life. In 2003 I was baptized during the feast of Passover, and the next day was filled with the Holy Spirit. I began attending a local kehilah (congregation) and then joined the army. In the army I was a training commander for soldiers from extremely difficult socio-economic backgrounds. As a new believer, this time was very difficult for me. I did not understand the moral guidelines and standard of integrity expected of believers. With no time for Bible study, fellowship with other believers, or any discipleship I moved away from the Lord.

After I completed my compulsory army service, my world began to fall apart. My boyfriend and I broke up. I became a workaholic and was unable to sleep at night. In the midst of this my aunt took me to Ahavat Yeshua Congregation in Jerusalem. It was so wonderful to be with believers that I went back the next week on my own. Just as I began to build connections I had to move to England for work. While I was there I clung strongly to Yeshua and would walk around for hours listening to worship music.

When I returned to Israel I visited Revive Israel and decided to dedicate 3 months to intense daily discipleship, worship and study in order to strengthen my relationship with Yeshua. Shortly thereafter I was hired as the congregational secretary for Ahavat Yeshua. I am currently in college and studying education, specifically teaching Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures) and history to grades 7-10. The Lord has opened up amazing doors for me to share my faith with many.

I know that my calling is to be a light and testimony in Israel, and to live out the fact that faith in Yeshua is something completely Jewish. I believe with all of my heart that my aunt and I are merely first fruits of the harvest that the Lord wants to bring from the kibbutzim here in Israel. My grandfather is now a believer and I know that the rest of my family will come to faith in Yeshua, along with all of Israel!


Also in this issue of the newsletter:

Dan Juster: The Tragic Death Of Benazir Bhutto
Martin Shoub: Light in the Darkness
Moshe Morrison: Ygal
David Shishkoff: Close Encounters Of An Israeli Kind