The Gospels tell us that, immediately after Yeshua’s last breath, the veil in the Temple separating the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place was torn from top to bottom. Even though the Gospels do not explain the significance of this event, we view it as a declaration by God that every believer is now allowed into His holy presence, as beforehand only the High Priest was allowed in once a year on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The Apostle Paul describes it in this way:

“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way opened for us through the curtain of His body…let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith…” –(Heb. 10:19-20, 22)

Since I first became a believer, I saw the rending of the veil as an expression of God’s mercy towards us, a consequence of Yeshua’s last words, “It is finished.”

Just recently, however, God gave me a glimpse into His side of the story.

As I was pondering the outline of a teaching I would like to present to Tiferet Yeshua Congregation,  I came to the part of the torn veil, and God gave me a vision of a cemetery: I saw a family burying a loved one – something we are unfortunately used to these days due to over 600 soldiers who have lost their lives in the war— and one of the cemetery’s rabbis (serving as a priest) made a  cut on the clothes of the immediate family, from top to bottom, as a symbol of mourning.

Kriah, the Jewish tradition of tearing of one’s clothes from top to bottom as a sign of mourning, is mentioned numerous times in the Bible. When the Patriarch Jacob thought his son Joseph was dead, he tore his garments (Gen. 37:34). David and his men rent their clothing upon hearing about the deaths of King Saul and Jonathan (II Sam. 1:11). Job, grieving the death of his children, stood up and tore his clothing (Job 1:20).

The Lord opened my eyes, and I realized that the rending of the veil in the Temple which we see as a sign of God’s mercy towards us was, in fact, God Himself tearing His clothes as a sign of mourning for His Only Son.  In that moment, God lost a part of Himself, and, though He knew it would not be for long, it was His time to grieve. As the prophet Daniel prophesied, God the Father experienced having His own Son cut off from Him:

” …the Messiah will be cut off and will have nothing.” (Dan. 9:26)

This Passover, as we remember Yeshua’s death as a Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world, let us also remember the unbelievable cost God Himself had to pay to give us that forgiveness and the access into His presence.

by Katy Sorsher


 Just Like the Holocaust

Since the horrific Hamas attack and massacre on October 7th, we Israelis have been referencing the Holocaust to describe the scope of that horrible day: “The worst tragedy for Jews since the Holocaust.” Mia Schem who survived 55 days as a hostage in Gaza said about her experience, “I went through a holocaust.”  In Sderot where terrorists went from apartment to apartment killing people, residents who hid their children in closets and cupboards afterward said, “It was like we were back in the Holocaust hiding our children from Nazis.”

The comparisons are not exaggerations. The collective trauma of what happened to us on October 7th touched our collective consciousness of the Holocaust. In the immediate aftermath of the October 7th attacks during which everyone was struck with fear and terrified that terrorists might infiltrate our neighborhoods with no one to help, mental health professionals said that many Holocaust survivors began experiencing serious post-trauma events.

A National Outpouring of Support

In the wake of the October 7th attacks, Israelis responded to the hour of need with the greatest outpouring of support this country has ever seen: support for the communities that suffered attacks, support for our soldiers heading to war in Gaza, support for the over 100,000 residents who have been displaced from the conflict zones on our southern and northern borders. Christian friends of Israel around the world came to Israel’s aid during her time of tribulation with a generous outpouring of support. Here at Tiferet Yeshua, we have been supporting our soldiers and displaced civilians together with the generous help of our partners from the nations.

The Original Survivors Get Overlooked

With all the focus on the pressing needs of so many in the country, a very special and needy population was overlooked: the original Holocaust survivors. After being released from the army reserves, Moti Cohen (Assistant Pastor and Feed Tel Aviv Director) reached out to his friend Gideon who works with Holocaust survivors to see if we could do something special for them during New Year.

Gideon shared with Moti that he has been making personal visits to Holocaust survivors, but that none of those he is in contact with had left their homes since the 7th of October. Due to the great focus on those in need from the war crisis, organizations that usually help Holocaust survivors had their resources pulled in other directions.

Celebrating the Original Survivors

On December 28th, Tiferet Yeshua’s Feed Tel Aviv hosted a special New Year’s celebration event in honor of Holocaust survivors from a Russian background. “Novy God”, the Russian New Year celebration, is the most important and sentimental holiday for Russian Jews. Since all religious holidays were banned during soviet times, this holiday became our sole and central holiday.

Moti is a gifted chef and prepared all the traditional Russian delicacies that are served during this holiday. The tables were decorated, and the survivors were welcomed as guests of honor. After a delicious holiday meal, the survivors were treated to a concert of traditional songs.

Mourning to Dancing

Our team of volunteers was deeply touched to see how much these precious Holocaust survivors appreciated the banquet, how happy they were with the music, and to see them joyfully celebrating and dancing to the songs they know and love.

These particular survivors were the children whose parents hid them from the Nazis during the Holocaust. They were children of Jewish partisans who fled to the forests and barely survived there, children who were passed from house to house, living in terror of discovery. They are a living witness and testimony. They remind us that there is hope, that God is faithful to His promises to save Israel, physically and spiritually.

My story starts when I was very young. I was ten years old when the harsh reality of life hit me full force. My very best friend, someone who was closer to me than a brother, died from a malignant brain tumor. I had no way to deal with this great loss because I was what one could call the textbook definition of an abused child. I had a mother who would put cigarettes out on my body. I endured physical and emotional abuse in the worst way you can imagine throughout my entire childhood. That was the reality that I was born into. – by Yechiel Aviv


Yechiel telling his story

My Starting Point: Abuse, Violence, Loss

After losing my very best friend at age ten to cancer, it’s no surprise that I found myself in a boarding school for troubled teens just a few years later. My life at the boarding school, however, didn’t improve and continued to be defined by by violence and abuse—a reality that just became routine. Being torn down and humiliated, abused, witnessing difficult things was how I grew up.  It’s also no surprise where it eventually led me: by the age of nineteen, I was using hard-core drugs and hallucinogenic drugs like LSD. By the age of twenty-five, the sky collapsed on me.

After medicating my pain for years with powerful drugs, I suddenly lost all sense of who I was. One day I got up and didn’t recognize myself in the mirror. I didn’t know my name. I didn’t know the people in my family I was living with. I experienced a complete blackout, a complete disconnect from reality. It was the most terrifying experience—there’s nothing darker than realizing that you are standing on the edge of insanity. At that moment, I was faced with two options: either commit suicide or fight for my life. And fighting for my life meant fighting for my sanity, which was the hardest part.

The Fight for Sanity

When I decided that I was going to fight for my life, I somehow knew that there was someone on the other side, someone who heard me. During this journey, the battle for my sanity, I asked this someone for help. I would cry out, “If you can hear me, I am begging for help, that someone will save me because I am in complete darkness!”

God sends me three emissaries

In response to my cry, God, of course, sent help. Over the years in my struggle back to life, three different people came to me with the Isaiah 53 prophecy about the Messiah. However, without even reading the prophecy, I rejected them. I told them, “Guys, this just isn’t the direction.” The one thing that I did know is that God speaks in the language of love and light. Everywhere I searched for what spoke of these concepts, love and light. My search led me in many differet directions: I went to an ultra-orthodox Yeshiva (religious school). I tried Buddhism. You name it, I tried it. But nothing was “it”.

The Fourth Emissary

One morning while I was waiting for a bus, I was approached by a woman who started sharing the gospel with me. The best way I can describe her is an “energy bomb for Yeshua”. She was excited and full of passion, and my reaction to her was, “Slow down for a moment because you’re coming on really strong here.” Needless to say, I rebuffed her, but, at the same time, I realized that something strange was going on: this was the fourth time that someone was bringing me this same Yeshua in the prophecy of Isaiah 53.

God ambushes me

God would not let me off the hook so easily. He heard me when I cried out to Him when I was twenty-five, and He continued pursuing me with the right answer to my plea. Not long after this “pushy” woman Adriana from the bus stop tried to share about Yeshua, I started a new job at a special education facility. On one of the first days at the job, I suddenly heard a loud, familiar voice saying, “Shalom, good morning everyone!” I turned around and whom do I see but Adriana from the bus stop.

“What are you doing here?” I asked her in surprise.

“What are you doing here?” she asked me.

When we realized that we both worked there, we started laughing.  “I think God is planning something here!” she told me with a twinkle in her eye. In our time working together, I discovered what an amazing, compassionate and passionate woman of God Adriana is. She told me that she was praying for me and that she would gladly connect me to a couple guys from her congregation if I ever wanted to learn about Yeshua.

The Encounter

Eventually, I decided that I needed to understand what this Isaiah 53 prophecy is all about. I finally opened the book of Isaiah and began reading this powerful prophecy about the Messiah for the first time. As I was reading, I prayed, “I don’t know who you are, who this Yeshua is, but I’m asking You, God, please, I need an answer. ” At that moment, I felt something that is hard to describe: I felt as if two hands were physically holding my own hands, and I began trembling all over. When I finally calmed down, I immediately called Adriana and asked her to put me in touch with the two men from her congregation. Moti and Kosta, two amazing men from Tiferet Yeshua, reached out to me and we began studying the New Testament together.

Coming Home to Yeshua

Reading the New Testament, I discovered the spiritual concepts that I always knew were the language of God: love and light. The more I read and learned, the more I realized that Yeshua was the love and the light I was always looking for.

I continued studying with Moti and Kosta and attending services at Tiferet Yeshua every week. One evening during worship at Tiferet Yeshua, I had a powerful encounter with Yeshua: we were singing “How good is your lovingkindness to me, O God of my salvation,” and suddenly I felt like I was standing in a waterfall of love. I began weeping like a baby, and from that moment I knew that I had come home and gave my life to Yeshua.

It is simply a miracle what Yeshua has done in my life. Today I understand in a deeper way that I didn’t go through that long, difficult journey in my life for nothing. I understand that I have a purpose to share my story and to help others who are in darkness. Yeshua is the only hope, He is the light, and even in the darkest times in your life, you can lift up your head because there is hope in Him.

Yechiel sharing his testimony in Tiferet Yeshua

Redeeming the Irredeemable

One of the greatest miracles in my life was how God redeemed my broken relationship with my family. In the darkest period of my life, I cut ties with my family because they weren’t there for me. The whole difficult story of my parents, how they had treated me over the years, the abuse, I just put it all aside and blamed them for everything. When I started walking with Yeshua, I began to learn what true forgiveness and love  are. He taught me to open up the darkest places in me to His love. After twelve years of not talking with my family, I got back in touch with them, and God began healing our relationship. The love and respect that exist between us now is something I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams. The love and the light of Yeshua have changed me miraculously!