I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.

-John 1:5

We are living in unprecedented times in Israel: the gospel in Hebrew is more widely available than ever through numerous online platforms and digital outreach. Beginning in the covid crisis, we witnessed a dramatic increase of Israelis reaching out to us for information about the New Testament and Yeshua, surprisingly, mostly young men. That trend of seekers reaching out to us and to other outreach ministries continues today. We also see that God is using different societal pressures today to draw Israelis to seek the truth. Instead of the confusion, fear and disconnection experienced during the covid epidemic, Israelis today are facing a highly polarized and divided country, the likes of which modern Israel has not experienced in its 75 years of existence, to the extent that many are talking about the real possibility of a civil war or a separation between secular, pluralist Israeli society and religious, traditional Israeli society.

Seeing the Light

More Israelis than ever before are reading the New Testament and finding themselves drawn to the person of Yeshua and His teachings. When confronted with the powerful Messianic prophecies in the Hebrew Bible, most see almost immediately that they clearly point to Yeshua. For years, I have shared openly with my family, friends and co-workers about my faith. Numerous times, I have seen the revelation from the Messianic prophecies hit them with the realization that Yeshua was indeed the Messiah. But it almost always stops there: most people understand immediately that accepting this truth and following it to its logical conclusion (denying themselves and following Him), would radically change the status quo of their lives and maybe even cost them dearly in terms of family, social relationships and social status.

For the last five years, our discipleship team has led an increasing number of seekers and new believers through studying the foundations of the faith: going through the Messianic prophecies pointing to Yeshua and understanding what a New Covenant relationship with God means. However, the reality is that a high percentage of those who reach out to us and want to learn about Yeshua ultimately ends up falling away. This dynamic, however discouraging it may be for our discipleship team, is not surprising. Even in Yeshua’s time, there were many, even among the elite religious leadership, who believed that He was the Messiah. But when it came down to it, the follow-through of following Him cost too much:

“Nevertheless, many of the leaders believed in Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue. For they loved praise from men more than praise from God.” -John 12:42-43

Walking in the Light

The reality for those Jews who chose to follow Yeshua as the Messiah two-thousand years ago and those who choose to follow Him today is very much the same: believing in Him is one thing but choosing to follow Him another. The obstacles facing those who choose to follow Him are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it makes their decision harder. On the other hand, their ultimate decision to follow Yeshua requires coming to terms with the real cost. In fact, Jewish believers who choose to follow Yeshua today are overcoming an even greater obstacle than those who made that choice in Yeshua’s day: a two-thousand-year legacy of persecution in the Name of Yeshua by the historic church and an inherited cultural paradigm that the New Testament is a forbidden, anti-Semitic book stand as a great obstacle between every Jew and the message of the New Covenant.

While the numbers of seekers and new believers who ultimately remain steadfast and committed is less than those who fall away, the transformation that we witness in the lives of those who choose to follow Yeshua is amazing. At the same time, we are indeed seeing a steady increase in the number of Israelis committing their lives to Yeshua from all ages and backgrounds: secular, atheist and religious. It is a small foretaste of what we know is ultimately coming when God fulfills His promise to pour out His Spirit on the whole house of Israel:

“Then they will know that I am the LORD their God, when I regather them to their own land, not leaving any of them behind after their exile among the nations. And I will no longer hide My face from them, for I will pour out My Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Lord GOD.” -Ezekiel 39:28-29

Until then, we will continue steadfastly praying for that day. At the same time, we are also keeping in prayer all of those who have already received the revelation that Yeshua is Messiah: may God cause all the seeds of truth in their hearts to sprout unto a harvest of salvation!






The call to “make disciples” often entails dimensions beyond teaching the foundations of the faith: it requires sensitivity to someone’s mental and emotional needs, giving guidance and encouragement, and offering support through difficulties and challenges. Through my experience with Shai, a young man who got connected with us to study the New Testament, I am reminded of this important spiritual truth: God does amazing things in our lives when we have a genuine desire to know Him and a willingness to change.

A Different Kind of Sickness

When I first reached out to Shai, I realized that he was in a dark place and had numerous addictions and emotional problems. After our conversation, we set a date to meet, but, on the day of the meeting, he called saying he was sick. So, I scheduled another meeting for the following week, but when the day of that meeting rolled around, Shai called again to tell me that he was sick. This time I knew that something other than a virus was keeping him from our meetings.

I started asking him questions and quickly realized that Shai had a debilitating anxiety to leave his house and be around other people. Instead of suggesting I come to his place, I simply told him, “The right thing to do is to come and learn to deal with spiritual issues with spiritual tools.” Amazingly, Shai listened—rather, God gave him the grace to overcome his debilitating anxiety—and an hour later he arrived at the congregation. This would be the first breakthrough of many that Shai would experience.

Overwhelming Desire

I have discipled many new believers, and I can say that Shai is different from most. From our first meeting, he showed an incredible desire to get to know God. The more he learned, the more convinced he became that only Yeshua could save him, so he clung to Him fervently and sought Him in the Word and in prayer. Over five months of meeting weekly with Shai’, often twice a week, I witnessed steady growth in his self-confidence and his ability to deal with everyday challenges which once paralyzed him.

Every positive step we suggested, he implemented, no matter how frightening or challenging. And through every critical step he took, God did wonders in him. When we told Shai that It was important to connect with believers in his area, he immediately found a home group and started attending their weekly meetings. Through this process, he started changing his circle of friends and the environment he surrounded himself with.

The Transformation

Shai’s immerson in the Jordan River

Over a period of five months, we have witnessed a steady and powerful transformation   in Shai. If someone is willing, God will do amazing things in them, and that is exactly what we have seen with Shai: he’s been set free from powerful addictions and anxieties, received grace and strength to radically change his lifestyle, and He continues to be filled with Yeshua’s transforming love.

Two weeks ago, Pastor Moti and I were honored to be a part of Shai’s immersion to declare his surrender and commitment to follow Yeshua. The witness of Shai’s life is a great personal encouragement for us, and we are grateful and blessed to be a part of God’s plan to save and restore His precious people.

Please keep Shai and all the new believers we disciple in your prayers for continued grace, growth and protection!

(*Shai’s name has been changed to protect his privacy*)

In the Gospels, Yeshua compares the kingdom of God to a mustard seed –a small, unassuming seed which, according to the parable, becomes a tree. When I started researching this parable, I was initially confused: an online search for “mustard tree” offers results for the mustard plant which is a small flowering herb from which we harvest seeds to make mustard. When I narrowed my search for mustard trees in the Land of Israel, I discovered something different. Horticulturalists classify the mustard tree (salvadora persica) which grows in the Middle East and Africa, as a shrub or a small tree. So, is it a tree, a garden plant, or both? And why does Yeshua choose this particular plant to make His point about the kingdom of God?

In Matthew 12:32, Yeshua describes the mustard tree as a “garden plant” that then becomes a tree where the birds make their nests. It is worth noting that this is not the first time the Scriptures use the metaphor of a tree to describe a kingdom: in Ezekiel 17:23 the kingdom of Israel is prophetically described as a tree, and birds find shelter in it. Similarly, in the book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom is described as a large and mighty oak tree visible from the edge of the earth. This great, strong tree symbolizes earthly royalty, power, and strength.

Birds nesting in the branches of a mustard tree

How is it, then, that in the New Testament, an unassuming, unremarkable desert bush is used to describe the kingdom of God? Yeshua uses the parable of the humble mustard tree, a desert shrub, which spreads out like a shrub when it grows and can eventually reach up to seven meters high, like a tree, to define a kingdom, but not an earthly kingdom as we usually understand it.

Expecting a Physical Kingdom

In the Second Temple period during Yeshua’s ministry, the people of Israel were anticipating physical redemption and salvation from the Roman Empire and the reestablishment of the kingdom of Israel. However, Yeshua came to establish a different kind of kingdom—a kingdom that is not seen with the eye because it first takes place in people’s hearts (Luke 17:20-21). The imagery of the mustard tree parable brings to mind Yeshua’s parable of the kingdom of God like a woman who hid a small measure of yeast in a large amount of flour which leavened the entire batch.

Yeshua was teaching us that what is small and seemingly unnoticeable has a remarkable natural ability to spread and fill the whole earth. He spoke often about the nature of this kingdom because it was so different from what they were expecting: the kingdom of God would not be easily observable—like the great oak tree symbolizing Nebuchadnezzar’s earthly kingdom in the book of Daniel—but it would spread far and wide among diverse peoples and tribes. This kingdom is also not majestic like a great oak or cedar tree. Its nature is humble and unassuming like Yeshua Himself. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul put it this way:


“Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards. Not many were influential. Not many were of noble birth.  But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are so that no one may boast before him.” -I Cor. 1:26-29


This internal kingdom of God was the one He established in His first coming as the suffering servant King. He is coming again, but this time as a conquering King to establish a physical kingdom. Recalling one of Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams which the prophet Daniel interpreted, this end-time kingdom is the stone not cut by human hands which appeared and pulverized the great statue representing earthly kingdoms. That stone then grew into a great mountain and filled the whole earth. (Dan. 2:34-35) The kingdom which the Lord Yeshua will establish at His second coming will be physical and visible: in fact, every eye will see Him (Rev. 1:7), every knee will bow to Him, and every tongue confess the He is Lord (Phil. 2:10-11) when He comes again as a conquering King.

God Defies Our Expectations

Everyone, including Yeshua’s own disciples, at first misunderstood the nature of the kingdom He came to establish. The reason for that is because the prevailing expectation among Jewish society at the time was that a literal, physical redemption would take place and Israel’s kingdom would be reestablished. When I read Yeshua’s prophetic warnings, I hear the magnificent, even terrifying Messiah King who appeared to John in the book of Revelation saying, “He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Perhaps we have certain expectations about His second coming because it is what we were taught by others, rather than having it revealed to us by the Spirit enlightening our hearts through the Word. May God give us tender hearts and ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to us today about His second coming!




Tarry in Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on highLk. 24:49

As Jewish believers in Messiah, when we think of the Festival of Weeks (called Pentecost in the Church) we primarily think of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit two thousand years ago on the first Jewish believers gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate this biblical first fruits holiday. This day nearly two-thousand years ago was indeed the beginning of the Holy Spirit ministry in the New Testament context which jump started the gospel from Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).

When considering the ministry of the Holy Spirit, we tend to first think of the gifts, the power and anointing which the Holy Spirit imparts. While that is an incredibly exciting and important element of Holy Spirit’s ministry, I believe that the Spirit is asking us to first spend time meditating on the word that defines the Spirit – Holy.

Be Holy for I am Holy (1 Peter 1:15-16)

It is natural that our attention tends to stay on the dramatic and outward manifestations of the Holy Spirit’s ministry, but the ministry of Holy Spirit should first and foremost empower us to live holy lives. We all discover sooner or later that when someone operates in the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit, it does not mean that the person’s personal walk with God is in good standing. In fact, someone can be living in egregious sin and still minister in the power of the Holy Spirit. If that minister does not repent, eventually the sin will be revealed, and it brings shame on the name of Messiah and places a stumbling block before young and immature believers. Therefore, to focus on ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit without living a life of holiness through the Holy Spirit is damaging and dangerous.

Religious Holiness

At the same time, some believers emphasize holiness without the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the powerful ministry of the Holy Spirit. A holiness emphasis without the power of the Holy Spirit is equally damaging and dangerous because it can lead people into a religious mindset and an attempt to struggle against sin without the help of the Holy Spirit. We also cannot experience God’s love for us without the Holy Spirit. In fact, we cannot truly know God and have an intimate relationship with Him without the Holy Spirit because God reveals Himself to us through the agency of the Holy Spirit.

What does it mean to live holy lives?

Like many basic spiritual truths, there is quite a bit of misunderstanding about what it means to live a holy life. Most would describe living “holy” as hardly ever stumbling in sin. That definition makes “living holy” seem like a near impossibility. But the fact is, that is not what it means to live holy! Living holy is first and foremost the mere desire to do what is right in God’s eyes, repenting when we fail, and continuing to desire to do God’s will. That is the standard of holiness for us. The more we desire to do God’s will, the more the Holy Spirit fills our souls with grace, strength and conviction to choose the good and reject the evil. Over time, we will experience more victory in our struggles with sin. But it doesn’t mean we become immune to sin and live perfect lives. There is only One Righteous Man who did that!

The End-Time Bride: holy and endowed with Power from on high

This year as we celebrate the Festival of Weeks, I am filled with the urgency for the need of the Body of Messiah to step into the full calling God has given us – to live holy lives and to operate in the power of the Holy Spirit. Not one on the account of the other. In these end times, the Spirit is calling all of us to desire to experience God’s love poured out in our hearts, to live lives of holiness, and to earnestly desire and operate in the power of the Holy Spirit.


Today something historic is happening: over a million followers of Yeshua around the world are answering a call to fast and pray during the next twenty-one days for Israel to fulfill her prophetic calling from the Lord, for the opening of the eyes of the Jewish nation to her Messiah and for the fulness of the Gentiles. (Romans 11:25-26)

Many spiritual leaders around the world are saying that they have never felt such a burden to pray for Israel like they do now.  Believers in Israel feel deep gratitude and even trembling about this great initiative. We have great faith and desire to see “all Israel saved” , but my question is, “Are we as believers in Israel ready for the place God has called us to as the Jewish Body of Messiah in the Land?”

During the coming twenty-one days of fasting and prayer, I choose to pray for us as the Messianic Body of believers in Israel, for our congregations, to pray that we would mature into the calling that God has given us to be true disciples of Yeshua, to transform from those who attend Sabbath services to active workers of the Kingdom because the fields of harvest are full and the work is great indeed.

I am not calling all my brothers and sisters in faith here in Israel to go out into the streets to share the gospel with fliers (of course there is a time and a place for that!) The reality is that God is sending people directly to our congregations every week. And He will continue sending people to our congregation. We need to open our eyes to see them and invest in them. I am calling my brothers and sisters in faith here in Israel to leave their comfort zones and to offer their hands to actively build up the house of God in Israel.

When the world is praying for a spiritual awakening in Israel, I start wondering, “How many seekers and new believers we are able to welcome into our midst? How many people would we able to disciple and care for?”

The reality is that we are unable to do all that we are called to do—we do not have the strength, the love, the patience and all that is required for it. We are weak and broken vessels.

But there is good news:

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. (Rom. 5:5)

The main question that I wank to ask myself  is one that I encourage my fellow believers in Israel to ask themselves as well:

“Lord, what do you want to do through me during this season?”

To all of us who will be dedicating prayer and fasting for revival in our nation Israel, remember to pray for the Body of Messiah in Israel!

Revival is not a comfortable place.

It is also a place that will require a lot from us.

And it may require everything.

For information about the Isaiah 62 Fast and Global Prayer for israel: Isaiah62fast

*Victoria Trubeck is office manager and women’s pastor at Tiferet Yeshua and regularly contributes to the Hebrew outreach channel ShelanuTV.

When the hour came, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. Then He said to them, “I have fervently desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God. ” -Luke 22:14-16


Right before His suffering and crucifixion, Yeshua expressed something extraordinary to His disciples: He told them that He fervently desired to eat that last Passover with them.

Just thinking that Yeshua expressed fervent desire for that moment is amazing to me. He knew full well what was waiting for him—the shame and ridicule, the pain and torture—and He was not indifferent to it. Quite the opposite. In the Garden of Gethsemane, He tells His disciples that His “soul is consumed with sorrow to the point of death” and, falling facedown, He pleads with the Father to let the cup of His suffering pass from Him (Matt. 26:38-39). Despite that, Yeshua expressed His fervent desire for that Passover meal, and the question is What is it? What is it that the Lord desired so much that dwarfed even the terrible darkness that was about to come immediately after this Passover meal?

Jeremiah’s prophecy of a New Covenant realized (Jer. 31:31-34)

The first part of the answer is explained by the Lord: “For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God”. Yeshua knows that this is His last Passover meal, after which He will serve as the complete and eternal Passover sacrifice which will usher His followers into the new covenant that Jeremiah prophesied over 500 years earlier. The moment He has so fervently desired is the beginning of this new covenant which will allow all His followers to have a close, intimate relationship with God the Father through Him. But His fervent desire is for even more than that: Yeshua tells His disciples that He has fervently desired to eat His last Passover specifically with them. Something special and unprecedented happened between Yeshua and His disciples during that extraordinary Passover meal.

Messiah’s Extraordinary Last Passover

During His last Passover meal, Yeshua forges a deep, intimate connection with His disciples on the highest level. This amazing and unprecedented fellowship is described in the Gospel of John in chapters 13-17. After Judah Iscariot, who was about to betray the Lord, left the meal, Yeshua shared with His loyal disciples some of the deepest, most amazing revelations found in Scripture, revelations which are given to us from a heart of profound intimacy. After finishing their meal, Yeshua told His disciples that He no longer considered them servants but  “friends” and that He loved them with the love which the Father loves Him –perfect, all-powerful, absolute love. When I pause to ponder what these revelations mean, I realize that they are beyond my understanding: we need divine revelation to begin to comprehend the breadth, length, depth, and height of this divine love, just as the Apostle Paul prays in Ephesians 5:18-21.

Entering into the Holy of Holies – John 17

In chapter 17, Yeshua takes His disciples into the Holy of Holies by allowing them to be witnesses of His intimate, personal prayer to the Father. By doing so, He essentially brings them into the perfect, holy relationship between the Father and the Son, allowing them to witness the deep, personal connection they have as the One God. Yeshua loved His disciples so completely (He loved them to the end) that He allowed them to be in the most intimate place of love and connection between Him and the Father:

Before the Passover Festival, Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. -John 13:1

As Yeshua said, there is no greater love than laying one’s life down for another, and that is the expression of God’s complete love through Yeshua’s ultimate sacrifice. The goal of that love, however, is His fervent desire: allowing His disciples and all of us to come into the intimate place of communion of the Father and the Son, to come into God’s house. We understand then that when Yeshua expressed His fervent desire, it was the desire to include us and bring us into the intimate relationship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This inclusion, this special relationship, happens only within the context of the New Covenant. We are adopted as God’s own sons and daughters (Rm. 8:14-15) and not as “second class” children: The Father loves us with the same love He has for His Son:

I am in them and You are in Me. May they be made completely one, so the world may know You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me. -John 17:23

Not only are we now in God’s family, but the Father is also preparing us to be a bride for His Son (Eph. 5:22-33) – the marriage relationship being the pinnacle of intimacy and partnership. Furthermore, Yeshua loves us in the same way the Father loves Him:

As the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Remain in My love. -John. 15:9

God has not withheld anything from us. He loved us until the end (perfectly), He has brought us into His house, into his family, into the special, intimate relationship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit who are united in perfect love which flows from the Father to us through the Son. He has filled us with the Holy Spirit. Yeshua, who is forever God and forever human, is the connection point between us and God. Through our communion with Yeshua as the Son of Man, we are able to be in a relationship with the perfect God. We are able to enter God’s house and family.

So much of this is hard to fathom, and may we never let ourselves take for granted the fact that the holy, majestic God of the universe has opened His house to us, where everything is perfect, pure love, and invited us in to be a part of His family – with all our sin and darkness—through the purification and sanctification in Yeshua the Messiah.

The Goal of Creation Realized

I believe that this was the goal of creation: God created us to become part of His family. Therefore, when Yeshua says, “I have fervently desired” this moment, He is expressing the deep desire of God from creation culminating at that point. Yeshua’s intimate fellowship with His disciples during that last Passover meal is the moment that the goal of creation began to be realized. It will be fully realized when the Body of Messiah attains to the full stature of Messiah and ultimately connects to God in the perfect way He desires. (Eph. 4:13, Rev. 21:3-4)

John 17 – Invitation into the Holy of Holies

During this Passover season, I would like to encourage all of us to devote time to the immensely powerful chapters of John 13 through 17, most especially John 17. When you spend time reading these chapters, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the power and depth of what Yeshua so fervently desires for us. If this is indeed the goal of creation, that means that this is our ultimate and highest identity and destiny. Today Yeshua is saying to all of us: “I have fervently desired to eat this Passover with you”. This is also the end-time invitation to all of us: in Revelation Yeshua makes this same desire known to us – although we do not usually hear the fervent desire in His voice the way we hear it in the gospel of John, the same passion is there when He says to us:

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me. -Revelation 3:20






My country is facing an internal crisis, the likes of which I have never seen. On Wednesday evening, Israel’s President Isaac Herzog delivered a serious address to the nation in which he soberly warned about the possibility of civil war. For two months, demonstrations across Israel have been increasing in frequency and intensity, and the rhetoric on both sides of the divide is becoming extreme. We all have said or heard someone say, “Our nation is being torn apart.”

Civil war over what?

In February, the far-right government led by Benjamin Netanyahu has been furiously pushing a sweeping judicial reform though the government: it seeks to reform the power of Israel’s Supreme Court and High Court of Justice which have become increasingly liberal and activist over the last decades.

Everyone agrees that there needs to be judicial reform which will restore the balance of power between the judiciary and legislative (lawmaking) branches of government. However, the ruling government’s reform proposal includes an element which will allow the ruling party lawmakers to pass laws that will be “immune” from Supreme Court review or revoke.

What this means is: any ruling party could pass laws that limit the civil rights of minorities in Israel. Minority rights in Israel are protected by Israel’s Basic Laws (like a Bill of Rights). If this extreme clause in the Netanyahu government judicial reform passes, minorities in Israel, including religious minorities like Messianic Jews, could have their basic rights taken away.

Civil rights of Israel’s minorities at serious risk

Right now there are religious parties in Netanyahu’s coalition who would love to pass laws seriously limiting the ability of Jewish believers to share their faith. Last week when associate pastor Moti Cohen was opening our service with prayer, he said, “We do not take for granted that we are able to gather here and openly declare our faith in Yeshua. There may come a time when we are no longer able to do it.”

How do we pray in this situation?

This situation does not surprise us. In fact, Yeshua prepared us for this situation already:

They will put you out of the synagogues. In fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God.

-John 16:2

On the fast of Esther, we held a prayer and worship evening at Tiferet Yeshua during which we interceded for our nation at this critical moment. We sang and declared God’s prophetic promises for Israel and prayed that He would have mercy on His people, that He would use the current crisis to cause many to seek Him, that He would pour out His Spirit on this nation so that many from all walks of life would experience powerful revelations of God’s love and truth.

Yes, we hope that our civil rights will not be taken away so that we can continue declaring Messiah’s message to His people. Democracy is the best form of human government, but it is not our savior. In fact, we know that the gospel is spreading like fire in places like Iran despite the repressive religious dictatorship there.

Dear friends, during this time, we ask that you join us in lifting the nation of Israel in prayer that all of God’s plans and purposes for this nation would be done and that He would be glorified in the eyes of all nations as the Keeper of covenants!

(In 2021, Tiferet Yeshua won a victory in the Supreme Court against political religious oppression. You can read all about it here.)

I was so afraid that I would be betraying my forefathers and my heritage if I believed in Yeshua. I asked God for confirmation, and He answered me in an unexpected and powerful way.

When I was twenty years old, I made the decision to immigrate to Israel by myself. As a young Jewish woman growing up in Argentina, I considered myself a Zionist and was very active in the Jewish community in Buenos Aries. For me it was a goal to get to where my grandfather and my father were not able to, to Israel. Even in the nineties, people in the Jewish community experienced antisemitism in Argentina.


Deborah during her bat mitzvah ceremony in Argentina

On the eve of my immigration to Israel, there was a massive terrorist attack against the Jewish Community center in Buenos Aries. This traumatic event strengthened me in the knowledge that I was doing the right thing. As an only child, it was difficult to leave my parents and the culture and language I had grown up with, but I knew that I was going into the unknown for the benefit of my future family.

All Alone in a New Country

The first year for new immigrants in Israel is particularly challenging. The hardest part for me as a new immigrant was Shabbat (the Sabbath). I was living in the dorms at the university, and I felt especially lonely when everyone left to go have Sabbath dinner with their families. It was a hard time for me, but eventually I found my place. I wanted to belong somewhere, so I joined a Reform synagogue in Tel Aviv which helped me greatly with the loneliness I was feeling and gave me a sense of connection.

Living the Dream

Even though I attended synagogue, being a Zionist was my main identity, and I became active working for political parties in Israel connecting the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking diaspora with the Jewish Agency. I eventually became the national absorption coordinator for Jewish immigration from Latin America. It was through this work that I met my future husband, and at twenty-eight I was married. A year later I had my first daughter. I was on cloud nine: my job was interesting and important, I was married and had started a family. I was living the dream.

Immune to the Gospel

I devoted myself entirely to my family, to my parents who had immigrated to Israel after my first daughter was born, and to our family business: my husband and I started a tourist agency for Spanish-speaking Christian and Jewish pilgrims to Israel. Through our work, I was constantly hearing the gospel. However, I considered myself immune to “Yeshu” (the derogatory Hebrew name for Yeshua). I told myself and my family: He is for the gentiles, but we can connect with the Christians in worshipping the Father.

In 2014, a group contracted with our tour agency that wanted to worship at every site they visited. I was intrigued: what is this worship they want to do? At my synagogue we barely had a cantor to lead us in singing the prayers, and there were never musical instruments. I told my husband: I have to go with this group—I have to see what this worship thing is.

The first day I was with them, I thought, “They are so insolent! Don’t they have any respect for God and His holiness?” But very quickly my impression changed, and I found that I was deeply impacted by their worship. They praised God with such joy and freedom, and I could see they were experiencing a closeness to God and the presence of the Holy Spirit. I was torn: I wanted what they had, but I also did not want it because I was Jewish and what they were doing was Christian.

Worship – the evangelist that unlocked my heart

In 2015, my father became very ill. During the eight-month period I cared for my Father, I found myself constantly listening to a worship disc that was given to me by the “worship” tour group. It was the only thing that brought me comfort in that dark time: I would sing along with the songs, but instead of saying “Jesus” in Spanish, I would say “Luz” which sounds similar but means light—that way I wouldn’t have to say His name! I felt close to God when I worshipped with that disc, and I could feel His voice speaking inside of me in response.

Questioning Religion and Tradition

After my father passed away, I observed the traditional time of mourning for thirty days. According to Jewish tradition, you are not allowed to do many things in the first year after the death of a parent, including travel. I was a good Jew, and I wanted to honor my father by mourning him according to the traditions, but I also needed to travel for my business. A voice inside me said, “Where is it written that you cannot travel the first year after parent’s death?” This question bothered me, and I started searching. Where was it written? Was it in the Bible?

Eighteen years I attended the synagogue, but I never once read the Bible. I started searching in the Bible and quickly discovered my Judaism was like a layer covering the Bible, a man-made layer that doesn’t belong. Slowly, as I started asking questions, one thing after another broke away, allowing me to seek the truth more freely.

Powerful Encounters 

Three months after my father passed away, I traveled to Peru for work where I also attended a worship conference. At this conference, I experienced the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit for the first time, and I head God’s voice speaking to my heart clearly: “I know you want to worship Me. I will show you how to do it.” Still, despite these powerful experiences and my deepening questions about rabbinic Judaism, I could not let Yeshua into my heart—I was so afraid that I would be betraying my forefathers, my heritage. I wasn’t ready to believe in Yeshua until I knew that I would not automatically become a Christian and stop being a Jew. I asked God for confirmation, and He graciously obliged in surprising and powerful ways!

An Amazing Discovery

During this time, I asked my mother if we had Judaica (Jewish liturgical or ceremonial objects) from our family that I could give to my youngest daughter for her bat mitzvah. My grandfather’s prayer book (Siddur) we had already given to my oldest daughter for her bat mitzvah. My mother said that there was one more book in Hebrew from my grandparents that she brought from Argentina which she could give me.

My mother does not read or speak Hebrew, so she had no idea what it was. I looked at the book and recognized right away that it was Yiddish—I opened it and realized it was a copy of the New Testament…in Yiddish! My first thought was:

This can’t be. Someone tried to proselytize them before they left Poland and put this in their belongings.

Then I saw on the inside cover a mark from the Argentinian postal service: clearly my grandparents had ordered this New Testament from Europe when they were already in Argentina.



Was it possible that my Jewish grandparents were believers? It was a powerful moment of revelation from God: instead of betraying my grandparents for believing in Yeshua, I would be entering into the completed faith they had already entered into as Jews. Amazingly, despite this message from God, I still wasn’t there all the way…I still felt torn.

The Final Confirmation – A Sign in the Desert

During that time, I experienced a serious crisis in my marriage. I had devoted myself to so many things in my life: to Zionism, to my career, to my marriage…which was now coming apart. I wanted to devote myself to the right thing, and I felt that it was Yeshua, but I asked God for one last confirmation.

I felt God tell me: “Meet me in the desert.” I had become very attuned to and obedient to His voice that I had been hearing in my heart. So, I took a friend and went down to Timnah Park in the Araba desert where there is a replica of the Tabernacle. We parked and started walking in the direction of the Tabernacle replica, but I felt the Holy Spirit say to me, “Stop right here.” I stopped and looked around me. What was there for me to see? Desert landscape all around me. “God wanted to meet with me here?”, I asked myself. But then not very far off, I saw a vibrant green bush that brilliantly stood out in the monochrome desert landscape.

My friend and I started walking toward the bush. As I got closer, I saw the name of Yeshua written out in stones in English across the ground next to the bush. My skeptic self rebelled and I wondered, “Why is His name written in English?” But the moment I thought that, I saw that above the name “Jesus” the Hebrew word chai (חי) was written out which means “lives”. Jesus lives!

A cell-phone image Deborah’s friend took of her looking at the name Jesus written in the desert


There in the desert, I devoted myself completely to Yeshua. From that moment, He has taken me on an amazing journey of healing and a new life of freedom in my devotion to Him. Today I live to worship Him, and in Him I have my complete identity as a Jewish follower of the Jewish Messiah!

 (Deborah serves faithfully at Tiferet Yeshua directing the children’s ministry and volunteer coordination. Deborah also runs a tour ministry for Spanish-speakers called Fundacion HALEL) 



As we begin 2023, this is the perfect time to revisit our congregational vision, to see where we have been, how much we have grown in God’s grace, and where He is leading us in this coming new year.

About ten years ago, the congregational leadership sat together to put down our vision as a congregation. After prayer and discussion, our elders came up with a three essential points which encapsulate who we are as a ministry.


Loving God – we desire to be a congregation filled with the love of God, seeking His face and His presence. There are several ways we express our love of God.

I. Fear of the Lord and Holiness

The fear of the Lord (the Hebrew term is most accurately translated as trembling awe\respect) is the first essential step in loving God. Growing in holiness is an expression of our love for God. Love is our motivator to change and choose the good:

“If you love me, keep my commandments.”

-John 14:15

When we are born again, our spirits are sanctified (made holy) and the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us. But that’s just the beginning: we then embark on a life-long journey to bring God’s holiness to our souls (thoughts, words and actions). The essential expression of love for God is the desire for real change in ourselves in order to please Him, which then results in a closer relationship with Him! It is also not based on success: God sees our heart’s desire for change and our attempts, even failed ones, are very precious to Him.   

II. Seeking His Presence

The first thing we seek in every service and meeting here at Tiferet Yeshua is God and His presence, especially in worship. God blesses corporate worship with a special anointing of His love and presence. We see one of the most powerful biblical illustrations of this when King Solomon and the children of Israel gathered together to worship God in one accord at the dedication of the Temple and the glory cloud of the Lord filled the Temple so powerfully that no one could stand as a result (2 Chron. 5:13-14).

III. Prayer and Intercession

“Pray without ceasing”

-Thessalonians 5:17

Prayer is our communication with God: you could say that our relationship with Him is based on spending time in His Word and time in prayer. This is our spiritual fuel—the oil in our lamps—for all that He calls us to do in His name.

The Spirit of the Lord comes to act through us and on our behalf when we are engaged in prayer. Doing anything in service for God without prayer, without asking for His grace, mercy and power through prayer, is at least a gamble and may even be arrogance.

Loving Each Other

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

-Philippians 2:4

I. Being a close-knit family community

We want to break the mind-set of coming to the congregation to get blessed by good worship and a good message and then going home. By striving to be close-knit, family community that looks out for one another, spends time with one another, helps one another, we are putting the focus on becoming the expression of God’s love. Beyond our main Friday service, congregation members meet during the week for prayer, worship and studying the Word together.

II. Service and gifts of the Holy Spirit

The vast majority of gifts of the Spirit are meant to serve and edify others, not to lift us up in prestige or position because we move in those gifts. 1 Corinthians 14:1exhorts us to actively go after love and to desire the gifts of the Spirit, especially to prophesy because it edifies the Body.

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”

-1 Peter 4:10

The local congregation should be a place people can serve in the gifts and callings that God has given them. And a healthy spiritual community is where everyone serves in one capacity or another. When new believers come to faith, an important part of their spiritual growth is to become connected in the congregation, to discover their God-given gifts and calling and to begin serving in then.

III. Strategic Giving Fund

Ten percent of our congregational budget is designated to a strategic giving fund from which we help believers in need in our congregation and in the Body of Messiah in Israel. Whether an expensive medical procedure, counseling for those who don’t have the finances, emergency financial help, grants for studies or supporting those who are going on outreach trips, our strategic giving fund is there to be immediate help for those in need. We also support other ministries in Israel from this fund, such as a drug rehabilitation center in Netanya, an outreach for prostitutes in Tel Aviv and a Messianic kindergarten in Jerusalem.

Loving our City 


We have a calling to be in Tel Aviv –the secular center of Israel which also happens to be one of the most expensive cities in the world. So, renting a building and maintaining a congregation in this city is a calling indeed! In this place that is called Israel’s sin city, we are called to be light, to be witnesses, to share the gospel, and to draw people to Him.

When we asked ourselves, “How do we show love to Tel Aviv?” We didn’t have to look very far. Just a few blocks away from our congregation is Israel’s skid row, the worst area in Israel for drugs, homelessness and prostitution.  Each week, Associate Pastor Moti leads a team of volunteers who prepare 450 healthy, home-cooked meals for the homeless in south Tel Aviv.  In addition to a warm meal and first aid for those who need it, Moti and his team offer prayer and the Word of hope to whomever is open. Whomever is willing, they offer to bring directly to a drug rehab center run by believers. God is touching countless lives through this ministry!


Active sharing of the gospel in an important aspect of who we are, and congregation members live a lifestyle of sharing their faith on a daily basis. Additionally, we lead organized street and city outreach with small groups from the congregation. On the digital front, we have an active media outreach in Hebrew through our weekly livestreams, Facebook page and Hebrew website. God has blessed these efforts greatly: most of the new believers at Tiferet Yeshua have come through these outreach efforts.

Several times in the Gospels, Yeshua used leaven symbolically in order to make a powerful point. In order to understand the deep spiritual ramifications of what He was teaching us, it is important that we first understand the nature of leaven.

Most understand more or less that leaven (yeast) is used to make dough rise. Leaven exists naturally in the environment around us, and, in ancient times, people discovered that allowing flower, water and sugar to ferment together for several days would produce a mixture which would cause dough to rise. What leaven actually does is change the chemical composition of the dough. One could say that when leaven is added to the dough mixture, the character of the dough changes. Yeshua was highlighting something that will change our hearts and our perceptions of God if we allow it into our lives.

The Leaven of the Pharisees

In Matthew 16:11, Yeshua warns His disciples about the leaven of the Pharisees. Since we already know the nature of leaven, we need to make sure we understand who Pharisees were.  After the Babylonian exile, the sect of the Pharisees developed with the goal of advancing study of the Law (Torah). In contrast to the Sadducees (the Jewish sect associated with the elite temple priesthood) the Pharisees claimed authority from Moses and, as such, claimed Mosaic authority to interpret the law. They ultimately developed and codified the Oral Law (Torah Shebaal Peh) which has been the cornerstone of Rabbinic Judaism until today. Through the lens of Oral Law, the Pharisees had a very specific way of viewing and interpreting God and His written Word.

It is interesting to note that Yeshua warned his disciples about this leaven specifically after the Pharisees asked Him for “a sign from heaven” to prove He was the Messiah (Matthew 16:1). It seems strange they would ask for a sign when He was constantly performing miracles which they themselves witnessed. What the Pharisees were actually asking for was not a miracle of healing or casting out a demon but a visible demonstration of heavenly power like the people of Israel witnessed when Moses received the Law on Mount Sinai or Elijah calling for heavenly fire on Mt. Carmel.

The Pharisee Prism  

When speaking to Orthodox or religious Jews today, you discover that they have a difficult time looking at the Word of God without the prism of the Rabbinic interpretations (the Oral Law). The leaven of the Pharisees is therefore viewing God and His Word through a specific, man-made religious lens.

The lens of the Pharisees focuses solely on carrying out the law in action, down to miniscule, obsessive and even mind-boggling details. Considering that leaven causes a change in the makeup of its host, how then does the leaven of the Pharisees change the makeup of our hearts? It hardens our hearts to God’s heart and puts self-righteousness in its center. Can New Testament believers be susceptible to this religious leaven? Absolutely! We are all human, capable of shutting out God’s love and turning His Word into a formulaic doctrine for good behavior and personal justification.

The Leaven of Herod

In Mark 8:15, Yeshua warns His disciples about a very different form of leaven: the leaven of Herod. Even though he was born in Judah and kept a certain measure of Jewish law, Herod was raised in Rome and embraced Greco-Roman culture. During Yeshua’s ministry, Herod openly lived a life of sin, having married his brother’s wife. But he also had many ritual purification baths (mikvaot) in his personal palaces and was interested in the teaching of John the Baptist. Herod represents a person who is living in both the world of traditional faith and the world of popular culture.

Herod’s leaven is mixing the philosophy of the world with the Word of God. Today we find ourselves surrounded by a popular culture that is post-postmodern where lines are blurred, there are no ultimate truths and every individual determines their reality, their identity, even their gender identity. Yeshua warns against this leaven because it also changes the way we view God and His truth: we start interpreting God’s Word to fit our personal preferences, to make it permissive of the world’s philosophies we have adopted, whether cultural or political, and end up shaping God into the image of who we want Him to be.

 The Good Leaven

Yeshua also presented a positive leaven teaching. In Matthew 13, He taught that the kingdom of heaven is like leaven. What is the kingdom of heaven? God’s rule supreme. The good leaven, the rule of God in our hearts, changes us on the inside. The leavening process is a chemical reaction happening inside the dough: we don’t see the it, but we see the results. The kingdom of heaven is not something observable (Luke 17): it is a process of surrendering to God’s reign in our hearts, and His transforming us into something different, something new.

The One Ultimate Truth

In today’s culture, particularly among the youth, it is a battle to declare “There is only one truth.” In John 18 when He is being interrogated by Pilot, the Roman governor of Judea, Yeshua says, “For this reason I was born and have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to My voice.” Pilot, who represents the world’s system, cynically retorts: “What is Truth?” That cynical question is resonating today, and the world’s answer is, “Whatever you want it to be.”

The Critical Question

“When the Son of Man returns, will He find faith in the earth?” (Luke 18:8) What time more than now can we feel how far humans are from belief in one ultimate truth, the Word of God? Being a person of faith is becoming controversial, and our faith is challenged on every side.

Now more than ever, we need the Word of God to be the double-edged sword, dividing between spirit and soul, God’s truth and the wisdom of the world, cutting away religious perceptions or theologies through which we want to interpret God and His Word.

I believe that it is important that we ask God to show us where we have let the leaven Herod, the leaven of the world, influence our faith and allegiance to God’s ultimate truth. We also need to ask God where we allow the leaven of the Pharisees, the theologies of man, to twist or skip over parts of God’s Word and focus us on being in the right and doing the right things instead of having a right heart before God.


 Jews demand signs (demonstrations of power on par with the giving of the Law on Sinai) and Greeks look for wisdom (rational, human knowledge) 23 but we preach Messiah crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Messiah the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

-1 Corinthians 1:21