Articles by S Michael
S Michael was raised a second generation Messianic Jew and serves within the community both in the United States and Israel.
At this moment speeches come to a halt, because words fail us as we try to describe the pain of our lost children. Traffic stops as individuals stand outside their cars to show respect. Movement in the streets suspends as everyone, no matter where they are, stands completely still with their heads bowed.
A delegation of 150 Messianic Jews and Gentiles from around the world gathered to welcome in the New Year, connect, travel, and experience our history together—no matter how dark it was at times.
We were in the torture chambers of the Dachau concentration camp. The fact that three young Jews walked through the halls alive and well infused hope into the story like the sun rays shined light into the cells. The hall was eerie and rooms held their own demons. We came to remember.
Franz Julius Delitzsch came into this world on February 23, 1813. Born into a Gentile Christian family his life would be one of greatness. To simply write about the impact of his life work seems to do it very little justice. Delitzsch was a thinker. He was a seeker. But most importantly he sought after truth.
Abram Poljak was perhaps the most influential visionary for modern-day Messianic Judaism. Just inches from Abram Poljak’s grave, we found the grave of Dr. Agnes Sara Waldstein. While she is far less known than Poljak, she was no less influential.
We are now tasked with a new errand. We have the honor of traveling to the graves of the holy men and women whose words we lovingly pore over in translation and publication. It is possible that many of these ancestors of our faith have not received visitors to their graves since their deaths.
HaYovel’s busiest season is “harvest season,” usually occurring in late August when the grapes are ripe for gathering. Thirty-five staff members help transport volunteers from the airport to the vineyards, cook and prepare meals for all five hundred workers, and organize the massive operation to take place in an effective manner.
Sitting in the Aroma cafe, reading headline after headline about boycotting Israel and the BDS movement, I mused if the “loud voices” of this movement had ever been to Israel. Had they ever experienced what I am experiencing now? Chances are good they haven’t.
Just moments after HaShem has held us, forgiven us, and renewed us, he places us outside and subject to the elements, making the week of our joy also the week of our testing. We place ourselves outside of our own comfort, joining our brothers and sisters, exposed to our vulnerabilities and ourselves.
Finally, as if the universe shifts a bit, their smiling faces come through the doors. Like thousands before them and thousands to follow they come with tears in their eyes and a dream in their hearts. We run to them, singing and shouting: “Welcome home!” We embrace for a few moments longer than usual.
“It takes courage to come here as a Diaspora Jew” we all agreed and began laughing at our various Hebrew mistakes, the stigma of being American, the army and the difficulties we had to overcome within Israeli society. None of us ever regretted the decision we had made to live in Israel.