is the text of a message which was preached October
5th, 2002 to Israeli
Jewish and Arab believers in an Israeli forest in Galilee.The message, "Repairers of the Breach," was delivered by a Messianic Jewish
congregational leader in northern Israel. For all those who petition
the Lord on behalf of Israel this message will speak to the heart of critical
matters confronting the Body of Christ in Israel. Although
the current Intifada, that began
in 2000, has placed incredible stress on the reconciliation
movement between Jewish and Arab believers in the land
of Israel, here
light is shed on how the Lord is continuing to move to
bring healing and restoration to the Body in Israel.
in a Forest:Repairer of the Breach by EitanShishkoff
Tents of Mercy, Haifa
2002: This past Shabbat it was my privilege
and my challenge to address a multi-congregational gathering
of Arab and Jewish believers in Yeshua in a forest clearing
in the Galilee. I was
honored, humbled and scared by the invitation, feeling
that the occasion called for a message straight from
These past two years have been an onslaught by the enemy not only on Israeli
life, but on the relationships between Jewish and Arab Israeli citizens. At
times Israel's struggle with the Palestinians
has spilled over onto the Arab members of Israeli society, who are not a part
of the Palestinian territories. But many Arab Israelis have relatives
and friends who live inside the Palestinian Authority. This creates complex
and sometimes contradictory viewpoints and emotions.
Last spring an Arab Israeli pastor whom I highly respect approached me to convey
some of that complexity. He believes in Israel. He affirms our place as Jews in
the land and as Messianic Jews. He has attended a number of celebrations
at our congregation. Our youth group has worshiped with his youth group. But
he was feeling the need for deeper communication in light of the heaviness
of the situation. He felt that we, as Jewish believers were not fully in touch
with the atmosphere and intifada-connected challenges
in the Arab Christian churches in Israel. His honesty and transparency touched
me. With Messiah-likeness he was able to give me greater compassion for his
people and at the same time he identified with the pain and misery experienced
by the Jewish people under wave after wave of terrorism.
As a direct result of this brother reaching out to me, I found myself standing
nervously before several hundred Jewish, Arab and non-Israeli believers last
Shabbat. God came through with a message that touched many hearts. I'm taking the liberty of attaching the message, "REPAIRER
OF THE BREACH" in hopes that it will assist you in interceding for us
and for our Arab brothers and sisters. We have indeed been handed
an unwanted opportunity. That opportunity is to demonstrate the covenant love
of brothers, followers of the same Lord, during a time of terrible conflict.
Repairer of the Breach A message given
to Arab and Jewish believers gathered together in a forest in the Galilee on
October 5, 2002
Isaiah 58: 9-12 Then you shall
call and the Lord will answer; you shall cry and He will say, "Here I am." If
you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking
wickedness, If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted
soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness.the Lord will guide you continually,
and satisfy your soul in drought.those from among you will build the old waste
places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall
be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Streets to dwell in.
In an intercessory prayer meeting last week, a pastor from U.S. spoke of his fear of Russians while
he was growing up in Carlsbad, New Mexico when families were building bomb
shelters and getting ready for World War III.
This was a breach between people groups caused by historic circumstances that
produced fear and even hatred. But in this prayer meeting the pastor
rejoiced because now he actually knows "Russian" people-Russian Israelis actually-and
in the place where fear once prevailed now is love. After his confession,
he prayed so tenderly for the Russian-speaking Israelis, who in turn forgave
him and confessed similar fears of Americans. "Perfect love casts out
fear," Yochanan (the apostle John) says.
After these things Dalia, an Israeli-born believer,
prayed about the breach in our country between Russian-speaking olim (Jewish immigrants) and tsabarim (orsabra,
a native Israeli Jew). She confessed the antagonism she and other native
Israelis have felt and of the rejection of the new immigrants and feelings
of distance and dislike.
The Russian-speaking intercessors admitted to similar feelings of victimization
and anger against tsabarim (native Israelis). As
an immigrant, I had to agree that I have struggled at times with similar feelings
of rejection and great feelings of inadequacy in the process of absorption.
Ezek 37:21, 22 describes exactly the opposite of this: One nation, one
people, one King. Ahhhhh..one
King. That says a lot! That says that in the Kingdom of
our King, there is the promise of being one people.
We may not
be able yet to unite all streams of Israeli society, but
within the Kingdom, where Yeshua is King, we have not only
the possibility, but also the mandate.
He has broken down every wall of partition. Through the cross He abolished
the enmity that existed in the flesh in order to bring us together (Eph 2). We
no longer know any man according to the flesh, but by the Spirit. (2Cor ).
What IS the Kingdom of God? How is it to be manifested
and expressed on earth?
Some of our [Jewish] people point to the deceased Brooklyn rabbi Schneersohn and proclaim "Baruch HaBa, MelechHaMashiach" ("Blessed be
the King, the Messiah").
Clearly our people are looking for and waiting for a king who will inaugurate
a DivineKingdom with new rules and a higher way
of life. Jewish tradition speaks of a "New Torah" that the Messiah will
teach when He comes! We know that the New Covenant is the promised breakthrough,
the greater revelation of the way of God on earth. In it, the true King,
Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) speaks much
of God's Kingdom.
Yeshua said to
pray "that your Kingdom come on earth, as it is in heaven." What
does that look like?
Yeshua instructed His disciples to announce the coming of God's Kingdom
with the accompanying actions of setting the demonized free and healing the diseased. He
taught them to say "The Kingdom of God is at hand." We are to Seek
first the Kingdom of God!
While volumes have been written on the subject, it is possible to say simply
that Yeshua's Kingdom is a reversal of the effects
of the curse of rebellion on mankind.
Paul says that it is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. B'kitsur-the Kingdom is now likened to leaven, which spreads
through flour, making bread. Infiltrating. The
Kingdom is to infiltrate society, bringing a taste of the King's coming.
How can we as ambassadors
of this magnificent, merciful, eternal King, bring His
reign to our land? One very visible and immediate way to
manifest His Kingdom is in the midst of the complex relationship
being watched by all the world
right now: Arabs and Jews.
We are faced in
our land not only with the coming together of cultures
among Jewish people, but our nation consists of Arab Israelis
as well. Many of your families have been in
this land for centuries. You speak Hebrew better than I
do, and in many ways you are far more "Israeli" than I, or
other immigrants are. After all, you are native to
the Middle East.
The foods we all love to eat as "Israeli" food, including such delicacies as "schwarma" and "felafel," are in
fact given to us by you-our Arab neighbors. Yet here is another area
of sensitivity; another area abundant with rejection; another area greatly
in need of healing.
For the past two
years we have both been pounded by the forces of satan seeking
to destroy what had been fragilely built over the years
of Arab-Jewish relationships among believers in the land.
In my brief 10 years in Israel I have watched wonderful steps
taken. Yet I realize that there is still a long way to go. The cycle
of wounding, reaction, rejection, suspicion, hurt, anger and withdrawal is
too familiar. But we believers are all of the one
King and we of His kingdom have the unique opportunity, even responsibility
and calling, to counter this cycle. This cycle can only be broken through
the cross of Yeshua. As Ephesians 2 puts it: The
cross of Messiah shatters the enmity because we are all now indebted to the
same Savior and submitted to the same Lord.
He also gives us the power to forgive and to counter fear with love. If
I know that I am no longer a loser-even if I am given that impression from
another ethnic group--then I can respond from security and reach out instead
can only happen through the Cross. Only when you
and I are willing, because of our security in the love
of Messiah-only when I have lost my rights by identifying
with Yeshua's death-can we embrace each other with hearing hearts
Anise, our extraordinary Arab pastor brother from the Galilee town of Shfar Am, moved me by his honest communication
earlier this year.
He sought me out to touch sensitive things-to help to me identify with your
pain as Arab Israelis during this war and to break down a wall.
This path is costly. This path is includes pain and misunderstanding
and awkwardness. But it is a high and glorious path that reflects the
very nature and triumph of our King!
Let me sum it up:
Those who have come recently to the land feel fear, embarrassment,
bitterness, inferiority, anger and frustration. Those
being attacked for being Jewish, feel rage, frustration,
Those being identified with "the enemy" because of shared Arab culture, language
and identity feel injustice, resentment, rejection and anger.
But what is God's plan? To awesomely use both
the "aliyah" (return to Israel) and the "intifada" (uprising) to overcome our experiences of rejection
and division. For olim (immigrants) and tsabarim (natives), as well as for Jews and Arabs-we have
the power in Yeshua to convey acceptance and encouragement. We can identify
with each other, and by understanding in our hearts,
to reach out as brothers.
The enemy hates aliyah. The enemy hates Arab-Jewish
brotherhood in Messiah.
It will not do
to oppose the arrival of new olim (immigrants). It
is a supernatural act of God, fulfilling His ancient, inviolable
Word. It will not do to resent our co-existence as
Arab and Jew in this land: His Torah says to embrace the "ger" who dwells in the land and to live together according
to the Law of the Lord.
Therefore, if we
cooperate with God, He will bless and use us. This
is our promised land! We must embrace His calling
to dwell in this land according to His law of love. To bring patience, kindness, encouragement and honoring into our
We have an incredible
opportunity to demonstrate the Kingdom of God, the qualities of the life of the
King in the land of the King.
I cannot pretend
to know all about how to do this. But I believe deeply
that if we take honest, obedient steps---if we watch for
opportunities as Arab & Jewish followers of Yeshua,
as olim and tsabarim who
love His appearing, that He will make a feast from the
broken pieces of bread that are our lives.
Let us forgive
those who have judged and rejected us. Whether
it is in the realm of olim and tsabarim or in the area
of Arab and Jewish Israeli.
It is time to repent of our unholy attitudes of judgment and rejection. It
is time to announce The Kingdom of God is at hand!
If you take away
the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and
speaking wickedness, If you extend your soul to the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn
in the darkness.the Lord will guide you continually, and
satisfy your soul in drought. and you shall be called the
Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Streets to dwell