Archives For Israel

By Moti Cohen, Associate Pastor, Tiferet Yeshua Tel Aviv

The good news is that Yeshua’s gospel is spreading in Tel Aviv. The better news is that there are people who accept the gospel, give their lives to Yeshua, are willing to go through water and Spirit baptism, and dedicate their lives to the Lord!

The Witness of an old Friend

Leah* came to Tiferet Yeshua about three months ago, and she was immersed this week at the Yafo beach. She came together with Miriam, one of our members. When I asked Leah what drew her to the congregation, she said that a few months prior, she met Miriam on the street. Leah and Miriam had known each other for many years, but they hadn’t seen each other in a few years. The reunion with Miriam left a strong impression on Leah. Leah remembered that Miriam had a pretty rough life, and that she had been through more than her fair share of trials. She always saw Miriam as a sad woman who was just trying to survive.

At their reunion, to Leah’s surprise, Miriam was just full of joy. Leah saw a transformed woman. Miriam immediately shared her faith in Yeshua with Leah, and told her how He changed her life completely.

Moroccan Israelis

Born 60 years ago in Tel Aviv, Leah’s family left Morocco a few years after Israel’s independence. Moroccan Jews are one of the larger immigrant communities in Israel. She had a very traditional, Jewish family (a family that observes the Jewish holidays and customs, but not to a religious extent). At a very young age, she was already divorced with two children. She had to raise them completely alone. In addition, she was a chronic cigarette smoker, and she was dealing with unceasing coughing and a hole in her lung.

Leah would occasionally come to our congregation’s gatherings in Tel Aviv and she received a lot of love from our congregation members. She saw that her new friends had faith and values that “provoked her to jealousy” and caused her to reexamine the meaning of life. Of course, the teachings in the congregation about destructiveness of sin, forgiveness of such sins, the love of God, repentance and freedom, caused Leah to ask questions.

Miriam was a great help to Leah, as they met several times each week. She taught her about the Lord from the scriptures and watched movies about Yeshua with her. Finally, it all came together for Leah and Miriam prayed with her to surrender her life to Yeshua.

She could be my mother

I was very excited to hear Leah’s testimony. This is a Jewish woman who came from a Sephardic background (Jews who come from Arab countries like Iraq and Yemen), who surrendered to Yeshua. This gave me a lot of hope for my own family. There’s a barrier of blindness subduing the Sephardic ethnic groups. They were exiled to Muslim countries from Spain in the 15th century. They were exiled for not converting to political Catholicism—thus, the false representation of Yeshua left them closed to His true purpose.

When a 60-year-old woman like Leah surrenders her life to Yeshua, it feels as if my own mother is surrendering to Yeshua. Miriam’s testimony gave hope to a lot of people who pray constantly  for their families. The kind of hope that says even older people from the Jewish Sephardic groups are capable of accepting the gospel and giving their lives to Yeshua.

Time to get wet!

One day, Leah came to me at the beginning of our weekly meeting and told me that she had a dream. In the dream, she saw herself being immersed in water, and through that dream, she realized that it was her time to go through this action of faith.

We took some time to study the foundations of the faith together and the meaning of water immersion. This week, several of us in the congregation arrived at Jaffa beach. This is the same beach where many Jews were most likely immersed in Acts, chapter nine. Leah grew up in Yafo, and it was very symbolic that she specifically chose to be immersed there and make her declaration of faith. Leah wore white Moroccan clothing, and she was completely filled with happiness and joy—something that had escaped her for so many years. We asked that as she was immersed in water, so would she also be immersed in the Holy Spirit.

Leah went into the water and came out glowing. When I looked at her face and her eyes, I saw a woman who was filled with love for God. We rejoiced, worshiped and thanked God for this moment!

Please continue to pray for Leah, that she would have the strength and power from above to completely stop smoking and receive complete healing for her lungs. Furthermore, dear friends, keep our families in your prayers. So that not only us, but also our entire households would come to believe in the Messiah of Israel. Amen.

*Leah is not her real name

Israel’s mandate to exist comes from heaven, as communicated to Abraham, Joshua, Moses, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and others. But Israel also has a legal right to exist. In 1917 Great Britain, before she had defeated the Turks in WWI, sent a note from Lord Arthur James Balfour, the British foreign minister, to Lord Walter Rothschild, the leader of the British Jewish community. He promised that if Great Britain won the war, they would seek to create a Jewish Homeland in the very place of her ancient homeland.

His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

After the victory, Great Britain was given ‘Palestine’ in 1920 at the San Remo Conference by the League of Nations (soon to be United Nations). The San Remo Conference adopted the Balfour Declaration as part of Britain’s ‘Mandate over Palestine’. In other words, the only legal body (under heaven of course) that could authorize the establishment of a Jewish country, did so.
Here, I share a short teaching on GOD TV’s Facebook page about the Balfour Declaration.

This week the Israeli Judo team traveled to hostile territory in the United Arab Emirates. The UAE is considered to be more modern and moderate than other Arab nations, but make no mistake—there is rabid anti-Semitism.

No Flag

The Israeli team was told if it came to compete, they could not display the Israeli flag on their uniforms. No other nations were told this.

  • Not Russia, who assists Syria in killing innocent women and children and is illegally in Ukriane.
  • Not North Korea, who threatens the world with nuclear war.
  • Not Syria who has killed over 500,000 of its citizens since 2011.
  • Not Cuba, Saudi Arabia or Iran.

Instead, the Israelis would be forced to display the flag of the IJA, which I hoped was the Israeli Judo Association, but it is not. It stands for International Judo Association.

No Passage

Then the team had to wait seven hours at the airport over Turkey’s refusal to allow the Israelis to get their UAE visas in Istanbul. By the time the issue was resolved, the flight had left. However, the Israelis were not about to give up. It is not who we are. They made alternative arrangements to get them in Jordan.

No Anthem

On Thursday, the world No. 1 in Judo’s 66kg category, Tal Flicker, defeated Nijat Shikhalizada of Azerbaijan for the gold medal. In every other case the national anthem of the winner’s country is played. But Tal is Israeli. So instead, they played the anthem of the International Judo Association. The Israeli flag was also not raised, instead the flag of the International Judo Association rose behind the Jewish champion (and all other Israeli medalists this week).

Tal retaliated by singing the words of Hatikvah (The Hope), Israel’s national anthem.

Flicker said later that he made up his mind to sing his own Hatikvah on the podium from, ‘the moment that I won the gold. Israel is my country, and I’m proud to be Israeli. The anthem that they played of the world federation was just background noise, I was singing Hatikvah from my heart. I’m proud of my country. The whole world knows that we’re from Israel, knows who we represent. The fact that they hid our flag, it’s just a [badge] on our flag.’” —

No Hand Shake

A day earlier, after Israeli Tohar Butbul defeated his Arab opponent from the host country, the UAE, he too was snubbed. It is traditional after a match to shake hands. But the defeated Rashad Almashjari refused to touch the Jewish hand that was extended towards him, and instead fled the scene. Butbul went on to take bronze by defeating the recent Olympic champion.

Against the Rules

It should be noted that the IJA has strict rules against such behavior.

IJF Code of Ethics (clause 2): ‘There shall be no discrimination between the participants on the basis of race, gender, ethnic origin, religion… or other grounds’

Of course, the western world routinely backs down in the face of Arab temper tantrums. The Times of Israel reported that the IJA warned the Arab organizers not to discriminate against the Israelis.

A letter from the IJF to the president of the UAE Judo Federation said “all delegations, including the Israeli delegation, shall be treated absolutely equally in all aspects, without any exception.”

We can only wait and see if there will be any discipline against the UAE. I am not holding my breath. Feel free to tweet the IJA, and express your concerns: @IntJudoFed



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There’s excitement in the air! You can just feel the synergy as two corrupt, terror machines have agreed to worked together. Recently, it was announced that Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are back together…again! They’ve buried the (blood-stained) hatchet. But can this really work? You have one group that is corrupt to the core. And, they are the moderate ones. The other side are bloodthirsty terrorists, who have plunged the citizens of Gaza into bankruptcy.

What is there to gain for Hamas?

One must wonder, what is the ultimate goal of Hamas? Clearly, they are tired of governing. It’s just not very sexy: infrastructure, electricity, taxes (it’s so much easier to steal from the UN medical aid), parking fines, etc.…yuck! Shooting rockets at defenseless Israelis is much more fun. I mean, you are not going to make the headlines in the NY Times because you pave roads or provide electricity to your constituents. However, launch 30 rockets at Israel’s towns and cities, and you are an instant rock star.

To make matters worse, the Palestinian Authority has decided to stop funding Gaza, cutting off electricity if they cannot pay for it. Presently most Gazans only have electricity for a few hours a day. Over time, this has worn the terror group down and brought them back to the negotiating table.

Lebanon 2.0—NO!

Hamas wants to create Lebanon 2.0. In Lebanon, you have a government that is infiltrated by the terror group, Hezbollah. Many consider Hezbollah to be the most powerful political group in Lebanon, and its military capabilities rival the Lebanese army. How can it be good for the stability of a country to have an armed militia that is nearly the same size of its actual military, but with no control over it. And that is what we see with Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Hezbollah is a terrorist organization and part of the government at the same time. But they don’t bother themselves with governing, but rather with militancy. Their intelligence apparatus is more extensive than Lebanon’s.

In the same way, Hamas is looking for a deal with the Palestinian Authority. One where the P.A. takes over the governing of Gaza, and Hamas can continue to do the fun stuff: raping, intimidating, manipulating, murdering, stealing from the citizens of Gaza, and the like. (Note: I am not even mentioning their activities against Israel. This is all in reference to what they do to their own Arab citizens!)

Bad Blood, Horrifying Memories

When Hamas forcefully took over Gaza some ten years ago, they murdered more than a few members of the Palestinian Authority, including throwing some off of buildings.

“In the Gaza Strip [when Hamas took over], looters ransacked buildings and supporters of the Islamist group, Hamas, celebrated in the streets after its gunmen routed fighters of the Fatah movement after six days of bloody fighting that left more than 100 Palestinians dead.” —NPR

It is amazing that the Palestinian Authority would even consider rolling with these bloodthirsty terrorists. Of course, it’s not like their hands are so clean. They have no problem with putting a journalist in jail, stifling free speech and intimidating their opponents with violence. We cannot forget that their longest serving leader, Yasser Arafat, was the father of modern-day terrorism. Without Arafat, there is no Hamas. This is the same group that continually names schools, squares, and streets after those who have blown up and butchered innocent Israeli women and children.


What is in it for the P.A.?

Stupid, they are not. In the same way that Hamas has an end game, there can be no doubt that the Palestinian Authority does as well. And that end game is not to rule peacefully with Hamas at their side. Make no mistake—the leaders of these two groups hate each other.

While they are not stupid, pride often trumps wisdom and the 82-year-old President Mahmud Abbas is thinking about his legacy. How will he be remembered? He took over when Arafat died, and then lost roughly half his territory to Hamas. He has been trying for years to bring unity between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, but to no avail. He’s hoping that the 1.2 billion dollars the Palestinian Authority supplies to Gaza every year will be incentive for them to behave. But I have my doubts—along with the rest of the sane world.  Never in the history of biological studies has a leopard change its spots.

Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the PA, has stated that he would not allow the “model of Hezbollah in Lebanon” to exist in the Gaza Strip. [He] said there had to be one authority, one law, one rifle, one set of weapons. That is Mahmoud Abbas’ position in principle, but so far Fatah figures have avoided raising those issues, focusing instead on the easier matters of transferring the government in the Gaza Strip.

He will have no choice but to compromise with Hamas, as they have no plans for compromise on their core  principles. Read the words of Hamas security chief last Thursday:

“The time in which Hamas discusses the issue of recognizing Israel is over. The discussion now is about ‘when to erase Israel’.”

This would be alarming to the citizens of Israel, if Hamas wasn’t utterly bankrupt and inept in all their efforts to destroy her to date. In their desire to harm Israel, Hamas has all but destroyed the Gaza strip.

The U.S. has called for Hamas to disarm in light of the agreement.

“Any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognize the State of Israel, accept previous agreements and obligations between the parties—including to disarm terrorists—and commit to peaceful negotiations,” —US Envoy to Israel, Jason Greenblatt

Sinwar responded that Hamas would disarm “when Satan enters paradise,” and added, “There’s not one minute of the day or night when we aren’t building up our military might.” So, I guess it is safe to say that they have no plans to recognize the state of Israel.

The End is Near

This ends in one of two ways. The first possibility is that Abbas crumbles and his rival Mohammad Dahlan takes over. He is the one who forged this fragile peace between scorpions. The second possibility is that within a few months there will be another split and Hamas throws the Palestinian Authority, once again, out of Gaza. But the thing that Israel cannot afford is for this conflict to turn into another Lebanon—where you have a terrorist organization operating as part of a legitimate government (and in this case, the legitimate government is a terrorist organization as well, the PLO!).

Israelis are not too worried, as the one thing that these terror groups hate even more than Israel is each other.


You must forgive me for the title of this blog, but I am just keeping it real! I mean, when your Israeli taxi driver has a revelation and exclaims biblical truth with joy that he has never known, it doesn’t always come out the way you might expect. Let me back up. I was with some friends from the U.S. Our Taxi driver, Dudu, was full of information, teaching us the history of Tel Aviv.

We began to share with our Dudu about Yeshua. Just before we arrived at our destination, I asked him if he had pain in his body. He told me that his back was giving him trouble and that he had knee pain from an operation. We laid hands on him and prayed for him. He said his knee felt better and we prayed again, but this time I asked God to allow him to experience His presence.

I asked him again about his knee and he said again, that it felt better. But then, it was clear in his countenance that God had touched his spirit. I asked him what he felt inside. He took a deep breath and it was evident by the smile on his face that something had happened. He said, “Yes, yes, yes, yes, …”


By his own confession, the Lord touched his knee—at least to some degree. I only use prayer for healing of the body to get to the soul. What good is a healed knee, if your soul perishes? For this reason, I try to always pray for people to experience the joy of the Lord—the presence of God. They immediately recognize that this is not mere human emotion.

In July, I was in a Starbucks drive-through and I asked God to give me a word for the girl who would soon take my money. Nothing came! Then I said, “Then give me something to say to her!” As I approached, I asked, “Have you ever wondered how much God loves you?” She said, “Actually, yes.” Then I asked, “Have you ever felt the presence of God?” She said, “No, I have not.”

“Give me your hand.” She did and I prayed for about 30 seconds. When I let go, it was clear God had touched her. She looked me and said, “You made my day!” I said, “I don’t want to make your day, but your life! Go home and read the book of John, and learn about Jesus.” Friends, you can do that too! God is with you!

An Unepected Reaction!

Back to Dudu. So…after we stopped the camera, he was still smiling for ear to ear when he exclaimed as if he was having a revelation: Yeshua was Jewish, Yeshua was a “blanking” Jew! The word shocked us, but we were not so religious, that we could not see that Zacchaeus was right before us. I am sure the Lord encountered more startling things as He reached out to sinners and tax collectors. We all laughed together as Dudu took off. But not before I got his phone number. I have been in touch with him on SMS and hope to send him some materials.

Another Encounter

On the way home, we had another amazing encounter. Rachamim (which means mercies) didn’t come across to me as someone open to the gospel. He was in his mid-twenties and was sporting that cool kind of quiet. It had come up that we were Messianic Jews. As we approached Tel Aviv, I asked him, “Are you curious how I came to believe in Yeshua?” Israelis are ALWAYS curious.

He said, “As a matter of fact, yes.” I shared with him my story. When I got to the part where I was explaining the gospel—that Yeshua was a sacrifice for our sin—he surprisingly seemed to understand. I told him that Jewish people think that their sins can be forgiven through fasting on Yom Kippur, but that is only because there is no Temple. When the Temple stood, a goat was sacrificed for the sins of Israel by the high priest. Fasting was merely the humble disposition the nation took, in hopes that God would forgive them.

However, after the Temple was destroyed, a new Judaism was created by Yochanan Ben Zakkai that replaced the substitutionary sacrifice with human works. Instead of falling on his face and repenting at the Temple’s demise, Ben Zakkai created a new, bloodless Judaism (see more I explained that only the shedding of blood could take away sin.

“For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.” (Lev. 17:11)

“That makes sense,” he said. I was kind of shocked that such a young man could embrace a deep theological concept. “I want to learn more about this.” We prayed for him to experience God’s presence and he did! I grabbed about a copy of my book, “Identity Theft” in Hebrew, and gave it to him. He was eager to read it.

Friends, this is my passion—not only to share the gospel with Israelis but to see Israeli believers equipped to share the gospel with healing power. We are seeing it more and more. Pray for these two men that God would continue to work on them and that, when I contact them, they will want to learn and hear more, even visit the congregation.