“I learned about God from Atheists”


Classical music occupies a revered place in Russian culture. Thus when a live classical performance is available, Russian Jewish Israelis like to come. Seome while ago, Tents of Mercy held a concert that drew scores of music connoisseurs, opening the way for them to hear Yeshua’s symphony of salvation at the same time.

Weaving strands of Eastern European Jewish tradition with radiant classical technique, concert pianist and Messianic Jew, Alyosha Ryabinov, stirs the soul when he touches a piano. I have never heard music that reached into me at a deeper level. It’s as if the messianic expectation of Israel comes through his compositions.

“Dry Bones,” takes the listener through the Ezekiel 37 prophecy. The deep, minor key notes evoke images of Israel’s death, reawakening and resurrection. Ryabinov’s music challenges one to think, to re-evaluate and finally, to believe.

“Spring Waters of the Jordan,” draws one into life-probing reverie. The textures Alyosha causes to emerge from the instrument collide with one another like river waters, overlapping in a way that simply commands attention.

During the concert evening, Alyosha told his audience, primarily from the former Soviet Union, the story of how he found his Messiah after being raised an atheist.

I grew up in Ukraine in a family of Jewish musicians. My grandfather was a composer, my father a violinist and my mother a classical guitarist. I had no choice. I first learned about God in a class entitled “Atheism.” They have to explain to you “Who” it is who doesn’t exist. That was the beginning of my return to the God of my fathers.

In 1979 we wanted desperately to leave the Soviet Union, but permission was not being granted. For the first time I decided to talk to God—about the situation. “Here’s a good chance to prove you are God,” I said. “Get me out of this country.” In a week or two we received permission and went to Chicago, not exactly the Promised Land.

In America I opened the Bible. God began touching my heart about Israel.  I saw that God was a God of love and compassion. In spite of our disobedience to Him, He did not reject us. When I started reading the New Covenant I saw that Yeshua was Jewish. I never knew that before. What touched me was that He loved people, all people. In time, I knew that He was the Messiah of Israel, who came to bring us back to our heavenly Father.

I didn’t know before that I could live forever. Atheists didn’t teach me that. But the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob put hope in my heart. He is a loving God who wants me all the time.

I was not alone in my perceptions during the outreach concert. The members and not-yet-believing guests of Ohalei Rachamim who feasted on Alyosha’s playing this November night responded with tears and laughter, deep concentration and hearty applause. I felt my soul being understood, washed, refreshed and inspired. Israelis from Russia were touched who, like Alyosha, had not known Yeshua in their atheist society.

For information about Alyosha’s music CD’s, teaching tapes and concert schedule visit
www.songofisrael.com or call (386) 672-2522.