Yeshua Superstar

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[This article was originally written by Eddie Santoro in 2010 and appeared in the October 2010 issue of Israel’s Restoration]

Yeshua Superstar” was the headline of a major article in the magazine section that greeted hundreds of thousands of Israelis when they sat down to read their morning newspaper on Monday, August 16th, 2010. The article was part of a series on different streams of Judaism here in Israel.

The name of Yeshua and the Messianic Jewish community is increasingly becoming a part of Israeli life. There have been billboards proclaiming His name, banners hung along the major highways declaring that Yeshua means salvation, TV programs and news stories about us, but this recent article represented a significant step forward in our battle to be acknowledged and accepted as a legitimate part of the Israeli community.

The fact that Israel’s leading Hebrew newspaper made an editorial decision to even include Messianic Jews as a part of the series on different streams of Judaism and that they used the Hebrew name, “Yeshua,” instead of only the negative acronym, “Yeshu,” (meaning “may His name be blotted out”) was a major breakthrough in itself.

The article itself did not go into the theology of faith in Yeshua but rather presented a fair and honest representation of who we (Israeli Messianic Jews) are. Asher was interviewed along with a few others in the local Messianic body. There was a description and picture of our congregational meeting. Anyone who read the article could not escape the clear message that although we believe in Yeshua, we are certainly still Jewish.

Shortly before the article was printed I brought my computer into a local shop to have it repaired. When I went to pay, I asked the shopkeeper to put the name “Zion’s Glory” on the statement. He was a religious man and he asked me what “Zion’s Glory” was. I proceeded to share with him about our faith in Yeshua and God’s plan for Israel. When I called to ask if he had finished the needed repair, he exclaimed; “Eddie, I saw your picture in the newspaper today!” He had read the article and was impressed!

Through our son’s Israeli wife, we were very involved with an extended local Israeli family. We have shared with all of them, and celebrated Messianic Passover Seders and other Jewish holidays with them. (That year as may others, Rosh Hashana was at our home.) All of them have gotten to know us well over the years, love us, and know about our faith. When the article came out, our daughter-in-law’s mother made sure everyone bought that day’s paper.

This victory was just one more battle that has been fought and won. The war is far from over. Although we know that the end is victorious, the daily struggle can still be difficult, especially for those who are victims of violent attacks, who illegally lose their jobs, are harassed in their businesses, are denied housing, have passports taken away, or are denied citizenship.

We are asking you to pray for the impact of this article on the hearts of those that have read it, even all those years ago. Please pray that the truth of who we are (as represented in this article) will be a mighty weapon against the powerful and carefully planned attack being waged by the ultra-religious community to delegitimize us as Jews. Please pray specifically for Calev Myers and the Jerusalem Institute for Justice, who are in the forefront of the battle to portray us positively in Israel’s national media, and to influence the court system to render just verdicts in our favor.

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