Many are unaware that nestled in the hills outside of Jerusalem is a Messianic communal village where some 150 Israeli believers live, work and provide a "living testimony" of faith in Yeshua.
But that identity has often come at a price, and recently the village of Yad Hashmonah was sued and ordered to pay damages after it refused to host a lesbian wedding at its beautifully constructed event hall and biblical gardens.
The courtroom defeat was only the tip of the iceberg, Yad Hashmonah spokesperson Ayelet Ronen told Israel Today.
"We have already received phone calls from many more homosexual groups and couples saying they want to get married here. To avoid another legal problem, for now, we simply cannot book anything at all" at our guesthouse and event center, explained Ronen.
She noted that at this point, to turn down more homosexual groups based on biblical principle would likely result in Yad Hashmonah being forced to shut down its primary business. On the other hand, Ronen insisted, "we cannot and will not cater to this kind of activity."
There are other options, such as re-opening the event hall as a "religious" institution catering specifically to Messianic believers. But that would mean a big loss in business, as well as hinder one of the main reasons Yad Hashmonah invested so much in the facilities in the first place.
"We always wanted to be a living testimony to the Israeli public," said Ronen. "Many believers work in the 'Christian' field, but our desire was to be integrated into normal Israeli society by offering a quality little guesthouse service where our faith is openly declared. And HUNDREDS of Israelis go through this place every month."
If you would like to learn more about or contact Yad Hashmonah, visit their website: www.yad8.com
* The full interview with Ayelet Ronen will appear in the upcoming issue of our print magazine.