MembersFrom Texas With Love

How does a self-professed “extremely introverted” Messianic Jewish boy from Corpus Christi, Texas survive on an Israeli farm for close to 40 years? Only with God’s help.

By David Lazarus |
Photo: Tzon-El-Farm

That’s the story of Tal Ellis and his Tzon-El, or Flock of God goat farm in the hills of Galilee.

When Tal had a revelation that Jesus is the Messiah for Jewish people, too, his new Christian friends told him to forget about “that Jewish stuff, Israel is no different than any other nation.” But, after visiting a Messianic conference, this quiet, bashful young man who lived with alligators in his bedroom (that’s a thing in Texas) left the US and made aliyah (immigrated) to Israel in 1978. It was his first time outside of Texas.

Like so many American Jews, he and his wife found that Israel is a hard place to live. “This is the most un-American place I have ever been,” he told me, recalling the time he paid double for a flock of 300 sheep because they were supposed to be pregnant, only to discover three months later that only half of them gave birth. Tal admits that he has been naïve about life in Israel, especially in the business arena, where “you have to...

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