When semi-trailer truckers Edan and Lev showed up at the large and highly respected local trucking company they knew that they needed to be honest and tell the boss that they are Messianic Jews. With hundreds of applicants for the few positions offering a good salary, benefits and job security the Israeli Messianics knew that talking about their faith could jeopardize the job.
“So, you are Messianic Jews,” grinned the boss. “I know all about you guys. My brother is a Messianic Jew just like you and he is a great guy. The Messianics I have met over the years are honest and reliable. The job is yours!” he exclaimed.
This true story would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. Few in number and ostracized by their own people it was not that long ago that a Messianic Jew in Israel could not get a job or even rent an apartment without hiding his or her faith. Messianics were even considered a security threat by the authorities and were prevented from serving in sensitive units in the Israeli army. A younger savvier generation of Messianic Jews is changing all of that.
Today there are Messianic Jews serving as commanders and officers in every branch of the Israeli military including Intelligence which requires the highest level of security checks. This is a clear indication that somewhere very high up in the ranks of the Israeli government and military a decision was made that Messianic Jews are no longer considered a security risk but should be recognized as reliable and trustworthy citizens of Israel.
Elisha, a Messianic Jewish Sabra (Israeli born) is a sergeant in the Israeli Air Force. Upon completion of his basic training he joined the hundreds of soldiers at the Western Wall to pledge allegiance to the State of Israel, receive his machine gun and the Hebrew Bible given to all Israeli soldiers. During the ceremony Elisha raised his hand above the crowds and shouted to his commander, “Sir, may I use my New Testament with the Tanach (Hebrew scriptures) to pledge with?” “Yes, you may,” returned the officer. And so, Elisha joined the growing numbers of hundreds of openly Messianic Jewish soldiers serving in the IDF.
Like most Messianic Jews in Israel, Elisha says that he is proud to serve his country. Many Messianic Israelis choose to serve in elite fighting units, and most are exemplary soldiers who want to demonstrate that faith in Yeshua is not a betrayal of their Jewish heritage. In fact, faith in the Messiah gives them an even greater desire to serve the nation of Israel. “I feel like I am doing something really important,” Elisha says. “This is something I have prepared to do for my people. I am glad that I can be here for such a time as this.”
In the past many Israeli Messianic Jews preferred to study abroad in Christian institutions. Today the young Messianics Jews choose to attend a college or university in Israel and pursue advanced professional skills right here at home affording these young Messianics a far greater opportunity for success in the Israeli marketplace and the ability to positively impact Israeli society.
The young generation of Messianic Jews in Israel want to break down misconceptions about faith in Yeshua. They are working hard to show their love and respect for their people, the land and their Jewish heritage. This vibrant young generation of Messianic military officers, doctors, nurses, lawyers, professors, schoolteachers, artisans and businessmen and woman are having a huge impact for good on attitudes towards Jesus and Messianic Jewish faith in every sector of Israeli society
The Messianic Jews in Israel have worked hard and long to raise families and children that are loyal citizens taking an active part in Israeli society. Today these young followers of Messiah faithfully serve their people and by contributing positively to the nation they are rapidly changing the attitudes of Israeli Jews towards Jesus and Messianic Judaism.
This article was first published in the July 2013 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
Israel Today Membership
Save 18% Per Month.
Six Months Membership
Save 9% Per Month.