20-year old Shai Sol along with her mother, Avital, have been a part of our congregation for the past 6 years. We have seen her grow from a shy teenager to an incredibly gifted young woman with a passion for music.
Recently she auditioned for Israel’s music reality show “The Next Star”. Her audition was filmed and later aired on prime time television. During the show, before appearing to sing before the judges, the contestants speak to the hosts and share a bit about themselves. Shai didn’t wait long before she came right out and said: “I think I’ll tell the judges that I’m a Messianic Jew.”
The hosts were a little taken back and asked what that meant. Shai replied, “It’s Jews who believe both in the Old and the New Testament.” Her mom, Avital added that the New Testament was given to Israel first, after which Shai plainly declared: “WE BELIEVE IN YESHUA!”
It was such a dramatic moment because it is completely unprecedented that a young Israeli stands up on national television and openly declares their faith in Yeshua! In fact, it was said that the revelation was so captivating, that the prime time program made Shai’s pre-audition’s interview and declaration became the main focus of the promotional commercials that week. The exposure was immense.
At first, Shai was very determined to appear on stage before the judges and openly speak about her faith. One of the host suggested she kept back that information, allowing herself to be judged solely by her music. He said, Israeli society is accepting to some things, yet remains very closed minded about others and this might damage her if she decided to speak out about her faith to the judges. However the female host disagreed and said Shai should go all the way with what she believes in. That’s who she is and that if people didn’t receive her, that was not her problem.
Eventually she did stand before her judges and asked them to judge her only by her music. It was a tense moment when until the last second it was unclear if she would pass to the next round. Eventually she did! The judges were captivated by her.
And the main thing is that her testimony was aired on Israeli prime time television, she unashamedly stood up and declared Who she believes in, that it was her identity and she would not turn her back on it.
Shai’s audition & witness (video in Hebrew)
Of course, since the show aired two weeks ago, Shai has had to endure some harsh persecutions, hatred filled messages and words directed at her, rejection, with one person even going as far as spitting on her as she was walking down the street.
Surprisingly enough, she has also been receiving an overwhelming outpouring of love and support, not only from believers from all over the world, but also many Israelis who were accepting and even encouraging about her truth.
Times are changing.
It’s such an amazing moment our youth is going through. Despite the many challenges of being a believer in Israel, the army service, the temptations of the world – we see our young people are becoming stronger and bolder than ever in their walk with God.
We see a fire ignited in them that will surely bring the long awaited revival to Israel; which is why it is so important now more than ever for us to invest in young people and leadership.
Which is why our vision for 2015 is…
1. Developing pastoral network, organizing conferences, seminar, and training.
2. Bible School
The year is off to a great start, we already launched our bible school and 23 people signed up to attend our bible school daily. We prepared some exciting and wonderful subjects, along with teaching people the foundations of our faith. An amazing line of teachers is geared up, and the exciting was palpable as we began our first bible school day earlier this week.
This is something that not only changes people’s lives, but bring incredible fruit individually and collectively as a congregation.
Please pray for the teachers, for this daily bible course, for the equipping of God’s people, and for God to release more leaders and workers into the harvest He has prepared for us in 2015.
Beit Hallel is a Messianic Jewish congregation in Ashdod, led by pastor Israel Pochtar, serving holocaust survivors and the poor and needy locally and throughout the nation of Israel, while building up the body of Messiah in the promised land of Israel.