Yeshua at the Center

by | Jun 2, 1999 | Jesus, Ministry

In August 1997 when we were holding the International Festival of Jewish Music and Dance in Riga, I met a woman in her seventies. She told me she was an obstetrician and midwife. Along with thousands of others that evening, she had come to one of the largest auditoriums in the capital of Latvia to listen to Messianic Jewish music, to watch Messianic Jewish dance, and to hear Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Bernis share the Good News of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus).

She was clearly intelligent and happy to be at the festival. Nevertheless I could tell something was on her mind. She asked me this question, “Why doesn’t our rabbi, our rebbe, want us to come to the festival?” She was at the festival, so she obviously wasn’t obeying the rabbi’s wishes. She was so typical of our Jewish people, intelligent, pensive, and independent.

I answered her, “The rabbi doesn’t want you to make up your mind for yourself about Yeshua. He’s afraid that if you come here, you will become convinced that Yeshua is in fact the Jewish Messiah, and you will become a Messianic Jew like us.”

And she responded, “I already believe that Yeshua is the Messiah!”

I thought aloud, “I bet your rabbi doesn’t know that.”

Having overseen thousands of births, she testified to me about God. “How could anyone not believe there is a God? Not once have I had a child die during childbirth. Not once has a mother died. I have never made a mistake in childbirth. This is not because of me. It is only because of God’s help. Of course, Yeshua is the Messiah – I have known this for many years!”

Like so many Jews throughout the world, here was another wise professional, a babushke, a “grandmother” who had discovered for herself that the Jewish Messiah had come. Intent on preserving her Jewish identity, she remained in the rabbinic synagogue, quietly worshiping Yeshua for all these years. All over the world we find such Jews. Faithful to Yeshua and to their Jewishness, they have been praying and waiting for a Messianic synagogue.

She was delighted with our invitation for her to come to the Messianic synagogue in Riga. Less than a year old, the Messianic synagogue had been prepared to receive many new Jewish believers from the festival. What joy I felt when I saw her at the next two services at the Messianic congregation. Together with her husband, she had come to every concert of the festival. Now she was finding her place in a Messianic Jewish synagogue, a place where Jews could freely worship together as Jews, happily giving praise to Yeshua the Messiah, keeping Him at the center.

David Levine, In That Day, p. 87 – 89.

David Levine is a Messianic Rabbi living in Hungary, where he and his wife, Sandy, have founded Shalom Messianic Congregation of Budapest. The congregation is noted for its work among Holocaust survivors, and between Jews and Gypsies.

The Levines are also the founders of Shalom Network International, a family of Messianic leaders and congregations, and a network of ministries. SNI is active in some 30 cities and more than 8 countries including Hungary, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Lithuania, Israel, and Azerbaijan.

Together with SNI’s international team of leaders, they are planting Messianic congregations, raising up shepherds for the House of Israel, and organizing extensive humanitarian aide. Shalom Network International ministries and programs are bringing the good news of Yeshua to Holocaust survivors, drug addicts and alcoholics, homeless, and the mentally ill, along with youth, orphans, widows and families.

Rabbi Levine is also ordained by the IAMCS (International Alliance of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues), and serves on its executive committee.

He is the author of “In That Day—How Jesus is Revealing Himself to the Jewish People.” His articles have appeared in the IAMCS magazine, “Spirit of Messiah,” Charisma, Kairos magazine, and many other international publications. He is also a frequent keynote speaker at seminars, conferences, and retreats, and has ministered in 14 countries.

He can be reached at  or through SNI’s administrative offices in the USA (+ 407-622-1428) (POB 1178, Winter Park, FL 32790).


Yeshua at the Center