by | Jun 4, 1999 | Ministry, Testimony

One night outside the festival auditorium in Riga, I met another Jewish woman who said that she loves to sing the songs of the Jewish people. She had some advice for us about how we should sing an old Jewish song, “Yiddishe Mama.” I asked her to sing, and she performed it the way she thought it should be sung. With the passion of her elderly vibratto, she sang it all the way through in perfect Yiddish, ending with a theatrical gesture and a short bow.

Playfully I said, “Maybe we’ll have you sing at the festival!” I was preparing to share with her about Yeshua (Jesus), but before I could she spoke up. She smiled and said, “I’m part of a choral group in the synagogue in a nearby city, but I also come to the Messianic congregation in Riga when I can.”

She told me that when her rabbi found out, he said, “You can’t sing in our choir and believe in Jesus.”

This short, spunky Jewish babushke folded her arms as she relived the moment, and recounted her defiant response. Her brow furrowed, her eyes began to burn, her face dramatically expressing chutzpah, that unmovable Jewish boldness, which is difficult to define but impossible to ignore.

She told the rabbi, “I have been part of the choral group, and I will be part of the choral group.” Only a Yiddishe mama can do this. She looked at me intently, her eyes almost two feet below mine, staring. I tried to imagine the rabbi’s response when she insisted, ” I will go to this synagogue, and I will go to the Messianic synagogue.” And then she began to preach. “No one can tell me that I cannot believe in Yeshua!”

David Levine, In That Day, p. 90 -91.

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).