Messianic moshav, Yad HaShmona, arranges balcony worship during coronavirus crisis

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In the video uploaded to YouTube, a worship team sings from a highly situated balcony in Yad HaShmona with microphones and loudspeakers. Neighbors from around the moshav joined them from their balconies with about 30 more connected through the “Zoom” app.

“Yoel Davis only edited one song and put it on YouTube, but we kept singing worship for over forty minutes,” says Ayelet Ronen, the moshav director, who features in the video singing together with Goldberg.

“We arranged it in advance and even put out speakers on the lower streets. We got word that they heard us in many of the surrounding communities – Neve Ilan, Abu Ghosh, Kiryat Yearim, and also in the TV studio where they air the channel 12 news.”

Kiryat Yearim is an ultra-orthodox community close to the moshav which has been featured in the news for experiencing a coronavirus outbreak with over thirty diagnosed cases and two thousand people in quarantine.

The lyrics of the song in the video are the Aaronic benediction from Numbers 6: “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

“I work with people in the local council of the communities in the area. I sent them the video, and they loved it. We received so many positive remarks from both secular and religious Jews. The council’s chief engineer told me she put it on to play in her office all day,” Ronen says.

“I believe we need to reach out and bless the ‘regular Israelis’ around us. We shouldn’t be afraid. I know it’s easier said than done, but I think this song gave us an opening. The video has thousands of views, and I think most are Israelis. It’s a great blessing, and it touches people’s hearts. We made it for believers, but we are so happy to see it reaches out even further and blesses more people. Our only regret is that we couldn’t do it earlier, because in the darkness you can’t see how many people joined us from their balconies and gardens.”

Yad HaShmona is the only Messianic moshav in the country. It was established in the 1970s by Finnish Christians with a heart for Israel, who received a special permit from then Prime Minister Golda Meir. It became a center for the Israeli Messianic community in Israel in the 1980s and has remained so since. In the last decade the moshav has enabled a development of private homes to be built on their premises, allowing other Messianic Jews who are not moshav members to reside there.