Thursday, February 3, 2011


November 5, 1999

Back in February of 1976, I had a life changing experience. At the time I was a special education teacher, working with parents of multi-handicapped children between the ages of 6 months to 3 years. I was 33 years old, single, living in California, and a believer only about 3 years. The Catholic charismatic group that I belonged to decided to go on a trip to Israel. I was trying to make excuses, so that I would not have to go to ‘look at a bunch of holy relics’, but nothing seemed to work out, in favor of my staying home. Eventually, I found myself on an El-Al flight heading toward the Middle-East with about 1,300 others, who would be joining us there. The name of the tour was “High-Adventure”. Little did I know it would be a ‘high’ from which I would never come down.

It all started, as the El-Al flight was taxing in over the Mediterranean Sea. I looked out of the window while the people sang “Hevenu Shalom Alcheim” (Peace Unto You). As my eyes caught the little sliver of land out on the horizon, I suddenly started to weep and cry; everything inside of me was saying, “I’m home, I’m home, I’m home.” I thought to myself, “this is crazy,” but what was happening to me was very real and somehow uncontrollable. Later I found out that many Gentiles and Jews were having this same experience as prophesied in Jer. 31:9: “They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them; I will cause them to walk by rivers of waters, in a straight way wherein they shall not stumble; for I am become a father to Israel, and Ephraim is My first-born.” During the ten days of touring the Land, I felt as though I had been living here all my life; everything seemed so familiar, especially Jacob’s well, Joseph’s tomb and Shechem, in the heart of Israel.

When it was time to leave and go back to the United States, my heart did not respond to the ‘idea’, it wanted to stay. But I knew that I had to go back. Upon arriving at the Ben Gurion Airport we discovered that there was not enough room for everyone on the flight. Some of us had to wait and catch a later flight. Being single, and not wanting to go anyway, I volunteered to stay behind. Well, twelve hours later we found ourselves on the next available flight back to NY.

I was assigned an isle seat somewhere in the middle of the plane, next to a very new believer and an enthusiastic young lady who was busy handing out tracks to folks on the plane. But I was too overwhelmed with my own thoughts to take much notice. It just so happened that the whole middle section of the plane was full of Jewish businessmen from New York, who had been on an investment trip to Israel. After about an hour in flight, as I was relaxing back in my chair, pondering my feelings about Israel, I noticed suddenly a pair of pants standing next to me. As I glanced up, a very angry-looking man was glaring down at me. As a matter of fact, he was so livid that his whole body was shaking. With his finger pointing right between my eyes, the words he growled with clenched teeth were: “Get up I want to talk to you!” I didn’t exactly know what to say, so I gestured at myself, asking, “Who me?” When he confirmed that I indeed was the object of his attention, I sort of slid out of my seat and stood next to my new acquaintance. The man’s stature towered about 5 inches above my height, and he was about fifty pounds heavier. He looked to his left and then to the right, and as our eyes met, upon their return, he ‘gave’ me a white knuckled fist with the thumb of a hitchhiker, and growled again: “Let’s go to the back of the plane!” He whirled and strutted back to the tail of the aircraft. As for myself, I wanted to sit back down and forget this whole thing, but I found my legs carrying me to the rear. When I arrived at our ‘destination’, I scooted behind the last two seats. I saw the exit door to my right and the bathroom door to my left. A thought ran hurriedly through my mind: “I wonder which one of these doors he is going to throw me through.” Just then He took a step and we were positioned toe to toe, and nose to nose. My ‘friend’ then proceeded to put his finger up in the space left between our respective noses, and said the following words to me: “Why is it that you Christians are always trying to proselytize and change we Jews, when all that we want to be is loved?”

There wasn’t a sound in my head, nothing in my mind. But out of my mouth came these words: “Could you forgive us for not understanding?” Tears began to come into his eyes; tears came to my eyes. We embraced. Saying nothing more he went back to his seat, and I to mine. As I sunk down into the chair I asked in prayer: “Lord what was that all about? What do You mean, can they forgive us for not understanding? What aren’t we understanding?” Well, I didn’t get an answer to that question right then. But a few days later I woke early one morning, and posed that same question before the Lord again. I felt He gave me this answer: “When My people see the love that manifested itself for you, in all of its fullness on Calvary, come forth from your heart to theirs, I will rent the veil and they will see Me as their Lord and Messiah.”

Later, as I was reading Romans 11: 28 which says: “As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sake: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sake,” In that little verse I seemed to discover what we are not understanding. God Himself made the Jews enemies of the Gospel! It does not say that God has replaced or abandoned His divine prophetic plan for them, but just that for a period of time they would be enemies of the Gospel for the sake of those who are from the wild side of the family (Ephraim, known as the “fullness of the Gentiles”). Later they too would be grafted into their own root of Judah, which is natural to them. “Whoso is wise, let him understand these things, whoso is prudent, let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right, and the just do walk in them; but transgressors do stumble therein” (Hos. 14:9).

Ephraim Frank

“The fear of YHVH is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).
“How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! Yea, to get understanding is rather to be chosen than silver” (Proverbs 16:16).

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