I don’t remember phone numbers. Studying for my bachelor’s in history, I loved reading about the
lives of human beings who had lived before me, and I could understand the overall picture of what was happening as world history moved across the planet’s stage, but I wasn’t much on remembering when the Battle of Waterloo took place, or exactly when Charles Martel and the Franks changed history by defeating the Muslim push into France in the battle of Tours in 759. So you get the picture.
When I became an adult, every once in a while I would see a small child repeating long portions of Scripture - to the amazement of everyone. I always had a tinge of jealousy - wishing I had learned all those Scriptures when I was a child. I know by heart many individual Scriptures which I did learn early in life - like John 3:16 and Genesis 1:1 and a bunch more like that - I can quote them without hesitation.
As you might imagine, study of the Bible has been a central part of my life and ministry. I studied Spanish and French and could read the Bible in those languages fairly fluently at one time. (Not any more.) However, when I moved to Israel, I spent many years learning the Hebrew language.
I have been speaking Hebrew now for forty years and during this time I have often read the Bible in Hebrew, although I still prefer to read it in English simply because I can do it so much faster.
But over the last year, I began to spend more and more time reading my Bible in Hebrew. And then a thought came to me: Why don’t I begin memorizing some Scriptures now - and in Hebrew?
Before going further, I must add that the Old Testament is written in an archaic Hebrew that even native-born Israelis struggle to read and understand. We face this problem continually as new Israelis come to faith. They usually tell you that they will never be able to read the Old Testament because it is just too difficult to decipher. It is even harder than reading Shakespeare more like reading Chaucer, if you have ever tried. However, if these same Israeli believers take the Bible seriously, they can and do learn to read and comprehend.
(The New Testament, on the other hand, is written in modern - though quite formal - Hebrew. It is not difficult to understand because it is simply a modern translation from the original Greek.)
My Hebrew-English Bible
Returning to my story. I began memorizing promises in Hebrew like Mark 11: 22-24. It took me two weeks of saying it over and over - one line at a time - but then I had it memorized. I began to memorize other Scriptures like “Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find…” And then more and more. I didn’t pressure myself to a time table, but simply kept saying the verses over and over again - as I was getting dressed, or driving to work, until I could say them without a mistake.
Then I thought, why don’t I try to memorize a whole chapter - in the Old Testament? Some of the words are so archaic that they don’t appear in a modern dictionary - or today’s meaning has changed. But I could more or less figure out the three-letter consonants that create the root - and from which modern words have often evolved. (There are, of course, Bible dictionaries and lexicons, but that takes an extensive time investment.)
I picked the 91st Psalm. Interestingly, in Biblical Hebrew, the same word appearing may be spelled in different ways, pronounced in different ways, with different beginnings and endings. It was quite a challenge. It took me three months to memorize the chapter, learning one line at a time. Some weeks I had more time to work on my memorization and sometimes less. But when I finally got it down, I had great satisfaction in being able to quote the 91st Psalm. I have said it over and over hundreds of times, and because it is the power of God, I never get tired of repeating it.
Especially at night. Before I lie down I quote this Psalm over and over with my eyes closed. I don’t go to sleep very easily, but memorizing Scriptures seems to settle my mind where I relax and fall asleep much faster. I still can not “rattle off” these Scriptures in Hebrew at top speed. But I have memorized them in order to put this Word deep in my Spirit, so it doesn’t matter if I can say it fast or slow. I have found that I am naturally using these promises in my prayer time - and when I am talking to others.
In fact, I think, for the first time, I understand what Joshua 1:8 really means when it says “you
shall meditate in [the Word] day and night, that you may observe to do it…for then you will make your way prosperous.”
How could I meditate on the Word of God day and night unless I have memorized portions? So at night, I often quote the chapter by heart over a number of times before going to sleep.
A few weeks ago, I began memorizing Isaiah 53 - one of the most amazing chapters in the whole Bible - it can bring powerful revelation to a Jewish person as to who is Israel’s promised Messiah. I learn one or two lines in the morning. I go over it when I am dressing or driving and my mind is otherwise unoccupied. And then at night I go over the verses again. Right now, I am on verse 9.
This week I heard a very interesting report on Fox News. (Yes, we do get Fox News live in Israel!) A new study shows that people who know another language have less chance of getting Alzheimer or dementia! Wow, that’s interesting! Actually I did notice when memorizing these Scriptures that I seemed to be consciously creating new connections in my brain, giving me added ability to remember other things.
Also, ABC News ran a special on a scientific study which found how best to keep one’s mind active and working. Dr. Andrew Weil names three things that he believes actually does make a difference. He says that by learning a foreign language we can reduce the risks of getting some of the most common age-related symptoms and diseases such as memory loss and Alzheimer’s.
“You don’t have to master it,” he said. “Just the attempt to learn a language is like running different software through the brain. You’re exercising more communication channels in the brain.”
Keeping the body active is another key to successful aging, said Weil. But you don’t have to go crazy working out. Walking is a great exercise that’s often overlooked.
Weil’s third health tip is what we all know: This doctor is a huge proponent of nutritional supplements and minerals. He recommends a daily intake of multivitamins, and a low dose of ibuprofen to retard inflammation. And of course eating healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, fish and grains.
Back to my Bible memorization: I am convinced no matter how slow you might memorize, and no matter if it is in your language or a foreign one, memorizing Scripture is healthy for the spirit, the soul and the body. It doesn’t matter what your age!
In fact, you might just find that you love memorizing the Word of God. If you have to say a verse over 200 times before you have memorized it - like I had to - no problem! You will end up memorizing the Scriptures. And then you can truly meditate on the Everlasting Word of God day and night.
Why not try it?
Isratrade acts as real estate agency and investment fund manager for foreign investors
Isratrade Investments and Management Ltd started in 2007 with the vision to serve foreign
investors in the Israeli real estate, private equity, and capital markets. Joseph Mitchell, founder of Isratrade, first received this vision in 2000. Since then, he moved to Israel in 2001, completed a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance from Bar Ilan University, and worked for Evergreen Venture Partners, a top-tier venture capital firm in Israel. Isratrade is specifically aimed at reaching Christian and Messianic Jewish believers world-wide who already stand with Israel politically and ideologically and want to bless Israel economically by investing in Israeli real estate and Israeli companies, including believer-owned businesses.
“The Israeli economy is highly dependent on foreign investment,” said Joseph Mitchell. Many
anti-Israel campaigns around the world have called for Divestment from Israel. Isratrade feels it is time for the pro-Israel Christian Zionist community world-wide to express its support for Israel in a tangible way and to Invest in Israel.
“Israel is a smart investment based on economic fundamentals alone.” Look at recent headlines.
Israel is the world’s most up-and-coming real estate market. (Forbes, April 2008)
The Israeli shekel is the strongest currency in the world since the beginning of 2008. (Haaretz, June 2008)
But Joseph says that the incentive for believers is not just financial, but also biblical.
Investment in Israel goes beyond a for-profit investment transaction. For believers in the Word
of God, it is a tangible expression and declaration of faith that Israel will continue to exist and thrive in its own Land. Israel will not be destroyed by her enemies. The blessings of God are upon Israel. “The LORD will make you (Israel) the head and not the tail; you (Israel) shall be above only, and not be beneath.” Deuteronomy 28:13
Isratrade is focusing its initial efforts on helping foreign investors purchase property in Israel. The
company currently has a staff of 6 licensed agents to serve foreign investors in Israel. “Many foreigners don’t even know that non-Israelis can own property in Israel,” said Gil Paz, director of the Tel Aviv branch.
While the real estate market has taken a plunge in many developed nations, the Israeli real estate market continues to rise. Joseph sees the upward growth in Israeli real estate continuing. “Israel was built on immigration and if we believe in prophecy, we know that the return of the Jewish people will continue.” This means the demand for housing will increase, and when the demand is greater than the supply, housing prices will increase. This translates into profits for investors in the Israeli real estate market.
In order to facilitate investment in Israel, Isratrade is sponsoring a pro-Israel investor tour of Israel from September 10-21, 2008. This unique gathering will take you off the standard tour pathway to where people in Israel live and work. You’ll visit believer-owned companies, talk with local leaders and business owners, view timely real estate opportunities, as well as see the array of Biblical and historical sites so meaningful to people of faith.
If you are interested in investing in property in Israel, Isratrade will be happy to serve you and
locate potential opportunities that meet your investment criteria. Foreign investors may also
obtain mortgages from Israeli banks either in shekels or foreign currencies.
In addition to the real estate market, Isratrade also serves Accredited Investors in the private equity market, including believer-owned businesses, and in the future, the company plans to serve foreign investors in the Israeli capital market. (Tel Aviv Stock Exchange).
If you are already an investor and pro-Israel, then connect with Isratrade and become part of
their network of pro-Israel investors.You will receive exclusive access to investment opportunities, Israeli news updates, and relevant information about investing in Israel. To register for the Isratrade Investor Network (IIN), you may go to their website http://www.isratrade.co.il/.
43 Frishman St.
Tel Aviv 64395, Israel
*Although Maoz Israel Ministries encourages businesses of Messianic Jewish believers in Israel, Maoz is not connected to and does not receive benefits from Isratrade and is not responsible for any financial investment activities.cost.
Investor Tour to Israel
September 10-21, 2008 * $2950 All Inclusive
Join a unique tour of Pro-Israel investors to see the Israel where people live and work.
Did you know that Israel encourages foreign investment?
Did you know that you can own part of the Land of Israel?
Yes, non-Israelis can purchase real estate in Israel!!!
Come and see how investors and business people from the Nations can stand with the Land of Israel economically.
Investor Tour Highlights
- See Biblical Sites
- See Real Estate Investment Opportunities
- Visit Messianic Israeli Companies
- Visit Messianic Congregations
- Hear from local experts about Israeli life & business
- Shopping, Entertainment, Beach, Fun
- Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Beer Sheva, Tiberius, Haifa
- Round trip airfare out of Newark with Continental
Departure: September 10, 2008 (Wednesday): Depart at 10:50pm from Newark to Tel Aviv
Arrival: September 21, 2008 (Sunday): Arrive at 4:45am from Tel Aviv to Newark
- 10 days of guided sightseeing tour
- 9 nights hotel accommodation
- Breakfast and dinner daily
- Not included: Travel insurance * Tips * Single room supplement ($325)
To register or request more information for the
Isratrade Investor Tour 2008, please
write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call
Isratrade Office (Israel): 011-972-3-633-9340
Deanna Bye (North America): 1-519-228-7918
(Limited Space Available)
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Maoz Israel Media Department 2008
YOUTH WORSHIP RECORDING
Shani (Sorko-Ram) Ferguson and the Tiferet Yeshua Congregation Worship Team record a new album in the Tel Aviv Maoz studio.
Advance recording and mixing will be done by a world-class recording engineer and producer in Dallas, TX.
This recording of Hebrew worship and revival songs is being created for Israel's youth.
DISCIPLESHIP AND TRAINING CDs AND DVDs
We have prepared 200 messages on CD and 6 DVD courses of foundational teachings for Israeli believers and non-believers - all in Hebrews by some of Israel's best teachers and preachers.
Our goal is to distribute these basic discipleship materials throughout Israel. Nearly all new Israeli believers must start from the very beginning with their new-found faith - having no previous knowledge of God's love and desire to redeem them from sin and the kingdom of darkness. And there are many Israeli believers who live in towns and villages far from any congregation but who wish to continue to grow in their faith.
These messages will help ground them in a Bible-based faith and a growing relationship with Yeshua the Messiah. They will point the way for Israeli believers to develop a victorious and Godly way of life.
HEBREW NEW TESTAMENT RECORDING
We are on the home stretch of recording and producing the New Testament in Hebrew with an
original music track composed by Messianic Jewish composer Allen Garfield.
This Hebrew New Testament recording will be an incredible life-giving gift to our Israeli people. It will be available free of charge online on our Hebrew Tiferet Yeshua website and for Ipod
and MP3 downloads. The cost for the New Testament on CD will be minimal.
To listen to a sample check out this link: http://web.mac.com/maozisrael/Site/Maoz_Media_Israel.html
Dear Maoz Partners,
We are in the Austrian Alps, in the middle of nowhere, looking out on fog-covered mountains, and a lake with swans and their little cygnets who follow their mom or jump up for a ride under her wings. On a sunny day, the mountains glisten with patches of snow here and there.
Our time-sharing apartment in Israel allows us to exchange it for different places each summer. Our son, Ayal, is with us, after being nine years in the United States working in the hi-tech industry. God has done great things for Ayal and for our family. We are full of thanksgiving.
So while we are enjoying some of God’s creativity in the mountains and the streams, the meadows and the forests, we are... well guess what? We are talking about what creative things we can do through God’s Holy Spirit... to reach out to our Israeli people with the message that can lead them to Eternal Life.
How do we reach a nation Israel which is considered the number two nation in the world for hi-tech? How can we use these God-given tools (Internet, iPods, MP3s, CDs, DVDs, on-line social networks, websites, top-quality music) to reach the young people of Israel whose only hope is the True Messiah of Israel?
We were able to take our first step a few years ago in media production when one generous ministry blessed Maoz by contributing the entire salary of our first media employee, while another ministry purchased three video cameras and a editing suite for us. Today we have four full-time employees.
And we have plans! Do we ever have plans! Ideas that can be incredibly impacting!
What is clear to everyone in ministry is that music is a phenomenal key to reach anybody with any message. Music belongs to God and was stolen from Him by the devil. But we are here as part of the Body of Messiah in Israel to take back what has been stolen.
As of today, there are only a few Gospel worship and music CDs in Hebrew. We are determined to help change that. We are more than thrilled that our daughter, Shani, and the Tiferet Yeshua worship team is at this moment producing a contemporary worship and revival music CD in Hebrew.
And we are more than thankful that Randy Adams, one of the finest recording producers anywhere, will be mixing the music at bare-bones costs. On top of that, Randy has agreed to take on two of our media/musicians personnel from Israel as apprentices for the time he is recording and mixing the CD. Thus we will have a first class youth worship CD and our Maoz’ media team will gain invaluable instruction and experience for the future.
The entire production will cost only about $10,000 plus the two airline tickets for our media team members. If that sounds like a lot, it isn’t! Compared to what music recording and mixing in studio costs, this price is a miracle.
Furthermore, we are in the last stages of putting music to our Hebrew New Testament recording. Soon, the Hebrew New Testament will be available on our Hebrew website for free downloading on iPod and MP3 devices that this generation uses on a daily basis. And of course it will be available on CD.
With our series of CD and DVD teachings and messages in Hebrew, some of which are already available on Internet, we are building up a treasury of valuable resource materials for Israeli believers and non-believers alike.
We close with these two thoughts: Media creations today are incredibly impactive in bringing the Gospel to everyone, but especially the youth. Secondly, media does cost money. Computers, software programs, microphones, mixing equipment and employees all cost. But oh, how worthwhile!
For our part, we refuse to simply let Satan use all of the dynamic tools available today to further his kingdom in Israel. Together with you, we can produce high-quality Hebrew worship and revival music, the Hebrew New Testament on MP3 and CD, and many different messages proclaiming the Gospel to the Israeli people.
We say, “Come along on this journey with us to bring the Gospel to Israel in every venue and genre possible!”
For Zion’s sake we will not keep silent!
Ari & Shira Sorko-Ram
Give your special gift for our
Media Projects or Hebrew New Testament
Or donate to one of our projects:
Maoz Israel Ministries | istandwithisrael | Hebrew Book of the Month
Congregation Tiferet Yeshua | Coffee House Outreach | Burkina Faso
Arab Congregations | Persecuted Believers
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