How does it come to be, that the Jews accept Yeshua and find themselves in Messianic congregations? And they stay not just for a month or a year, but literally rooted by whole families, absolutely not hiding the fact, that they found their Jewish Messiah. We keep asking our Jewish brothers and sisters why they have made this choice. And every time we hear a unique and interesting life story.
Today we talked to a famous vocalist, musician, singer and songwriter, Natalie Shpigelman:
- Natalie, let’s briefly introduce you to our readers, who still don’t know who are you or what are you doing. What is the best way to introduce you?
- My name is Natalie Shpigelman :) Musician, singer, human. I love music very much, it’s part of me, of my soul. I’ve been doing music since I was 6 years old, and performing since childhood: festivals, concerts, tours… While living in Israel I was performing and studying in the Tel-Aviv conservatory.
In Ukraine I’ve already released three albums, I perform at concerts and festivals. I really love singing and praising God at Shabbat services and other ministries of our congregation, participating in charity projects.
- Why are you, a Jewish woman, attend the messianic congregation? How did you get here and why have you decided to stay?
- It was so obvious to me to become a part of a Jewish messianic congregation! I had no other options. When I came back from Israel, I really had a lack of atmosphere I had experienced back there!
My parents decided to immigrate to Israel and together we did aliyah. It was 1993 and there was a huge disparity between post-soviet Ukraine and Israel - prosperous, hot, free, rich in everything. Peoples’ mentality and the atmosphere of Eretz Israel made an indelible impression on me. Before that moment I had never experienced such freedom, it can’t be described with any words. It was the same freedom I experienced in our congregation when I came back to Ukraine.
Everything that reminded me of Israel was precious to me, and I immediately wanted to be into that atmosphere of freedom and joy (that was the atmosphere in KJMC).
- Another question pops up – why didn’t you attend a synagogue after your return to Ukraine? This is the only logical way in the consciousness of our society: “Jew equals synagogue”. Anyway, why a messianic congregation?
- Because there is no drum kit in a synagogue. Just kidding.
I was going through a hard time in my life, let's say “between life and death”. There were my believer friends around me.
And I’d been experiencing their sincere care and attention, from them for the first time I’d heard about the living God, salvation and, of course, about Savior Yeshua. He saved and recovered me. I’d received the meaning of life, that I couldn’t find before. That’s why since then and to this day I am in the Jewish messianic congregation, where I can sing freely and joyfully, praise and serve my Savior and His (and my own) Jewish people.
- You believe in Yeshua as the Messiah and your personal Savior. How does it correspond with your Jewishness? It is thought that if a Jew accepts Yeshua, he allegedly stops being a Jew.
- Sure, I’ve heard a lot about Yeshua in Israel, so it wasn’t a surprise to me, that He is Jewish, Israelite. On the other hand, I was glad, when I realized who Messianic Judaism do really believes in.
When I’ve read a word-for-word translation of the Gospel of John 4:22: “You worship what you do not know, we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews” (MKJV), then everything fell into place.
Yes, I am a believer of Tanakh (Torah, Prophets, and Scripture) and Brit Hadasha as well (the New Testament). Reading the Torah I can see what it says – God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It says that belonging to the lineage has always been considered through the father. In modern Judaism, it has changed and now it considers through the mother for some reason. So, who is “more” Jewish and who is “less” one can talk and discuss for a long time. For some people I am no longer Jewish, for others, I’ve never been one…
I’m sure just, for one thing, I love Israel, I love God of Israel and Yeshua Ha-Mashiah! I love holidays, which God commanded us to celebrate in Tanakh and Brit Hadasha! I really like that my Savior was born in Israel and that His parents – A Yiddishe Momme Mariam and Jewish dad Yosya, and his relative – king David is a real Jew too! All the Apostles in the Bible are Israelites, Jewish. The people to whom our Savior came for the first time were his brothers and sisters – the Jewish people who lived there, in the East in the land of Israel and Judea.
Therefore, absolutely not, I don’t feel “less Jewish” because I believed and accepted my Jewish Mashiah with all my heart! I am a relative to all listed above! This is my rock, my Jewish God!