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Friday, September 11, 2020

Introducing the Shabbos Table Project & Light to the Nations


I would like to introduce you to a new campaign I am excited to be embarking on.  Don't worry, it's not political!  Nor am I running for any office!  I think we are all tired of "campaigns" in that sense.  No, it is a campaign to repair and revive the American Family Unit!  It is commonly known among believers that over the last 7 decades the American Family has been under assault from all kinds of attacks to erode morality, family-values, the Bible, God, faith, creationism, and everything that promotes pro-American values and citizenship, and the Constitution of the U.S.  

The attack has been a strategy of loosening moral norms in our society with "revolutions" of open sexual relationships without any boundaries (immorality and whatever feels good is engaged and celebrated).  Since the '60s we've introduced the summer of free love, removed prayer and the Bible from ever being mentioned in our schools, (taught our children they evolved from monkeys), changed our laws to encourage an increase of divorce rates, (in the past adultery was ILLEGAL), not anymore most all States in the Union are all "no-fault" States.  Even sodomy was illegal at one time and still is, but those laws are all ignored.  We've murdered our own children in the millions, destroyed the value of fatherhood, removed our mothers from the home by making it economically impossible to survive without them working full time and either having 2 incomes or at least collecting child support, we've increased dependence of the government just to eat... (we've seen since COVID, the effects of this when schools were shut down, millions of American children were going hungry without school-supplied breakfast and lunch).  Speaking of schools, American Civics hasn't been taught in our educational system for at least a generation!  American children and high school, and even college graduates do not even know the basics of the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence anymore!

So is it any surprise that our cities are now burning down by "peaceful protesters"?  

As a Messianic Jewish believer, and a rabbi, I see it as my job to encourage the family any way I can, not only for Messianic Jews in my own community - but as an American, a spiritual leader, and one who speaks to the Christian Gentile Church - we have a strategy to restore our families first!  Once the American family is restored, then I believe we will begin to see a restoration of our nation.  

How can this happen?  Messianic Jews have a little secret that we can share with our Gentile Christian brothers.  We have something hidden, that most believers do not know or understand.  It is a spiritual tool and a strategy that is quite practical, and it is so simple that if a family devotes itself to it, and also making it fun and a new family tradition, it can and it will transform our families from being a group of people who just roommate with each other under the same roof; ignoring each other while our faces are buried in tiny little screens of light from devices that we pull out of our pockets; into a real family that actually interacts deeply with each other, and wants to spend time together.  What is this tool, you ask?  It is called a "Shulcan" - or in English... a Table.

Yes, a Table.  Now don't roll your eyes at this post just yet.  Hear me out.  Don't think I'm meshugganah just quite yet!!!

You see the Table was something all families had at one time.  We all still have the physical table, but we are rarely using it the way a Table should be used.  Therein lies the key to understanding this little secret we have.  You see, around the early '50s, with the advent of the TV, and the frozen TV dinners, (and fast-food joints) American families began to change the way they spent time together and the way they ate their meals and the way they interacted with each other through communication and strengthening family relationships and bonds.  Children learned to love and respect their parents, at the Table.  At the Table, families shared with each other about their day, they laughed with each other and they interacted with each other in deep and meaningful ways.  Each family developed their own traditions, (similar to the concept of Thanksgiving), everyone tries to sit down at the table for turkey and "the fixins"; but even that is no longer sacred with the advent of "BLACK FRIDAY".... now many American families just order "take out" for Thanksgiving! Oy!

The sacredness of The Table, and how it is used has been virtually, totally lost and we've paid a heavy price for that!!!

So, this brings me to the campaign.  I have had a ministry since 2011, called Light to the Nations.  It wasn't much, just a little ministry where I would reach out to Christians and share the Bible with them from a Messianic Jewish perspective.  Now, however, there has been such a shift in the American culture, our society is so divided over our values and our norms and our Biblical way of life, that I feel now very strongly that I need to take what I know, to be the secret strategy to keep the family strong and share it with EVERYONE!

So, I have decided to call it, "THE SHABBOS TABLE PROJECT".  American Jews, who are at least the tiniest bit observant all have this special table.  Even if they never use their tables all week long, there is at least one night out of the week, where the entire family gathers around that table for dinner, and it is special.  Like Thanksgiving, its a holiday every Friday evening.  No distractions, no cell phones, no interruptions.  The family starts by mom lighting candles, (yes candlelight dinner!), it improves the ambiance and sets the mood for the specialness of this family tradition.  Songs are then sung with joy, even families can clap their hands.  Some special prayers are recited for thanking God for our family and for this special time.  After that, the special meal is shared and there's no rushing away, nowhere to go, and no time limits, the family can enjoy their meals together and making this a new family tradition.

My campaign is to go online, on Shabbat (Friday evenings) for about 30 minutes, and teaching families the "How To's" of starting this little Shabbos Table Project together so that they can begin to do it on their own.  I want to give them the knowledge and the tools to use their Shabbos Table properly, and to maximize its effects on your family.  Imagine all your kids getting excited all week long for Friday night at home with their own family!  Imagine what it would feel like to have Thanksgiving every Friday night, with the whole family actually "WANTING" to be together!  Can you imagine the kind of impact on the way your family starts to relate to each other?  

Now, I'm not going to lie to you.  It may sound simple, have dinner on Friday night, right?  Not so.  There are always distractions and "other things" that pull your family apart.  The teenagers want to go out with their friends.  Dad would rather watch the game on TV!  Your wife may not want to do any cooking on Friday due to just being tired from working all day, Dad too!  There is always some kind of opposition to this - be prepared for that.

It is NOT easy to start new family traditions.  Mom and Dad have to be dedicated and in agreement that this is an effort to use their Table to strengthen their family.  It can be done.  You start out with "baby-steps".  Perhaps, you can't do it every week?  That's ok, once a month is better than nothing!  But just starting is the step in the right direction.

The Shabbos Table Project also has a dual benefit.  Not only are you investing in your family and strengthing it...but you are leaning to do something that really pleases God, and that you are commanded to do!  What is it?

It is learning how to sanctify the Sabbath!  Yes, how to initiate, sanctify, and start the Sabbath by separating it from the rest of the week!  This is actually commanded in the Bible.  But most Christians have lost all connection to what a Sabbath really is!  I will teach you "HOW TO" do the Sabbath with your family, I will encourage you with a short word to spiritually prepare you for the special time together over your meal.  I will teach you some prayers and songs.  Your whole family can learn together...and eventually, you won't need me anymore at your Shabbos Table, eventually, your family with grow in the tradition hopefully, feel the benefits, and do it all on your own one day.  Even if you're single, you can get your friends together to do this as well!  Anyone, couples without children are also encouraged - better to start now creating your family tradition BEFORE you bring the kids into the picture!

That's it.  The Shabbos Table Project.  So, how do we get in on this?

Go to my website and scroll down to the banner that says Shabbos Table Project, click it and learn more, and how to register and start participating with me.  

This campaign begins Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, @ 6:46 PM.  EST (18 minutes before sundown), you can log in and I'll be there with you at your Shabbos Table!

There are instructions and even some guides on how to prepare on the website.  Please, check it out!  Please also pray for this effort.  Pray that it is effective and that many families will be strengthened and restored, the benefits are infinite for generations to come.

Thank you so very much,

Rabbi Eric  

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Mandatory Mask Announcement

Gov. Dewine's New Executive Order

Tue, 7 July 2020
15th of Tamuz, 5780
From the Elders of Tikvat Yisrael:

Attention: All Members & Friends of Tikvat Yisrael,

Due to Gov. Dewine's order today, making the wearing of masks mandatory in Level 3 virus affected areas, and the recent increase in cases of Covid-19, we believe the best way to protect our Tikvat family and visitors that choose to attend is to now require all members to wear a mask.  

There are still many members with current health issues--and we understand and support you and your decision to remain at home at this time.  Again your health is our main concern.  
While the mask is an inconvenience, we are thankful we can continue to meet. Social distancing of 6-feet does not completely protect us in closed area for 90-120 minutes where the germs linger in the air.  

With that said, we believe following this key recommendation of several health organizations and some common senses-with help to insure the safety of everyone who attends.   We continue to pray for the Lord's mercy on Tikvat, Cleveland, our nation and the world-and we look forward to moving to a less restrictive time.

Am I my brother's keeper?   Gen. 4:9

Thank you for all your prayers and support.

Board of Elders: Dr. Larry & Cheryl Morrison, Rabbi Elliott & Nancy Katz, Joyce Iammarino, Rabbi Eric & Gisela Lakatos
Tikvat Yisrael Messianic Synagogue
9319 Mayfield Rd.
Chesterland, OH. 44026

Tuesday, June 16, 2020


From Chery Morrison (Eva's grandmother):
Cheryl here: 
      My granddaughter, Eva & my daughter Lauren were just in a car accident!!  Both cars were totaled. Coming off a bridge, Lauren went through a light she swears was green. Witnesses were half & half on whether it was green or red. Lauren got sited! The guy she hit was a young man who had no license & tested positive for drugs & alcohol. He’s in jail. Lauren thinks her sternum is cracked. They can’t fix that. It just has to heal, but painful. Air bags went off, of course. Eva is ok, but the will be talking to her Trauma team & she has to go to the hospital every week to have her liver checked. Thank God her tube didn’t get jerked out of her liver! The car they were in, my son-in-law just got to replace the one from Eva’s accident.  Please pray for both of them & that this guy sitting in jail.

We’ve all had enough!! I believe this is Satan. Truly I do!

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Post from Pastor Tim Walker, Church Alive Cleveland OH.

A lot of people are sending me videos of nationally respected leaders asking "every church to open their doors immediately." Some members are upset and threatening to go somewhere else, if we don't open our buildings by Pentecost Sunday.
Trust me; I understand the frustration and probably want to resume corporate worship more than most anyone else in our congregation. BUT...I'm accountable to God for making decisions that are in the best interests of the whole congregation; not just me, or the few most vocal members.
As I've been praying about it, I've borrowed some suggestions and wisdom from other Pastors, combined them with my own thought process and want to give you a few things to consider.
1. This is one of the most difficult decisions we as Pastors will ever have to make.
The timing of when and how to open our buildings is without a doubt the most grueling decision I've ever had to grapple with. There is no instructional manual and none of us have ever led through a global pandemic before. We love our people and have to consider the strongest and the weakest among them. We also have to consider those who are young and healthy as well as those who are older, sickly, or have compromised immunity. We also have to live with the long-term consequences of every decision we make. I've labored in prayer ever since this began, seeking God continually for guidance and direction. I'm very confident most others local Pastors have as well. No one wants the local church to succeed more than we do. Please give us the liberty to lead and prayerfully follow us.
2. While I appreciate national church leaders and try to support them and glean from them, they do not have the right or authority to speak on behalf of the local church. They don't know our people, our circumstances, or the challenges of our situations.
Pastoring a large congregation, or being on national television doesn't make you an international spokesperson for the Body of Christ. It's the local pastors who marry, counsel, bury, advise, wipe away the tears, visit the hospitals, pray for, and walk with people through life; not television personalities who don't know your name or your kids names, and are so insulated if you're lucky you can get an autograph but won't ever have their phone number.
I love them, and they create great opportunities for us, but they don't know our specifics, they don't have to manage our resources, and don't have to deal with the repercussions of our decisions. They do not speak for me or most other local Pastors.
3. Don't compare your church’s decision with that of other churches. Each church is unique in size, layout, staffing, age demographics, and resources. One size doesn't fit all. What may work brilliantly for one could be disastrous for another. No one knows your church and its members like your Pastors and leaders. Different areas of the country have had different levels or exposure to this virus. What is right for a rural area, may not be right for an urban area. The population density is different, the laws are different, and the rate of exposure is different. Your pastors have to make these decisions considering all of these factors and more. Pray for them, support them, offer to help them, and most of all trust them!
4. Support your church during the transition. While we are waiting for the right timing, please support your Pastors and your local church. It's estimated that at least 30% of congregations under 100 adults either will not re-open, or will not survive through the end of the year. Don't allow your church to be a casualty. Your community needs the voice and the ministry of the local church. Don't allow it to be silenced! The global church will prevail, but the success of the local church depends on OUR faithfulness. Support it with prayer, finances, service, and loyalty. Check on your Pastors and leaders. They are carrying a massive load and every prayer, offering, or word of encouragement really does!
5. Even if you disagree with their timing for reopening, stand in unity and don't allow the enemy to bring strife, confusion, or divisiveness. Our nation has increasingly become more polarized over the past 15 years. The media, politics, social media, the internet, pride, and most of all, spiritual distancing...yes, spiritual distancing...(my new term for those who have continued to neglect their walk with God and have instead chosen to live in the flesh), have created massive disunity in the body of Christ. Don't fall for it! Protect your heart, your relationships, your values and don't trade gold for brass!
Choose love over over suspicion, grace over judgment. Give your Pastors, leaders, and other believers the benefit of the doubt. They're not perfect and they're going to make mistakes. Allow them a safe place to grow and learn as well. They really are trying to do what's best for you!
6. When your church does re-open live services, please ATTEND, serve, give, connect to a group or a team. Sunday services are not for entertainment purposes...they're for ministry. Get involved in the ministry of your church.
We will re-open our buildings as soon as we feel services can be held in a safe and secure environment. Until then, let's plaster social media with the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and let's remain focused on what's really important.
Just a few thoughts from a tired, frustrated but determined Pastor.
P. Tim

Monday, May 4, 2020

New Eva update from May 2, 2020

SITREP: Eva Jeffery.
Saturday May 2, 2020. 3:00pm
C. Mo. - Morrison Family PIO
Direct communication copied and pasted from Lauren.
—-> Eva is out of surgery with 6 liters of fluid drained off her abdomen. Picture that in pop bottles which are 2 liter bottles! She will feel like a new person. These will now be sent off to see what the blood/bile ratio is. We will now watch to see if there is any more bile leakage which could mean that there is still a little bowel leak somewhere. The blood was old blood that was from the original injury. There was no new blood! Praise God for this! The liver has clotted nicely. We Will now just watch fo new bile! God is good! Thank you for continued prayers!
Also from Eva's grandmother...
Cheryl Sanger-Morrison We really haven’t had a big update. Still in Intensive care. They were keeping close check on her fever. She has some tubes back in, but they tell us this is not unusual. Of course they are closely watching all of her internal injuries, & we are praying for no more internal bleeding. Thank you so much for your prayers, & caring enough to ask! ❤️

Last message from my daughter Lauren. Now waiting through the day. Yes, they are actually thinking of Cleveland Clnic Main Campus if the do this surgery. They are the only ones who can do this procedure for pediatrics.
Lauren’s message: So here I sit as the unknown unfolds yet again, knowing the Lord has his hands on this decision as well and I am meant to go along for this roller coaster ride, hang on and have faith. Eva might be transferred to Cleveland clinic today for yet another surgery. She is doing so much better, but they still feel that her bowel is perforated some where sending out that nasty bile. I’m not sure when they say the clinic if they mean in Cleveland or here in Akron? When they do Grand Rounds with her team of doctors I’m sure we will find out more. Please continue to keep us in your prayers. I know the Lord is working hard as I see it every day! Thank you and love to all!

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Update on Eva

Wed. April 29th. from Cheryl Morrison: Update on my granddaughter, Eva.

SITREP: My niece, Eva Jeffery
Wednesday April 29, 2020 1550 hrs.
C. Mo. - Morrison family PIO

Hello Family, friends and prayer warriors. Don't let up on prayer please. We tend to have a thing where when someone doesn't seem quite as critical anymore, to let up on the prayer. Please don't do that. I have some ups and downs and a phenomenal story to pass on from Eva. Here's today's update:

1) She had a pretty rough night last night and didn't sleep hardly at all. 0300 this morning she woke up with some pretty bad shortness of breath and a temperature. Blood cultures were done (to find out, if there is funk growing in her blood, what type it is which helps determine the best agent to fight it with). The also ran a CBC (for non medical peeps - its a blood test to look and see if your white blood cell count is up - which is a factor for determining infection). Cultures and other tests came back and unfortunately she has developed MRSA or Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, a sometimes very difficult to treat staph infection running around inside her. They have placed her on yet another antibiotic - Vancomycin, which has proven to be pretty successful in fighting MRSA. They said 48 hours ought to take care of this issue.

2) She has also developed pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas (for my non medical peeps), which lies behind the lower part of the stomach. This is a fairly common ailment and is somewhat expected to surface in patients with injuries such as Eva's. Remember how back on Friday we talked about over the next several days injuries and complicating factors could and probably would arise? Yep - here we are. This is exactly what they were talking about. They are not overly concerned... they will be watching it right now, at this stage to see if it self resolves or needs other treatment regimens. They will be doing another ultrasound to determine the extent, later this afternoon.

Everything listed above is treat-able. Not to worry! it's just more bumps in the road as it were. Prayer will help, no doubt. This is why I say not to let up, folks.

3) Knee seems to be continuing to heal well. I hadn't gotten the actual injury for which the surgery was done. Her knee was lacerated so badly by car frame parts that it cut through tendons and ligaments. So... it was tendon and ligament types of repairs. THAT's gonna be a long healer! Good news? She's already walking on it with a walker. She continues to work hard with PT and OT for this issue and they are thrilled with her cooperation and effort.

4) They discovered that she may have a new small bleed in her liver. It's okay... it appears to be a small one. The plan right now is to watch it to self tamponade (quit bleeding on it's own for you non medicals), and if it doesn't they will do a minor surgical procedure to insert a draining tube so fluid doesn't start to build up in her abdominal cavity again and push that abdominal pressure back up. She currently still has what was described as "moderate" abdominal distention. She HAS, though, lost a liter of the edema fluid (fluid causing swelling in her belly) So that is a plus. So this is a new prayer request. Thanks.

5) ICU stay extension. Yup... With all this going on, previous injuries, momentary clinical death, multiple surgeries, and pleural effusion, perforated bowel, and now adding to that fever, thrush, MRSA, and Pancreatitis.... only makes sense that ICU is not letting go of her quite yet. They have suggested a 2-3 day long extension hoping for the former. Day by day we will see how things go. This is all day by day friends. If you've been following since day one, you've seen positive/negative, positive/negative, positive/negative... but the big picture positives outweigh the volume of negatives, so that is the answered prayer there.

And now... the story - People amaze me. Atheists. Agnostics. Non believers of all sorts. Eva said the other day "Mom... I talked to Jesus." Lauren of course was like "wait...what???" Eva than unfolded how while she was "asleep" (that was from cardiac arrest until two days after surgery) she had a period where she found herself in a very beautiful green field. The sky was REALLY bright, unlike anything she'd ever seen. She said while she was there in the field, her previously deceased cousin, Stevie (who died a few years ago of an accidental drug overdose) and she said that Stevie came up to her and said "Eva... What are you doing???"... then while she was there with Stevie, her previously deceased grandfather approached her and looked her right in the eye and said "Eva... What are you doing?"... Then her somewhat recently deceased dog whom she just adored to death appeared and came up and jump up on her and was acting super happy to see her. She said while she was there with all three of them she heard a voice from the light that called her name. The voice said "Im sending you back. I will be providing support for your family to help get you through the events to come. I love you and I forgive you for what you've done. Above all remember this - I've given you a second chance." WOW!!!! Don't tell me God isn't real. Somewhere down the road is a ministry for this young lady. We need to get her out of the woods and back home and healed up first.

So as we move into these next two to three days of ICU time, pray for Eva, for good attitude, hard work to recover, and healing. Pray for Lauren and Jim and the rest of the family. Pray for her staff, surgeons, attendings, nurses, therapists, etc. Pray that her meds work correctly and that she gains strength. Pray without ceasing. The Greek word for "without ceasing" used in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 is "adialeiptos". This word doesn't mean "NON Stop". It actually means "constantly recurring". So, in other words we can punctuate our moments with intervals of recurring prayer. This means you can incorporate your prayers into just about anything. Incorporate short prayers into your every day chores... Pray while you're standing in line waiting or sitting at a traffic light... When you break it down like this you aren't really in a long prayer from the moment you get up... but rather, a series LOTS of real small prayers at regularly irregular intervals. Pray without ceasing. The Jeffery and Morrison families are so grateful for your intercession and your specific prayers. We KNOW that God is hearing them. We were ALL praying for her life on Friday. God said "Eva, Im sending you back". He heard our prayers. He is listening. Pray without ceasing. 🙂 Thanks everyone. 🙃🙏🏼✝️♥️

Monday, April 27, 2020

Update on Eva 4-27-20

The update we have been waiting for from my son! Wow! The last paragraph!!! We stand in AWE!!!

SITREP: My niece, Eva Jeffery
Sunday April 26th, 2020
C. Mo - Family PIO

Hello all. I see my sister, Lauren, had a few minutes to post some thank you's. I too thank you all for your continued patience for these reports. I wait until everyone that needs to see Eva each day has been in. This allows me to do one daily report that is detailed, and keeps me from having to do a bunch of mini reports as each practitioner see's Eva and gives their update to Lauren. Here's the specifics of where we are today.

I was at the fire department this morning coming off duty when Lauren called and said that they were extubating Eva (removing the breathing tube from her airway and taking her off the vent). Shortly after, Eva wanted to FaceTime with her Uncle Chris. So I called her on FT and surprisingly she was in good spirits and was rather conversational. She said she was in a LOT of pain. Understandably. We spoke for just a few minutes and then I came home. Since then, all the practitioners have seen her.

1) Endotracheal tube has been removed. Ventilator has been removed. Nasogastric tube (feeding tube through her nose) has been removed.

2) A PICC line (a peripherally inserted central catheter, or... very large IV that goes into larger vessels in your body, frequently under your clavicle) was established this morning. This will mainly be for fluids, nutritional feeding, and maybe certain medications. PICC line may go home with her for a while. This remains to be decided upon. All other intravenous line except one have been removed. It was left specifically for pain control meds. They are considering putting her on a morphine (or other) pump to allow her to control micro doses on a more frequent basis on her own. The pump "caps" the amount you can give yourself into chronological increments.

3) Ortho came down and looked at her knee again. No signs of infection, everything looks pretty good. Even so, they are putting her on a five day antibiotic regimen to be safe.

4) She remains in a cervical collar. The attending examined her neck and pressed around and it is very bruised and sore. The X-rays have cleared her of any fractures, but they are choosing to leave the collar in place for a while yet to just help give her neck support since it is so bruised and sore.

5) Abdominal pressure has decreased from 17 mmHg to 13 mmHg. This is good but they want it down into lower single digits. They are continuing to watch her abdomen very carefully because for several more days, other hidden injuries can still surface. They remain cautiously optimistic regarding her belly.

6) Urinary catheter has been removed.

7) Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy came down to see her this morning and sat her up on the side of the bed and got her into a chair for a bit. This was very slow and very painful, but it is extremely common and been proven as a best practice because these patients tend to do better over all the faster you can get them up and moving. Less chances of developing other complicating factors like pneumonia.

8 ) She has been given the green light to orally take in 2 teaspoons an hour of ice chips. She was thrilled and said she never would have believed that ice chips could be such an amazing thing.

9) They are looking at possibly stepping her down to a different unit this evening which wouldn't require a nurse to be sitting beside her 24 hours a day. This unit would have a nurse in the room every 4 hours but she would have a call button.

Finally to all the prayer warriors... The surgeon during grand rounds this morning told his team that Eva is an extremely unique case. There is no reason she should be healing this quickly. He said she is DAYS ahead of schedule in her healing process. He doesn't know why. We do. This is Gods sovereignty over this situation. We have people and whole churches not only praying, some even FASTING, from all over the world: I have spoken to a number of people and pastors around the globe that have asked me through FB about Eva in the last couple days. Some I know, many others I do not. They have represented: USA, Israel, England, the Philippines, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and India. I am sure there are others. THIS is why she is so far ahead of schedule. Thank you for your continued prayer support. Please keep your prayers coming. God bless you each for interceding.