In my own life, it played out a little differently. From my teenage years on, I was totally committed to living in Israel and taking an activist, even militant, approach to help and protect Jewish people!
Many people wander through their entire lives wondering exactly what their mission on this earth should have been. Beyond just daily life (paying bills, going to parent-teacher conferences), they spend time wondering what their reason, or their purpose might have been. Did they even have a purpose beyond what they had before them? Not that people necessarily go out and search for that special ‘something’ they should be doing. After all, the idea that one might immerse himself in prayer to find that direction is a ‘foreign’ thought for most people. Yet many continue to wonder, what could they have been doing?
In some cases, it is almost like they expected to find that recorded message, like at the start of the old Mission Impossible television show. You remember, “…your mission…should you choose to accept it…” Yet, sometimes, the answer to what you need to be doing smacks you right on the side of the head. Sometimes, it seems so vague or implausible that you just ignore it; or at least, you try to. Maybe it is a fleeting thought (or so you think at the time), or almost a fantasy type daydream. Which people often dismiss with a, “What?! ME, do that?!?”
In my own life, it played out a little differently. From my teenage years on, I was totally committed to living in Israel and taking an activist, even militant, approach to help and protect Jewish people (they were the only people of Israel that I knew of at that time; learning different was going to be a big shock) anywhere around the world.
The moving to Israel part, which was clearly part of my “mission,” took much longer then I had anticipated (an interesting story, in and of itself – but I will leave that one for another day). However, the activism began right away. This was the 1970’s, and every ethnic, racial and religious group had its ‘activist’ faction. Plus, we were going to stand up for oppressed Jews anywhere in world. By the time I was 20 years old, I had already been arrested on three different continents on behalf of fulfilling (at least part of) my ‘mission’ in life.’ This included me staging a sit-in in Moscow, in the former Soviet Union. Nevertheless, I was soon to learn that battling on behalf of my people was only part of my mission. In a similar way, I learned that the Jewish people were not the only people of Israel, but we too, were a part of all of Israel.
It was not until April of 1994, that I began meeting people who, although they were not Jewish, told me that they, too, were part of Israel. They believed themselves to be descendants of the Ephraim/Yosef (Joseph) – the so-called, “Lost Tribes of Israel.” It took me a while to realize that they were never really lost, merely hidden as part of their punishment.
Okay, well, then I realized very quickly that part of my “mission” was to obviously do whatever I could for these people, who, also were part of Israel. My experiences with this part of my life’s purpose could actually fill an entire book. This is probably the reason that I AM writing one about all these ‘adventures!’ For the sake of brevity, I will describe an intense period of time that lasted more than twenty years, in just a few short sentences.
I soon realized that despite our outward differences, we were indeed family; brothers and sisters… and that for some unknown reason, we had all been ‘awakened’ to this knowledge. An understanding that we were to be part of the reunification of Judah & Ephraim, the Restoration of ALL of Israel – which the Prophets of Israel had promised.
What the ‘awakening’ needed at that time (and is still in need to this very day) was for those who understood themselves to be part of Israel to build bridges amongst ourselves. Yeah, I know, easier said than done, right? Thankfully, at this point, my mission was clarified even further, I had clear direction. Perhaps because of my finally “getting it,” I was given the bracha (blessing) of being able to go on Aliyah – to move to Israel.
And, as irrational as it sounds, I thought that by being in Israel, and being prepared to reach out to my brothers and sisters that I would then, FINALLY, be working to complete my ‘mission.’ However, I was still missing a key element in what I, personally, was supposed to do. Surprisingly, it had to do with something I least expected – a new career. As an Oleh (new immigrant) to Israel, I began touring as much of this amazing country as I possibly could. Then it hit me – I would become a Tour Guide.
I certainly did not understand how competitive, grueling, and difficult the necessary courses would be. I wasn’t taking them to simply get a job – rather, who else would be prepared to show Ephraim their homeland once again, if not me? Who else had spent as many years as I had, getting to know their hearts and building bonds that will last a lifetime? For two years, I struggled to learn (in Hebrew mind you) all that I needed to know so that I might pass the stringent national licensing exams.
It was only then, being able to show my brothers and sisters OUR homeland that I realized that I had finally reached the point of understanding what my mission actually was. To be an activist on behalf of ALL of Israel, build bridges and relationships AND to be able to help Ephraim reconnect to Israel. After all, even though Ephraim didn’t fully understand this yet, this was where ‘our’ past was and our future certainly is. All that is before us, it is ALL about ‘connecting’ – people don’t simply choose to come to Israel – they are called to come. And part of Ephraim’s waking up mission is to reconnect with the Land.
Which is why, in partnership with Mike Clayton, an outstanding Torah teacher (see his website: www.joinedtohashem.org ), we now have the Connect to Israel Tour. It is the ultimate Israel experience, and is unlike any other tour to Israel. It is definitely not the standard, “go see the holy sites” type program, at all. It is designed to have all 11 days and 10 nights focused on connecting you with Israel, both ancient and modern; and connecting you with the Jewish people – your brothers and sisters.
We spend the first two full days in Shomron (Samaria) – the backbone of Biblical Israel. Taking you to places most people visiting Israel never even dream of seeing. You not only get to experience the most significant sites that you’ve only read about in the Bible, but are taken there by both Judah & Ephraim… And, unlike other tours, you will get to meet many of your Jewish brothers and sisters, in their towns and villages – real people in real life situations. Each tour, for me personally, is more exciting than the last because I get to see people like you build relationship with ‘family’ you didn’t even know you had!
We have already had two of these incredible tours – in 2014 and 2015. And now – the best one yet is coming up this Fall and you won’t want to miss it! We are also looking into scheduling tours in the early Spring, too. Seating is very limited – we only take 35 people, to enhance the quality of the guiding experience and to enable maximum interaction for you with both Mike and I.
Please go to my website: ( www.Kolyehuda.com ) and click on Upcoming Tours for all the details, including an itinerary and a registration form. There has never been a better or more important time to come to Israel. Join us for an experience that will change your life, forever. But, you do have to act soon if you want to avoid being closed out. If you’re feeling drawn to come, this time that we will spend together will hopefully open up the Divine appointments that very well might clarify YOUR mission in life. Of course, that is… only if you ‘choose to accept it!’
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