Y'shua | יֵשׁוּעַ
... a light for the revelation of the Gentiles.
And a glory to your people Israel.
Isaiah 49:6 CJB| Luke 2:32 AENT
Edward Stanley Schenk, “Z”L”
13 Nisan 5684 - 29 Sh’vat 5778
I dearly love my Father who loved our Father – Avinu Malkeinu! My love for my father burns brightly, undimmed by his passing. Dad’s love and Trust in The Holy One of Israel through Y’shua, by the power of The Ruach was immoveable, and a personal encouragement to me. Dad was a Believer, but more than that, he lived out his total Trust. What is Believe Vs. Trust? When you are sitting in the Army C-130 with 63 other Army paratroopers, you believe that all 64 parachutes will open. When you run out the door, exiting the aircraft into the dark night sky, you Trust with all your being that your parachute on your back will open. Now you know two sides of my Dad; the man of immovable Trust in YAH through Y’shua, and the decorated U.S. Army Master Sargent, combat veteran of Korea, 1950.
After our one minute conversation ten days ago, in which “I can’t” was not heard, literally days were spent praying, waiting to see whether Dad was going to stay in North Carolina or be transported to Connecticut. Waiting and praying! Are we finally going to Shul, together? Do I travel to North Carolina or Connecticut? Days later the decision was made to transport Dad to Connecticut. Dad passed to YAH within hours of arriving in Connecticut. With Dad’s passing four days ago, knowing that I was supposed to write, the third side of Dad swirled through my prayers until I heard –The-VOICE- say:
Internal conflict! I have spent a lifetime seeking to understand four generations of my Fathers, and the turning away of who we are. It was never explicitly stated that way; it just worked out that way. In the process Dad has silently watched, occasionally rising up and then retreating with “I can’t”. In 2008 when I first learned that Shavuot was the event being discussed in Acts 2, I was excited and drove straight from Shul after Shabbat to Dad’s house. After excitedly explaining that “The giving of the Holy Spirit” occurred during Shavuot, and explaining Shavuot, I sat with starry eyes and waited for his wonderful excitement to also ignite. He looked at me and with force said “You are a Jew or a Christian. Make up your mind.” Thus began my search to understand and explain to Dad:
Jesus Christ, of Christian Replacement Theology and Tradition, into which a Jew is expected to convert
Y’shua HaMashiyack Ben David, of Scripture, Messiah of Yisrael into which Gentiles are grafted
When I was a Lutheran (LCMS) pre-theological student at Concordia Bronxville, NY; Great Aunt Julia, sister to my Grandfather, used to invite me over to her apartment for Sunday lunch. It was a 30 minute Sunday walk from Bronxville to Mt. Vernon, NY. That was the same apartment we entered in 1955 when we arrived from Germany, very familiar. Corner of Third Ave and (??), second floor over the hardware store, just around the corner from Johnny’s Pizzeria, the best New York thin crust pizza with hot steamy bubbles. Aunt Julia’s place was a second home to me! Aunt Julia would tell me stories of her “farther”. She had a unique New York accent. “Oil” was pronounced “Erl”. It was with Aunt Julia that I could take a huge step 50 years into the past. She would regal me with stories. As we would enjoy our Sunday steak, it was as if my Great-Grandfather, Grandfather and Father, three generations, were sitting at the table with us. One little statement hit and to this day I remember the exact quote: “They called my ‘farther’ “Shejne Yid, Shejne Schenk” (translated from Yiddish - “beautiful Jew”).
Growing up, in many years, but not every year, but often enough that it was a somewhat fixture, Dad would say something that was confusing. It would be Easter Sunday, eating Easter Ham at the feast after Easter service. At the end of the meal he would raise his wine glass and say: “Next year in Jerusalem!” My reaction? That’s interesting, but so what. When I went to my first ever Pesach Seder with my Messianic Jewish Congregation, at the end all said “Next year in Jerusalem!” I almost fell over dead! I finally understood what my Dad was saying all those growing up years. What was even more shocking was to later learn the how and why of the “Easter Ham”
Through the last ten years many Shabbat service invitations were extended to Dad. The response was always: “I can’t”. What does “I can’t” mean? It was never ‘I’m not interested’, or any other negative response. Dad would always hesitate in thought and then, with the sound of resignation in his voice, he would say quietly: “I can’t”. Never was an explanation given, but always, the door was left open. I learned to just “let it alone”. Months would go by and then out of the blue Dad would drop a wake-up firecracker.
One Shabbat morning my phone rang as I was loading the car preparing to leave for Shul. I hurriedly grabbed it intending to turn it off. Noticing that was Dad’s number, I answered the call. Dad immediately, expectantly, said: “Are you going to Shul?” All activity ceased and it was as if everything clicked into slow motion. A lifetime of conversations went through my mind. That Yiddish word “Shul” rolled off his tongue showing that it was very at home with Dad. Never before in my life had he used that word around me. After a hitch of a few seconds I said “yes”. I don’t remember any of the rest of the conversation. I just remember the drive to the Shul wondering why I did not invite Dad to Services. After so many years of “I can’t” it became normal to drop the idea, but that morning there was something in his voice that made me regret not trying.
Months later in another phone conversation, out of the blue Dad said: “My Dad spoke Yiddish!” I instantly spoke: “Dad, you’re in your eighties. When did you plan on telling me?” That sentence makes no sense without the knowledge that our family has a history of early death. My great grandfather and great grandmother died at age 31, which caused my grandfather, age 7, to be placed in a New York City Orphanage. My grandfather died of tuberculosis at age 39, and Dad was 14. What I was really saying was -Thank you for finally opening the shutters, and after all these decades, allowing in some light of truth.- Now I was sure. Growing up, all those Yiddish words Dad would allow to escape finally revealed their teacher. Once again I had to sit and just let what had happened soak in. Again I did not extend an invitation for Shabbat because I was conditioned by the “I can’t”. So I sat there in the glow of revelation about my grandfather side by side with the sadness of forgetting a Shabbat invitation.
Did Dad ever in his life attend Shabbat Services? I will never know. It’s a great comfort to me to know that Dad’s Trust in YAH, through Y’shua was rock solid. But it was Dad who taught me: “You can just as easily say ‘I can’ as say ‘I can’t’!” Why did I not ever repeat that back to him? I will never know.
Now and forever into eternity in this world,
this is my last conversation with my Dad.
2/8/18 | Thursday's 1 minute conversation with Dad. He was very awake!
Son: "Hi Dad, I love you"
Dad: "I love you. Is tomorrow the Sabbath?"
Son: "Tomorrow is Friday, but the next day is Shabbat."
Dad: "Do you still do that."
Son: "Yes. It's been now ten years I keep Shabbat."
Dad: "I need to go."
Dad! The day they have chosen to gather, honor you, and remember your name–
– is Shabbat.
The last words in the Hebrew Scripture are:
…and let him go up!’”
All praise and thanksgiving to The Holy One of Israel,
the One True Living Elohim of Abraham Isaac and Jacob.
…walking in “The Way” of Y’shua!
…by the Supernatural Power of The Ruach HaKodesh!
Isaiah 11; Acts 24:5, 14-15; John 14:6, 4:21-24
Malachi 3: (ISR98)
6. “For I am יהוה, I shall not change, and you, O sons of Ya‘akov, shall not come to an end.
Divrei-HamYamim Bet (2 Chronicles) 36: (ISR98)
23“Thus said Koresh sovereign of Persia, ‘יהוה Elohim of the heavens has given me all the reigns of the earth.
And He has commanded me to build Him a house in Yerushalayim, which is in Yehudah.
Whoever is among you of all His people, יהוה his Elohim be with him, and let him go up!’ ”
Exodus 20: (ISR98)
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to set it apart.
9 “Six days you labor, and shall do all your work,
10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath of יהוה your Elohim. You do not do any work – you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.
11 “For in six days יהוה made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore יהוה blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart.
Matthew 5: (Aramaic English NT)
18 For truly I say to you that until heaven and the earth pass away not one Yodh or one stroke will pass from Torah until everything happens.
19 All who loosen, therefore from one (of) these small commandments and teach thus to the sons of man, will be called little in the Kingdom of Heaven, but all who do and teach this will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Matthew 10: (Aramaic English NT)
34 Do not think that I have come to bring calm on earth. I have not come to bring calm, rather a sword.
35 For I have come to divide a man from his father, and a girl from her mother. And a daughter-in-law from her
36 And the advisories of a man will be his household.
37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
38 And anyone who does not take up his staff and come and follow me is not worthy of me.
Help us to study The Word and be spiritually prepared!
Having eyes to see and ears to hear!
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Isaiah 11; Acts 24:5,14-15; John 14:6
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