As a new decade begins this coming week, I realized 2019 was the fifth anniversary of Torah For Women Ministries. In that time, we have evolved in ways that I never expected. From having been blessed in those years and led to move on a ridge in the Appalachians to recognizing what we are NOT identified as in the denominational quandary surrounding believers these last couple of years. We are a caterpillar emerging as a butterfly.
In recent weeks, we received several private messages asking, “What are you?!” While in posts and comments we have been labelled as being one belief system or another, all the while not knowing how to fully explain our faith base. People like words or terms they are familiar with. Yet there isn't one that sums us up completely. We KNOW who and what we are, we KNOW what we believe and how we act out our faith. Yet to explain it to Christians and other Torah observant families is sometimes difficult.
I realized this past week that we need to clarify. The major reason why it has been so challenging for me, personally, to explain is because of what everyone worries about these days: The NUMBERS.
Truth be told: my concern has been that the followers of Torah For Women Ministries will fall away, and we will lose the base of women whom Yahweh has blessed us to reach. This concern does not come from a desire within me to have large numbers as a tally or a score card. No, it comes from concern that, if we lose those followers, the number of sisters which we are blessed to touch will decrease and then, the number of families we can touch in this tumultuous time of immorality will shrink. The result could be that fewer families are led to His Truth.
Yahweh called me to teach those women and families of whom Paul spoke to Timothy. I have shared these verses countless times before. Yet the last few weeks, while struggling with a few personal things regarding people close to me, I have realized it is time to stand up and stand firm against this fallen world. If the numbers drop because of what I am about to say, then Yahweh will find other ways to testify to those sisters and families. I will have to accept, for now, it is not my calling to reach those who choose to leave, and that Abba will put someone else in their path to touch their hearts.
So here we go:
When did TFW come into existence?
Sometime in 2014, Jim came to me and said he felt led that we should go into ministry together, and not long after Shofar Productions Ministry was born. I kept praying to Yahweh to reveal to me what my role was to be in this journey; what responsibility was I to play in this new endeavor?
Some months later, I felt very strongly impressed that we needed a women’s ministry aspect and that I was led to start this division within Shofar Productions Ministry. I mentioned it to Jim, and he said he had been waiting for me to come to him about this! He spent the next couple of months working on a website for a women's ministry. He worked hard focusing on Torah For Women’s website and a day or two before my birthday at the end of October, 2015, the website was launched. TorahforWomen.com was officially “born.”
What is the main mission of Torah For Women Ministries?
Although the focal point Yahweh initially put upon my heart was 2 Timothy 3:6-7, and the need to help sisters of faith recognize when someone with false teachings of any kind is creeping into their homes, over time, verses 1-5 have clarified this goal. Therefore verses 1-7 have become extremely important to our women’s ministry as the moral and political path of our world has gone topsy-turvey, and as women of faith have begun to compromise even the most basic of commandments of Yahweh.
2 Timothy 3:1-7 KJV says “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
THIS is the vision Yahweh laid upon my heart almost 5 years ago, and it is coming to pass in our followers, my friends and even our families. As television, movies, and even social media invades our lives, compromising is running rampant. More and more people find themselves in positions to compromise their moral standards and say “What else can we do? We can't fight against what is happening!” But we CAN.
We can stand up. WE MUST STAND UP.
Lately, I witnessed a large number of sisters RISE UP against immoralities and cancel television services, movie services, internet programs, social media apps, and even more to protect their homes and families. I PRAISE YOU SISTERS!!! Thank you for being great examples of morality to your friends and families!!! KEEP IT UP!!! Those who are willing to stand their ground are the ones who are standing against what Paul warned would come in the last days. You are doing the very best to protect children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren from the evils of this world! I am hugging you all!!! Warriors for Yahweh.
What “denomination” do you consider yourselves to be?
THIS is so complicated to answer. But there is one thing we know we ARE NOT:
We ARE NOT a Hebrew Roots ministry. There – I said it. Recently we have been accused of being Hebrew Roots, yet we do not call or considered ourselves Hebrew Roots. Why? Because that movement has been for some time, filled with anger, venom, and seriously false doctrines. It has gone down pathways we do not desire to be associated with in any way as those teachings and beliefs are NOT of Yahweh! We backed away from this pathway long before many others did because Yahweh led us away when we witnessed more and more strange doctrines creeping in and leading people astray.
In 2015, I did everything I could to scrub our women’s ministry of any and all ties to the Hebrew Roots Movement. If by chance you stumble across anything that leans on that movement, I would gratefully appreciate it brought to my attention, and I will review it as soon as possible.
What then do we consider ourselves to be? Well, we ARE Messianic, yet we don’t often use this term because it causes many to believe we follow all of the rabbinic traditions tied to Messianic Judaism. We believe the Bible reminds us of Yeshua’s words that the burden is easy, and the yoke is light. (Matthew 11:30) Many of the cultural traditions taught in a rabbinic path make applying His Truth very burdensome. So we stay away from those rituals that are not biblical.
We ARE Word of Faith, yet we DO NOT abide by the “send me your seed money so I can buy an airplane” doctrines many in that movement preach to their followers. Some teachers in this faith base have also gone the path of radical grace – where anything goes, the law is dead, and you will be forgiven. We believe that once we accept Yeshua as our savior, we are led to follow His path in life, and wish to live as an example of Him. Therefore, we are led to follow his teachings of: Love God, Love your neighbor, and Upon these two hang ALL the laws and teachings of the prophets of Yahweh. (Matthew 22:40) We believe Yahweh's promises in the Bible, His WORD, and with Faith we pray on those Words and believe that they apply in our daily lives. In upcoming blogs, I will be sharing some amazing examples of this from our own lives - living witnesses and testimonies of His Word.
We ARE Pentecostal, and believe in the indwelling of His Holy SPirit. Yet we have seen things claimed in recent years to be “moves of the Spirit” which Yahweh has testified to us are of the adversary. In fact, in one meeting we attended, I had a personal witness from the Holy Spirit that one woman seated near us was so filled with the adversary, I could not even be within 10-15 feet of her without being overwhelmed by the evil feelings oozing from within her. It took some time for that evil to disturb the pastor 30 or so feet away, yet he, too, witnessed what was in her and had her removed. Many then prayed with and for her against what was overtaking her. We do not believe all that takes place in His Name right now is of Him, yet we do believe in the Gifts of the Spirit; and they do exhibit themselves in the Body of the church.
We ARE Torah Observant – and many wonder what exactly this means. We follow the Feast Days written and commanded in the Bible, while NOT following those standard “Christian Holidays” many do in the name of Christ. We will go into that more specifically in a series of upcoming blogs.
What we DO follow:
Spring Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Shavuot
Fall Feasts: Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot
The Monthly Feasts of Rosh Chodesh which take place at the beginning of every Hebrew month (New Moon)
We celebrate Purim because of the preservation of the Jews through the story of Esther, and Hanukkah because of the restoration and rededication of the Temple. Had these not taken place, our Saviour, Yeshua, would not have come forth through the lineage of David. Yahweh ensured that would happen by having warriors rise up against the evil being exercised upon His people.
We eat a Biblical diet which means we do not eat unclean meats as explained by the Bible. (Leviticus 11) This means we avoid pork of any kind (YES! That means we don’t even eat pig bacon! LOL); we also do not eat rabbit, snake, alligator, shellfish, or any fish without fins and scales. Eating Biblically, to us, includes avoiding ingredients derived from these unclean meats as well. Oh, might I add here, we also avoid consuming anything that contains HUMAN ingredients – and YES, there are foods as well as supplements and medications which contain human ingredients.
So, in summary, we may sound complicated to define by a mere term or title. Jim and I have tried to put “a name” to what we are, and sometimes we joke that we are a “mouthful” – I came up with this:
“Pentecostal-Word-of-Faith-Torah-Observant-Believers-in-Yeshua!!!” Can you remember all that? It’s a lot.
Yet it describes pretty well who we are and what we believe. So, that is us, in a nutshell – a rather BIG nutshell, but a nutshell.
Where we are going this next year is to continue on the journey Yahweh started us on: we will continue teaching believers how to go back to the strong teachings of the bible. We are going to help you understand how to tie both the Old and New Testaments together in our modern times so that you will be able to stand up in love against all that you will be coming against. It is our prayer that you will stand with us and be blessed by the journey we are going on together. May the NEXT five years be overwhelmingly blessed
for us all!!!
We love you, Shalom.
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Lead Author (Bio)
Jim, (Judi's husband), has Sephardi Jewish ancestry and is a minister and head of Shofar Productions. Jim was a denominational pastor, hospital chaplain, and former director of a non-profit community organization.
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