Lawsuit Update – 18 Nov 2009

Shalom Achim,

This Friday, the Maariv will carry a story about our lawsuit.  This is the first such article as news that the Israeli media is doing!  Other newspapers, such as the HaAretz, which did a major article recently about/against Yad L’Achim and their activities against the Messianic believers, have not covered this story even though a significant chief Rabbi of a major city in Israel is being sued for illegal acts done under his authority.  I contacted the writer of that story, yet received no response.

For those following our case, we did offer Rabbi Deri [only] another opportunity to issue a public apology, and to pay what amounts to about 1/2 the court and legal expenses, before he must give testimony in court on Monday, Nov 23.  He refused it, just as he did at the beginning.  Although he says that he is ‘against violence’, and knows that ‘pleasant ways’ produce better results, he has no regrets about the violence and unpleasant ways against us, and he denies any responsibility for them.

Attached are directions for getting to the Old House, the Beit Kehilat Nachalat Yeshua, for those coming down sometime during the day on Sunday, Nov 22, to intercede and to worship together.  We will begin at 12:00 noon, and continue until at least 19:00.  A number of people will even be sleeping there.  Anyone else who would also like to sleep there, please notify me in advance so that we can make some [very informal and flexible] arrangements.  There is a full kitchen and also showers.

On Monday, Nov 23, we would again ask that only those who have sufficient understanding of Hebrew try to sit in the very small courtroom.  The doors of the Beer Sheva Magistrate’s Court open at 0830; the trial is scheduled to begin at 0930.  For those who hope to get a seat, it is advisable to arrive at the court building by 0815, in case the supporters of the defendants should also want to get into the court room.  The case will be heard in Room 44, 4th Fl, of Beit Mishpat Shalom, located at the intersection of Itzhak Rager Blvd and Henrietta Szold St.For those who do not know enough Hebrew, and for those who are unable to get a seat inside the court room of Judge Iddo Ruzin, you can remain quietly in the foyer of the 4th floor, without entering into any disputes with those who support the defendants.  Or, from 9:00 till 11:00 at Ha-MaKoM (located within walking distance at the intersection of Herzl St and Rambam St in the Old City).   We do not know how long the day in court may be, but the Judge has said that he wants to conclude it that day.

WE WOULD VERY MUCH BE ENCOURAGED TO HEAR FROM THOSE WHO ARE NOT COMING BUT ARE STANDING WITH US IN SPIRIT.  And if there are any who still feel that our action is improper, you can also speak up so that we can humbly take all things into account as we come before the Lord.

For the true peace in Jerusalem and upon all Israel,
Howard, and Kehilat Nachalat Yeshua/Amutat Nichalim BaNegev

Lawsuit Suit – 10 Nov 2009

Dear All,

The anticipation of our scheduled final day in court on November 23 is increasing.  Believers from all around Israel and from other nations are writing and encouraging and PRAYING for the righteousness of God to be revealed through the proceedings of the day, and especially in the verdict which the judge will deliver sometime up till December 23, four years after the illegal event which we believe that the anti-Christian/Messianic organization, Yad L’Achim, represented by Rabbi Alex Artovsky, and the Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Beer Sheva, Yehuda Deri, are legally responsible or irresponsible for inciting and approving.  Sunday the 22nd has been set apart as a national day of worship and intercession, with many from the Body of Messiah in Israel coming together that day.

Both of the defendants are connected with the Chabad sect within ‘normative’ Judaism, and they have elevated their Rebbe from Brooklyn who died in 1994 to a position which can only be properly given to the true Messiah and only-begotten Son of God.  Their rejection of YHVH God’s Anointed One for one who has come in his own name is what animates their extremely hostile spirit.  Along with this is the fear that all they have ever learned as being ‘truth’ is being shown to be actually a lie, and, unless one is prepared to come into the light, then what light there is will fade even more.

Our charges against the two defendants include illegal demonstration; trespass onto private property; offense to religious sensitivities; slander; damage to property, both personal and congregational.  Both of the defendants will testify in court on Nov 23.  The witnesses for our side concluded testimonies on June 10 and 21.  All of the lawyers representing both sides have been instructed by Judge Iddo Ruzin to present their closing arguments verbally in the court on Nov 23.  This is an added burden on ours, Marvin Kramer and Kevork Nalbandian, but also an excellent opportunity to publicly convince the Judge and those in the courtroom of the justification of our case.

Once again we remind you:  This case is not against Israel or against the Jewish people. It is not to be used in any way to foment or promote anti-Israel or anti-Jewish actions or reactions. It is already known through the Scriptures that Israel at present is opposed to the good news of God, so we are not out to make them an enemy. Nor is our legal action intended to be used by any other minority or religious groups in Israel to encourage or affirm anti-Israel/Jewish sentiment. For the sake of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, Israel and her people are beloved by God the Father for His honor and glory, and for the honor and glory of His Son.It is clear to all of you who have joined with us that this lawsuit is not a personal one, but rather a representative one.  That is why the Holy Spirit has been bringing us all together and so many taking part in the battle for the sanctification of the name of the Lord Yeshua Messiah/ Jesus Christ here in Israel, the land and the people which are His both by birthright and by the Father’s covenantal blessings.  In any case, since Yeshua is Heir of all things and has authority over all things, we want and pray that the fear of YHVH would come upon His people, and that many would be saved by calling upon His name.  The knowledge that there is both good and evil already makes us ‘like God’, but to be truly a child of God is not only to know that there is both good and evil, but to also discern and distinguish between them — and to choose the good! almost a month earlier who planted the bomb at the Ortiz home at Purim, March 2008, almost killing the youngest son, Ami.  The Jewish American Israeli nationalist zealot has also confessed to other actual murders and attempted murders of others he  perceives to be a threat to his version of a Jewish Zionist state;

Very recently two significant news items have surfaced which helps to put our case and that of the situation involving the Ortiz family in Ariel in perspective for those who have eyes to see:
    firstly, on Oct 28 the gag order was removed regarding the arrest of the man who was arrested

   secondly, yesterday’s (Monday) Maariv newspaper headlined on the front page an extreme Jewish rabbi and his new book in which he promotes the killing of Gentiles and any  others who threaten his version of a Jewish Zionist state.

We want to work while it is still day.  The night IS coming, and, according to the words of Messiah Himself, no one will be able to work.  May the power and grace of our God work in and through us to honor His holy name.

God bless you, and all of us together for His name’s sake, and for the gospel,

Lawsuit Update – 29 Sep 2009

Shalom, and thank God for Yeshua that our names are already written in the Lamb’s Book of Life!

I want to update you on some good news regarding our lawsuit against the Beer Sheva Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yehuda Deri, and against the anti-great commission organization, Yad L’Achim with Rabbi Alex Atrovsky as their representative being the head of their Struggle Against the Mission section, scheduled to be completed in the Beer Sheva Magistrate’s Court in our civil suit on November 23, with a decision by Judge Iddo Ruzin by December 23, exactly four years from the [second] riotous event against our congregation, Nachalat Yeshua (Yeshua’s Inheritance).  The two defendants are the only ones remaining to testify in the court proceedings. 

Judge Ruzin has approved us obtaining the recording as admissible evidence, even though our knowledge of its still existence came very late.  This is very good, and we pray still that the judge will actually listen to it!  It was the attitude and the tone of the rabbi in this interview that really had us consider from the Lord if we should take the matter to court this time, including his false statements and his disregard for the rule of law in their actions against people like us.

It is very important to continue to pray for our two lawyers, Marvin Kramer and Kevork Nalbandian.  They have to really be led by the Spirit of Messiah in their handling of the case in court, in order to prove and to convince the judge that the two defendants are in fact responsible — or irresponsible — for the illegal demonstration and other violations of law that day.  The defendants have to incriminate themselves in the courtroom before the judge!  At the same time, they/we must show respect for Rabbi Deri because he is a Chief Rabbi of a major city in Israel and also a regional Rabbinic Judge (Acts 23:5; Ex 22:28).Remember that our case is not only against private parties, but against religious authorities and spiritual strongholds, defining a whole society and culture.  And again, I want to emphasize that this case is not against Israel or against the Jewish people. It is not to be used in any way to foment or promote anti-Israel or anti-Jewish actions or reactions. It is already known through the Scriptures that Israel at present is opposed to the good news of God, so we are not out to make them an enemy. Nor is our legal action intended to be used by any other minority or religious groups in Israel to encourage or affirm anti-Israel/Jewish sentiment. For the sake of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, Israel and her people are beloved by God the Father for His honor and glory, and for the honor and glory of His Son.

A number of worship groups and intercessors have already indicated that they want to come down to Beer Sheva over the next couple of months leading up to the trial date, and perhaps even till the judge’s decision.  Groups from within Israel and from abroad, especially from Germany, are truly going to battle with us in a marvelous way.  Local believers and congregations around Israel are joining with us in words of encouragement from themselves and/or from the Word of God; with financial contributions; with prayers and intercession; with appearing in the courtroom in our two previous occasions in June.

We bless you from Beer Sheva, the City of the Fathers – of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel.

Howard and Randi

 Your and our prayers have been heard and answered regarding the audio recording of the radio interview with the rabbi on December 25, 2005, the day after the illegal demonstration!

Lawsuit Update – 24 Jun 2009

Here are a couple of interesting articles/broadcasts about the trial already:


The segment on the 700 Club begins about 6:30 minutes into their program.

Another CBN Video
Jerusalem Post Article

Here is the link to my Jerualem Post article:  

“A Nation Under Law?”

Thanks again for expressing so much support for us throughout this lawsuit, which is a significant part of what the Lord is seeking through our stand together.

I have been asked to give banking information, in case any one is interested in helping us cover our legal and court costs for the trial.  We have received some contributions over the last couple of years, and have even been blessed to receive from some Israeli congregations and organizations.  Our two believing lawyers have given us a very ‘brotherly’ rate for their extensive services, but, nonetheless, the costs do add up.

Any victory that is savored afterwards was hard fought.

Howard and Randi

Lawsuit Update – 21 Jun 2009

Good evening from here after a hot, hard, and long day.

Our trial — no pun intended but very apropos — is not yet over, and will be convened again for a final date on November 23 at 9:30 in the morning.  The verdict will then be given by December 23.

I have been greatly encouraged by the response of the believers within and without Israel to us and this case.  It anticipates a day when there will be a unity that transcends all those things that still is out of God’s order in His perfect redemption of His creation.

Thank God that we can trust in Him!  He rules in Heaven and Earth and in our hearts, which sustains us in opposition to sin and sinners against His righteousness and glory.  When there is no fear of God, anything can become justifiable.  We still pray and believe that the truth will be heard, discerned, and judged as truth, wiping every smug smile off those who do not want to come to the light, because their deeds are evil.  Without Yeshua as our Head is to be as without God in the world in a daily and practical way.  We once were like that, and it is dreadful to consider where I would be today if that were still the case.

The courtroom was filled today by believers, from different parts of the country, who got there early enough to have a seat in the small room (maximum 20 seats for visitors).  While we were all waiting for the defendants and their lawyers to arrive, we introduced ourselves to one another and prayed with each other!  The only person in the room during that precious time was a journalist for the Jerusalem Post, Larry Derfner, who came down to cover the story.  So far, he is the ONLY secular reporter to take an interest, after some urging by other believers who know him.  His article is supposed to appear in the Friday, July 3rd, edition of the Post, in their Friday magazine section.  (I have been offered to write an article for the Post this week, which, if printed, should be in this week’s paper sometime as an opinion piece.) For some reason hard to understand, the Judge did not accept the Chabad Rabbi and head of their yeshiva (rabbinic orthodox educational system) as a hostile witness, which was why we subpoenaed him.  On the witness stand, he called us “troublers” (like Ahab called Elijah), and claimed that Messianic Jews do not exist (since they think that a Jewish person who believes in Yeshua/Jesus is not a Jew).  Of course, remember that Chabad believes that the rabbi from Brooklyn, who died in 1994, is the Messiah!

By strangely not accepting him as a hostile witness, who is the one whose English was featured in a major Hebrew newspaper in April 2008 to convey his expressive ‘admiration’ for me, the Judge did not allow our lawyers to question him any differently than had he been a witness for us!

Our case rests on words spoken and written by the defendants themselves the day after the riot.  We have sufficiently demonstrated to the judge that an extremely serious riot took place, which is the reason for the compensatory damages we are seeking.  November 23 is the day we have to prove that the two defendants are joined together and responsible for that event.  What seems so obvious is not so simple to prove in a court of law.  In the same, but more perfect, way that the defense attorneys and the judge want to  pressure us as the plaintiffs, so will the Righteous Judge and Lawgiver hold those who oppose Him answerable in the Judgment Day.  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God!  Every mouth will be stopped, but those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb will burst with inexpressible joy!

Your prayers to God and your words to us will move the Lord to do something wonderful for His glory.  Thank-you.
Howard and Randi

Lawsuit Update – 10 Jun 2009

Shalom Brethren,

We want to thank so many of you who have written or called, both before the day in court today, and since we left there this afternoon.  Your support and encouragement have been a real strength for us and a hopeful indication of the Lord’s blessings upon this entire affair.  Also, on Sunday, the evening of praise and intercession was very freeing in the Spirit and a big part of our preparation for the battle we are in.  It was a very tiring day.  It is very much WORK for the lawyers.

It is definitely a battle, but it is also the day that the Lord has made!  A number of brothers and sisters have received Psalm 37 as a word for us, as well as Isaiah 51:1-8.

Arab brothers have also stood with us, and one dear brother even came to the court today from the far north!  The Body of Messiah in Israel is being prepared for greater things to come!

Judge Iddo Ruzin today was very tough, but I would say fair.  Most of the witnesses on our side were called, which was actually a surprise for both sides that things were moved along so quickly.  THE JUDGE ADMITTED THAT “A VERY SERIOUS INCIDENT” OCCURRED AND THAT THAT IS INDISPUTABLE.  What we must do at the next session on Sunday, June 21, is prove that Rabbi Deri and Yad L’Achim are linked to this ‘very serious incident’ and are responsible and liable for the riot and offenses and damages.We want to make the name of Yeshua honorable and faith in Him acceptable as Jews.  I personally believe that by upholding a righteous standard the Holy Spirit can ‘more effectively’ bring conviction of sin, which Yeshua described as “not believing in Him”.  We want to be credible as witnesses and shown to be responsible and accountable for our actions and words.

We pray that this case will be used by the Lord towards more Jewish/Israeli people being freed from the strongholds over their minds against the gospel, and to believe it!  Lawlessness will increase, whether we win or ‘lose’ this case, and we desire God’s mercy to save more before the wrath to come.

Additional Prayer Points for June 21

–for God to continue to confuse lying tongues
–that Deri and the Yad L’Achim rep, [probably] Alex Artrovski, will not give compatible testimonies
–that their lawyers will not be able to undo damage done in cross-examination by our lawyers, Marvin and Kevork, of Deri and Artrovski
–discernment for Judge Iddo Ruzin as to who is speaking truth
–boldness to render a decision in accordance with God’s righteousness

Even so, come Lord Jesus,

Lawsuit Update – 8 Jun 2009

Dear Faithful Companions in the trials and tribulations for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints, (aren’t salutations great!)

Last night we had a wonderful time of praise and intercession for the trial here in Beer Sheva on Wednesday (and again on Sunday, June 21).  Worship and intercessory leaders all came together from the different parts of the country to lead in prayer and praise to the Lord on behalf of His name in our trial against the Chief Sephardi Rabbi of Beer Sheva, Yehuda Deri’, and against the anti-Great Commission organization, Yad L’Achim.  It was a very encouraging and uplifting evening here, both regarding the trial itself, and also for a breakthrough in the spirit amongst the Jewish people.  It was an expression that this case is seen as a national issue and not only as one affecting Beer Sheva or Nachalat Yeshua Cong.  Our two lawyers, Marvin Kramer and Kevork Nalbandian, were present, as well as four of the seven witnesses (not counting myself).  Wednesday morning throughout the time of the trial, which is scheduled to begin at 9:00 local time, there will be continued praying and praise taking place.

There is much encouragement IN THE LORD!

Prayer Points:–that the truth versus lies would be evident
–for Judge Iddo Ruzin to be filled with the fear of God
–for our lawyers to be alert to the promptings of the Holy Spirit as they manage to trial
–for confusion and division within the house of the adversaries
–for clarity and Holy Spirit control within us as we testify and respond to cross-examination
for the advance of God’s purposes towards His righteous judgments and the coming of the Lord Jesus,
  bringing salvation to those whose hearts are steadfast on Him
–for more fruit of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the believers participating in this case, WHATEVER THE OUTWARD OUTCOME

Num 10:35-36 (read out last night):

“So it was, whenever the ark set out, that Moses said:  ‘RISE UP, YHVH!  Let Your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate You flee before You!’
And when it rested, he said:  ‘RETURN, YHVH, TO THE MANY THOUSANDS OF ISRAEL.’ ”

Thank-you all for your standing with us for the name of the Holy One of Israel to be honored in His own people and land and city.

Howard and Randi

Lawsuit Update – 15 May 2009

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In addition, on Sunday, June 7, from 1830 (6:30pm), at the Old House of Kehilat Nachalat Yeshua, there will be an evening of PRAISE, WORSHIP, AND INTERCESSION before God regarding the trial.  This is a very significant case, and I am truly blessed to have the Body coming together with us for the battle, which is in Yeshua’s sovereign hands. 

We were greatly encouraged at the SAYF (Sitting at Yeshua’s Feet) retreat the last few days  regarding our upcoming trial.  A wide and varied representation of leadership within the Body of Messiah in Israel gave strong backing for our offensive action against those who aggressively oppose the work of God here in Israel.  A number of the leaders are planning on being present in the court on the day of the trial (details are below in a letter sent out earlier to the Israeli Messianic leadership). 

Beer Sheva holds an important place in God’s covenant purposes for Israel — from the beginning with the ‘Fathers’, and in our times with the return of the Land to the children of Jacob/Israel, and in releasing the refreshing, life-giving waters of the good news of GOD the Father to the still lost sheep of the House of Israel.Shalom Achim,

Let God arise,

In His service with you,

As some of you know, I and amutat Nichalim BaNegev have filed suit against the Chief Sephardi Rabbi of Beer Sheva, Yehuda Deri (brother of Arieh), and against the anti-Great Commission organization, Yad L’Achim.

The suit comes after prayer and consultation with other leaders in Beer Sheva, the Negev, and around the country.  It is based on the riot which the two parties were responsible for organizing against Kehilat Nachalat Yeshua on 24 Dec 2005.

The trial dates are set for June 10 and 21 in Beer Sheva at Beit Mishpat HaShalom (which is located in a tall, massive, white stone and glass building on the left side just past the ‘iriya‘ as you drive into Beer Sheva on Hgwy 40, and continue on Sderot Itzhak Rager).

Our lawyers are Marvin Kramer and Kevork Nalbandian.  We would ask you all to keep us all, and our 7 other excellent witnesses, in prayer.  The judge is Iddo Ruzin, who also needs our prayers.

We want to encourage any of you who can to be with us in the court room on the designated days:  on June 10 at 9:00; on the 21st at 12:30.  Note:  It is advisable to get there much earlier in order to be more certain of getting a seat in the courtroom.The trial is a case to uphold the legitimate right to express the true Messianic faith in Yeshua here in Beer Sheva and in Israel, according to the existing laws which supposedly govern the State.  Our nation was re-established literally on the ashes of people who were killed and then dishonorably cremated because they were Jewish — mostly unknowing witnesses of the one true God who chose them and gave them a destiny still to be fulfilled.

Now we, who believe in the one true God and in Yeshua Messiah whom He sent, are being targeted because we are mostly knowing witnesses whom He has chosen.

Our lawyers and witnesses for the trial are an incredibly diverse group expressing the truth that the God of the Jews is also the God of the Gentiles, and that Yeshua is the one who gathers us and brings us home to the Father.  What is so striking about these who have agreed to testify publicly for the sake of truth and righteousness? :

We have a New York/Israeli Jewish believer; an Armenian/Israeli Orthodox believer; a white Scandinavian/American Christian; an Arab Israeli Christian; a Canadian/Israeli Messianic Jew; an Israeli sabra believer; another American Christian; a Spanish/Israeli Roman Catholic; an Israeli/American Jewish Christian; and, an American/Israeli Jewish believer in Jesus.

What a testimony itself of what the Lord has done!  May our combined witness and testimony speak to those who are looking and listening, to the glory of our great God and Savior.

Please keep this whole matter in prayer, perhaps even fasting, and encourage others to join in, that the will of God is done, and that His righteousness is revealed!We look forward to the day when the prophetic words of Zechariah, the father of John the baptizer, written for us in Luke 1:68-75, will be fully filled in Israel when Yeshua returns!

I include here what I have always sent out to anyone I have communicated with regarding this significant court case:

Please note:  This case is not against Israel or against the Jewish people. It is not to be used in any way to foment or promote anti-Israel or anti-Jewish actions or reactions. It is already known through the Scriptures that Israel at present is opposed to the good news of God, so we are not out to make them an enemy. Nor is our legal action intended to be used by any other minority or religious groups in Israel to encourage or affirm anti-Israel/Jewish sentiment. For the sake of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, Israel and her people are beloved by God the Father for His honor and glory, and for the honor and glory of His Son.For the salvation of the Jewish people and of Israel, and of many Gentiles whom God will use to provoke His people to jealousy and to show mercy to them,

Lawsuit Update – 3 Mar 2009

I think, David, that believers — especially supporters of God’s purposes regarding Israel — should simply be reminded that, as you have so much emphasized, your case in Ariel does not stand alone, but is part of a concerted effort to discredit and to frighten the local believers in Jesus from being open about the faith, and even from living in the land.  Our evangelical brothers and sisters need to stand with their Israeli brothers and sisters in any communications they may have with Jewish and Israeli officials and agencies.

I always put out this disclaimer when I send out updates of the case:

Please note:This case is not against Israel or against the Jewish people. It is not to be used in any way to foment or promote anti-Israel or anti-Jewish actions or reactions. It is already known through the Scriptures that Israel at present is opposed to the good news of God, so we are not out to make them an enemy. Nor is our legal action intended to be used by any other minority or religious groups in Israel to encourage or affirm anti-Israel/Jewish sentiment. For the sake of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, Israel and her people are beloved by God the Father for His honor and glory, and for the honor and glory of His Son.The trial of Nichalim BaNegev (Streams in the Negev) and Howard Bass against the Chief Sephardi Rabbi of Beer Sheva, Yehuda Der’i, and against the anti-missionary organization, Yad L’Achim (Hand to the Brothers), is scheduled for June 10 and 21, 2009, in Beer Sheva.  The case will be presided by Judge Iddo Rozin.  The defendants claim that they are not responsible for the damages and personal injuries caused by those who participated in their protest demonstration called together by them.  The police closed the files against the four persons ‘arrested’ that day, claiming “lack of public interest”.

The case stems from a “riot” (the description used by the police that day) by up to 500 Jewish men, women, and children on December 24, 2005, against the Nachalat Yeshua (Yeshua’s Inheritance) Messianic Congregation.

We need the prayers of the saints seeking the honor of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ here in Israel, and for the minds of the people — whether Jewish, Arab, or others — be open to hearing the gospel and believing it for salvation.  Our two lawyers, Marvin Kramer and Kevork Nalbandian, are both believers, and they need their skilled competence and the wisdom of God in their handling of the case.

In our particular court case, we know that the law of the State of Israel is on our side, but the spirit of the nation is against us.  We have the right to assemble together for worship, and did nothing illegal to bring the opposition, whereas they broke laws — both written and unwritten — in their attack that day.  This, by the way, was the second protest demonstration against us, the first being on November 28, 1998.  At that time, we took no legal action, accepting it as part of our faith in Yeshua here.  This second time, though, they crossed too many acceptable norms to ignore in our responsibility to protect the flock, and to uphold the integrity of existing laws in the country.

Thank-you, David, for your and Leah’s “face of God in Messiah” that you have presented to the Israeli and the general Christian public.  May the Lord continue to reward you and Ami, and the rest of your family with His favor and hope.

Your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus the Messiah,