David Reagan - Calics on Evangelism in Israel
What kind of evangelism, if any, is going on in Israel today? Is there freedom to share the Gospel? Are there Messianic congregations composed of believing Jews? Is there any kind of media outreach with the Gospel to the Jewish people? For the answers to these and other questions about the spiritual situation in Israel today, stay tuned for an interview with two Israelis.
David Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus our Blessed Hope and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. I have two very special guests in the studio with me today they are Daniel and D’vorah Calic from Israel. Welcome to God’s country, Texas.
Daniel Calic: Well, what can we say?
D’vorah Calic: Thank you.
Daniel Calic: We know God loves Texas. He might love Israel a little bit more.
David Reagan: I think you’re probably right about that. Well, tell me are the two of you natives of Israel? Were you born and raised there?
D’vorah Calic: Well, actually we were not. We’re both natives of California.
David Reagan: California! How about that?
D’vorah Calic: Yeah, northern and San Francisco Bay area. And Daniel and I were on a trip visiting his family during Passover in 2008, it was our third trip together. And we actually, in the best way to say it is we heard the voice of the Lord telling us that we needed to move to Israel.
David Reagan: So, when you say your third trip together, you are talking about a trip to Israel?
D’vorah Calic: Yes, third trip to Israel together. And what happened is we were with some friends. We had gone to a Messianic congregation for the very first time. And we were with some friends who took us out to lunch. And the woman who has become my best friend, her name is Josie, she asked both of us–we had just sat down, just for a couple minutes even, not even. And she said, “So,” and she looked at both of us really intently, and she said, “So, when are you and Daniel going to make aliyah?” Well, my jaw dropped open because little did even Daniel know that she was the third person who had asked that question in about a year. In the matter of a years’ time. And so, what tumbled out of my mouth was the story of how two other people had asked about us making aliyah, and had mentioned that because now I was married to a Jewish believer, a Jew, under the law of return I would be entitled to live in Israel. And so, I–this tumbled out of my mouth and I told the whole story to Daniel. And he’s kind of looking kind of shocked. And I also added, “Well, honey, I also didn’t tell you that right after our honeymoon I was sitting on our bed in the bedroom studying as I often do. And I heard the Lord clear as a bell say to me, ‘You and Daniel are like Ruth and Boaz and your home will be in Israel'”
David Reagan: Now when you talk about making aliyah, there are viewers who have no idea what you mean by that term. So, tell us what does aliyah mean?
Daniel Calic: Right. Aliyah technically means going up, ok.
David Reagan: Like you’re going up to Jerusalem.
D’vorah Calic: Ascending.
Daniel Calic: Absolutely. And when you’re in Israel, folks who don’t know this be prepared you always go up to Jerusalem. Even if you’re driving from the southern part of the country you’re going up to Jerusalem. Or anyway you go you’re going up. So aliyah is acutally the process by which you immigrate to Israel, become a citizen. And we have a pretty interesting story as far that goes.
David Reagan: I was going to say now first of all you’re a believing Jew, right?
Daniel Calic: Correct.
David Reagan: And you’re a Gentile.
D’vorah Calic: Correct.
David Reagan: How in the world do you make aliyah to Israel?
Daniel Calic: Well our God–
D’vorah Calic: It’s complicated, and a lot of prayer.
David Reagan: The Lord had to pave the way.
D’vorah Calic: Oh, absolutely.
Daniel Calic: Amen.
D’vorah Calic: Absolutely. We actually when we heard that call in 2008, and of course I had actually heard it in 2007. We began to pray and we asked everyone to pray for us that Daniel would never be asked if he believed in Yeshua because this is becoming the big thing. The government and the agencies that help with immigration ask this question. And amazingly Daniel was never asked the question. Thank you, Lord. And I became the problem. And I’ll tell you why, because I was a non-Jew.
Daniel Calic: Interesting description, you became the problem.
D’vorah Calic: Yeah, right.
David Reagan: Don’t elaborate on that.
D’vorah Calic: Yeah, please don’t. Anyway we were married in a home, in someone’s home, and we didn’t marry in a church. We met later in life, both of us were widowed and we met later in life. And so, what happened was my mother’s–I’m not Jewish so they ask you on your papers what religion are you? So I put Christian because I was a non-Jew it wasn’t going to be an issues. I’d never converted away from Judaism. So, we put Christian, and then but my mother’s maiden name was Wolfson.
David Reagan: That sounds very Jewish to me.
D’vorah Calic: Oh, yes, because my grandfather was Jewish.
David Reagan: Ok.
D’vorah Calic: But of course that halachically speaking according to Jewish law my mother was not Jewish because she had a non-Jewish mother. So, they saw that I was a Christian. They saw the name Wolfson, and they made an assumption that I was a Jew who had converted to Christianity. That was a problem.
David Reagan: That’s a big problem, yes.
D’vorah Calic: But a miracle happened. Daniel had just the right words God put in his mouth when he was talking to them and he said, “No, no, no, she’s just not Jewish. She’s a non-Jew. We crazy California Jews marry non-Jews all the time.” And so then they asked about our wedding. Well, you know, you were married by a pastor. Oh, that was a friend of my wife. We didn’t have a religious ceremony.
Daniel Calic: That was the key.
D’vorah Calic: That’s the key.
Daniel Calic: We did not have a religious ceremony, because from their perspective it would have need to have been done by a Rabbi.
D’vorah Calic: Yeah, right.
Daniel Calic: But because we got married in California, and a friend, and non-Jews marry Jews all the time–
David Reagan: Crazy world of California.
D’vorah Calic: What are you going to do?
Daniel Calic: So crazy Californians.
David Reagan: And they know that.
D’vorah Calic: These crazy Jews in California.
Daniel Calic: They do.
D’vorah Calic: Yeah, so, in addition to that another miracle happened and were we–they city we were making aliyah in, Daniel’s family had a very, very good friend who is Yemenite Jew who taught all the children in Hadera, the city that he was from and prepared them for their Bar Mitzvah. He knew the woman who was doing our paperwork.
David Reagan: Always helps.
D’vorah Calic: They had gone to school together. So, he called her up and said, “I hear you have, you know, a really good friend of our family. You’ve got their papers. He said, “She’s no problem. She’s more Jewish than all of us.”
Daniel Calic: And so, what’s really funny about it Dave, is that we were kind of getting a little nervous.
David Reagan: I’d believe so.
D’vorah Calic: Oh, yeah.
Daniel Calic: We have this upcoming appointment. And so we are practicing, “Well, what are you going to say?” “What are you going to say?” “What are you going to say?” We go to the appointment after he makes the phone call, we walk in–
D’vorah Calic: We didn’t know about it.
Daniel Calic: –we don’t have to say anything. We walk in and she’s like stamping this, stamping that, stamping this. Here. Here. And we walk out with passes.
David Reagan: That had to be of God.
D’vorah Calic: Oh, absolutely.
David Reagan: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy and my interview with Daniel and D’vorah Calic two wonderful friends from Israel. Well, I just want to jump into something right fast that is rather controversial and that is: Is there freedom to share the Gospel in Israel?
Daniel Calic: The simple answer is yes, you can. And it is done.
David Reagan: Well, I’m glad you made that clear because a lot of American’s believe that is not true. They’ve heard that you can’t share the Gospel in Israel.
Daniel Calic: It’s not true. And there are several reasons why it’s not true, but the most obvious reason is there are thousands of Jewish believers in Israel. And trust me when I tell you this they are actively sharing the Gospel.
David Reagan: I think this misinformation here is based upon the law in Israel that says you cannot give anybody an incentive to change their religion. Of course you’re not doing that.
D’vorah Calic: No.
Daniel Calic: Absolutely. Absolutely.
D’vorah Calic: Absolutely not.
Daniel Calic: The incentive if you really want to talk about it–
David Reagan: The good news of Jesus.
D’vorah Calic: Exactly.
Daniel Calic: The incentive is where do you want to spend eternity? Ok. That’s the incentive.
D’vorah Calic: Exactly.
David Reagan: But not money.
D’vorah Calic: No. No.
Daniel Calic: Exactly.
D’vorah Calic: In fact not even humanitarian aid because most of the Messianic ministries in Israel do some form of humanitarian aid. But their attitude is we do it as Yeshua, as Jesus taught us for the sake of meeting the need in love. And if they’re asked they share.
David Reagan: In fact I’m sometimes just overwhelmed by the amount of aid, humanitarian aid that is supplied by Christian ministries in Israel. I think the government is a little overwhelmed at times too.
Daniel Calic: Indeed. Indeed.
David Reagan: How much–because most Jews I believe have the impression that Christians don’t like Jews, that they hate Jews. And there is a reason for that. There is a reason for it and the reason is that a lot of persecution of the Jews throughout history has come from Christians. In fact the people who were running the Holocaust all claimed to be Christians.
D’vorah Calic: That’s right.
Daniel Calic: Yes, indeed.
D’vorah Calic: That’s right. And that is a big–
David Reagan: Well let me ask you this you mentioned something about believers in Israel. Are there Messianic congregations there?
Daniel Calic: Yes, there are. There are, no one has an exact count but we estimate somewhere between 150 maybe 175 Messianic congregations.
David Reagan: And I would assume that they would vary greatly just as denominations do here in this country. You might have charismatic ones, non-charismatic, ones that are all in Hebrew, and some that are in English or whatever.
Daniel Calic: It’s a smorgasbord. Indeed, it’s a smorgasbord. They are all over the map. So indeed. So bottom line though is that they are existing in Israel. And some people may not know this but the government knows exactly where they are because they all have to get permits, ok, in order to open their house of worship. So the fact that they exist means that the government is aware that they are there.
David Reagan: Well I have a very good friend in Tel Avi who you probably know, Avi Mizrachi.
Daniel Calic: Yes.
David Reagan: And Avi is a very aggressive evangelist. He goes out on the streets and he hands out pamphlets, and they do all kinds of stuff. But one time I watched a video of him he was at the big fountain there in Tel Aviv and he was handing out brochures and people were saying, “No, no.” Until an Orthodox Jew from Jerusalem came down and started harassing him, and yelling, and telling people, “Don’t take that.” Then everybody wanted one. Can you explain why?
D’vorah Calic: Reverse psychology.
David Reagan: Yes, because of the attitude of the average secular Jew toward the Orthodox.
Daniel Calic: Oh, indeed. Approximately 20% of the population in Israel is Orthodox, and 80% is secular. And the seculars have grown increasingly frustrated with the way the Orthodox have behaved themselves.
David Reagan: Well, they try to impose their way of life upon the whole society.
Daniel Calic: Exactly.
David Reagan: And so if you’ve got an Orthodox harassing you they want that material. Show the Orthodox he can’t tell them what to do right?
Daniel Calic: There’s also just a slight streak of rebellion there too. Just a little bit.
David Reagan: I told Avi he needs to hire an Orthodox to come down and harass him all the time.
Daniel Calic: Exactly. Exactly.
D’vorah Calic: And you know another thing that your viewers may not know is that there is a shift happening in Israel. And even many of the Orthodox are becoming interested in Yeshua. Of course presented from a Jewish, in a Jewish context.
David Reagan: Alright, let’s talk about that for a moment. The Lord clearly called you to go to Israel. Now you’re there what are you doing there?
Daniel Calic: Well, we have a ministry. We are technically retired but the Lord put it on our heart.
D’vorah Calic: You don’t retire. You don’t retire when you’re in the Kingdom of God.
Daniel Calic: Alright, well, I thought I’d get away with it.
David Reagan: Well, you have a wonderful ministry and I want you to tell our viewers about it.
Daniel Calic: Yes, well, when we got to Israel we looked around and we started sort of surveying the lay of the land. And we saw a number of Christian, Christian organizations, Christian pastors coming to Israel and connecting with the Orthodox Jewish community, and blessing them, and donating to them, and supporting them and what have you. But we didn’t notice that happening with the believing Jewish community. And we thought to ourselves, why isn’t someone giving the Jewish community an opportunity to get connected, get blessed and what have you? Because after all believing Jews share the same God. Share the same Scripture. Share the same Messiah. How come Christians aren’t coming? Well, we figured out because it’s a Jewish country and in order to have a relationship with the traditional Jews it makes it difficult, the dynamic is very, very challenging. So, we prayed, and prayed, and prayed and after a while it really kind of became clear to us that God wanted us to start this ministry where we are going to give–we are we’ve started it–giving Messianic Jews, Jewish congregations of believing Jews and Messianic ministries an opportunity to share what God has put on their heart to help build the kingdom in Israel.
David Reagan: And how are you doing that?
Daniel Calic: We are interviewing the leaders of the congregations and the ministries. And just like what we’re doing right now. And we give them an opportunity to share what God’s put on their heart. Talk about the humanitarian outreach that they’re doing. For example just before we left we interviewed a wonderful man who has a ministry that helps Holocaust survivors, and he does wonderful things. He takes them on tours. Talks about it from it a biblical perspective. Has dinners for them and what have you. Yes, dear.
D’vorah Calic: Can I interject? It’s rather, you know with these ministries they do exercise a lot of creativity in how they do their outreach. And this gentleman what he does, he’s mostly dealing with Russian decedent Russian Holocaust survivors. And so he takes them–they know nothing, they know nothing, they were in a godless country. It was against the law. You couldn’t talk about God. So, he takes them to biblical sites, and then shares from the gospels about Yeshua.
David Reagan: Ok, now you are interviewing these Messianic leaders.
Daniel Calic: Right.
David Reagan: What do you do with the interviews?
Daniel Calic: We give them an opportunity to share what God has put on their heart as far as what they do. The purpose of their ministry. The outreach that they do. And the purpose of it is really to give believers around the world an opportunity to see and hear firsthand from the Jewish believing community in Israel what they’re doing on a day-to-day basis to help build the kingdom, and then establish direct connections with them.
David Reagan: But how do you do that?
D’vorah Calic: It’s a TV show. Internet TV show just like what you have.
Daniel Calic: Oh, yeah. You know once in a while I’ll wake up, maybe the second or third.
David Reagan: You are assuming that we know too much.
Daniel Calic: Ah, indeed, indeed. The program is called Revelation to the Nations. And we have it on our website. We have it on our YouTube channel. We have a Facebook page and what have you. And so we’re doing this recording.
David Reagan: So, people can go there and watch the programs on demand?
Daniel Calic: Correct.
D’vorah Calic: They can. Yes.
David Reagan: So like on a YouTube where would they go?
Daniel Calic: They would go to our YouTube channel, it is simply called Bless Israel Network.
David Reagan: Ok, that is Bless Israel Network. And the title of the program is “Revelation to the Nations.”
Daniel Calic: Indeed.
David Reagan: Now, that sounds to me like that is more of a program aimed at Gentiles than Jews.
Daniel Calic: Well–
D’vorah Calic: It is.
Daniel Calic: Indeed because most–we actually believe that the Gentiles it’s perfectly appropriate for the Gentiles to step up and bless their believing Jewish brethren in the land. And so we want to focus on reaching out to Gentiles and give them an opportunity to see what their believing Jewish brethren are doing in Israel. Because most of them which we have found out as we’ve traveled around the states and spoken in churches and Messianic congregations is that most believers outside Israel don’t have a dedicated connection to find out what the Jewish believers in Israel are doing on a day-to-day basis.
D’vorah Calic: They have no way, they have no way to get that information. And what also spurred us to doing this is that in Romans 15:27, we call Paul Shaul but he was talking to a group–I forget what congregation it was–but he was talking about an offering that he always collected whenever he went and set up these Gentile congregations that he always collected an offering for the brethren who at that time were all gathered in Jerusalem. So, this is what our God has shown us we need to do is to take up that mandate and to encourage Gentiles to, well Paul says it he says, “You owe it to them.”
David Reagan: Well, I really appreciate that. And it’s very much needed. American churches often want to do something for Israel. American Christians want to do something and they end up doing all the wrong things. Some dynamic individual comes and speaks to them, and the next thing you know they are giving money to rebuild the Temple, or they’re giving money to fly people in but it’s to the wrong organization. An organization that takes some of that money and uses it to persecute Messianic Jews.
D’vorah Calic: Exactly.
Daniel Calic: You’re right about that. And we have actually had conversations with very sincere, loving Christians that we’ve known for many years, and they tell us about these organization that they’re donating to. And I say, “Do you know what they do with some of that money?” And it’s shocking.
David Reagan: They need to know that. They need to be putting the money where it really matters.
D’vorah Calic: Well, and it’s supposed to go to the household of faith first.
David Reagan: Yes. Yes.
D’vorah Calic: So, if you want to bless Israel, really these Christian churches should be blessing the Messianic Jews in Israel. They struggle in many cases. We know this gentleman we just interviewed he was paying for everything with his own money. And he finally realized I have to start raising money so that I can grow and expand, and touch more people with what I’m doing. And they all feel that way. All of our congregations and ministries.
David Reagan: Ok, so, you are interviewing Messianic leaders in Israel and finding out what they’re congregations are doing and so forth. And then you are putting this together in what 30 minute programs?
Daniel Calic: Approximately 30 minutes.
David Reagan: Do you film those in Israel?
D’vorah Calic: We do.
Daniel Calic: Yes, everything is done in Israel.
David Reagan: Ok, and then you post them on Facebook, the internet, YouTube, and they are available on demand.
Daniel Calic: That’s correct.
David Reagan: Where would a person in America go on the internet to find these?
Daniel Calic: Our website is called blessisraelnetwork.com. And on that website you’ve got a link to our Facebook page. You’ve got a link to our YouTube channel.
David Reagan: Ok, and can they make donations through that?
Daniel Calic: Absolutely.
D’vorah Calic: Yes. Yeah, and we are a non-profit. We are affiliated with a non-profit so they can right on our website donate to that.
David Reagan: Well let me shift gears for just a moment. Well one thing I wanted to mention is that when you said that God spoke to you and told you to come to Israel. I was going to say if anybody knows anything about Israel you need God to speak to you and tell you to come. You know I take groups over all the time, maybe 50 in a group and we have a wonderful 12 day tour. And everybody says, “Oh, this is so wonderful. I’d love to move to Israel.” I’d say, “You don’t know Israel.” It’s one thing to tour Israel. It’s another thing to move to Israel and become a resident. It is not easy to be an Israeli citizen. It is tough. And you know the taxes and everything else. You are living in a tiny country the size of New Jersey that has to have a huge defense force. And you’re under constant threat of attack at any moment. Wow, how do deal with that?
D’vorah Calic: There is a lot–go ahead–
Daniel Calic: When you make the decision after a lot of prayer to move to Israel. You have to recognize that you are making a life changing experience in many, many ways. In some ways you may not even be aware of until you have been there for some time. I remember once having a conversation with one of our neighbors when we first moved there. This was a secular, every day average Jewish person. And she said to me, you know, “Why did you move here?” Ok. “Why did you move here?” “And where did you come from?” And I said, “I came from California.” She looked at me, she said, “You came from California!”
David Reagan: I know.
D’vorah Calic: She called it heaven.
Daniel Calic: Yeah, she said, “You came from heaven?” I looked at her and I said, “No, heaven is coming here.” Heaven is coming here. And she didn’t quite get that but you know we had some expanded conversation about that. But you do have to make a decision. And the decision is an important one and you have to decide what is more important to you? Ok, all the external toys. The conveniences. The weather. The internet. You know big house, blah, blah, blah, or if you want to do something that blesses your brethren that is in response to something God put on your heart. And so in fact–
David Reagan: Living right in the center of God’s will.
D’vorah Calic: Yeah, amen.
Daniel Calic: Exactly.
D’vorah Calic: Oh, and that’s the best part of it all. That’s what fuels me knowing I am walking in my destiny. I’m in the center of God’s will. You know there is a sports term they say, in the zone. I feel like spiritually I’m in the zone.
David Reagan: Ok, very quickly we’ve got about 2 minutes left in this segment. I want to ask you a very important question and that is: Israel is a very tiny nation the size of New Jersey. It has only about 6 ½ million Jews. It’s surrounded by 350 million Arabs who would like to see the Mediterranean Sea run red in the blood of Jews; want to annihilate the State of Israel. This idea of two states is ridiculous, they want to annihilate Israel. Does Israel have any hope?
Daniel Calic: Indeed. Israel has lots of hope. First of all you can talk about all the rockets. You can talk about all the weapons. You could talk about all the armies. You could talk about the size of the countries and so on and so forth.
D’vorah Calic: The underground tunnels.
Daniel Calic: Underground tunnels and everything else. Israel has the one weapon they don’t have. Israel has the Lord our God.
David Reagan: Amen.
D’vorah Calic: Amen.
David Reagan: He neither slumbers nor sleeps.
D’vorah Calic: That’s right. The hope of Israel is the God of Israel. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who has made an eternal, everlasting covenant that will never be broken with the Jewish people.
David Reagan: It always reminds me of one of my favorite editorial cartoons about Israel which shows all the leaders of the world on one side, and Netanyahu on the other and they’re having a rope pulling contest.
D’vorah Calic: Yes, I know that.
David Reagan: And Netanyahu is winning because behind him there is finger of God on the rope.
Daniel Calic: Amen.
D’vorah Calic: Amen, that’s it in a nutshell.
Daniel Calic: Amen, absolutely.
David Reagan: You would think that the Jews would realize this. I mean I’m talking about the secular Jews, if they would realize it the only nation in history that’s been brought back to their homeland. Their language revived. God is protecting them. I mean what do you have to do to get them to see?
Daniel Calic: You took the words right out of my mouth.
D’vorah Calic: Amen. Pray.
Daniel Calic: Indeed. The secular Jews, this may sound strange but when you try to remind them that they are supposed to be a light to the nations. That they are supposed to be nation of priests. And that they are God’s chosen people. They don’t respond well to that because they think that they’ve got nothing but bad news to report when they talk about what’s happened to us being distinctive.
David Reagan: Welcome back to my interview with Daniel and D’vorah Calic, two Israelis who are here visiting with us in the Texas area. Daniel I’d like for you to look right into that camera and give the message of your heart to the Jewish people.
Daniel Calic: My Jewish brethren, you’re looking at a man who was born, raised, and lived his entire life in the Jewish community in the United States. My father was the Ba’al Tekiah at our synagogue for 35 years. The Rabbi and his wife were personal friends of our family for many years. They dined with us. I’m a Jew. If you’re a Jew and you want to know who your Messiah is I ask you with all sincerity do no listen to what you hear from people who tell you that Jesus is the Lord of the enemy. He is not the Lord of the enemy. Jesus, Yeshua was born, raised, lived His entire life as a Jew. He will return as a Jew. I ask you, open Scripture, look at it, including Isaiah 53, and let God speak to your heart about who your Messiah is. When I invited Him into my heart I didn’t stop being a Jew, neither will you.
David Reagan: Wow. Well, folks that’s our program for this week. I hope it’s been a blessing to you. Until next week the Lord willing this Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb & Lion Ministries saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our redemption is drawing near.