One of the very special highlights of the Bramson tour to Israel is our guide Yehuda Hockman. Yehuda is an amazing man. At 70, he still leads tours in Israel. To become a guide in Israel is not easy. The training is extensive, similar to obtaining a Master’s Degree. In addition to being a tour guide, Yehuda has military experience. He fought in at least two wars so he speaks of the history of Israel from personal experience. Besides these strengths, Yehuda is the only guide who is a Messianic Jew. This alone makes traveling the promised land under his leadership an exceptional trip.As a believer in Yeshua, his perspective on the land of Israel is ‘one in Spirit’ with those of us who journey there to walk in Messiah’s footsteps.
Yehuda is fluent in at least six languages. Born in Brazil, he speaks Portuguese and Spanish as well as Hebrew, Arabic and English. He is currently learning Russian. After being with Yehuda for a few days, we began to pick up his dialect. He says English words just like they look like they should be pronounced. Vegetables are ‘ve-ge-tables; government is ‘ga-vern-a-ment.” Words that end in “ed” are pronounced that way–confused is ”con-fus-ed,’ arrived is ‘a-riv-ed,’ and stuck is ‘stuck-ed.” (I realize there is no ‘ed’ on stuck, but that is way Yehuda says it. Anyone that speaks 6 more languages than I do can say stuck however he wants!)
Among other wars, Yehuda fought in the Six Day War in 1967 when the Jews reclaimed the Western Wall. He told us that when the troops entered the city at the Lion’s Gate, the tanks got ‘stuck-ed.’ At this gate, the tiny narrow road makes a 90 degree turn inside the wall and one can easily see how a big, huge tank could get ‘stuck-ed” in there.
Aside: As Katie and I got into the elevator to leave for the airport this evening, there was a strange noise. However, the elevator descended until it came to a stop, not at our intended destination, the lobby, but at the minus 2 level and the door would NOT open. We were “stuck-ed” in the elevator with a plane to catch. (Just in case you’re wondering what happened to us, if we missed our bus and plane and if handsome Israeli soldiers came to our rescue, sadly this did not happen, the Israeli soldier part, that is. After considerable yelling and pounding on the door, some people on the outside pried the door open and we were set free from the ‘stuck-ed’ elevator. However, since we had PTED (post traumatic elevator distrust), we did not get in another elevator, but rather carried our 45 pound suitcases (pronounced suite-cases) up two floors to the lobby. There really is no need to go to a gym while in Israel.
Anyway, back to Yehuda. Besides being fluent in many languages, Yehuda completed a Doctorate in New Testament from Texas University and wrote his thesis on Melchidezek. He was ordained as a rabbi after he came to faith in Yeshua. Between his infectious and delightful sense of humor and Walter’s puns, there was never a dull moment during our trip.
Yehuda is humble man. He doesn’t like any fuss made over him, but I want to say, on behalf of the group, that we will miss you, Yehuda. We love you, and know that because you are our Jewish brother in Yeshua, we will see you again. Shalom
Geneva Chinnock Written on El Al at 35,000 feet
Sent from my iPad, LAX, USA still on Israel time…