This is a story about Menny, a very special person who joined Tiferet Yeshua over the summer. Recently after one of our services, Menny walked up to Debby, Tiferet Yeshua secretary, and asked her, “Debby, how do you know Yeshua is alive? I know He is alive because He raised me from the dead. But how do you know He’s alive?”
Over the summer we shared the amazing story of how Menny first reached out to us. He was looking for a specific English-speaking church in the area, but somehow God led him to us, a Hebrew-speaking congregation of Jewish believers instead. When Menny first showed up at Tiferet Yeshua, he told Kosta in Hebrew, “I am a Christian now because I believe in Yeshu the Christian”. The name “Yeshu” in Hebrew is a derogatory term given Him by the rabbis. Menny had never heard His real Hebrew name. He also did not know that there were other Jewish followers of Yeshua. Since he first reached out to us, we have had the privilege of getting to know Menny and to hear his amazing testimony. Menny often says, “What happened to me is not normal.” We agree, but we serve an amazing God who sometimes uses extraordinary circumstances and experiences to reveal Himself to us, like he did with Menny.
The day Menny died:
After his military service in the IDF, Menny took a trip to the US and ended up staying for good. In November 2014, Menny was a married father of five children, working in real estate and construction when he started renovations on an old Victorian building he had bought. The building had been damaged in a fire, but inspections had found the building structurally sound for renovation. While Menny was working over a high gable on the second floor, that section of the building collapsed, and Menny plummeted 30 feet and was then buried under the building debris. After being airlifted to a nearby hospital, his medical records show that he had no signs of life upon arrival. After they succeeded to resuscitate him, they began the fight for his life.
For over a year Menny was in a coma. The way Menny describes it: “My head was smashed apart. My whole right side is filled with titanium becuase my bones shattered from the fall.” Menny woke up from the coma after a year and a half and had to begin intensive physiotherapy to relearn how to do everything. At least, that is what they told him, because he barely remembers those first couple years after he woke up from the coma. During that time, Menny could not speak. He was relearning how to swallow, feed himself, to walk. Eventually, the doctors determined that Menny had significant brain damage and sent him to a nursing home. Somewhere along the line Menny started speaking again. It was then he started to share his experience, where he had gone and the person he had met—the reason why he was still alive.
“Your name is not in this book”
When Menny tells his story, he starts with a caveat: “Listen, I know I have problems.” What he means is that it not as easy for him to speak as it used to be, and sometimes he can’t find the right word. But one thing is for sure: his memory is crystal clear. We found local newspaper accounts of the building collapse which mention Menny by name and his injury, and all the details he remembers are exact. While Menny was in the nursing home, a woman minister from a local church who volunteered there started taking walks with Menny as part of his physical therapy routine. She told him it was a miracle that he was still alive. He then told her the real story of his miracle:
“When I died, I went up into the universe, into the next world. It wasn’t a dream. I came to a man who had an open book on a stand in front of him. I approached him and told him, ‘My name is Menny Mor. Where do I go?’ The man just looked at me. I knew he was the one who was supposed to tell me where to go. So, I ask him again, ‘Where do I go? To the left or to the right?’ Then he said to me, ‘You are not written in this book. I am sending you back to where you came from.’”
Menny thought that the man he saw could not be God because no one can see God and live. But he also knew that the man he interacted with had authority and that he saved Menny’s earthly life by sending him back again. The minister who accompanied Menny on these walks told him the identity of the man he had met: Jesus, the Son of God. The Messiah. The way, the truth and the life. To Menny it made perfect sense: if anyone wants to go the Father, they must go through this man, Jesus, to whom was given all authority. As the minister continued to share about this Jesus with Menny, that He was a personal friend and savior, Menny gave his heart to Him and discovered that His presence was with him all the time.
A Miraculous Recovery and Call back to Israel
Despite the doctor’s assessment that Menny had serious brain damage, he kept improving and he was able to speak again. Before long, Menny’s son who had come to visit him said, “Abba, we have to get you out of here! You don’t belong here.” Menny left the nursing home and continued improving. He started driving again after passing a three-hour test of his mental fitness. His faith in the Jesus who had saved him continued strong too, and he told his family all about it. Needless to say, they told him to stop talking nonsense. They told him, “That’s your brain damage talking!” Menny stayed in touch with the Christian minister who volunteered at the nursing home, and she encouraged Menny to go back to Israel: “God gave the Land to your people. That is where you belong.” So, after forty years in America, Menny returned to Israel a very different man.
Learning the Hebrew Name of His Savior
After Menny returned to Israel, his minister friend continued to stay in touch and disciple him. After the covid restrictions in Israel were eased, she encouraged him to get connected with a local church. She sent him the name of an English-speaking Lutheran church in the area, but the number she sent him was our number instead. It seems that God wanted Menny to get to know the Jewish identity of His Savior and to learn His Hebrew name, Yeshua.
I talk to Yeshua all the time
For someone who has gone through so much suffering, you would never know from Menny’s attitude. He is happy, has a great sense of humor, is outgoing and is full of life. He also shines the light of Yeshua. “I talk to Yeshua all the time,” he says, “When I’m walking, at night when I can’t sleep. I talk to Him and ask Him to help me.” It is clear that Menny has a very special and deep connection with the Lord Yeshua through his experience after the accident, but Menny is also growing in the depth and understanding of His faith, getting to know the Jewish side of His Savior by reading the New Testament. Last week Menny decided that he wanted to make a declaration of his faith in water immersion, accompanied by pastors from Tiferet Yeshua leadership team and other friends. A week later, we asked him how he feels: “I feel new, like if I think about the future there is nothing that upsets me. Just peace.”
by Tamar Afriat