Being that Argentina is in the southern hemisphere, activities are now restarting after the summer recess. Our congregation in Buenos Aires continued with their regular services, but the Bible Institute, Hebrew classes, and Israeli dances stopped for the summer months – December through March. Our attendance to our Shabbat service is increasing steadily; the average attendance is from 70 to 90 people. What’s important is that more Jewish “seekers” are coming to our meetings; between seven and fifteen Jewish nonbelievers are coming to our Shabbat services every week! The Friday night service follows the traditional “Kabalat Shabbat” Jewish tradition, with music, worship and reading of the Torah and the New Testament. The Friday Kabalat Shabbat, meaning Welcoming the Shabbat, is not to be confused with “Kabbala,” that is Jewish mysticism! Now we have also started a Havdalah service which is the beautiful Jewish ceremony with which we end the Shabbat rest, and includes music, worship and a message from the Word of God. Most people attend both services, while others attend one of them.
Thanks to the renovation and acquisition of tables, chairs, and kitchen equipment, we are now able to celebrate Passover together. It’s wonderful to see how people from different Jewish backgrounds prepared different dishes! Ashkenazi Jews make up the majority of the Jewish population in Argentina and make additional Passover dishes without lamb or legumes, while the Sephardic Jews prepare dishes with lamb with rice and Mediterranean ingredients. Having events like celebrating Passover together, is building a sense of community, which is the essence of a Messianic Jewish congregation. We believe that through the ministry of our congregation in Buenos Aires we are able to reach non-believing Jewish people.