Coming up this Shabbat at Ben David

May 25 - Message by Doug Friedman:sermon


“Here Comes the Judge"

Paul’s “2nd” letter to the Corinthians is filled with arguments calling for changed behavior on the part of the Corinthian Congregation. Now, in the final chapter, Paul switches from arguments to warnings. But his summation reveals something else entirely. Come and hear the heart of a true Apostle!

Simchat Torah

October 15 - Simchat Torahtorah
The Joy of the Torah - Morning Service
Concluding the annual Torah reading and beginning anew.
Join us celebrating God's word.

Rosh haShanah

Saturday, September 24 - Rosh haShanah Messianic Service at 10:30am.


Rosh HaShanah, also known as the Jewish New Year, is called in the Bible the Feast of Trumpets, or, in Hebrew, Zicharon Teruah, the Day of Memorial of Blowing.
Rosh HaShanah (literally, Head of the Year) occurs on the first day of the Jewish month of Tishrei.
Please join us for the morning service on Saturday, September 24, at 10:30am and celebrate this Biblical Holy Day and its Messianic significance.

Yom Kippur

Wednesday, October 5 - Yom Kippur Messianic Service at 10:30am:


Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, occurs on the tenth of Tishrei, it is to be a "Shabbat of solemn rest."
Please join us for the morning service on Wednesday, October 5, for this Messianic Service at 10:30am.


Saturday, October 8 - Sukkot Service at 10:30am:


Join us for a Sukkot celebration.

Shabbat Zachor, the Shabbat of Remembrance

On the Shabbat before Purim, Jews throughout the world will turn their attention to two special readings in Deuteronomy and Samuel, describing how the ancient nation of Amalek attacked our ancestors in the desert. These readings come before Purim because Haman was the descendent of Agag, King of Amalek.

Deuteronomy 25:17-19: “Remember what Amalek did to you by the way, when you came out of Egypt. How he met you by the way, and struck at your rear, all who were feeble behind you, when you were faint and weary; and he did not fear God. Therefore it shall be, when the Lord your God has given you rest from all your enemies around, in the land which the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance to possess, that you shall blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; you shall not forget it.”

Not only was the attack unprovoked, but it came at a time when the people were faint and weary. Shabbat Zachor - the Sabbath of Remembrance - is so named because we are commanded to remember the heinous deeds committed by Amalek. Our memories as victims of violence and persecution are a two-edged sword, though. We sometimes find that many of our people have accumulated emotions of hate and vengeance against whoever belongs to a nation or group which has hurt us. We sometimes hear expressions of anger, following murderous attacks. Feelings of rage and the desire for revenge are natural and understandable in moments of crisis, and one cannot be judged in his or her moment of anguish.

But it seems that this mitzvah has a different meaning, because the Torah does not “command” us to feel that which is naturally felt. The Torah does not enjoin us to love our children, for example, we do that naturally. On the other hand, it does charge us to “love the stranger.” With this commandment to remember the deeds of Amalek, Torah seems to command us to make every effort not to be contaminated by the actions like those of Amalek and the tendency to respond to violence with violence and stain our souls and minds with violence.

Our God asked to “love your neighbor as yourself” and “love your enemies” but our mind, clouded by our sinful nature, cannot comprehend the full magnitude of this commandment, thus, at least we have to remember not to be like Amalek and darken our souls by hate. Justice is enough.

Hanukkah Celebration

December 28 - Hanukkah Celebration at 4:00pmhanukkah
Come, celebrate Hanukkah with us.
- Menorah Lighhting
- Dancing
- Children’s Activities
- Dreidel Playing
- Traditional Foods
- Latkes & Sufganiyot

PLEASE NOTE: There will be no morning service.

Coming up at Ben David - Purim

March 12 - Purim Celebration:

Join us for a fun filled Purim Celebration: costumes, parade, children's program, joyful music, insightful sermon, and an Oneg with delicious hamantaschen. Purim is the last event of the biblical calendar and symbolizes the ultimate victory over evil.

Hamantaschen Baking Contest:

Bring two dozen of your homemade hamantaschen before the service to enter the contest. Prizes will be awarded at the Oneg.

Coming up at Ben David - April 14 - Yom HaShoah

With guest speaker Rochelle Dreeben author of "One Dark Night"
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I was born in 1955 in Santa Monica, California, the only child of parents who were in their forties at the time. We belonged to a reform temple when I was a child but stopped attending services almost entirely before I finished elementary school as we felt that we were getting no spiritual nourishment from our participation. As a result, I never learned Hebrew or was Bat Mitzvah’d. We celebrated both Chanukah and Christmas in a secular way, merely for the presents and decorations.

Early Beliefs

My family always believed in God. There was, however, nothing personal or passionate about that belief. There was a Bible in our home, but the only way I recall its ever having been used was in playing a game that required a thick book in which to hide slips of paper. I saw God only as Creator and as the rescuer of my people; He had made the universe and everything in it and miraculously freed us from the Egyptians, but then stood back and let things happen as they might. I prayed when I felt like it, but not daily.

Home Life

My parents’ marriage was not a good one. My father was verbally—but never physically—abusive, controlling spiteful, and stubborn. He often reduced my mother to tears. Perhaps two or three times, when she couldn’t bear his treatment, she was hospitalized; once a doctor had him removed from our home for several weeks or months.

I grew up emotionally strong in defense against him, but he could hurt me by hurting my beloved mother. I became physically ill in response to his behavior when I was in fourth grade and had to miss so many weeks of school that I was eventually assigned a home teacher so that I might be promoted with my classmates. Occasionally my mother would escape her torment by taking me with her to some sort of religious service. I thought at the time that the venues to which we fled were churches, but I’ve come to suspect that at least some of them did not belong to mainline denominations but to cults.

New Interest

I was perhaps in junior high school when I discovered a religious television program that interested me. A faith healer by the name of Katherine Kuhlman, whose trademark apparently was slowly intoning “I belieeeeve in miracles,” hosted a talk show on which she interviewed people regarding miracles that God had performed in their lives. I was fascinated. The idea that God was still performing miracles now—for regular people on an individual basis—was novel and captivating. I became an avid fan, and my mother joined me.

After a number of weeks, however, it seemed that all of her guests were former alcoholics whom God had set free from a self-destructive lifestyle, and I lost interest due to the redundancy I had observed. I stopped watching the program, but my mother continued.

The Happening

Some time later, my mother learned that Katherine Kuhlman was going to appear at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. She decided that she would attend the meeting. What was remarkable was that she also decided that my father and I would attend it with her. I can recall no other instance of her imposing her will on us. Reluctantly, I went along, taking my knitting to keep me occupied while I sat and listened.

After awhile, an elderly lady in the row behind my family tapped me on the shoulder. The clicking of my knitting needles, she explained, was disturbing her ability to hear, and she requested that I put away my project. Grudgingly I complied.

When the meeting ended—after we had “gone forward” for healing, the lady again tapped me on the shoulder. This time she asked me whether I believed in Jesus. I truthfully told her that I didn’t know. As I suspect is not unusual among Jews, I thought that there were two kinds of people in the world—Jews and Christians. The difference between the two was that Christians “believed in Jesus,” while we didn’t. The reason I couldn’t answer the lady’s question was that I had no idea what it was that Christians believed about Jesus—or who Jesus was, for that matter.

The lady handed me a little booklet entitled “Now I’m Free” and asked me to read it. Frankly, I didn’t want to read it, but being an extremely conscientious fourteen-year-old I accepted her recommendation as I would have accepted a school assignment. I sat on my bed that evening and read the booklet in its entirety.

It was the spell-binding story of a young man’s life which was as unlike mine as any could be. Tom Skinner, a black teenager, had become a gang member. After some time, he decided that he no longer desired that lifestyle. The problem was that gangs don’t look kindly upon those who wish to leave their ranks. Just as an act of violence is required of a potential inductee, an act of violence typically accompanies his departure: he is killed. God, however, had other plans for Tom Skinner, and He miraculously enabled him to escape with his life.

In the process of telling his gang story, Mr. Skinner also explained who Jesus was and what Christians believed about him. He was the Son of God, who left Heaven and came to earth for the purpose of dying so that His perfect, sinless life might substitute for the sinful ones all of us owed to God as our penalty for not having lived according to His Law. So this was what it meant to believe in Jesus! It made sense to me, so alone in my bedroom on the evening of November 16, 1969, I became a believer.

Next Step

Nothing really changed in my life as a result of my new understanding and belief until the next year, when I read a paperback novel belonging to my best friend. The author was Catherine Marshall, the daughter of one minister and wife of another, and the book was Christy. I loved this story of a young woman who courageously left her home to live among and serve strangers in what seemed like a completely different world from the one she had known as a society girl. This book changed my life, though in a way that I’m certain Mrs. Marshall never would have imagined: the mention in it of Christy’s reading her Bible was a radical new idea to me. I had never thought of the Bible as something that people read, and I became curious about what it might contain.

The same friend who had lent me Christy now lent me her Bible, convinced that my mother’s copy, the King James Version, would be too hard for me to understand. For some months I carried my friend’s Revised Standard Version (actually not very different from the King James after all) wherever I went, reading it whenever I had a few minutes. I began at the beginning with Genesis and continued all the way through Revelation.

The summer between tenth and eleventh grade, I was taking my first college class at a community college. A girl in my Music Appreciation class noticed that I was carrying a Bible and asked me if I was a Christian. I told her that I didn’t know, as I was Jewish but believed in Jesus. Based on this information she informed me that I was a Christian and invited me to her church’s weekly Bible study for college students. I didn’t really want to go, but I had overheard her telling another girl how disappointed she was when someone else she had invited had refused to go, so I accepted her invitation. This was the second turning point in my spiritual life.

At the study I discovered that the Bible contained a wealth of information about God and what he wanted from me and for me, and I was way behind in learning it! I met other young people who had grown up in Christian homes and had been learning about God from the Bible all their lives, and I had a lot of catching up to do. As I was not yet old enough to drive, I engaged my mother’s willing service in driving me to a different Bible study every night of the week so that I might devour all the spiritual information I could as quickly as possible.

My spiritual appetite was insatiable, so my next move was to choose to attend a Christian college upon graduation. I selected Biola College (now Biola University) in La Mirada, California, and graduated in only three years.

Fast Forward

After decades of church membership and attendance, I have found a home at Ben David Messianic Jewish Congregation. I had no problem with being in a church—once I got used to how things worked, as it was all foreign to me when I first ventured in as a teen. After all, I had only the weakest of Jewish roots. What eventually attracted me away from churches and into the Messianic movement was the depth of the Messianic teaching.

To graduate from Biola in 1976, one was required to take thirty units of Bible and Doctrine. By the time I had completed my degree, I found that few church sermons taught anything I didn’t already know. Messianic sermons, in contrast, were delivered by men with a deep understanding of the cultural context in which “Jesus”—really Yeshua—lived and taught. At last I was again learning about God on a weekly basis, as I had in my teens. Learning, I have found, is the most fun, rejuvenating activity in life, so I can whole-heartedly recommend that everyone, whether Jew or Gentile (not all non-Jews are Christians after all!), believer or “pre-believer” (as our congregational leader Doug puts it) come out and visit us at Ben David and see what you’ve been missing.

Oh—and, by the way, don’t worry about not fitting in if you’re a non-Jew. One of the other exciting things about Messianic congregations is that they’re inhabited by individuals of all races and nationalities! I’ve found them to be so much more heterogeneous than churches. You’ll find Latinos, Blacks, Koreans, Filipinos, Africans, Romanians, Germans, French, Brits, and more in Messianic congregations around southern California. Try them all, and like me you’ll probably decide to make Ben David your home.

Get In Touch

  • 1090 N Batavia St,
    Orange, CA 92867
  • Services: Saturday at 10:30am
  • 949-551-2659
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.