felix & bonnie

Sid: My guest by way of telephone is Rabbi Felix and Bonnie Halpern. I’m speaking to them at their home in Wyckoff, New Jersey.  And last month I had the pleasure of going to their congregation and getting to know them.  And what you’re about ready to hear is going to be abnormal to most of you but according to my basis of truth; what is my basis of truth? The Jewish scriptures and because my basis of truth is the Jewish scriptures the Tanach I must receive the New Covenant because it’s spoken of through prophecy in the Jewish scriptures.  So what you’re going to hear is normal and what many of you have experienced is abnormal just don’t reverse it.  Now Felix your father went through a pretty tough time in the Holocaust.  Tell me a bit about your family background.

Felix: Well, my father was actually a Holocaust survivor in that he was under the persecution of so many millions of Jews in Germany at the time of that regime.  And he was 16 years old and smuggled out of Germany through the Dutch underground.  Where he had received Yeshua Messiah in the Netherlands, but the rest of the family was killed in the Holocaust.  My father was raised as an Orthodox Jewish boy; my Grandfather who obviously I never met was obviously an Orthodox Rabbi.  And so for me that heritage it took many… it took years for me to come back into that heritage in that when my father received the Lord he truly did not want too much to do with his Judaism due to pain of the loss and the persecution of being Jewish.

Sid: And what I have is found that even children of Holocaust survivors somehow pick up a lot of the pain that their parents had.

Felix:  Yeah, yeah well in growing up in the home any time the subject was broached and brought up my father would either walk out of the room or he would get very emotional.  We were not able to discuss it in all the years of growing up with my parents; Judaism I can’t even remember in my past and the heritage that truly is mine and was ours was ever openly discussed.  It was hidden, it was too painful for it to come out.

Sid: Now tell me a bit about your mom.

Felix:  My mom was part of the Dutch resistance.

Sid: My goodness you got some pretty good genes.

Felix:  Yeah, and they were actually resistance leaders who were instrumental in not only hiding my father but hiding Jewish people in the Netherlands at that time.

Sid: Now you got married in 1976.

Felix:  In 1976.

Sid: And you had your own experience with the Lord in 1977; you were Baptized in the Holy Spirit and you began moving in certain gifts of the Spirit. Tell me about this.

Felix:  Well, I had been… most of my exposure to faith was through a reformed theology but after the first year of being married the Lord began to stir my heart for more realizing that there was something deeply and clearly missing in my life.  I had at the time I was working I was traveling on the road.  I pulled over to the, what we have is a reservation here, a beautiful area.  And I began to cry out to the Lord and ask the Lord to come into my heart and I became born again. At that point everything had changed at that point; and God had quickly swept us into a charismatic experience we began to speak in tongues, we began to prophesy in tongues immediate supernatural gifts began to manifest. That began to mature; that began to develop in terms of prophetic gifts and words of knowledge and so forth.

Sid: Now what type of work were you doing?

Felix:  I was spending… well looking back to the last 26 years I was selling gold and diamonds; I had an office on 47th Street in the gold and diamond center in New York City.  And I had been working with Chasidic and Orthodox Jews for my entire life.

Sid: Now when you… I don’t want to jump too far ahead of you until we talk to your wife Bonnie but when God called you out of business.  Many people that are called out of business to ministry it’s unfortunate are not very successful in business.  What was going on in your life we’re you having problems?

Felix:  Contrary, I had a 6 figure salary which is great certainly in the world standards.  I had been very blessed of the Lord for 26 – 27 years I had never been out of work.  I always share often from my perspective looking back I never had a car payment; I never had an insurance payment. That we had all the benefits and all the…

Sid: When you quit with all these Orthodox Jews as your employers how did they react?

Felix:  Well some of them were astounded; some of them just couldn’t believe it.  Certainly the relationships that I had with them ceased with me immediately, and they wanted no contact with me at all.  And only 1 or 3 a handful of those was an opportunity for me to share what had gone on.  Because when I left people were wondering what happened and eventually word got out that I had become a Messianic Rabbi.  I had been called to the Jewish people; I had become a Jewish man who accepted Christ and in their mind I had become a goy or a Gentile.

Sid: But before they even knew that when you resigned were they shocked?

Felix:  They were absolutely shocked, the job that I had it was a wonderful career in the natural.  When I resigned I resigned my position as Vice President of the company and they couldn’t believe what I was doing.  But you know I had always connected with Moses in the Bible always in growing up. He was always deeply ingrained in my being.  And as Moses in the scripture the Bible says that it wasn’t until he was in his mid-forties that he suffering of his people.  And interestingly enough it was in my mid-forties that I remember clearly on 47th Street I began to weep and I saw the suffering of our people and I saw the need of having salvation in Mashiach to come into their life.  And it was from that point on I resigned and it was done.

Sid: I’ll tell you what Felix I want you to put your wife Bonnie on; let’s get to know her a little bit. Bonnie Felix’s wife comes from a…

Bonnie: Hi.

Sid: Hi. I was just talking a bit about you; you come from a conservative/reformed type of background.

Bonnie:  Right.

Sid: Tell me a bit about, actually when you were 8 years old and this is highly unusual; you had a God encounter.

Bonnie: Hmm. Hm.

Sid: Tell me about that.

Bonnie: Yes, I did.  I was in my room 8 years old in the bed at night supposedly asleep which I knew that I was wide awake. I was just laying there and I had a great white light almost a funnel shape; a cone shape narrow at the bottom above my bed up at the ceiling.  And above that appeared to be what I considered it a male but I didn’t know by voice that it was a male.  There was no face that I could see that it was a male but I knew that it was the presence of a male.  And I just stared up at it and when I looked up it was enormous it just seemed to consume the whole ceiling.  And I was in my bed and felt like the size of a little peanut; I felt very very tiny unusually like I was this little tiny thing in a storybook or something.

Sid: By the way were both of your parents Jewish?

Bonnie: Yes, both my parents are Jewish. My mom’s whole background her grandmother and everybody that lived with her were Orthodox, and the same on my dad’s side.

Sid: And you said that at Passover you were really one of these children that were really looking for Elijah to bring the Messiah; is that true?

Bonnie: Yes I always waited every time they opened the door I really thought somebody was going to come.  I really believed it and…

Sid: You said you had a Jewish Passover; it’s traditional that someone opens the door just in case Elijah’s there to announce the coming of the Messiah.  I’ll tell you the first few years I thought it was fun.  But afterwards I approached it as many Gentiles approach Santa Claus.  I thought that it was just make believe.

Felix: I thought it was make believe once I was in my teen years but up until then because they always used to fill Elijah’s cup and unbeknownst to me it was always empty. So I really thought that he had come and you know it was my parents who drank Elijah’s cup but I really believed it for many years.

Sid:  Bonnie, we’re out of time right now but we’ll pick up with you on tomorrow’s broadcast.

 

 

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