Eitan Shiskoff

Executive Director
Tents of Mercy Network
"... he had become a heroic, selfless young man, more concerned with others' safety than his own."

One of the IDF soldiers who gave his life to defend us in the 28 day conflict with Hamas was a Jewish believer in Yeshua. Shai Kushnir grew up in our congregation from the time he was 4 years old. I knew him well. As a teen, his constant smile and fun-loving, easy going nature belied his intense desire to serve in a combat unit.

Shai in winter uniform
An only son is not required to do combat duty in the Israeli army. One can choose office work and fulfill the military requirement with honor. Yet Shai insisted and would not relent. Finally, his father signed the waiver. Shai trained diligently and became a medic. At one point he carried a fellow soldier on his back, removing him from the battlefield in Gaza. From the pudgy boy who rarely seemed serious, he had become a heroic, selfless young man, more concerned with others' safety than his own.

Thousands attended the memorial service held for Shai at a military cemetery near Haifa. Many of them had not known him or his family. Such was the outpouring of gratitude and grief that occurred again and again for the 64 soldiers who gave their lives to give us ours. Officers eulogized our young brother in moving terms. They highlighted his dedication, his popularity among the troops, and the focus with which he applied himself to military service. We wept, and are still weeping.

Shai playing guitar together
with Eitan and Maxim
How can we possibly measure the value of Shai's life? For me, standing near his grave, surrounded by sober, resolute, tender yet sinewy infantrymen, that value is framed by the divine mandate to make our home here, in Eretz Yisrael. From the cemetery I can see Mount Carmel, one of our country's biblical and geophysical landmarks. I'm reminded of God's declaration to Abraham: "I will establish my covenant between me and you ... for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also, I give to you and your descendants after you the land ... all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God" (Genesis 17:7, 8).

Shai wrote praise songs and played guitar in our youth group. Now, in the Lord's presence, he is able to lift his voice as never before. Dare I imagine Yeshua, His arm around Shai, saying "Well done, son, I laid down my life to save Israel too."

By Eitan Shishkoff
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14:24 04Sep14 Marty Shoub -
My heart goes out to Shai's family. He was so full of life and fun - always with a smile on his face. May his name and memory be blessed.

15:56 04Sep14 Susan St Clair -
I weep with you over this young man's loss, Eitan. It really hits home as I, too, have an only son. He serves the Lord with two children of his own now, and I'm so very thankful that our families are as strongly united as we are. But my heart goes out to his father who signed the waiver. Such selfless sacrifice and dedication.

17:03 Sep14 Cheryl Pollard -
So sorry for your loss Eitan, and of course that of Shai's family and all who knew and loved him. May you be comforted in the joy of all of heaven at his arrival.

18:40 04Sep14 Lea Splane -
Eitan, what a wonderful article. You are such a gifted writer.

08:33 06Sep14 Grace Sheleheda -
I am so touched by this article and the events revealed in it. This young man's courage is inspiring. Thank you for all of the seeds your congregation sowed into him as they are now producing fruit. God is amazing.

16:01 07Sep14 Suzanna -
As one who has taken a real interest in the Messianic scene in Israel, including since the beginnings of "Tents of Mercy" ~ I see that God has used a group of dedicated men and women of GOD ~ Like Eitan Shishkof ~ to serve faithfully for many years, building up lives in the Fellowship of many Congregations, all part of the Royal Temple of God!

Even though ONE precious young man has given his too short life in service to Yeshua and Israel, he is a precious royal stone, built into the Temple of Godly lives ~ NOW and ALWAYS that GOD is building. So Shai is still part of all you are still doing for Our Loving Father God. The magnificence and beauty of that REAL Temple will be seen and admired throughout Eternity. May this comfort his parents, Eitan and all who loved and appreciated Shai. May God encourage each one even though suffering ~ to see the GLORY of the GOD of ISRA-EL! 1 Cor.3:16 & 2 Cor. 6:16!

Also in this issue of the newsletter:
Daniel Juster: The Danger of Jewish Roots Movements
Daniel Juster's article in French: Le Danger des Mouvements des Racines Juives
Avi and David: Israel at War - a Snapshot
Eitan Shishkoff: Teens Taste "Last Days"
Leora Mazurovsky: Directed Steps
Asher Intrater: Wisdom and the Fear of God
Eddie Santoro: Ahavat Yeshua Outreach
Simcha: Strategic Giving