Many of you may have known me to refer to my old friend, mentor and teacher Rabbi Moyal, an Orthodox Israeli Rabbi who had become a believer in Messiah. Over thirty years ago I had the good fortune to study Hebrew, Aramaic, and Talmudic studies under Rabbi Moyal one on one. – James Scott Trimm
Testimony of Rabbi Moyal
Rabbi Armand Daniel (“Danny”) Moyal
Rabbi Armand Daniel (“Danny”) Moyal was an Orthodox Israeli Rabbi
who came to the conclusion that Yeshua was
the Jewish Messiah of Judaism, by studying
the Talmud, Midrash and Zohar.
I was born in Morocco to a very, very Orthodox Jewish family. My father was one of the famous rabbis there, and all our lives revolved around Orthodox Judaism learning the Torah (the Law). When I was a year old my father past away. And in our family there were eleven children, and my mother, of course, found it very hard to make a living for eleven children. Therefore, she had to disperse us to different families. I was moved to another family where the man was a rabbi as well. He basically adopted me until the age of three. But then he died.
I then moved to another family, also rabbis, and there again I started to learn in the Yeshiva (a seminary for the training of Orthodox rabbis) until the age of eight. And at the age of eight I had only finished learning one book of the Tanak.
Then they moved me into another town in Morocco called Meknes. There they had a yeshiva which was a Torah school for orphans. And there, since I was a very good scholar, even though I was young of age, they moved me on to learn Talmud, which is a more advanced class than Torah class. Then that family decided to immigrate to Israel and I had to find another family.
All this time I really felt that I did not have my own family. It wasn’t an easy life for me as a child. That is the reason why I really turned into the Tanak. Day and night I learned the Tenach. One day a Zionist group came to Morocco. They started taking youths, orphans, and gathering them together to take them to Israel.
When I arrived in Israel I immediately went back to study at the Yeshiva in Bene-berak. Bene-berak is a very, very religious sector like Jerusalem. They have very well known Torah schools. There I learned until the age of 17 1/2 when I joined the Israeli Army.
When I finished the Army I studied at home for awhile in order to take my Rabbinical exams. When I finished they let me work. My first job was as a slaughterer — in the Jewish faith you have to slaughter in a kosher manner. It wasn’t easy. Then we moved to a town called Nahariya, which is in the northern part of Israel.
This is the town where the “kitushias” (very large bombs) fall every day from Lebanon. And the army sergent there gave me an apartment because I had no parents. Of course, in Nahariya I had nothing to do.
So I worked for the Rabbinate in Nahariya. Besides working as a slaughterer, I was also teaching Torah in the Yeshiva. Then I asked to be a Congregational Rabbi, and it was very difficult because Northern Israel has sort of an “apartheid” (strict racial segregation and discrimination) between Jews that came from Europe and Jews that came from Eastern countries. And of course you know, when you have these wars between these two factions, the Jews which they call Ashkenazi Jews and those called the Safardi Jews.
There was no love between them. And today, as a Believer, I know how wonderful it is to come to faith in Yeshua because the first thing I encountered was love.
Let me tell you how I received Yeshua as Messiah. I suffered a lot of persecutions in Israel and in Morocco from Christendom. They used to persecute us as Jews. Many times I wondered in my self, how come these Christians that persecute me all week long come on Sundays and worship the Jew. I couldn’t work this one out. And yet I wanted to know where this name came about. Who is this “Yeshua”?
In the war of Yom Kippur, (this was when it actually started in Israel, 1973 five Arab countries attacked Israel by surprise. It was Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) when Israel and everybody was in the synagogue. I was, that day, a “cantor” in one of the synagogues. A “cantor” is a singer that sings the Torah and all the prayers.
While I was praying, all of the sudden, we heard sirens, big noises, traffic. You cannot find a car in Israel… everything is dead. But, all of the sudden, you saw buses running, public buses, everybody there was going to his unit. I managed to get to the Golan Heights at 5 p.m. I was one of the crew in a tank. I was the tank driver.
That night between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. the Syrians managed to take quite a bit of the Northern part of Israel.
It was very difficult to get to either side because there were a lot of mines on the road. We attacked that very night – a counter attack, and the next morning was an absolute miracle. There were eight in my tank. While the fighting was going on and we were advancing, one of the soldiers said, “Look how many dead and wounded we have, lets pray.” I said to him, “There is no time to pray now, we have to advance. We have no time.” But he said, “I don’t care. We will stop everything and pray.” That was the first time I heard someone praying in the name of Yeshua. That soldier was a Jew, and he prayed in the name of Yeshua! The bombs are falling all around us and he is standing very proudly and praying. At that time I couldn’t figure where he got the strength to pray, nor the time… the bombs were flying around us!! And I said to him, “Why are you praying in Yeshua, who is Yeshua? Do you want to bring more problems upon us?”
This particular day was a very hot day, not a bit of wind, no air to breathe. Soldiers, who are experts in finding these mines and defusing them, were busy doing their job around us and when we finished praying, the only way I can describe it… Elohim sent, all of the sudden, a strong wind which blew away all of the sand and even little stones and we didn’t have to look for mines because the mines were on the surface. Not that I got a shock, I thought when I saw this, “I am going crazy.” At this particular stage I wasn’t sure… “am I dreaming? Is it true?” But we carried on with the war. After a few days of fighting we forgot… I forgot at least about the praying that we did. After the days of fighting there was almost like a cease fire between Syria and Israel. That is about the first time I realized we were just about surrounded and we saw death in front of our eyes, and this soldier would say, “let’s pray again.” I said, “Why do you want to pray now? They started the war again, the bombs are flying like rain.”
In the mean time we got an order from the officers to go towards Mt. Harmon, which is the biggest mountain in Israel, but this soldier radioed back and said, “I’m terribly sorry… I don’t hear anything… I’m busy praying.” … And he kept on praying. Then we went into the tank, and as we drove about a half a kilometer we could see from a distance like a flare… a bomb coming towards our tank. Then we heard the explosion. The tank was almost disintegrated. There were eight of us, five were killed. I was badly wounded and spent nine months in the hospital.
This soldier who had prayed walked out as if nothing had happened. This remained in my mind while in the hospital. He came to visit me frequently, and yet I just couldn’t believe what he said to me. I was too engrossed and busy in believing what I was taught for so many years. The feeling that I had – that if I prayed in the name of Yeshua, or even mentioned that name, I would be a traitor to my faith and my people. But nevertheless believers in Yeshua would never leave me alone. I must have had the face for it. They just wouldn’t leave me alone. They came to witness to me all the time, every time different people.
Eventually there was a very nice family from England that were living in Nahariya that we became friends with. All of the sudden, I found myself searching in my Tanak. I started looking at Isaiah 53, Jeremiah, Ezekiel… But I still couldn’t understand on whom and of whom these particular chapters were talking about, because the name Yeshua specifically wasn’t written in there. But I gave these people the benefit of a doubt. I said, “Maybe they are right and maybe we are wrong.” Then I found myself in a chase, a chase for the truth.
In my own Scriptures; I went to the yeshiva; to libraries; and all different places, digging out books and trying to find out who this Yeshua is. Eventually I realized that this is not enough, the Scriptures, I wanted to read from historians of the ancient times, what they had to write about Yeshua. I prayed to Elohim, “If Yeshua is alive, show me yourself in the Scriptures.” Elohim showed me the way. He lit up the Scriptures to me, and I found Yeshua in them… And not only in the written Scriptures but in the Talmud and Midrashim which are very, very old books.
After accepting Yeshua in my heart, and getting to know him better, and after receiving his kingdom, I can only tell you I have learned that I knew nothing until I met HIM.
Addenda: The testimony of Rabbi Moyal’s wife Rebbetzin Shula Moyal, as she related it to me.
My husband was being very secretive, he was going out in the evenings and being secretive about were he was going. I feared he was having an affair, so I followed him from a distance, and discovered he was going to meetings with a group of “Messianic” Jews. I was shocked! I could not believe my husband, and Orthodox Rabbi, was some kind of Christian! Upon discovering this, I decided to ask the Beit Din (Rabbinical Court) to compel my husband for a divorce. (In Orthodox Judaism, a wife cannot initiate a divorce, but she can ask the Beit Din to compel he husband for one.)
The day came that we were to appear before the Beit Din. I was cutting up some vegetables in our kitchen. We lived in a home in Nahariyya that looked out onto the Mediterranean Sea, and I had a view of the sea through my kitchen window. I could swear I could see the image of a man, standing out on the water. I was sure it must be some kind of illusion. Later, when I went into my room to get ready to appear to the Beit Din, the same man appeared to me, and it was Yeshua! He told me that my husband was right, and that I must not seek a divorce from him. I went to my husband and told him what had happened, that I would not be seeking the divorce, and that I wanted to learn more about this Yeshua.
(Rabbi Moyal and his wife remained married until her death around 2009)
Coming to America
Having concluded that Yeshua is the Messiah, Rabbi Moyal began sharing this information with other Rabbis he knew. They were less than receptive, and he and his family were persecuted.
A Messianic Jewish ministry with a strong tie to an interdenominational charismatic Bible college in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area, reached out to Rabbi Moyal and offered to send himself and his family to their school in Texas, provide them with on campus housing, “educate” him and credential him, so that he could serve as a Messianic Jewish leader. All was well, at first. But the school soon realized that they really did not want Rabbi Moyal at their school, they only had thought that they did.
So the school waited for Passover and then raided his family’s on campus housing on the evening of Passover, during their seder, knowing that they would have wine on campus. The campus security interrupted their seder and escorted them off campus, abandoning them on the evening of Passover in a strange country.
Rabbi Moyal called a Christian friend he had made, who took them in for the night, and set them up for help (and exploitation) by a Christian evangelist. This Christian evangelist used Rabbi Moyal for fundraising, claiming Moyal would be their “ambassador to Israel” and this lasted a few months until the evangelist found that well had been exploited to depletion.
Rabbi Moyal did not really want to be a dancing bear, and he never considered himself a Christian, so he spend the rest of his days living very quietly.
I had the privilege of studying under Rabbi Moyal in the late 1980’s, and I learned a great deal from him, especially in regards to how Yeshua can be seen as the Messiah in the Talmuds. Midrashim and Zohar.
Once (about 35 years ago) Rabbi Moyal took me to an Orthodox Synagogue in Texas, where ha had been canting (they obviously did not know he was a believer in Yeshua). As he was introducing me around to people, there were some where he would then whisper in each of our ears, that this person is a believer in Messiah. It was very interesting that there was a secret network of believers in Messiah in this orthodox synagogue.
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