If you haven’t heard of Shai Sol yet, you need to get acquainted. I first learned about Shai via Ron Cantor – read what he had to say about her:
Elana and I were hosting the leaders-in-training group from our congregation, Tiferet Yeshua for the last night of Hanukah. After lighting the candles and eating Sufganiot (1,000-calorie fried donuts), we turned on the TV at 9:00 PM to watch Israel’s newest reality show—HaKochav Haba—The Next Star. And we waited to see Shai.
Her audition began around 9:45 PM. On the show, the hosts first talk to the contestant before he or she sings. Shai got right to the point. “I think I will reveal that I am a Messianic Jew.” The interviewers were confused and asked, “What does that mean?” Shai responds, “Jews who believe in the Tenach (Old Testament) and the New Testament.”
Her mother then goes on to share that the New Covenant was first given to Israel first (Jer. 31:31-33). Shai proclaims, “We believe in Yeshua…”
… Israel Today’s Ryan Jones wrote, “So intriguing was the revelation by 20-year-old contestant Shai Sol that she believes in Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah that the top-rated Kochav Haba made her pre-audition interview the focus of its promotional commercials earlier in the week.”
… Shai has a very unique style. The judges were enthralled by her—as were the interviewers back stage as they rooted for their new Messianic friend. One judge said, “I am in love!” However one judge didn’t vote while she was singing and she was left a few percentage points short of entering the competition.
The male host was so shocked that he didn’t vote for her that he said if he doesn’t put her through “I am going to stop talking to him.” The judge who “fell in love” said that until today that was the song of Idan Raichel, a famous Israeli artist, but if he heard it for the first time last night, he would have thought it was hers.
In the end, the lone judge who was withholding his vote relented and Shai is now competing in HaKochav Haba.
You have to understand the significance of this. If someone on American Idol in a country with millions of believers testifies to their faith, it is a big deal. I remember Colton Dixon singing a worship song on American Idol and it was amazing. Believers felt empowered to see someone take such a bold stand. But imagine doing that in a country where people are taught that you are an apostate; where your community of faith makes up less than one quarter of one percent of the population. And let’s not forget the hostility, harassment and persecution from the ultra-Orthodox. No, this is a big deal!
A young adult from Haifa wrote on Facebook, “For the first time in history a Jewish person declared their belief in Yeshua on Prime Time Television!” Our youth leader Moti said that someone created a Facebook post this morning saying in Hebrew, “Gam ani Yehudi Meshihi” (I am also a Messianic Jew) and young people, who would never have done it without Shai’s testimony, are now posting it on their Facebook walls. …And to watch it with close to 20 other Messianic Israelis who just happened to be at our home…well, it was like she was representing us. It was special.
No, it is not the revival we are still praying for — but when you think of how hard the enemy has worked to keep Jewish people from Yeshua and how he has sought to turn the Messianic faith into something foreign to Jews, it is encouraging to see a 20-year-old girl from Ashdod, Israel go on TV and tell the country, “I believe in Yeshua!”
Watch Shai Sol for yourself here (heads up – it’s all in Hebrew, but watch it anyway!). She really is someone very special, blessed with talent beyond measure and the courage to stand up and proclaim the truth.
Now we have an opportunity to sow into the work that God is doing with Shai – you can help her record her debut album with a donation of any size to her Headstart project (like Kickstarter, but based in Israel). You can donate even outside of Israel, in whatever currency you have, just use Google Translate to load the page if you need to. There are some great rewards for donors at all levels, and if you are not going to be in Israel to claim some of the higher rewards, you can always donate them to people who are.
Either way, take a moment to share Shai’s incredible story with others!