Ruth Fazal is a world-class musician with a heart for Israel. She is currently touring the UK, bringing a perspective not heard in the British media.
Ruth is also a worship leader, filmmaker and composer who is best known for Oratorio Terezin. This is a large-scale musical composition, written for an orchestra, choir, and soloists that finds light in the darkness of the Holocaust.
She lives in Canada but also has a home in Samaria where her neighbours are Orthodox Jews. Ruth wanted to stay in Israel during the Israel-Hamas war, however God told her she would be more useful abroad. So she is currently touring the UK, bringing a first-hand perspective that is not heard in the British media, which is often critical of Israel.
Al Gibson went to hear Ruth speak in Exeter, and was challenged by what she had to say. More than that, Ruth’s amazing, God-given musical talent creates an atmosphere that softens the hardest heart. As she plays the violin, the presence of God can be felt. Then, as she plays the piano and sings in Hebrew, the whole atmosphere changes and you start to hear that still, small whisper to your heart…
What is He whispering? That will be different for each person, but Ruth believes God is collectively calling His people to have a heart for Israel. ” ‘Comfort, yes, comfort My people!’ Says your God.” (Isaiah 40:1)
Developing a heart for Israel
Back in 2000, a friend handed Ruth a book of poetry and art and suggested she might like to do something with it. It was a compilation of poems and drawings from some of the 15,000 Jewish children killed by the Nazis at the Terezin concentration camp in the Czech Republic.
“At that point I’d never been to Israel,” Ruth says. “I was touched by the poems the children had written in the most horrendous situation, but life was busy and I put it away on the shelf… Then a year later, I felt the Lord say to me, ‘Ruth, I want you to take some of these poems and weave them together with the Scriptures to portray My heart in the midst suffering’.”
“There wasn’t a normal anymore, because now there was this heartbeat on the inside of me, that was not about me, or my church, or my city or my country. It was about Israel.”Ruth Fazal
Ruth explains that this was God’s way of taking her on a journey that would change her life and give her a heart for Israel. “When God asks you to do something, you’ve got three choices. You can pretend you didn’t hear (which we are all very good at) or tell Him how busy you are, like I did. (I was a busy mother as well as being a violinist playing in orchestras). Or you can say ‘yes’. And I said yes, but I had no idea what I was saying yes to.
“That started a journey into the heart of the Father. It was also a journey to the Cross as this was the first time I felt the suffering of Yeshua.”
Ruth explains that what began as poems and scriptures became a huge orchestral piece for a children’s choir, adult choir and three soloists. And in the process, “the only way I can describe it is that God inserted His people, Israel into my heart.”
The Oratorio was performed in Toronto, New York, Europe and of course in Israel to widespread acclaim and Ruth thought she would be able to return to a normal life… “But there wasn’t a normal anymore, because now there was this heartbeat on the inside of me, that was not about me, or my church, or my city or my country. It was about Israel.”
In all her trips to Israel, Ruth always felt happy to go home to Canada, but now Israel was becoming home. She started learning Hebrew at an ulpan (school) in Israel with Gil Pentzak, an orthodox Jew who has become a dear friend who often reads Torah Portions (Parshat) on Ruth’s YouTube Channel.
“Once you learn Hebrew, you realise how powerful it is,” Ruth says. “Something changed within and it was connected with the language. “
“I remember the first time I met Gil, I felt the Lord reminded me of the story of Nathanael, ‘an Israelite, in whom there is no guile.’ (John 1:47). She also remarks on Gil’s deep love of God which she has witnessed over the dozen years they have been working together.
“We must recognise that God is doing something unique in our time. And it’s about us walking alongside our Jewish brothers and sisters, whether they believe in Yeshua or not. As believers we carry something so precious. He is living in us and we can be Yeshua to them. They are lovers of God. They call Him Father. God wants us to find those places where we can walk alongside and encourage each other. This is a passion of my heart right now and I’m blown away by the way He is moving in Israel today.”
The heart’s cry of the Jewish People
In closing Ruth shares a profound insight she received while on an evacuation flight from Israel to Greece.
“You can imagine everyone on the plane, many feeling very stressed, especially parents trying to keep children calm. As we were waiting to take off, I noticed an ultra orthodox family on the flight with many children. One little boy, I guess he was about a year and a half, was sobbing in his father’s arms.
“Then, all of a sudden this became a loud, continuous scream, and he kept on repeating the words, ‘Abba, lo’ (Daddy, no!) This went on for about 20 minutes and it was really unsettling. But then the Lord whispered to me and said, ‘Ruth, that is the cry of My people, Israel right now.’
“And at that point, I was able to turn that cry of ‘Father, no!’ into a prayer of intercession which was a very powerful moment. God’s heart is breaking for His people. His heart also aches for the Gazans who are trapped in a terrorist regime.
“When I watched the news in the UK, I realised how biased everything is against Israel, however I know from personal experience that the hearts of the Israelis is not to harm.”
If you would like to invite Ruth to speak at your church you can contact her via her website or on social media. Be encouraged to allow God to work in your life to develop a heart for Israel.
Also read: War in the Middle East – ‘The whole world changed on October 7 where Michele Bachmann explains the cause of hostility against Israel, and points to God’s plan for the Jewish People. This article also provides a clear Biblical foundation as to why Christians should have a heart for Israel.
You can also read our eMail on Sunday which shares an encouraging message of overcoming fear.
Also see: Israel, God’s Timepiece