Welcome to The Daily Sabbath Podcast! In this episode, Jay Lee engages in a profound conversation with Amy Hafner, a Jewish Christian and founder of SOAR Bible Journal. They discuss Amy's Jewish upbringing, Passover, the importance of Messiah, the stumbling block of Jesus and the crucifixion and other obstacles to faith for Jewish people. They also touch on Sabbath observance, Messianic Jewish congregations, and the cultural complexities in Israel and Palestine. Amy shares insights on societal issues like discipleship for women in Judaism and Christianity, approaching dialogue around difficult topics such as Israel & Palestine, stereotypes, and antisemitism, and more.

Special 10% Off discount for Daily Sabbath listerners on the SOAR Bible Journal. Use coupon code: DAILYSABBATH

Guest Bio:

Amy Hafner is the founder of SOAR Bible Journal, a 501c3 whose mission is to create tools to help people study the Word, to help spread the Word. She is also the Women's Ministry Director for Grace Family Church in Tampa, Florida. She came to faith in Christ as an adult, but really had her life transformed when she was encouraged to start reading The Bible everyday. She and her husband, retired baseball player Travis Hafner, have been reading though the entire Bible together every year, going on 8 years strong!


The closing song is All The Love You Are by Erica Violet


The Daily Sabbath is a Provision Podcast production.

Show Transcript

Jay Lee [00:00:00]:

Hey. This is pastor Jay, and you're listening to the Daily Sabbath podcast. Alright. This is pastor Jay, and welcome to the Daily Sabbath podcast presented by Provision Podcast. And for those of you guys who have been listening to the podcast, It should be very clear by now that I just use this as an excuse to explore topics that I am personally curious about. And, today is no different, But something that I've always been really curious about is whether the experience of being a follower of Jesus is any different For a person who is actually Jewish, like a Jewish Christian, and whether their, you know, experiences might be different or whether their perspectives on certain things might be different. It's just something that I've always been curious about. Never really had an opportunity to ask anyone about.

Jay Lee [00:00:52]:

And so that's why I'm very thankful and very excited for my guest today. Her name is Amy Hafner. This is actually the 2nd time she's been on the Daily Sabbath podcast. She is the founder of the SOAR Bible Journal. They're a 501c3 nonprofit, and their mission is basically to create tools to help people study the word, to help spread the word. She's also the women's ministry director for Grace Family Church in Tampa, Florida. And best of all, My favorite thing of all, she is a lover of God's word truly. And so, Amy, thank you so much for being on the podcast again.

Amy Hafner [00:01:27]:

Thank you so much for having me, Pastor Jay. It's so fun to be back.

Jay Lee [00:01:31]:

Yes. And, you know, before we jump into the interview, first thing I wanted to do was just to congratulate you on just all the success that the SOAR Bible Journal is having. You know? I'm I'm always following you guys on social media. And even before we jumped on this, interview today, I was just glancing at the Instagram account, and I saw that you guys are to 30,000 followers now on that account, which, you know, obviously, it's not all about how many followers you have on social media. But I think when I first met you, The account had, like, a couple 100 followers. So I was kinda shocked actually when I looked at it today. I was like, woah. When did that happen?

Amy Hafner [00:02:08]:

Yeah. When did that happen? Actually, this past year, probably starting in March or April, I met an amazing gal named Lacey Abercrombie. She's like a a Christian, TikTok influencer, and she's helped me out so much just helping with that account, running that account. And, honestly, The the cool thing about SOAR is when somebody starts using the journal and having an experience with the holy spirit and and they start to love god's word, they share it just Naturally. So, you know, a lot of it has happened organically. A lot of it has just happened because, Lacey is an Amazing content creator. But it it's been really cool. We're working with more churches, more small groups, And it's just really neat to see people read their bible and just understand who God is.

Amy Hafner [00:02:57]:

It's it's awesome. It's amazing.

Jay Lee [00:02:59]:

Well, Shout out to Lacey doing an amazing job. And yeah. You know, I I was gonna say maybe it started taking off somewhere around the time I stopped guest writing for you Nice. But no. Yeah. I mean, that's the thing that I've always really loved about the SOAR Bible Journal is that it's really all about getting people into the word for themselves. I think that's why it caught my eye the 1st time when I came across it, before I had met you, when I came across it on Instagram is I could see, Hey. This is not I mean, there's nothing wrong with devotionals that are, you know, written by somebody.

Jay Lee [00:03:32]:

You know, those are great too, and we need those as well. But something about Your resource that is specifically about getting people into the word for themselves and just the power of enabling people to be able to study it for themselves. There's nothing that can Replace that in a disciple's life. So I really appreciate that about SOAR.

Amy Hafner [00:03:50]:

Well, thank you so much. We just love doing it. So and thank you for sharing it. We appreciate you.

Jay Lee [00:03:55]:

And I'm always rooting for you guys on the sidelines. But alright. So, Amy, you know, the last time you were on the podcast, you you mentioned that you are Jewish and that you came to faith in Christ, you know, as an adult, a little bit later in life. And so I thought you would be the perfect person for me to be able to just kind of ask some of these questions that I've always been curious about just, yeah, just to see if the experience being ethnically Jewish and also a follower of Jesus, if anything about that, that gives you some different experiences. So, you know, maybe just to start off with, how much was, like, sort of the Jewish Faith and the Jewish traditions a part of your upbringing. Like, would you describe your family as being, like, very religious?

Amy Hafner [00:04:38]:

So that's a great question. So my father was actually, I believe, the 1st, son to marry someone who is actually non Jewish. My mom, was Catholic, converted though when she married my father, and, they were married until I was 4 years old. And we my mom went ultra orthodox. So she was we went to a temple a synagogue on the east side where the men and women set, sit separately. We kept kosher, and my family. So there's there's about 3 different there's more, but 3 different sects of Judaism. Reformed being the least Religious, I guess you could say.

Amy Hafner [00:05:16]:

They they don't really keep kosher all the time. But then there's conservative, which is kind of the middle of the road, and then you have your orthodox, switches, you know, what you the the with the black hats and everything like that. And my family was conservative, so they were in the middle. But when my father moved to Cleveland they're all from New York, all from Brooklyn. He was more on the reform side because the west side of Cleveland didn't really have a ton of of Jews. But I had my bat mitzvah. I went to Sunday school. I went to Hebrew school.

Amy Hafner [00:05:45]:

You know, it still was a part of my life that I have amazing memories of, honestly.

Jay Lee [00:05:50]:

Just out of curiosity, what are some differences that you might point out between somebody who is more of the Formed sect and more of the conservative like you guys were. Like, what what would be some differences?

Amy Hafner [00:06:03]:

Yeah. So I was raised reformed. So, you would call those like, in Christianity, I've heard the term, like, they go to church on, like, Christmas and Easter. Mhmm. So a lot of times, reformed Jews, they go To synagogue on, like, Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, Passover. Yeah. So they they're not going on Shabbat. Obviously, leading up to your bat mitzvah, you do a lot more.

Amy Hafner [00:06:24]:

Like, sometimes you may have to do something, in preparation, like light candles, you say a blessing, you carry the Torah, something like that. Yeah. But a conservative, so my grandparents so my grandma and grandpa kept kosher. So 2 separate sets of dishes, sets of dishes, lit the candles every Friday night. Shabbat dinner is definitely a thing. Passover. So out of all the the Holidays. Obviously, Yom Kippur being the most holy where we fast the atonement persons and Rosh Hashanah being a big deal, but then you have, like, Purim and Sukkot.

Amy Hafner [00:06:54]:

But I just remember Passover being such a big deal. Passover, almost like being like Thanksgiving, like, where we all come together. You know, we would fly to New York. We would all be together. We would eat this Meal that would take forever and being a little kid and you have to read through this whole service. All you wanted to do was eat.

Jay Lee [00:07:10]:

So it

Amy Hafner [00:07:10]:

was a really tough one, but, it was really neat because our Family was together.

Jay Lee [00:07:14]:

Uh-huh. Okay. So that was, like, kind of the big event, the big family event. And, actually, if you wouldn't mind, could you describe to me just because, again, I'm very curious How it compares to, like, you know you know, maybe a Christian and sort of, like, we have our weekly Sunday worship practice. Could you describe to me sort of what the average, Sabbath observance was for you guys every weekend?

Amy Hafner [00:07:37]:

Yeah. So If you did go to synagogue, which remember, I didn't we didn't go a ton on Shabbat, but you would go there would be a service. So there'd be, like, a reading from the Torah. There would be songs. It's funny because, Jay, you know I love the 1 year bible reading plan. Uh-huh. And it's a new testament, old testament, Psalm and proverb. And so in Judaism, no matter what you go to, it's the same reading on the same day, and that goes back that dates back to, like, the book of Ezra when Ezra broke it up and was like, okay.

Amy Hafner [00:08:05]:

This. No matter what synagogue you go to, like, I could look up my my Torah portion.

Jay Lee [00:08:11]:


Amy Hafner [00:08:11]:

I actually did. What did I read? It June 26 1990 to when I had or 1993 when I had my bat mitzvah, and it it was Balaam, and the talking donkey. I I wonder what my sermon was. I don't remember it. But, so

Jay Lee [00:08:26]:

It'll be awesome if you could find that somewhere.

Amy Hafner [00:08:30]:

Yeah. And then we would go downstairs. Like, most every synagogue I've ever been into has kind of like a hospitality area. We would break bread. We would have wine. Sometimes there would meal and and then you would go home. And if you're at home, obviously, you prepare a Shabbat dinner. There's different prayers that you say.

Amy Hafner [00:08:47]:

And the more orthodox you are, You take, the whole day really to prep that meal. I mean, it's a big deal. And, you know, I I didn't really love it growing up, to tell you the truth, but I have Such an appreciation for it now. Just I think it's kind of like a lost art of bringing families together and sitting sitting around a table and Hocking and Mhmm. Just being, like, with family. It's it's it really is a beautiful day.

Jay Lee [00:09:12]:

Yeah. No. I mean, it sounds yeah. It sounds great. Actually, you know so it's funny because the church when I was still pastoring, for a few years, we were actually sharing a facility with a, Messianic Jewish congregation. Worked out really well because, you know, they met on Saturday, and we met on Sunday. I and I I always I wish that I would have actually joined one of their, services. I don't know why I didn't, but I feel like I heard that they also included dancing as part of their Services.

Jay Lee [00:09:42]:

Do you know if that's, like, pretty common or was that just unique to them?

Amy Hafner [00:09:46]:

I mean, dancing is a big part. If you've ever been To a a Jewish wedding, it's a big part, especially like orthodox. Orthodox wedding, the men and the women are separate and but, Man, they dance. So it never was a practice at our synagogue, but I'm not saying that it it isn't. And it it is interesting because, You know, my experiences are kind of unique to that specific synagogue, and and it is. It's a tradition. It's a routine. But there is an organization called the Torah Club, which is a messianic organization.

Amy Hafner [00:10:20]:

And a lot of people from our church, Actually, they'd host bible studies, and I haven't been to, like, an authentic Shabbat dinner in a really long time. And I asked one of the ladies who goes to my Church, hey. Could I come to your Shabbat dinner? I just I wanna I know it'll come back to me quick, but, like, I I haven't been to 1. So if you ever have the opportunity to go. And it's really cool because messianics, they love inviting people in. We have a a big messianic synagogue, and I've been a couple times. And, Actually, my children go to a Christian school, and we've gone there for Passover and the rabbis taught. And it's been so interesting, but if you ever have a chance to Experience it.

Amy Hafner [00:10:58]:

It really is neat.

Jay Lee [00:11:00]:

Maybe they're still over there. Maybe I could still get invited in.

Amy Hafner [00:11:03]:

There you go.

Jay Lee [00:11:04]:

So growing up then, did you have any interaction with or did you have any kind of impression about Christianity or or Jesus? Was that ever a topic at all in Your upbringing or in synagogue or education, anything like that?

Amy Hafner [00:11:22]:

Yeah. On both sides. So remember, I have 1 grandma who's Catholic and a devout A Catholic, and then I have 1 grandma who is devout Hebrew. So you would definitely hear things on both Sides. Some positive, some negative. Yeah. But some of the things, I I guess, on both sides, obviously, the biggest difference is The Messiah. Right? Is Jesus the Messiah? And I think that's one of the reasons I'm so passionate about reading the Bible because, you know, when you read Isaiah and you read some of the Prophets.

Amy Hafner [00:11:51]:

I mean, you're kinda like, how did you not see this? I'm I'm like, how how are we not seeing it? But just really, I guess, How do we own our own faith as an adult? And, like, what who is God to me? And and I'll be honest. I don't know if after, you know, Having my bat mitzvah going off to college, I I had no relationship with God. I I would tell you I thought there was a God Mhmm. But I really didn't have A foundation on either side

Jay Lee [00:12:21]:


Amy Hafner [00:12:21]:

Or know what where I was going. And I I definitely think with Jesus in particular, for me, it was almost kind of you didn't wanna say that name.

Jay Lee [00:12:31]:

Mhmm. So you're saying that, like, Jesus was sort of a taboo.

Amy Hafner [00:12:36]:


Jay Lee [00:12:36]:

Would you say Within your family just because of sort of the differences or even just, like, kind of within Judaism itself, it's like, probably don't wanna mention that too much.

Amy Hafner [00:12:47]:

Right. Well and I can't speak for all Jews, but I can say, like, my circle. It it was definitely something you didn't really wanna talk about, you didn't really wanna say Mhmm. You know, I loved my grandparents. Like, they're they both passed away, and I have the coolest testimony with my grandpa. But I just remember, I knew it was gonna be the last time I was gonna see him. He was lucid that day. Like, he was totally awake.

Amy Hafner [00:13:10]:

We were talking, and I knew, like, I was supposed to witness him, I was supposed to say something. But even it was so hard for me to say. And long story short, I asked him, hey, what have you been doing since you've been in this, rehab facility, and he picked up a book. And he started reading it. I've been reading while I've been in here, and I looked at it, and it was a Bible. And it just kinda came out of my mouth. And I was like, Grandpa, Have they been telling you about Jesus? And, and he said, yes, and it is good. And that was the only thing.

Amy Hafner [00:13:41]:

He never I never got there with Him and and sometimes I kinda kick myself about it. But you know what? I trust God. And, it but it was hard with my father. You know, I know one of the questions you're probably gonna ask me is, you know, have I told my family? Does my family know? So my father knows. I had a Great conversation with him. Mhmm. My mother, some of my cousins know, but with my grandparents, you know, it was it I just never came out and told them and yeah.

Jay Lee [00:14:10]:

So it it's definitely touchy

Amy Hafner [00:14:13]:

to It's touchy.

Jay Lee [00:14:14]:

Like, Hey. By the way, guys, I'm a follower of Jesus now. Like, that would be a very but that that's a crazy story with your grandfather, and it's awesome too. Yeah. It's like some sometimes you don't necessarily get to see, you know, them cross the finish line. You don't get to see all the details of exactly everything, but you You got enough of a glimpse to see that, hey. Jesus is is working in his life clearly even till the end. And so, yeah, you can you have confidence now.

Jay Lee [00:14:40]:

Well, I believe that Jesus was faithful to to lead him into the kingdom. So that's that's yeah. That's an awesome story. So, you know, another thing that you said just kinda made me think of this, like because, you know, like, with Christian faith and the gospel, you know, we really believe in kind of this idea, like, I need to make my faith my own. Right? Like, this idea of, like, personally putting my faith in Jesus Christ, is there any kind of equivalent that you've seen, like, with the Jewish faith? Or is it enough just to be a part of the community observe, You know, observe the traditions, or is there any kind of sense of like, yeah, but at some point, you really need to believe it yourself or anything like that.

Amy Hafner [00:15:31]:

Yeah. So one thing that Judaism did teach me was so mitzvahs, like doing good deeds. It's like a pillar of Serving others and being kind and, you know, all of that, but there was never really this I I remember when I heard about having a relationship with God. Just that phrase. I was like, what? You know? Like, like, what do you do with God? And, obviously, prayer was a Big part of our of our religion, and and you definitely knew or you had this picture of who God was. Mhmm. But then and it's, again, why I'm so passionate about reading the Bible because when you figure out the characteristics of God, like, when you and and I would say and and a lot of Messianics would say when Jews read their bible, they they don't read it to say, like, hey. How can I apply this to to my life? They really read it to say, What can I learn about God? Mhmm.

Amy Hafner [00:16:25]:

That was never really taught to me again where I was, maybe because I wasn't paying attention, though. Like, Let's, like, call it what it was. I was so disinterested. I was not,

Jay Lee [00:16:34]:

Put the disclaimer on there. Could it

Amy Hafner [00:16:36]:

be me? Let me it was probably me. But really just when you really see who God is in his character and especially reading the gospels and learning who Christ was, I mean, I don't know who wouldn't want to follow him. And I I I mean, it's just what a rabbi he was, and his teachings were so Crazy. And so, you know, progressive for the time. Like, some of the the things that you read having, like, context of Orthodox Judaism. It's you're like, woah. That that's so crazy. Mhmm.

Amy Hafner [00:17:09]:

You know? It it's it's really, really neat.

Jay Lee [00:17:11]:

Yeah. How much Was even just the idea of or anticipation of a messiah a thing? Was it like something that was ever present in in your Jewish faith, or was it like, nobody really talks about messiah?

Amy Hafner [00:17:30]:

No. We definitely talk about messiah. I don't think to like, again, when I read old testament, and just, like, seen the the 1st century church, like, The disciples were really looking for a messiah. I don't I don't feel like it's like that much.

Jay Lee [00:17:43]:


Amy Hafner [00:17:44]:

But, I mean, they talk about when the messiah comes. I remember A tradition of, you know, you eat the salad last because if the messiah comes, you better be ready and you wanna have a full stomach. Like, so there is this Yeah. And, again, if you're more orthodox, I am sure that that is a huge thing. Mhmm. You know, for a reformed again, it just being, like, Okay. The Messiah is gonna come. We know, type thing.

Jay Lee [00:18:08]:

Yeah. Okay. So it but it's definitely still very much there.

Amy Hafner [00:18:12]:


Jay Lee [00:18:13]:

Yeah. That's interesting. So, I mean, I know that you shared a little bit of your testimony the last time you were on the podcast, but how and when did Jesus and the Christian faith Come into your life and maybe kind of more specifically, you know, the fact that you were Jewish, did that feel like an extra barrier at all Or, actually, was there something about that that made it easier for you to open up to it? Like, yeah, just kind of curious to hear about that.

Amy Hafner [00:18:39]:

That's a great question. So, you know, I would say I had probably I was my own god. Like, I had no god going through college, living living my best life, and married my husband who is a professional baseball player and, went through It felt like in some ways in a in a worldly standpoint was on top of the world, you know, and then had just 2 kind of horrific years where I had to stare death in the face for the 1st time. You know, family members passed away. My husband sustained an injury that he never fully recovered from, and he was a phenomenal baseball player. Yeah. So it was just and and, obviously, there's media and all of this. You you're you're scrutinized.

Amy Hafner [00:19:23]:

Mhmm. And, just was invited consistently for 4 years by a friend. The the church that I work 4 is it's actually the lead pastor's daughter, invited me for 4 years, to bible studies and found ourselves. My husband's last year of his career was with the New York Yankees, and so spring training's in Tampa where their church is. Her mom called me, invited me. I remember walking into this, You know, in my synagogue, it was very quiet. It was very, you know, like, stand up, sit down, do to do. This I'm falling asleep half the time.

Amy Hafner [00:20:00]:

I just remember walking and going, is this a cult? Like, where am I? I was so I was I was so like, oh, is this what Christianity is like? It was like a rock concert and then the message and, it was so funny. It was on Tithing, which is a great message for a Jewish girl because we are stereotypically usually, we're very good at, like, balancing our checkbook and saving money, and we take that seriously. But I remember reading the Proverbs, and they were in English. And they were also, you know, translated in a like, it was NIV version or something. I was like, Oh, that makes so much sense. I'm like, the Bible says that, and it was Proverbs, so I knew it was King Solomon.

Jay Lee [00:20:38]:


Amy Hafner [00:20:38]:

And I'm like, oh, and that's, like, Jewish stuff. You know? It it was so Easy. It was so easy for me to understand, and it just got me questioning. And the next week went back, And there was a song playing, and it the they had played it the week before. It was oh, the blood of Jesus, and I was like, these are weird lyrics. Like, they're worshiping blood. This is So weird. You know? And, obviously, I didn't know about the tabernacle and all the sacrifices.

Jay Lee [00:21:05]:

Ringing a bell for you. Like, uh-huh.

Amy Hafner [00:21:07]:

Oh, yeah. This was sacrifice was a normal thing. It was again, we just brushed over it, and I started to weep. And I don't know why I was crying, and I was not a Crier at all until I became a Christian, and now I cry all the time. I don't know what's wrong with me. I just cry. But it. And I just remember in that moment, something happening that I could only attest to the Holy Spirit just I had an experience with the Holy Spirit, and I didn't transform overnight.

Amy Hafner [00:21:37]:

I wasn't baptized for a year. Mhmm. And then probably The 2 years after I became a Christian, I started reading my bible. And when I opened it and started to read it for myself, I mean, It was like my hair got blown back. Like, everything changed. And yeah. So that's pretty much so and are there any barriers? You know? I love my family, and I am very proud to be Jewish. And, obviously, I have a ton of family who Died in the holocaust who has endured lots, and I would never want to disrespect them In any way, I I I really love them.

Amy Hafner [00:22:19]:

So there's always, like, this this gentleness and humility that I need to practice in that. And, obviously, I, you know, I'm I teach on our women's team. I'm pretty bold in my faith, So I have to just always pray. Like, I I think that's my first response in anything, is let me pray. I wanna have a relationship with my family. Is it a barrier? I I would tell you when I first started going to church, I I would say, well, I'm gonna listen to everything that they're gonna say. I'm just gonna take the name of Jesus out and put Adonai or God in. And, you know, it's pretty much the same thing.

Amy Hafner [00:22:56]:

You know? And then I got to a point where I was like, it is not the same thing at all, and I gotta make a decision. So I gotta What what is my foundation? What do I believe?

Jay Lee [00:23:06]:

Interesting. Yeah. So kind of that last hurdle sounds like was whether you were really going to that Jesus is do you think it was the fact that Jesus was the Messiah, or do you think it was the fact that I mean, Jesus yes. Jesus is the Messiah, but Jesus is the Lord. Like, what was it about, like, that final leap to really embrace Jesus that was difficult?

Amy Hafner [00:23:29]:

So I remember going into my grandma went to a church of Saint Patrick's, and I remember walking in and seeing Jesus on the cross. And I just remember thinking as a little girl, and and it's funny because this is what, you know, Jews thought, that's your Lord? That's that's God? Like, he's broken and he's dead and, like, what what is Yeah. What do we do with all of this? And And even that song, the blood of Jesus, I almost felt ashamed of that. And I remember I I my the very first small group that I was ever in for, like it was called freedom. And what it did was It went through kind of lies that you've believed and what the truth in the word is. And then at the end of it, you have, like, a 2 day encounter where, you know, a pastor gives a message on that specific. So it could be forgiveness. It could be pride.

Amy Hafner [00:24:21]:

It could be, you know, just some things, how you see God. And everyone's like, oh, you get so much. Like, the Holy Spirit will speak to you. And I remember going the 1st day, and I got, like, nothing. And I was disappointed. I was so disappointed, Jay. Mhmm. And then I was driving up to the church the next morning, and I I just I was praying and I felt like the Holy Spirit said to me, like, You're not ashamed of my blood anymore, and, like, you get it now.

Amy Hafner [00:24:47]:

Like, it had to be that. Like, that's How far I had to go because I love you that much, and that's what forgiveness looks like and love looks like. And, I mean, I just, I was a disaster. I think for the for I'm gonna cry when talking about it. I think, like, when you experience, like, that type of love, it just It I can't even put it into words, and, that's what I experienced, and that's where I'm headed. You know? Like, it it it's it's so neat.

Jay Lee [00:25:16]:

That's really interesting. I because I mean, I imagine not just for Jewish people, but maybe for a lot of people. Right? Like, you talk the the Bible talks about how the cross is like a stumbling block. You know, this idea that, you know, your god is crucified. Your your god died. Your god shed blood. Like, yeah, that is a stumbling block Probably for a lot of people, something that doesn't make sense on a human level, but to understand, you know, this is what Jesus Willingly did. He willingly went to the cross because it is what we needed.

Jay Lee [00:25:46]:

It was the only sacrifice that there was for sin That could save us and to be able to finally comprehend that. Yeah. It's really interesting though to hear you say that. I guess it really didn't occur to me that yeah. Especially when you have such a high view of god. You have this very high view of god and then to see, you know, the symbol of weakness, like, this is god? I don't think so. So that yeah. That makes total sense.

Jay Lee [00:26:09]:

So you did you did kind of mention this, but so it sounds like, you have told some of your family members, but like your grandparents, it A little little bit more touchy, but they must follow you on social media. Right? Like, I mean, you know, you're all over the place with, you know, just like Different ministry things and stuff like that. So, like, how does your family view kind of, like, your your faith and your relationship with Jesus?

Amy Hafner [00:26:35]:

So it it's kind of it's something that I always keep an open door to. And if there is an opportunity, I I jump on it in any way, shape, Perform. But, again, I try to be as respectful and as kind. And, you know, if I'm in their house versus they're in my house type of thing, so, like, one thing that we do do is we pray before meals, at our house. So in Travis, my family loves my husband, and Mike, I was like, I joke that my grandma loved him more than me, but they they love him. So and and one thing I can definitely say is there is this respect that Jewish people have for other people. They really they never push. They never fight.

Amy Hafner [00:27:17]:

That in my experience. And so Do I think they all kinda know? Probably. You know, I I'm sure I remember the 1st time I gave a testimony, and it was It was posted on YouTube and somebody tagged me in it, and I'm pretty sure because there were some messy parts early in the testimony, and I'm pretty sure, a couple of my aunts listened to it. I know it's like and that's how they found out. So I do you know, it's not something I hide from them. It's not something that I'm like, listen up, People. Yeah. You know?

Jay Lee [00:27:47]:

And I, like, actively, like, always trying to, like, share it with them and

Amy Hafner [00:27:50]:

stuff. Right.

Jay Lee [00:27:52]:

Okay. Yeah. That that makes sense. So now that you are a follower of Jesus for actually, how many years has it been since you put your faith in Christ?

Amy Hafner [00:28:00]:

It'll be 10 years in March 26th Awesome. When I was baptized. Yep.

Jay Lee [00:28:06]:

That's awesome. That's great. So now that you are, like, a follower of Jesus, like, is there anything about being, like, a Jewish Christian. I don't know that maybe you feel like gives you a different perspective or experience in the faith or, you know, just something that maybe non Jewish Believers, you know, don't quite understand or is just slightly different for you?

Amy Hafner [00:28:27]:

That's a great question. So one other thing, I'm in seminary, and, One thing that you talk about, like, in hermeneutics is historical cultural context. So, you know, when I read a lot of Jesus' Teachings or, like, Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus. Like, when I see that, like, how countercultural that was, I'm like, what? He She was doing like, people just kind of like, oh, that's so sweet. She was sitting there, and Martha was busy. Yeah. Like, the point is that Jesus was allowing a woman to Sit there and learn. You know, I don't wanna get into a controversial issue, but I'll go there for a second.

Amy Hafner [00:29:04]:

But, like, should women speak? Like and there's this 1 passage, and I think it's in maybe 2nd Timothy. But it's it's one of the ones where, Paul's like, I do not allow women to teach, Blah, blah, blah. But they should learn. And everyone goes to that teach part, but they brush over, like, the wildest, craziest thing That they should learn. Like, women didn't. I mean, even I remember I was reading I I do still read some orthodox stuff that's going on Israel? And, like, the rabbis just made a rule that women aren't allowed to go to college again. They don't want them like yeah. I think this was a year back and just, You know? Wow.

Amy Hafner [00:29:42]:

And and just, like, really how culturally Mhmm. Crazy Yeah. The the teachings of Christ were and even just the old testament. Like, I just finished Ezekiel, in the 1 year plan. In the the last chapter, the prophecy of Christ, and even Daniel, like, the interpretation of some of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, you know, you could say that their Prophecy for that time of the coming, you know, when when Babylon would fall, but you can also see Yeah. The king of kings coming. And it's just to me, it's It's like it blows my mind every time. Or even we just read because I'm in Daniel, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and the Just seeing it.

Amy Hafner [00:30:24]:

Wait. There's a 4th. It looks and it says it looks like a son someone who's a son of God, and I I need to go back and translate that. But I'm like,

Jay Lee [00:30:32]:

What? Like Yeah. You're just like, how have I never heard this before? Is everybody seeing this?

Amy Hafner [00:30:39]:

I know. So it is just like, when When you read it, for yourself and, you know, one of the biggest arguments I had asked my father, about the bible when I first started reading it, and his argument was, well, it's not translated correctly. You know, like, the translations are off. They misinterpret words. And I got to take biblical Hebrew this past semester, which I would say, my Hebrew in Hebrew school didn't help me too too much. It was really, really hard, but, I mean, it's, Gosh. What a beautiful language. What a tough language.

Amy Hafner [00:31:10]:

Mhmm. But really, like, how accurate, in my opinion. I mean I mean, I'm not a A rabbi or a biblical scholar by any means, but Yeah. It's pretty darn accurate. And even, you know, we get so fumbled up sometimes in translations of, you know, different translations. This translation's the best. But even when you compare and I know that there there's some controversial things. But even when you compare them, really how Sound it is.

Amy Hafner [00:31:35]:

It it it's really it's quite amazing. And I think at the end of the day, where I stood with it is, You know, could if if God loved Israel as much as he said he did, which He said he did. Yeah. Could would he have left them without a messiah for this long? And and my answer honestly is no. Like, I I believe he always had this plan. There was always a way back to him, and it was written in something that we get to read today.

Jay Lee [00:32:07]:


Amy Hafner [00:32:07]:

And, like, how crazy is that? We get to read it no matter if you're a woman Mhmm. If you're a man, like, if you're a child, if you're an adult, like, we all have I know not every country, but in America, we have the ability to read it. And and, you know, so many people died to to get this to us, and I just think, Wow. Like, we gotta read it. Yeah.

Jay Lee [00:32:29]:

Why are we wasting this opportunity that we have? Yeah. It's really interesting to hear you say it. First of all, thanks for sharing All of that, and and thanks for sharing your thoughts on kind of like the the Timothy passage and and the passage about Mary and Martha. And that's true. Yeah. I think a lot of people miss the fact that That language of sitting at the feet of a rabbi is discipleship language. So, yeah, it's earth shattering actually for that culture for a woman to be basically In the posture of a of a disciple. Right? Yeah.

Jay Lee [00:32:58]:

I don't think women were allowed to be the the disciples of rabbis at that time. Yeah. Maybe not even now. So it's also yeah. It's also interesting to hear you talk about just like the when when you're studying, You know, the Hebrew scriptures and, yeah, just how your your eyes are opened continually just when you see these things in there and you see, like, man, How are people not seeing Jesus in this? Like, I have heard people say, like And honestly, I feel like this might even be interpreted by some Jewish people as highly offensive. But From scripture, like, I can't remember the the the references right now, but, like, maybe in Romans somewhere. But this idea that maybe there's Almost somewhat of a veil over the eyes of Israel that maybe that's why they have trouble seeing what To Christian seems like so plainly there in their scriptures. I don't know.

Jay Lee [00:33:57]:

Like, have you ever put any thought to that? Like, do you feel like There's something more there, like, how can how can you not see it? Or Yeah. Or do you think that's, like, no. It that's not it. It's it's it's not Any different than any person who has not, you know, had their eyes opened by the Holy Spirit yet?

Amy Hafner [00:34:15]:

There is I I need to get the title of this book. When I first Became you know, I I have a lot of messianic friends. I I really do. They're it and it's really cool to see because they're growing in number, And there really is this movement of it. And it is a hard thing because you you love your family. You wanna honor your family, and you're Kind of I mean, you're going in a completely opposite direction. Like, let's be honest. But this book, it was a really thin book.

Amy Hafner [00:34:42]:

It was given to me. It was written by a rabbi who was Grew up orthodox and then and was a rabbi and then left and became a rabbi. I think he's actually now in a church in California, but he used to be the rabbi for the the messianic, synagogue here in Tampa, but he brought one of the Isaiah passages Mhmm. To his rabbi to his Bye.

Jay Lee [00:35:01]:


Amy Hafner [00:35:01]:

And said, what do you think of this? And the rabbi he tells the story that the rabbi actually, like, threw something at him.

Jay Lee [00:35:07]:

Oh, wow.

Amy Hafner [00:35:08]:

So I think We in everything, we get to choose. Right? We get to choose what we see. We get to choose Mhmm. What we believe, and we get to choose who we follow. And I think, for me, I would tell you because I didn't read it. The other thing is it's in Hebrew. So all of my prayers growing up I mean, they were translated, but it it was, like, very old language. So I wasn't, like, getting a ton out of it, But they're all in Hebrew.

Amy Hafner [00:35:35]:

I didn't even know what I was saying half the time. Mhmm. Like, I could recite to you a ton of prayers. I have no idea. So I think for, like, an American, If if you if you are non Hebrew speaking, you don't really know what you're saying. You're really just going through the motions. And, again, I think that's why you see the shift To messianic, to people who are, like, completed Jews and because then they read it for themselves, and they're like, wait a minute. Look at what god did, And look at what he's gonna do again.

Amy Hafner [00:36:03]:

Yeah. So it's it's just it's neat.

Jay Lee [00:36:05]:

Oh, yeah. It kinda reminds me of the shift from, like, The old days in Catholicism, how, you know, it was all in Latin for a really long time, and so people didn't hear it in their language. They didn't know What the Bible actually said a lot of times. They didn't know what the prayers said. And so, yeah, maybe for a lot of Jewish people, it's just they just haven't actually Seeing what the scriptures say. I mean, they have the prayers. They have these these liturgies they go through, but the content of it, they don't understand a lot of times. So It it doesn't require any extra level of veiling.

Jay Lee [00:36:39]:

It's just they just have never really heard it in a language that they can understand now. That makes Yeah. That makes sense. Is maybe this is my last question. Thank you so much for what you've shared so far, but I don't know. Is there anything that you think that people maybe understand about Jewish people. You know, whether it be Christians or yeah. Like, I don't know.

Jay Lee [00:37:11]:

Do you do you feel like is there anything that we maybe misunderstand or misinterpret about Jewish people whether in the Bible or Jewish people in general. Like, I don't know. Do you have any any thoughts about that?

Amy Hafner [00:37:24]:

Well, I definitely know that Jewish people love their God. They really do love Adonai. They love the father, and they really They really want to serve him and serve other people. You know, there it's it's interesting. Like, again, going back to mitzvahs, just really how that was a pillar of our synagogue and, you know, the tithing principle. Like, even my super orthodox family that lives in a kibbutz and has, like, no money. They tithe like, they give 10%. They're they're so generous in giving, and I you know, it's it's it's funny because when you ask somebody, like, well, what do you like, if I was to stereotype, like, what are some stereotypes that you think of of of Jewish people? And, you know, sometimes you'd say, well, they're they're cheap.

Amy Hafner [00:38:09]:

And and, and I would say that. People that that was, like, one thing, I experienced. And I did some antisemitism in in high school. I one time had a swastika fall out of my locker. And Oh, wow. But I remember I remember people saying, like, aren't you all cheap? And my Grandfather who grew up in the depression, he was the best. Like but, man, he was so stereotypical. Like, but, you know, I I think that could be a stereotype depending on what generation you grew up in.

Amy Hafner [00:38:39]:

If you grew up in the depression versus, anything. And I I would just like there's such an opportunity right now, especially right now, for Christians to really, 1, pray, you know, with everything happening, it should break our hearts that there are people on both sides that maybe do not know Christ yet. And, you know, how are we making the most of every opportunity to, 1, pray to look for opportunities to serve, to be generous, to be kind, to try to understand, And try to lean in. And, you know, I I think serving at a church, working at a church, and, meeting All types of people from all types of background and really just doing my best to Ground is no matter where they came from, like, to learn how to, like, love everyone and to see everyone for who God created them to be and to help people follow Christ. And it's it's challenging. Right? It gets we're like, when's it gonna end? Like, when is everybody when are we gonna have peace?

Jay Lee [00:39:51]:


Amy Hafner [00:39:52]:

And, unfortunately, not until Jesus returns. So, but can we make the most of every opportunity? Because we do have an opportunity here, to really be the hands and feet of Christ.

Jay Lee [00:40:05]:

Yeah. Thanks Thanks for sharing that. I mean, just with everything that's happening with Israel and Hamas and Palestine and I don't know. Like, I I I definitely see, you know, on social media and stuff like that, everybody's kind of trying to grapple with how to think about it. Like, especially a lot of my my friends who are Christians, you know, I definitely see a a a big difference in in responses to it. You know, some people are coming out and just hey, man. We need to be supporting Israel 100% right here, and then we have people who are friends also who are very much like, Hey. There there's a genocide happening here with Palestinians, and, you know so, you know, I mean, not to get I know that this makes things much heavier.

Jay Lee [00:40:50]:


Amy Hafner [00:40:51]:

Set me up right now. I I think it's it's important to talk about, though. And I and and I hate doing it on a Podcast because I think it is a conversation that as the church and let me talk to, like, believers that we do it face to face. Because in seminary, you learned about presuppositions. Right? Because of your experiences and because of what has happened in your life, You filter and read and process things a certain way. Like, if you had a child who was burned In front of you, you may process things differently than somebody who hasn't. If you had family who were wiped out in The holocaust, you may process things different. Now if you've had family who was blown up by bombs, you're gonna process it.

Amy Hafner [00:41:42]:

So I think the the first thing that we always have to do is, hey, what what are we bringing? What hurts? What pains, what experiences are we bringing to the table? But, ultimately, as Christians, we filter through the lens of Christ in anything. Like, You know, the past since 2020, we've seen more polarizing issues that are are tearing people apart, and I don't think anything grieves God more. You know, there is unity under one name. Obviously, I have family who I love in Israel. You know? I have I have some stories. So I'm seeing one side. I'm not seeing the other side, but I know who I serve, and that's Jesus Christ. And I just I think when we have these conversations, no matter how it is, it's best when they're done 1 on 1.

Amy Hafner [00:42:31]:

Mhmm. And if we if we're Passionate on one way or the other. How can I help? You know? How can I serve? How can I actually, like, not just be what is it? Like, Clanging symbol, but how can I beat love? Mhmm. So yeah.

Jay Lee [00:42:46]:

No. I I I think that's, I mean, I think that's Probably the best perspective that we can have that at the end of the day, we are servants of Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ is on the side of all humanity. But you're right. I I think a lot of times we do have these conversations over social media or something like that, but not face to face, person to person, And that's probably the best place to do that. And,

Amy Hafner [00:43:11]:

And none of us are there. Mhmm. Like, that's the other thing. Like, it's funny. In Israel, it's not funny. It's tragic in Israel. Ever your houses have bomb shelters. Mhmm.

Amy Hafner [00:43:19]:

So you go into the bomb shelter or, like, could you imagine being in Gaza right now? You imagine being at that concert? Could you imagine your you know, like No. We're not there. We're not experiencing it in the same way. So, like, I'm not in I'm not in the military. I'm not seeing it like you know? I live close to MacDill Air Force Base, so we have lots of people with lots of and I've heard their stories. And when we stop hearing people's stories, we grow roots of bitterness and rage and anger and vengeance, And that is completely contrary to to the gospel. So do I have an opportunity to talk to Someone do I have an opportunity to lean in instead of run away or just be mad or just Mhmm. Give you my 2¢? And I just gave my 2¢.

Amy Hafner [00:44:07]:

I'm gonna apologize to everybody. But, yeah. Yeah.

Jay Lee [00:44:11]:

Yeah. No. I I I feel like There's a certain degree of humility, I think, sometimes that's missing a little bit when we when we talk about these things where like, I remember this came up. I just talk about all the controversial things today.

Amy Hafner [00:44:23]:

Let's do it. We talk about women speaking and all these things.

Jay Lee [00:44:27]:

I remember this came up a little bit During I remember when the, Black Lives Matter protests that were happening back in 2020 or 2021. And I remember just talking to some some friends who were just getting very angry with some of their, like, Family members and things like that who were not more supportive of this side or that side. And I remember 1 one thought that I kind of shared was like, Hey. You know, you've only been talking about this for 2 weeks. Right? You know? Not to say that it wasn't Yeah. Important Important. But, I mean, you yourself have only been talking about this for, like, 2 weeks. Right? And so you're only 2 weeks ahead of Your family members, right, on this.

Jay Lee [00:45:13]:

Right? And and just, like, not to say that means you can't speak, but just to have some humility. Like, okay. I'm learning and gaining perspective and and things as I go, and I'm sharing those things, but not to vilify people who are not coming exactly from the same place I mean, it's okay if they have a different opinion, but maybe they're also just 2 weeks behind me. Right? You know? Right. You know? And maybe they just need some time also to to learn and things like that, which can only happen through respectful and loving dialogue, not vilifying them and saying, hey. Well, you're not on the same as I am 2 weeks later. So, you know, you obviously hate people or whatever. So yeah.

Jay Lee [00:45:52]:

Anyway so I'm I'm sure We could go much deeper into this. I I appreciate you being willing to share some some thoughts on, yeah, on on the topic that obviously is very difficult, and a lot of people, yeah, maybe wouldn't wanna speak at all about yeah. So, Amy, we covered a lot of ground here. I don't know if If I got you into deeper waters than you were expecting to get into today, but, you know, if people wanted to connect more with you or more with the SOAR journal or even, GFC, like, how can they connect with you?

Amy Hafner [00:46:22]:

Yeah. So, well, 1, if you're in the Tampa Bay Area, and you don't have a home church yet, Look up GFC Florida. It's an amazing church. I love it. Or you can connect with me. My Instagram is soar.journal. You know, we do just inspiring posts and some tips to help you read the bible, some discipleship tips, but it's a really positive page. So if your if your Instagram If you need some more, you know, Jesus in your Instagram feed, you should give us a following.

Amy Hafner [00:46:52]:

I mean, if you have any questions or if, Honestly, if if there is something on the podcast today that you just wanna talk through, like, I genuinely, like, love to lean into the conversations and hear people's heart because I I don't know everything, and I I just love to hear what people are going through in their story.

Jay Lee [00:47:11]:

Nice. And I think you said that you had a special discount that you wanted to offer for the, Daily Sabbath listeners?

Amy Hafner [00:47:19]:

Yeah. So for Daily Sabbath, all you have to do is type in Daily Sabbath. Pretty easy to remember. You'll get 10% off and free standard shipping, on your order, and we'd love to have you. We actually our big number 1 seller is the 1 year plan, and that's always we start January 1st. It's I love doing it. We have so many people who join us every year, and we have even more people joining us. And it's really cool because You'll see posts in our stories every day.

Amy Hafner [00:47:45]:

You know, a couple of us try to post, and we ask fun questions. And, it's just it's a good place. And if you're looking for resources For your small group, please reach out to me or your church, because we do work with churches in small groups. So that's it.

Jay Lee [00:48:00]:

So yeah. I mean, we're coming up Towards the end of the year so, you know, beginning of the year would be a great time to you know, if you really wanted to, like, okay. This year, I really wanna get into the Bible more. I wanna read through the Bible, do a 1 year plan, whatever. You know, highly encourage you guys to consider getting the SOAR Bible journal. One, because it's gonna encourage you to actually read the bible for yourself, which I think is the most important thing. But, yeah, I mean, 2, you have the added resource of the SOAR account on Instagram so you can kind of see what other people are learning from the Daily reading. You guys all, you know, all be reading the same thing if you're doing the 1 year bible plan.

Jay Lee [00:48:37]:

So it's just like a little added accountability, added extra you know? Okay. I'm not doing it by myself, so you can kind of Do it along together with other people. You can do it along with Amy herself because by the way, how many times have you read through the bible in its entirety now? I'm just curious.

Amy Hafner [00:48:55]:

So this will this year will be year 8. My husband's done it. This year will be 10. He started before me. He he was, like, right on it right away. So, but, yeah, 8 times in every year. My mentor's actually done it, I think, 56 years, in a row, And we text each other. You know, it it's really good if you can do it with someone.

Amy Hafner [00:49:15]:

Mhmm. But she she just texted me a few weeks ago and was like, I've never seen this. I mean, every time you're It's like going treasure hunting. You're like, oh my goodness. This is amazing. First first Peter, just we just finished first Peter, and it it rocked To me this year, it is a great one to read right now. If you're struggling with everything that's going on, it really is good.

Jay Lee [00:49:36]:

Yeah. So, I mean, You know, this could be the year for you guys to start that out. You know? Amy's on year 8. Her her husband is on year 10, and then her mentor is on year 56.

Amy Hafner [00:49:46]:

50 Thanks. We got a ways to go.

Jay Lee [00:49:48]:

You know, really encourage you guys to check it out. And so, yeah, make sure you guys use the, coupon code Daily Sabbath. You can Get 10% off. But, Amy, thank you so much for being on the podcast again.

Amy Hafner [00:49:58]:

Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate you, Jay.

Jay Lee [00:50:02]:

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