From Our Members

DIANE KUTNER (1952-2015)

Diane Kutner was born Diane Beth Simon on December 9, 1952 to her parents Howard and Rae Simon, then residing at George AFB in Victorville, CA. Diane lived in Long Beach and Anaheim, and later in Huntington Beach, CA. She attended Huntington Beach High School and then Edison High School in the same city, and graduated Edison in June 1971. Diane attended the University of California Irvine, graduating with her B.A. in December 1974 with a major in Linguistics and Foreign Languages. She later attended UCI Extension and received two certificates in Government Contracting, and one certificate as a Personal Trainer. Diane also recently received a Certificate as a Health Coach for her completion of a course of online study with a private institution. Walking, exercising, and promoting and maintaining good health were her passion. She also loved photography and aviation.

Diane married me on June 28, 1974 in Santa Ana, CA. We were married for over 40 years. We lived in Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, and Irvine, CA, and briefly in Seattle, WA. Most recently we lived in Huntington Beach. Diane also loved cats. We have two affectionate cats.

Diane worked in the Defense and Aerospace industry in the field of Contracting and Procurement (as did I) for nearly 30 years, for large and small companies, and took great pride in her work in a field of very complex and technical legal and regulatory requirements. She was most recently employed as an Acquisition Specialist with a services company under contract to provide all phases of Contracting and Procurement for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency of the Department of Homeland Security in Laguna Niguel, CA. She was the consummate professional in the work she performed.

As am I, Diane was a Jewish Believer in Yeshua/Jesus as the Messiah promised by the ancient prophets and sages of our people, and that He is the Messiah of both the Jewish people and of the Gentiles. She prayed to receive Him into her heart on December 27, 1997. We Believers take comfort in the promise of the Scriptures that she is in Lord Yeshua’s presence at this very moment and will be for all eternity, and that those who have placed their faith and trust in Yeshua will also see Diane again in our Lord and Savior’s Kingdom in Heaven.

I grieve terribly for Diane’s absence, but I have the hope contained in the Scriptures that she has passed from death unto life, and that I will see her again someday. The Scriptures teach, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8).

To understand why I have this hope, please indulge my sharing of how I came to believe that Yeshua/Jesus is the Messiah.

I was raised in a Jewish home, and lived in Westchester in Los Angeles during the period 1962-1969. I attended a Conservative Jewish Temple in Westchester (B’nai Tikvah), and attended almost daily Hebrew School and Confirmation classes after public school during that time, and on Friday evenings and on Saturdays (Shabbat). I was a Bar Mitzvah there in 1966. I was married in Anaheim in a Conservative Jewish Temple (Temple Beth Emet) in 1974. The school curriculum and quality of the instruction was poor. The confirmation classes I attended for three years after Bar Mitzvah had 15 teachers during that time period. … Although I came away with a strong Jewish historical and cultural identity, very little was taught about the Scriptures. … The copy of the Hebrew Scriptures presented to me by the congregation at my Bar Mitzvah was incomprehensible and sat on my bookshelf for many years. … After marriage to my wife in 1974, nearly 20 years passed before I set foot in any house of worship again.

During the 1988 to 1995 time period I was employed by the McDonnell Douglas Corporation in Southern California. During that time I became good friends with a young gentleman (Phillip) with whom I pursued several after-work mutual hobbies and interests. My friend is an avid student of the Bible. He enjoyed discussing the Hebrew Scriptures with me. He discussed the teachings in the Jewish Scriptures concerning sin and repentance, and concerning the Scriptural qualifications for the Jewish Messiah. He challenged me from the Hebrew Scriptures how I someday would stand in front of a Holy G-d and justify my entering G-d’s kingdom. I responded by saying I was a good, moral person. My friend showed me from the Scriptures that G-d didn’t provide that option. He showed me in the Hebrew Scriptures that G-d loves us and desires a relationship with each and every one of us, but that we are all sinners and that G-d is a Holy G-d who cannot fellowship with us in that condition of sin. According to the Scriptures good deeds and moral behavior don’t address atonement for sin. Leviticus 17:11 in the Torah teaches, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.” In Old Testament times atonement for sin was addressed on a regular basis via the shedding of animal sacrificial blood in accordance with the requirements contained in the Levitical system. After the Temple was destroyed in 70 C.E., atonement has been impossible to accomplish. Late in the 1st Century the Rabbis reorganized Judaism into a “works” based faith involving the performance of good deeds, charity, and prayer. While these may all be well and good, as such, Modern Rabbinic Judaism has no means of Biblical atonement as required by the Torah in the Jewish Scriptures.

All of this information and knowledge made me extremely uncomfortable and presented me with a dilemma. I found myself at a complete loss to engage my friend in intelligent conversation on the subject. I was very offended and upset that my friend, a “Goy,” (a Gentile) knew more about MY BIBLE than I did! In college at U.C. Riverside I had been involved in the combined orchestral and choral music performance of Handel’s “Messiah,” and of Vivaldi’s “Gloria.” Exposure to the words of Scripture in these works also made me feel extremely uncomfortable. I didn’t realize, until years later, that most of the Scripture used by Handel was actually from the Jewish Bible!

In an effort to disprove and counter my friend’s arguments, and to resist G-d, I secretly purchased a copy of the Holy Bible (which contains both the Tanach/Hebrew Scriptures and the Brit Chadasha/New Covenant). As I began to read I very simply asked G-d to show himself to me as being real. He did. I studied the writings of our prophets and sages concerning the prophecies of the coming Messiah (both the Messiah ben Joseph or suffering Servant, and Messiah ben David or reigning Messiah). I began to see and conclude that there was only one person in history who met the requirements for Messiahship, which include but are not limited to the following: 1) Born in Bethlehem (Micah 5); 2) Born of a Virgin (Isaiah 7); 3) Born as a direct descendant of King David (Jeremiah 23); 4) Born before the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed (Daniel 9); 5) Died violently by crucifixion and for the sins of the people (Psalm 22); 6) Died without his bones being broken (Isaiah 53); 7) Rose from the dead in accordance with the Jewish Scriptures (Psalm 16, Isaiah 53, Jonah). Speaking of Moses, the Jewish Scriptures also teach concerning the Messiah in the Torah at Deuteronomy 18:15, “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.” That one person also fulfilled these and nearly 300 other prophecies. I believe with all my heart that person is Yeshua (Jesus). The name Yeshua means “salvation” in Hebrew, which the Scriptures teach Yeshua claimed was His mission and purpose. His shed blood was and is the more perfect atonement provided by G-d for us. In seeking to disprove my friend and G-d, I came to realize that the Bible is in fact G-d’s Truth.

On October 14, 1993 I was led by G-d’s Holy Spirit (the Ruach HaKodesh) and I prayed a very simple prayer of repentance to turn from my sins and ask G-d’s forgiveness, to accept as a matter of faith Yeshua’s sacrifice of atonement, and to receive His gift of eternal life. I believe that Yeshua/Jesus is the Messiah for the Jews and Gentiles, as prophesied by our ancient sages and the Hebrew Scriptures. I believe that He is G-d come in the flesh, and I believe that He rose from the dead and appeared to over 500 persons for a 40 day period between Pesach (Passover) and Shavuot (Pentecost).

The Brit Chadasha teaches of G-d’s love for us at John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” On the basis of the teaching of the Scriptures I know that when I pass from this world that my sins have been forgive n by G-d, that I will never be separated from Him, and I will be in G-d’s presence FOREVER. What a wonderful hope and promise offered so freely to all who will accept this gift!!!

Since that day there have been several major changes in my life. I have read the entire Bible, cover to cover, several times. I continue to read the Bible daily and uncover further truth with each reading. I spend time in prayer with G-d daily. I attend very musically and spiritually edifying worship services, fellowship with other Believers, and teaching from the Scriptures on Shabbat at a Messianic Jewish congregation in Orange County, CA. I now fully understand the true meaning of and observe the Jewish Biblical holidays throughout the year.

I have shared my faith with Diane and my family, and not only did Diane come to a saving faith in Messiah Yeshua, but my late Father, Jerome Kutner, my late Mother, Gertrude Kutner, and Diane’s late Mother, Rae Simon, all received Yeshua into their hearts before they passed. I know I will see them again.

There are other reasons to believe in the veracity of the Scriptures:

1. Many changed lives of those who were Believers. John Newton, an 18th Century British Sailor and later Captain of slave ships came to faith and later became an ardent abolitionist. He is also better known for his writing of the hymn, “Amazing Grace.”

2. Historical evidence of Jesus (reference the Jewish Historian Josephus, “Antiquities.”)

3. Archaeological evidence, ongoing in the Land of Israel. In the early 1960’s the area of Caesarea Maritima, north of Tel Aviv, Israel. This was the Roman headquarters in Israel, and was located under tons of sand using the Scriptural evidence as a guide to its location. An actual stone ruin which I have seen has been located at the uncovered and restored amphitheater with the inscription, “PONTIVS PILATVS,” or Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor who condemned Yeshua to the cross.

4. Fulfilled prophecy (over 300 events). Since those were fulfilled in God’s perfect timing, then it is logical all remaining prophecy will be fulfilled in God’s perfect timing.

5. The Scriptures consist of 66 books (39 from the Tenach/Hebrew Scriptures, and 27 from the Brit Chadasha/New Covenant). They were written by 40 authors inspired of G-d over 1,500 years. They were written by Jewish authors for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel for Jewish (and later Gentile) redemption and salvation.

The Scriptures teach, “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” (Proverbs 27:1). The Scriptures also teach, “And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:16-21).

NOW is the time to give serious thought to our individual mortality, and where each of us would spend eternity if our lives were to end unexpectedly, even this afternoon. Neither Diane nor I nor anyone else expected that she would collapse at home and be hospitalized on February 4th, decline in health, and pass away on February 20th. None of those who perished on 9-11-2001 had any reason to believe that they wouldn’t be home with their families that evening. I find a local TV commercial, which shows a retired woman boasting about her anticipation of a long life, and that she has great plans, to be foolish and to be testing G-d.

The Scriptures teach, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Yeshua/Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9). Diane did so. I have done so.

They also teach, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (John 3:16-21).

Is it possible that the Messiah came to our Jewish people, and our fathers rejected Him? Indeed, this DID happen, nearly 2,000 years ago, and as prophesied by our Jewish Prophet, Isaiah, over 700 years BEFORE Messiah Yeshua walked the earth: “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:3-6, 10-12).

Our hope also rests on this promise:

"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Yeshua/Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Yeshua/Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Messiah shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 KJV).

NOW is the time of decision. What will you do with this offer of eternal life in G-d’s Kingdom, freely given? If you have any questions, and/or you would like to get right with G-d, please don’t hesitate to contact me, Messianic Rabbi Douglas Friedman, or any other leaders in our congregation.

May G-d bless you all, and may we rejoice in Diane’s being with the Messiah!

Michael M. Kutner
2-26-2015

Sisterhood

Coming up this Shabbat at Ben David

May 26 - Message by Doug Friedman:

Title:

“Why God Allows His Followers to Suffer in this World”

Join us this Shabbat morning as we continue our study in 2 Corinthians and uncover multiple reasons why God permits even those who know Him and faithfully serve Him to suffer afflictions in this world.

Simchat Torah

October 14 - Simchat Torahtorah
The Joy of the Torah - Morning Service
Concluding the annual Torah reading and beginning anew.
Join us celebrating God's word.

Rosh HaShanah

Wednesday, September 20 - Erev Rosh HaShanah Messianic Service at 7:00pm.rosh
Rosh HaShanah, also known as the Jewish New Year, is called in the Bible, The Feast of Trumpets, or, in Hebrew, Zicharon Teruah, the Day of Memorial of Blowing.
Rosh HaShanan (literally, Head of the Year) occurs on the first day of the Jewish month of Tishrei, this year, on Thursday, September 21.
Please join us for the evening service on Wednesday, September 20, at 7:00pm and celebrate this Biblical Holy Day and its Messianic significance.

Yom Kippur

September 30 - Yom Kippur Messianic Serviceykippur
Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, occurs on the tenth of Tishrei, Saturday, September 30 this year.
Join us for this Messianic Service at 10:30am.

Sukkot

October 7 - Sukkot Service at 10:30am:sukkot
join us for a Sukkot celebration.
- Morning Service and Oneg in the Sukkah.

Sisterhood Event Oct-21

October 21 - Sisterhood Eventtorah
Has the Lord been good to you? Have you experienced His grace and blessings in your life? Psalm 105:1-3 Instructs us to:
“Give thanks to the Lord! Proclaim His Name; Make known His deeds among the people. Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works. Glory in His Holy Name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who see the Lord.”
If you answered “yes” to the questions above, then we hope that you will join us as we gather to say Toda Adonai in worship and fellowship. Let us proclaim His great Name and declare His wondrous works in our lives.
Join us after the morning service at 12:30pm for a giving thanks luncheon. Lunch donation: $5.

Hanukkah Celebration

December 16 - Hanukkah Celebration at 4:00pm
Come, celebrate Hanukkah with us.
- Menorah Lighhting
- Dancing
- Children’s Activities
- Dreidel Playing
- Traditional Foods
- Latkes & Sufganiyot

PLEASE NOTE: There will be no morning service.

Coming up at Ben David - Purim

March 3 - Purim Celebration:



Join us for a fun filled Purim Celebration: costumes, parade, children's program, joyful music, insightful sermon, and an Oneg with delicious hamantaschen. Purim is the last event of the biblical calendar and symbolizes the ultimate victory over evil.

Hamantaschen Baking Contest:

Bring two dozen of your homemade hamantaschen before the service to enter the contest. Prizes will be awarded at the Oneg.

Coming up at Ben David - April 14 - Yom HaShoah

With guest speaker Rochelle Dreeben author of "One Dark Night"

Coming up at Ben David

December 30 - Message by Shmuel Oppenheim:

Title:

“Hineni: Here I Am!”

Rabbi Oppenheim will address the subject of what God asked of Abraham, what God was willing to do, and what He did.

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