Shalom! I'm Izzy Avraham, the founding teacher. I tell my story in lesson 14 of Hebrew Quest, but I'll share a shorter version for you here too.
I grew up in western Canada in the prairie province of Saskatchewan, the grandson of hard-working Depression-era pioneer farmers whose families immigrated from the far western and eastern ends of Europe, some from Jewish families and some not. My Dad led a faith community and my Mom homeschooled me and my three brothers. I had a very happy childhood and spent much of my time reading books and building forts. I was a mix of serious and silly, sensitive and driven, present and wildly imaginative.
In my early teens several crises shattered my perfect world and set me on a quest seeking answers to life's hardest questions. God became very real to me and I felt him calling me to spend much time with him and devote myself to prayer and the ministry of the Word, similar to the calling of Yeshua's first disciples. For several years I spent hours a day and sometimes whole nights in meditation and study while working just enough to subsist. It's difficult to describe how intense the inner work was. I fasted for months on end, eating only once daily, and at one point fasted altogether for over forty days with only my passion and the divine presence sustaining me.
My deepest desire was to experience as much of God as a man can in this life and to know the Master for myself, and I wasn't disappointed. Yeshua began showing himself to me in very personal ways, with one of the most precious disclosures being just how Jewish he is. There is so much I could say about that epiphany, and really that's what every one of my lessons is about. He led me to start going to my local Conservative synagogue and encountering Messiah in the midst of Judaism and the Jewish community. As part of my own journey following Yeshua I learned Hebrew, spent almost a year in Israel, and reconnected with my family's eastern European Jewish roots.
After meeting somebody at my synagogue who was Messianic I spent several years going through the Hebrew Roots and then Messianic Jewish movements. Since then I've come full circle and am back at a Conservative synagogue where I feel most at home and closest to Messiah, fully immersed in the Jewish community and practicing traditional Judaism. My passion to experience God and know Yeshua for myself hasn't changed since my teens and the lessons on this website are an overflow of that romance. I hope you'll become a member and allow them to bring new life and love to your heart. For more of my story and the story of Holy Language Institute please check out my social media profiles. You'll find them on the social media page.
I'll share one more thing with you. We've already reached millions of people and have hundreds of thousands of followers across YouTube, social media, and email. But I hope this is just the beginning. This world is big, the time is short, and the Messiah is worthy. Join the romance here.