Import jQuery

I’m a starstruck Messianic

I'm sporting a big grin today. I went to Minnesota’s big MJAA Messianic synagogue last night for Sukkot and for…Joel Chernoff!

Joel is the original Messianic music pioneer – he and Rick Coghill started the music group “Lamb” back in the early 1970s. He now works for the MJAA and runs a massive charity organization that helps the poor and needy in Israel. He’s done his share of work for the Lord, and then some.

I grew up listening to Lamb, old favorites like the beautiful worship song Break Forth in Joy, the forward-looking Yerushalayim Descending, the ‘80s anthem He Is Messiah, and so many others have inspired me and helped me through tough times in my life.

I even learned the guitar so that I could play Lamb songs. The first song I played was Lamb’s Baruch HaShem. And today, I am now playing music for our shabbat Bible study, passing on the blessings of Lamb music onto others. 😊

Needless to say, it made my night – made my month, actually – to meet Joel in person. After a little chat, I asked him a favor: “Joel, mind if I’d get a picture with you?”

“Ah, sure thing.”, he says.

And with a click of my poor-quality camera phone, this Messianic music lover was on Cloud 9:

Judah Gabriel Himango and Joel Chernoff


  1. Baruch Hashem Bro!! Great photo, you truly look happy. And that is the first time I've seen a photo of Joel. My congregation here in Atlanta speaks of him highly and often and of course we play his music during worship. Be blessed bro. Take Care.

    ps-I am personally a sucker for Paul Wilbur, but I'm a babe too, I have to expand my messianic music pallot (sp?)

  2. Danny,

    I like Paul Wilbur's older know about Israel's Hope? It's the group Wilbur formed with Marc Chopinski in the mid 1980s. They have some amazing music. Some of my favs from them:

    Shalom Jerusalem

    A Resting Place

    Holy, Holy, Holy

    Despite Messianic music being a tiny, tiny genre, Israel's Hope was actually nominated for a Gospel Music Award for their second album. They put out some excellent music for Messiah.

  3. So many different styles of music! so many sounds, all inspired by the Ruach! Love LAMB!!!!

  4. Judah,

    I remember listening to Lamb in the early '70's. You know, those big plastic discs that spun around on a turntable while a needle rode the grooves. There were so many of those groups that came through Denver back then. And many of them stopped by our large non-denominational congregation to play.

    Ah, the good old days.

    Shalom Jerusalem, both the video and the CD, are some of our favorites.

    And it's that time of year again to watch Ushpizin. One of our favorite movies.

    Glad you got to see him and get a picture.



  5. One day, Judah, people will have the same starstruck awe when they meet that guy! You know...that young Messianic guy with the great blog!

  6. PJ, hahah, too kind. But thanks for the ego bump. :-)

  7. Judah:

    You're pretty tall it seems.

    Say, can you email me some Lamb chord sheets. I like the early Messianic songs and we do some Israel's Hope stuff and one or two lamb in our repertoire still.

    I'd like to learn some Lamb songs.

    Derek Leman

  8. Derek,

    Yeah, I'm tall (6'6") and Joel is short. I had to squat down a bit just to get our faces in the picture. :-)

    I've got a boatload of chords for Messianic music. I'll send you them this weekend.

  9. Judah, I had no idea you were 6'6" as well!

    I politely remind you that 2 metres is the height of Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith.

  10. Hahah. Guess I'm Dark Lord of the Messianics.

    John...I am your father! :-D

    (Of course, Star Wars nerds will recognize that as a misquote...)

    Joel commented on my height, too. I told him it's good for basketball, and not much else. :-)

    My wife is even shorter, 5'2" or something. I have to basically get down on my knees to kiss her. :-)


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