Rabbi Netanel Ben YochananRanebi רנב”י
 
Rabbi Netanel (nee Percy Johnson) was the founder and spiritual leader of the She’ar Yashuv community until September 2020 when he went to be with his forefathers. He was a highly educated man with four masters degrees, two in Engineering, one in theology and one in psychology. He taught thermodynamics in  university in the city of Lima, Peru at the age of 22 and was an avowed atheist. A series of life’s events including a supernatural experience brought him to believe in the God of Israel.  He struggled with his belief that Yeshua was the Messiah and over time and much study saw that he was not who Christianity made him out to be.  
 
Our Rabbi slowly brought this community out of the Christian doctrines of messianic movement and taught us to return to the principles in the written Torah and to live by them.  He always said, “say yes to God and say no to religion“. He wanted his students to know how to apply the wisdom of the Torah, (especially the Ten Commandments) to their daily lives while having a sincere and honest relationship with the Bore Olam. One of his many wise sayings was Our God is the God of beginning again.” He believed that no one needs to convert to a religion, instead they (Jew or Gentile) simply need to do teshuvah, return to the God of Israel to turn their lives around. Rabbi Netanel was dedicated to mentoring and building up young leaders for the healthy future of Kahal Israel and the world.
 
 
 
We are pleased to announce that several people from our community have stepped forward to bring teachings from the Torah every Shabbat, and to follow in the footsteps of our Rabbi and our forefathers.
 
 

Sr. Mauricio Quintero

Mauricio Quintero is a businessman, husband, and father of three children and resides in El Salvador. He was first introduced to our Rabbi about 7 years ago by Rabbi Iosef Chemi from Argentina. Rabbi Chemi was mentored by and later became a colleague of our Rabbi for many years. Mauricio began attending our rabbi’s Tuesday Torah studies and he too became his Talmid (student). His love for the principles of Torah and the God of Israel left him quite alone not only in his family but all those around him. Undeterred, he continued to study under Rabbi Percy and after his death, Mauricio devoted himself continuing the rabbi’s work through this community. He accepted the role of President of the non-profit organization in the US called She’ar Yashuv International and shortly afterwards accepted a role on the board of KSY Canada. He hosts our Spanish “tertulia” (Discussion Group) once a week and delivers the parashah message once a month. We call upon Mauricio on many occasions to help answer more difficult biblical questions and he is always ready with detailed and well researched responses.

We are so grateful to have him as our head teacher. His love for the Torah and his knowledge of both Talmud and New Testament allow him to be an excellent teacher and especially since he always remains humble.  Our community is blessed to have three people whose love for Torah shines through in their lives not as a religion but in word and in deed.

 
 
 
 
Alejandro and Yanet Alvarado

Mi esposa Yanet y yo llegamos a Canadá en octubre de 1992 con nuestro hijo Andrés, que en ese momento tenía 1 año. Nuestras hijas, Adrianna y Ann-Marie nacieron aquí en Canadá. Poco después de llegar a Canadá, conocimos al rabino Percy Johnson, quien era invitado a hablar en las iglesias donde él hablaba acerca de las raíces judías del cristianismo. Fue así como empezamos a conocer nuestras raíces judías y comenzamos a adentrarnos cada vez más en este conocimiento. Asistimos a eventos en Kehilat She’ar Yashuv donde celebramos las fiestas bíblicas y poco a poco nos fuimos sumergiendo en la vida judía de una manera más participativa y con una conciencia más clara acerca de lo que estábamos aprendiendo.

Asistíamos a la congregación cada Shabat y pronto nos convertimos en miembros de la congregación. Desde entonces hemos participado plena y activamente en cada evento y festividad porque nos sentimos parte de esta comunidad. A través de las enseñanzas de nuestro amado rabino, a lo largo de los años hemos crecido como familia e individualmente, aprendiendo a vivir los principios de la Torá.

La familia Alvarado tiene habilidades y destrezas naturales en las artes culinarias, entretenimiento y organización de fiestas. Han organizado bodas, Bar Mitzvot y otros eventos nuestros. Alejandro fue ordenado ministro en nuestra comunidad en 2021. Después de la muerte de nuestro rabino en septiembre de 2020, dado que era uno de sus mejores talmidim (alumnos), Alejandro ahora entrega un mensaje sobre el parashá una vez al mes a nuestra comunidad y figura como uno de nuestros maestros. También participó en nuestra junta interina durante el primer año durante la reestructuración después de la muerte de nuestro rabino, hasta que pudimos reemplazarlo con un miembro de la junta a tiempo completo. Él, su esposa Yanet y su hijo, quienes tienen hermosas voces para cantar, dirigen nuestros servicios litúrgicos cada Shabat y Festivales. Nos sentimos honrados y bendecidos de tener a la familia Alvarado sirviendo en nuestra comunidad durante casi 30 años. (Peggy Pardo, Administradora Kehilat Shear Yashuv)

Translation:

My wife, Yanet, and I arrived in Canada in October 1992 with our son, Andrés, who was 1 year old at the time. Our daughters were born here in Canada. Soon after we arrived in Canada, we met Rabbi Percy Johnson who was invited to speak at churches where he introduced the people to the Jewish Roots of Christianity. That is how we began to learn about our Jewish roots and decided to leave Christianity. We attended events at Kehilat She’ar Yashuv where we celebrated the Biblical holidays and little by little, we became immersed into Jewish life in a more participatory way and with more knowledge.

We attended the congregation every Shabbat and soon became members. From that moment on we have fully and actively participated in every event and holiday because we feel part of this community. Through the teachings of our beloved rabbi, over the years we have grown as a family and individually, learning to live the principles of the Torah.

The Alvarado family have natural abilities and skills in catering, entertaining and party management. They have organized weddings, bar mitzvahs and all our events. Alejandro was ordained as a minister in our community in 2021.  After the death of our rabbi in September 2020, since he was one of his best talmidim, Alejandro now delivers a message on the parashah once a month to our community and is listed as one of our teachers. Alejandro sat on our interim board for the first year during the restructuring after the death of our rabbi, until we were able to replace him with a full-time board member. He, his wife Yanet, and son, who all have beautiful singing voices, lead our liturgical services every Shabbat and Festivals. We are honored and blessed to have the Alvarado family serving in our community for almost 30 years. (Peggy Pardo, Administrator Kehilat Shear Yashuv)

 

Peggy Pardo

As co-founder with Rabbi Percy Johnson of Kehilat She’ar Yashuv, in 1993, I have watched this congregation go through many paradigm-shifts as I have in my own life.  When Rabbi Percy arrived in Montreal in 1992, I had just woken up, as if it had been a bad dream, out of a very chaotic past. I had gone through a long period of searching for truth, from the age of 16 and in 1989 in my early 40’s, I was confronted with another fork in the road. I had investigated many religions and philosophies including the New Age and kept coming to a dead end.  In 1989 I was about to go to join the Lubavitch movement because it has similar beliefs to the New Age, but I was sidetracked instead to the Hebrew – Christian movement, which later became the Messianic movement.

I became a Messianic Jew for many years and honestly, it was a time of inner healing for me.  As it says in the book of Joel “God restored to me the years that the locust had eaten”.  Slowly over time, in the same way that the Israelites were weaned away from the gods of Egypt, I too was being weaned away from the gods of my past, which would now include the latest god, Jesus.  Our rabbi slowly showed us that the Torah was clear that the Creator was the only God who shared His glory with no one, and that man is not God.  At first, I struggled with letting go the idea that we could only be saved through the shedding of blood and death of Jesus, as I had struggled to rid myself of many other false belief systems. It looked like a simple solution…someone would take all my sins and I would be free of responsibility but that’s the opposite of the message of the Torah.  Later this revelation became the most liberating experience I ever had.  Ranebi, an acrostic for his Hebrew Rav Netanel ben Yochanan, taught us to see Yeshua for who he was, a prophet, a great teacher who wanted us to return to the written teachings of Moses in the Torah. I left Messianic Judaism behind along with all the other isms except Biblical Judaism which is alive and its book, the Torah, is a living Book that holds healing in all its pages.

In Sept 2020, our Creator took Ranebi home to be with Him.  It was a shock, but I knew that I had a decision to make. I remembered him telling us that if this congregation depended upon him, then it was not from God. Ranebi left us with teachings that did not die with him.  He would say to me, there’s nothing left to teach, now my students need to live the Torah and appropriate its moral values and teach that to our community.

I immediately got to work setting up our new board and reworking our constitution with the continuation of our community in mind.  Now almost one- and one-half years later, I can see the wisdom in our rabbi’s words.  My desire as an ordained leader in this She’ar Yashuv community, is to continue to the work Ranebi began.  The messages from the weekly Torah portions are now taught by four people, Mr. Mauricio Quintero who lives in El Salvador, Mr. Alejandro Alvarado, who is also an ordained leader in our community and who also serves as one of our Hazans (Cantors), by me and once a month we listen to a past message from our rabbi. The three of us do not have a degree in theology but neither did the people who stood at the base of Mt Sinai who heard the voice of the Creator.  This community is in my blood and I look forward to seeing how God will lead us in the days ahead.