The initial attraction to Robert Weinger’s story is his uncanny ability to blow shofar. He’s so gifted that he can blow two shofarot at the same time, in perfect harmony. He can play taps on a shofar and also HaTikva, the Israeli national anthem.
He’s been invited to blow shofar in, among other exotic places, the demilitarized zone in Korea and in Jericho, the Biblical city currently under the control of the PA.
Just a few minutes into a conversation with Weinger, the former secular Jew who had an encounter with God on a mountaintop in California more than 16 years ago, it becomes clear that this unassuming man is more than just a talented musician.
He remembers the date precisely. “It was June 26, 2003. I had been hiking this mountain four to six times a week for about a year, trying to figure out my next move.” After a financial dispute, Weinger had left a decades-long career as an executive in the food and beverage industry and was openly exploring what he might do with the rest of his productive years.
On top of Mt. Diablo, the highest peak in the eastern San Francisco Bay, he heard a Divine call. “I realized the things that were coming into my thoughts were far superior than my own thoughts, even in content and intonation. Things were coming in from off the radar. There were just some thoughts that were completely foreign concepts for me; to have thought that up myself was impossible.
“The presence of God brought me to my knees and I started weeping,” he related. “It was God trying to get my attention. Over time, you get to recognize His voice in whatever way it manifests.”
Once awakened, Weinger, who had lived in “a house that Elvis Presley once occupied” gave it all up “and came to the lowest place on earth, which is the highest place spiritually. God shows up here every day,” he said about his new home in Moshav Bet Hoglah, north of the Dead Sea.
If a listener had 10 hours, Weinger could easily fill them with story after story of how the God of Israel, who began speaking to him on Mt. Diablo more than 16 years ago, is an active partner in every decision he makes.
Rabbi Yehuda Bohrer was one one of the original founders of Beit El, an Orthodox community of 6,500 residents north of Jerusalem. An early encounter between Weinger and Rabbi Bohrer was profoundly significant.
“His words were cauterized into my heart,” Weinger said. “He was mentoring me. He told me, ‘You’re walking in Divine Providence. You’re walking in the blessing and favor of Hashem. You have to go slow, Be patient. Persevere, because you’re going to be coming in the face of adversity.’”
Together, the two were planning a strategy for putting Moshav Beit Hoglah on the map. Rabbi Bohrer passed away in January 2018, leaving Weinger to figure out the rest himself. Today there are 11 families, including some 40 children, living on the moshav. When Weinger arrived there was just him and Erna Covos, the woman he refers to as the founding matriarch of the moshav.
Weinger understands that he has been prophetically called to a dual purpose – to release God’s voice into the world through the shofar and to help build Moshav Beit Hoglah.
I heard the voice of my Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me.” Isaiah 6:8
“My calling here is to possess this Land. The heart of Hashem is the restoration and the redemption of the Land for the Jewish people.
“We’re going to put a date palm field here. Erna [Covos] has all these trees and no one to harvest them.” Weinger believes that the solution is to recruit “volunteers from the Nations, Bible-believing people, to harvest,” as it says in the Book of Isaiah.
Strangers shall stand and pasture your flocks, Aliens shall be your plowmen and vine-trimmers (Isaiah 61:5)
“We’re moving ahead and creating a date palm farm for the Nations, so they can come and have a stake in Israel and work the land, [thereby] making a covenant with the Land and the people of Israel.
“There are blessings to be had,” he explains. “It’s all about the Land.”
His shofar-blowing skills put him in a position of influence, to help make this happen. “I’m the clarion call, to call the children [of Israel] home and the foreigners to be vine dressers,” he explained.
In 2003, he needed time to understand what he was being told. Today, God is very explicit with him. As unlikely as it seems, one of the ways Weinger understands God is through his bank account.
He explains that, just as he can blow two shofarot at the same time, he benefits from “a double portion of financial prosperity. Everything that comes in, God tells me where to send [the money].”
Today, he makes his living speaking to groups, telling his compelling story and selling shofarot. “People book me and pay me to talk about how God shows up in my life. I use my bank account as a barometer,” to determine if God is pleased with his efforts. “I do not do anything on my own without checking in with Him. I live Divine appointment to Divine appointment.”
Weinger refers to himself as “a spiritual Navy SEAL” charged with bringing “the redemptive sounds of peace and unity from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth.” Interestingly, he was given the unusual Hebrew name Rosh Eliyahu, which he translates as “head prophet of the prophets.”
Although he is not the son of a Holocaust survior as had been previously reported, he did recently learn that a third of his extended family was murdered by the Nazis. He came to realize that, “every Jew from that generation had been scarred by the Holocaust. So, in essence, Dad and Mom, while not personally experiencing physically the atrocities of the extermination camps, both survived.”
Weinger is proud of his parents’ Jewish connections. They were active contributors to their American Jewish community and highly supportive of the State of Israel. “The blessing I walk in is one of God’s promises. It is in my DNA and, due to my lineage and who my parents are, they are Israel and part of them has returned to fulfill their legacy,” he pronounced with pride.
Today, his message is an incredibly simple one. Every musical note he brings into the world through a shofar, and every word he speaks, is connected to his core motif.
“God is real and alive,” he concluded.