Rabbis’ wives. Interview. Irina Shmaytser, Dnepropetrovsk

Ira, shalom! We haven-t met for a while and how did you meet Andrey?


We met almost 13 years ago, in a church. When he came to the church service, I somehow immediately drew attention to him. I saw from the first day how he repented, how he started to go to church, grow, pray andfast. We were together at the same home group, studied together, but we did not develop any relationship, and we did not even think that we would be together. But it so happened that while going to church, to the services, to the home group, to prayer meetings, I felt that there were some feelings and began to pray. And God made everything so interesting that we went together to the same Bible school in Pershotravensk, and already there we affirmed our feelings, having checked are those feelings from God or not. And having come here to Dnepropetrovsk, we knew that we would get married.
On June 11, we had a wedding, we got married and God arranged everything so that afterwards we were entrusted with the pastors ministry, and we began to serve Him together.
This is how our relationship developed, every year our love for each other becomes stronger and more interesting, and more and more God develops this love for service and for people.

What attracted you to Andrei? Why did you pay attention to him?

It so happened that when he came to church, then there were not many people in the hall, and he was in my full view. I sat a few rows higher than him, and I thought: “I wonder if this person will come out for a prayer of repentance?” Because during the entire ministry he sat as a completely uninterested person, and this excited me – will he come out or not? Because he had the impression that he did not hear what the pastor was talking about at all. And it was a shock for me when there was a call to repentance – he just silently got up and came to repent. And from that moment on, he really began a completely different life.

Were you a believer for a long time at that time?

No, I repented in January 1998, and he came to God in October 1998.

Did you assume right after the wedding that you would have a pastor’s family, that Andrey would take on such a ministry?

He initially, inside, knew that he would be a pastor. After the Bible school, things began to move to that direction but that it would be so fast – I did not expect.

Did you have any worries about his responsibility?

In any case, there was excitement, because this is serving people, this is not an easy ministry. You need to have a relationship with God … And to this day there is this excitement, because you understand how serious it is, how big is the responsiblity before God – these are the destinies of people, and incorrect advice given to someone can change a person’s fate. Therefore, you are always on the alert, in attention constantly, you try not to relax, despite the fact that you have a family and children, you try to be in shape.

What qualities, in your opinion, should a messianic rabbi, a pastor, have?

There should be a quality of love for people, a quality of a faithful character, faithfulness to God.

What is the role of the wife in all this?

The wife has a lot of roles – she is also a helper, at the same time she should be a wise adviser, a person who could correct him from the side. The wife who supports his hands in the family, the wife who must be able to create a home where the husband rests. At the same time, a wife who helps her husband to grow in external service – in general, there are many interesting things.

Did you ever think – “it would be better if he was not a pastor …”?

No, there were no such thoughts. We knew that it is God and He leads this, and we have this gratitude to God, because if it were not for God, we don’t know how we would have ended our lives. But there were just such moments when it was very difficult and hard, and it seemed that your inner state was at the limit, and you were afraid that somewhere you would break. But this is our life, this is our desire to serve God, to serve people – this is gratitude, to express it every day.

After your spouse became a rabbi, how did the attitude towards you on the part of people close to you change?

Nothing has changed, because he was accepted from the first minutes. He grew up, he was engaged in teaching, took jobs and prayed – he was immediately accepted as a serious person, and therefore there were no particular problems.

Does the rabbi’s wife have any great significance in the community among the sisters?

Yes, probably:) Well, how important is it? The significance is that you can have communication and reveal some personal secrets, knowing that this will not go further from my lips – you can entrust something that you will not entrust someone else. But I am not too importand, I am the same minister, I am the same woman, I am the same sister in the ministry, like everyone else. Well, in the ministry, if I correct some minister, and I understand that this needs to be done one way or another, then it is accepted, priority is given to me. I don’t go into every ministry, I don’t start to poke my nose, correct it, because every ministry has its own responsible leader, but if we have a common Shabbat and I see that something needs to be corrected, removed, and I consider it necessaryI say it and others listen to it.

The question is to you as a mother – how is it to be children of the parents of pastors?

“It’s hard to be pastors children, because all the time they are under pressure:“ You are the children of pastors, you must not disgrace the name! Don’t you climbed there, don’t go there, do it, stand still, go serve here … “- sometimes they even cannot do the same things as all other children, because they feel this pressure on themselves … And at the same time, they still remain children, and sometimes they manage to slip out of our control and do something fun for themselves :)

And finally – advice to sisters – what qualities in themselves should they develop in order to be good wives?

I would like to say – dear sisters, you need to work, work and work … on your character, on your ability to be obedient to your husband at home, to be obedient to your husband as a minister, you need to learn to curb your temper, be able to keep silent where you want to talk a lot or express your own disagreement. Look at our Sarah as an example, who obeyed, accepted the will of Abraham and was blessed through this. 1 Peter 3: 5 “So once upon a time the holy women, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, obeying their husbands.”

Seek God first. Devote as much time as possible in order to have fellowship with God, despite the fact that there are children, despite the fact that there is a ministry, despite all the difficulties – wife must seek God and this will help, very much.

Source: https://ieshua.org/zheny-ravvinov-intervyu-irina-shmajcer-dnepropetrovsk.htm