A Story and a Song
(This is the story of a woman who found the truth. Name withheld by request)
I think everything started with my conversion to an evangelical church from another evangelical church. Until the age of 15 I was member of a Reform Church, a sort of Lutheran church, but I never attended the church because I didn’t speak the language that was spoken in my father’s church. So, when I first entered a Baptist church, I was very impressed and I decided in that very moment that I want to serve and obey God. My mother was Orthodox (the eastern European branch of Christianity) who gave up believing in those nonsense saints and the virgin Mary. So, after I make my conversion to Baptist Church, I started to read the Bible, It was so normal for me to start with Genesis…nowadays people read almost only The New testament. In my mind was very clear that God is One and that Jews are the chosen people, but I knew absolutely nothing about Jews and Israel. After a while, after I started attending a Baptist high school, things started to change little by little in my mind…God is one, but is also three and that God gave up to Jews because they rejected Jesus.
Meanwhile my mother converted to J`s witnesses and she tried to convince me that God is One because 1 plus 1 plus 1 is always three, not one. This became a big dilemma for me. And I had only two perspectives: the Baptist explanation about trinity and J`s witnesses explanation, but neither one or the other could convinced me clearly. Sometimes I told to myself that God is a mystery, and the whole story…we are sinners, we can`t save ourselves, God came in Jesus to save us, Jews failed awfully to be the light for nations etc. etc. So, I was impressed by this way of God to solve the problem of sin…only through Jesus blood. I was taught that in the hope in a future messiah the sins of all Jews who lived before Jesus era were forgiven. You know the whole Christian story.
In 2003 something great happened…a group of Messianics came to our church…with tallit, kippa, shofar and it was a shock for me. I was shaken by a thought…maybe the Jews know the Scripture better. This group brought a new perspective upon the Scripture, especially upon the New Testament. Then I started to be interested in Jewish history and culture. Sometimes I had the courage to search a Jewish (traditional not Messianic) interpretation regarding the Bible, especially Genesis. I discovered great things, I told to my Bible study group, but they were very severe with this enthusiasm of mine. They told me that Jews have only the eggshell, they missed the essence by rejecting Jesus and I had such a deep regret about Jews and a deep pity.
In 2007 our first child was born and we wanted very much to give her a Hebrew name… we knew nothing about Hebrew, we knew only the meaning of the name. Than in 2010 our boy was born and of course he had to have a Hebrew name….
From 2012 things have precipitated. In that summer I discovered a Messianic song of an American who converted to “Messianic Judaism” (I know now it is a contradiction). I was mad about that song…”Shema Israel”. Someone commented on this song and said that a real Jewish singer is Avraham Fried. I search on youtube for Avraham Fried and that was a very very important point in my life, a milestone. Instantly I forgot about that messianic singer and I “converted” to hasidic music. Before, I never listened to Jewish music, except those well-known Jewish songs like “Hava nagila”. I started to search translations of Fried`s songs. Meanwhile, in those years I discovered Amos Oz who became my favorite writer. So, with Amos Oz in my mind and Abraham Fried in my soul, a thought came into my mind…what if I start to learn Hebrew……..to read Oz in original and to understand Jewish music? I knew that somebody long time ago told me he learn Hebrew at the Jewish community from our town. I went there, I knocked the door, I entered and indeed there was a Hebrew class. From next Sunday I became a student. Some friends told me when they found out that I am going to Jewish Community to learn Hebrew, that I have to be very, very careful because Jews don`t have grace and they saw a danger not to become a “legalistic” . I assured them that my teacher is not at all a religious person and she doesn`t allow religious discussions at all. (after a year I understood why…there was a Christian family (who keep the Law) who attended the class and their mission in life is to tell to Jews the gospel.
Avraham Fried has a song in Yiddish “Nisht gedaiget yiden” . That song is about waiting Moshiach. A question was raised in my mind…why Jews still wait for the Messiah…isn`t it very very obvious that Jesus is the Messiah? But my question was not an ironic one regarding Jews beliefs. It was a real question. But who could answer me why Jews are still waiting. Until then, I had a superior feeling that Jews miss something. I had a deep pity as I told in the previous e-mail about them, about Holocaust (I was convinced that Holocaust was the fulfillment of those words “his blood be upon us and our children” (when the Jews killed Jesus). Listening that song, I couldn`t have that feeling anymore. That song has a positive energy, a strength, a real hope.
In 2013 I heard about a Messianic group who comes to our city every second Friday. I went very excited. Oh, how much I liked those Hebrew songs, that “Jewish” atmosphere. I went there for a year. I have to say that from my teenage period when I “converted”, or became “born again”, I liked to question things, not just to accept them. But sometimes we have a great impression that we really question things, but how do we know that we get the answer, the right answer? My problem was that I didn`t have a real good objective source. I didn`t know that I have to check or how to check the answers, but this way of mine of question things, really helped me, thank God.
Now, back to my “Messianic” period. I was impressed, I was happy that maybe I found the truth. All my life I was searching about the TRUTH. I have been a very very good baptist believer, sometimes I was very sure that my doctrine is the best. I liked to argue on religious themes, I liked to defend the baptist doctrine, sometimes I liked to believe that Jesus really is God. But in my last 10 year my mind became allergic to the word trinity. In my last 2-3 year I couldn`t listen sermons about trinity, I closed my ears to that word, but I didn`t know how to explain, how to understand who is Jesus, who is Holy Spirit. Living in a Christian context is very very hard for someone to think in other way. It is almost something genetic this way of thinking. Besides, every Christian inherits lens through which he/she sees and understands things.
This “rabbi” guy seemed to me atypical, but I decided that I won`t judge persons anymore, but doctrine. But after a while I found strange some of the things he “preached”, but I said he is a messianic rabbi, he is a JEW, he knows better. I “forgave” his nonsense. I continued to attend that congregation because I was happy to hear that many many Jews around the world and especially from Israel turn to Jesus. I was still sorry about the “traditional” Jews because they reject their Messiah. This guy was saying this many times. But a thing began to bother me a lot…the “rabbi” was promoting a “healthy” ecumenism and this sounds not ok at all for me and I started to be very very careful about what he is teaching. He is a man with charisma and he really knows how to “entertain” people, how to sell his “products”.
When I couldn`t accept all his nonsense, it happened that my curiosity about traditional Judaism became bigger and bigger. But it took me a lot of courage to search articles on important themes like trinity, Torah, Shabbat. First I searched messianic sites and I started to read a lot, almost day and night. And my Christian beliefs started to shake, but I was not afraid because I now I had Yeshua who was a real Jew and the son of God.
Then the war began, the last summer war (2014) from Israel. My husband and I were very concerned about Israel, we mourned every Jewish soldier. We wanted to share this care, this love for Israel, but we realized that most of our friends find Israel as guilty and bad, not honest. We were so disappointed and sad that Christians are against Israel and rather pro Islam. We asked very seriously if we are on the right side, if we are not just blinded by this great love for Israel. So, I began to read history, to follow online debates on this theme and we wanted to meet people who share our position.
We heard about a man from other baptist church that he is very pro-Israel. We contacted this man and after a while we discovered that he is a pure monotheist, believing in the Only God, the God of Israel. I told him about my problem with trinity, with Sabbath and he told his story how God allowed a certain disease in his life and how he discovered in suffering the truth about God, about Torah. I was very encouraged to go on with my questions and I took the courage to approach the real Judaism. It was a matter of life and….nothing. All or nothing. I started with Jesus or Yeshua. I faced Paul and his teachings and I discovered that he changed a human into a God. I faced the problem of infallibility of New Testament. I faced 2000 years of Christianity. It was a hard fight. I had, I still have many many questions. After a while, I understood very very clearly that Jesus (if ever existed) was mere a man. But for several days I had a strange and painful feeling. It was like the 2000 years of Christianity were my life and now I have to give up. It is hard to describe those feelings. But after that I started to feel FREE, I began to see life in a different way. I realized that now I am only with Hashem, no mediator between us, just me and God and his Torah. This makes me more responsible for my life, for my beliefs. Before this, I was as well a very responsible Christian because all my life I wanted to serve and obey God.
But now, in May 2015 I am asking what I am going to do from now on. What Law should I keep? What I am going to teach my children. They know about Jesus, they love Jesus. I explained them that we have to pray only to God, not to Jesus. I never told them to pray to Jesus but in our friends circle, everyone is praying to Jesus, so they involuntarily prayed to Jesus. Now they pray only to God and without “in Jesus name”. I can`t tell them yet much about our new belief system, but we hope that Hashem will guide us how to teach them the truth of God.
So this is my story. It has many others details, but mainly this is my way of discovering the truth about God.
My prayer for now is to meet in my country other people who turn to the real God, the God of Israel.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal