Apples of Gold Jan/Feb 2023

The ultra-Orthodox are always looking for 10 men to form a minyan, a quorum necessary for synagogue prayer. So I wait outside the synagogue, watching them call people to pray with them.

If I go to them before they call me over, they become suspicious. But when they come to me, they give me a chance to speak with their rabbis. I am always waiting for this chance to bring them the Good News about the living and everlasting God and Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Recently when I went to them, they happily told me, “There is a messiah in Israel!” They showed me his picture. I had seen it before. It was of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, a rabbi who had lived in New York City and died in 1994.

The men prayed and sang loud praises to him. One rabbi, noticing I was not participating, asked me, “Why are you not happy? Most of us are happy to sing that the messiah is in Israel!”

“You have made a big mistake,” I told him. “You are dancing around a golden calf.”

This comment angered him. “Why are you here?” he demanded.

“You called me to be part of your minyan,” I replied.

“But who gave you courage to attack us like this?”

“I do not attack you,” I told him. “I am only doing what the Lord told us to do. As a rabbi, you must know the Lord has chosen us as His people, Israel, to be His servant and to proclaim His name, not to worship idols. Now look at whom you worship.”

I read to them from Isaiah 1, where God tells our people, “The ox knows its owner and the donkey its master’s crib; but Israel does not know, My people do not consider. Alas, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity. . . . They have provoked to anger the Holy One of Israel” (vv. 3–4).

I knew if I showed fear, they would attack me. But I know in Whom I have believed.

I was surprised to see them listening quietly. But when I finished, they began to shout, “Who brought you here? Why did you come?”

“This is the Lord’s will,” I answered. “Psalm 96 says, ‘For all the gods of the peoples are idols’ [v. 5], just like this man you worship. But the Lord has chosen Israel not to worship idols but to be His servant. We are meant to warn the people of Israel against serving idols, which people like you try to make us do.”

Because there were so many ultra-Orthodox men there, I was sure they would physically attack me; but they did not. They were interested in what I had to say.

“How is it that someone like you, from the street, with no beard and no Orthodox clothing, wants to teach us how to worship our God?” one asked.

“He is not your God only,” I said. “As it is written in Deuteronomy 6, ‘The LORD our God, the LORD is one’ [v. 4]. I believe in only one God, unlike you, who dance around this idol and try to deceive these people from believing in the Lord Jesus, our Savior.”

“Are you not afraid to come to us and try to destroy our faith?” another asked.

“What does the Lord say?” I asked. “‘Do not be afraid!’ I am here to do His will. That is why you see me full of confidence.”

I read Deuteronomy 6:13–14 for them: “You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him. . . . You shall not go after other gods.” Then I asked, “Take a look at yourselves and whom you worship. As the people of Israel, are we God’s servants or not?”

This time they wanted to hurt me. But I remembered what the Lord said: “Fear not, for I am with you” (Isa. 41:10). They asked me what organization I belonged to and who sent me to them. This was not the first time people like them asked me that question. I knew if I showed fear, they would attack me. But I know in Whom I have believed. As it is written in Isaiah 41:9, “I have chosen you and have not cast you away.”

They continued questioning me, asking how I knew the Bible. I said, “I read it and do not spend my time reading fictitious stories, as you do.” Please pray these men will see the light of the Messiah, Jesus, while they still can.

From The Friends of Israel archives

1 thought on “Apples of Gold Jan/Feb 2023

  1. Wow! I am grateful the Lord led me to this story! Beautiful! If only we ALL would be so bold and courageous in Him! He was about the business of Jesus! Doing what Jesus did in the synagogues and temple. So many blinded. Yes! We must pray for God’s chosen! And pray that He would use as He did Zvi!! Thank you for posting this story! It helps to light a fire to spread His gospel!! 🙌🏼🙌🏼Praise Yahweh!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Features

From the Editor Jan/Feb 2023

As a child, I asked my dad, “Why didn’t Jewish people fight the Nazis?” He replied, “They couldn’t fight. You don’t understand." Today, I understand better...

Finishing Without Regrets

When the apostle Paul sat in a cold, dark Roman prison, he chose his final words carefully as he took inventory of his life...

The Never-Ending Hatred

Imagine you’re on your way to Sabbath morning services at your local synagogue. For you, this is a day of tradition. It may...

Villainous Antiochus

The pages of history are filled with heroes and villains. Heroes protect people and fight evil, like Winston Churchill who led the people of Great Britain in...

‘Away With Them!’

“Get off my land. This is still my home, my land. Get off my land.” This passionate statement by Tevye the Jewish milkman comes from the 1970s blockbuster...

Pale of Settlement: Czarist Russia’s Giant Ghetto

Here’s a phenomenon worth investigating: How did God preserve the Jewish people...


Subscription Options

1 Year Digital Subscription

  • Free PDF Book Download - "What on Earth is God Doing?" by Renald Showers

  • Free Full-Issue Flipbook & PDF Download of Current Issue

$9.99 every 1 year

1 Year Digital with Archive Access

  • Free PDF Book Download - "What on Earth is God Doing?" by Renald Showers

  • Free Full-Issue Flipbook & PDF Downloads of Current Issue & select Archives

  • Complete Access to our Growing Archive - eventually dating back through our inaugural 1942 issue

$19.99 every 1 year

2 Year Digital Subscription

  • Free PDF Book Download - "What on Earth is God Doing?" by Renald Showers

  • Free Full-Issue Flipbook & PDF Download of Current Issue

$19.99 every 2 years

2 Year Digital with Archive Access

  • Free PDF Book Download - "What on Earth is God Doing?" by Renald Showers

  • Free Full-Issue Flipbook & PDF Downloads of Current Issue & select Archives

  • Complete Access to our Growing Archive - eventually dating back through our inaugural 1942 issue

$39.99 every 2 years

3 Year Digital Subscription

  • Free PDF Book Download - "What on Earth is God Doing?" by Renald Showers

  • Free Full-Issue Flipbook & PDF Download of Current Issue

$29.99 every 3 years

3 Year Digital with Archive Access

  • Free PDF Book Download - "What on Earth is God Doing?" by Renald Showers

  • Free Full-Issue Flipbook & PDF Downloads of Current Issue & select Archives

  • Complete Access to our Growing Archive - eventually dating back through our inaugural 1942 issue

$59.99 every 3 years