Apples of Gold Jul/Aug 2023
The ultra-Orthodox often find new ways to attract new followers. Recently, they hosted a big, public meeting with a well-known rabbi. Like many rabbis, he felt he could convince women in particular to following his teaching.
Many women came to this meeting, listening to his fictitious stories and believing them. But they did not know what the ultra-Orthodox think about them. These are the same men who pray in their synagogues every morning, “Blessed are you, Lord, our God, Ruler of the universe, who has not created me a woman.”
This rabbi hosted the meeting only for women. Some of the women I know from our neighborhood went to the meeting. When I met with them, I asked, “What do you think of this rabbi?”
They were happy to hear his teaching. “We were blind, but now we see the light,” one said.
“But now you are more blind,” I said.
“Why do you say that?” she asked.
“Because you worship those false teachers, not God Himself,” I answered.
These women seemed afraid to even speak with me. Instead they went to others, shouting, “We have seen a great light!”
Later, more of these women came to me. I told them, “You do not realize it yet, but you are not worshiping God.”
After a long conversation, they wanted to know why I spoke as I did.
“Do you think you know more than our holy rabbis?” one asked me.
“The Lord did not ask Abraham if he had studied at a university,” I answered. “Instead, Abraham came with all his heart and all his soul before the Lord. He is a great example for the people of Israel, not these rabbis who spend their lives studying fictitious stories.”
One woman shouted, “Be careful! This man might be a missionary. We are forbidden to speak with him!”
So another asked me, “Are you a missionary?”
I replied, “It is written in the Bible that God has chosen us to bring His salvation to the ends of the earth.”
They wanted to know where this was written in the Bible. When I showed them the words of Isaiah 49:6, many women were fascinated; but one was unhappy. But the other women were excited to show her the truth.
“Here it is written in the Bible,” I told her. “This is not like the stories you have heard from the rabbis you thought were holy. What have you heard? Only how to be afraid of the ‘evil eye’ the rabbis warn against.” Many people believe the evil eye is a supernatural curse that can be placed on unsuspecting victims.
“But it is written in the Bible that evil will not have power over you,” I said. “The rabbis only offer superstitious warnings!”
“Are you not afraid of the evil eye?” one asked me.
“I put my trust in the Lord, not superstitions; so no evil eye can make me afraid!” I said. “It is written, ‘And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You’” (Ps. 9:10).
When the women realized they could not refute me, they called one of their rabbis.
“Who are you?” he asked.
“I am one of the Lord’s Chosen People of Israel,” I said. “I bring His salvation to those who are walking in darkness as you are.”
“If you are not for us, you must be against us!” he said to me.
“I am against what you are doing,” I said. “You come against the law of the Lord and want these women to worship you, not the Holy One, the Almighty God.”
“What have you told these women?” he asked.
“I have not brought a great stack of books as you have,” I said. “I have brought just one Book, the Holy Bible, which was written by the Holy Spirit of God.”
Everyone was quiet, as the women considered what I said. Then one of them said to me, “We will have to talk with you more soon.”
“Amen!” I said, as I was waiting for this. These women have seen the light of the Lord. I pray their hearts will accept Him as their Lord.
From The Friends of Israel archives