Apples of Gold May/Jun 2020
A few days ago here in Israel, there was a big celebration and demonstration for equal rights for women. Even men from the Orthodox community participated, even though they begin their morning prayers every day by thanking God, “who has not made me a woman.”
So I asked one of the rabbis, “What rights does a woman have according to your law?”
“What do you want us to do?” he asked. “Change this important prayer our great rabbis wrote?”
I turned to Genesis 2:23 and showed them what is written in the Bible about women: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” The men listened intently, so I continued reading: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (v. 24).
“Who has given you the right to come against our rabbis?” one Orthodox man asked.
“Psalm 118:8–9 clearly says, ‘It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes,’” I told them. “I put my trust in the Lord and try to do according to His will—not according to those many rabbis who are only human beings. In this daily prayer that you pray three times a day, it says, ‘Do not test your God.’ And what are you doing? Testing God because the Holy Bible means little to you. Your commentaries and the traditions of the rabbis are more important to you.”
“Do you pray every day?” one asked.
“Yes, I do,” I answered.
“Then you must know what is written in our prayer books,” he said.
“My prayer book is that which is written on my heart,” I said. “I come before the Lord with all of my heart—not with a grand performance. The Bible teaches that men and women have equal rights—not like your tradition, which teaches that women have no right to be in the same place as men. You are also the leaders who try to make Isaiah 53 a forbidden chapter. What right do you have to do that?”
As soon as I mentioned Isaiah 53, they knew I was a believer in Jesus. “We don’t need to ask you who you are. We know very well. You have come here to make us Christians!” one said.
“As I have said to many others like you, I have come to make you good Jews and help you turn to the Bible and worship the Lord according to His Word, not according to your false teachers. You are in such deep darkness,” I told them.
“Who told you to come here and speak about This Man?” one demanded. Orthodox Jewish people refer to Jesus as “This Man.”
Since they knew about whom I was speaking, I began to speak more openly with them. I read for them James 2:26: “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
We began our conversation talking about the rights of women, and we ended our conversation talking about the Savior Jesus Christ. I speak with most people like this—starting off slowly and building a friendship first.
As 2 Timothy 2:24 says, “A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient.” If I had spoken with them about Christ right away, they would have become extremely angry.
Instead, we talked for more than two hours before I mentioned Christ. Revelation 2:7 says, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” I pray God opens their ears to hear the truth about the Messiah.
The Friends of Israel Archives