Joel of Jerusalem Dec/Jan 1969/1970
My Tent Partner
While I was serving in the wilderness I had in my tent a partner who was a pious one with a beard. He said to me, “My friend, what do you think about this, the high holidays are coming, the Day of Atonement? Is it not time that you should return and repent, that you should make a sacrifice of a rooster?”
I said to him “Our God is very rich and does not need any sacrifices, especially of a rooster. He is willing to accept the sacrifices of our hearts. He wants our souls to belong to Him. Those rabbis who tell us to wake up, I would suggest that they wake up themselves first after a long, long sleep. They are themselves like lost wandering sheep and they do not know the way of salvation. They need the good Shepherd to lead them on the road of Salvation.”
This buddy of mine works with me removing mines so we had plenty of time to get to know each other, and he was real anxious to convert me. He exhausted all his knowledge and strength to convince me. He studied in a Yeshiva (a rabbinical seminary) for years but all he had to offer me was to request me to make a sacrifice of a rooster.
I read to him Isaiah 53 from the Hebrew Bible and asked him to read it for himself. I said “You attended a Yeshiva. I did not, but the Lord opened my eyes and He is willing to open your eyes also if you will let Him. He took the book of Isaiah from my hands and read while swaying back and forth as he was used to doing in the Yeshiva, and he read aloud. I sat next to him and watched him. He read the same passage over and over again and could not make it out. Finally I said to him, “What do you think?” He did not know what to say. I said, “Here is the truth! Is it not a pity that you spent so many years studying that which left you in darkness? Now we are alone together. Nobody sees us except God. It is time for you to return and repent. The sacrifice of a rooster will not help you in the least.”
I read to him other passages from the book of Isaiah and from the Gospel of John and Revelation. I told him about the New Testament. We spent 30 days together and we became close friends. We took some pictures together. Finally I asked him, “Well, who woke you up, the chief chaplain General Goren or the 30 days that you spent here with me?” He answered “A young man may court his girl friend for several years and yet not know her until the day after marriage. I went to the Yeshiva a number of years but in the short time I have been with you I have learned more than in all these past years.”
I trust the Lord that soon he will accept Him into his heart.
Return From the Wilderness
After I returned from my 40 days in the wilderness all my friends came to see me, even the family B. from Beer Sheba. My home was full to overflowing. It was a hot day and we had quite a few children, so I put the children in one room and gave them all kinds of toys to play with, some which you sent, and they played nicely together.
Abraham and the Atonement
We prayed for one another and as always prayed for you and for your family, that the Lord might keep you in good health. I read from the Bible concerning the sacrifices which the Lord commanded. To some of the people who did not know the meaning of sacrifice I explained its significance and told them that the chicken or rooster has no basis of value to God. Some of the Jews believe that Abraham was circumcised on the day of Yom Kippur and the blood that was shed in that way is the blood which atones for all the Jews. But we know that only Christ is the true sacrifice. I read to them from the book of Leviticus 7:11 from Hebrews 8:1-8. We studied the Word of God together.
At the end of the meeting we had a time of prayer and also discussion and answering questions. I based my answers on the Scriptures which I always find is the best answer.
As it was evening time I turned on the TV for the news and they were showing the ceremony of Tashlich which is the ceremony of emptying one’s pockets of all sins and casting them into a body of water. This Is based on a misinterpretation of the passage from Micah 7:19 where it
says “He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” What we saw on TV again gave us material for discussion and I told them that God did not command us to empty our pockets of sin, but our hearts, and the only way to do it is through God and His Word. Some of them had
never heard this explanation. “That makes sense,” one said. “I cannot understand how people who are so bright and intelligent, can put their trust in waving a rooster around their heads.”
Although there is still a lot of unbelief and darkness, yet I have faith that as time goes on many will come to know the truth and believe in the Lord Jesus. Please pray for us as we always pray for you.