Last But Not Least Oct/Nov 1973
OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES
In two weeks vacation time begins. Our little David who just finished kindergarten is looking forward to starting school next fall, together with his two brothers and sister. Before the end of kindergarten little David caused quite a furor and this is what happened:
As you will recall I told you, when you were in Jerusalem, about David’s saying grace before lunch, which he finished with the words, “b’shem Yeshua Hamashich—in the name of Jesus the Messiah.” This he did every day, until one day his teacher became interested and asked him, “Who is that Yeshua Hamashich, Jesus the Messiah?”
In his childlike innocence David answered, “Jesus is the greatest in Heaven.”
Then his teacher asked, “And who taught you to pray this way?”
“My father,” was his answer.
One day when I came home from work, little David’s teacher was waiting for me. I half guessed what she wanted but thought on the other hand perhaps scrappy little David got into a fight with some child and she came to complain to me.
“Do you know why I came?” she inquired. “I would like to know about your child’s prayer which he always ends with the words, ‘in the name of Jesus the Messiah’.”
I asked her, “Is that against your school regulations?”
She said, “No, but it is certainly not customary for a Jewish child to pray this way. Do you belong to some new sect which is unknown in Israel?”
“No,” I answered, “on the contrary, ‘this sect’, as you call it, is very well known in Israel and all over the world. As a matter of fact, it began right here in Jerusalem.”
“Oh,” she remarked, “I am surprised I have not heard about it until now,”
“No, this is no strange faith. It is the faith of the prophets and of many Jews who lived in the first century. It is the faith which I hope many Jews will accept in the future.”
The teacher said, “Now, I understand you! You are speaking about the Christian religion. Now I see that you taught little David to pray this way. Is it fair to fill a little child’s head with this?” she asked.
I said, “If I don’t fill his head and his heart with what I believe is right and good, then soon others would fill him with things which will not be so good for him or for our nation. What I believe in was taught and predicted by our prophets.” Then I read to her a few passages from the Bible.
“Well,” she concluded, “you must be a Roman Catholic.”
I said, “No, I am not. I just believe in the Word of God. There are many others who believe like we do.”
She said, “But you have estranged yourself and your children from our nation.”
“No,” I answered, “quite the contrary, the more I know my Bible and believe in the Messiah, the closer I feel to my people.”
My wife offered her tea and we sat down. Then the mailman came with a registered letter. It was a government order to report for military service. I showed it to her and said, “You see, I have not become estranged from my people. On the contrary, I am at the beck and call of my people and often risk my life for our nation. This is true of many others who believe like I do.”
After the teacher became more friendly, especially after my children played for her on their musical instruments, the guitar, the piano, the mandolin and the flute. (Not so long ago my children took part in a children’s concert, attended by Mrs. Golda Meir.) Our children played the words of Ps. 118:26, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” The teacher liked it very much. She even asked for my permission that they might play at the graduation ceremony of the kindergarten before the start of vacation. Of course, I told her that they would be glad to do so.
She left our home impressed with what she heard and saw. This was the way our five-year old David gave his testimony for the Lord, without even being aware of it.