Zvi Jan/Feb 2006
From time to time I go to the Orthodox to bring them the good news of the Lord. With them, you cannot finish a conversation in a few minutes. They are suspicious and ask many questions, trying to show how wise they are. Often I speak to young men who are students.
Recently I was in the Orthodox section of Jerusalem when a number of young men recognized me and approached me. They were full of confidence, feeling like conquerors, because their teachers were with them.
“Tell us,” one student asked, “in which god you believe.”
“You tell me,” I replied, “why you are asking me such a foolish question.” Quickly I read to them Deuteronomy 6:4, which they pray three times each day: “Hear, O Israel: The Lᴏʀᴅ our God, the Lᴏʀᴅ is one!”
They all were surprised because they are certain that those of us who believe in the Lord Jesus do not believe what is written in the Bible. “You call yourselves religious,” I said, “but you do not follow God. I follow God, about whom it is written here, in the Bible.”
The teachers disliked what I said. “How can you say this?” one asked.
I replied, “Have a good look. Whom do you worship? In all your many synagogues, no one can find a Bible. You have commentaries and books, and you spend many long years studying them and dancing with great joy. Who has made you so blind? Then you come to me and ask me such foolish questions. Who is my God? How many of them do I worship? This is my answer: I worship only one God; and I never bow down before what is not God, as you do.” Many of these people believe that the late Lubavitch rabbi, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, is the messiah.
This time one man replied, “But we know that you obey This Man [Jesus]. About Him it is not written in the Bible!”
“I am very thankful we have come so far,” I said, “and that you have given me this opportunity to show you where it is written in the Bible about the Lord who came from Bethlehem—not from New York. You believe in Rabbi Schneerson and dance around his picture. We believe in the living God.”
“Where is it written about This Man and that He came from Bethlehem?” someone asked.
They made me so happy when they started to ask these questions. I quickly read to them from Micah 5:2. “If this is not enough for you, I will continue to read more.” They started to write down the Bible verses I showed them. Then I turned to the teacher. “Please,” I said, “read this passage of Isaiah 53.”
“No! This I will not read!” he declared.
“You will not read it because you are afraid of the truth,” I told him. When his pupils asked me if the passage was in the Bible, I replied, “Yes. Isaiah was a major prophet. And if you don’t want to read it, I will be happy to.”
But before I was able to begin, one of the Hasidic students said, “Give me the Bible, and I will read it.”
With great joy, I handed him my Bible, and he read the words slowly and carefully. The others listened intently. When he came to verses 5 and 6, the students began to ask questions.
“What does it mean when it says, ‘and the Lᴏʀᴅ has laid on Him the iniquity of us all’? About whom is this written?” they asked.
Instead of answering, their teacher asked them a question. “Can a virgin give birth to a child?”
“No!” the students replied. “Such a thing cannot be!”
All the teachers were confident they had backed me into a corner. Then one teacher said, “If you are so sure that This Man was born to a virgin, show these students where it is written in the Bible. If you can show that to them, I will eat my shoes.”
I replied, “Start eating.” I opened my Bible to Isaiah 7:14 and gave it to him to read. Isaiah 7:14 says, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”
“Read it loudly, so all your pupils can hear,” I said.
But when he began, he stopped quickly. He was afraid to read the passage. Instead he told the students, “We do not have time to continue. Let us go!”
But I would not let the students leave without hearing the truth. I handed the Bible to one of the young men, and he read the verse aloud. As he read, everyone became still. They were so quiet.
When he finished, I said to the teacher, “Good appetite!”