Zvi May/Jun 2003
When the weather is nice, many people come out on the streets; and we have nice conversations. In fact, you can meet people here from all over the world and hear many different languages spoken.
Before our recent elections, I was outside when several Russian immigrants came over to speak to me. Some of them know me and enjoy talking to me because I speak their language. With them were others who were trying to persuade them to vote for certain candidates. I could see the Russians were troubled. So I asked, “What are your problems?”
The immigrants began to tell me: “Soon we will have to vote in the government elections. It is our duty as Israeli citizens. But we don’t know for whom to vote. And many people come to us, trying to persuade us.”
We have many political parties in Israel, and elections can become confusing. “Yes,” I said, “we are rich in political parties. If they were products we exported, we would be the richest people in the world!” And who are coming to these immigrants? People from a political party that would have us give away our land to our enemies.
I asked them, “Do you believe in God? Do you believe what He told the people of Israel and, most important, what the Lord said to Abraham about this land of Israel? It is all clearly written.”
So I showed them Genesis 13:14–17; 15:18–21; 17:7–8, and 19. “Here is written what God promised,” I said. “God also fixed the borders of the land from the River of Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea to the Euphrates. And you are thinking about giving all this to our enemies?”
Now the immigrants began to wake up and listen carefully. Some of the men trying to persuade the Russians know the Bible, but they only know half the truth. “You cannot do such a thing,” I told these men. “You cannot give to our enemies the land God gave us, because it is written, ‘The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good’” (Prov. 15:3).
Then one asked, “How do you know the Bible?”
“Much more is written in the Bible than this,” I said. “And it is an evil thing to know the Bible and not keep God’s commands. Abraham never went to Bible school. Neither did the many who came after him. But they believed in the living God. By wanting to give away our land, you have admitted that you do not believe God. So the Lord will punish you.
“What is even worse,” I told them, “is that you are trying to erase a chapter of the Bible and forbid our people to read it.”
“About which chapter do you speak?” one asked.
So I began talking to them about Isaiah 53. Finally we arrived at the subject I wanted to discuss! You cannot begin with such verses because these people do not believe the Bible. They looked at me suspiciously, then said, “We know what you are trying to do. We know in whom you want us to believe.”
This time I asked, “To whom was the Bible given in the beginning?”
They replied, “To the Jewish people.”
“So,” I said, “we received God’s Word through Moses. And we promised to keep it. How did it come about that we, God’s Chosen People, now go to others and say, ‘This is not truth’?” Some of the immigrants began to understand what I was saying. They had come close to losing the right direction, but now their eyes were opened.
A campaigner asked me, “Why do you come and try to speak about faith? You are not Orthodox.”
“The Orthodox,” I said, “will not come to you with a Bible. They will come to you with many books that contain old rabbinical traditions. But you can see that we have spoken for several hours, and all I have shown you has come directly from God’s Word. Many people here in Israel read the book of Psalms. There it is written, ‘All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God’ (Ps. 98:3). Why shall we not also see the full truth about our Savior?”
The campaign workers, who were against me at the beginning of our conversation, had become friendly. One replied, “We must go now. But we will meet another day and continue our conversation.”
As they were leaving, the Russians turned to them, and one said, “We have nothing more to speak about. We now know the truth.”