Zvi May/Jun 2013
Editor’s Note: Please pray for Zvi and Naomi Kalisher, two choice servants of God. Due to health issues, Zvi has been unable to send in his column. So we are sharing with you a column he wrote before he became ill. We know he would appreciate you upholding them before the throne of grace.
This week I was preparing to visit an ultra-Orthodox synagogue when my wife, Naomi, said to me, “Zvi, you know I have much trouble with my feet. Please, go to the store and buy for me what I have written on this piece of paper.”
So I took the paper and left. When I finished the errand and walked out of the store, what do I see outside but an elderly woman speaking with several ultra-Orthodox men. She was telling them about Isaiah 53. I moved a little closer to hear what they were saying. Before long they became angry with her and threatened to make trouble for her. I moved still closer and joined the conversation to take her side. Suddenly, the lady left; and there I stood with the angry men.
Then they became angry with me. “Are you like her? Do you believe in This One?” one asked, referring to Jesus. The ultra-Orthodox will not say the Savior’s name.
I replied, “I believe in what is written in the Holy Bible by the Holy Spirit of God.” When they heard me say “Holy Spirit,” one man immediately asked, “What do you have left to say to us that this woman has not said?”
I told them she knew what she was talking about. “What she said is all written in black and white in the Bible. She did not read rabbinical stories or fictitious tales to you. She read to you what is written in the Scriptures,” I said.
Then they became much against me and demanded I prove to them from the Bible that what she said was true.
First I opened my Bible to Isaiah 49:3–6 and gave it to them to read. There it is written, “And He said to me, ‘You are My servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified’” (v. 3). I explained that, as servants of God, we are obligated to bring His truth to people who do not know it.
“You think you are being faithful,” I explained. “But you do not know the truth, and you fight against such people as this woman and me who try to tell you what is written in the Holy Bible.”
“Are you telling us that everything you say about This One before whom you bow is written in the Bible?” one asked. “We do not believe what you say. Show us from our Bible, not from one of your Christian books!”
This was not the first time I have been asked such a thing. “You will see with your own eyes,” I said. “You will read about This One, and you will know about whom we speak, about whom the prophet Isaiah wrote, and what He did for us all.”
Much tension filled the air. “We want to be friends,” one of the men said. “We are truly interested and want to know. Please do not be angry with us.”
“Now you will know,” I said gently. “You will know who He is.” So I opened my Bible to Isaiah 53 and told them to read the chapter. There it is written,
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lᴏʀᴅ has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (vv. 5–6).
They asked me if I was reading from a Christian Bible. Since I had planned to go to the ultra-Orthodox synagogue, I had a synagogue Bible with me as well. So I opened that Bible, and gave it to them. Then they read with their own eyes and saw that the chapter was exactly the same in both Bibles.
“Why have we studied so long about our faith and we have never before read this chapter? Why? I don’t understand,” one man said.
“Many other things are also written in the Hebrew Scriptures about This Man,” I said. “God clearly told us who He is and what He has done for us, again and again.”
“We have been with you only a few hours,” one said, “and we have learned more than we have learned in years. We have not enough words to thank you. We will come to you often. This is a promise. We also will confront our teachers because we want to know what they will tell us about what we have read.”
I told them I would be happy to meet with them anytime. “Do not read fictional stories about God,” I said. “Read only the Bible. Then you will know the truth.”