Zvi Sep/Oct 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 will appreciate you upholding them before the throne of grace.
New neighbors have moved into our area in Jerusalem, and they think their duty is to fight against people who want to share their faith in Christ. It is not difficult for them to find those of us who believe in Yeshua, especially me. I have lived in this neighborhood for more than 35 years, and people know me well. I have had long conversations about my faith with many, even rabbis. And over the years we have become friends because they have come to understand that I believe the Holy Bible.
Recently three men came to our home. At first they were friendly. But I have had much experience with such people. I knew they were not visiting me out of friendship. No, they wanted to argue with me and ridicule me.
Yet I received them as friends. My wife even brought them something to eat. Then the questions began. “Do you pray every day? Show us from which book you pray.”
Jewish people do not pray in their own words. They use a prayer book and recite the words that are written. I told them, “I do not pray from books. I pray from the depths of my heart.”
“How can you pray without using a prayer book?” one asked.
“I pray,” I said, “as our ancient forefathers did before there were prayer books. I pray as King David prayed. What did he say when he was in a bad situation?”
I opened my book of Psalms and read for them: “Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me” (51:11).
Now they began to challenge me. They did not like to hear the words Holy Spirit. “The three of us go every day, three times a day, to pray in the synagogue. What do you have to say about that? You do not do that!”
I replied, “My answer will come from the book of Psalms.” And I read to them:
Blessed is that man who makes the Lᴏʀᴅ his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies (40:4). In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? (56:11). O Lᴏʀᴅ of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in You! (84:12). It is better to trust in the Lᴏʀᴅ than to put confidence in man (118:8).
By now they were agitated. “Do you also have conversations with people about your faith?” one asked.
“Yes, I do,” I said. “But you see, I bring people the Word of God. I show them what is in the Bible. I do not go to them with fables and stories written by men, as you do.”
Then they began to fight with me and grew angry. They did not like that I had read to them about the Holy Spirit, and they demanded to know, “How did you come to believe like those Christians?”
I told them what King David believed is clearly written in the Psalms. The Holy Spirit was important to him, as he mentioned in his prayer. This time I gave them my book of Psalms. “Here! Read!” I said. “It is important to pray as King David did in Psalm 51:11—from his heart. Was King David a Jew? And he spoke in his prayer about the Holy Spirit. According to you, speaking of the Holy Spirit must mean he was a Christian!”
After a long conversation, one man finally asked, “How did you come to know This Man?” meaning Jesus. They will not speak the name “Jesus.” I knew eventually they would want to know the answer to that question, and I was ready.
“May I show you where it is written about Him in whom I have put my trust?”
“We are ready to see,” one replied. “But show us only from the Bible.”
I opened my Bible to Isaiah 53, the “forbidden chapter” that is not read in synagogues. “Now read! And think about what you are reading and about whom it is written.” There they read,
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).
I told them, “For so many years you have studied, but now you still do not know what you have studied. What have your studies benefited you?”
They replied, “We must speak to our rabbis.” Please pray they will begin listening to what God says in His Word.