…But I was curious. Deep inside I was curious. I’ve never read it and you know so many people tell you, “I don’t read. I don’t know. I don’t really.” They just never read it. You got to open a book and read it before you say ‘I don’t like it’ or ‘I don’t believe in what’s inside’. After what happened to her father, my mother had to immediately be taken to the South of France to hide on the farm until the end of the war. She did that and then she came back to Paris where she lived but she realized, she was about 17 when she came back, and she realized that for her at least, for her God had died in the Holocaust. Her faith in anything was gone. She had a good reason. She basically was 15 when the Gestapo came to the house where she still lives in Paris and snatched her father from in front of our eyes and took him away. She didn’t find out until much later that he died in Auschwitz. That’s why he never came back.
In 1981 I came on my own to California and I was kind of excited because you know, for Frenchmen California is like wow, you know, palm trees the beach and of course I was thinking Californian girls. We always talked about how California girls were sure enough on that trip. Towards the end of my trip, I met this California girl and I fell in love with this beautiful girl. It was only ten days but I fell in love with her. I have to say I was quite excited to introduce my French friends to this California girlfriend of mine. That was pretty cool, for Frenchmen never have California girlfriends. We spent some time together and eventually, one day I told her, I said listen, “I already think I want to marry you” and that’s when she said, “Wait a minute…we can’t do that! I’m a Christian and you’re Jewish. We don’t believe in the same thing.” I said, “I don’t care. You can’t believe in whatever you want. Let me believe in whatever I want. You love me, I love you, let’s just move on and stay together and get married.” She wouldn’t do that.
At some point in my late teens, my sister had married this religious Jewish man. After becoming friendly he asked me if I wanted to go with him and study the Torah and the Talmud and consider my Jewish roots a little a little deeper. I was attracted to that for a little while because there was something. When you have Jewish blood, when you hear Yiddish, when you hear something Jewish it always kind of touches you in a certain way. I was attracted to that but then having grown up in a very Jewish environment with Jewish family everywhere, I remember, what really bothered me in a lot of cases, was some of the hypocrisy I saw in the Jewish community. I kept thinking of the time that we would go to synagogue for Hashanah Yom Kippur just to please the patriarch of the family. We’d be there, would give them a kiss, and say, “Hey, we’re here” you know “Chag Sameach”, and we go outside and smoke cigarettes, and look at the new cars that we bought, the new clothes, and I realize this is not real. This is not about religion. This is not about God. The Bible is just God’s book, a big book, it meant nothing to me. This is just about pretending. I thought, “If I’m ever, ever going to believe in God, or anything it’s got to be real. Whoever he is, it’s got to be real.” It can’t be hypocrisy. So I said “No”.
I got this book from Ellen, ‘The Late Great Planet Earth’, and it was a book on prophecies that was divided into two parts. The first was the prophecies of the Messiah when he came and the prophecies of Messiah when he’s going to come back. It was a little overwhelming for me but they were very short so I started reading. This is what was prophesied in the Jewish Bible and this is what happened. I’m thinking, “Like wow, if this is really true, this is this is kind of cool” and I would read this book on my way to work in Paris every day on the subway. I think two or three times I actually missed my stop. I stop and think like “Oh my goodness, I have to get out and go on the other train and go back to my work and be late”.
It’s at that time that things started to change. It really became more of a reality. What was interesting to me when I read the Bible, God’s Word, it did nothing but when a man in the book that he wrote gave me the same information, it was like relating a man to another man. I’m thinking, “Ah, his guy believes that I’m not alone maybe he’s right.”
When I think of Jesus, when I thought of Jesus back then, to me Jesus was a dead man on a cross or the statue you see in the Catholic Church. How many times I had been into a Catholic Church? Maybe a dozen times for special events for my friends. But there was no connection. I knew because in the family I was being told, “Jesus is not for us.” But because my entire family was non-religious there was never any discussion of why he was not for us. I was just told early on Jesus is not for the Jews.
The first time I really understood who Jesus was I realized that he was somebody who was completely innocent of anything. He paid the price for everything I’ve ever done. That that was hard for me to accept. He basically died for me. He says, “You know what I’ll take care of it… you’re innocent now…whatever you did it’s gone.” That was big. To be honest with you, every morning when I get up I’m thinking, “I can’t believe he did that because I already don’t deserve that.” There was an increasing burden to both reach my people and study God’s Word. I was really interested in in in finding out what God had to say. So eventually this led to me deciding to go to get a degree at a Bible College in Jewish Studies. I remember calling my dad after it was probably like 10 years when I told him my involvement in the believing community and every time I called him it was a little more and a little more and a little more. Eventually, I tell him, “Dad I’m gonna go to a Bible College and get a a Bible degree in Jewish Studies” and my dad’s reaction, he is not a believer, he said “What’s happened to you? The next time you call me are you going to tell me that you’re going to be the Pope?”
Choose Life, Avoid Hell
Please hear my prayer.
- I admit I'm a sinner in need of a Saviour – [Romans 3:10 / 3:23 / 6:23]
- I believe in my heart that Jesus/Yeshua is Lord – Jesus Christ was crucified, buried and rose again, paying in full the death penalty for my sin. [Romans 10:9-10]
- I call upon the name of the Lord and I confess with my mouth Jesus/Yeshua is Lord and I believe in my heart the God raised Him from the dead, so I will be saved. For it is with my heart that I believe, and am justified and it is with my mouth that I confess and am saved. [Romans 10:9-10 / 10:13]