of Keith Brofsky
We like to think that coincidence is a funny thing. Those things just happen by chance, sometimes for good, and sometimes for bad. But really, what it all comes down to is G-d's mighty hand, working behind the scenes to orchestrate His will. We sometimes don’t' recognize it at the time, but in retrospect we can see the wonder and glory of His ways.
I grew up in a Jewish home in Queens, New York. I attended Hebrew school to learn the culture, religion and traditions of Judaism and prepare for my bar-mitzvah. I learned to read Hebrew and studied the Torah, and at thirteen I had a wonderful bar-mitzvah in the Synagogue. There ended my efforts to study Jewish culture and religion.
After a number of years of G-dless living I found myself in Denver, Colorado. I had not thought about G-d or Judaism for years. I still believed in G-d, but figured He created the world and left it to run itself. I believed man was the ultimate authority of earth.
I was soon to find out something much different. One day I was in a local bookstore with a friend. While she was browsing the Christian books, I was nearby looking through the Jewish book section. I turned around and noticed "The Jewish New Testament."(This and other Messianic Jewish authored books were placed there by Menorah –Menorah Ministries) I thought to myself "What is this?!?" I knew that Jews do not have a New Testament, or so I believed. I picked it up and glanced through it. It looked intriguing, so I bought it. After reading the introduction and part of the Gospels I was amazed. The translator had put the Gospels and other writings back into their Jewish context. I had known that Yeshua (Jesus) was Jewish, but reading through the Jewish New Testament I was amazed to find that all of His followers were Jewish, almost every book in the New Testament was written by a Jewish person, and all of the events of the Gospels happened in Israel. Reading this created a yearning to know more. I learned that the first Messianic community was in Jerusalem where it was considered another sect of Judaism which could even be found in the Temple teaching and praying. This whole thing was Jewish!! My interest peaked and I thirsted to know even more. I looked in the phone book and found a Messianic Congregation in Denver called Roeh Israel. I went to visit one day after work. I drove there and planned to go in, but at the last minute I lost my nerve and did not go in. G-d, however, had a different plan for me.
Two days later while walking on campus at college, I noticed a single table set up in the student union. Normally this area was full of displays from various groups, but this day the only table was for Menorah-Menorah Ministries-. Their table contained information about Yeshua and Messianic Judaism. I picked up literature about a computer bulletin board service called Midrash and a listing of local congregations. Again I saw the name Roeh Israel. I started talking to some people on the bulletin board and attended a service at the congregation the following Shabbat. I observed a Torah reading, the recitation of the Sh'ma and other Hebrew prayers, and a praise and worship service which contained Israeli folk dancing and Jewish praise music. I met some people who explained to me what Messianic Judaism was and how it differed from Rabbinic Judaism. They encouraged me to read the Scriptures and search for the True G-d.
I took up their challenge. I read the Scriptures, both the Tenakh and New Covenant, and asked G-d to show me the truth. I went to the library and read anti-missionary materials and books (written by Jewish scholars and rabbis) and pro-Messianic books to get an even better understanding of what this all could mean. It seemed that the Jewish and Christian writers had different interpretations of key passages in the Bible. When I looked deeper and read material on some of the older Jewish interpretations of these same passages. I realized that today's Jewish teachings about the Messiah differed from some of the ancient Jewish writings. There are ancient Jewish teachings about a Messiah who would suffer and die, and there were many passages and prophecies, in the Tanakh, which the ancient rabbis believed to be speaking about the Messiah. I realized that Yeshua fulfilled many of these Bible passages and prophecies. From these studies G-d showed me that He is Holy and we have been separated from Him by our sins. I learned that His system of sacrifices for atonement was His way of forgiving our sins, and that the Messiah is the way to G-d. A short time later two friends and I prayed to G-d; I asked G-d to forgive my sins, received Yeshua as my Messiah, L-rd and Savior and gave my life to Him.
Since becoming a Believer in Yeshua I have found that G-d is truly a G-d of mercy and love, and seeks for all to know Him and the Promised One whom He has sent. I have seen G-d at work in my own life and the lives of many others bringing about love, transformation, and glory to His Name.
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