Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Saving a Jew - One Soul at a Time

Here's another story from the Jew who "works" the Kotel.
What! Are You Nuts?
by Gutman Locks

This has to be one of the strangest cases I have ever had the privilege to straighten out.

A group of non-Jewish Americans walked into the Kotel area yesterday. Judging by their appearance, they had to be evangelical christians. I was surprised to see two or three Jewish faces among them. It is pretty rare, but sadly, sometimes we do see a confused Jew drawn into that religion. So I assumed these Jews were also trapped in that idolatry.

I was wrong. I pointed to one of the Jews and said, “You’re Jewish. You certainly have a Jewish face.”

“Of course I’m Jewish, through and through!” he happily confirmed.

“Come, put on tefillin.” He did not know what I was talking about. “We’re going to take your Jewish blood pressure,” I joked. I took his arm and started to put tefillin on him. One of the other Jewish-looking men leaned over and said, “He was baptized this morning!”

“What!” I yelled, “Are you nuts? You’re not a christian. You’re a Jew!”

It turned out the entire group was on a tour that was organized in their hometown somewhere in Florida. Except for the 3 Jews, they were all christians. That morning they had gone on a tour to the Jordan River, and the evangelicals had all baptized each other. As usual, they love to spread their particular brand of confusion, so they tried to lure the 3 Jews traveling with them into being baptized, too. These christians believe it is a huge victory to convert a Jew to their beliefs.

They had a sales pitch: After all, this was the actual Jordan River; the very river where yashka himself was baptized 2,000 years ago. (At least that’s how the story goes.)

When they tried to coax the Jews into joining them, 2 of the Jews had enough brains to refuse, but this nice old guy was up for the adventure. Wading out into the river with your clothes on was certainly something he could tell his friends about when he got home, so the friendly old Jew agreed to join them, and he let them baptize him!

“Listen to me,” I insisted, as I continued to put the tefillin on him. “You are a Jew. Baptism is not for Jews. It is what goyim (non-Jews) do when they accept that false religion. You didn’t accept anything. You are not a christian, you’re a Jew.”

I wanted him to be able to defend himself when they later try to convince him he actually became a christian, G-d forbid!

I told him Jews are a people and not a religion. “But if you want a religion, then we have our own. We do not need theirs.” I told him their religion contradicts our beliefs. “They worship their god, which has three parts, a trinity. Jews worship the one G-d Who is everywhere. G-d does not have parts.”

I told him the baptism he went through did not mean anything, that he did not accept any of their religious foolishness, and that he was not going to follow that religion.

It turned out he is 81 years old, and this was the first time in his life he had ever put on tefillin! I told him that it was his bar mitzvah! (Actually, bar mitzvah means a Jewish boy has come to the age [13] when the Torah says he is old enough to begin to be responsible for his own spiritual life. One of the first things he can then do is put on tefillin.)

I made sure he had pictures of himself wearing tefillin on to remind him he is a Jew. “While christians have baptisms, Jews have tefillin and bar mitzvahs.”

He was very happy, and he has absolutely no intention of joining any christian religion. And they are not going to be able to fool him into thinking he became a christian.

Thank G-d he met us, or who knows where he'd have ended up.

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