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MY TESTIMONY

PART TWO



My parents had always expected me to become either a " Talmid Chacham " (Scholar of the Torah) or maybe a "Rebbe" (Rabbi). Throughout my early and middle teen years, I had feelings that there had to be more to my religious experience than just the following of traditions and ceremonies that had been passed down from generation to generation. I faithfully attended "Yeshivah" (Torah Academy) where I studied the " Mishna " and the " Gemara " but before leaving Germany for my year as an exchange student I dropped out. Being either a Rebbe or a Talmid Chacham was really not in my personal plans for my life.

The "Mishna" is a compilation of the Jewish Oral Law. This law was codified in 220 CE (Common Era). To Orthodox Jews, there was a belief that this Oral Law was given by "AVINU SHEBASHAMAYIM" (Our Father in Heaven) to "Moshe" (Moses). The "Gemara" provides commentary on the "Mishna". This was compiled between the Second and Fifth Centuries (Common Era). In English, this commentary comprised of twenty volumes. I couldn't get into very many debates on why the commentators like
Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki), who was born in 1040 in Troyes, Champagne, France and later moved to Germany) or Ramban (Rabbi Moshe son of Nachman who was born in Gerona, Spain in the year 1195) who translated and wrote a commentaries on the Torah and the Talmud like they did.

We had come a long way from the Jewish practices and beginnings of King David's time and during the time of the Great Temple to something that depended on more on the interpretations of the many Rabbis since David about what the first five books of the Old Testament, which are "BERESHEET" (GENESIS), "SHEMOT" (EXODUS), "V'YAKRA" (LEVITICUS), "B'MIDVAR" (NUMBERS), and "DAVARIM" (DEUTERONOMY), that make up the Torah (that in Hebrew means "instruction"). We had gone from the ten original Laws "Commandments" that "ADOSHEM" (the MASTER OF ALL) had given "Moshe" (Moses) on Mt. Sinai to 613 "Mitzvot" (Rules) telling us what to do and what not to do. They are broken down to 248 (number from the bones in the body) "Positive" (The Do's) and 365 (number of days in a year) "Negative" (The Don'ts). Half of all these rules we can no longer do because they referred to temple practices and sacrifices.

I was feeling empty inside. While I was reading the Gospels of "MATIT'YAH HA'LEVI" (MATTHEW the LEVI), "YOCHANAN-MAKABI" (JOHN (MARK)), "UR" (LUKE), and "YOCHANAN" (JOHN) in the "B'RIT CHADASHAH" (NEW TESTAMENT), my eyes became opened and my heart became mended. I became convinced that the Messiah "Y'SHUA" (JESUS) in the these books was actually the "HA-MASHIAH" and the "GO'EL YISRA'EL" (the Redeemer of Israel) that we Jews had been waiting and longing for.




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