May 15, 1998


Before leaving Syracuse, New York on the way to Cazenovia, I stopped at a quick-mart to call up a few friends in the area. While I was talking, another guy in a car stopped to use the other pay phone. He ended his conversation before I did but he stayed around because he was curious in finding what I was doing.

It turned out that his name was Yehudi and he was from Israel. Yehudi was graduating tomorrow with a medical degree from Syracuse University. He was getting ready to go to California for his apprenticeship.

When I heard that Yehudi was from Israel, I said the Sh'ma (Sh'ma Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad (Hear O'Israel, The L-RD is our G-D, The L-RD is one)) which is Deuteronomy 6:4. Yehudi asked me how I knew that and I said that I also shared the same faith with him in knowing that ADONAI was the L_RD of Avraham, Yitzaak, and Yaakov (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob).

Yehudi said that he didn't understand because I had Christian crosses on my safety vest. I told him that I was still a Jew but I also believed in the Christian Messiah.

Yehudi said that he didn't understand this and told me that he had been burnt by some Christian zealots. He said that he had become involved with a girl at the university and was even planning to marry her. They were even going to have a baby and Yehudi wanted to make sure that the child had a father.

The marriage didn't go through. The girl's father and church was upset that she was planning to marry a non-Christian. They were planning to excommunicate the girl if the marriage went through. That had been a month ago and Yehudi was really hurt because he hadn't been able to see the girl since and didn't even know whether the child had been born yet or what gender it was.

One of the things that really hurt Yehudi was having go through the constant battering that people put him through saying that he had to totally deny his Jewish faith to become a Christian. I told him that he didn't have to since I didn't have to. I told him that I was still a Jew but I had completed my faith by accepting Y'SHUA HaMaschiah.

Very gently, I explained the facts to him showing that Y'SHUA was indeed the Messiah of the Jewish people. I also apologized to him saying that not all Christians felt and did what the people had done to him. I told him this was one of the reasons why I didn't use the word Christian to explain my faith and I just called myself a "Follower of Y'SHUA".

Also, I told him that I didn't conform to any real denomination because I felt that denominations were an attempt of man to put G-D into their box of ideals instead of putting themselves into G-D's box. After about twenty minutes, we parted company and I hoped that I had made Yehudi feel a bit better.

When I looked back on what happened at night, I was sort of amazed at what had happened. I wasn't actually planning to ride through Syracuse on the way to my night's stop. I just felt the need to ride that way. My "Pilot" had changed my route for the good. I was at the right place at the right time.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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