I was born in Paris, France from a secular Jewish family. My parents had survived the Second World War and were still healing from the horrors of the Holocaust. My upbringing took place in a very protected Jewish environment even though our family was not attending synagogue or keeping any strict Jewish lifestyle.
As a result of losing her dad in Auschwitz at age 15, my mother had developed a complex about being Jewish. It had become our secret in the community as she constantly reminded me that we should keep our Jewish identity to our own family. To this day, my mother believes that God died during the Holocaust. As for my father, he still claims to be an atheist. Nevertheless, even if only by birth and mostly socially, my Jewish identity always felt like a reality.
As I grew up, I never felt the need of a connection to God. I was taught by my mother to respect others for whoever they were, as well as appreciate my environment.
I always believed that there was something bigger than me in the universe that controlled all things, but I just did not care what it was.
My motto was: “If God exists, I don’t need him and he certainly doesn’t need me.”
In my early twenties, I met a young Californian girl while on a trip to the USA. She would later become my wife and mother of our two children. My spiritual journey had started.
This young girl (Ellen) challenged me to search the Scriptures for answers about God and His Messiah. At first I kindly rejected her proposal and told her that we should be who we were, accept our differences and enjoy life.
I had never really opened a Bible before, so when she started to challenge me with a study of Messianic Prophecies in the Tenach (the Jewish Scriptures), I felt lost in an ocean of text, not knowing where to go. Additionally, since I was not looking for God, I was not too impressed with His word.
But Ellen did not loose faith as she patiently continued to pray and direct me to the Word.
Eventually, one day she took a slightly different approach and handed me a book on prophecy. As I decided to read, I was immediately impressed by the same prophecies about the Messiah that she had tried to get me to read in the Bible.
God did not impress me a bit, but a fellow man could get my attention.
And so it was, as I read the book everyday on my way to and from work and discovered the incredible truths about the Jewish Messiah and all the events of His first coming for the sins of the world but also just for me. I was amazed at how accurate and literal these prophecies all were. God was drawing me to Him.
As the book continued, the author delved into the yet unfulfilled prophecies regarding the Second Coming of Yeshua and His establishment of the Kingdom on earth.
I was fascinated as I realized that if all the predictions about His first advent had been fulfilled literally, there was no reason for the rest of His redemptive career to not be literal.
One day, I got very intrigued as I read about the Rapture of the Believers (the future time when all followers of Messiah Yeshua will be caught up in the air with Him, to go to Heaven before we all return to establish the Kingdom on earth with Him).
Was this event to also be literal? Why not? But how? Did that mean that as a non-believer I would end-up being separated from Ellen? Maybe she could stay behind with me? I thought.
Ellen kindly explained to me that she could not stay behind but that I could join her in this event. She proceeded one more time in explaining to me that Messiah Yeshua was the Jewish Messiah, God in the flesh who had come to die for all of us, including me. She also told me that His atoning death was followed by His powerful resurrection. He was waiting for me to make a move.
Procrastination had kept me from inviting Him into my life, but I could no longer justify my position. So that summer day of 1983, I made my step of faith and invited Yeshua into my heart and asked Him to be the Lord of my life.
A few months later, Ellen and I got married, and two years later we moved back to the United-States.
As I had decided to “crack open “ the door of my heart to let God’s Holy Spirit enter and change me, that He did. What started as a move to secure my relationship with the woman I loved, turned out to be the best turn on my spiritual journey.
One event led to another as we started attending a congregation in Southern California for a few years, and we then moved to Washington State where both our children were born. It is there that I started getting involved with the Messianic Jewish movement and discovered more about my Jewish roots.
Eventually, after doing a lot a volunteer work for an evangelical organization that takes the Gospel of Yeshua to my people ( the Jewish people), I was offered an opportunity to go to the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for a degree in Jewish Studies. I graduated in the Spring of 2001, a few years after our family had joined Chosen People Ministries (another organization that specializes in taking Yeshua’s message to the Jewish people).
Our family is currently serving the Lord in Southern California in the midst of one million Jewish people.
I am so grateful that the bold girl, who later became my wife, never gave up on me. She faithfully directed me to the Bible and to my Messiah.
Today, I serve Him with all my heart in trying to reach my people with His message of salvation.
Twenty-four years ago, I met my Messiah. That is the most Jewish thing I have ever done in my entire life. If you don’t know Him yet, my prayer is that you would investigate His word and make Him your Lord and Savior.
Your life will never be the same!