by Mike Oppenheimer
I was brought up in a Jewish home, observed Shabbat faithfully and celebrated the High Holy days at the temple and with family. I attended Hebrew school twice a week and was bar mitzvah and confirmed. While attending classes I asked a lot of questions about God that the rabbi could not answer. Though I continued each year, mainly to please my parents, I became less interested in traditional religion. Feeling hindered in my spiritual development, I leaped headfirst into my own brand of freestyle spirituality after high school graduation.
Have you ever wondered what kind of a Jewish person would believe in Jesus? The answer is, all kinds. There are Jewish doctors, lawyers, artists, musicians, engineers and yes, scientists who believe that Jesus is the Messiah. They all had reasons why they would never believe... but they were willing to examine those reasons and more important, they were willing to ask God to show them the truth. Maybe one of their journeys will resonate with you.
by Mike Oppenheimer
I was born in 1932 in Belarus. My parents were religious; they knew God. My father was a rabbi and was sent to prison for five years for conducting circumcision rituals. My father always took me to the synagogue, but I did not understand anything there. I only understood Yiddish. My father always prayed before meals, “Baruch Atah Adonai Elohenu,” then he dipped bread into salt and then we could eat.
Last Updated on Thursday, January 26, 2012 14:00
I was born into a middle class, Jewish Amercian family, which would have made me a princess" except that my father was a florist, not a doctor. We celebrated almost all the traditional Jewish holidays in a superficial way. While I was taught there was a God, I never really knew him.
There are Jews in Pakistan?!?" is the common reaction I get when I tell people I was born in Karachi, Pakistan. My father, a Catholic, was of Goan origin (Goa is a western province of India), and my mother comes from the Bene-Israel Jewish community in India/Pakistan. We moved to Quebec, Canada when I was about four years old.
I came to the courtroom early, before the proceedings began. The podium was adjustable, right? I lowered it. I'm five feet, seven and a half inches tall and the last thing I needed was to be standing up on the tips of my toes to reach the podium! When I came back later, for the proceedings, I looked in the back row and there, sitting all together, were my good friends, Moishe Rosen (founder of Jews for Jesus, and at the time, executive director), Tuvya Zaretsky, Susan Perlman and Russ Reed (three of Jews for Jesus' board members), plus my wife, my parents, and a lady from the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners who accidentally sat in the wrong row! The thing that struck me was, when I looked back at the "Christian row" my parents were right in there. Whatever their feelings may be about my beliefs, they were there to support me. And I felt God's presence in that courtroom.