In the late 90s, I had a very successful business. We made millions selling measuring equipment to the government. I had everything I wanted, and I could afford anything. I could give money to anyone – I could do all these “good”, “good” deeds, but I realized that happiness does not come from money and success, that I need something deeper.
I grew up in a successful Jewish family and my parents were doing well. My grandparents were very successful. Our Jewishness was really important, especially for my mother’s father … our identity and who we are.
One day I walked into a mall and several Christians came up to me to tell me about faith in Jesus. And I only remember that I was angry with them. “This Jesus you are following is a false prophet. Why are you telling this to me? I am Jewish!”…
I really had an unreasonable anger towards them.
When I was young I suffered from depression and it was really very hard for me. I even had suicidal thoughts … I often thought about how to commit suicide. It was such an overwhelming feeling: “I am not loved the way I would like, and I cannot love others the way I would like to love them.” And my depression led to emptiness, and so I was looking for friendship … I was looking for love from people who would accept it. And I found it in a society that used drugs and alcohol.
And this greatly influenced my grades and my education. To such an extent that in the end the principle, I remember, called me into his office and said that he was throwing me out of school. “You’re not going to come back to this school again,” he said. “I will do everything in my power to ensure that you never return to this school.”
When I was in college, I became friends with the guy who was sitting next to me. One day he asked me if I wanted to do something with him. I didn’t hear what he said, so I replied, “OK,” and we started down the stairs. And he asked me if I had a Bible. “Bible? Why do I need the Bible? I am Jewish! I don’t want to have anything to do with this! “
He had the answers to everything, and it all ended with the fact that I began to attend these lessons. They studied a book called Luke, 15th chapter. There was a story about a young man who wanted to receive his inheritance from his father in advance, and he took it, went and squandered it. And he just lived like a madman, led a careless life, lost everything, and then he remembered that even the servants in his father’s house live better than he is now, and he was going to return home and become a servant of his father. He came home and his father saw him – his father missed him, he loved him and hugged him. And in fact he said to him: “You are not my servant, you are my son.”
I’ve never felt this way before in my life. I felt this peace around me, and I just felt acceptance and overwhelming love. “Oh, there is a God who loves me. And what I did for years just separated me from Him. And the way of knowing Him is through the person who said these words, through Yeshua. “
I found another New Testament and started reading it. And every time I read the New Testament, the same thing happened – the same joy, the same love. And it destroyed my depression – I was no longer suicidal. And I thought, “How is a book capable of such a thing? How can simple reading do this to me? “
I was distressed – I just came to the realization that it was real. That through this person, Yeshua, I can be reconciled with God, and everything that I did that separated me from Him, this whole life that I lived that completely isolated me from Him – that, despite all this, He loves me. And through this person He wants me to come to personal knowledge of Him.
I owe my life to Jesus because I know for sure that I would have committed suicide if not for what He did in me. And how powerful it is that He gave His life so that I could have life! Now I understand what love is.