Of Fish and Men

Laura and I like driving on our vacations because it gives us the freedom to stop wherever we want. As we were headed up to Vancouver, Canada last summer, we stopped in Seattle, Washington to look up an old friend of Laura’s.

After checking into our motel, I began flipping through the phone book. Fortunately, we found the number listed. When we called, the lady was at home, and she graciously invited us to visit her and her husband.

We arrived at the home of this ultra-Orthodox Jewish couple the following morning, which happened to be Friday. They invited us to go and see their synagogue, which seemed to be a priority in their lives. It was only a couple of blocks away—walking distance, of course, because an Orthodox Jewish person will not drive or ride to services on the Sabbath.

Our car was parked in front of their home, and as we crossed the street together, Laura and I were careful not to pass in back of our car but rather in front of it. We have a fish sticker on the rear bumper and another sticker that says, My Boss is a Jewish Carpenter.” We had decided not to speak to this wonderful couple about Jesus because we didn’t want any ill feelings between us. Little did we know the Lord had other plans.

We stepped into the synagogue sanctuary, and I was so impressed by its beauty that I sat alone just meditating in the presence of God, thinking of a whole lifetime I had spent in synagogue. This particular sanctuary was only a couple of years old. It had high ceilings and beautiful stained-glass windows and a big chandelier in the center of the room.

The rabbi walked in and our friends introduced us to this teacher of the law. After a bit of casual conversation the rabbi mentioned that he had noticed a car parked in front of our friends’ house.

“Is that a rented car or your own?” he asked.

I told him that it was our car.

In a sharp yet hesitating tone he asked: “What is a Jewish couple like you doing with such a fish on your car—and what is the meaning of that fish?”

I smiled and said, “You really don’t want to know,” but apparently he did! He was very persistent, and finally I decided to tell him. “We believe that Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah of Israel according to Tenach.”

The rabbi became very angry. I would rather not repeat what he had to say. We remained calm and spoke in a quiet tone to him. I think our friends were impressed by the difference between our behavior and his.

After we left the synagogue, the lady, Hilda, turned to Laura and said, “I know you since your birth. Why do you believe in this Jesus? Please explain it to me.”

I was so glad that we had one last copy of ISSUES in our car—the edition that had an article about us in it. I went and got it for Laura’s friend, who was very anxious to read the story of our lives.

Laura and I pray that the seeds planted that Friday morning will be watered and grow to glorify our Lord Yeshua.

I hope that you will also pray for these two wonderful people, Hilda and her husband, Iz.

Editor’s Note: Laura and Fred are the parents of Steve and Rob Wertheim, who are on our Los Angeles Jews for Jesus staff. The entire family have been committed believers in Yeshua for several years. Fred and Laura’s story was published in the Volume 3:1 edition of ISSUES.