stories of orthodox jews
Our Stories | Orthodox Jews
Rabbis have often built a wall around Jesus—but certain truth can break even that boundary. Read how these followers of traditional Judaism discovered the One of whom the prophets wrote.
Below the surface were the unanswered questions, “Who am I? Can I know God? What follows death? Can I have the positive assurance that my sins are forgiven?”
He asked if I wanted to pray. I replied, “Sure, where’s the prayer book?” “You don’t need one,” he explained. “Just talk to God from your heart.” I folded my arms across my chest, looked upwards, and said, “God, I don’t know who You are. But I’m tired of doing it by myself, so You have a go.”
Josh Leon lives and works in the Orthodox community. One of the things he enjoys most is plowing through the rabbinic texts and discovering what he believes is more evidence that Jesus fulfilled the messianic expectations of his Jewish people.
As a young rabbi, Isaac Lichtenstein (1825–1908) reprimanded a young man for showing him a Bible containing a New Testament, took the book from him, and put it on a corner shelf. Thirty years later Lichtenstein opened the book… and it changed his life.
Many Jewish refugees from Russia settled in Omaha, Nebraska, between the 1880s and World War I. Among them were Debbie Landers’ grandparents. Landers, born Deberah Schwartz in Omaha in 1951, and her younger sister were raised Orthodox by their parents. The Schwartzes were one of just four Jewish families in a primarily Catholic neighborhood. Unfortunately, […]
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Herb Opalek was raised in an Orthodox Jewish home which boasts many rabbis in the family tree. He attended Hebrew day school and by age ten was fluent in both modern and ancient Hebrew. He had a near photographic memory and wangled quite a few free dinners by performing his […]
I was only five years old and had no idea what was going on as our family crowded into my grandparents’ living room on the day before Yom Kippur. I can still remember how my father picked up a chicken, tied up by its feet, and swung it over our heads, the chicken cackling and […]
Yoel and Adel Ben David live in San Francisco. Now both aged 30, they married when they were 20 and were involved in the Hasidic Breslov movement. Here is their story. I was born in Israel and lived there for the first three years of my life,” Yoel begins. “My father worked for a hotel […]
I was brought up in a modern Orthodox Jewish family. We went to synagogue every Shabbat and on every major Jewish holiday. My family kept kosher and I had twelve years of yeshiva education. I learned how to read and write Hebrew fluently and I learned many Jewish subjects, including the myriad of laws and […]
Born Israel Zoller in 1881, he was appointed chief rabbi of Trieste, Italy, in 1918. In the 1930s, he helped German Jews fleeing the Reich. As World War II broke out, he became Rome’s chief rabbi. In September 1943 the Nazis demanded gold for the lives of the Jews of Rome. Zolli asked for and […]
The Jewish prophets gave some very specific information about the Messiah not often discussed in synagogue.
(in German; Leipzig, 1895). Out of print, but available at some large libraries or through inter-library loan. One of the most intriguing eras in Messianic Jewish history is the 19th century, and one of its more fascinating characters was Jehiel Lichtenstein (1827-1912), author of perhaps the most unusual commentary ever written on the New Testament. […]
In a small town in eastern Hungary, young Leopold Cohn lost both of his parents at the age of seven. His life became a struggle for existence, and he learned to trust in God with all of his heart. At 13 he decided to study to become a rabbi, and when he graduated from the […]