Growing up in a liberal-traditional Jewish community, our staff member, Ari, was actively involved in Jewish youth groups and summer camps. At age 25, he accepted Yeshua (Jesus) as his Messiah.
Unfortunately, most of his Jewish friends did not want to interact with him anymore because of his decision. About eight years ago, Ari attended a local Jewish holiday gathering and reconnected with Matt,* an old friend who is now the rabbi of a nearby synagogue.
Matt had been previously reluctant to talk about Yeshua, but he was grateful when Ari reached out and supported him when his daughter was struggling with cancer. Ari also rejoiced with him when she recovered.
Recently, Matt’s mother passed away and he was sincerely thankful when Ari visited. They began to talk more comfortably together about God and spiritual matters.
At the shiva, Ari saw about ten of his old friends from Jewish summer camp, including some who have been hostile toward him because of Yeshua. They were surprised, yet happy to see him there. A few of them were genuinely interested and had questions about his faith!