web analytics
September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



A Masterpiece


Lessons-logo

At the age of 32, he discovered he was Jewish. Michael was born to a gentile, Greek father and a Belgian mother, whom he assumed was gentile as well. When Michael married his Catholic girlfriend, Susan, his mother still did not divulge her background.

Michael and Susan were two Bohemian types. Michael was an aspiring artist who tried to make a living from his artwork. Susan had just returned from India, where she dabbled in Buddhism and studied yoga.

The young couple bought a bus, converted it into a home, and moved in. Michael and Susan traveled all over Europe in their bus. One day, they decided to take a trip to Israel as well. At this time, Michael and Susan had a little girl and another child on the way.

While parked across from the Old City of Jerusalem, a young Orthodox rabbi knocked on their door, curious to see what kind of people lived in a bus. The young couple invited their guest in. The rabbi started to ask them their history. When Michael told the rabbi that his mother’s maiden name was Levy, the rabbi raised his eyebrows and said “Hey, I think you might be Jewish! You should check it out!”

Michael contacted his mother. After a lot of prodding, she finally admitted that she and therefore, he, were indeed both Jewish. After escaping the Holocaust, Michael’s mother decided to erase everything connected to Judaism.

Michael, a newly discovered Jew in Israel, decided that he must stay for a little while longer while he learned about his heritage.

With special permission, Michael and Susan parked their bus on the grounds of a religious kibbutz. The first Jewish holiday celebrated at the kibbutz was Simchat Torah. Michael was given a Sefer Torah to hold.

Susan, watching from the women’s section, could not believe her eyes as she saw tears streaming down Michael’s face. He later explained how heavy the Torah was. He felt as if he was holding all the weight of 5,000 years of his people’s history. Susan was not so sure where she fit into this picture of Michael’s newfound religion.

Shortly afterwards, Susan gave birth to a baby boy who was born with a terrible disease. The doctors gave the baby one year to live. Susan somehow felt that her sick child needed a Jewish soul, and so she and her children converted. Thebris was performed when the baby was three months old.

A miracle occurred and the baby survived. Today, he is 26 years old, and married with two children of his own.

Michael and Susan are still living on that same kibbutz in Israel. You wouldn’t recognize them now, as they look like a typical religious family. Seven more children were born to “Moshe” and “Sarah” “Ben-Yaacov”. Moshe is an internationally known artist, who is especially known for his magnificent ketubot.

Moshe’s mother is a frequent visitor at the Ben-Yaacov home in Israel. In their dining room, you will find a portrait that Moshe painted of his mother, once again lighting Shabbat candles.

Hashem is the Master Artist of all his works. And the story of Sarah and Moshe is a priceless masterpiece.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “A Masterpiece”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
In Lebanon, smoke rises from a Sunni Muslim dominated neighborhood in Tripoli on August 21, 2014.
Iran, US Equip & Finance Lebanese Army to Fight ISIS
Latest Judaism Stories

On Sunday, Jews will be refraining from food and drink from dawn until sunset to commemorate the Fast of Gedaliah. Following Nebuchadnetzar’s destruction of the First Temple and exile of most of the Jews, the Babylonians appointed Gedaliah ben Achikaam as governor of Judea. Under Gedaliah’s leadership, Judea and the survivors began to recover. On […]

On the beach

As we enter the Days of Awe, we must recognize that it is a joy to honor and serve true royalty.

Rabbi Avi Weiss

On Rosh Hashanah we are taught that true self-analysis involves the breaking down of walls

PTI-092614-Shofar

When we hear the words “Rosh Hashana is coming” it really means Hashem Himself is coming!

Who am I? What are the most important things in my life? What do I want to be remembered for? If, as a purely hypothetical exercise, I were to imagine reading my own obituary, what would I want it to say? These are the questions Rosh Hashanah urges us to ask ourselves. As we pray […]

We recently marked the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 – that terrible day when the symbols of man’s power and achievement crumbled before our eyes and disappeared in fire and smoke. For a very brief moment we lost our smugness. Our confidence was shaken. Many of us actually searched our ways. Some of us even learned […]

Why am I getting so agitated? And look how we’re treating each other!

While women are exempt from actually learning Torah, they are obligated in a different aspect of the mitzvah.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

We must eat, sleep, work, and care for our dependants. How much time is left over after all that?

Once we recognize that our separation from God is our fault, how do we repair it?

Chatzitzah And Its Applications
‘Greater Stringency Applies To Hallowed Things…’
(Chagiga 20b-21a)

To choose life, you must examine your actions in the period preceding the Days of Awe as an unbiased stranger, and render your decision.

Rabbi Dayan took a challah and some cooked eggs. He then called over his 15-year-old son, Aharon. “Could you please ask your friend Chaim from next door to come over and help me with the eruv tavshilin?”

This world has its purpose; it has been ideally fashioned to allow man to grow.

More Articles from Rivky Garfinkel Reiss
Lessons-logo

When my neighbor asked me if I was missing any jewelry, I immediately thought of the gift my husband gave me 25 years ago at our wedding. In the yichud room, he presented me with a beautiful three-tone gold bracelet with diamond chips. I treasured that gift until I lost it.

Lessons-logo

She walked into my husband’s office, accompanied by her father. They were clearly from Israel’s lower socioeconomic class. The father was a large, frightening man who reeked of alcohol, and his daughter was a recent ba’alat teshuvah.

At the age of 32, he discovered he was Jewish. Michael was born to a gentile, Greek father and a Belgian mother, whom he assumed was gentile as well. When Michael married his Catholic girlfriend, Susan, his mother still did not divulge her background.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/a-masterpiece/2009/03/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: