On Wednesday, April 2nd, 1997, at about eleven in the morning, I walked to a town grocery store in Mevaseret Zion (a small town next to Jerusalem), to pick up some bananas, avocados and oranges, etc. It’s about a 10 minute walk. On my way back I saw a man working on his car in the driveway. He was the man who, on March 10th, had been driving by when he saw some of his friends talking to me. He stopped and got out of the car to see what his friends were doing. I was speaking with eight Jewish men about Yeshua (the Hebrew Name for Je-sus), being the Messiah. When he found that out, he cursed Yeshua, spit on the ground to-ward me and got back into his car and took off.
As I passed him in his driveway this day, I said, ‘Shalom yedidi!’ (Shalom my friend!). He came out to me cursing Yeshua and me, and telling me to leave Israel. ‘You have no right to be here!’, he shouted. I told him that the Lord had given the Land of Israel to Fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and to their Seed and that I, like him, had every right to be here. He was about two feet in front of me now. I’d say he was five years older than me (making him about 50 years old at the time), and a little taller.
He said, ‘Yeshua was an illegitimate child, born out of wedlock!’ (We were speaking Hebrew and that’s the gist of it without getting profane.) I said that wasn’t true. He spit in my face. (I)
I said that I loved him and that Yeshua wanted to give him a new heart. He came to me and ripped the tzit-zit (tassels, Num. 15:37-41), from the left side of my pants. He threw them on the road. I stood there and told him that Yeshua loved him and wanted to give him a new heart (Ezekiel 36:24-27).
He went back to the curb, to the steps that led up to his house, and picked up a rock. It was about five inches through the center and I would guess it weighed about two or three pounds. With all his might he threw it at me, from a distance of about ten feet. I saw it coming but I didn’t try to dodge it.
It hit me on the inside of my left forearm, just below my elbow. Immediately my left knee gave way to it and I stumbled backward a few feet. It surprised me as to how powerful it was. I told him that Messiah Yeshua loved him. Cursing Messiah and me, he went to where the rock had fallen, picked it up and went back to his throwing position. One of the things that he was shouting at me was that I was crazy..
He threw the rock again. This time his aim was better and it hit me in the upper left arm by my shoulder. Going with the flow so to speak, I staggered backward again. I told him that I loved him and that Yeshua loved him and wanted to give him a new heart. He went to where the rock had fallen and picked it up again, cursing Yeshua and me, and went back to his throwing position.
People were gathering around, and encouraging him. There were two women in front of me to the right, and two other men in the street, one to my left and one to my right, along with some people looking on from a distance. I was in the middle of the street now.
With the rock held high above his head, he began to take a few steps toward me. In that mo-ment, I saw that he wanted to come over and bash my skull in. But he knew that I would not move to try and avoid him or defend myself. I half closed my eyes, not relishing what looked like a new experience in the Lord for me, and he stopped. He threw the rock again. It sailed past my left ear, missing it by about an inch. I did move my head to the right a little. If I hadn’t, it would have hit me.
Now the man to my right, began to come toward me. I didn’t turn to him but I could see him out of my peripheral vision. He grabbed hold of my beard and yanked me down the road a few feet, telling me, ‘Get out of here!’ I don’t think he did this because I was in danger but because he didn’t like the message either. He let go of my beard and I stopped being dragged. I turned to him and said that Yeshua really was the Messiah and that He wanted to give him a new heart also. As I spoke, I looked directly into his eyes, and he listened. When I stopped speaking, he turned his head away from me. He didn’t quite know what to do. I then turned around to see the rock thrower who was now to my right.
He had picked up a small iron pipe, maybe 14 inches long and an inch through the center. He motioned to me with the pipe raised over his head, like he was going to come and beat my brains in. Immediately, I raised my arms, with my palms up at ‘10 and 2:00 o’clock’ as if to say, ‘Come! I’m ready. I will not run from you and I will not fight you.’ It must have been the Holy Spirit as I didn’t ‘think’ to do that. Again he saw that I was ready to die. He didn’t come any further. I lowered my arms. He threw the pipe to the ground and both he and his wife came over to me, standing about an arm’s length away, shouting that my parents were dogs, that I was crazy and that Yeshua was illegitimate, etc.
I stood there and by the Grace of Yeshua, looking into his eyes all the time, allowed Yeshua to love him through me. They were done venting their anger. He was exhausted from the en-counter. As they left to go to their house, I quoted Isaiah 53:5 in Hebrew to them:
‘But He was pierced through, for our open rebellion. He was crushed, for our per-verse heart. On Him lies the punishment that brings us peace, and by His stripes, we are healed.’
I told them to read the rest of Isaiah 53, the golden chapter on the Suffering Servant of the Lord.
With him and his wife gone, I asked Yeshua if there was anything else that He would have me to do there. I looked around and I sensed there was nothing else for me. I saw my tzit-zit on the ground and picked it up, put it and the pin that had held it to the inside of my trousers, in my pocket and began walking back home. The pin was bent from being jerked off of my pants. The small cart with my food in it had not been touched.
I walked home. It was only about a hundred and twenty yards down the same road. I came into the house and said ‘Shalom’ to Ruti. She greeted me and was involved with preparing lunch. She was cutting vegetables on the kitchen counter, with her back to me. She didn’t notice. I put the oranges, etc., on the table and headed for the bathroom to wash the spit out of my beard, face and glasses. You won’t believe the tune that came into my head:
‘When you least expect it, you’re elected, it’s your lucky day! Smile! You’re on Candid Camera.’
I thought to myself, ‘Am I crazy altogether?! What am I doing humming that tune at a time like this?!’ And then the Holy Spirit showed me how appropriate it was. The whole Jewish community will hear about what transpired on Palmach Street. How one Jewish man hated another Jewish man with everything he had inside him. He spit on him, he cursed him, he cursed his parents, he threw rocks at him and threatened to murder him. And all that the other Jewish man did was love him in return. And oh yes, that other Jewish man believed that Ye-shua was the Messiah.
I went to sit on the bed and pray for him and the other people there. I asked the Lord to save him and to use the incident to win him and other people over to Him.
In prayer I also saw that I had offered him no resistance. I thanked the Lord Yeshua for that. Tears began to well up in my eyes. Not because I was hurt physically. I was only sore. Not because I was hurt emotionally. My soul was very much intact. I wept because the Lord had brought me to the place of being like Him. I was so thankful that the Lord was able to use me that way.
Ruti came over and asked if I was alright. I said I was. I shared with her what had happened and she wept. She was not angry with the man but she could see that it had taken a toll on me. I was grateful that she hadn’t been with me.(II)
I felt physically drained. It was as though I had been in a battle. I thought of Stephen and how he was actually stoned to death (Acts 7). And of Paul being stoned and left for dead (Acts 14:19). And then of Yeshua. How He had been mocked, His Back lashed open, the crown of thorns forced onto His Head and then pierced to the tree. How horrible that must have been for Him. He really loves us, to have gone through all that for us.
I also realized that it was only the Lord, that I hadn’t died. My head wasn’t crushed in with the rock or the pipe, and that the rock had missed my head. The Lord had stood between death and me that day.
The bruise on my forearm had broken the surface of the skin but there was no blood. Only tenderness to the touch, soreness and puffiness. I was wearing a short sleeve shirt. The bruise on my left upper arm by the shoulder was not noticeable, except for some puffiness because the shirt had taken the edge off the rock. It was sore and tender to the touch too. Both spots became ‘black and blue’ as they say, and then yellow and green as they slowly began to heal. It would take five weeks before the discoloration left.
I thanked the Lord that I didn’t have bitterness in my heart toward the man. I didn’t hate or despise him or hold him in contempt. I did struggle for a day though, with seeing him again. In confronting the anticipated fear of another episode with the rock thrower, one that might be worse physically for me, I began singing to the Lord.
As I sang, the Lord caused me to remember that those who have given their lives for Him will be the first to rise from the dead.(III) This made me glad and my fear began to subside. As I continued to sing and lift Him up, I realized that Yeshua would take care of the man. Yeshua would either allow him to throw more rocks or not. My fear was coming from a scenario that he would do it again and that the physical pain would be much worse for me. And I was still tender and sore from the day before. That pain was still with me. But then I felt from Yeshua that I could say, ‘I am not afraid of the (possible) pain to come.’ Yeshua was comforting me, strengthening me, and I could feel what I had just said. Now I believed I was ready for my next confrontation; with Shmuel or anyone else. What a Mighty God we serve!
I see that out of all the people that we have shared the Lord here with, the rock thrower, whom I have named Shmuel (Samuel, or Sam for short), is the one that the Holy Spirit can work on the most, because of what happened. Shmuel saw a Jewish man that says that he knows the Messiah of Israel. Shmuel hated me with everything that he had inside him. And what he got back was love, the Love of Yeshua, his Messiah.
On Friday, April 4th, Yeshua again strengthened me and gave me a great peace about a lin-gering fear that I had, of being stoned in the face. I wasn’t afraid now. And I felt a little later after that, that I was ready to meet Shmuel again, almost eager.(IV) I pray that Shmuel and many others will be convicted by the Holy Spirit and drawn to Yeshua. We covet your prayers for the Salvation of the Jewish People. And by the way, the town’s name, Mevaseret Zion, means, Proclaiming (Bringing) Good News to Zion! It’s found in Isaiah:
‘Get yourself up on a high mountain, you who brings Good News to Zion! Lift up your voice mightily, you who brings Good News to Jerusalem! Lift it up! Do not fear! Say to the cities of Judah, ‘Behold your God!’ (Is. 40:9)
I. The Rabbis, in order to make Yeshua as theologically unattractive to any Jew that might want to check out Yeshua’s claims to being the Messiah of Israel, have invented a number of slanderous stories about Yeshua. This is for the purpose of placing theological brick walls in front of the Jewish people in order to stop them from proceeding any further. The story of Him being illegitimate is one such lie. In Sanhedrin 106a, Yeshua’s mother is said to have been a whore that had sex with many men. Another version of this says that Mary was raped by a Roman soldier, and that’s how Yeshua came to be conceived. Of course, any Jew hear-ing this about the supposed Messiah would turn away in shock and disbelief. He could not believe that anyone from that kind of conception could be the Messiah of Israel.
II.This was one of the very few times that she wasn’t, for we usually go everywhere together. There were other times where rocks and bottles would be thrown at us but this would be the most dramatic time.
III. Rev. 20:4-6: ‘Then I saw thrones, and they sat on
them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had
their testimony of Yeshua and because of the Word of God, and those who had
not worshipped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their
and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with the Messiah for
a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand
completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who
has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power,
they will be priests of God and of the Messiah and will reign with Him for
a thousand years.’
IV. I never encountered Shmuel again. About two months after this, the Lord led us back to the States for a year and a half. We would return to Israel on Jan. 8th, 1999 and have been led to live in Jerusalem, Tiberias, Eilat and Ramat Gan.