To fully understand the hatred that most of this world has for the Jew – you really would have to be a Jew.
My last name was Rosenberg, so for all practical purposes, I could have had a Star of David on my forehead. As I got older, let’s say beginning in the 3rd grade, I remember kids laughing and making nasty comments about my being Jewish. I’m sure that they learned this in their homes.
Kike…..Dirty Jew……Penny pinching Jew……Christ killer – it never stopped. My dad would say that we Jews were the world’s scapegoats. He would also say that the Gentiles were jealous of Jews because of the wealth of many of us. All I knew was that we were hated. And it felt awful.
I didn’t know what to think. I knew was that most people hated who I was. As I grew older, I was very athletic. I played Q-back on an all boys team in our neighborhood. I was pretty good, so most of the boys would set ground rules – no calling me bad names about being Jewish. But there was always one who would do it anyway.
I remember warning that one child; I told him that if he called me dirty Jew again, I would whoop his butt. Invariably he would call me a derogatory name. I whooped his butt and he ran home to tell his mommy that “the Jew girl beat me up.” Then I would have to endure the names from the mother. She would tell her son “Don’t play with that Jew.” This was never ending.
The Holocaust movie
When I was a sophomore, I had a history teacher who planned to show a Holocaust film. It was graphic – showing the piles of dead bodies of emaciated Jews. As tears came to my eyes, I could hear a couple of boys in the back of the class laughing. Sadness and anger filled me. I wanted to lash out at them. But instead I just left the class and waited in the hall. It felt like a nightmare.
My parents looked for a country club for us to join. Almost all of these clubs were “restricted” – no Jews and no Blacks. Finally we found a club that was nearly all Jewish. Gentiles were of course allowed, but they didn’t want to swim with Jews.
I joined the swim team and began to swim competitively. We swam against other clubs – yes – the restricted clubs allowed us to swim against them. I remember feeling a special kind of happy when I would beat their best back stroker. That was my stroke.
At the end of the summer, there would be a championship competition. It was always held at the the most notorious “Jew hating” country club in our county. They placed our team at the very back – closest to the entrance. We were not supposed to go into their dining hall. We had team jackets and everyone knew who we were.
I didn’t care – I walked right in and ordered lunch. I kept an keen eye on the person making the sandwich. The thought that this person dropping something into my sandwich that could harm me was not so farfetched. My teammates thought I was nuts. I felt brave.
We were pardoned by the Ecumenical Council for Killing Christ
One Sunday during Sunday school in my synagogue, we were told that the Ecumenical Council pardoned us for the killing of Jesus Christ. This made absolutely no sense to me. I had not read the New Testament. However, I was intrigued by this man, Jesus, who changed history and even our calendars.
That began my quest for truth. I wanted to know who Jesus really was and why so many people loved Him. It intrigued me when I found out that He was a Jew! I was confused but felt compelled to keep searching for truth. We were not allowed to talk about Jesus in the synagogue. The only thing they did tell us was that the friends of Jesus had stolen His body from the tomb, and made everyone think that he had risen from the dead.
Honestly, I found that very hard to believe for a number of reasons. The main reason I didn’t buy that was that this “religion” centered around Jesus Christ was HUGE. I began to read how Christians were thrown to the lions for the entertainment of the Romans. These people had walked and talked with Jesus, and they saw him be crucified. There was no way that so many people would be devoted to Christ if this had been a sham. NO WAY on earth. I began to think that Jesus had really risen from the dead.
But I still searched for truth. I had to know the truth. In my mind I thought that perhaps Catholics were the holiest people. I laugh when I think back to that now. But when I was a young woman, I began to see a priest for Catholic instruction. That never worked out and I stopped seeing him.
The Lowest Point in my Life
After a terrible tragedy in my family – a woman to whom I was very close had committed suicide – I met a Christian couple who were so compassionate. They were different somehow and I loved being around them.
On the night of the funeral, this couple led me to Christ. That was the best day of my entire life. Jesus had led me to Him after years of searching for truth.
After all, He IS truth!
I was able to lead my dad to the Lord before he died. I pray that the Lord will help me in sharing truth with other people in my family. My sister is spending Christmas with us this year. I have been asking the Lord that she will see the love of Christ in me – and that she will want what I have.