'You've come home'

My dad was born in Russia. His family faced violence and persecution as Jews. To find a freer life, they came to America in the early 1900s.

When my dad was of age, World War II had started. He joined the army in gratitude to America for giving his family refuge. He was sent overseas and then discharged near the end of the war as a decorated but badly wounded hero. I was born a few years later. From the time I was a small child, it was made clear to me what my family endured in defending their religious freedom as Jews.

When I was eight years old, I met a little girl who was Catholic. The first Christmas that I knew her, she told me the story of Jesus, Mary, and the nativity. I don’t remember exactly what she said. But I do remember feeling an immediate love for Jesus. Later that evening, I asked my dad why our prayers didn’t involve Jesus like other people’s did. I remember clearly his gentle reply. He said that he was certain Jesus was a very good man, a very special man because they called him “Rabbi,” and a rabbi is a very special teacher. But, he said, our Jewish faith taught us that he is not really the Messiah. We were still waiting for the Messiah to come. 

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Love in lavender
April 2, 2012

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