Bernie Tosdevin, ‘I am Jewish, I don’t study the New Testament’
I was born in Melbourne, Australia to Holocaust surviving parents and raised in a traditional Jewish home. As were Jewish, we wanted nothing to do with the New Testament. My parents sent me to Jewish schools, one of which was very Orthodox. My least favorite subjects were all the Hebrew subjects except the Prophets.
I married out of the faith to Andrew, who is Church of England, but has always allowed me to rule the roost in terms of the religious tone in our household. Blessed with two girls, we raised them with Jewish traditions, attending a reform school in New Jersey and then in Texas.
I’m Jewish, I don’t study the New Testament
I felt disconnected from God in my life and so I decided to pray to Him to reveal Himself to me. What came from this prayer was incredible. All of a sudden all my Christian friends started inviting me to their Bible study groups. My answer would always be the same “I’m Jewish, I don’t study the New Testament,” to which their response would be, “But we are studying the Old Testament right now, actually the Book of Esther, or Psalms.” I was shocked to hear this, yet I still politely declined.
In that same year I was invited to meet a lady from Jews for Jesus and to attend her Jesus in the Passover presentation. I declined to attend the presentation but agreed to meet her for coffee. I was very skeptical. My thought was that she would be some crazy lunatic. I found this to be not the case. We hit it off immediately and, more importantly, we talked about our backgrounds and that was when she showed me Isaiah 53, which I was surprised not remembering since I loved reading the Prophets in school. I remember her last comment to me, “I have never felt more Jewish since accepting Yeshua in to my life”. These words stuck with me. I continued to pray in the quiet corners of my house.
I gave my heart
A year later I was invited to attend a Passover Seder at a little Church that one of my friends attended. I was intrigued to find out why on earth Christians would want to have a Seder so I went. It was a very little Church in the middle of nowhere. I walked in and the first thing I saw was the Star of David and the words, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and all your might.” The words of the Shema Yisrael were in this little Church in the middle of Blanco, Texas. The Rabbi conducting the Seder was a Rabbi I could identify with (the beard and all!!) yet he kept talking about Yeshua!!! The Holy Spirit was pounding on my heart that day and with chills I surrendered my heart to God and His Son. I now walk in a new faith and pray that my people will come to know the truth about our God and the most amazing Jew that ever walked this earth, our Messiah and Saviour, Jesus Christ.