Sid Roth, a Jewish businessman, ‘Is there more between heaven and earth?’
My name is Sid Roth, I am a Jew. Both of my parents were Jewish and I have Israeli and American citizenship. I attended a traditional synagogue where I was bar mitzvahed and like most American Jews, I found organised religion irrelevant to my life. I was proud of being Jewish, but bored with religion. “What happens when you die? Is there more between heaven and earth?” These were the questions that came into my life.
I want to be a rich Jewish businessman
To be honest, my god was money. My goal was to be a millionaire by age 30 and by 29 years old I had graduated college, got married, was the father of one daughter and was an account executive for Merrill Lynch. Although I had a wonderful life and career, I felt I was a failure because I was not a millionaire.
I did something I am not proud of. I left my wife, daughter and Merrill Lynch and went searching for happiness. My search led me to Eastern meditation, the New Age. During this search, I almost lost my mind. I found that life was too difficult. I asked myself the question, “Is there more between heaven and earth?”
My Jewish Bible
A Christian businessman challenged me that my Jewish Bible condemned my occult practices and told me that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah that my Orthodox Jewish upbringing had carefully hidden from me. I was stunned so I began to read the Jewish Scriptures for myself and I got the shock of my life. What he had said might well be true. No sooner had that thought formed in my mind than the New Age spirit guide that I had surrendered to began to curse me from inside that same mind! Previously, I thought I controlled this New Age spirit guide, but I now knew that was not true. I had a power, a strong power, and it was evil.
I went to sleep that night so full of fear that I wanted to die! In desperation I prayed, “Jesus, help!” I still did not know if Jesus was real, but I had nowhere else to turn. The next morning when I woke up, I knew immediately that the evil that had been inside of me was gone! Even my fear was gone! I knew it was that prayer I had prayed the night before! In place of fear and desperation, I had a tangible peace and feeling of love that I had never experienced before. I knew that Jesus was real. Not only did He reach down to save me and restore me to my right mind, but He also restored my marriage and gave me back my wonderful wife, Joy, and my precious daughter, Leigh.
My orthodox Jewish father
My father, who was an orthodox Jew, was very ashamed of the fact that I was a believer in Jesus. One day he said to me, “Tell me why your Jesus is the Messiah.” I pulled out my Bible and started reading from the 53d chapter of Isaiah. The minute I started, he said, “Stop! Show me the Bible you are reading from.” So I gave him my King James Bible. “Aha!” my father said, “That doesn’t count, that’s a Christian Bible.” So I promised him that I would read this part from a Jewish Bible. By the way, the Christian ‘Old Testament’ is the same as our Jewish Bible. So I went to my orthodox Jewish Rabbi that Bar Mitzvahed me and I said, “Rabbi, can I have a Tanakh” (approved Jewish Scriptures). To prove this Bible was really from the rabbi, I asked him to inscribe something in it for me, he did. So I went back to my father and I said, “Dad, I have a Tanakh from our rabbi and I will read something for you”.
Reading from the Tanakh
I read Isaiah 52:13 – 53:9 about the Servant of the Lord, Who will deal prudently and shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. As He was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; that He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities. That He was oppressed and afflicted and let Himself bring as a lamb to the slaughter, for the transgression of my people … until my father said, “Stop! You’re reading about Jesus.” So my orthodox Jewish father, who the last thing in the world would want to believe that Jesus was the Messiah, understood that Isaiah 53 was talking about Jesus. Then he said, “Stop, I don’t want to hear it anymore.”
My father was dying
A few years later he was dying. Before I visited him at the hospital, I experienced the same tangible peace and presence of God as on the morning after my first prayer to Jesus. When I went to see him, I didn’t say anything to my father but I carried the presence of God into the Intensive Care room. When I walked in, my sister was there, who is also a Jewish believer in the Messiah, and we said, “Dad, Mom said heaven must be a wonderful place. She knew the Messiah, would you like to know the Messiah too?” My father lost his voice. His whole body was shutting down, but then he said with an audible voice, “Yes.”