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Leave Me Alone—I’m Jewish! Sneak Peak!


I remember the night well. We were having a special, student-faculty dinner at a Bible college on Long Island where I served as Academic Dean. For the fun of it, the students were asked to bring in baby pictures of themselves, and we would all have to match the picture with the student. It was next to impossible! People change a lot in twenty years, especially from infancy to adulthood. But there was one picture that fooled no one: We all recognized Ron Cantor! He stood out, even as a baby. The infectious smile was there. The boundless enthusiasm was there. Even that mischievous twinkle in his eye was there. It seems like Ron was always special!

Out of the many students I have had through the years, only a few of them have become spiritual sons and daughters to me, and Ron was one of them. I love him like a son, and I am proud of him beyond words. He has been called by God to be a world-changer, and I believe, with God’s help, he will fulfill his divinely appointed mission. You are about to get a glimpse into this young man’s heart—a heart ablaze with love for God, love for Jesus the Messiah, and love for his Jewish people.

But don’t worry about a heavy, boring read. You will enjoy every page that follows, and if you are Jewish, especially an American Jew, you will relate to many of the people, places, and events. The names may be different, but his grandparents, parents, and sister, could be your grandparents, parents, and siblings. And many of the struggles he went through will resemble the struggles of your past—or even present. I think immediately of Ron in his teen years, falling into sin and living a reckless and worthless life.

Yet even as a sinner, he was a Jewish sinner, and so one night, after having too much to drink at a party, it was his mom that he called, asking her to pick him up and bring him home. (Can you imagine this?) And he was a sinner with a sensitive conscience, stealing things as a boy, only to become guilt ridden and confess. He was a conniver too, making a way where there was no way, using his gifts, his charm, his personality to open doors that by all rights should have been closed  – until God brought him to the end of himself. And then he met the Messiah!

It was the shock of Ron’s life to learn that his Messiah was Jesus! In Ron’s eyes, this Jesus had been the leader of an alien religion, a god worshiped by the Gentiles, a religious figure followed by the goyim. How could Jesus (Yeshua) be the Savior of the Jewish people and the hope of the world? Ron’s life was literally turned upside down (really, right side up). And he has never been the same!

When confronted by the probing questions of Orthodox rabbis, Ron sought the God of his fathers more earnestly than ever—studying, praying, seeking truth. And the more he sought God and asked questions, and studied and prayed, the stronger his faith became. It is because his faith was founded on the truth!

And so Ron Cantor, together with his wonderful Israeli wife Elana and their three beautiful—and very smart!—daughters, has given his entire life to making the Messiah of Israel known, first to his own Jewish people, and then to the world. I have watched him cry out in desperate prayer, asking that God would use him to the full. I have seen him labor with zeal and perseverance, determined to overcome every obstacle and share his faith with all who will listen. And I have wept with him as we have agonized over our own kinsman after the flesh—our people Israel, our families, our childhood friends—who do not yet know the infinite love of God expressed through Yeshua our Savior and King.

Moved by divine love, Ron and Elana have given up the comforts of America and left friends and family behind to pour themselves out for Jewish men and women in the Ukraine, in Hungary, and for the past decade, Israel. And it was out of love that Ron wrote this book. May that divine love touch you and transform you, just as it has transformed Ron, just as it has transformed me, and just as it has transformed millions of others around the world who have put their trust in the living God.

I pray that as you read this book you too will come to know Ron Cantor’s Lord in the same intimate and passionate way that Ron knows Him. The Messiah’s yoke is easy and His burden light. Would you open your heart to Him today?

Dr. Michael L. Brown

Host, Line of Fire nationally syndicated radio show

Author, Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, Volumes I-V.

Chapter One

Driving to my Hebrew class at the Jewish Community Center in Rockville, Maryland one warm April evening, I sensed the Lord say, “Son, you have been ashamed of Me in your Hebrew class.”

“No, Lord! I am not ashamed of You,” I protested vehemently.  I knew it was silly to argue with the Almighty, but I truly didn’t understand.  I had always been up front and forthright about my relationship with Yeshua (Jesus). Nobody could ever have accused me of being embarrassed or ashamed of Him.

“Then why do you keep avoiding the subject of your faith?” I sensed Him reply.

Ouch!  He was right.  Whenever I got into conversations with my classmates, I would steer the conversation clear of religion.  I guess I had become a little tired of being stereotyped as a brainwashed-fanatic by my Jewish friends and family.  I loved my people and my culture and truly wanted them to understand why I believed in Yeshua, but the rejection had begun to wear on me.

Nevertheless, above all, I wanted to please Yeshua.  I told the Lord that He was right and I was sorry, and that I wouldn’t be ashamed of Him in class anymore.  At that moment, I had no idea what He had in store for me that evening.

Upon my arrival at class I made a point of putting my Jewish Prophecy Edition New Covenant right on top of my books for everyone to see.  About midway through the class, my teacher caught sight of the Hebrew title.

“Shelcha?” she asked, which means, “Yours?”

“Ken, Sheli!” I responded, “Yes, it’s mine!”

Clearly confused, she continued to teach.

Not long after that she decided to teach us a new word: machur, which means addicted to or sold out to.  Then it came time for each student to use machur in a sentence.

No way! I thought. I am not going to do it. You set me up, Lord! That’s asking too much. If I’d been the first person called upon to use the word in a sentence, I would definitely have chickened out, but because I was sitting in the last seat of a semi-circle there was plenty of time for me to really think about my response. In the end, I thought, What do I have to lose? Who do I really want to please—this class or God?  Finally, it was my turn.

“Ani machur l’Yeshua!”  I AM SOLD OUT TO YESHUA!

The class was stunned! They broke into a corporate uproar.  ‘Are you for real?’ ‘Is that the truth?!’  Suddenly, questions started flying my way: “If Jesus is the Messiah then…?”  One woman ran out to the car to get a Bible.  I showed them prophecies concerning the Messiah and fielded a string of questions from the class.

Finally, a frustrated student, who had actually come to class to study Hebrew, shouted, “Can we PLEASE stop talking about religion, and get back to Hebrew?” And we did.

Now you may be wondering, “Oy vey —why in the world is a young Jewish man addicted, or sold out, to Yeshua?”  For me to fully answer that, we need to go back to 1983.

North Carolina, 1983

I have got to know the truth; I have got to understand; How can I find out?  These were the thoughts running through my mind that dark October night in North Carolina, somewhere between Durham and Louisburg—in other words—in the middle of nowhere.  There I was, eighteen years old, in college, and on my way back from a movie with my friend, Dean.  Nothing unusual in that, except for the fact that the movie we’d just seen was about Jesus—and I am Jewish!  For months, I had been longing to understand the eternal.  Just what lies beyond this life, beyond humanity?  As I was about to enter adulthood, I wanted to know if God was real, and if so, what He required of me, personally.  My search was about to come to an abrupt end, as I sat in the passenger’s seat of that yellow Dodge Colt with all these thoughts going through my mind.

God, I believe You are real.  I didn’t believe this nine months ago but I do now.  You must show me the truth. I’ve got to know… Is Jesus the Messiah?

After many months of wondering, I had finally come to the conclusion that the God of Abraham was real. Yet, I could not find a relationship with God in traditional Judaism.  Even fasting on Yom Kippur didn’t seem to bring me any closer.

I wanted more than a religion.  I wanted God—I wanted to know Him.  My best friend, Bryan, had had a radical transformation in his life midway through our senior year of High School and claimed to know God.  Even my rabbi didn’t claim to know God—in fact, a conversation years later left me thinking He didn’t even believe in God—yet a redhead of no consequence from Richmond, Virginia, exuded a relationship with the Almighty that I had never seen in anyone before. And he claimed it was through Jesus the Messiah!  Hence my prayer, Is Jesus the Messiah?

Although within me there was a deep desire to know God, it was more the fear of a lost eternity that drove me to this prayer: I’ve got to know the truth!  If Heaven was real, then more than likely, Hell was too.  Therefore, I couldn’t continue to simply live my life to have fun as if there was no Day of Judgment and no one to answer to in the afterlife.  Furthermore, if Heaven was real, I definitely wanted to end up there! I had to know the truth.

People spend a good portion of their lives preparing for a relatively short period of time, in the light of eternity, called retirement. Of course, I am not against that. However, if we are prepared to expend so much energy and forethought on our retirement, should we not invest at least as much effort in preparing ourselves for eternity? Do we not owe it to ourselves to find out:

  1. If there is a God?

  2. And if so, what is He like?

  3. Is there a Heaven… or Hell?