Jewish People Telling Their Stories
Testimony of Avraham Albert
I was born Avraham, son of Ze’ev and Dina in Montreal’s Jewish General Hospital. Our family lived in Chomedey, Quebec, one of Montreal’s large Jewish communities. A close knit community, filled with many Jewish stores and restaurants. You could walk anywhere in my area and enjoy the wonderful smell of fresh baked bagels and challah bread. The local bakery was definitely one of my favourite places to visit. When I was young, I remember going to Congregation Shomrim Laboker Synagogue on Plamondon Avenue with my Zadie and my father. This synagogue, once home to many Jewish people that had migrated from Eastern Europe is still standing to this day.
As life might have it my father’s textile business brought us from Montreal to Toronto. We settled in another Jewish community in the Bathurst and Steeles area. I went to local schools and was bar mitzvah at The Pride of Israel Synagogue. Our family was your typical conservative Jewish family, going to shul on some high holidays, observing the Passover to the best of our abilities. But, in my late teens, something changes, well at least in my father. Being a travelling salesman, he spent a lot of time in hotel rooms. So, one night he decided to pick up the Gideon bible in his bedside table and began to read. And read he did. Over time he read the whole Old Testament. When he got to the New Testament he hesitated. He told me that he actually felt nervous, afraid to read on. For years, he told me not to read this book, it was not for us, it was for them! How far from the truth that was! It IS for us and for everyone. Written by Jews, for Jews, about a man who was a Jew. My father, who is with the Lord now, began to read the New Testament and things in our lives began to change.
The scales were lifted from his eyes; he saw that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah! He believed! And one day, in a family meeting, my father opened his heart to tell us his discovery. He found a local Messianic Synagogue and started to go almost every Shabbat, my mom would attend with him sometimes, but after a little while my mother followed in my dad’s footsteps and gave her life to Jesus, the Jewish Messiah. Our family, including my two siblings started attending Synagogue and were quite involved but lacked a personal commitment. I still went on with my life, I had my own views and aspirations but there was no personal relationship with God, it was more a social thing for me. My parents grew spiritually. But, with me there was no growth. I noticed that our relatives treated us different. We were left out of family gatherings, not invited to weddings and other social events because of my parent’s belief in Jesus. Relatives would often come to Toronto from Montreal but not bother to visit us. So the families grew apart.
Life takes its course as it always does, and after a failed first marriage, I concentrated on being a good person, a hard worker and a loving father to my two boys. Something was still missing in my life. I was unfulfilled, so in my early 40’s, I resumed reading my bible, I was in and out of different congregations. But I knew that God was in my sights, or rather, I in His. I was never a person that studied or a scholar by any means, but I found myself reading more literature on prophecy, reading about prophetic scriptures in the Old Testament that point towards the coming of the Messiah.
So one day, the exact date I can’t remember, I have never been good with remembering dates, I went on my knees by my bedside, in my little apartment above one of Toronto’s busiest Kosher grocery stores, I gave my life to Yeshua. I could feel God’s presence and His love. Tears were in my eyes and I confessed that I was a sinner and I thanked Jesus for saving me, for all He did for me. That He took upon Himself all the sins of the world including my sins and died a horrible death so that I might be made white as snow, that there could be hope in my life.
Simply, my life changed, I saw things through new eyes, my goals changed, I wanted to be the best person I could be. I wanted to please God. I
continued to read and pray that God would show me His will in my life. I began to look for a place to attend on Shabbat, I found a place and I met my beautiful wife and her lovely daughter. Together we pray and read God’s word. We put God first in our lives. We continue to follow God’s appointed feasts. We have believing friends that have the same love for God as us. Believing in Yeshua, actually makes me feel more Jewish than I have ever felt before. I’m a Jew born anew. A fulfilled Jew. You see, Yeshua IS the fulfillment of the Jewish Scriptures, He is the long awaited Messiah!
My life since believing in Jesus has been far from perfect, just as it was before, but now I have the blessings of Messiah, I’m part of God’s family, Jesus makes me whole. I bring all my cares and place them at his feet. He knows my thoughts; He knows just what I need. He will never leave me nor forsake me. God is there with us, He was in the Lion’s Den with Daniel, and he was in the fiery furnace with three Jewish youths who refuse to bow down to the image of gold. His grace and His call for salvation is for all walks of life.
The greatest decision I have ever made was to surrender my life to Yeshua the Messiah. And, so can you!