I am Jewish, 91 years of age, and am a believer in the God of Israel—in any form in which He may choose to manifest Himself in Holy Scripture.

By Dov Chaikin |
THE WAY IT WAS: Jerusalem around 1900 with the Temple Mount seen center Photo: Wikimedia Commons

That ought not, really, be a surprise, considering that I was raised in a God-fearing environment. And yet, it was not until 40 years ago that I embarked on a journey that has inexorably been leading me to an ever closer relationship with the One in whom I believe. In retrospect, though, I firmly believe that the seed which then germinated was originally planted in that God-fearing environment in which I grew up.


I place the start of the story in the Ukrainian town of Gorodishche, in the oblast (district) of Kiev, the capital. It was from there, in 1881, that a youth of 13 from a Hassidic family made his way to what was then known as Palestine, to study in a yeshiva (Jewish religious seminary). In those days (still now?) it was customary for an Orthodox Ashkenazi family of some means to seek a brilliant student for their daughter, with the idea that the young couple would be supported by her parents.

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