July 18, 2021 Montreal
A team of three went to two parks in Jewish areas on the day of the Hebrew calendar when Jews commemorate and grieve the destruction of both the first and second Temples, Tisha b’Av (the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av). We encountered fewer people than usual, probably due to some staying at home during this time of reflection.
At the first park, we met a man in a wheelchair who was feeding the squirrels but who had dropped and lost his glasses. We brought them to him and learned he had already received our anti-Semitism pamphlet before but was not interested in pursuing any conversation. He was not the only one we met who had chosen to not respond to Messiah’s invitation yet.
Another woman we met identified herself as a Reconstructionist Jew, meaning she believes the Jewish faith is not based on the Scriptures as the Word of God, but rather an evolving cultural model of religious civilization. Their views are quite liberal. When we spoke to her about prophecy, she waved it off as only written by men. She had been to synagogue services that morning.
We gave some literature to a young Jewish man who was eating lunch with his non-Jewish girlfriend who said he’d read the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament, but had no religious beliefs of his own.
We also gave a gospel tract to a couple of Persian individuals who out for a walk.
Seeing very few other people in that park, we drove to a different one. We spoke to a group of three younger women, one of whom had seen members of our team in the past. One said she had “goose bumps” to realize the significance of what had happened on the ninth of Av. She and the others took literature from us before the rabbi’s wife showed up with her stroller, wearing only black. They said she was their teacher, so we continued on our stroll, not wanting to see a scene develop with her.
We met an elderly Jewish woman on a bench and spoke for a while. She said “Jews for Jesus” had been there before, so we jumped on the subject and asked her if she believed in a Messiah. She affirmed she did, so we gave her a bookmark on messianic prophecies to help identify Him. One Jewish team member whose grandfathers had practiced ritual sin transfer with chickens on the Day of Atonement (in Yiddish known as shlogen kapporahs) asked her if she knew about it. She readily said her mother had carefully raised and kept special chickens for this every year. It led to a discussion about the need for blood atonement today. She wished us well as she stood to continue her walk.
We spotted a mezuzah on a door at a house across the street from the park where a woman was sitting outside, so we went over to her. We spoke of the day the Jewish people were remembering, then her husband joined her. She said she had just been talking about the Messiah that very morning! So, we gave her a bookmark, too. It was the high point of the day, for sure!
The team gave out literature to around 15-17 people. This included two gospel tracts to non-Jews, and the rest to Jewish people.
Please pray for guidance as we write new literature and prepare special small gifts to accompany our outreach which we center around the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah, the traditional Jewish New Year). We also ask for the wisdom when to return to the doors of Jewish homes. As always, we thank you deeply for coming alongside us in prayer. In general, we try to go out on Thursdays and Sundays, but we have also done evangelism on other days. Shalom shalom!