Wherever I Stand, I Stand With Israel
By Uta Hentsch
For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.
I first started writing about my relationship with Israel on the occasion of my 60th birthday. Later, I have expanded my report for the local section of our daily newspaper, published in May 2004, under the title "The land never, ever leaves me".
My report is, by no means intended as a comment or evaluation, relevant to the current political situation, but a testimony, based on the foundations of my beliefs and the word of G-d, as well as my personal experiences.
Born in Berlin, January 17th 1939, I was raised, with my older sister, by religious parents. During my training as a classical dancer, I neglected all my religious obligations, except for the occasional attending of Church services and the evening prayers, which I kept up for as long as I can remember. My career at the theatre lasted for 18 years, and after further education in 1974, I became a physiotherapist. I met my second husband, who was a patient of mine, during the summer of 1978. The small village of Wessingen, in the region of Bisingen, became my new home. In June 1981, I became a college lecturer of physiotherapy and taught two subjects with great joy for the next 18 years.
At my confirmation in 1953, I was presented with a Bible verse to accompany me through the rest of my life:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all ways acknowledge HIM, and He shall direct you paths.
For over 36 years, my life was not based on this. Unfortunately, I made my major decisions with my small, limited brain.
In October 1977, I visited Auschwitz. For a long time I remained speechless. But since that time, Israel took an important part of my thoughts.
In October 1989, following a speech that I heard during a meeting of the "International Association of Christian Businessmen", I attended a faith seminar at Bad-Liebenzell in the Black Forest. Consequently, I returned to my living faith in Jesus Christ. During the seminar, I was given Proverbs 3, 5-6 to accompany me, although I didn't remember receiving the same verse during my youth. From then on, this text became an important part of my life.
After my return to the faith, I read the entire Bible, for the first time in my life. I was astounded by the words in the letter of Paulus to the Romans, chapter 9-11. G-d's statement to the Israelites seemed to be totally fulfilled in Israel's current situation, as well as in my own return to the roots of my faith. During the following years, I became more aware of the truth in the word of G-d and His relationship with the people of His choosing, the Israelites and the other nations. Through repeated readings of the Bible, many discussions with other believers, and various seminars, my views became clearer and stronger. As a devout Christian, I am forever bound to the people that He chose thousands of years ago, because the faith in G-d's Holy Plan for Israel and humankind, does not leave me any other alternative. Many of the prophecies have already become reality and are still being fulfilled in our days, in front of our very eyes.
In April 1993, my wish, which had been growing for three years, was granted in a miraculous way! I was on my way to Israel for the first time. In October 1992, I planned to join a tour of Israel, organised by our local clergyman. At that time, my late husband was to undergo his third coronary surgery. It was obvious that I could not travel abroad, since my husband was scheduled to return from hospital at the same time. It was my natural priority to stay home. Yet, as the saying goes, Man thinks and G-d directs!
Amazingly, my husband's treatment was rescheduled only two weeks before the journey to Israel and he urged me to join the group. Moreover, the place that I cancelled was the only one that was still available. This was the first miracle that happened to me, but not the last!
On Friday, May 7th 1993, around 2:00 PM, I was stuck in Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter with an extremely painful foot. A security man approached me and offered his help. To my utter surprise, he asked me to take a seat, and started massaging my feet with plain drinking water, almost kneeling in front of me. To this day, I am still overwhelmed whenever I think of this impressive and soothing "labour of love", offered to me, a German, by a Jewish security man named David.
My husband passed away in 1994. Later, a brother of our congregation introduced me to the motherhouse of "ZEDAKAH-Israel" at Maisenbach. Every 1st of May, there is a large "Israel-Day" meeting, attended by about 2,000 friends of Israel, who celebrate with prayers and news from Israel.
In 1996 I started thinking of going to Jerusalem for the third millennium celebrations. But how? On 7th January, the answers virtually landed in my lap. Ludwig Schneider, a journalist for "News From Israel", gave a speech in my congregation in Balingen and handed out leaflets that offered a journey to Israel. However, the timing coincided with my duties at our physiotherapy college. But the Almighty heard my prayers and my colleagues rescheduled the examinations, so that I could take the journey!
The group consisted of about 330 members, divided between seven busses, each one carrying a number, as well as a Hebrew name. Only recently I have discovered that the bus I was on was named "Ariel", which is the name of the capital of Samaria and is especially close to my heart.
On Wednesday, July 24th 1996, we visited an old age home in Motza, where I met Dov A. Originally from Leipzig, 82 years old Dov came to Israel in 1935. Talking with him for over an hour, he reminded me in many ways of my own father. As we were just about to leave, Dov handed me a book and said: "It would be nice of you to read it, to better understanding us." We embraced each other like father and daughter and cried together. The book was a Talmud, translated by Reinhard Mayer, whom I met a year later in Maisenbach. Dov was the second Jew who met me, a German, with kindness.
Bisingen, Zollernalbkreis, Schwaebische Alb, Germany, September 2004
Translated from German by Yohanan Grossman, Accredited Interpreter, Berlin, Germany
Read about Hechingen: Where Dreams Come True
Read about Jewish Life at Haigerloch:
Read about the Christian Declaration of Berlin, 11/September/2004.
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