Biblical Prophecy Comes to Life
This past year has been one long series of events thrusting my life, and that of my family, into the limelight of biblical prophecies!
What am I talking about? Over the past year, four of our six children joined their older brother in entering into the covenant of marriage with the person of their choice. Nothing prophetic about that you say! True, but when put into the context of Israel and the “in-gathering of the exiles” prophesied in the Bible, my claim gains real merit.
When all these things befall you . . . and you take them to heart amidst the various nations to which the LORD your God has exiled you . . . then the LORD your God will . . . bring you together again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you. Even if your outcasts are at the ends of the world, from there the LORD your God will gather you, from there He will fetch you. And the LORD your God will bring you to the land that your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it . . .
Let’s start with the “roots” of my nuclear family. I’m a convert to Judaism with parents that derive their “ethnic” origins from the countries of Great Britain ( England, Scotland & Ireland ) and France. My mother is a second-generation Canadian with roots in Great Britain and my father a seventh (or eighth) generation French Canadian. Although the Torah is very explicit about my personal status as being equal in every way to any other Jew ( You shall have one standard for stranger and citizen alike: for I the LORD am your God. Leviticus 24:22) and the Talmudic Sages speak of the exile’s ultimate purpose as a means of gathering into the Jewish People the righteous of the nations, I’ll confine myself to the Jewish roots of our family.
- My wife’s family came to Israel via New York from Warsaw. Their journey started back in the 1890’s and is still in progress. Only one of her brothers and his children have joined us in Israel. The second brother family is in the process of doing so.
Grafted to this trunk, the following branches have been added to our family tree:
- Our first born son married a girl, the daughter of parents who immigrated to Israel from Libya! Talk about a merging of cultures and backgrounds!
- Our second son’s wife is the product of the marriage of the daughter of a family that came to Israel from Iraq and a father who’s family came from Germany, before the Holocaust.
- Our third child, a daughter, is married to a couple where the mother originates from Guatemala and the father’s family also came to Israel from Germany. Again before the war.
- The next in line, our second daughter, is married to a young man who’s mother is a seventh-generation Jerusalem and who’s father is the product of a marriage of Holocaust survivors from Germany.
- Finally, our fourth son is married to the daughter of an extended family that came to Israel from Georgia.
- Our sixth son has yet to marry, but it should be interesting to see how his choice will enrich the veritable united nations of Jews we call the Ben-Avraham Family.
Let me emphasize that the above represents the connections our children have made. It does not mention the choices their sisters and brother in laws, cousins or nephews or nieces have made that extend this network of international family roots even wider.
In short, every time I attend a wedding or participate in the celebration of a new child, I personally feel a sense of awe far beyond that of a proud father or uncle. Each and every one of my family’s personal milestones represents not just the realization of the people directly involved, the couple, the parents or the children. On a second far greater plane of reality, they represent the realization of countless Jews throughout history that believed that some day the prophecies of the Bible would come to pass. My children, by their very private and personal actions of marrying or giving birth to a child, simultaneously bring to fruition not just their personal aspirations, but the aspirations of the totality of the Jewish People throughout history.
How humbling and awe-inspiring is that!