Source: ASSIST News Service, July 10, 2014
“Dancing together with Arabs? Laughing together with them? These are the people I hated my whole life,” says Chava, a Messianic Jewish girl who grew up in an Orthodox Jewish family in Israel.
According to Israel Today, Chava was part of a three-day gathering where she met with an estimated 1,000 Messianic Jewish and Arab Christian youth and young adults in Haifa.
At a time when murderous kidnappings, violent riots and a developing war in Gaza are bringing racial tensions to boiling point, these young Messianic Jews and Arab Christians arrived at the conference still reeling with all the raw emotions of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
For Chava, who grew up in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish ghetto, it was the first time to be in such close quarters with Arabs.
“I used to walk with my family to the Wailing Wall and pray that bad things would happen to the Arabs,” she recalled.
“We have this view that Arabs are bad people. But when I saw them praying to God, and heard them worshipping in Hebrew and then in Arabic, God touched my heart. These are the lost brothers and sisters I have been looking for all my life,” she said.
“As I washed the feet of my Arab sister, I was able to ask forgiveness for the way my family, and my people, look at them (Arabs),” Chava said.
“To hear her say that she forgives me and loves me was so healing. It was the love from Yeshua, nothing else. I never had an Arab friend.”
» Readers might be interested in Mosul Exodus: Three Faith Groups, One Story (Institute on War and Peace Reporting).