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"How are we going to feed the children? What are we going to do? What can help us? In the next room in the kitchen, four year old Stanley Altaras could hear the cries of his father as he poured out his heart to his wife. Out of work meant no income to support his growing family.
A thought shot through Stanley's mind and stood to the forefront. "My daddy is in trouble. I know who can help him. I must tell him!"
Climbing down from his little chair he ran into the next room shouting with a child-like fervor, "Daddy! Daddy! I know who can help you! I know who can help you!" His parents wheeled around in surprise to see their brave little son with all the answers.
Not waiting for a response or reaction Stanley cried out, "Yes, Daddy, I know who can help you. Jesus can help you! Jesus can help you!"
Where did you learn that horrible name? Who taught you that name? We are Jews and we will have no other God besides Jehovah God, the God of our ancestors!" his daddy declared.
With the onslaught of verbal outrage, his father rushed into the kitchen, grabbed the wet bar of soap off the sink, and stormed back into the room in another face to face confrontation with his confused and frightened son.
"1 will teach you never to say that name again in this house! Do you hear me? You will never say that name again!" Tears appeared in the corners of Stanley's blood-shot eyes. Biting his lower lip and hanging his head the tears slowly streamed down his cheeks dropping to the floor. In his child-like faith, Stanley knew Jesus was standing right beside him and could sense His presence.
"But Jesus can help you; I know He can!" Stanley thought to himself, "Why can't they see you, too?" Then Stanley heard a still small voice speak to him, "Stanley listen to your father right now. Be of good courage. At a certain time in your life, I will bring you together with other people just like yourself who will understand who I am."
Almost supernaturally the tears flowing from his eyes dried up and were replaced with a sparkling gleam followed by an overwhelming peace in his little being. A huge smile stretched across his face from one end to the other. For the next 19 years, Stanley never again mentioned the name of Jesus in that house.
The reason for his dad's eccentric and unusual behavior at the mention of the name of Jesus Christ was due to his family's strict orthodox background rooted in the traditions of Judaism which has not recognized Jesus Christ as the Messiah but as another God besides the one they hold dear to their tradition. To compound Stanley's dilemma, he happened to be the grandson of the first ordained Sephardic Rabbi in Seattle who was the seventh generation of Rabbis in a row. Hopes were high that perhaps Stanley would follow in his ancestor's footsteps someday. For an orthodox Rabbi to believe in Jesus as the Messiah was out of the question!
In God's sovereignty, he allowed a beautiful Christian neighbor lady to lead Stanley into accepting Jesus as Savior when he was only four years old just a few weeks earlier prior to the mouth-washing incident. Stanley remembered the lady telling him Jesus would hear his prayers and help him. It was this he had tried to share with his desperate father.
With the stern warning never to mention the name of Jesus again and under the strict influence of his Jewish heritage, Stanley eventually began to stray from fellowship he so enjoyed with Jesus as a small boy. There seemed no alternative but to suppress this personal relationship as each year passed while growing up.
Swayed by the influence of his ancestors, Stanley finally decided to study to become a Rabbi and to follow in his grandfather's footsteps. In all his studies in his quest to come to know the God of the Jew, however, Stanley was distressed over one thing in particular which was completely missing in all his learning. How could he, re-establish that wonderful relationship and sweet fellowship with God he experienced and so enjoyed as a little boy?
He realized that in having to suppress his fellowship with Jesus over the years, he lost this wonderful communion with God he so relished as a four year old boy. At all costs he knew he had to find the way back.
Stanley began to cry out to God. "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; God of my fathers; God of my childhood, return to me that relationship I had with You as a child"
Things immediately started happening! Through a young lady in one of his classes, Stanley was invited to go to a meeting with some of her friends. Stanley had thought this young lady was Jewish but recognized that she radiated the same type of love as the neighbor lady who led him to Jesus Christ years earlier. He accepted her invitation.
Many thoughts ran through Stanley's mind as she led him into a large church....a Christian church! Once inside, however, Stanley had soon met other Jewish people who like himself had one thing in common.. .they had all found their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ! The Spirit of God came upon Stanley and those same words spoken by Jesus years earlier to a little four boy were again spoken to this now grown Jewish man, "Stanley, listen to your father right now. Be of good courage. At a certain time in your life I will bring you together with other people just like yourself who will understand who I am."
Years earlier those words caused a little boy's tears to dry up but now caused this grown man's eyes to become moist with joy and love for his faithful Messiah. Through a cracking voice of emotion Stanley looked upward and uttered, "Yes, Jesus, You are the Savior, the Messiah of Israel."