Isaiah 49 says, “You are My servant, O Israel. You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth” (vv. 3, 6). Many Hasidic Jews believe they are the servants of God, chosen by Him to spread His salvation to the ends of the earth. Wearing their long beards, payot (curled side locks), black hats, and black clothing, they go to people and introduce themselves as prophets of God.
Unfortunately, they convince many that the Hasidic path is the right path to God. In reality, they do great harm because they are leading people far away from the God of Israel.
Recently, I ran into one of my neighbors who had received some of their literature. She told me she was honored to have met a prophet and that he gave her something special.
“What did he give you?” I asked. She then showed me brochures and rabbinical books. Since I have helped her and her family many times with household repairs and electricity problems, she felt comfortable asking me about the literature.
“People can write all they want to confuse you,” I said. “But what people write is not important. What God has written—that is what matters.”
I held up my Bible. “Which book is more important?” I asked. “The Holy Bible, which was written by the Holy Spirit of God, or those brochures, which were written by false prophets?”
Which book is more important? The Holy Bible, which was written by the Holy Spirit of God, or those brochures, which were written by false prophets?I told her the prophet Jeremiah warned the Jewish people about false prophets:
I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, “I have dreamed, I have dreamed!” How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal (Jer. 23:25–27).
I told her I could see the men had already influenced her. “They have deceived you into thinking you are on your way to heaven. But as it is written in Proverbs 25:15, ‘A gentle tongue breaks a bone.’ They speak nice words to you and make you believe you have been cleansed from your sins. But that is not the truth.”
“You must put your trust in the Lord,” I said, “not in false prophets. In Psalm 118:8 it is written, ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.’”
“But you are also a man,” she replied.
“Yes,” I answered. “But I have not come to you with fictitious stories. I have come to you with the Holy Bible and have told you to read the Bible, not books written by men. And I have not told you to trust me but to place your trust in the Lord.”
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I told her even rabbis make mistakes. Some make their followers pay for prayers. I witnessed this recently at a service when the rabbis offered a benediction for the protection of the people at the service. When they finished praying, they asked for payment; and the people obliged.
After the service, I spoke with the rabbis, showing them the truth from the Holy Scriptures. By the end of our discussion, they were thankful and joyful. They had seen their error. Their response, I told her, was evidence that even people who are deeply steeped in the tradition of false teaching can see the light.
Isaiah 9:2 says, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” We are obligated to reach such people with the gospel so they may be saved.
—The Friends of Israel Archives, 2005
Zvi Kalisher (1928–2014) was a Holocaust survivor who was known for his unswerving faithfulness to the Lord and his bold witness in Jerusalem. He was with The Friends of Israel for more than 55 years.