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it womld leave my body and travel. I'had learned the dark art o~. My God!'How had anyone been abie to standmeg. Why hadn't
longer felt I had control to stop it. I could not somebody killed'me tong before now? I didn't like the sudden
sleeP. I was te.rri,fied that,my sleeping body would be found an~l I blinding revelation that showed me to myself, the revelation
would be buried.alive!. I put a Bible under my pillow and a mezuzah that I, who Ila4 always th~ugllt I was so wonderful, was a .total
around my.neck, and called my estranged wife, Joy: "Pray for.me
," washout z;s a person. It sickened, it hurt~ I wanted te dehy it, but
I p!eaded. ?ray like you've neverprayed before! Prayto your God i try as I .migHt, I. couldn't think of erie justification for my li\[e.
for me! Please ask Him to help me!." Then I let the phone.fall from There:wasn't a single good,, decent quality In me. Why was God
my hand, weeping in agony of despa'\[r. letting me live? .. , '
Lying in bed, rigid with terror, I cried out, "0 God of Abraham, Isaac ' I" drove aimlessly around the city for
and Jacob, whoever You are, if You're listening, please, please help ..~..~.~.. hours, going through the
mer' It wasn't much of a prayer, but it came from a broken, empty ~='~' mechanical motions of
man. ' , stopping for traffic sig-
~"~i~ ,, nals, changing lanes, IN THE BEqlNNINq
b t '' thinking... As I con- My father, a very religious man, was born in Poland. If you have " sidered the life I'd
seen the movie "Fiddler on the Roof," and heard the song lived, the evil seemed
"Traditionr' you know my father. A story my father liked to tell was • to swell larger and
about how he and my grandfather would go walking in the woods in , larger, until I feared I
Poland, and when they passed by a church, they would burst with it. But
would spit. Why? Because he would identify why had I been like that? Was there any hope for me? I consid-
Christians with those that have murdered, ered crashing into oncoming cars to end the awfulness, but I
raped and pillaged Jewish people for thou- was afraid - afraid of death and where I'd spend eternity.
sands of years. I was turned off by my
father's religiosity. Fortunately, my mother ;~- Unexplainably, I found myself stopping at a bookstore. The first
was born in America, and although her par- ~-~:: book that hit my eye was a book about Jews who had become
ents came from a traditional Jewish back- involved with the supernatural. With beads of sweat popping
ground also, they were quite out on my forehead, I began to read... The author wrote that
Americanized. So, we attended a tradi- every Jew, whether he knows it or not, has a covenant relation-
tional synagogue, but didn't keep a tradi- ship with God, that is why it is a grievous thing for Jewish peo-
tionally kosher home - we just didn't eat ple to become involved with the occult. Was it too late for me?
pork products. I remember the first time I ate Was I doomed?
a ham sandwich, I thought I was going to die! ~ ii
I went on to read about prominent Jews that had lost their lives Judaism did not help me, when as a child I ~,. ~ ,~
because they had dabbled in the occult, such as Brian Epstein, had persistent thoughts and questions about
manager of the Beatles. Brian was a multi-millionaire at thirty, death. I decided I wanted to exist forever, as I
Jewish, and had dabbled in the occult. He died of a drug overdose. couldn't abide the thought of the world going on
I shuddered, thinking how close I had come to following in his foot- without me. My mother was the epitome of . .~
steps exactly. 0 God, help me! I needed to get in touch with God indulgence, and I was the temper-tantrum child.
and tell Him how sorry I was for everything, but I didn't know how. I got what I wanted when I wanted it, and knew
no consequences for wrongs done. This pretty much set the tone for I crawled into bed that night, consumed with fear. Fear had been
my life. I would find a way to get whatever I wanted, whether it was steadily building to this crescendo. I had become terrifyingly aware
by lying, cheating, or eventually, tapping into the powers of dark- of the presence of evil that I had become involved with through
Bess. seeking and using supernatural powers. When I fell asleep, my spir-
jANUARY/FEBRUARY 2004 JEWISH VOICE TODAY PAGE 8
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