Volumne 15 Number 4
From the Promised Land
To the Promised One.
The Testimony of Mitchell Harris Rubin
I guess the story starts where a lot of my generation calls home; the
Holy Land, Brooklyn, N.Y. After spending the first year of my life living
over a paint store my parents decided to make Aliyah to the new promised
land, Queens. It was there in the predominately Jewish community of Howard
Beach, that I spent my childhood and teenage years. I attended synagogue
and Hebrew school like most good Jewish kids. Being the product of a broken
home, I also learned early on what it meant to be independent and self-sufficient.
As the years went on though, these qualities would turn into bitterness
and rebellion, causing me to draw farther and farther away from “normal”
society. One of the bright spots of my life was my love for music; playing
the drums and dreams of being a rock star gave me the impetus to keep
going on. Playing in the rock clubs of Long Island gave me the adrenaline
rush I craved, but it also introduced me to the destructive elements of
the world. It was after I moved back from Hollywood to N.Y. and gave up
my dream of “making it” in the music world that life’s darker side began
to eat away at my soul. Without my dream to live for, life really didn’t
seem to have much meaning. It was only a lifelong desire to truly find
the meaning of life that pushed me into another day, hoping somehow one-day
things would change.
While living in California again, I began reading a Bible that a fellow
chef had given to me in his attempts to show me that his faith in Yeshua
(he called him Jesus) was for me as well. “You’re Jewish, read Hebrews!”
he would tell me. So I started reading, alone in my studio apartment,
wondering how anything that took place so long ago could have any meaning
in my life in the here and now. Oddly enough, I had always had a strange
fascination with this man from Nazareth. Being born on “Good Friday”,
I always felt a strange connection to him as I was growing up. How could
I have known that my “birth” could only have meaning because of His death
(and resurrection!) With the small spark of hope that was still burning
in me, I decided to move back to New York to start over. I remember telling
myself that anyone who could perform miracles could do something as easy
as getting me back home. I packed up my car and headed out with $174.00
and a three-pound box of Oreo cookies. I had decided not to call my family
until I made it safely back in order to insure that it was really a trip
of “faith”. No one on earth knew where I was, or where I was going. As
I was to soon find out, that was exactly where G-d wanted me; alone with
no one else to turn to or depend upon.
After running out of money somewhere in Pennsylvania, I proceeded to
drive into the biggest blizzard in the history of the Northeast. Out of
gas, my car stalled out on the highway with blinding snow being whipped
at me from all directions. As the snow started piling up around my car,
fear gripped me like it never had before. Everyone who had any sense was
already safely home. The roads were deserted and for the first time in
my life I truly thought I was going to die. Fear was soon replaced by
anger, and I got out of the car and started screaming and cursing at G-d.
I’m not sure how many people truly experience it, this coming to the end
of your rope. In reality, it was coming to the end of my ego. There was
nothing I could rely on to save me. No witty remarks, no snappy humor,
no good looks, (well I had them then) just an utter sense of helplessness.
A disastrous situation for the “self”, but exactly where G-d does his
best work in men. I got back in my car and something (or someone) just
told me to pray. After telling G-d that I would change if He would just
get me out of this one, I closed my eyes and tried starting the car again.
It started! Must be a fluke I thought I’d better hurry up and get off
the highway before it stalls again. Not only did it not stall, it ran
all night long until the next morning with the heater going the whole
time to keep me from freezing to death!
The rest of the trip gas was paid for with a credit card, which my sister
had given me a year before. When I called and told her I was using the
card she told me she had canceled it six months before. The next time
I tried the card, it was denied! By then I was well on my way to believing
in Yeshua as my Messiah. I eventually made my way down to the new Jewish
Promised Land, Florida. In time, I began to see the Jewishness of the
Bible revealed, and my calling in Messianic Judaism was without question,
G-d’s will for my life. Yeshua said, “He who is forgiven much, loves much”
(Luke 7:47). It is that spirit that enables me to serve joyfully here
at Kehilat Ariel in my capacity as Youth Leader, or in being able to play
the drums again, one of the true joys of my life. After fourteen years
of not playing at all, now I get to live out Psalm 150:5 every Shabbat!
Only now I play for G-d, and my joy is complete in Him. It has been a
long journey from one “promised land” to another. I am blessed to have
found the “Promised One” given to our people Israel and for all nations.
©1999 Kehilat Ariel Messianic Synagogue. All rights reserved.
Last Modified May 10, 1999