I was reared in Cincinnati, Ohio as a Reform Jew. My religious studies centred around Jewish history, Hebrew and humanitarian concepts. The Reform Judaism of my youth accentuated a person’s responsibilities toward humanity. The teaching, while admirable, had little to do with a relationship to GOD. Consequently, while conceding the existence of a GOD, I possessed no definite concepts. Growing up in a predominantly Jewish neighbourhood caused me to believe that Jews were in a majority. Furthermore, I felt that the Gentiles’ belief in JESUS was based on ignorance. High school ushered in new experiences. I learned that Jewish people were a minority. I also heard more about JESUS. The information was very confusing. Each denomination had something different to say about JESUS, Joseph and Mary. The confusion that appeared to exist in the Gentile world regarding GOD, caused me to retreat to the safety and comfort of the Synagogue.
When I was fourteen years of age, I met Martin Chernoff. He was very kind and informed me that JESUS was the Jewish Messiah! This made sense, but being popular in school had greater appeal than serving GOD. I also did not want to be a traitor to my family and friends. Besides, how could I believe in Someone whose name got stuck in my throat? Thoughts of GOD and JESUS were put on the shelf.
After high school, I went on to pursue a Business Degree in College. Most of my time was spent on extracurricular activities, and not books. I flunked out of College after only one year. Having lost my student deferment, I enlisted in the U.S. Army. Toward the end of my tour of duty, I was assigned to an Armed Forces Examining and Entrance station. It was here that I met a man who was a real Christian. He was from Texas; a member of a Southern Baptist Church; and educated. I never thought anyone who took the Bible literally could be educated! He earned my respect. One day our conversation turned to GOD. He unabashedly told me that without JESUS, no man can really know GOD! Jew and Gentile alike must first know JESUS to know GOD. I was embarrassed and insulted. I thought this guy has got a lot of hutzpa.
In my heart a chord had been sounded. The truth that was hidden deep within me had been laid bare. I did not know GOD. I had always felt that being Jewish was more than matza ball soup, Yiddish and mishpacha. But more than that, a Jew should know GOD! From that day forward, I felt the need to investigate JESUS further. Someone must have been praying for me because I was always pointed in the right direction. I would be exposed to the right radio program; the right book, or the right person. By now, I was painfully aware that I was in rebellion against GOD. Being a good person, simply wasn’t enough. I was created to serve GOD, and follow His will for my life. I repented of my former life-style. I sincerely asked GOD to reveal to me if JESUS was the Messiah.
The conflict that was raging in my soul needed to be put to rest. I wanted to know the GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. If He required me to come to Him through JESUS, I would. I had to have some form of assurance. My GOD, in His mercy, revealed His Son to me both intellectually and spiritually. I accepted JESUS, and praise GOD, He accepted me! About one week later, I received an unexpected confirmation of this acceptance. While driving a car down an expressway at seventy miles per hour, a legal limit in 1970, the LORD GOD made His Presence felt in a very physical way! The sceptical Aaron Boriz knew at that moment that YESHUA Ha’Maschiah had just walked up to Him, shook his hand, and was filling him with the Holy Spirit! I had never even read about the Holy Spirit! JESUS was no longer a bone in the throat. The Bible was confirmed as the inspired Word of GOD; the River of Living Water that had rushed into the depths of my being; brought a new completeness in my life. Another interesting side effect was that I now felt more Jewish than ever before. I had a keen appetite for understanding of Jewish holidays, traditions, and Hebrew through Ha’Shem. The LORD had brought new meaning to my life. I now had a personal relationship with my GOD.
More then thirteen years have passed since true reality came into my life. GOD has blessed me with wonderful teaching, and such people as Martin Chernoff, during important growing years; Rachmiel Friedland, Jeff Adler, and many others. The LORD GOD has blessed me with a wonderful wife and two beautiful daughters, who are being taught the true meaning of being Jewish. I have completed my education and continue to be blessed by the LORD. Above all, I know my GOD. Without this knowledge, life would be meaningless; and all who reach for Him, will not be disappointed.
Epilogue by Lionel Leslie
It is always a thrill to me to hear of Jewish people accepting YESHUA, JESUS, as their LORD and Saviour. And the comforting words ring so true of the Prophet Isaiah, in Chapter 51, verse 11 and part of verse 12:
The ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing; with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. I, even I, am He Who comforts you. I am constantly amazed as I witness the LORD’s mercy towards the Jewish people; the fulfilment of promises to them according to His Word; and His blessings to those who bless them. I am convinced by the testimonies I have heard from my Jewish brethren over many years, that the witness of the LORD in the lives of the non-Jewish Believers in the GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, had caused them to be, as Paul’s Letter to the Romans puts it,
Provoked to jealously. But through their fall, Salvation has come to the Gentiles. Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of GOD! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! I would recommend you study in depth these passages from Romans 11. In fact, a prayerful study of Romans 9, 10 and 11 would reap you much reward and blessing. Shalom.