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Two Rescued Jews for the Price of One
It wasn't just the distressed Jewish woman that Yad L'Achim rescued from a messianic cult a year ago. It was the son she brought into briso shel Avraham Avinu last week
08/12/08

A bris that was held last week in a small simcha hall in Jerusalem was testimony that Jews, no matter how far they fall, can always get back on their feet and return to their Creator.

The story began a few months ago when Yad L'Achim received an urgent call from Ariel Yehudah Leshem, an attorney from Jerusalem. He shared horrifying details of a young woman who, out of economic distress, had fallen under the sway of a missionary congregation called "King of Kings."

"The cult members took cynical advantage of her economic hardship and roped her into the messianic cult and into accepting its dubious obligations," he related. "Her situation is unbearable. Only you can help her."

Yad L'Achim dispatched one of its social workers to meet with the woman, hear her story first-hand and try to figure out how to help. "Only after I'd gotten very involved with them did I understand that they weren't really interested in me or my economic plight," the woman revealed. "All they wanted was for me to convert. They kept telling me that the minute I did that, things would be better for me."

The social worker convinced the woman that it wasn't too late to sever ties to the cult and start a new life. Yad L'Achim undertook to "adopt" the woman, assigning professionals to provide her with psychological and economic assistance and to help her find a stable job.

Last week, was a milestone in her recovery, as she brought her new-born son to bris milah. The atmosphere was charged with emotion as the bracha "lehachniso bivriso shel Avraham Avinu" was recited, followed by the thunderous "Amen!" All those present – including relatives and Yad L'Achim staffers – felt the specialness of the moment. Another Jewish neshama had returned to its roots.

Reflecting on the event, Harav Shalom Dov Lifschitz, chairman of Yad L'Achim, said: "Even in situations that appear to be lost causes, when soul-snatchers have done everything to ensure that their victims won't rejoin their people, we must never give up. It is forbidden to give up on even a single Jew. Today, we can see how this rescue led to the saving of an additional Jew, the baby who has just entered into the covenant of Avraham Avinu and who will be raised as a Jew."

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