back to top

BOB BROWN: Why I Love The Jews

I wrote Kindness, Dignity, and Respect (2023) to share my Christian testimony, as honestly as if I were a sworn witness testifying in a court of law.  Why not reflect on your own testimony?  In particular, consider a spiritual self-examination and share your faith and insights with others.  God gave you, as He gave me, various unmerited gifts:

1). A purpose for your life, 2). Assured that the purpose He gave me would use the faith of my mother’s prayers and her love, and 3). He gave me a practical form of love called kindness, dignity and respect that is provided by a number of special people He placed in my life for His purpose.

It is not my intention to criticize the state of the world today.  There is no shortage of critics.  My purpose is entirely unlike criticism.  I want to encourage an understanding of some of the reasons we turn away from each other and God, an undisputed fact with notable exceptions.

Our ideal is a spiritually intimate bond with God and one another.  Additionally, Christians and non-Christians alike are encouraged to seek opportunities to meaningfully interact with others.  Create ways to get to know your neighbors, fellow employees, and others you encounter. Try to seriously obey the “new command” Jesus gave us, “To love one another.”

We do well to recall that Jesus includes our enemies among the others we are commanded to love.

Over the years I lectured to UVA classes.  Sometimes I questioned aloud to my wife, Dottie, “I wonder why I keep teaching after all these years.”  Dottie’s reply was always the same, “Maybe you will reach one student who needs to hear what you say.”

Dottie’s reply was correct.  If I reached just one student, it would be worth the time and effort. Dottie’s reply leaps into my mind now as I ponder what I hope for Kindness, Dignity, and Respect. Surely, the answer must be the same; to write something that someone needs to read.

Yet more importantly, I pray someone will discover, as I have, that thoughtfully reading and reflecting on the Bible is intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally fulfilling, rewarding, satisfying, and worthwhile: “Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, who are far from righteousness: 13 I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; my salvation shall not linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, for Israel My glory.”  Isaiah 46:12, 13.

According to the Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries (FIRM), “With the use of the Hebrew language God revealed Himself to mankind. This ancient tongue held the greatest spiritual truths that guided our predecessors through the ages.”  FIRM, headquartered in Israel, encourages Christians to learn key critical Hebrew words, such as “hesed,” a specific kind of love: “… a completely undeserved kindness and generosity,” John Oswalt, Asbury Theological Seminary.

“For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness (hesed) shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has mercy (hesed) on you.”  Isaiah 54:10.

Hesed is one of the most fundamental characteristics of God, consistent with what we know about His covenantal nature.” Hesed is “wrapping up in itself all the positive attributes of God: love, covenant faithfulness, mercy, grace, kindness, loyalty – in short, acts of devotion and loving-kindness that go beyond the requirements of duty.”  Darrell L. Bock, 2019.

“Hesed” was a new word to me until the Honorable B. Waugh Crigler, my beloved, respected Bible teacher, and dear friend, kindly described it to me before his death last year.  It gave me a broader and deeper understanding of God’s love and of my love for the Jews.  I mean “hesed” when “love” is used.  “Hesed” best describes the meaning envisioned by Jesus when he commanded us to love one another and the meaning He intends for us to have in our minds and souls when we express our love for God.

We are humble, grateful, and deeply indebted to the Jewish people for introducing God to the world and for the sacred literature commonly known as the Old Testament of the Bible, of which the book of Job was likely written 1500 years B.C., all largely confirmed in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

No other people have compiled a comprehensive history even close to the authenticity of the Jewish historical and theological foundational written record.  Jesus Christ, a Jewish rabbi, is understood by Christians to be God incarnate.  We understand that God took on the mantle of a human being that we may look upon Him and identify with Him.

The Old Testament was written by Jewish prophets and kings.  The 27 books of the New Testament of the Bible were written by 9 authors, most all Jews with the possible exception of Mark and possibly the author of Hebrews, and Luke, a physician, who some scholars believe was a Hellenized Jew.

I have always loved the Jews.  My mother taught me as a child to love the Jewish family that owned a small grocery store in our neighborhood.  Dr. David Wilfred Abse, my Jewish psychiatric mentor and inspiration at UVA, was someone I loved and highly respected.  He and his wife, Elizabeth, were bright, kind, and sharing people.  I can think of no people to whom we owe more gratitude and hesed than the Jews.

Robert S. Brown Sr.

Robert S. Brown, MD, PHD a retired Psychiatrist, Col (Ret) U.S. Army Medical Corps devoted the last decade of his career to treating soldiers at Fort Lee redeploying from combat. He was a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Education at UVA. His renowned Mental Health course taught the value of exercise for a sound mind.

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -Fox Radio CBS Sports Radio Advertisement

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -Fox Radio CBS Sports Radio Advertisement

Related Articles