The experience of an old Jew has greatly impressed me, and, as nearly as I can, I give his remarks in his own words, though not attempting to preserve the inimitable Hebrew-English dialect.
He said: "This is Passover week among you, my Jewish brethren, and, as I sat here, I was thinking how you will be observing it. You will have out away all leaven from your houses; you will eat the 'motsah' (unleavened wafers). You will attend the synagogue services, and carry out the ritual and directions of the Talmud; but you forget, my brethren, that you have everything but that which Yahweh required first of all. he did not say: "When I see the leaven put away, or when I see you eat the motsah, or go to the synagogue'; but His Word was, 'When I see the blood I will pass over you'. Ah, my brethren, you can substitute nothing for this. You must have blood."
As he reiterated his word with ever-increasing emphasis, his black eyes flashed warningly, and his Jewish hearers quailed before him.
After a moment's pause the patriarchal old man went on somewhat as follows: "I was born in Palestine, nearly seventy years ago. As I child I was told, that ours was the true and only religion, but as I grew older and studied the Law more intently, I was struck by the place the blood has in all the ceremonies outlined there, and equally struck by its utter absence in the ritual to which I was brought up.
"Again and again I read Exodus 12, and Leviticus 16, 17, and the latter chapters especially made me tremble as I thought of the great Day of Atonement, and the place the blood had there. 'It is the blood that maketh atonement for the soul'. I knew I had broken the law. I needed the atonement. Year after year, on that day, I beat my breast as I confessed my need of it; but it was to be made by blood, and there was no blood!
"In my distress, at last, I opened my heart to a learned and venerable rabbi. He told me that God (Yahweh) was angry with His people. Jerusalem was in the hands of the Gentiles, the temple was destroyed, and a Mohammedan mosque was reared up in its place. The only spot on the earth where we dare shed the blood of sacrifice in accordance with Deuteronomy 12 and Leviticus 17 was desecrated, and our nation scattered, That was why there was no blood. God (Yahweh) had Himself closed the way to carry out the solemn service of the great Day of Atonement. Now, we must turn to the Talmud, and rest on its instruction, and trust in the mercy of God (Yahweh) and the merits of the fathers.
"I tried to be satisfied, but could not. Something seemed to say that the law was unaltered, even though our temple was destroyed. Nothing else but blood could atone for the soul. We dared not shed blood for atonement elsewhere than in the place the Lord had chosen. Then we were left without an atonement at all!
"I was over thirty years of age when I left Palestine and came to Constantinople (Istanbul), with my still unanswered question ever before my mind, and my soul exceedingly troubled about my sins.
"One night I was walking doen one of the narrow streets of that city, when I saw a sign telling of a meeting for Jews. Curiosity led me to open the door and go in. Just as I took a seat I heard a man say, "The blood of Jesus Christ (Yahshua haMashiach), cleanseth us from all sin". It was my first introduction to the Gospel, but I listened breathlessly as the speaker told how God (Yahweh) had declared that without the shedding of blood is no remission; but that He had given His only begotten Son, the Lamb of God, to die, and all who trusted in His blood were forgiven of their iniquities. This was the Messiah of Isaiah 53; this was the Sufferer of Psalm 22. Ah, my brethren, I had found the blood of atonement at last. I trusted it, and now I love to read the New Testament and see how all the shadows of the law are fulfilled in Jesus (Yahshua). His blood has been shed for sinners. It has satisfied God (Yahweh), and it is the ONLY means of salvation for either Jew of Gentile."