By Mark Ellis, Special to ASSIST News Service
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (ANS – July 28, 2015) — Raised in an Orthodox Jewish household, he attended synagogue, learned the heart language of his ancestors, and went through his bar mitzvah ceremony at 13. But as he grew in the understanding of his religion, he still felt separated from God.
“I went to Jewish school after regular school and I learned Hebrew,” said Levitt, in a recording he made before his passing in 2006. “I was always hungry again. I sang in the synagogue and became a director of the choir but I just couldn’t contact God.”
“I would talk to the Lord but I didn’t hear from him,” he added.
In grad school at Indiana University he worked in the campus news bureau and happened to meet some people from Campus Crusade for Christ. “I thought they sounded ridiculous, but they invited me to Bible study.” He told them he had already studied the Bible, but was intrigued and accepted their invitation.
“For the first time in my life I was with people who read a verse, discussed what it meant, talked about it being the Word of God, that it’s infallible, inerrant,” he recalled. “I never heard that in Hebrew School. All we did was memorize psalms and spit it back. Even at my bar mitzvah I just read a long passage. I couldn’t tell you what passage I read.”
“I put my Jewish education up against anybody, but again, it just didn’t fill me,” Levitt admitted.
After three weeks studying the Bible with Campus Crusade, Levitt had an unusual encounter that changed his life.
“I was sitting in my room late one night. I can’t say that I saw Him, but I was sitting in a dark room by myself and I knew I was not alone. I perceived some kind of figure standing there and I looked up. I couldn’t see the face but I could see some kind of figure. I knew this was a benevolent, kind figure who came to me.”
Levitt called out into the darkness, “If you’re there, show me.”
Photo caption: Zola Levitt teaching.
About the writer: Mark Ellis is a senior correspondent for the ASSIST News Service and also the founder of www.Godreports.com, a website that shares stories, testimonies and videos from the church around the world to build interest and involvement in world missions.
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