Today, October 17th, would have been David Kidron’s birthday. I still mourn his loss. This blog was originally posted the day after I heard that he had died. I share it with you again. Please pray that Jewish people everywhere would come to know Messiah Jesus, embracing Him as their Savior.
January 29, 2013
According to tradition, a Jewish person is to be buried as soon as possible following death, usually within 24 hours. Immediately following the funeral, the closest family members begin a seven day mourning period known as “sitting shiva”. During this seven day period the mourners generally stay at home, available to receive guests to be with them in their grieving. The protocol is for the guests to sit quietly unless they are engaged by the mourner directly. Most often this is a time for people to share their thoughts concerning the deceased, providing comfort to those who have lost a dear one.
David Kidron passed away on January 28, at 2:30 AM. He is survived by his wife Sylvia. Dalit, Shemey, and Keren are David’s adult children. David was a tour guide in Israel for over 35 years. During that time he honed his teaching craft, blessing many with his knowledge of Israel, the Jewish people, and the Bible. He is irreplaceable for those of us who have had the privilege of working with him.
I know a lot of people. But there are only a few that I call “friend”. David was my friend. From our first meeting, there was a comfortable give-and-take to our exchanges with the people I brought with me to David’s country. They sensed the camaraderie between us and were drawn to him the same as I had been.
Throughout the years, David and I had many serious conversations away from the ears of our group members, not the least of which was about the person of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus, the Messiah). Making a profession of faith for the children of Holocaust survivors is very difficult. Frequently, Jewish people who come to believe in Messiah Jesus are ostracized, even abandoned by their own family members. They are seen as traitors to their own people. The rabbis have spread the lie that Jews who believe in “that man” are no longer Jews. David struggled with these issues. And yet, at our last meeting he told me. “Arlie, don’t give up on me!” I haven’t.
This is an invitation for those of you who knew David to grieve along with Sylvia, his children, and the thousands of people who David shepherded during their time in Israel. If you knew this man, feel free to take this opportunity to share one of your own stories about him with those who are grieving at this time. This would be a blessing to Sylvia, his family, and his friends. Most of us don’t have the opportunity to “sit shiva” with Sylvia in person. Use the comment box below to share your thoughts about this incredible man.
I’ll go first. I was always amazed when David took out his harmonica and played dozens of old-time hymns and choruses as we traveled down the dusty roads of the Promised Land. The whole bus would join in to sing along. David would just beam. What a treat to have this memory. Here is clip of one of these times. Feel free to sing along.
In his final days, Sylvia sat by David’s bedside singing the songs that she and David loved. Singing “I Saw The Light” to him, Sylvia reported to me that a tear fell from one of his eyes. She said, “David, it is OK for you to go on. When I get there I want you to show me around just like you have for all of those people for all of those years.” Sylvia is believing that David made a private decision to trust Yeshua as his Savior. I am clinging to that myself. This is one of the reasons I so fiercely hold to a “grace by faith alone” theology. Anything more makes salvation a works based event. The Bible simply does not teach that kind of salvation.
Romans 4:3 – For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness…
In closing, there is a Hebrew blessing said at Jewish funerals. “Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha’olam, dayan ha-emet.” It means “Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the Universe, the True Judge.”
To you Lord God, we commend our friend, David Kidron.