Yeshiva student ran away from home, found new life from hippie evangelist

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By Ryan Zepeda —

His Jewish mother was smuggled out of Nazi German by nuns, but tragically, she later died in a mental hospital.

“We could get mom out of Nazi Germany, but couldn’t quite get Germany out of mom,” says Dr. Jeffrey Seif.

Living in a Jewish community in Texas as a young person, Jeffrey got smacked with anti-semitism.

“One time around 12 or 13 years old, I’m walking down the street and these two girls yelled ‘Hey you dirty Jew, you killed Christ!” Jeffrey recounts. “I remember that vividly.”

So his first brush with what he thought were Christians provoked unmitigated horror in his heart.

As a young boy, Seif was sent to a Yeshiva– a very strict, religious Jewish school. It changed his mindset about following Judaism because, by nature, he was rebellious.

“I’m 16 now and as I’m laying on my bed my mother comes in and tells me to clean up my room and I gave her a hard time. She says ‘Well if you don’t like it you can leave!’ And so I left!” Jeffrey says.

He ran away from home, hitchhiked to California and ended up in San Francisco.

This is where he got his first positive exposure to Christians.

“They were very nice, they were gracious, they’d give me a ride, they would want to give me a meal,” Jeffrey says. “I realized there were Christian people that were kind of cool.”

At school, Seif got high on drugs and received D’s and F’s in his classes.

“I wasn’t on anyone’s ‘most likely to succeed list,’” he recalls. “I was almost like road kill on the highway of life.”

Later in Pennsylvania as Jeffrey walked down the street, a man with hair down to his waist gave him a pamphlet and told him he wanted to talk to him about Jesus.

“Look man, I’m Jewish; I don’t believe in Jesus,” Seif responded curtly.

“Why not?” the man replied.

“I don’t know, I just don’t,” he answered.

“Jesus was a Jew,” the hippie evangelist said. “Give it a second look.”

“Then he whips out a bible and shows me stuff in there,” Seif remembers. “I was just amazed.”

The power of the Word and the Spirit touched him. He invited Jesus into his heart as his Lord and Savior and was born again. New life and energy flooded into him, unlike anything he had known before.

Seif discovered Israel’s Messiah, Yeshua. He was a new creature in Christ, made righteous by Christ’s atoning work, and he embarked on a pursuit of Christlikeness.

He received an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees and became a college professor. He also received law enforcement training and donated his services as a police officer.

Echoing the Apostle Paul, he downplays the importance of his academic achievements. “I know the real me, I really don’t think I’m all that much now and I know I wasn’t a whole lot when it all began,” Jeffrey observes.

“Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart and God was gracious to see potential in me!”

Ryan Zepeda studies at the Lighthouse Christian Academy in Los Angeles.

2 COMMENTS

  1. “Christ Killer” was a common epithet throughout the ages and used to justify the pogroms and holocaust and other atrocities. But Christians who used it were/are very unaware of the dynamics of their own faith. Dying on the cross was the destiny and necessity for Jesus and part of God’s plan. You see, there can be no resurrection without death. The resurrection of Christ and that of His followers is a pillar of the faith. Paul teaches the Gentiles that the Jews are to be revered despite their non acceptance of Christ as Messiah for the Old Covenant pre Christ history) allows the New Covenant (Gospel) to emerge.

  2. The Bible says “people from all nations under heaven were in the crowd at Jerusalem” for the passover and shouted,”crucify Him” So all humanity crucified Jesus not Jews. Jesus said, FATHER FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT WHAT THEY WERE DOING. Jesus FORGIVES so it is not anyone’s business to be pointing accusing fingers of blame on Jews. All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God, there is none righteous, no not one. The Blood of Jesus cleanses us from all unrighteousness and makes us Children of God and Joint Heirs with Christ. For while we were all sinners, Christ died to save us including those accusers Jesus died to save. Thank you for testimony.

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