Sept. 4 Town Meeting in Oettingen
Tamiym had faith to continue having town meetings. While he and his wife Ketzia were walking last month, they met a man who owns a hotel and restaurant in the nearby town of Oettingen, who was willing to let us use a big dining hall which is adjacent to his hotel. The meeting was set Thursday, the 4th of September at 6 pm. Posters were hung in all the surrounding villages. Freepapers were printed and made ready. There were between 60 – 80 people who came, local people as well as media, and even our lawyer Mr. Langhans.
We wanted to sing them the song “In The Golden Fall” which we had just learned and practiced. We had the words translated into German projected on the wall so that they could read along as we sang. We started the evening by simply singing this beautiful song. Then we began speaking and people started asking questions to which a lively discussion ensued. In the course of the evening it seemed like we were able to answer a lot of people’s questions and at the end we had the sense that for a lot of them, their sentiment about us had changed.
We said that we can talk about all kinds of things and we can argue about how to raise children, but we thought we would bring our fruit and let that speak for itself. And THEY did.
Chaim ben Boas (ben = son of) was really able to show them that it was not that the children in Klosterzimmern had no hope in the future. He was taken three months before he turned 18. He was put in a home for youth who are hard to handle. His social grace, his diligence, respectfulness and trustworthiness stood out to all the instructors there. They rolled out the red carpet for him to have every opportunity to get set up with an apprenticeship and support from the government because of the way he was raised. But he chose to continue to further the life that his parents had entered into some 30 years ago. He told them that the only reason why they gave him all those opportunities was because of the way he was raised, because there were many other youth in that home who didn’t have the same opportunity since they lacked an upbringing.
Amidah bat Chanowk (bat = daughter of) was able to explain to them that our child rearing does not only consist of discipline. Discipline done in love is only a small fraction of our child rearing. She said that it started with 100% devotion, 100% love and attention and care, never neglecting any need. “When you are loved like that, from the deepest part of your soul knowing that you are loved, then, when it happened that I disappointed my parents, I wanted so badly to get back to the state of there being nothing between us.”
She said that she was the most loved child who ever lived and that her father was the greatest man and, “If it would be against the law in Germany to raise children in the way that I was raised, then I must say, that love is against the law in Germany.”
ALL the first generation who were there, including Yedidyah ben Obadiah, Chavivah bat Chanowk, Besorah bat Abiyah, Havah bat Ohevi, Zamir ben Caleb, Zipporah bat Caleb, Yakarah bat Meshullem, Hananyah ben Nahaliel, Noah and Moedah spoke in a really wonderful way, justifying our Father. When they spoke, silence filled the room and many applauded after they were finished.
To close the evening we again sang the song, “In The Golden Fall,” but this time first telling them why we wanted to sing it to them – that we wanted to communicate that we were going to receive from our Father whatever He had for us and that we believe in Him and that’s why we are still here and we are not divided and not devouring one another. If He prunes or if He takes away, still from our heart comes a song – a song of joy and not of pain, a song of victory and gain, a song of peace.
Many of the attendees expressed that they were very thankful for the evening. It is so good that we are learning that we don’t have to react to those who oppose us. There were more conversations afterwards, also with one reporter who asked if anyone wanted to give an interview. The report he gave the next morning was just exactly what people had said! We are learning to be pleasing to our Father in everything that we do.
We will continue to do these town meetings. The next one will be in a town called Wemding on September 24. We are becoming bold to speak out with gentleness. Looking forward to the next town meeting…but for now, the very next day was “Evangelizing in Augsburg.”