Personal experience colors our perception of everything. I’ve had some unusual experiences. I’m a Jewish convert. I believe like a Mormon, but I still have a Jewish mind (believe me, it’s something unique to us). We grabbed our five kids and moved to Israel some time ago, hoping to stay “indefinitely,” which turned out to be 8 years. I learned a lot there — about Jews, about Israel, about Judaism, and about myself. What does a Jew who has lived for years in Israel see in the Book of Mormon that others might not notice?

1. Nephi gives the Passover recitation

The Passover is the most important holiday of the year for Jews. The first night of the holiday is celebrated with a feast inside a ritual. The recitation of the story about the Israelites’ deliverance from Egypt is the centerpiece of the evening and reason for the holiday.  And, in addition to the story of deliverance and redemption, Jews always include prayers that ALL people may be free from oppression. Whenever the chips are down, whether it’s Passover, or not, Jews hearken back to the miracles God performed for them in the wilderness.

Interesting that when Laman and Lemuel become most belligerent and faithless, Nephi launched into the Passover recitation, including both parts! God saves the Israelites, but is no respecter of persons. (Read it in 1 Nephi 17:23-42.)

2. The Brother of Jared knew about the zohar that lit Noah’s Ark

Brother of Jared 16 stones

Brother of Jared following Noah’s example

If you will now turn to Genesis 6:16 and read the verse and the footnote. “A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.” Notice that the word “window” has been mistranslated, and the footnote says, “HEB tsohar; some rabbis believed it was a precious stone that shone in the ark” (Ether 2:23 (23–24).

The Hebrew word Zohar, means “light” or “brilliance” and that light was connected with magical stones. The Brother of Jared logically thought that if it worked for Noah, it could work for his eight dark ships. Hence, sixteen stones presented to the Savior to be set aglow by His touch.

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