Esther Simkin's Testimony
It was in 1989 that, after deciding organized religion was a fraud, I threw all my energies into building what was proving to be a very promising career as an opera singer. I turned my back on God and Scripture and decided that I was born for the life of an artist, believing that this would be far more rewarding and fulfilling.
During that time, I also became romantically involved with a pianist, moved in with him and embarked on a relationship that would last 7 years. As time went by and I began to be noticed by all the "right people" here and in New York and began to be groomed for a "big career", professional jealousy set in and the romance began to disintegrate. I was moving forward in my career and he was not. His frustration, anger and bouts of severe depression began to taint our relationship and that of his children. Both of us began to use marijuana and alcohol to "take the edge off", and I began to seek help from a psychologist in order to deal with my own increasing depression and inability to cope and salvage the relationship.
As the therapy progressed, so did the diagnosis: It started as Bipolar Disorder. I was then referred to a psychiatrist for medications. In the meanitme, things at home got worse. The man I lived with became a "rage-aholic", abusing me verbally to start and later he would assault me physically on a regular basis. Typical of abusers, he always apologized afterward and I would stay. I began to drink. Heavily. All the time. My symptoms worsened and the prescriptions became stronger.
Music was no longer joyful to me. I stopped singing. Eventually, the alcohol and drugs had a negative effect on my health, including my vocal cords. My voice was destroyed. I began to seek out spiritual comfort and escape. I became an devout practitioner of the wiccan religion, with a successful Tarot card practice on the side. I also consulted the Ouija board on a regular basis. Then everything REALLY exploded. Now I was always depressed and sick. My singing voice became damaged because of the alcohol and my relationship with became very violent on an almost daily basis.
One day, I stood in our garage alone, dreading what I knew would be another physical assault, and I prayed to The Lord and told Him that I was deeply sorry for the mess I had made of my life and that I was also deeply sorry that I had blame Him and turned my back on Him. I also asked Him for the chance to make peace with my estranged parents, who had no idea about what was going on, but who I later found out had been praying for me steadily for seven years.
In that very moment, God caused a miracle to happen and I was able to call my mother quickly, tell her I was coming home, and escape out the back door of the garage on foot with only the clothes on my back (He had spoken to me and in my heart and mind I heard Him say, "Take nothing with you!"). And in a gesture reminiscent of The Prodigal Son, my Dad met me halfway with his car and I went home.
The rest is history: I began attending a Messianic Jewish congregation where a gifted rabbi named Gabriel Simkin was expounding on the teachings of Yeshua (Jesus) and the importance of Torah observance as He taught. I had never heard this kind of teaching in all my years studying world religions. I began to practice what I learned and, within months, I was delivered of demonic influences, alcohol abuse and prescription drugs. In 1996 The Lord made a match and Rabbi Gabe and I were married. As if all of that were not enough to take my breath away, The Lord did the grandest thing of all: He restored my singing voice better than ever! So much so, that on several occasions after that several well-connected professionals offered to assist me in building an international career. But I knew what my new destiny was and I embraced my calling from The Lord with whole-hearted gratitude.
Since that time, I have been a very happily married wife and rebbetzin to Rabbi Gabe, and I have been priviledged to serve as Cantor and Praise and Worship Leader of Mishkan David Messianic Congregation in Florida. I continue to share my testimony and give classical concerts once or twice a year, and I produced and released my first "official" album of Sacred Songs And Arias. There are more albums to follow.
I hope you enjoy the music and as you listen, remember that The Lord God Of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is near to all those that call upon His Name with a contrite heart and a humble spirit. And He will heal, restore and bless those who love Him, keep His Commandments and have the testimony of Messiah Yeshua.
Now THAT'S something to sing about!
- - - Esther Simkin,
Mishkan David Messianic Congregation