A minute into his talk, Dennis puts on his yarmulke to say a shehecheyanu.
Dennis: “I always get choked up when I do this. I make a little prayer to God that I will not cry at CUFI event.”
“The shehecheyanu prayer is — Blessed are you God, King of the universe, who has kept us alive and brought us to this moment.”
Finishing the blessing in Hebrew, Dennis removes his yarmulke and puts it in his pocket.
“It’s a powerful prayer. Jews say it only on special occasions.
“Nothing is as powerful as Jews and Christians working together.
“It’s thousands of years late, but it’s here.”
“I was asked to speak many years ago by an Israeli group in Los Angeles. I remember taking the evening because I wanted to practice my Hebrew. They interviewed me in Hebrew. They asked me what do you consider yourself first — a Jew or an American?
“I said, I have two fathers — Abraham and George Washington. I am twice blessed.”
“This will help you understand why there is resistance in Jewish life to your magnificent outreach to the Jewish community. Jews don’t trust anybody. I do but most Jews don’t. There’s a voice in most Jews when they meet a Christian — if there were another Holocaust, would this person be a persecutor, a bystander or a rescuer?
“They don’t tell you this. They won’t tell you this. It sounds sick.
“Whenever I’m in your company, I believe I’m with rescuers.”