Â“The LORD set his love upon you and chose youÂ…because the LORD loves youÂ” - Deuteronomy 7: 7-8
From the Kippah to the Cross tells the moving conversion story of Jean-Marie Ã‰lie Setbon (nÃ©e Jean-Marc Setbon). Raised in a non-observant Jewish family, Jean-Marie first encountered Jesus Christ on a crucifix at the age of eight. He felt an inexplicable attraction to Christ on the cross and would spend hours contemplating Him and began to develop a deeply personal relationship with Christ.
Jean-Marie knew that this growing love for Jesus would not be tolerated by his family but his attraction to Christ was so intense that he could not fight it. His practice of making the sign of the cross and praying after his family went to bed soon turned into sneaking off on Sundays to visit SacrÃ©-Coeur church and even to attend Mass. Finally, at fifteen, unable to bear his double-life any longer, Jean-Marie resolved to convert to Catholicism in spite of the scandal it would cause. But God had other plans.
Instead, Jean-Marie ended up delving deeper into the faith of his ancestors, moving to Israel to pursue rabbinical formation and returning to France eight years later as an ultra-Orthodox Jew. There he found work at a Jewish school and synagogue, married and had seven children. But, in spite of his sincere dedication to his Jewish faith, Jean-MarieÂ’s love and attraction to Jesus remained, becoming the source of a long and difficult internal struggle.
Jean-MarieÂ’s conversion is a story about the ties of identity, about the battle between reason and the desires of the heart, but above all it is a love story between Christ, the lover Â—the relentless yet patient pursuerÂ— and man, his beloved.