7 June 1913 Shabbetai Benjamin Rohold Opens “Christian Synagogue” in Toronto #otdimjh

Shabbetai Benjamin Rohold’s life was eventful. The first President of the Hebrew Christian Alliance of America, he was born in Palestine in 1876 where his father was a Rabbi in Jerusalem. He became a disciple of Yeshua, moved to the United Kingdom and served with the Andrew Bonar Memorial Mission in Edinburgh. From there he relocated to Toronto, Canada, where he led the Presbyterian Missions to the Jews and opened one of the first ‘Hebrew Christian Synagogues’. In the midst of turbulent times he spoke out against the blood libel against Menachem Beilis in Russia and campaigned for the Jewish people suffering in the First World War. He returned with his wife Belle to Israel in 1921, and set up a Medical Clinic in Haifa, the Mount Hermon Bible College, and was an invited guest at the formation of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1925. He died in Cairo in 1931, and his wife Bella continued his medical work until the 1960s.

Rohold was an articulate and fiery writer and preacher. He spoke Hebrew, Arabic, Yiddish, English, German and other languages, and was not above causing riots when he preached in the streets. He was also a man of letters, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and a compiler of statistics for the International Missionary Review of the World. Along with his great friend and fellow Jewish disciple of Jesus from Palestine, Sir Leon Levison, he co-founded the International Hebrew Christian Alliance (now International Messianic Jewish Alliance) in 1925, and was deeply involved in the provision of training, welfare and emergency aid for Jewish disciples of Jesus throughout the war-torn regions of Eastern Europe in the face of increasing antisemitism and persecution. A strong supporter of Zionism, he saw the return to the Land as complementing the return of his people to the Messiah Yeshua, and he spent his life in pursuit of those two goals.


Jewish disciples of Jesus have much to learn from his life and example. He was a man of prayer and of action, a man of scholarship and practicalities combined. Whilst he was provocative in his preaching, he was compassionate in his relationships with all, and was recognised as a natural leader in the different contexts in which he served. Whilst he opposed, as did the majority of Hebrew Christians of those times, the radical proposals of Mark John Levy and Philip Cohen for a more Jewish expression and life-style which has come to be known as “Messianic Judaism” today, his own Yiddishkeit (Jewish identity and life) was undeniable, and I consider that with the benefit of hindsight and the wisdom of experience he would have modified his position.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for the life and ministry of Ben Rohold, whose trailblazing activities paved the way for later generations of Jewish disciples of Jesus. May we live by his standards of dedication and devotion to his Messiah and his service, and may we, as children of our time, effectively model what it means to be your disciples in our generation. In our Messiah Yeshua’s name we pray. Amen

Resources: Powerpoint of Rohold’s life and ministry: https://www.dropbox.com/s/vke4ljpkeoxc4kt/ihca%20rohold%20otdimjh%20070621.pdf?dl=0

1913  “The Christian and the Jew.” Missionary Review of the World 26(4)267-291.

1914  “The Present Condition of Israel.” Missionary Review of the World 27(12):887-895.

Bernstein, Jewish Witnesses for Christ Rohold, S. B. The story of his conversion is thus told by himself:—

“It was in the well-beloved city of Jerusalem that I was born, and there also my early days were spent. More than half the inhabitants of Jerusalem are Jews, and mostly very pious, having come from all parts[424] of the world to be buried in the Holy City when they die. The belief amongst these Jews is that when Messiah comes there will be the resurrection, and the bodies of those who were buried beyond Jerusalem will have to suffer much rolling until they reach the city. Thus to prevent this they have their burying place in the ancient city, being zealous for their religion, without enquiring as to whether they are really right in doing so. My father’s family was very well known, belonging to one of the most pious sects of Jews in Jerusalem. It was the great delight of my father to speak of his ancestors, who were great rabbis; and for half a century he occupied an honoured rabbinical position himself in Jerusalem (Rosh Hashochatim). My dear mother also, whose ancestors were leading Jews amongst the rabbis, was fond of telling us wonderful stories of her grandfather, who was a famous disciple of the great Geonim of Wilna. Needless to say, both my parents were careful to train their children in the religion of their forefathers. Being the youngest son of the family, I was much petted, and they did their utmost to bring me up in the fear of God, and in all the customs, rites, and rabbinical traditions, whilst they taught me to look upon Christianity as idolatry. Truly my parents loved me very much, and did all in their power to educate me in what they believed to be right, and their one desire was that I might occupy the seat of my dear father, to which all my teachers gave them full hope. Thus the early part of my life was spent in study within the home circle. It was in[425]the year 1893 that I had conversation for the first time with Christians.

“In that beautiful spot, the so-called Garden of Gethsemane, I one evening met two servants of God, who began speaking to me. At the time it seemed that I had gone into the Garden merely by accident, but now, as one looks back over the past, it can be clearly seen that a loving unseen hand was guiding me. These two Christians explained to me from the Scriptures how that Jesus of Nazareth is in very deed the promised Messiah, Israel’s greatest hope. As they reasoned with me, there was one passage of Scripture which I could not get over, that ‘the sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.’

“With this new light upon the Word of God I was given to understand that the promises regarding the coming One told not only of His glory and majesty, but also of His suffering and death (Isaiah liii. and Psalm xxii.).

“Slowly I began to see how great and true Jehovah is, and how that His divine word regarding the Messiah has been literally fulfilled in Jesus Christ. I saw my helpless condition, and realized as never before that my own righteousness was as filthy rags. And oh, what joy came to me, when the gracious promise of God was fulfilled, a promise which came to me now with such a new meaning. ‘A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within[426] you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My spirit within you.’ (Ezekiel xxxvi. 26, 27).

“Having then accepted Jesus Christ as my own personal Saviour, I began to wish that my own loved ones might know Him, whom to know is life eternal. But I feared to tell them of my new-found treasure, and it is impossible for me to describe the unrest and agony of soul that I passed through in consequence. It was only at the Throne of Grace that comfort could be found, and there I sought the strength and help I so much needed. After this it seemed very clear that the Lord was speaking to me through His Word, and was thus answering my prayer for guidance. The word which came to me was that given to Abram of old—’Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred and from thy father’s house, unto the land that I will shew thee.’ (Genesis xii. 1).

“To leave those who are dear to one, the relations and friends, yes, even to leave all for Christ’s sake, is not easy; yet I knew it would be best to do what appeared to be the only right thing. It was a hard command to obey, but still I had the Lord’s promises to take with me,—’Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world’ (St. Matthew xxviii. 20). ‘If ye shall ask anything of the Father in My name, He will give it you’ (St. John xvi. 23). Trusting therefore in God alone, and persuading myself that He would be faithful in fulfilling His promises, I started on my journey. And by the help of Almighty God I came[427] to England, arriving here as a perfect stranger, not knowing the language, and without an earthly friend. It was a time of great temptation, but the God of my fathers kept me. Letters came from my friends and relations in Jerusalem, trying to persuade me to go back, and my dear father said it would bring down his grey hairs in sorrow to the grave if I did not return. Truly I felt the presence of my Redeemer, and realized that He had called me. This joy filled my heart, and the peace which passeth understanding was my portion. I praise God for those Christians who have learned to sympathize with His ancient people. The Lord raised up kind friends who helped me through my difficulties, and daily I learned more of my Saviour’s love, and found that ‘His goodness faileth never.’ His word says, ‘They who put their trust in Him will never be put to shame,’ and as I trusted, so I proved the truth of it. After spending some time in England, the way opened for me to enter the Bible Training Institute, Glasgow.

“Here I had opportunity of studying the Word of God, for which I was very thankful. At length a call came for me to enter active service in the vineyard of the Lord at the Bonar Memorial Mission to the Jews of Glasgow. On this work the Lord was pleased to set His seal, sending friends to encourage me, and in other ways blessing me abundantly.”

•Imber – Saving Scotland – https://www.dropbox.com/s/5qoc24df7pfqq9c/Levison%20Saving%20Jews%20Imber%20thesis.pdf?dl=0

Ben Volman – https://www.dropbox.com/s/y1glcdp92edbeyb/Volman%20Rohold%20IHCA.pdf?dl=0

S. B. Rohold. The War and the Jew (Toronto: The Macmillan Company of Canada, 1916),



1915 First Hebrew Christian Alliance of America Conference

Gershon Nerel – Zion in the Theology of Leon Avberbuch and Shabbetai Rohold


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5 June 1886 – Birth of Kurt Hahn, Refugee, Educationalist, Prince Philip’s mentor, Jewish disciple of Jesus #otdimjh

I regard it as the foremost task of education to insure survival of these qualities: an enterprising curiosity, an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible self-denial, and above all, compassion ( http://www.KurtHahn.org)

Kurt Hahn: The man who taught Philip to think

Kurt Matthias Robert Martin Hahn CBE was born 5 June 1886 in Berlin and died on 14 December 1974, Hermannsberg, aged 88. I was unfamiliar with his eventful and influential life, until discovering that he was Prince Philip’s headmaster, friend and mentor at Gordonstoun school, the founder of the global Outward Bound program, and a key influence in Prince Philip’s own Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.


Hahn was more than just an educationalist – he was a pioneer in the field of leadership training, bringing physical fitness, personal development and social responsibility together in a curriculum that was challenging, innovative and inspiring. It has stood the test of time and impacted generations of young adults who have gone on to make significant contributions to society and filled their lives with courage, resilience, creativity and compassion to others.

Hahn was a Jewish refugee to the UK who had to leave Germany when Hitler came to power. His philosophy of life and personal faith led to his resistence and challenge of all forms of totalitarianism and thought-control. He wanted, for himself and those he educated, the freedom to choose the good and the right, both in personal morality, social life, and in relationship to God. He became an Anglican preacher in the 1940s, and his philosophy of life draws on both Jewish and Christian teaching, and the philosophical roots of Greek, Roman and modern liberal thought.

Whilst the spiritual development of those on the early Outward Bound trips was not especially emphasised, it was always part of the program and of Hahn’s purpose. There is evidence that the trainees themselves – or some of them, at least
appreciated these opportunities for spiritual development. According to the warden’s
summary of boys’ reports on one course at Eskdale in April 1953, around a quarter
mentioned the “spiritual aspect”. Although this was unusually high, and although
it is possible that the boys were writing what they thought the instructors wanted to
read, some of the comments seem to reflect deep thought about the spiritual side of
the course. One simply noted that “[t]he talks on Christianity and the readings in the
mornings are extremely helpful in sorting out one’s religion”, while another related
the prayers to the wider character-training aims of the course:

“One very good thing about the course is the spiritual side; by this I mean the
morning prayers …. I admit that the lead we are given by the Instructors, to
think of and to pray to the Lord even in the hardest of times is very moving to
me. On the expeditions we are all given an insight into our own characters
which I would before have never thought possible.” (Freeman p9):

As a teacher, philosopher and man of faith, Hahn fulfilled the advice of the Pirkei Avot 1:1

Moses received the Torah from Sinai and transmitted it to Joshua; Joshua to the elders; the elders to the prophets; and the prophets handed it down to the men of the Great Assembly.  They said three things: Be deliberate in judgment, raise up many disciples, and make a fence around the Torah.

and of Yeshua, our teacher –

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

Prayer – Thank you, Lord, for the life and contribution of Kurt Hahn to education and to forming disciples of Yeshua. May we exhibit the character traits he was so passionate to convey. May we live lives of courage, compassion and creativity – in Yeshua’s name we pray, the master teacher and model for all disciples.

Below is the article on Hahn by Pete Allison in The Encyclopedia of Educational Thinkers. London: Routledge, 2016.

KURT HAHN  1886 – 1974

Kurt Hahn was born in Germany to Jewish parents and became critical of contemporary education early in his life. Educated in classical philosophy at Berlin, Heidelberg, Freiburg, Göttingen and Oxford he committed his life to education for character formation, learning through experience and citizenship training. Despite studying in various institutions Hahn never completed a degree or education beyond secondary schooling. Most educational thinkers of Hahn’s stature leave writings as their legacy but Hahn wrote very little outside of sermons and newspaper articles. Rather he left a legacy of organisations that he either founded or were indirectly inspired by his philosophy. 

His early life was complex given the political landscape of early twentieth- century Germany. During the First World War he worked for the German foreign office interpreting the British Press, and he later became the private secretary to Prince Max of Baden (the last imperial chancellor of Germany). In 1920 they co-founded a school in Salem with Hahn as the headmaster. It was here that many of his educational ideas were first implemented and later developed and evolved through various organisations. Salem was run on seven laws which Hahn set out and he believed the value was in their combination: 

  1. Give children the opportunity for self-discovery
  2. Make the children meet with triumph and defeat
  3. Give the children the opportunity of self-effacement in the common cause
  4. Provide periods of silence
  5. Train the imagination
  6. Make games important but not predominant
  7. Free the sons of the wealthy and powerful from the enervating sense of privilege.

The underpinning philosophies of Hahn largely revolve around the formation of moral character. His beliefs were in response to a landscape of ‘decays’, which are often referred to as moral declines, which he summarised (Hahn, 1958,p. 4) as: 

  1. The decay of fitness due to our modern methods of locomotion
  2. The decay of self-discipline helped by stimulants and tranquilisers
  3. The decay of enterprise due to the widespread disease of spectatoritis
  4. The decay of skill and care helped by the decline in craftsmanship
  5. Above all the decay of compassion which [Archbishop] William Temple called spiritual death. 

To combat these declines the organisations he founded all encompassed aspects of inspiring people to realise that “There is more in you than you think” and that “Your disability is your opportunity”. More specifically he believed that there were ‘four pillars’ for meaningful education.

  1. Physical fitness
  2. Challenging adventures
  3. Development of self-reliance through projects
  4. Development of compassion through service

These ideas were developed and articulated in the early 1900s yet continue to resonate in some form today, 100 years later.  Hahn pedagogical beliefs were also ahead of their time: “It is the sin of the soul to force young people into opinions – indoctrination is of the devil – but it is culpable neglect not to impel young people into experiences” (Hahn, 1965, p. 3). Indeed, he likened education to midwifery – an analogy that has subsequently gained popularity in some student-centered educational theories. 

It is tempting to speculate that some of his philosophy of education was developed as a reaction to the social political landscape in which he lived and worked. During the First World War he held great responsibilities but after the war (in 1932) he spoke out against Hitler by asking Salem alumni to support either Hitler or Salem. As a result, in 1933 he was briefly imprisoned and, with help from his Oxford colleagues, fled Germany to England (five years later he became a naturalised British subject). While these events undoubtedly influenced his moral outlook, his speeches and unpublished writings often credit German humanists such as Goethe and also suggest that Plato’s Republic remained an important influence after his time at Oxford. 

In 1934 he founded Gordonstoun in Morayshire (Scotland) where, as the headmaster, he introduced many of the ideas he had developed at Salem. The first two students were tasked with building boats which were launched two years later. The use of sailing as a medium for learning is an example of project based learning and a continuation from the use of sailing at Salem. Students at Gordonstoun were also involved in volunteering in the local community – in particular with local coastguard services. Sailing remains an important part of Gordonstoun School to this day. 

Hahn was committed to inclusion and when he founded Gordonstoun it was a school for the local community. He introduced scholarships for those who could not afford to study there and developed the Gordonstoun Badge Scheme (1936) which soon changed to be called the Moray Badge scheme as a way of engaging local children in his vision of education. This scheme later morphed into the County Badge Scheme and finally the Duke of Edinburgh Award (1956) and International Award which continue to run today offering experiences with the Hahnian four pillars philosophy (http://www.dofe.org/go/history/). Today a staggering 300,000 young people in the UK and 850,000 young people globally in over 140 countries (http://www.dofe.org/go/stats/) are involved in these two awards. Over 8 million people have participated in the Awards since it started in 1956 and over 190,000 people currently volunteer to run the Awards globally. 

This example of starting a school and then the growth of the badge scheme is an illustration of a theme that runs through Hahn’s work – inclusion and expansion: including people regardless of their ability to pay and expanding to increase opportunities for as many as possible. Both themes were developed further in the 1940s. 

Hahn is probably best known for starting Outward Bound (OB). This emerged from the short courses (four weeks) which were based on the four pillars and followed the Badge curriculum. The first OB course was run in 1941 at Aberdovey in Wales. This was a result of collaborations between Hahn and Lawrence Holt who was head of the Blue Funnel Shipping Line – a merchant shipping company. Holt’s concern was that younger seamen did not survive at sea during the war in comparison to older more experienced seamen. Hahn believed that his four pillars and experience of using sailing as a medium for education at Salem and Gordonstoun could remedy this. The history of Outward Bound (OB) is well documented elsewhere but the ongoing influence of OB around the world is impressive. There are now 49 centres in 33 countries around the world working in 250 wilderness and urban environments serving 250,000 participants each year (http://www.outwardbound.net/aboutus/anualreports/).

In the early 1940s Hahn continued to seek political influence, becoming part of a wider education reform movement in the UK. The Norwood committee was formed in 1943 to advise the government on educational change. While it is hard to trace specifics, Holt and several of Hahn’s other associates reputedly gave evidence to the Norwood committee and thus influenced its report (1943), which emphasised character and made specific mention of badge schemes. The 1944 Education Act followed, building on many ideas from the Norwood report. This act arguably remains

the most significant educational legislation in the UK to date, and in it, Hahn’s influence is unmistakable; it provisioned for local education authorities to offer camps and residential experiences which exemplify the virtues of his philosophy. While Hahn is often seen as an individual pioneer he was politically astute and should be seen as part of a wider movement promoting educational reform. This movement and Hahn’s involvement in it also illustrates his commitment to his belief that all young people should have opportunities to undertake what he considered to be engaging and meaningful educational experiences. 

The late 1940s saw the opening of schools in Greece, Germany, England, Scotland and USA all following the Salem traditions. In 1953 Hahn retired from Gordonstoun, suffering ill health as a result of sun stroke during a sailing incident in Germany in 1904. Retirement saw Hahn continuing his expansionist aims – the Duke of Edinburgh Award was started three years after leaving Gordonstoun and in 1962, with Sir Lawrence Darvall (commandant of NATO), he founded Atlantic College in Wales. This was to be the first of the United World Colleges (UWCs) and indicates a slight change in philosophy – unfettered by wartime urgency, Hahn shifted his focus to educating young people from different countries and cultural backgrounds to create ‘champions of peace’. There are currently UWCs on every continent, 14 in all. National committees operate in 147 countries and more than 1000 students join UWCs every year. Principles of inclusion, diversity and equity remain explicit. Interestingly such principles also appear to be currently influencing some Outward Bound Schools (e.g. Oman). 

One of the first students at Gordonstoun was Jocelin Winthrop-Young (who had also studied at Salem), son of Geoffrey who was a famous mountaineer, educator and friend of Hahn. Jocelin was inspired by Hahn and encouraged by him to become the headmaster of Anavryta School in Greece (1949-59) which operated along similar principles to Salem and Gordonstoun. This is where Round Square Schools were conceived but it was not until 1966 (on the seventieth birthday of Hahn) that

Jocelin founded Round Square Schools based on six pillars: Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership and Service (IDEALS). There are currently over 100 Round Square Schools which enrol nearly 60,000 students.  

Hahn’s ongoing impact is hard to overstate. The four organisations outlined above (Outward Bound, Duke of Edinburgh, United World Colleges and Round Square Schools) are the primary legacy of his life and philosophy but there are many others that claim inspiration such as the Sail Training Association (now Sail Training International), National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS in the USA), Project Adventure, and Expeditionary Learning Schools.

Although Hahn’s institutions were based in Europe, he left a legacy of organisations which embodied his philosophy around the world. 

Hahn’s major writings

Hahn, K. (1936) Education and peace: The foundations of modern society. The Inverness Courier. 24th March 1936. Retrieved 16 October, 2014, from www.KurtHahn.org/writings/writings.html

Hahn, K (1940). The love of enterprise, the love of aloneness, the love of skill. Address to Liverpool

Cathedral December 22, 1940. Retrieved 16 October, 2014, from www.KurtHahn.org/writings/writings.html  

Hahn, K. (1947). Training for and through the sea. Address given to the Honourable Mariners’

Company (20th Feb. 1947). Retrieved 16 October, 2014, from www.KurtHahn.org/writings/writings.html

Hahn, K. (1958). Address at the forty-eighth annual dinner of the old centralians. London: The central: The journal of Old Centralians, 119, 3-8. Retrieved 20 October, 2014, from www.KurtHahn.org/writings/writings.html

Hahn, K. (1960). The moral equivalent of war (Outward Bound). Address at the Annual Meeting of the Outward Bound Trust (20th July 1960). London: Outward Bound Trust. Retrieved 16 October, 2014, from www.KurtHahn.org/writings/writings.html

Hahn, K. (1965). Outward Bound. Address at the Outward Bound Conference at Harrogate (May 9th,

1965). London: Outward Bound Trust. Retrieved 16 October, 2014, from www.KurtHahn.org/writings/writings.html

Further reading

James, T. (1980). Sketch of a moving spirit. Journal of Experiential Education, 3(1), 17-22.

James, T. (1990). Kurt Hahn and the aims of education. Journal of Experiential Education, 13(1), 6-13. doi: 10.1177/105382599001300101

Quay, J. & Seaman, J. (2013). John Dewey and education outdoors: Making sense of the ‘educational situation’ through more than a century of progressive reforms. Sense: Rotterdam.

Richards, A. (1981). Kurt Hahn: The midwife of educational ideas. Unpublished Ph.D thesis, University of Colorado, United States of America.

Rowe, N. (2014). Tall ships today. London: Bloomsbury. 

Veevers, N. & Allison, P. (2011) Kurt Hahn: Inspirational, visionary, outdoor and experiential educator. Rotterdam: Sense.

Zelinski, M. (2010) (Ed.). One small flame: Kurt Hahn’s vision of education. Ontario: From the heart publishing.  

“You can’t be an atheist here”: Christianity and Outward Bound in Britain,
c.1941-1965 –
Mark Freeman

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31 May 1927 Birth of Michael Goulder, Maverick Scholar, Messianic Jewish Lectionary Composer #otdimjh

Michael Goulder: his theories were admired for their boldness and ambition

In the 1980s I was part of the London Messianic Congregation, and we were putting together our pattern of readings starting with the weekly Torah portion (parasha), with a portion from the Prophets (haftarah) and a passage from the B’rit Hadashah (New Testament). But how would we select the portion from the Apostolic writings, and what criteria should we use? Other Messianic congregations had developed their own patterns, but all seemed somewhat ad hoc and random.

I went up to Birmingham to hear Michael Goulder speak. His lectures were sparkling with wit and wisdom, analysis and insight, and he proposed a very credible theory that the Gospels, especially Matthew, were composed to be read aloud alongside the weekly pattern of the cycle of weekly and festival Torah portions. Whilst some of the connections seemed a little stretched, in general I found it quite convincing, and we adopted the pattern.  Here is a chart of what this might look like.

Goulder’s lectionary theories were a minority view in New Testament scholarship.   As with his other theories, on the non-existence of Q (“Quelle” – the source common to the three Synoptic Gospels), the conflict between the mission of Peter to the Jewish people, and of Paul to the nations and on the development of the Psalter and of the structure of Luke, they were always an acquired taste. But they have stood the test of time and critical scrutiny, and today scholars such as Mark Goodacre have championed their validity in the light of more recent discoveries and the development of newer tools and methods for evaluating them.

For me as a young Jewish disciple of Yeshua, it was not rocket science. The Gospels were composed by Jews for Jews (and others) about the greatest Jew who ever lived, Rabbi Yeshua Ben David. It was only natural that the records of his life and teaching were compiled to reflect his fulfilment of Torah, the Festivals, and the Jewish calendar. But until Goulder expanded and make the theory known, I did not know how it could be done.

The blessing on seeing a scholar is:

Blessed are you, O LORD our God, who has apportioned of his wisdom to those who fear Him.

ברוך אתה ה’ אלקינו מלך העולם שחלק מחכמתו ליראיו

Prayer: Thank you Lord for the life and wisdom of Michael Goulder, his contribution to scholarship and his creative and original views. May all who read your scriptures and follow Yeshua as Messiah and Lord read diligently, study enthusiastically, and be blessed with the knowledge and fear of You that is beyond price. In our Messiah’s name we pray. Amen.

From The Times
February 11, 2010

Professor Michael Goulder: biblical scholar

Michael Goulder was Professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Birmingham, well known for his creative approach to the Gospels and the Psalms and for resigning his orders as an Anglican priest not long after contributing to The Myth of God Incarnate, a celebrated collection of essays that questioned the traditional Christian doctrine of the Incarnation.

Michael Douglas Goulder was born in 1927 in London. He won a scholarship to Eton in 1940 and a major scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1946. He spent several years in Hong Kong, first with the company Jardine Matheson and then at St John’s Cathedral, where he developed an interest in the Anglican ministry. He was ordained in 1951. He returned to England and studied theology at Trinity College, Oxford, with Austin Farrer, whose biblical scholarship had a profound impact on his thinking. He would follow his teacher in arguing that the evangelists wrote with an imagination informed by Old Testament types and models, and that the hypothetical gospel source “Q” was unnecessary, against the prevailing wisdom of the day.

After serving a curacy in Salford, he was in parish ministry in Withington, Manchester, for six years. He returned to Hong Kong in 1962 as principal of Union Theological College. When he came back to England in 1966, it was as staff tutor in theology in the extramural department at the University of Birmingham, where he stayed until his retirement in 1994. He became Professor of Biblical Studies in 1991.

The position in the extramural department allowed him to teach and organise theology-related courses and events across the West Midlands. He was known as a successful teacher with a friendly, engaging style. His teaching was characterised by a stress on the importance of intellectual honesty and his love of telling a good story.

He developed his theories on the origins of the Gospels and from 1969 to 1971 he gave the Speaker’s Lectures in Oxford, arguing that Matthew was an expanded version of Mark, designed to be read around the year based on the Jewish lectionary. The lectures were later published as Midrash and Lection in Matthew (1974) which earned him an Oxford DD. Subsequent work, including The Evangelists’ Calendar (1978) and culminating in his largest and best book, Luke: A New Paradigm (1989), grew from this base, dispensing with hypothetical, lost gospel sources and arguing for the literary creativity of the evangelists.

He gained some notice as one of the contributors to The Myth of God Incarnate in 1977 and he edited the follow-up volume, Incarnation and Myth: The Debate Continued in 1979. In 1981 he resigned his orders because he no longer believed in God. The book co- authored with his friend and colleague John Hick, Why Believe in God (1983), provided an account of his journey away from faith. Although his scholarship was often coloured by a painstakingly honest, sceptical perspective, he never became an aggressive atheist, and he retained a love for the Church.

Later in his career, he developed a unitary theory of Christian origins that saw the Apostle Paul and his followers developing their theology in contradistinction from the Jerusalem Christians represented by Peter and James, Jesus’s brother. A popular presentation of the theory, A Tale of Two Missions (1994), was followed in 2001 by Paul and the Competing Mission in Corinth.

He will be remembered primarily as a New Testament scholar, but in an era of ever-increasing specialisation he was unusual in successfully crossing the boundaries and developing expertise also in the Old Testament, and especially the Psalms. He was president of the Society of Old Testament Studies (“Sots”) in 2001 and wrote seven books on the Psalms, Song of Songs and Isaiah. His work was characterised by the ability to see liturgical patterns in texts that were often treated by others in piecemeal fashion.

He was a gifted public speaker and a fine debater, with a mastery of detail and the ability to think on his feet. His sharp intellect and quick wit would give him the upper hand in debates with fellow scholars, and good humour and a mischievous streak made him a popular figure on public occasions.

His academic writing was admired for its clarity and sparkle, and his theories for their boldness and ambition. If he had only partial success in persuading others of the plausibility of his theories, he nevertheless succeeded in becoming one of the best-loved biblical scholars of his generation.

Michael Goulder was married to Clare Gardner in 1953. She and their two daughters and two sons survive him.

Professor Michael Goulder, biblical scholar, was born on May 31, 1927. He died on January 6, 2010, aged 82

From Five Stones and a Sling p28: on new theories:

“My disappointment was due in large part to my inexperience. I had
supposed that scholars were dedicated to the pursuit of truth, wherever
that might lead, and that new ideas would always be welcome. This however is only partly true. Before new ideas come, scholars have reached a
consensus, and their position as authorities depends upon their agreeing
with that consensus. Their teachers, whom they normally honoured, had
taught them the consensus; they had written their books assuming it, and
they had often helped to develop it themselves. They were not at all likely,
therefore, to think that they and their fellow experts had been wrong,
and that a new scholar, of whom they had not heard, was in a position to
put them right. But there is another problem: most scholars of the New
Testament have religious loyalties: they want the text to be orthodox, or
historical, or preachable, or relevant. So any new interpretation which
does not fulfil these conditions is not likely to be approved.”

On the Lectionary theory –

“My problem came with the general structure of Matthew’s Gospel.
It is widely accepted that the Gospel consists of a series of incidents,
mostly healings, broken by five Discourses: the Sermon on the Mount
(chs. 5–7), the Mission Discourse (ch. 10), the Harvest Parables (ch.
13), a Church Law Discourse (chs. 18–19), and the Discourse on the
End (chs. 24–25). Some scholars have suggested that Matthew had in
mind a parallel to the five books of the Law; but the fit is not good, and I
found the idea unconvincing. A solution came to me, as to Archimedes,
in my bath; in the form of another question, What did Matthew have in
mind as the purpose of his book? It can hardly have been to sell it in a
bookshop, and the general tone of the Gospel suggests that it was written
to be read aloud in church. But he couldn’t have meant all twenty-eight
chapters to be read aloud at one sitting, and an alternative occurred to
me as much more likely. The book could be divided into so many units,
to be read serially, one each Sunday. Chapter 28, Matthew’s last chapter,
the Resurrection story, could suitably be read on Easter Day. If the book
were written to be read as a cycle, his first chapters would then follow.
These consist of a series of stories, most of which he signs off with a
formula, such as, ‘All this came to pass that it might be fulfilled which
was spoken by the prophet…’: Jesus’ Birth, the Wise Men, the Flight into
Egypt, the Baptism, the Temptations, the First Disciples. After these
comes Matthew’s first Discourse, the Sermon on the Mount. Now the
coincidence here seemed very striking. Jesus was killed at Passover time;
seven weeks after Passover came the Jewish Feast of Pentecost. This
was celebrated as the occasion that Moses received the Law on Mount
Sinai; and here, seven sections after Easter, we have Jesus giving a new
version of the Law on the mountain. He says, ‘Think not that I came
to destroy the Law and Prophets; I came not to destroy but to fulfil’,
and he goes on to contrast the old Ten Commandments with ‘…but I say
unto you’. In other words Matthew appears to be providing a story to
be read out in church each Sunday, and for the Jewish festivals, there
were especially suitable discourses of Jesus. The Gospel was designed to
provide readings for the whole year.”

On Readings for the Jewish Calendar and Festivals —

“The further Discourses were also appropriate: to Jews, New Year
was a feast celebrating the Kingdom of God, and in ch. 10 there follows
Matthew’s second Discourse, the sending of the Apostles to proclaim
the coming of the Kingdom. Tabernacles was a feast celebrating the
harvest, and in ch. 13 comes the third Discourse, the Parables of the
Harvest. Between these two passages comes Jesus’ reproach of the cities
where he had preached for their failure to repent, in contrast to the men
of Nineveh who did repent at the preaching of Jonah. This would fall
ideally for Yom Kippur, the annual Fast, when Israel was to repent of its
sins, the 10th of Tishri, between New Year on the 1st and Tabernacles
from the 15th to the 22nd; the Book of Jonah is the traditional prophetic
reading for the Fast. Matthew 17 presents Jesus transfigured in light, a
suitable theme for Hanukkah, the Feast of Lights, and this then leads
on to the Fourth Discourse, chs. 18–19. Matthew 22 brings us to the
Royal Wedding Feast; one guest attends without a wedding garment,
and is cast out into outer darkness. The parable would serve well for
a Christian celebration of Purim, when King Ahasuerus gave a dinner
for his new wife Esther, and the unworthy guest Haman, who has been
plotting the liquidation of the Jewish people, is cast out and hanged on
his own gibbet. Matthew 24–25, the last Discourse, warns the Church
of the coming of its Lord at Passover. Mark gives substantially the
same discourse in ch. 13, and concludes, ‘What I say to you, I say to all,
Watch: for you know not when your Lord cometh, late or at midnight, or
cockcrow, or early’ (i.e. dawn). This follows the progress of the Passion
narrative: Jesus comes at evening for the Passover meal; after this he
takes the disciples to Gethsemane, where three times he says, ‘Could you
not watch with me one hour?’ Jesus is then arrested: Peter denies him at
cockcrow, and he is tried by Pilate at dawn. The fourth century pilgrim,
Egeria, describes the Vigil kept by the Jerusalem church on Passover
night with Gospel readings at the different locations mentioned in the
story; the church then kept Passover with an adoration of the Cross. The
Gospel divides the day into a series of watches, the trial at dawn, the
crucifixion at the third hour, darkness from the sixth hour, Jesus’ death
at the ninth hour, his burial before sundown. So much detail would be
well explained if the church was already keeping vigil through the full
day of expectation of Jesus’ coming.”



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24th May 2021 – Happy 80th Birthday, Bob Dylan! #otdimjh

Robert Allen Zimmerman was born on May 24, 1941. One of the greatest singer-songwriters of the 20th century, his powerful words and music have initiated and mirrored the shifts in contemporary American society.  His body of work has crossed musical boundaries and created trends for popular music, political protest and contemporary culture. His career of some 60 years has produced a body of work embracing both the intimate and personal life of a poet, and the global and political protests of a prophet and activist.

For Messianic Jews of special significance is the period that produced the albums Slow Train Coming (1979), Saved (1980) and Shot of Love (1981). Some of the songs were re-released in the 2003 tribute album Gotta Serve Somebody.

Dylan has never made any secret of his Jewishnes. He grew up in the small but close-knit Jewish community in Hibbing, Minnesota and had his BarMitzvah there in May 1954. His Christian phase was more problematic, and still subject to questioning, as are many other details of his life, loves and identity. How much of a passing phase, or re-invention, was his passionate evangelistic preaching in the 1980s is still a topic of debate amongst his fans. But like the other musical and political phases of his career, his work cannot be located in just one form or message, and throughout his life he has been accused of being a renegade and turn-coat.

My appreciation of his music began in the early 1960s, but when Steve Turner started reporting that he had become a disciple of Yeshua, and Slow Train Coming appeared, my own newly found faith was significantly impacted. Mark Knopfler’s guitar solos accompanying Dylan’s empassioned “You gotta serve somebody” became one of my anthems, and has stood the test of time.

He has received the highest accolades of his profession.  Ten Grammy awards, Academy Awards and membership of the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame are some of his many honours. The Pulitzer Prize for Literature (2008) and the Nobel Prize (2016) “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition” testify to his originality and creativity. Few if any singer-songwriters have made the contribution he has made.

On his 80th birthday his creativity continues, but questions remain, as he would wish, about his style, direction, beliefs and faith. We wish him well, pray for HaShem’s richest blessing on his life, and that he may continue to create great music, poetry and art, and know more of his Messiah.

Prayer: Thank you Lord, for the life, songs and message of Bob Dylan. May he know the fulness of Your love for Him in our Messiah, Yeshua. In his name we pray. Amen.

A Prayer by Bob Dylan

For his age, he’s wise
He’s got his mother’s eyes
There’s gladness in his heart
He’s young and he’s wild
My only prayer is, if I can’t be there
Lord, protect my child

As his youth now unfolds
He is centuries old
Just to see him at play makes me smile
No matter what happens to me
No matter what my destiny
Lord, protect my child

The whole world is asleep
You can look at it and weep
Few things you find are worthwhile
And though I don’t ask for much
No material things to touch
Lord, protect my child

He’s young and on fire
Full of hope and desire
In a world that’s been raped and defiled
If I fall along the way
And can’t see another day
Lord, protect my child

There’ll be a time I hear tell
When all will be well
When God and man will be reconciled
But until men lose their chains
And righteousness reigns
Lord, protect my child

Copyright © 1983 by Special Rider Music




Aubrey L. Glazer. God Knows Everything is Broken: The Great (Gnostic) Americana Songbook of Bob Dylan. USA: Panui, 2019.

Bob Dylan, the messiah and personal redemption, RABBI AUBREY GLAZER | APRIL 7, 2017

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25 April 1866 Letter of Invitation to Form Hebrew Christian Alliance of Great Britain #otdimjh

On This Day In Messianic Jewish History

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 08.10.35

Noting the existence of previous Hebrew Christian brotherhoods and other groups of Jewish Christians that met in the 19th century, Hugh Schonfield observes:

But while these movements have interest as expressing the need of Jewish Christians for mutual dependence both in prayer and charity, they have no claim to be regarded as forerunners of a revived Jewish Christianity.

Haim Ridley Herschell Haim Ridley Herschell

The first united stand of Jewish Christians, as such, was made in 1866 when Dr. C. Schwartz, minister of Trinity Chapel, Edgware Road, London, built by another Jewish Christian, Ridley Herschell, formed a Hebrew-Christian Union. The objects are stated to have been:

1 To promote a social and frequent personal intercourse among Christian Israelites by meeting together at stated periods.

2 To stir up and stimulate one another in the endeavor of uniting with, and caring for, our brethren.

3 To search the Scriptures together relating to…

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19 April 1881 – Primrose Day – Passing of Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister, Novelist, Christian and Jew #otdimjh

“There is one fact which none can contest. Christians may continue to persecute Jews, and Jews may persist in disbelieving Christians, but who can deny that Jesus of Nazareth, the Incarnate Son of the Most High God, is the eternal glory of the Jewish race?” (Benjamin Disraeli, Chapter 10, “The Jews”, Lord George Bentinck: A Political Biography, 1852)

“You were born a Jew and you forsook your great people”, Queen Victoria said to Benjamin Disraeli. “Now you are a member of the Church of England, but no one believes that you are a Christian at heart. Please tell me, who are you and what are you?”

“Your Majesty,” Disraeli famously replied, “I am the blank page between the Old Testament and the New.”

Benjamin Disraeli was born December 21, 1804 and died on April 19, 1881. Today, the 140th anniversary of his passing, is marked by Primrose Day. The primrose was his favourite flower and Queen Victoria would often send him bunches of them from the Great Park of Windsor Castle and from Osborne House, her holiday home on the Isle of Wight. She sent a wreath of primroses to his funeral.

Primrose Day in London. 1915 #11259486 Framed Photos, Wall Art
Primrose Day 1915

Memorial ceremony for former Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli outside Westminster Palace (1916). https://www.britishpathe.com/video/primrose-day-in-london
Primrose Day: a memorial tribute to Benjamin Disraeli, former British Prime Minister and first Earl of Beaconsfield. M/S of statue with Big Ben behind it. Crowd of people around statue; wreath on the base. Westminster Palace can be seen in background. In the foreground an old lady sells a bunch of primroses to a young soldier.

Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, KG, PC, MP, FRS (21 December 1804 – 19 April 1881), was twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, serving in 1868 and from 1874 to 1880. He was a member of the British Conservative Party and played a central role in the creation of the modern Party, defining its policies and its broad outreach. Disraeli is remembered for his influential voice in world affairs, his political battles with the Liberal Party leader William Ewart Gladstone, and his one-nation conservatism or “Tory democracy”. He made the Conservatives the party most identified with the glory and power of the British Empire. He is the only British prime minister to have been of Jewish birth. He was also a novelist, publishing works of fiction even as prime minister.

Disraeli dominated political life as no other, and politics has been permanently impacted by his contributions to the Conservative Party, the Parliamentary system, and global diplomacy. But he struggled for most of his life with commercial and financial disaster, opposition, hostility, antisemitism and debt. Lord Randolph Churchill crisply summarised his career as one of “failure, failure, failure, partial success, renewed failure.   Ultimate and complete victory.” As an ‘outsider’ with ‘Jewish disabilities’ used against him, and without money or membership of the aristocracy he manage to climb “the greasy pole” of power and dominate the political life of the nation.

In 1835 Daniel O’Connell, the Irish Roman Catholic leader, attacked Disraeli in the House of Commons. In the course of his unrestrained invective, he referred to Disraeli’s Jewish ancestry. Disraeli replied, ‘Yes, I am a Jew, and while the ancestors of the right honourable gentleman were brutal savages in an unknown island, mine were priests in the temple of Solomon.”

Biopic of Disraeli starring Ian McShane – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disraeli_(TV_serial)

There are numerous biographies and studies of his life, and particularly of the relationship between his Jewish ethnicity and his Christian faith. Stan Meyer’s “The Bible’s Missing Page” surveys the disputed questions of the authenticity of his religious convictions, and the construction of his Jewish identity.  

Robert Blake argues that Disraeli’s

“…theological ideas were, in reality, the rationalization of his own peculiar psychological dilemma. It suited him to blur as far as possible the differences between the Jewish and Christian faiths. He almost seems at times to regard Christ’s Jewishness as more important than His divinity. To him the Jew is a proto-Christian, and Christianity is completed Judaism. How else could a person intensely proud of the Jewish ancestry which his less worthy enemies flung in his face, yet at the same time a convert to the very faith of those who sneered at him, justify both that pride and that conversion?”  (Disraeli. London: Eyre and Spottiswood, 1966:204)

Here is Bernstein’s summary in “Some Jewish Witnesses for Christ”

Disraeli, Benjamin, Earl of Beaconsfield, born in London, December 21, 1804, died there April 19, 1881. Of this pre-eminently distinguished man in the nineteenth century there are many biographies and lasting monuments. We need only record very briefly here that he was one of England’s greatest sons and statesmen, and the greatest ornament of the Jewish people in modern times. An ardent lover of his nation, a genuine English patriot, a friend of his great Queen, a thorough Protestant Churchman, yet with liberal tendencies, and a true believer in Christianity, which he regarded as completed Judaism. His works are these: “Vivian Grey,” 1817; “The Infernal Marriage;” “Ixion in Heaven,” and “Popanilla,” 1828; “Contarini Fleming,” and “The Wondrous Tale of Alroy,” 1832; “The Young Duke,” about that time; “What is he?” 1833; “Revolutionary Epic,” 1834; “Coningsby,” 1844; “Tancred,” 1847; “Sybil,” 1845;[190] “The rise of Iskander,” “Vindication of the British Constitution,” “Venetia,” “Henrietta Temple,” “The Tragedy of Count Alarcos,” and “Lothair,” were all productions of his great intellect at different seasons. Benjamin’s mother, his sister Sarah, born 1802, his brother Ralph, 1809, and his brother James, 1813, were all Hebrew Christians.

Young Disraeli

Disraeli wrote:

“Is it therefore wonderful that a great portion of the Jewish race should not believe in the most important portion of the Jewish religion? As, however, the converted races become more humane in their behaviour to the Jews, and the latter have opportunity fully to comprehend and deeply to ponder over true Christianity, it is difficult to suppose that the result will not be very different. Whether presented by a Roman or Anglo-Catholic or Genevese divine, by pope, bishop, or presbyter, there is nothing, one would suppose, very repugnant to the feelings of a Jew when he learns that the redemption of the human race has been effected by the mediatorial agency of a child of Israel: if the ineffable mystery of the Incarnation be developed to him, he will remember that the blood of Jacob is a chosen and peculiar blood; and if so transcendent a consummation is to occur, he will scarcely deny that only one race could be deemed worthy of accomplishing it. There may be points of doctrine on which the northern and western races may perhaps never agree. The Jew like them may follow that path in those respects which reason and feeling alike dictate; but nevertheless it can hardly be maintained that there is anything revolting to a Jew to learn that a Jewess is the queen of heaven, or that the flower of the Jewish race are even now sitting on the right hand of the Lord God of Sabaoth.


https://ok.ru/video/2174831430350 The Prime Minister is a British 1941 British historical drama film. It features John Gielgud, Diana Wynyard, Fay Compton, and Stephen Murray.

Perhaps, too, in this enlightened age, as his mind expands, and he takes a comprehensive view of this period of progress, the pupil of Moses may ask himself, whether all the princes of the house of David have done so much for the Jews as that prince who was crucified on Calvary. Had it not been for Him, the Jews would have been comparatively unknown, or known only as a high Oriental caste which had lost its country. Has not He made their history the most famous in the world? Has not He hung up their laws in every temple? Has not He vindicated all their wrongs? Has not He avenged the victory of Titus and conquered the Caesars? What successes did they anticipate from their Messiah? The wildest dreams of their rabbis have been far exceeded. Has not Jesus conquered Europe and changed its name into Christendom? All countries that refuse the cross wither, while the whole of the new world is devoted to the Semitic principle and its most glorious offspring the Jewish faith, and the time will come when the vast communities and countless myriads of America and Australia, looking upon Europe as Europe now looks upon Greece, and wondering how so small a space could have achieved such great deeds, will still find music in the songs of Sion and still seek solace in the parables of Galilee.

These may be dreams, but there is one fact which none can contest. Christians may continue to persecute Jews, and Jews may persist in disbelieving Christians, but who can deny that Jesus of Nazareth, the Incarnate Son of the Most High God, is the eternal glory of the Jewish race?”

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the life and contribution of Benjamin Disraeli, who served his nation, his people and his Messiah. Thank you for his political mind, his ability to negotiate the boundaries of Judaism and Christianity, and his example of what it means to construct an identity as a Jewish disciple of Jesus, despite his own weaknesses, imperfections and the challenges he faced. May we learn from his example, and live out with authentic faith and integrity what is means to be Jewish disciples of Yeshua. In his name we pray. Amen.

Primroses | Sussex Wildlife Trust









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9th April 2021 – Passing of Prince Philip, friend of the Jewish people #otdimjh

We express our sincere condolences to the Queen and all the Royal Family on the death of Prince Philip at the age of ninety-nine. He was a dedicated public servant and consort, a much-loved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was also a great friend to the Jewish people, attending many Jewish functions and events.

Philip was himself a refugee and recalled that for many of his early years he had “no fixed abode”. Whilst at school in Germany, he got into trouble for mocking the Nazi salute, and then – when the Hitler Youth began to infiltrate the school – his parents quickly brought him to the United Kingdom. There in 1933 he attended Gordonstoun School in Scotland whose headmaster Kurt Hahn was himself a Jewish refugee from Germany who helped others escape.


Hahn was a strong character and pioneering educationalist. He became a mentor and friend to the young Philip. His approach to physical education, encouraging personal initiative, compassion and service to others not only imprinted these qualities in Philip’s character, but also became the inspiration for what would become the highly influential Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme that trained thousands of young people in life skills and leadership.  Hahn himself became a disciple of Yeshua, joining the Church of England in 1945, where he was active member and speaker.

The ceremony at Yad Vashem in honour of Princess Alice, 30 October 1994. Prince Philip, right, with his sister Princess Sophie of Hanover in the Hall of Remembrance (Yad Vashem)

Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Alice, is lovingly remembered for sheltering a Jewish family from the Holocaust and is listed as one of the “Righteous Among the Nations” at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum.  She was buried on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and Prince Philip visited Israel in 1994 to honour her memory and meet with Israeli leaders. Prince Philip’s long and distinguished service demonstrated courage, patience, resilience and hope, and his forthright manner and outspoken wit won him many friends. We wish ‘chayim aruchim’, long life, to the Queen and the Royal Family, and trust that he may receive the welcome of our Messiah, “well done, thou good and faithful servant”.

Prayer: God of all comfort, we give thanks for the life of service of Prince Philip and pray for your comfort and strength for Queen Elizabeth and all the Royal Family at this time of loss. Thank you for the life and example of this man of courage and faith who served his Queen, country and Your purposes so well. May we who bear witness to Yeshua, the Prince of Peace, show the same faithful service, integrity of character, and joie de vivre both in this age and the age to come. In our Messiah’s name we pray. Amen.


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otdimjh 24 October 1945 Re-orientation of German Lutherans and Institutum Judaicum

Evangelisch-Lutherischer Zentralverein für Mission unter Israel to Evangelischen Oberkirchenrat, October 24, 1945, LKA Stuttgart A126/658, 132.

hockenos in Spicer 177

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15 October 1932 Birth of Heinrich Teubel – Jewish Priest and Organ Restorer

Heinrich Martin Josef Teubel was born in Pilsen, at that time in Czechosolvakia, on the 15th October, as the 3rd of 4 sons – Gerhard (1926-2015), Dieter (1928-1997), Heinrich, Werner (1932). His mother, Ernestine (Erna), born Rasp (1899-1951) came from Karlsbad and was a trained infant nurse, and his father, Gustav Teubel (1899-1976) had a diploma in electronics and at the time of Heinz’s birth, worked in the Skoda works in Pilsen. In 1931 he was made a professor at the engineering school in Komotau (at that time in a region known as the Sudetenland), where we moved to. There the boys went at first in the nursery.  As Heinz was a late developer, he only went into elementary school in 1937, as the sole one of the brothers.

Gustav’s mother was a Jewess, who changed to being a protestant at the time of her marriage. Her husband had a managerial position in the sugar factory in Keltschan, Bohemia (Bohemia and Moravia are the heartlands of the later Czechoslovakia (1919-1939) or Czech Republic (1945-1990). Upto 1919 these countries belonged to the Austro-Hungarian empire. The Sudetenland had a mostly German population, which, after the annexation of Austria by the German Reich in spring 1938, also led to its annexation (Munich agreement). This had crucial consequences for Heinz’s family. After the 1st October 1938 annexation,  Heinz’s father was dismissed from state service as he was a half Jew, under the Nürenberg law of 1935. He was given a very small pension. The family also had to move out of their official flat, but received an offer of a very big flat of a Jewish family, who had moved to America.

From that moment on the family experienced what it was to be called a Jew in Hitler’s Germany; to be of Jewish decent. The children though – Heinz was at the time 8 years old – had only a very unclear idea. They were, like others, enthusiastic adherents of the new German Reich, marched with the Hitler youth, sung for example the anti- Jewish songs, the sense of which they didn’t get, then experienced the change of mood in the war and the constant secrecy, also learnt that terrible things were happening with the Jews, but were so dominated by the happenings of war and the nights of bombing that they only gradually understood the full extent of what had happened after the war.

The effect on the family : Heinz’s father was unemployed for a time, then he worked for a short period in Berlin, and from round about 1940 (arranged through a Christian friend) for a large electrics firm in Ratingen near Düsseldorf. This firm delivered electrical equipment for mining, and it was happy to get an electrical engineer after the start of the war (1939). The boss, a staunch party comrade, took care that the father’s descent was kept quiet. So spring 1941 the family moved to Ratingen, where after half a year they were able to rent a house with a garden on the edge of town, a Godsend as it was already the time of night bombing. In the following years they saw Düsseldorf (10km away) and the towns of the Ruhr burning. Heinz was trained in the elementary school for half a year, then in autumn 1941 he went to the grammar school. 1944 he didn’t move class, as he had bad grades in Latin and Biology. In March 1945 Ratingen (West) was bombed and burnt – the family lived in the eastern part. In April the American tank columns rolled in and the family breathed a sigh of relief; for them the war was over, and the threat for them passed. Heinz’s father then soon changed his place and took on his favourite work at an engineering school in Dortmund. The school was happy, as the father, being a former persecuted person of the Nazi regime, didn’t need to be de-nazified. The family had no further thoughts until gradually the total shock of the concentration camps and the Holocaust was made known. But when their relations came to them as displaced persons, they encountered the total Nazi thinking among the relatives to varying degrees. The relatives of Heinz’s father, 2 sisters, had a similar fate to his father, but they survived the time without persecution (only the eldest sister, who was a teacher in Vienna was dismissed from her state job). One must know, the so called Antisemitism, from thoughtless prejudice to blatant anti-Jewishness, was very widely spread in the Austro-Hungarian empire. It was nearly a 1000 year tradition in the Catholic Church. Heinz’s mother had no problem marrying a half Jew, but she often expressed her anti-Jewish prejudices, even though she was horrified by the fire of the synagogue in Komotau and the expulsion of the Jews and fiercely opposed it. Heinz found it hard to describe this mental-mixture, and believes that one needs to experience it for oneself.

The post-war period was then initially dominated by completely different themes : what would become of the children in the conquered and destroyed Germany ? But they didn’t have problems with their descent any more after 1945.

How much the struggle to survive dominated Heinz’s time became clear at the important phases of life.

School had stopped in late autumn 1944 and it was unclear when it could begin again. So Heinz’s father insisted that he first learn a profession, and as he could not decide, Heinz was put into a gardener’s apprenticeship. The justification : according to the so called Morhethau Plan, Germany was to become only a country of farmers and gardeners. As they had to starve until 1948, and as Heinz was not accustomed to working in wind and weather, it was a hard time for Heinz. In September 1947 he caught typhoid and had to suspend his apprenticeship till the end of December. It was the first time that he barely survived.

One day the principal of the vocational school asked Heinz if he had the ‘middle school certificate’, and when he said no, the principal said “Pity. You could otherwise have trained to be a horticultural inspector”. Heinz was one of the best pupils there. This was a signal for him; he wanted to catch up and get the ‘middle school certificate’.  A former school colleague told Heinz that it would take him 3 years at a private school and that he’d have to do external examinations. He told him also, that in same time he could to evening Grammar School, do the Abitur, and that he would be tested by the teachers who taught him. So, 6 months later, after his apprenticeship examination (autumn 1948 – in between, after the currency reform in June 1948 the situation in the country had got clearly better),    in April 1949 he went to the evening Grammar School  in Düsseldorf, and with much luck, passed the Abitur in April 1952. He was the first person in the family who had achieved the Arbitur (both of his older brothers had gone to engineering school and had begun their careers as electrical engineers in industry. He wanted next to become a horticultural architect, but decided May /June 1948 to study theology. His parents were both convinced Christians. His father had converted to Christianity. He brought the children up very strictly; especially the three oldest were in constant opposition to this. Both Heinz’s older brothers left the church, Heinz as it were studied Theology out of protest. At the evening Grammar School he had a magnificent religious teacher, he also appreciated as a priest and preacher.  For Heinz, the time from about 1948 was a special time : Düsseldorf offered an excellent cultural life and he had a 70 year old German teacher  who introduced them – outside of the school – to modern art  (which they only knew from  the  Nazi era as ‘degenerate art’).   Within those 3 years Heinz learnt to know a total different world and a totally different way of thinking than he had got from his family. It set the course for his whole life.  The study from autumn 1952 until the 1st exam 1959/60 was a great obstacle course. He started with the language semesters at the church university in Wuppertal (luckily he’d already done Hebrew, Greek and Latin at the evening Grammar school), changed summer 1954 to Mainz, and autumn 1955 to Heidelberg. After 4 weeks of being there he had to break off from his study as he fell out with his father, and his father wouldn’t send him any more money. So he went working in a factory to earn some money. From 1949 he worked alternately in his profession or factories. Had he finally failed ?

May 1955 Heinz was able to begin his studies again, this time in Göttingen.  He remained here until autumn 1959, till the 1st exam. During this time, Heinz also worked in the holidays partly in his occupation and partly in different factories. He didn’t do it for his studies, but he did gain invaluable experience. In Göttingen he got to know his future wife, Carmen.  She came from east Prussia, was also a refuge, had done the Abitur in Göttingen in 1952, and then did  an apprenticeship as an industrial clerk  at Zeiss-Winkel  (optical industry, microscopes). For Heinz, this was the best time.

In the 1st exam he didn’t  pass the oral exam for 2 subjects, but had the chance to repeat them six months later. During this time he worked part time in psychiatry (closed department) in the large Bethel diaconal plant near Bielefeld , because his father was living in Bielefeld.

1960-1962 followed the curacy time, then the 2nd exams, which he this time he immediately passed. April 1961 Heinz and Carmen married. His first priest’s post was in Walsum in the lower Rhein. Approximately half the workers were miners and the other half steelworkers for Thuyssen in Duisburg.  In this time both of Heinz and Carmen’s daughters were born – Ricarda (1964) and Cordula (1967). Heinz had always wanted a congregation of workers. But in 1968 a student friend asked Heinz whether he wouldn’t want to take over a community in the Hunsrück (4 villages).  Carmen was very much in favour, as she was fed up of the coal dust and the fumes from the industry. So 1969 they moved to Rhaunen-Suzbach .  He had a completely different community : of urban industrial workers  in villages, where only a small number of people worked in agriculture, and the majority  worked outside, mostly in construction. Nevertheless,  13 years here shaped him mostly deeply, especially in pastoral care, and this had an impact from the years 1982/1983 to the current day.

What he could not have guessed was that during this time he had to do 2 organ restorations, which caused quite a stir. In Sulzbach, one of the most important German organ building firms built round about 300 organs over 6 generations  – 160 years. With both restorations (1979 Rhaunen, 1981 Sulzbach)  he was lucky  with advice and the organ builder (>>>>>>), so that in 1981 it became clear that with these restorations new standards had been set for the Stumm organs. For many of Heinz’s parishioners this still has significance, and they have become aware of the unusualness of their small Hunsrück community (round about 270 inhabitants). So he still has a connection to a whole range of parishioners.

For Heinz, another change then came quite surprisingly,: again in a totally different field of work : in Autumn 1982 he took over a post in the military pastoral care in Koblenz. He could never have imagined doing this, as from 1964 he had regularly been in charge of conscientious objectors and so was totally opposed to soldiers and the military. But in Autumn 1981 he spent a week in the Centre for Internal Leadership of the Army (Bundeswehr) in Koblenz, and of all things a conversation with a colleague of the military pastoral care made him think. He never regretted the move : he held a soldier’s  Bible circle for 8 years between 1982 and 1992/95 and he was often able to build an astonishing relationship with soldiers and officers. This also applied in the local parishes after his retirement (1992) to 2016 when he stood in at church services, baptisms, wedding ceremonies and burials. After his retirement, he continued to work part time in the military pastoral care until January 1995, and then he took over several missions in the prison pastoral care in Koblenz.

After the quarrel with his father in 1954/55, he finally broke away from him, but then before commencing his studies again, he reconnected with his father so that he could be reconciled with him. Through this crisis he grew up. In his faith, he took a different way, and has repeatedly dealt with what was called Pietism, and has tried to understand this piety, which is above all a piety of the members of the congregation. He knows that much of this piety lives on in himself today, such as open prayer. He has been for years in his church in a small circle “Bible and Everyday Life”, which has been rejected by others as being “fundamentalist” and “pious”, but it has helped him a lot to settle into this kind of faith.

Looking back, it has long been clear to him that he has had to constantly re-learn and continue to learn through the many changes and different areas of work. His wife and their two daughters also played a decisive role in this.

When he thinks about his roots : what had first been a disaster for all of them – they had to leave their beautiful homeland in 1941 proved to be a special blessing – they did not face any further expulsions after 1945 and were able to take in their relatives. And although as a child he knew about the problems of Jewish descent, he had to learn to be quiet about it and of course be in the state youth group of the time, marching with the Hitler youth. It was only after 1945 that the whole significance became apparent to him and his family, that if Hitler had won the war, they would not have had a future. Over the years he has been very concerned with what happened. He visited the concentration camps of Bergen-Belsen, Dachau and Buchenwald.  And when he comes across old and new expressions of anti-semitism, he knows that this concerns him.

translated and edited from the German by Malcolm James – many thanks!

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July 10 1903/1983 Birth and Death of H L Ellison, Hebrew Christian Scholar and Gentleman #otdimjh

Henry Leopold Ellison (July 10, 1903 Krakow, Poland – July 10, 1983 Dawlish), usually cited as H. L. Ellison, was a biblical scholar, professor, missionary, speaker, and author in the 1900s. His parents were Leopold Zeckhausen and Sara Jane Ellison. His father, being a Jewish Believer, was a missionary to the Jews throughout Europe.

He and his brother, Christian (a missionary in China), changed their last names from Zeckhausen to Ellison in 1925 to better assimilate into British society.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Ellison was an Anglican missionary to the Jews in Europe in the late 1920s and ’30s. However, after receiving Believer’s Baptism, he was kicked out of the Church of England. Upon his return to Britain, he held many positions in the academic realm as a respected Old Testament scholar and became associated with the Open Brethren.

He was a friend and colleague of F. F. Bruce.

From “Torah and Other Essays”

My encounter with Ellison in the 1970s and early 1980s was as a young leader trying to bring Messianic Judaism to the UK and fearful that the “old guard” of Hebrew Christians would be against us. This was far from the case and we were met with a gracious and heartfelt welcome by the giants of the past. “You are the answer to our prayers” said Eric Lipson as we brought our new-fangled guitars and Messianic worship songs to the somewhat staid Hebrew Christian Alliance of Great Britain conferences. Harry, and later his widow Jean, showed us nothing but kindness and appreciation. We were in awe of their history, scholarship and somewhat professorial manner. Men like Ellison, Jocz, and the Samuel brothers, Harcourt and Theodore, continued to influence us long after they passed. Ellison was known for marking essays whilst sitting in committee meetings – but always with one eye on the business in hand. Whilst his manner could be abrupt, the sparkle in his eye showed his razor-sharp mind, his humour and his graciousness. His books are still in high demand today – popular and accessible scholarship combined with deep biblical and theological study.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for the wisdom and contributions of scholarship and godly character of Harry Ellison. How much the Messianic movement needs people like him today! May his name and legacy of scholarship continue to be a blessing! In Yeshua the Messiah’s name we pray!


Torah and Other Essays – IHCA Tribute

Men Spake From God (1952)
Ezekiel: The Man and His Message (1956)
The Christian Approach to a Jew (1958)
From Tragedy to Triumph: A Study of Job (1958)
The Household Church: Apostolic Practice in a Modern Setting (1963)
Understanding the Old Testament: Joshua – 2 Samuel (1966)
The Mystery of Israel: An Exposition of Romans 9-11 (1966)
The Psalms (1968)
The Message of the Old Testament (1969)
The Prophets of Israel (1969)
Understanding the New Testament: 1 Peter – Revelation (1969)
Understanding a Jew (1972)
From Babylon to Bethlehem (1976)
Fathers of the Covenant (1978)
Understanding Bible Teachings: Jesus as Man (1978)
Exodus (1982)

richardsh (12 August 2015). “12 August 1888 Leopold Zeckhausen, father of H L Ellison, declares his faith in Yeshua #otdimjh”.


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