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

I am reblogging this with the addition of a copy of the last IHCA Theological Bulletin which Harry Ellison edited, from November 1979. He edited and largely wrote this bulletin three times per year, and it is full of his wit, wisdom and sharp observations on the biblical, theological and Hebrew Christian studies of his day – see https://www.dropbox.com/s/f7bo511il0w9zfm/Ellison%20IHCA%20Theology%201979.pdf?dl=0

On This Day In Messianic Jewish History

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.

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22 November 1963 Death of C S Lewis: Author, Apologist, Advocate for the Jewish people #otdimjh

“In a sense the converted Jew is the only normal human being in the world. To him, in the first instance, the promises were made, and he has availed himself of them. He calls Abraham his father by hereditary right as well as by divine courtesy. He has taken the whole syllabus in order, as it was set; eaten the dinner according to the menu. Everyone else is, from one point of view, a special case, dealt with under emergency regulations … we christened gentiles, are after all the graft, the wild vine, possessing ‘joys not promised to our birth’; though perhaps we do not think of this so often as we might.” (Forward to Smoke on the Mountain)

Monochrome head-and-left-shoulder photo portrait of 50-year-old Lewis

Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963) was a British writer and lay theologian. He held academic positions in English literature at both Oxford University (Magdalen College, 1925–1954) and Cambridge University (Magdalene College, 1954–1963). He is best known for his works of fiction, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space Trilogy, and for his non-fiction Christian apologetics, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain.

Lewis and fellow novelist J. R. R. Tolkien were close friends. They both served on the English faculty at Oxford University and were active in the informal Oxford literary group known as the Inklings. According to Lewis’s 1955 memoir Surprised by Joy, he was baptised in the Church of Ireland, but fell away from his faith during adolescence. Lewis returned to Anglicanism at the age of 32, owing to the influence of Tolkien and other friends, and he became an “ordinary layman of the Church of England”. Lewis’s faith profoundly affected his work, and his wartime radio broadcasts on the subject of Christianity brought him wide acclaim.

Lewis wrote more than 30 books which have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold millions of copies. The books that make up The Chronicles of Narnia have sold the most and have been popularised on stage, TV, radio, and cinema. His philosophical writings are widely cited by Christian apologists from many denominations.

Joy Davidman’s home in Headington, Oxford (with Andrew Barron)

In 1956, Lewis married American Jewish Christian writer Joy Davidman; she died of cancer four years later at the age of 45. Lewis died on 22 November 1963 from kidney failure, one week before his 65th birthday. In 2013, on the 50th anniversary of his death, Lewis was honoured with a memorial in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey.

C S Lewis’ Grave in Oxford

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the life, work and loves of C S Lewis, for you, for his wife Joy, and for your people Israel. May we be inspired by his creativity, wisdom, scholarship and personal faith, as we sail the Dawn Treader of our lives into shores unknown and adventures new. Help us persevere as we wrestle with the Problem of Pain and resist the temptations of Screwtape and his minions to distract us from the way of Aslan. In our Messiah Yeshua we pray. Amen

New Book by P H Brazier – published October 2021
https://wipfandstock.com/9781725291973/a-hebraic-inkling/An apologist, philosophical theologian, and Oxford academic, C. S. Lewis valued the Jewish religious tradition. Underpinning Lewis’s corpus is an enlightened, foundational respect for the Jews as God’s chosen people. Much of Lewis’s mature understanding came from his wife, Joy Davidman (Lewis referred to her as a Jewish Christian), born to American Jewish parents; she was an adult convert to Yeshua Ha Mashiach–Jesus Christ. A Hebraic Inkling, examines this Jewish-Hebrew heritage in Lewis’s life and works, by analyzing key texts: theological and philosophical, literary and apologetic, biblical. As a boy and young man he reflected much of the implicit anti-Semitism inherent to the public school educated Edwardian establishment; this is replaced by deep respect when he became a Christian. Along with the Hebrew Scriptures, we examine Lewis on Hebraic poetry (Reflections on the Psalms), the “The Incarnation Nation,” the Messiah in the Hebrew scriptures, supersessionism, Israel, his rigorous stand against anti-Semitism, and how Christians are enfolded into the chosen people. With marriage revelation gets deeply personal: a familial witness. When one of Joy’s children–David–sought to return to his mother’s birth-faith, Lewis moved all to accommodate his wishes and raise him as a Jew, after Joy’s untimely death.

REFLECTION BY TOBY JANICKI –

On one of my office walls hang the pictures of eight Messianic Jewish Luminaries and below them is one lone picture of C.S. Lewis. People who come into my office often ask, “Who is that?” Although many people don’t know what he looked like, every time I tell them who it is a smile comes across their faces.

I have always loved the writings of C.S. Lewis since I was a small child at Christian summer camp. One of the activities we had was story time where a counselor would read one of the Narnia Chronicle books to us. It wasn’t long after that that I read the entire series myself. When I got older I read more of his theological stuff such as Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters. He is one of my favorite writers of all time and always seemed to communicate with such ease and grace.

While most believers are familiar with his works on some level, very few people know about his Jewish wife and the impact that she had upon him. Joy Davidman Gresham was of Jewish descent and had come to believe in Messiah after being an atheist for most of her life. Lewis wrote of her:

In a sense the converted Jew is the only normal human being in the world. To him, in the first instance, the promises were made, and he has availed himself of them. He calls Abraham his father by hereditary right as well as by divine courtesy. He has taken the whole syllabus in order, as it was set; eaten the dinner according to the menu. Everyone else is, from one point of view, a special case, dealt with under emergency regulations … we christened gentiles, are after all the graft, the wild vine, possessing “joys not promised to our birth”; though perhaps we do not think of this so often as we might. (Forward to Smoke on the Mountain)

While I balk a bit at the expression “converted Jew,” we must remember the time in which C.S. Lewis lived and wrote. From that perspective the respect and honor that he gives the Jewish people is profound and progressive and his words about Gentiles are sobering and certainly in line with the Apostle Paul’s warning, “Do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you” (Romans 11:18).

He expresses a similar sentiment while commenting on the gospel story of the Syrophoenician woman:

I think to myself that the shocking reply to the Syrophoenician woman (it came alright in the end) is to remind all us Gentile Christians—who forget it easily enough or flirt with anti-Semitism—that the Hebrews are spiritually senior to us, that God did entrust the descendants of Abraham with the first revelation of Himself. (The Quotable Lewis, 348)

After Joy passed away from cancer Lewis continued to raise her two boys Douglas and David. While Douglas would go on to become a follower of Messiah like his mother, David became an Orthodox Jew and eventually took up the profession of a schochet (ritual slaughterer). While he still lived with C.S. Lewis, Lewis would provide him with kosher food, which was no small task in 1950s Oxford, England. This was certainly a testament to Lewis’ character and his compassion for the Jewish people.

On this day, November 22nd in 1963, Lewis passed on into the world of truth. May his writings continue to inspire us all, and may the humility he expressed as a Gentile believer toward the Jewish people be an example to us in the Messianic movement today.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._S._Lewis

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9 December 1995 Baptism and Passing of Gillian Rose, philosopher, cultural theorist and believer in Yeshua #otdimjh

Whilst Gillian Rose’s death occurred on the 9 December, I am re-blogging this now to alert readers of a special offer on a new book introducing Rose’s social philosophy, available on from Wipf and Stock for just $2.99 until 30 November 2021 (you may need to register to receive their email offer) – what a great way to enjoy her work and celebrate this extraordinarily gifted philosopher and Jewish disciple of Jesus.

On This Day In Messianic Jewish History

Whilst Gillian Rose’s death occurred on the 9 December, I am re-blogging this now to alert readers of a special offer on a new book introducing Rose’s social philosophy, available on from Wipf and Stock for just $2.99 until 30 November 2021 (you may need to register to receive their email offer) – what a great way to enjoy her work and celebrate this extraordinarily gifted philosopher and Jewish disciple of Jesus.

The Social Philosophy of Gillian Rose (Veritas Book 27) by [Andrew Brower Latz]

rose 2

“In the wake of the perceived demise of Marxism and of Heidegger’s Nazism, everybody’s looking for an ethics. But in fact they should be looking for a political theology.” – Gillian Rose

I am grateful to Rev. David Pileggi for drawing my attention to this outstanding Jewish Christian thinker, and reproduce here the obituaryin the Tabletthat appeared a month after her death.

tablet
tablet2 rose

Page 14, 6th January 1996

Last journey

The brilliant Jewish philosopher, Professor Gillian Rose…

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28 October 2021 Rochester Cathedral Dean Consecrates Messianic Jew #otdimjh

Historic Event at Rochester Cathedral – Jewish Disciples of Jesus Are Welcome!

On Thursday 28th October Paul Stevens, a Jewish disciple of Jesus, leader of the Havdalah Messianic Fellowship in Chislehurst, South London, and a member of the Anglican Church, was prayed for and consecrated as “A Messianic Jew with the Church”. The service was led by the Dean of Rochester Cathedral, the Very Revd Dr Philip Hesketh, with participation from Gerry Cohen, the Vice-President of the British Messianic Jewish Alliance, and music from Jonathan Newman, of the Barn Torah Group Community, Woking.

The service, prepared by Rev. Alex Jacob, the CEO of the Church’s Ministry Among the Jewish People (CMJ), affirmed the presence, gifts and calling of Jewish people who have become followers of Jesus, but see no need to renounce their Jewish heritage and identity.  Rather they are to celebrate it as part of their special role within the Church and among the Jewish people. Paul gave a moving testimony to how his father, a refugee from Odessa, Ukraine, changed his surname from  Shlisselman to Stevens, and Paul discovered more of his own Jewish identity when he came to a living and personal faith in Jesus as his Messiah and Lord. His own journey of self-discovery led him to the realisation that he had been entrusted with a “special ministry of reconciliation” as a member of two distinct communities that did not know or understand each other, far less see their mutual bond.

“It became more and more obvious to me that the predominantly Gentile church didn’t really see who Jesus was, nor indeed recognise the Jewish identity of the apostles and the early Christian community. To me there was something fundamentally missing from the Gentile conception of Jesus that I had known.” Paul remarked in his address.

The service recognised and affirmed this calling, as Paul has expressed it, “to witness to the synagogue that it is no betrayal of Torah or of Judaism to follow the messiah Jesus and to remind the church that Christianity is at root a renewed form of Judaism. And if true reconciliation is possible then there surely will be peace.”

The Dean called on those present, friends, family, church leaders, representatives of the British Messianic Jewish Alliance, members of the Rochester Spirituality Network and Cathedral staff, to affirm and support Paul in this ministry, anointing him with oil and praying for him:

“Most merciful God and Father, You have set your church in the world to bear a living witness to the gospel and you equip us with the gifts to do this. Forgive us when we undermine the Gospel and misunderstand your ways. We thank You for the unity within diversity of your Church and today we thank you for and celebrate the presence within the Church of Messianic Jews, that is of Jewish Believers in Jesus. We rejoice in the significance of this and the promise of blessing this brings. We pray now for Paul Louis and as I now anoint him with this oil we ask that you will anoint him afresh with your Holy Spirit. Protect, guide and empower him so that in the fullness of your plans Paul Louis may walk closely with you and bring many blessings to the Church and to the wider Jewish community. All this we ask in the Name of Jesus Messiah of Israel and LORD of all. Amen.”

The service included the saying of the Shema and the Aaronic Benediction (Numbers 6:25) in Hebrew, and a calling on those present “to root out all forms of anti-semitism from our church community and wider society.”

The service sets a historic precedent for the recognition and welcoming of Jewish disciples of Jesus within the Anglican Church. It also raises again the ongoing challenge of responding to the statues of Ecclesia and Synagoga (Church and Synagogue) that have adorned the entrance to the Cathedral Chapter Room (now the Chapter Library) since the 14th century. The two female figures represent Ecclesia and Synagoga, the Christian Church and the Jewish people. Synagoga holds a broken staff and the tables of the law held upside down, wearing a blindfold to symbolise ignorance of the Messiah. They reflect that belief that Judaism as a religion was made unnecessary after the coming of Christ. It is starkly anti-Semitic, dating from some 50 years after the Jews were expelled from England in 1290.

Can the welcome, recognition and consecration of Paul Stevens begin to make amends and put right the centuries old “teaching of contempt” that led to modern antisemitism?

Paul Stevens – –  Testimony here   

Service of Consecration here

https://www.rochestercathedral.org/virtual-cathedral-project-blog/doorway-dogma

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10 November 1483 Happy Birthday, Martin Luther! #otdimjh

How can Messianic Jews given thanks for the birth of Martin Luther, when his life, literature and legacy are so filled with anti-Judaism and led to terrible acts of antisemitism?

I have tried to answer this question in my book “Luther and the Jews: Putting Right the Lies” where I look forward to dancing a hora (Jewish circle dance) in Heaven with him. He will have repented of his views and I will have forgiven him.

https://wipfandstock.com/9781532619014/luther-and-the-jews/

But today we still bear the legacy of his life and work both negatively and positively. His birthday was celebrated by the burning of synagogues and looting and destruction of Jewish homes and businesses:

Today Yachad BeYeshua has a webinar for its members on the third of its Core Values: Love for the Body of the Messiah. Despite the presence of Christian anti-Judaism, Supersessionism and continuing hostility to Jews and Judaism we are commanded not only to love our enemies and seek reconciliation with them, but to have a right love, respect and commitment to the Body of the Messiah – “the Church”. That is why I give thanks for Martin Luther as well as pray for his wrongs to be put right.

Today there is also much discussion about the Judensau – “Jew Pig” on the wall of his parish church in Wittenberg:

https://www.juedische-allgemeine.de/kultur/josef-schuster-distanzierung-immer-noch-nicht-selbstverstaendlich/

https://www.change.org/p/relocate-the-wittenberg-judensau/u/29821004

Removal Not Enough!

NOV 9, 2021 — Josef Schuster: Removal is still not a matter of course –

The education department’s conference discusses how to deal with anti-Semitic images and abusive sculptures on and in churches

The President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, has called on the churches to distance themselves even more from anti-Jewish sculptures and pictures on their places of worship. “For a long time the public display of insulting, anti-Jewish representations was neither dealt with nor commented critically.”

“A lot has changed about that, even if distancing is still not a matter of course,” he said on Sunday evening in Berlin at the opening of the symposium “Ban on images ?! On dealing with anti-Semitic images and abusive sculptures on and in churches «. The three-day conference is organized by the education department in the Central Council of Jews in cooperation with the Evangelical Church in Germany, the Research Institute for Social Cohesion (FGZ) and the Evangelical Academy in Berlin.

My prayer is that Jewish and Christian leaders in Germany may find a way to express repentance, reconciliation and renewal of relationships by relocating such objects to a place where they no longer desecrate sacred space and tarnish public space – a place where forgiveness can be asked for and given.

What Birthday Presents for Luther today? Repentance and Forgiveness

Luther explains “Forgive us our sins”:

The fifth petition. “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Say:
“O dear Lord, God and Father, enter not into judgment against us because no man living is justified before thee. Do not count it against us as a sin that we are so unthankful for thine ineffable goodness,
spiritual and physical, or that we stray into sin many times every day, more often than we can know or
recognize, Psalm 19. Do not look upon how good or how wicked we have been but only upon the infinite compassion which thou hast bestowed upon us in Christ, thy dear Son. Grant forgiveness also to
those who have harmed or wronged us, as we forgive them from our hearts. They inflict the greatest injury upon themselves by arousing thy anger in their actions toward us. We are not helped by their ruin;
we would much rather that they be saved with us. Amen.” (Anyone who feels unable to forgive, let him
ask for grace so that he can forgive; but that belongs in a sermon.)

Just as Luther prays, so we ask God to forgive us our sins and to be able to forgive others. In Yeshua our Messiah’s name. Amen

A free copy of my book “Luther and the Jews” if you email me at removejudensau1″at”gmail.com with your postal address!

I particularly like the devotional quality of Luther’s writings – here is something he wrote on prayer –

A Simple Way To Pray
Martin Luther
Prayer, the Lord’s Prayer, the 10 Commandments, and the Creed.
A Letter to His Barber, Master Peter Beskendorf, Spring 1535

This in short is the way I use the Lord’s Prayer when I pray it. To this day I suckle at the Lord’s
Prayer like a child, and as an old man eat and drink from it and never get my fill. It is the very best
prayer, even better than the psalter, which is so very dear to me. It is surely evident that a real master
composed and taught it. What a great pity that the prayer of such a master is prattled and chattered so
irreverently all over the world! How many pray the Lord’s Prayer several thousand times in the course
of a year, and if they were to keep on doing so for a thousand years they would not have tasted nor
prayed one iota, one dot, of it! In a word, the Lord’s Prayer is the greatest martyr on earth (as are the
name and word of God). Everybody tortures and abuses it; few take comfort and joy in its proper use.

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7 November 1982 Death of Peter Schneider, Jewish Refugee, Anglican Priest, Rainbow Group Founder #otdimjh

Canon Herman Peter Schneider (1928-1982) was born of Jewish parents in Czechoslovakia. He came to England at the age of 10 as a refugee from Nazi persecution. He was subsequently brought up as a Christian and ordained in the Church of England in 1954. Following a London curacy, he became chaplain at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. In 1960, he went to Israel as chaplain to St Luke’s, Haifa. In 1964, he became Adviser to the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem in Jewish-Christian Relations, pioneering dialogue and mutual understanding between Jews and Christians beyond the bounds of his own denomination, In 1973, he returned to England and continued this work through the Church of England and numerous ecumenical organisations while serving in parishes in Suffolk and Sussex.

Black and white photograph showing the exterior of Lammas | Courtesy of Chiselhurst Society Ribbons Collection
https://www.bromleyfirstworldwar.org.uk/content/places/lammas-vad-hospital-chislehurst The old Victorian detached house played a significant role in the Second World War when it became home to young Jewish refugees rescued from Prague by the Barbican Mission for the Jews. A bench at the end of Lubbock Road commemorates this episode. The Mission continued to provide a home for children into the late 1950s.

I have been researching the life of Peter Schneider, who was a friend of the Hebrew Christian Alliance of Great Britain but focused his activity of Jewish-Christian relations and the place of dialogue. He was a much loved founder of the Rainbow Groups in Jerusalem and London, and an influential member of the Council of Christians and Jews.

Reflection: At his funeral the Archbishop of York preached in Westminster Abbey on the text of Isaiah 53:11 “He shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied”.  Thank you Lord, for your servant Peter Schneider, and the travail of his soul to bring Jews and Christians together in healing, forgiveness, reconciliation and mutual support. May we as Jewish disciples of Yeshua continue to be ambassadors of your reconciling love, that restores us to yourself and to one another. In your Suffering Servant Yeshua’s name we pray. Amen.

Below are some articles about him:

Rainbow Group material for 1978-80. –

Many other names should be recorded here: Rev. Peter Schneider, Canon of the Anglican Church who worked for mutual understanding and reconciliation between Jews and Christians both in Israel and Britain. He founded the Jerusalem and London Rainbow Groups as well as the Ecumenical Theological Research Fraternity in Israel. He was secretary to the advisers of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York on interfaith matters. https://www.notredamedesion.org/archived/www.notredamedesion.org/en/dialogue_docs17d7.html?a=3b&id=574

A Unique Childhood Memoir of Life in Wartime Britain in the Shadow of the HolocaustBy Vera Gissing

https://archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk/search/archives/10e57a2d-2f4c-3b45-9733-2985635f9ed7

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/340964400_The_emergence_of_the_Kindertransport_in_Prague_the_Barbican_Mission_to_the_Jews_a_unique_endeavour

The emergence of the Kindertransport in Prague: the Barbican Mission to the Jews, a unique endeavour

https://epdf.pub/childrens-exodus-a-history-of-the-kindertransport.html

CHILDREN’S EXODUS: A HISTORY OF THE KINDERTRANSPORT – Vera K. Fast, I. B. Tauris, London, 2011.

https://billiongraves.com/grave/Herman-Peter-Schneider/10633089

He shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied.  Issiah 53, 11 Memorial service for Canon Peter Schneider Westminster Abbey, London 25/01/1983

https://archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk/search/archives/10e57a2d-2f4c-3b45-9733-2985635f9ed7

Click to access Immanuel_15_105.pdf

https://docplayer.net/172868753-In-memoriam-peter-schneider-from-his-writings.html

Sweeter than honey : Christian presence amid Judaism / Peter Schneider; introduction by M.A.C. Warren.

Schneider, Peter, 1928-1982.London : SCP Press; 1966

Rainbow group – London and Jerusalem

https://www.facebook.com/Jerusalem-Rainbow-Group-for-Jewish-Christian-Encounter-and-Dialogue-105819454912760/

Jerusalem Perspectives edited with Geoffrey Wigoder

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3 November 2021 Funeral of Father Gregor Pawlowski (Jacob Zvi Hersz Griner) in Israel and Poland #otdimjh

https://www.ynet.co.il/judaism/article/sybelslvf#autoplay
Image

Father Gregor in Israel

Childhood with family

Father Gregor Pawlowski was born in Poland as a Jew on August 23,1931 to his parents, Mendel son of Zeev and Miriam daughter of Isaac Griner. His name was Jacob (Jakub) Zvi “Hersch” (Hersz) Griner. His family lived in the town of Zamosc which was in the region of Lublin. The family had four children: two sons, Hayim and Jacob Zvi, and two daughters, Schindel and Sura (Yiddish for Sarah). Hayim was the oldest and Jacob Zvi was the youngest, the Benjamin of his parents. He was called “Hersch” at home which was the Yiddish translation of the Hebrew Zvi (which means deer). The family had a small business, trading in wood and coal, and they were not very well off. They were very religious. On Sabbath and holidays the children accompanied their parents to synagogue. Father Gregor remembers the Jewish holidays which were celebrated with great devotion. At home, the family spoke Yiddish (the Jewish German dialect of Eastern European Jews) but as a child he learnt some Hebrew from a “melamed” (a Jewish teacher) in the “heder” (the Jewish school). He has good memories of that time. He knew a little Polish which he learnt from Polish peasants in the village where his parents rented a grove of fruit trees. Relations between Poles and Jews were generally good even if that was not always the case.

The older brother of the family, Hayim, read newspapers and he said that the situation of the Jews would be very bad if the Germans entered Poland. No one in the family thought it would happen so quickly. In 1939, the year Hersch was supposed to begin first grade, the Second World War began, In his memory is engraved the sound of the German fighter planes that dropped bombs. The family house was consumed in flames and they had to move in with relatives. After a short time, the Russians entered Zamosc and announced that whoever wanted to go with them to Russia could do so. Among those who left was Hayim who, it would seem, already sensed what was to come. After some time the letters from him stopped coming.

For the Jews a very difficult period of Nazi occupation began. The parents of the family dealt in trade in order to get something to eat. The sisters helped the parents and on market days lent a bucket to the peasants and also carried water themselves in order to water the horses in exchange for some money. Also the boy Hersch helped to provide for the family. For example, in autumn when the peasants brought the produce of the fields for the Nazis, he would hang onto the carts in order to get his hands on some potatoes, leeks or even a bit of cabbage. Often he was lashed with the whip but who noticed when one was suffering the pangs of hunger.

Hunger forced one to steal. Jewish children broke shop windows and stole whatever could be stolen. Hersch followed them. He picked up an alarm clock but the guard caught him and brought him before the Jewish Council of the community. “Why are you stealing boy?” they asked him. “So that I can get some money for food to eat,” he replied. They took the clock from him and gave him some money.

One day, the Germans caught some Jews and among them the father of the family. Hersch feared that something bad might happen to his father. He drew close to him and a German soldier began to shout at him and wanted to beat him. Hersch burst into tears and his father came to him quickly and embraced him. He turned to the soldier and said: “This is my son, do not hurt him”. The soldier did nothing but his father ordered him to return home and not to worry about him. The Germans forced his father and the other Jews to ride on horses and made fun of them. The ordered them to mount the horses and then whipped the horses. His father had never ridden a horse before and so it was no wonder that he fell off.

After some time, all the Jews of Zamosc were transferred to a neighborhood that was declared a ghetto. They lived there in constant fear. Almost every day there were frightening events. For example, a short time after they had moved to the ghetto, the Germans came to one house and brought out a Jew. His wife was trembling all over and begged them to let her give a coat to her husband. The Germans answered that he was in no need of a coat. The killed him in the street without any reason and left his body lying there.

The father of the family worked forced labor for the Germans. One day, before leaving for work, he said farewell to everyone and expressed doubts that he would return. He was told that if he felt that way it would be best that he not go. He said that he had to go. He embraced each one of the family and went on his way, his eyes filled with tears. That day his father did not return. Hersch waited for his father outside in the street. He even ran after a man who looked like his father from behind. However, he was disappointed. Everyone wept that day. It was an enormous blow for the family.

Some time after the disappearance of the father, the Germans destroyed the Zamosc ghetto. The Jews were marched to the town of Izbica and housed in the homes of the Jews who had already been deported from the town. Shortly thereafter, there was an Akzion (the arrest of Jews) and many people tried to hide including the mother and her three children. They found shelter in a shop cellar in the town but the cry of a baby alerted the Nazis and their Ukrainian collaborators and they entered the dark place and arrested everyone. The boy Hersch managed to escape and the curious Poles who had gathered around had mercy on him and allowed him to run away without drawing the attention of the Nazis to him. They took the people out of the cellar and brought them to fire station. There they were held in freezing cold for about ten days without food and anyone attempting escape was shot. They brought out groups of tens and took them to the town cemetery. There pits were prepared and the Jews were made to stand on the edge of the pits and were shot. Thus, about a thousand Jews from Zamosc and among them Hersch’s mother and two sisters were murdered.

Life alone in the dark days of the Shoah

Hersch fled to the edge of the town of Izbica and there a Pole directed him to a house where he might find food and shelter. The next day, the people of that house feared to keep him any longer and he again sought shelter. He entered a courtyard and lay in a pile of wood which had been gathered for heating. There too the residents of the house identified him as a Jew and he was again forced to flee.

Hersch returned to Zamosc and found refuge with acquaintances of the family. He entered the area of a forced labor camp and found there a bed and some warmth. Thus he wandered from camp to street and from street to camp. Sometimes people pitied him and took him under their protection. One Jewish woman, whose son had been murdered by the Nazis, took him to her hut and fed him there. As she carried him on her shoulders, she told him: “When I carry you I feel like you are the son they took from me”.

The Poles taught him the prayers of their Catholic religion. One day a Jewish boy asked him in the street whether he wanted to live. Hirsch answered: “Yes!” Then the boy explained that he need to acquire a Catholic baptism certificate. The boy told him to wait a moment and brought him a baptism certificate. From that time on, Hersch adopted the details that were written in the document. The name on the document was Gregor (Grzegorz) Pawlowski and from that time on he bore this Polish name.

One day, as he was warming himself in the booth of the Jewish guard of a forced labor camp, two Nazi soldiers entered and began to interrogate him. They even took him to the Gestapo headquarters. He showed them the baptism certificate and was released. With danger hovering over him constantly, Hersch/Gregor was permanently on the run, fearing that someone might identify him as a Jew. Once he was in the house of some Poles. A government bureaucrat came to the house and asked who the boy was. “An orphan,” they answered and the bureaucrat said that he would send staff from the orphanage to take him. Gregor fled from the place, fearing they would know her was a Jew when they discovered that he was circumcised.

In own village, he found work as a cowherd. Finally he found a family who took care of him and in their home he began to learn how to read and write in Polish. One summer day, when he was out with the cows of this family, the cows ran away from him. The sister of the master of the house screamed “Jew” at him and again he was forced to flee. Again he found refuge, again he fled either because of fear or mistreatment.

Finally, the end of the war arrived. He went out to see the Red Army of the Russians which entered to liberate Poland. He abandoned his work with the cows. When he returned home to the place where he was living he was told that he was fired. They gave him a shirt in return for the month’s work. He went on his way without knowing where he was going. On the road, a cart passed by and the peasants asked him where he was going. When he revealed to them that he had no home and that he was an orphan they invited him to join them. Thus, he reached a village next to the city of Tomaszov-Lubelski. Gregor felt ill and the peasants advised him to go to the Red Cross in the city. There he was brought to a doctor who wrote a letter so that he would receive free treatment in the hospital. From the hospital he returned to the Red Cross and from there he was placed in an orphanage run by two Catholic nuns. There were only seven children there in the beginning. One of the nuns registered him in school and he began grade 2 but after two weeks was already put up to grade 3. In the summer he completed grade 4.

When he was transferred to another orphanage, he met with a priest who came to prepare the children for first communion. Gregor did not say that he was a Jew but he had to explain to the priest that he had not been baptized. The priest, who did not fully believe the boy, baptized him on condition (that he had not been baptized before). He received baptism on June 27, 1945 when he was almost 14 years old.
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Gregor as a scout



Gregor completed school in the city of Polawy and during his years at school he served the Church faithfully. He was a very religious youth and defended the Church when he heard the critique of a Communist party member who came to lecture against the Church and religion to an audience of young people. He was even called in for questioning by the secret police because of his religious positions. The secret police wanted him to spy on the nuns and he firmly refused. Despite his refusal, he finished high school.

Entry into the seminary and a new life as a priest
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Gregor at end of high school



When he finished high school, Gregor was accepted as a seminarian in the major seminary in Lublin. At that time, only one nun knew that he was a Jew. When he had already taken the robe of a seminarian and was in his second year of studies he told the rector of the seminary that he was a Jew. After the rector had consulted with the bishop, he told Gregor that there was no interdiction for a Jew to be a priest. However, some of the other priests feared that when Gregor would become a priest he would have problems in the parish when the faithful found out that he was a Jew. Gregor continued his studies and completed them.
Image

Seminarians in Lublin



On April 20, 1958, Gregor was ordained to the priesthood. The nuns from the orphanage hosted the celebration because he was alone in the world.
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Gregor’s ordination card



Gregor began to work as a priest in different towns and villages in the diocese of Lublin. In 1966, on the thousandth anniversary of Christianity in Poland, Gregor published and article that told his story in a Catholic newspaper in Cracow that had national distribution. The article made its way too Israel where relatives living in Bat Yam read the story. They contacted Gregor’s brother Hayim who was living in Haifa and that very day he came to Bat Yam. On reading the story, he said: “This is my brother!”

In those years, Gregor was also in contact with Father Daniel Rufeisen, who had arrived in Israel at the end of the fifties, he too a Polish Jew who had became a Catholic priest within the Carmelite order. Gregor began to think about aliyah (immigration to Israel) but before he left Poland he wanted to arrange the place where his mother and sisters had been buried. There he established a monument, a short distance from the cemetery in Izbica, where they had been executed. He also put in order the mass graves in which the bodies of the murdered had been thrown.

The inscription on the memorial (in Polish and Hebrew) says:

For I know that my redeemer lives
And that at the last he will stand upon the earth
(Job 19:25)

To the eternal memory of our dear parents
Mendel son of Zeev and Miriam daughter of Isaac Griner of blessed memory
And our sisters Shindel and Sarah of blessed memory
And also of all the Jews murdered and buried in this cemetery
In the month of Kislev 5703
By the Nazi murderers and profaners of God’s commandments

With gratitude to God for being saved
We establish this monument
Father Gregor Pawlowski
Jacob Zvi Griner – Poland
Hayim Griner – Israel
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The monument in Izbica



Next to the mass graves, Gregor also established a burial plot for himself and on the head stone he had inscribed in Hebrew and in Polish:

Father Gregor Pawlowski
Jacob Zvi Griner
Son of Mendel and Miriam of blessed memory

I abandoned my family
In order to save my life at the time of the Shoah

They came to take us for extermination

My life I saved and have consecrated it
To the service of God and humanity

I have returned to them this place
Where they were murdered for the sanctification of God’s name
May their souls be set in eternal life

Gregor arrives in Israel

Gregor decided to immigrate to Israel in 1970. He was received at the airport by Father Daniel Rufeisen, priest in Haifa, and Father Alfred Delmée, priest in Jaffa, and by his family including his brother Hayim. He spent some time with his family and then accepted the invitation of Father Delmée to comer and live in Jaffa and serve the Polsish speaking community there. The priest of the community was elderly and sick. In that time Gregor learnt Hebrew at an ulpan (language school) in Bat Yam.
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Father Gregor in Israel



Since then and for the past 38 years, Gregor has been serving both the Polish and Hebrew speaking communities. For 38 years he has lived in Jaffa and has traveled the length and breadth of the country educating children, encouraging believers and visiting the sick. Gregor has shown us a model of what a faithful priest should be, serving God and humanity.

When Gregor was asked why he wanted to come to Israel, he replied:

“My place is here, among the Jewish people. I sensed a call to come and serve Christians living in my country.”

When asked why it was important to tell his story, Gregor replied:

“I did not want to live a lie. I did not want to deny my roots, my mother, my father, my people. I want to be truthful. Thus, I have a homeland and that is Poland and I belong to the Polish people. However, I have a nation that is first – the Jewish people. I was circumcised on the eighth day and I belong. I belong both to Poland and to Israel. I cannot speak against Poles because they saved me and I cannot speak against Jews because I am one of them.”
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Father Gregor at the ordination of Bishop Jean Baptiste, 2003

With thanks to Fr. David M. Neuhaus SJ in Jerusalem for this material

Father David Neuhaus, S.J. writes: However it is his funeral (a mass and prayer in Jaffa and then his burial in Poland) that is no less remarkable. I send here an article in Hebrew but which contains images from this extraordinary event that brought together Catholics and Jews… We have published the book Gregor wrote, Know the Messiah, written as a teaching tool for the religious education classes Gregor has given to tens of children over the years.

https://www.ynet.co.il/judaism/article/sybelslvf#autoplay


The Jerusalem Post also published the story:https://www.jpost.com/diaspora/the-jew-who-became-a-priest-and-will-be-buried-as-a-jew-683649

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17 October 2021 Passing of Ron Lewis, Executive Secretary of the International Messianic Jewish Alliance #otdimjh

Ronald Hugh Lewis was born in London on 13 June 1930 and died on 17th October, 2021 at the age of 91. He was brought up in the Swansea Hebrew Congregation (Orthodox) where he had his barmitzvah, and studied Semitic Languages and Philosophy at Cardiff University with the intention of becoming a rabbi. He joined the Liberal Synagogue in London, taking services and speaking in synagogues, but became a disciple of Jesus and did further training at Westminster College, Cambridge to become a minister in the Presbyterian Church (now United Reform Church), serving in Jarrow, Harlow and Redcar. In his retirement he served in several other churches.

He joined the Hebrew Christian Alliance of Great Britain (now BMJA) in 1958, and the Finance and General Purposes Committee of the International Hebrew Christian Alliance (now International Messianic Jewish Alliance) in 1963. He served as International Secretary of the International from 1979 to 2000, and was a member of the Theological Commission, editing the Alliance magazine, and on several other committees. He visited Hebrew Christian Alliances and their members throughout the world.

Biography

Ronald Hugh Lewis was born on 13June 1930 into what he described as a “fairly tolerant middle-of-the-road orthodox Jewish family” in the East End of London, but was brought up in Wales, so always felt himself to be more Welsh than English. His paternal father came from Russia.

Hebrew prize from Swansea Synagogue

Ron attended Swansea Hebrew Congregation, the local synagogue, with his family, with religion school classes and Jewish youth group most weekday nights.  Len Goss, later organising Secretary of the Council of Christians and Jews, was his youth group leader. His barmitzvah was quite a day – his voice was breaking and he had to drink a raw egg in a glass of wine for his throat. His teacher helped him to pitch the notes when he sung the parshah (the portion of the Pentateuch). His fellow students were in hysterics, but it all went well. After his barmitzvah he would lead some of the synagogue services and sing the haftarah (the portion of the prophets).

After the War the family moved to London and he joined the Liberal Synagogue and along with his parents. He got became secretary of the youth group, and decided to become a rabbi. He studied Semitic languages and philosophy at Cardiff University alongside his friend Norman Solomon (later to become a well-known Rabbi) and continued to take services and preach in synagogue.

At university he started to drift in his faith, and questioned religion in general. He drank, played poker and went hungry. He became the “black sheep” at home and “my father disowned me and said kaddish”, although Ron did not think he fully meant it.

After his university degree he did two years of national service with the Royal Artillery. But instead of being sent to Korea he was posted to Carlisle, where he dealt with the boredom by attending Christian meetings and a local drama group. After national service he came to London where he worked in a bank and went to Speakers Corner in Hyde Park on Sundays to hear Donald Soper, the Methodist minister, pacificist and debater. Soper offered Ron a practical faith that had to do with everyday life, and without any dramatic conversion and with much agonising and thinking things through, he came to see Jesus in a new light. He joined the Presbyterian church because he appreciated its sense of order and its emphasis on the Old Testament. He was challenged to offer himself for ordained ministry, and was accepted – despite one official asking him whether he looked very Jewish!

He did his theological training at Westminster College, Cambridge, and married Doreen, whom he had met in London. They had two children, Mac, who lives in Cambridge, and Kirsty, now living in Australia.

One evening he was preaching and a man asked him afterward “you’re Jewish, aren’t you?” It was Heinz Leuner, IHCA Secretary for Europe. He connected Ron with Canon Peter Schneider, who helped him finance his studies at Cambridge. Ron joined the Alliance in 1958, finding it a place where he could “share his oddness” as both Jewish and Christian. When he moved from Jarrow to Harlow he was able to attend the meetings of the IHCA Finance and General Purposes Committee which he joined in 1963. In 1964 he gave the Bible Reading at the annual Garden Party of the British Alliance, and joined the British Alliance Committee, despite having initially declined the invitation because of his many other commitments.  He would go on to become the International Secretary, working closely with  Harcourt Samuel, Irene Hyde and many others, to co-ordinate the work of the national Alliances, representing the Alliance and Jewish disciples of Jesus at national and international meetings, in church and theological forums, Jewish Christian relations and Dialogue group, and being a bridge between the younger, emerging Messianic Jewish movement and the older style Hebrew Christians who were in the mainstream churches.  He also contribute greatly, by his own presence, wisdom, sense of humour and occasional strong and forceful interventions!

It was my joy to spend time regularly with Ron on trains, `planes and automobiles as we would find ourselves travelling together in the UK and abroad. I would see Ron in action in a variety of contexts, always his own man, yet able to relate to young and old, Jewish and Gentile, and all shades of Jewish Christian. His passions for Scottish Country Dancing, Jazz and a good Jewish joke would stand him in good stead. His training in both Synagogue and Church meant he knew well how to organise and lead a meeting, preach relevantly and helpfully, respond to the most difficult questions with a smile and self-effacing humour. I found most helpful his personal recollections and anecdotes of the older generation of Hebrew Christians, as he was truly a link with the past.

Ron, we will miss you greatly. You have given us in the Alliance so much, of your time, your talents and your temperament. We rejoice that you are with your Messiah now, and we pray for your family to be consoled in their grief and give thanks for all you have been and done. May you enjoy now your well-deserved reward – “An Israelite indeed, who found Jesus to be his Rabbi and in whom there was no guile.”

Richard Harvey’s tribute at Ron’s funeral, 29 October 2021 – 36 minutes in – Online at https://www.dropbox.com/s/i5vsu8wu46bl0d0/Thanksgiving%20Service%20for%20Rev%20Ron%20Lewis.mp4?dl=0  (36 minutes in) and https://www.facebook.com/trinityurcmethodist/videos/461731418592842

Online at https://www.dropbox.com/s/i5vsu8wu46bl0d0/Thanksgiving%20Service%20for%20Rev%20Ron%20Lewis.mp4?dl=0  (36 minutes in) and https://www.facebook.com/trinityurcmethodist/videos/461731418592842

Richard Harvey’s tribute at Ron’s funeral, 29 October 2021

I am here today representing the International Messianic Jewish Alliance – many hundreds, if not thousands of Jewish disciples of Jesus who benefited from Ron’s life, service and friendship. We give thanks to God for him and extend our condolences to Doreen, Kirsty, Mac and all the family.

I first met Ron in 1979, more than 40 years ago, and had the opportunity of serving with him in what was then called the International Hebrew Christian Alliance,  and is now known as the International Messianic Jewish Alliance, a significant change of name over which Ron himself presided. Over the years often at the different committee meetings, conferences and other events, we would travel and spend time together. I was fortunate to record some interviews with him in earlier this year. He was a mentor, friend and inspiration to me and many others.

Ron was a bridge. He bridged the gap between the older generation, brought up with a strong Orthodox Jewish upbringing, spoke Yiddish at home and English with a foreign accent, many of whom were holocaust survivors and refugees, and the younger generation, people like myself, baby-boomers, secular, thought we knew it all, but only discovered our Jewishness when we became disciples of Jesus, or Yeshua, as we preferred to call him.  As well as the age differences, there were theological differences, as they called themselves Hebrew Christians and we called ourselves Messianic Jews. They thought we were going back under the law, and we wanted everyone to leave their churches and join our Messianic synagogues. Ron patiently and (generally!) calmly bridged the gap with his authentic and rich understanding of Judaism, Christianity and the challenges we all faced in constructing our identities. He brought us together and tried to help us listen to each other and understand each other.

Then there was the wider gap between Jews and Christians. Ron had an Orthodox Jewish upbringing,  Reform Jewish rabbinical training, Christian theological training and his own ministerial experience, so he was ideally placed to be bridge of understanding in the midst of different groups. He might have never have felt fully at home in them but he always had something valuable to contribute to the discussion and add something important to the outcomes.

Ron was a friend to Alliance members in Israel, Europe, the Americas and worldwide, visiting us, writing to us and helping us in practical ways. For many years he edited the Alliance magazine, a vital way for us all to keep in touch. He brought his sharp perception, intuitive feel and – at times – his reluctance to “suffer fools gladly”, to many situations where problems arose. Where you have two Jews you have three opinions, and with Jewish disciples of Jesus this could easily become 24 opinions. As International Secretary, with the help of Harcourt Samuel, Irene Hide, and many others, he did much to achieve the Alliance’s goal of “uniting Jewish believers in Jesus in the bond of sympathy and prayer.”

Those he worked closely with were especially grateful to him. Gershon Nerel, the Alliance Secretary in Israel, said

“I remain thankful to Ron for his wise advice, his simple – not simplistic! – yet profound leadership and his willingness to equally cooperate with a person younger than him.”

David Sedaca, Secretary for the Americas, who shared Ron’s love of football and jazz, said “I want to express my gratitude to my former colleague and mentor, whose input and advice influenced my work and had a part in moulding me to be a leader of the messianic movement and a better servant of God.”

The President of the Dutch Hebrew Christian Alliance, Joop Akker,  quoted back some of Ron’s own words from an article he wrote in the Alliance magazine. “Praise be to God whose lovingkindness and grace, the Hebrew word chesed, is part of a covenant relationship which goes beyond all human expectation.”

Ultimately, like his Lord and Messiah, Jesus, Ron helped to bridge the gap between our ways and the ways of God, a bridge that all of us, Jews, Christians and all, seek to find. In Jewish tradition that gap is bridged at the saddest of times by saying the Kaddish prayer, giving thanks and praise to God, even in the midst of our bereavement and grief.

Ron gave specific instructions about the version he wished to be used, which is from the Reform Synagogue Jewish Prayer Book. It adds the important addition at the end of the prayer where it says “v’al kol benei Adam’ – praying for God’s shalom, his peace, not just for Israel, but for alI humanity. I will say it first in Aramaic, the language Jesus would have used, and then in English. There are four places where we say together: Amen. Please would you stand.

Text of Kaddish with Ron’s instructions:

Ron Lewis Biography article in the Alliance Magazine

Tributes from Shirley Northcott, Gershon Nerel and David Sedaca

Shirley NorthcottFriend

I’ve known Ron on and off for very many years. We met two years running at the IHCA Holiday Home in Ramsgate, in either the late sixties or early seventies, where they and we were entitled to cut-price stays due to being in Christian ministry. One year, his Mum came too, probably his Dad had died prior to that. She was not a believer, but obviously any earlier rift had been healed. I have a little Polaroid photo of her – Ron looked very like her! He (and Doreen) was an avid Scottish dancer, and they travelled all over Lancashire, and also into nearer areas of Yorkshire, in order to attend dances. His friend John Haddow, a prolific dance devisor, wrote at least two dances in his honour. The one I remember best is called ‘Dancing round the Duchy’. He always wore a kilt for those occasions, and I pulled his leg and suggested he should have a blue and white tartan made to order, but he told me he proudly wore the tartan of Doreen’s clan. (Doreen, though a New Zealander born, had Scottish parents or grandparents, I forget now which).

Joop Akker – President, Dutch Hebrew Christian Alliance

The Dutch Alliance of Messianic Jews, Hadderech, has learned with sadness of the passing of our friend Ron Lewis.

But it is a consolation to know that Ron has entered into the glory of our risen Messiah, whom Ron served during his earthly life.

For many years we met at meetings of the – then – International Hebrew Christian Alliance.

In our archives we cherish the volumes of The Hebrew Christian, of which Ron was editor-in-chief for many years.

We would like to comfort the family and friends, left behind, with a quote from Ron’s editorial in the Spring 1983-issue.

Speaking of the mistakes that every human being makes, Ron ends with these words:

“Praise be to God whose lovingkindness or grace, Hebrew chesed, is part of a covenant relationship which goes beyond all human expectation.”

RON LEWIS – In Memoriam – Gershon Nerel, Secretary for Israel

I had the privilege of closely working with Ron Lewis for about eight years (1993-2001). He acted as the Executive Secretary of the International Messianic Jewish Alliance (IMJA) while I was the Israel Secretary in Jerusalem, replacing the late Menachem Benhayim who went on retirement. 

During those eight years Ron and I also worked closely with Mrs. Irene Hide, the secretary for Abraham’s Vineyard Limited. The three of us cooperated together as a receptive and friendly ‘troika.’ Ron and Irene were kindly willing to explain to me the background of various resolutions made in the past. From their long experience I was able to learn how to deal with many delicate organizational matters.

Formally Ron was my ‘boss’ but he always gave me the genuine feeling that we are colleagues, partners and allies. I have greatly appreciated his open mindedness, his tolerance and integrity.

In particular I cannot forget Ron’s sympathizing and continuous support when I was a doctoral student at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, researching modern Messianic Jewish self-identity in Eretz-Israel. His ongoing encouragement and assistance were a great help to me.

Ron and I also served together on the International Board of Ebenezer Home, the only residence for Messianic Jewish and Arab Christian elderly people in Haifa, Israel. Ron tirelessly engaged himself in raising funds for this retirement home, and when visiting there he always reassured the staff and the younger local believers. 

Ron was indeed a person I could trust and with whom I could, whenever needed, freely share some dissenting thoughts and dilemmas. I valued his straightforward approach regarding difficult issues. He always behaved humbly with a welcoming smile, never manifesting any patronizing attitude. For example, I remember how he had gently introduced me to the late Fr. Elias Friedman, a Hebrew Catholic author and poet at the Carmelite monastery in Haifa.

I remain thankful to Ron for his wise advice, his simple – not simplistic! – yet profound leadership and his willingness to equally cooperate with a person younger than him.

In spite of the geographical and linguistic distances between the UK and Israel, and the differences of habits, mentality and manners, for me Ron was at any time like a good older brother.

Ron’s main legacy for the Messianic Jewish movement, in my view, is his editorial contribution to The Hebrew Christian – later The Messianic Jew – the quarterly magazine of the IHCA/IMJA, uninterruptedly published since 1928. As the editor of this periodical for many years Ron had faithfully managed to timely publish the magazine. In it he included valuable articles and other information that any historian of the Messianic movement will treasure.

My affection and empathy are with Doreen who together with Ron had graciously hosted me in their home. ** Gershon Nerel, Yad Hashmona, Israel (www.iseeisrael.com) ** Oct. 21, 2021

Rev. David Sedaca, International Secretary

Ron Lewis played a significant role in my life. He was instrumental in opening the door for me to serve in different capacities in the Hebrew Christian Alliance.

I was born into a Hebrew Christian home. My father, the late victor Sedaca was involved in the Hebrew Christian movement since the moment he came to faith as a young Jewish man in 1938. He served as a missionary to the Jewish people and officer of the Hebrew hero Christian Alliance From the moment he accepted Jesus as his Lord and savior. I grew up attending the monthly meetings of the Hebrew Christian Alliance in the United States, Argentina, and Uruguay. The Hebrew Christian Alliance was part of our lives since my father served as vice president of the International Hebrew Christian Alliance for several decades

In 1979 my father passed away suddenly a few days after returning from an executive committee meeting of the International Hebrew Christian Alliance in Switzerland. At that time, I was the Canadian director of Chosen People Ministries. Because my father was the directory in Argentina of the same organization, I was asked to go to Argentina to reorganize the mission after the unexpected death of my father. On my return to Argentina, I took it upon myself to continue promoting the work of the Hebrew Christian Alliance as my father was doing.

Soon before, Ron Lewis was appointed executive secretary of the International Hebrew Christian Alliance. He saw fit to visit all the national Alliances affiliated with the International Hebrew Christian Alliance. The following year, 1979, on his visit to Argentina, he asked to meet me. We spent a whole afternoon discussing the Hebrew Christian Alliance’s work; however, we also found that we had two additional things in common: football and jazz.

From that moment onwards, at Ron’s request, I became more involved in the work of the International Hebrew Christian Alliance, somehow doing the same work that my father had done for the International Alliance all his life. I began writing articles for the Hebrew Christian magazine and visiting other countries in Latin America on behalf of the International Alliance. At a general conference in Denmark, I was a Co-opted member of the executive committee. My involvement in the International Hebrew Christian Alliance continued to grow. At a subsequent meeting, Ron Lewis mentioned that Dr. David Bronstein, the secretary for North America of the International Hebrew Christian Alliance, would retire in approximately five years and asked me if I would consider being appointed to that post. His request was based on the fact that I was born in Uruguay but lived in Argentina, Europe, and educated in the United States, thus being fit for the post of Secretary for North and South America.

In 1986 Dr. Bronstein died suddenly; therefore, Ron Lewis asked me if I was willing to take the post that was now vacant. At that time, I lived in Argentina, but the appointment required that I move again to the United States. I became the Executive Secretary for North and South America. Since my appointment came suddenly, I traveled frequently to the United Kingdom, where Ron mentored me for the role I had the following years. I always stayed in his home, and our meetings always included going to a jazz concert. Since he was also pastor on his congregation and I was a full-time working for the International Alliance, Ron often asked me to take engagements when his commitment to his church prevented him from traveling as much as he wanted. Likewise, when he traveled to the United States, he always stayed at our home. The relationship between Ron, his wife Doreen, and my wife Julia grew stronger over the years.

During our tenures, the International Hebrew Christian Alliance encountered some serious challenges due to changing different ways of expressing our faith as Jewish believers. The younger generation changed the names of their national Alliance from Hebrew Christian to Messianic Jewish. In contrast, some of the older affiliated Alliances wanted to maintain the traditional name and philosophy. We dealt with the two ways of expressing our Jewishness during the nineties and had serious debates that Ron and I had to maneuver. It was during our year of working together that we changed the name from International Hebrew Christian to International Messianic Jewish Alliance.

As Ron Lewis was approaching the time for his retirement, I was also asked to take his post when he retired. When this occurred, I was appointed to succeed him as Secretary-General of the International Messianic Jewish Alliance. I held this post until 2004. During the many decades of working together, we learned to cherish each other and rely on each other’s advice. From the time I left my position as Secretary-General and returned to my former ministry as Vice-president of Chosen People Ministries, we didn’t have many opportunities to meet again. We continued exchanging jazz music, but our paths led us in a different direction.

Now that he received his Crown of Glory, I want to express my gratitude to my former colleague and mentor, whose input and advice influenced my work and had a part in moulding me to be a leader of the messianic movement and a better God’s servant.

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20 September 1937 Birth of David Beijersbergen, Dutch Holocaust Survivor

See you in Jerusalem!                                                                        Diny Beijersbergen-Groot

David and his twin sister Elisabeth were born in The Hague on September 20, 1937. His father Jacob Beijersbergen was a greengrocer and his mother Roosje van Gelder a bookbinder. Later two more daughters were born: Margaretha (1939) and Anna (1941).

The Beijersbergens were among the last in The Hague’s Jewish neighborhood to be arrested. David’s father was sent to Camp Amersfoort, a hiding place for his sisters was found and David and his mother ended up in Camp Vught. His mother was then transported to Auschwitz, and from there put to work in the Philips factory, which allowed her to survive.

Camp Vught and Noordwijk

All alone David is left behind. A little boy, about six years old, with black glasses; with one – blind eye he sees with a squint. During the day he roams the camp, looking for food, for someone to smile at him or say something nice to him. In the absence of a bed of his own, he sleeps at night at the foot of whoever tolerates him.

The whole family survives the war miraculously, but all are severely traumatized. All other members of the (Meppeler) Van Gelder family appear to have been murdered.

David is placed in an institution by the Dutch authorities. There he is labelled “severely retarded”. Around 1948 he is admitted to the Van den Bergh Foundation in Noordwijk. There he excels at school, and he learns whatever there is to learn. A schoolteacher and a head nurse at the institution recognize that he does not belong in the asylum, but the management refuses to admit that David has been wrongly categorised.

Dismissed

When David is 19 years old he leaves the institution. He ends up in a boys’ home in Rotterdam and has to go to work. A job at a grocers gives him a place in “normal” life for the first time. Then he works for a bicycle repairer. When he has reached adulthood, the staff of the home finds a host family for him in Gouda. There he gets a job in a pottery factory.

Through an employee of a postal service, he comes into contact with a Christian family in Gouda. If Christians are like that family, he wants to be part of it. In this way he gets to know his Messiah and a great desire arises to also tell others about his discovery. He registers for training for youth worker in the evangelism, Baarn. Unfortunately he is rejected. However, there is an exchange of letters with fellow applicant Diny Groot from Andijk, which results in a courtship.

David and Diny marry in 1963. Three sons are born. Studying is difficult, a family, earning a living, with no proper supervision. But David testifies enthusiastically of his Messiah and studies everything that comes before him. Via detours, or perhaps better “the Lord’s ways”, he takes a pastor’s exam for to become a pastor on article 6 (“singular gifts”) of the Reformed Church Order. It’s a hard meeting with all those psychologists, theologians, and so forth.  “But if God wants it, it will work,” he says. He had undergone heart surgery six months earlier, so it is doubly difficult.

Reverend David Beijersbergen

On his fiftieth birthday September 20, 1987, he is confirmed as a minister in the municipality of Doornspijk. It’s one of the best days of his life. His intention is to build a bridge between Jews and Christians, the Old and New Testaments. He wants to show the roots of faith and the beauty of it, as they have become visible in the New Testament. Unfortunately, not everyone always understands this. “I am too Jewish for the Christians and too Christian for the Jews”, is sometimes his complaint.

He preaches with passion and likes to sing also. The organist and David are often enthusiastic about the service. “We’re going to have a party together.” He sometimes grumbles about those Reformed people who have so much trouble with enthusiastic worship. He is and will remain Jewish, but he knows the Messiah! He likes to teach catechesis, sings in a choir, plays the organ and studies whatever he comes across. He likes to do home visits and visit the sick, but not general meetings.

After twelve years at Doornspijk, he moves to the municipality of Erica, where he enjoys working the three years until his retirement. The couple then moves to Elburg where he hopes to be able to enjoy his retirement, but unfortunately he falls ill after a few years with colon cancer, for which he is operated on. Just when he thinks he can move on, the liver appears to be affected. He continues to lead services during his illness. He is still in the pulpit until six weeks before his death. He died on June 8, 2007 in Elburg.

Next to his bed is a scribble: “I wonder what my Lord looks like, but I love life.”

His  tombstone reads: “The Eternal was his friend, the Messiah his power, serving Them by the Spirit, awaiting the New Jerusalem.”

On the Star of David lying on it: “See you in Jerusalem.”

Tot ziens in Jeruzalem!                                                                      Diny Beijersbergen-Groot

David en zijn tweelingzus Elisabeth werden op 20 september 1937 in Den Haag geboren. Zijn vader Jacob Beijersbergen was groenteman en zijn moeder Roosje van Gelder boekbindster. Later werden nog twee dochters geboren: Margaretha (1939) en Anna (1941).

De Beijersbergens behoorden tot de laatsten in de Haagse Jodenbuurt die werden opgepakt. Davids vader werd naar Kamp Amersfoort gestuurd, voor zijn zusjes werd een onderduikadres gevonden en David en zijn moeder kwamen terecht in Kamp Vught. Moeder werd al snel op transport naar Auschwitz gezet, en vandaaruit tewerkgesteld in de Philips-fabriek, haar redding.

Kamp Vught en Noordwijk

Moederziel alleen blijft David achter. Een klein jongetje van ongeveer zes jaar oud, met een zwart brilletje; met één – blind – oog kijkt hij scheef naar boven. Overdag zwerft hij door het kamp, op zoek naar eten, naar iemand die naar hem lacht of iets liefs tegen hem zegt. Bij gebrek aan een eigen bed slaapt hij `s nachts aan het voeteneind van wie hem ook maar gedoogt.

Als een wonder overleeft het hele gezin de oorlog, allen zwaar getraumatiseerd. Alle overige leden van de (Meppeler) familie Van Gelder blijken vermoord.
David wordt door de Nederlandse instanties in een inrichting geplaatst. Daar krijgt hij het stempel ‘diep debiel’. Rond 1948 wordt hij opgenomen in de Van den Bergh-Stichting te Noordwijk. Op de BLO-school blinkt hij natuurlijk uit, en wat er te leren valt, leert hij. Een onderwijzer en een hoofdverpleegster van de inrichting zien wel in dat hij niet in de inrichting thuishoort, maar de directie weigert te erkennen dat David verkeerd beoordeeld is.

Op eigen benen

Als David 19 jaar is mag hij de inrichting verlaten . Hij komt terecht in een jongenstehuis in Rotterdam en moet gaan werken. Een baantje bij een kruidenier bezorgt hem voor het eerst een plaats in het ‘normale’ leven. Daarna mag hij aan de slag bij een fietsenmaker. Wanneer hij de volwassen leeftijd bereikt heeft, vindt de staf van het tehuis een kostgezin voor hem in Gouda. Daar krijgt hij werk in een pottenbakkerij, of, deftiger gezegd, een plateelfabriek.

Via een medewerkster van een postagentschap komt hij in aanraking met een christelijk gezin in Gouda. Als christenen zijn zoals dat gezin, wil hij dáár bij horen. Zo leert hij zijn Messias kennen en ontstaat een groot verlangen om ook anderen van deze ontdekking te vertellen. Hij meldt zich aan voor de opleiding voor jeugdwerker in het evangelisatiewerk, net gestart in Baarn. Helaas wordt hij afgewezen. Wél ontstaat er een briefwisseling met mede-sollicitant Diny Groot uit Andijk, waar een verkering uit voortkomt. In 1963 trouwen ze. Er worden drie zoons geboren.

Studeren is moeilijk, een gezin, de kost verdienen bij de bank, geen goede begeleiding. Maar David getuigt enthousiast van zijn Messias en bestudeert alles wat hem onder ogen komt. Via omwegen, of misschien beter ’s Heren wegen, mag hij examen doen voor predikant op artikel 6 (‘singuliere gaven’) van de gereformeerde kerkorde. Het is een moeilijk bijeenkomen met al die psychologen, theologen, enzovoort. “Vele ogen”, volgens David, die hem moeten beoordelen. “Maar als God het wil, lukt het”, zegt hij. Hij heeft een half jaar daarvoor nog een hartoperatie ondergaan, dus is het dubbel zwaar.

Dominee David Beijersbergen
Op zijn vijftigste verjaardag 20 september 1987 wordt hij in de gemeente Doornspijk bevestigd als predikant. Eén van de mooiste dagen van zijn leven. Het is zijn intentie om een brug te slaan tussen Joden en Christenen, het Oude en het Nieuwe Testament. Hij wil de wortels van het geloof laten zien, en de schoonheid daarvan, zoals die in het Nieuwe Testament zichtbaar zijn geworden. Helaas begrijpt niet iedereen dit altijd. “Bij de christenen ben ik te Joods en voor de Joden te christelijk”, is soms zijn klacht.
Hij preekt met passie en zingt graag daarbij. De organist en David zijn vaak enthousiast met de dienst bezig. “We gaan er samen een feestje van maken.” Hij moppert wel eens over die gereformeerden die zo moeilijk uit hun dak gaan.
Hij is en blijft Joods, maar hij kent de Messias! Hij geeft graag catechese, zingt in een koor, speelt orgel en bestudeert wat hij maar tegenkomt. Hij houdt van huis- en ziekenbezoek, maar niet van vergaderen.
Na twaalf jaar Doornspijk komt de gemeente Erica op zijn pad, waar hij de drie jaar tot zijn emeritaat met plezier werkt. Het echtpaar verhuist hierna naar Elburg waar hij van zijn emeritaat hoopt te kunnen genieten, maar helaas wordt hij na enkele jaren ziek. Eerst darmkanker, waaraan hij wordt geopereerd. Net als hij denkt weer verder te kunnen blijkt de lever aangetast. Ook tijdens zijn ziekte blijft hij diensten leiden. Tot zes weken voor zijn overlijden staat hij nog op de kansel. Hij sterft op 8 juni 2007 te Elburg.

Naast zijn bed ligt een krabbel: ‘Ik ben benieuwd hoe mijn Heer er uit ziet, maar ik hou van het leven.’

Op zijn grafsteen staat: ‘De Eeuwige was zijn vriend, de Messias zijn kracht, door de Geest hen gediend, het Nieuw Jeruzalem verwacht.’

Op de Davidsster die erop ligt: ‘Tot ziens in Jeruzalem’.

Bronnen: Historisch Tijdschrift GKN, juni 2011; Diny Beijersbergen (2003), Gevangene na bevrijding, Merweboek.


Tot ziens in Jeruzalem!                                                                      Diny Beijersbergen-Groot

David en zijn tweelingzus Elisabeth werden op 20 september 1937 in Den Haag geboren. Zijn vader Jacob Beijersbergen was groenteman en zijn moeder Roosje van Gelder boekbindster. Later werden nog twee dochters geboren: Margaretha (1939) en Anna (1941).

De Beijersbergens behoorden tot de laatsten in de Haagse Jodenbuurt die werden opgepakt. Davids vader werd naar Kamp Amersfoort gestuurd, voor zijn zusjes werd een onderduikadres gevonden en David en zijn moeder kwamen terecht in Kamp Vught. Moeder werd al snel op transport naar Auschwitz gezet, en vandaaruit tewerkgesteld in de Philips-fabriek, haar redding.

Kamp Vught en Noordwijk

Moederziel alleen blijft David achter. Een klein jongetje van ongeveer zes jaar oud, met een zwart brilletje; met één – blind – oog kijkt hij scheef naar boven. Overdag zwerft hij door het kamp, op zoek naar eten, naar iemand die naar hem lacht of iets liefs tegen hem zegt. Bij gebrek aan een eigen bed slaapt hij `s nachts aan het voeteneind van wie hem ook maar gedoogt.

Als een wonder overleeft het hele gezin de oorlog, allen zwaar getraumatiseerd. Alle overige leden van de (Meppeler) familie Van Gelder blijken vermoord.
David wordt door de Nederlandse instanties in een inrichting geplaatst. Daar krijgt hij het stempel ‘diep debiel’. Rond 1948 wordt hij opgenomen in de Van den Bergh-Stichting te Noordwijk. Op de BLO-school blinkt hij natuurlijk uit, en wat er te leren valt, leert hij. Een onderwijzer en een hoofdverpleegster van de inrichting zien wel in dat hij niet in de inrichting thuishoort, maar de directie weigert te erkennen dat David verkeerd beoordeeld is.

Op eigen benen

Als David 19 jaar is mag hij de inrichting verlaten . Hij komt terecht in een jongenstehuis in Rotterdam en moet gaan werken. Een baantje bij een kruidenier bezorgt hem voor het eerst een plaats in het ‘normale’ leven. Daarna mag hij aan de slag bij een fietsenmaker. Wanneer hij de volwassen leeftijd bereikt heeft, vindt de staf van het tehuis een kostgezin voor hem in Gouda. Daar krijgt hij werk in een pottenbakkerij, of, deftiger gezegd, een plateelfabriek.

Via een medewerkster van een postagentschap komt hij in aanraking met een christelijk gezin in Gouda. Als christenen zijn zoals dat gezin, wil hij dáár bij horen. Zo leert hij zijn Messias kennen en ontstaat een groot verlangen om ook anderen van deze ontdekking te vertellen. Hij meldt zich aan voor de opleiding voor jeugdwerker in het evangelisatiewerk, net gestart in Baarn. Helaas wordt hij afgewezen. Wél ontstaat er een briefwisseling met mede-sollicitant Diny Groot uit Andijk, waar een verkering uit voortkomt. In 1963 trouwen ze. Er worden drie zoons geboren.

Studeren is moeilijk, een gezin, de kost verdienen bij de bank, geen goede begeleiding. Maar David getuigt enthousiast van zijn Messias en bestudeert alles wat hem onder ogen komt. Via omwegen, of misschien beter ’s Heren wegen, mag hij examen doen voor predikant op artikel 6 (‘singuliere gaven’) van de gereformeerde kerkorde. Het is een moeilijk bijeenkomen met al die psychologen, theologen, enzovoort. “Vele ogen”, volgens David, die hem moeten beoordelen. “Maar als God het wil, lukt het”, zegt hij. Hij heeft een half jaar daarvoor nog een hartoperatie ondergaan, dus is het dubbel zwaar.

Dominee David Beijersbergen
Op zijn vijftigste verjaardag 20 september 1987 wordt hij in de gemeente Doornspijk bevestigd als predikant. Eén van de mooiste dagen van zijn leven. Het is zijn intentie om een brug te slaan tussen Joden en Christenen, het Oude en het Nieuwe Testament. Hij wil de wortels van het geloof laten zien, en de schoonheid daarvan, zoals die in het Nieuwe Testament zichtbaar zijn geworden. Helaas begrijpt niet iedereen dit altijd. “Bij de christenen ben ik te Joods en voor de Joden te christelijk”, is soms zijn klacht.
Hij preekt met passie en zingt graag daarbij. De organist en David zijn vaak enthousiast met de dienst bezig. “We gaan er samen een feestje van maken.” Hij moppert wel eens over die gereformeerden die zo moeilijk uit hun dak gaan.
Hij is en blijft Joods, maar hij kent de Messias! Hij geeft graag catechese, zingt in een koor, speelt orgel en bestudeert wat hij maar tegenkomt. Hij houdt van huis- en ziekenbezoek, maar niet van vergaderen.
Na twaalf jaar Doornspijk komt de gemeente Erica op zijn pad, waar hij de drie jaar tot zijn emeritaat met plezier werkt. Het echtpaar verhuist hierna naar Elburg waar hij van zijn emeritaat hoopt te kunnen genieten, maar helaas wordt hij na enkele jaren ziek. Eerst darmkanker, waaraan hij wordt geopereerd. Net als hij denkt weer verder te kunnen blijkt de lever aangetast. Ook tijdens zijn ziekte blijft hij diensten leiden. Tot zes weken voor zijn overlijden staat hij nog op de kansel. Hij sterft op 8 juni 2007 te Elburg.

Naast zijn bed ligt een krabbel: ‘Ik ben benieuwd hoe mijn Heer er uit ziet, maar ik hou van het leven.’

Op zijn grafsteen staat: ‘De Eeuwige was zijn vriend, de Messias zijn kracht, door de Geest hen gediend, het Nieuw Jeruzalem verwacht.’

Op de Davidsster die erop ligt: ‘Tot ziens in Jeruzalem’.

Bronnen: Historisch Tijdschrift GKN, juni 2011; Diny Beijersbergen (2003), Gevangene na bevrijding, Merweboek.

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15 August 1983 Passing of Jacob Jocz – Hebrew Christian Scholar, Theologian and Evangelist #otdimjh

Jacob Jocz (pronounced “Yotch” and rhyming with “Scotch”) was a third-generation Jewish disciple of Jesus, a refugee, evangelist, pastor and theologian. Whilst his father perished in the Holocaust, Jocz’s escape from Poland led to his work as a Anglican minister in London, mission leader and theology professor in Toronto, and as President of the International Hebrew Christian Alliance. His legacy lives on in his family, his writings, and in those who are indebted to him.

Kelvin Crombie’s recent book tells the story of Jocz’s family. Jacob’s mother, Hannah, had come to faith in her early teens following in the footsteps of her father, Yochanan Don, a milkman from the Shtetl of Zelse, near Vilna/Vilnius/Vilno, now in Lithuania.  Following Yochanan’s early death, her mother Sarah moved the family to Vilnius and supplemented her income by renting a room to a young yeshiva student, Bazyli Jocz. As he courted Hannah he had this conversation with her:

 “Hannah, I have a secret.”
“What is your secret?”
“My secret is that I am a Jew who believes that Yeshua haNotzri is the Moshiach of Israel” Hannah looked at him and said, “I too have a secret.”
“What is your secret?”
“My father also was a believer in the Messiah. Before he died, he told me never to forget about Yeshua.” (Crombie 2021:32)

Clockwise from left: Bazyli, Paul, John, Jakob, Anna

They married in on 11 November 1905, a week before Anna’s twenty-fifth birthday, and first child Jakob was born on 14 October 1906 followed by Jerzy (George) in 1909 and Pawel (Paul) in 1911. With the upheavals of the First World War, the Russian Revolution and the social and political uncertainty the family moved to Warsaw in 1921 and joined the staff of CMJ (the Anglican Church’s Ministry Among Jewish People), ministering to a growing Hebrew Christian community.  

Joan & Jakób in Warsaw 1938

Many were coming to faith in their Messiah.  Jocz wrote in one report:

“Before we started, the church was filled and a bigger crowd was sent home than the one which was inside … We had before us a crowd of good-looking and well-behaved young men and women, who did not come out of curiosity, but who really sought something which could fill their lives. Mr Wolfin addressed them in Yiddish, and I spoke in Polish on the text, “I am the way”. It was indeed a very inspiring meeting”. The Hebrew Christian Alliance in Warsaw of which Jocz was President was popular and well-attended, and helped many.

Jacob trained with the CMJ Mission in Warsaw, the Evangelisches Predigerseminar in Frankfurt and finally at St. Aiden’s College in Birkenhead, UK. He was ordained an Anglican Priest in 1935 and returned to Warsaw the same year to take up duties for CMJ.  He married Joan Gapp, a British volunteer with CMJ in 1936.

Jocz was providentially saved from the Nazi invasion of Poland, when he remained in England in the summer of 1939 to speak at a conference whose key speaker had been taken ill.  His wife was there to have her first baby, and together they were spared the horrors of the war.  But hundreds, if not thousands, of Jewish disciples of Jesus in the Warsaw ghetto were murdered, alongside their people.  After the war, Jacob learned that many of his family did not survive, although his mother and his brother Paul had.  His father had been betrayed to the Gestapo and shot.

Jacob stayed in the UK working with CMJ  and completed his PhD at the University of Edinburgh. His thesis would be published as The Jewish People and Jesus Christ, a detailed and comprehensive study of the history and theology of Judaism, Christianity and Jewish disciples of Jesus.

In 1947 Jacob was appointed Vicar of St John’s, Downshire Hill, in Hampstead, London, where “by chance” he met and discipled Eric Lipson, whose own Jewish background led the two to become great friends.

In 1955 Jocz became President of the International Hebrew Christian Alliance. The following year he took charge of the Toronto Nathanael Institute, a large Messianic centre in Toronto.  From 1960 he taught systematic theology at Wycliffe College, an Anglican theological seminary in Toronto until his retirement in 1976. He died in 1983, and his favourite hymn, “I feel the winds of God today”, with words by Jessie Adams and set to the traditional folk song, sung at his funeral, is below. Do listen to it as it captures some of the inner sensibility of this man of courage, faith and service.

Jocz’s writings are comprehensive and challenging. His style is both scholarly and rich in spiritual and theological insight. Coming into the Hebrew Christian Alliance in the 1930s he builds on the vision and passion of Leon Levison and others with critical reflection and theological depth. His theology is built on a key concept, what he called “The essential difference between the Church and the Synagogue”, the different perceptions of Jesus as the Incarnation of God. For Jocz this constitutes the “dividing line” between Judaism and Christianity and set him firmly in his own “Hebrew Christian” identity which saw itself as separate from a religious practice of Judaism. His scholarship, his theological influences (particularly that of Karl Barth), and the implications of his views for modern day Messianic Judaism and Post-Supersessionist theology, are as relevant today as they were in his lifetime, and continue to repay careful study.

“To wrestle with theologians of the past is to honour their memory as predecessors who cannot be ignored. Jakob Jocz stands as a giant of the Hebrew Christian movement which preceded Messianic Judaism. He is a link in a chain of scholars, a chain to which I seek to be attached. I am profoundly grateful for his life and work.” (Mark Kinzer)

Jocz’s favourite hymn, sung at his funeral

­­­­­­

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJnqWONlNT4

1 I feel the winds of God today; 
today my sail I lift,
though heavy oft with drenching spray
and torn with many a rift;
if hope but light the water’s crest, 
and Christ my bark will use,
I’ll seek the seas at his behest, 
and brave another cruise.

2 It is the wind of God that dries 
my vain regretful tears,
until with braver thoughts shall rise 
the purer, brighter years;
if cast on shores of selfish ease 
or pleasure I should be,
O let me feel your freshening breeze, 
and I’ll put back to sea.

3 If ever I forget your love 
and how that love was shown,
lift high the blood-red flag above; 
it bears your name alone.
Great pilot of my onward way, 
you will not let me drift;
I feel the winds of God today,
today my sail I lift.

Source: Voices United: The Hymn and Worship Book of The United Church of Canada #625

Jacob Jocz – The Essential Difference between the Church and the Synagogue

Elizabeth Myers The Literary Legacy of Jacob Jocz

Joan Jocz Memoir – here

Arthur F. Glasser, ‘The Legacy of Jakob Jocz’, International Bulletin of Missionary Research, April 1993, p. 66.

Daniel Nessim.   The History Of Jewish Believers In The Canadian Protestant Church, 1759-1995 . MA Thesis, NorthwestBaptistTheologicalCollege,1986.

Theresa Newell – Profile of Jacob Jocz

Jacob Jocz website

Jocz’s books available on Jocz website

  • A Theology of Election  1958 
  • Christians and Jews: Encounter and Mission  1966    
  • Is It Nothing To You?  1940, 1941     
  • Judaism and the State of Israel  1950       
  • Religion and the Gospel   1952     
  • Religion Without God   1964     
  • Syncretism or Faith   1967
  • The Connection Between the Old and the New Testament   1961      
  • The Covenant  1968       
  • The Jewish Christian Dialogue  1967 
  • The Jewish People and Jesus Christ  1949, 1954, 1974  
  • The Jewish People and Jesus Christ After Auschwitz   1981  
  • The Spiritual history of Israel  1961

Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/Jacob-Jocz-229813590507816

Ephraim Radner Yachad BeYeshua Webinar on Jocz – https://www.yachad-beyeshua.org/webinars/june2021

Ben Volman’s recollection of Jocz – https://mcusercontent.com/205825fb2f2dece42c2dd19d3/files/14064b78-c27a-786c-2422-81c52468acd7/Ben_Volman_on_Jakob_Jocz.pdf

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