16 April 1816 Birth of Julius Paul Bloch, London Society Missionary in Rotterdam for 57 years #otdimjh

DAE-11067336 - © - DEA / A  DAGLI ORTI

Gidney summarises Bloch’s life and ministry as:

“Earnest, prayerful, humble, holy, zealous, and always about his Master’s business, he was greatly respected and esteemed by all, for his character and works’ sake.”

Roeiloods Nieuwehaven Rotterdam 1900

Bernstein gives a brief biography:

Bloch, Julius Paul, was born April 16th, 1816 at Jutroschin, in Prussia. His parents, Simon and Zipporah, brought him up to be, like themselves, strictly orthodox. Being clever, before he was 13 years old, when he became “Bar Mitzvah,” he had gained a thorough Talmudical education. He grew up a [132] very strict pious Jew, never missing synagogue either morning or evening.

In his fourteenth year he was apprenticed to a furrier. Whilst thus earning his living, two missionaries came to Jutroschin. Their advent caused a great commotion, as the city was then renowned as one of the strongholds of Judaism. The Jews determined to oppose their work, and Julius Bloch was one of the foremost to stone them. A year or two later he had to travel as a journeyman in his trade. This eventually brought him to Greifswalde, where he found employment with a Mr. Albert, who, at last, made him foreman in his factory. This man and his wife were true Christians, and often talked to him about Christ. He noticed, too, the peace they enjoyed in hours of the greatest adversity, and his faith in Judaism, as a religion of comfort, was shaken.


At last he tried to turn a deaf ear to all they said, but the seeds of eternal life had been sown in his heart. He began to feel lonely and unhappy; he could no longer say the Hebrew prayers, Jewish ceremonies began to lose their hold, as having no solace for his disturbed mind. Of this time he says: “I got a Bible, and began to read it. My conscience was awakened, and I became my accuser. I put the Bible away and determined to remain a good Jew, but the wounds of my conscience and heart became putrifying sores. I tried to comfort myself that I had always lived a moral and blameless life; but it was all in vain.” At last his despair nearly drove him to suicide, from which he was only saved by throwing himself on his knees in prayer.

That night [133] he was “born again,” and the next day, May 16, 1839, he openly confessed his newly found faith. The change became known to the Jews. Arguments and threats, and even the offer from a brother to establish him in business—all was in vain. The next year he went to Berlin, and after preparation was received into the Church of Christ, by Pastor Kuntze, on June 6, 1841. Further trials from his family awaited him, until he fled to Amsterdam, where Mr. Pauli, the Society’s missionary [author of the much re-printed “How can Three Be One?”], asked him to assist in the mission. From that time, 1843, until May, 1900, when he died, his work was signally blessed, many Jews through his influence being baptized. He thus passed away “as a shock of corn cometh in in his season.”


Prayer and Reflection: Apart from references in Gidney and Bernstein, it is difficult to find material on Julius Bloch, but he was a faithful worker with the London Society (CMJ), serving the equivalent of seven times the average length of ‘long term service’ today. We need Messianic Jews to stay the course and serve their people whole-heartedly and for the long haul. Lord, help us to persevere in your service, and in the service of your people Israel. In Yeshua’s name we pray. Amen.

Adler regularly visited Rotterdam, where he lectured to Jews in ” Caledonia Hall,” and superintended the good work done by his veteran assistant, Paul Bloch, who had been stationed there since 1844; he also preached occasionally at The Hague, Utrecht, Groningen, Meppel, Zwolle and other large towns.

Julius Paul Bloch, who had been working there since 1844, retired in 1899. Throughout his long career he devoted himself to the work “in the love of it,” and in the ardent desire for the salvation of his brethren according to the flesh. He went into the streets and lanes of the city to compel them to come in, and found ready access to hearts and homes. He spoke to emigrants in lodging houses, at the docks, and on [541] board ship. Hundreds and thousands of poor wanderers heard the Gospel from his lips, and received the Bible at his hands. As so often happens, he put off his harness only to die, for he entered into rest but four short months afterward, in the 84th year of his age. Earnest, prayerful, humble, holy, zealous, and always about his Master’s business, he was greatly respected and esteemed by all, for his character and works’ sake. He was succeeded at Rotterdam by Zalman. The story of the fuller development of the work belongs to our next Period.


About richardsh

Messianic Jewish teacher in UK
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