DEUTSCH (also Duitsch), Christian Solomon, born at Temesvar, in Hungary, 1734. Up to his twentieth year he studied scarcely anything but the Talmud at home and in Prague. The Bible was a sealed book to him. He had married, as the custom was then, very young, and had his board and lodging with his father-in-law, so that he could apply all his energies to Talmudic study, till he should be a light in Israel.
In 1760 his wife died, and after four months he married the second daughter, and was kept again. In the same year he received from the Grand Rabbi of Moravia, the title of Moreinu or D.D. However, he was not happy; he had read a passage in the Talmud, tractate Megillah 24 b, which troubled him. It is thus: “R. Jose said: I was vexed all my life in not being able to understand the prophecy in Deut. xxviii. 29. ‘Thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness,’ until one dark night I met a blind man carrying a burning torch, and asked him, ‘What good is that torch to you?’ He replied, ‘Although I cannot myself see, yet others can see and take care of me that I fall not into a pit or among thorns and briars.”
This awakened serious thoughts in Solomon’s mind. He felt that he was not even like the blind man, for he had neglected the Word of God in the Old Testament, and as for the New, he, living in a Roman Catholic country, had never heard of it. So he began to practise penitence by wearing a garment of horsehair over his body, fasting and castigations. At  night he often used to weep over his sins, and his wife could not console him. Then she reproached him that he had some secret which he kept from her. To this he replied, “I will confess the truth to you; we must choose another way and get out of the darkness in which we are living, if we wish to escape from hell.” He had been already meditating about embracing Christianity, and this he betrayed somewhat by his behaviour, and the result was that he was compelled by the rabbi to divorce his wife.
When three Roman priests heard of this affair, they visited him, and one of them assured him that he had prayed to the Virgin for his conversion, therefore he ought at once to join the Church. But Solomon refused, and left his home in 1762, praying on the way for guidance in the name of Jesus. This prayer he records in full in his autobiography. He came to Prague and then to Saxony, studying the Scriptures on the way. Here in “a prominent town” (probably Dresden) he visited the rabbi, and they enjoyed themselves in a discussion over some knotty Talmudic subtleties.
On October 24, he read for the first time Isa. liii. and asked the rabbi concerning whom the prophet spoke. Then the rabbi appointed an hour and a private place where he would speak to him about this chapter. When they met together he was astonished to hear the rabbi revealing as a secret his belief that the chapter was fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth. Thence Solomon went to Leipzig, Berlin, Amsterdam, and at last to London, where he was very ill. After his recovery in 1763, he returned to Holland. On his  way by ship to Arnheim, he met a Swiss Christian, who took a great fancy to him, and in a conversation expressed a wish that the Lord might enlighten his eyes as he did Rabbi Jechiel Hirschlein [Lichtenstein?] who had been baptized at Zurich. In short, after much instruction, Solomon was baptized at Amsterdam, on June 25, 1767, after handing in a written confession of his faith under the title, “Jehovah Glorified through the acknowledgment of the true Messiah Jesus Christ, proved from the writings of the Prophets, Evangelists, and Apostles,” consisting of 175 pages, and printed at Amsterdam. He then studied theology and became Pastor at Mydret in 1777, where he laboured faithfully till his death in 1797. His chief literary work was, “Israel’s Verlosinge en eeuwige Behoudenis” (Israel’s redemption and eternal salvation), 3 vols., Amsterdam, 1769-93.
Thank you, Lord, for the life and witness of Solomon Deutsch. Thank you for the genuine faith and diligent search his story evidences. We do not all the circumstances of his journey, and recognise the context of his time made relations between Jews and Christians more possible but also more problematic. May our faith always be because of your truth, and may our motives always be open to your scrutiny and that of others. May the Messianic Jewish movement today be one of character, integrity and conviction. We prayy this in the name of our Messiah, Amen.
His story in Dutch