Rosh Chodesh Kislev this year should be declared Messianic Judaism’s “Lucky Day.” Not only does it invoke the happy Festival of Hanukkah, this year it marks one hundred years since the death of Messianic Jewish pioneer, Chaim Yedidiah Pollak, aka, Theophilus Lucky (1854-1916).
“In spite of all the difficulties, suffering and persecutions, which I have endured incessantly, nothing could dissuade me from my faith. On the contrary, God, to whom I had given my heart and to whom I turn in all my needs, has given me the strength and power to continue my witness.”
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.
As we peer through the window at the Torah movement, it is useful to take a look back at some of those who walked the path of discipleship before us. Among these heroes is Rabbi Isaac Lichtenstein. Like the apostles, like the first century believers, he never turned his back on Torah or on the traditions of his people.
Pauline Rose (1898-1973) was called the “Lady of Mount Zion.” She could also be considered the first lady of twentieth-century Messianic Judaism. She was a pioneer of the Messianic Jewish movement in Israel and abroad, starting the first Messianic Jewish congregation in Jerusalem in the modern era.
It’s time to redeem Miriam the mother of our Master and give her the honor and respect that she deserves and is in fact given in the Gospels themselves. The best way to do that in Messianic Judaism is to look at how holy figures are honored in Jewish tradition.
The date the the death of the Apostle Paul has been preserved in the Syriac Church tradition. The source is called “The Book of the Bee.” It was compiled in the twelfth century by Solomon, the Bishop of Bassora and preserves a lot of very Semitic-sounding material, which may indeed go back to the early Jewish believers.
The most important detail we receive is that James’ death took place right before Passover. Although neither Jewish nor Church literature preserves an actual date for James’ death, it seems from Josephus’ and Eusebius’ information we may conclude that James was martyred in 62 CE during the week before Passover.
Simon Peter holds a special place in the hearts of many believers. We find camaraderie and consolation in a man who could sail from the highest points of discipleship to the lows of denying his Master. His struggles are our struggles; his challenges are our challenges, and, with the help of Heaven, his triumphs are our triumphs.
Theophilus Lucky was a Messianic Jewish pioneer of his generation and of ours. He held strongly to the Torah of Moses and the testimony of Yeshua, calling his Jewish brothers to follow suit. His example and his writings can serve as an example and inspiration to us all as we codify our theology and practice.
Rabbi Daniel Zion was one of the chief rabbis of Sofia, Bulgaria during World War II and a Jewish believer. He was warned about the holocaust in a vision of the Master, and he helped save 800 Jews of Sofia from the Nazis but was himself interned in a concentration camp in 1943. In 1949 he emigrated to Israel.
We must remember that Abraham does not know that these men are angels and has no idea that they are coming to announce the birth of a son. All this was just a few days after he had fulfilled the mitzvah of circumcision and most certainly he was in pain. Yet Abraham welcomes them.