A Hungarian Contribution

This last Shobbos, after speaking at a congregation in Las Vegas, I found myself engrossed in one of the most encouraging conversations with an elderly holocaust survivor named Yosef. Our conversation began in Hebrew, drifted into broken Hungarian, and concluded in English. (He definitely put my rusty linguistic skills to work!)


Yosef is an inspiring man who came to believe in Yeshua through his father. Originally from Hungary, after surviving the Shoah (the Holocaust), he moved to Israel, where he lived for a number of years, and then later moved to the States with a stint in Los Angeles before settling more recently in Las Vegas.

I have previously mentioned that I lived in Hungary for a time. Those transformative years have left a lasting impression upon my life, and I continue to be interested in news and subjects relating to the country and especially Hungary’s Jewish community.

As Yosef and I talked, and shared stories and memories, our conversation drifted into Hungary’s great contribution to Messianic Jewish life. During the Messianic Movement’s Golden Age, Hungary had a large and influential community of Jews who believed in Yeshua. This included a number of Jews who argued for a sort of “Messianic Judaism” – in favor of continued covenant faithfulness and Jewish fidelity.

Some of Hungary’s most famous Jewish believers include Alfred Edersheim, Rabbi Ignatz (Isaac) Lichtenstein (pictured above Left), and Rabbi Leopold Cohn (pictured below Right).

Today, Hungary has some very interesting happenings in regard to Jewish believers. Although I cannot share the details in an open forum like this, it is encouraging to hear that the number of Jews who believe in Yeshua (especially those of influence) is continuing to rise.

After Yosef and I hugged and said viszontlátásra (goodbye), we exchanged email addresses.

… I hope he writes!

About Rabbi Joshua

I'm a Rabbi, writer, thinker, mountain biker, father and husband ... not necessarily in that order. According to my wife, however, I'm just a big nerd. I have degrees in dead languages and ancient stuff. I have studied in various Jewish institutions, including an Orthodox yeshiva in Europe. I get in trouble for making friends with perfect strangers, and for standing on chairs to sing during Shabbos dinner. In addition to being the Senior Rabbi of Simchat Yisrael Messianic Synagogue in West Haven, CT, I write regularly for several publications and speak widely in congregations and conferences. My wife is a Southern-fried Jewish Beltway bandit and a smokin' hot human rights attorney... and please don’t take offense if I dump Tabasco sauce on your cooking.
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4 Responses to A Hungarian Contribution

  1. Tim Layne says:

    You do a great thing in helping to bring awareness of these holy men OB"M to those following this great blog. Keep up the good work.

  2. Rabbi Joshua says:

    Hey Tim-Thanks for your comment. You should also be thanked for your work as well on your blog. In fact, I have linked to your blog in a couple of these posts!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Very interesting. I've been to Hungary (on vacation only), and love the great old Budapest synagogue pictured in your article. It's very interesting to learn about the Messianic movement's golden age, and I would love to learn more.

  4. Rabbi Joshua says:

    Anon-Thank you for your comment. In regard to the Dohány Synagagogue, it is indeed spectacular and I have so many great memories from there.

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