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!