A Renaissance of a different kind


Vine of David (a publishing arm of FFOZ) recently re-published a historic title, Love and the Messianic Age, by the great Jewish believer Paul Philip Levertoff.

This publication represents a renewed interest in the great works of Jewish believers from an age long forgotten. Although much lip service is often given to the birth of the Messianic Jewish congregational movement in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s; what most people overlook is Messianic Judaism’s golden age in the 1800’s.

During this golden age there were thousands of Jewish believers across Europe, and even a graduate school, the Institutum Judaicum in Germany, founded by the great Franz Delitzsch (best known for his translation of the New Testament into Hebrew which is still one of the most popularly used today).

Some of the greatest thinkers among Jewish believers lived and wrote during this academic period. This is the age of the Haskalah, the Enlightenment, and out of this same milieu in Germany arose the luminaries of Heschel, Buber, Rosenzweig, Soloveitchik, and others.

Among these luminaries were the likes of such great Jewish believers as Paul Philip Levertoff (mentioned above), Yechiel Tzvi Lichtenstein, Chaim Theophilus Lucky, Rabbi Isaac Lichtenstein, Joseph Rabinowitz, and former Chief Rabbi of Bulgaria, Daniel Zion (among others).

These were a different breed of Jewish believers. Steeped in the traditions of our ancestors, these great minds were raised in some of the greatest yeshivas of Europe, and went on to receive their graduate degrees and doctorates at prestigious Universities. However, their work has largely remained untapped as much of it was published in Hebrew, Yiddish, and German.

With all of the renewed interest in these figures and works in recent years, efforts are being made to make these texts and sources more readily available today. Efforts by those like Jorge Quiñónez, FFOZ, and others are bringing this golden age of Jewish believers back to life.

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 Beth Emunah Messianic Synagogue in Agoura Hills, CA, 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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1 Response to A Renaissance of a different kind

  1. rik says:

    It is so good to see you once agin introduce us to a Great, from our golden age history. The preocupation with, all things French, as it were, discounts the rich contributions of the age of enlightenment. Also it is so critical to underscore that Messanic Judesm is not a current fad but a long historic element in observent Jewish life.

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