I spent last weekend reading through a preview of Vine of David/FFOZ’s upcoming release, “The Everlasting Jew: Selected Writings of Rabbi Isaac Lichtenstein.” The book will be available next week, on June 10th, but can be pre-ordered now.
As many of you already know, I have blogged quite a bit in the past about Rav Lichtenstein and many of the other great Messianic Luminaries of earlier centuries. Therefore, I was super excited when I first heard about Vine of David/FFOZ’s plans to tackle this project. And now that the time has arrived … I am thrilled to see what they have produced.
Vine of David/FFOZ has gained a reputation for producing the highest quality materials … from their Torah commentaries and books … to their new television programs. This new volume meets those same expectations – both in its scholarship and quality. Beautifully bound and produced (similar to their release of Levertoff’s classic, “Love and the Messianic Age”), using only the highest quality paper and materials, this is the next volume in their Messianic Luminaries series. Plans are in the works to release similar collections of Avram Poljak, Rabbi Yechiel Zvi Lichtenstein, and others.
Rabbi Isaac Lichtenstein
Rabbi Isaac (Ignácz) Lichtenstein (1825–1908) served for over 40 years as the Chief Rabbi of the Northern district of Hungary. He was a respected authority who late in life came to the realization that Yeshua is the Messiah and suffered greatly for his conviction.
He wrote several booklets arguing that faith in Yeshua is compatible with Judaism. Eventually community pressure forced him out of his position as district rabbi, but he never accepted Christian baptism, nor did he ever join a church. He quickly became one of the most well-known Jewish believers of the late 1800’s.
The Everlasting Jew
The title of this volume, “The Everlasting Jew,” comes from a quote from Rav Lichtenstein:
“When the day dawns, he will be no more Jacob, but Israel, the prince with God, who shall fight the battles of HaShem and His Anointed among the nations. The everlasting Jew … will become a witness for God and his Messiah, and to him all will give ear.”
Contents of the Book
Introduction: A Talmudic Jew
- Written primarily to the Messianic Jewish community, it is an introduction to Lichtenstein and his work, and why he and his work remain so important for us today.
The Story of Rabbi Isaac Lichtenstein – written by Daniel Lancaster
- This is a biography of Lichtenstein’s life. It is extensive and well researched. I learned quite a bit I did not know before. Not sure, however, if Lancaster nor Levy ever spoke to David Sedaca, who knew the Lichtenstein family quite well, and was ordained by Rav Lichtenstein’s son. There is a possibility that he may have been able to answer some of the questions Lancaster raised that were left unanswered.
About this Digest
- This short section serves as an introduction to some details about Levy and Lancaster’s approach to compiling and editing Lichtenstein’s work.
A Bibliography of Lichtenstein’s Writings: By Jorge Quiñónez
- This section is extremely helpful for those who may want to delve even further into Lichtenstein’s other works. Jorge Quiñónez has done extensive research on these early Messianic Jewish believers, and has spent years tracking down, collecting and archiving many of these great works. Most of us interested in this subject have him and his collection to especially thank.
The next section begins with some great photos of Lichtenstein, his synagogue in Tápiószele, and his recently restored tombstone. Following the photos are six chapters, with each chapter representing a different article of Rav Lichtenstein’s most well-known works:
Chapter 1: The Rabbi Testifies
Chapter 2: Reconciling Estranged Brothers
Chapter 3: Entreating the Jewish People
Chapter 4: The Shechinah and Israel’s Messiah
Chapter 5: The Talmud on Trial
Chapter 6: A Rabbi Laments
The book concludes with a beautiful prayer Lichtenstein wrote: A Prayer for Jewish Believers, which was delivered at a conference on Jewish Missions in Leipzig in 1895.
The Everlasting Jew is an incredible contribution to the modern Messianic Jewish Community. In an age when most Jewish believers remain largely ignorant about our own recent history and the wealth of such great luminaries, this book helps to bring their great works back to life. This is a book that should be on the shelf of every committed Messianic Jew and every Christian interested in Jewish-Christian dialogue, as well as to any historian of religion.
I cannot recommend this book more highly … order yours today HERE! You will not be sorry.
Update, June 16th – You can also preview pages of the book HERE. Check it out!