Showing posts with label Joel C. Rosenberg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Joel C. Rosenberg. Show all posts

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Passover/Easter weekend, there are some 1 million Jewish followers of Jesus in the world. I’m one of them. Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

This Passover/Easter weekend, there are some 1 million Jewish followers of Jesus in the world. I’m one of them. Here’s why.

by joelcrosenberg
testimony-joel-oneforisrael
(Jerusalem, Israel) -- Last year, a ground-breaking study was released by LifeWay Research revealing there are now some 871,000 Jewish followers of Jesus in the United States alone.
Add in the 30,000 Jewish believers who live in Israel, and the many others who live in Europe, Latin America and elsewhere, and there are now about one million Jewish followers of Jesus in the world today.
That's an astonishing number, especially when you realize that in 1967 there were fewer than 2,000 Jewish believers in the entire world.
I'm grateful to be one of them. Yet, I'm constantly asked -- especially by Jewish people -- how in the world this is possible.
“Dude, how can you be Jewish and believe in Jesus?
I love this question. I was first asked it in November of 2002. I had just released my first novel, The Last Jihad. I was doing a telephone interview on a hard rock radio station in Rochester, New York, the city closest to where I grew up in Upstate New York. And the radio host, a guy who called himself “Brother Weese,” asked me this very question.
I've been happily answering it ever since. 
A nine-minute version of story of my spiritual journey — how I was raised by a Jewish father and Gentile mother, and how I came to believe that Jesus is, in fact, the Jewish Messiah, foretold by the ancient Hebrew prophets — was recently released online by a ministry called, “One For Israel.” 
Several years ago (2015), I recorded a longer and more detailed version. I'm including it here in case you're interested.
  • My spiritual journey — part 1 — how becoming the author of The Last Jihadtriggered people asking me a critical question
  • Part 2 — how my Jewish grandparents escaped from Russia, my father’s Jewish upbringing, my mother’s Gentile heritage, and how they met
  • Part 3 — my mother’s spiritual journey
  • Part 4 — my father’s spiritual journey, and then how I came to faith
  • Part 5 — how I learned I was Jewish, and then my crisis of faith in high school
  • Part 6 — the conclusion of my story, and so what? Why should any of this matter to you?
My hope and prayer is that as you listen to the story, it will encourage you in your own faith, and that it will be something you can share with family and friends to help and encourage them, as well. Thanks, and on this Passover / Easter weekend, may the Lord deeply bless you as you open the Bible, read the Holy Scriptures, and seek a personal relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
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Sunday, March 3, 2019

Joel C. Rosenberg: NYT Magazine profiles Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State & an Evangelical Christian. Reports he reads my novels.

Pompeo-NYTimesMagazine

New post on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

NYT Magazine profiles Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State & an Evangelical Christian. Reports he reads my novels. But then goes on odd eschatology tangent.

by joelcrosenberg
(Washington, D.C.) -- Aside from the Vice President, no member of the Cabinet has a closer working relationship with President Trump than Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
That's a good thing, especially given the high stakes of American diplomacy right now. Mr. Trump came to office with no military or foreign policy experience, and having said a number of unsettling things during the 2016 campaign.
Pompeo is a strong conservative and a devout Evangelical Christian. He graduated from West Point. Served as an officer in the U.S. Army. Was deployed in Europe during the end of the Cold War. Came back to Kansas. Built a company. Ran for Congress. Served on the House Intelligence Committee. Was tapped to be Trump's first Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Served there with distinction before becoming Trump's second -- and far more effective -- Secretary of State.
This morning, the New York Times Magazine has published an extensive profile of Pompeo, looking both at his relationship with Trump and his Evangelical faith. I'll let you be the judge of whether the reporter is genuinely curious about and respectful of Pompeo's religious beliefs, or trying to paint him as a nut.
When he explores Pompeo's faith, the reporter -- Mattathias Schwartz -- weaves me into the story. He notes that Pompeo and I met when he was in Congress. That we've stayed in touch over the years That we've met together from time to time, most recently in Egypt. And that he has read my novels for years. 
All of that is true. Indeed, I was more than happy to give the Secretary an advance copy of my forthcoming political thriller, The Persian Gamble, during one of our last meetings. 
Pompeo-Joel
But the implication in the article is that the basis of our friendship is End Times theology. That stunned me when I read the final version of the story because it's not true.
Pompeo and I have talked about a lot of interesting and important subjects over the years, including our shared Evangelical faith. But not once have we ever talked about eschatology. I would never shy away with discussing my views with him, or anyone else for that matter. But he's never raised the topic. Nor have I. We've had plenty of other things to focus on. 
When I met Schwartz in Egypt, we sat near each other at the American University in Cairo where Pompeo was delivering a major policy address. Then we rode together in Pompeo's motorcade to the massive new "Nativity of the Christ Cathedral," and then to the brand new mosque. Schwartz asked me a number of questions about my views of Pompeo and some questions about myself and my background. Yet he never asked me about whether Pompeo and I had ever discussed eschatology or shared the same views. 
Here's what has actually impressed my about Pompeo over the years:
Pompeo-Joel-Egypt
  1. Pompeo understands the nature and threat of evil. Too many in Washington do not. Yet as I have often said, "to misunderstand the nature and threat of evil is to risk being blindsided by it." Pompeo is unlikely to be blindsided. He came of age during when the Soviet Union -- the Evil Empire -- was at its zenith. He thus understands the  serious threat posed by tyrants like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un. He also sees Radical Islamism -- not Islam as a religion, but Radical Islamism as a terrorist ideology -- as a force for evil that absolutely must be pro-actively confronted, contained, and dismantled.  
  2. Pompeo is a man of action -- not content with simply analyzing a problem, he wants to figure out how to solve that problem and then pursue his strategy relentlessly. That's why it was so important that he leave the CIA, whose director is not supposed to be involved in making policy. He's much better suited to being Secretary of State, where he can help the President and VP shaped bold, decisive American answers to the world's most dangerous and intractable problems. 
  3. Trump, Pence and Pompeo have forged an impressive alliance in completely reversing the direction of the disastrous Obama-Biden-Clinton-Kerry foreign policy. Together, they have scrapped the fatally flawed Iran nuclear deal and are building a global alliance to neutralize the Iran threat. They are pressing North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program and sign a peace treaty with South Korea. They are working to strengthen NATO and contain the aggressiveness of Czar Putin. And they're trying to forge a new era of peace and strategic alliances between Israel and her Sunni Arab neighbors. I pray they are successful on every front. This not easy work. The threats are real and the stakes are high. But they're moving in the right direction, and I can't think of anyone better to be running the State Department at a time like this than Mike Pompeo.
I'd recommend you read the magazine profile in full.
I'd also encourage you to take 29 minutes and listen to an interview Mattathias Schwartz did with National Public Radio in which he discusses how he approached researching and writing the profile, what his views of Pompeo are, and how he views Pompeo's faith.
You likely won't agree with it all. I didn't. But Pompeo is a power player. There haven't been many serious, detailed profiles about him. And it's worth understanding him better, and keeping him (and his lovely wife, Susan) in your prayers.
(Photos: 1) New York Times Magazine website; 2) First time I met with Pompeo, back when he was a Member of Congress; 3) our most recent meeting in Cairo.)
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joelcrosenberg | March 3, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Categories: Epicenter | URL: https://wp.me/piWZ7-8Lm

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog - Four Jewish heroes escaped Auschwitz to tell the world what the Nazis were doing.

auschwitzescape-ad

New post on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Four Jewish heroes escaped Auschwitz to tell the world what the Nazis were doing. Do you know their names & their extraordinary stories? You should. Here’s why. #HolocaustRemembranceDay

by joelcrosenberg
(Jerusalem, Israel) -- On January 27, 1945, the Nazi death camp in southern Poland known as "Auschwitz-Birkenau" was finally liberated.
It happened just months before Adolf Hitler committed suicide and the U.S., British, Soviets, and all of our allies heroically liberated Germany and all of Europe.
We must never forget the one million souls who were exterminated at Auschwitz, members of the six million Jews murdered as part of the Nazi's so-called "Final Solution."
But I believe there are four specific names we should also remember. They are the names of four Jewish men -- truly extraordinary men. They did not die at Auschwitz, and that's why their names should be remembered and their stories should be told.
Almost a year before it was liberated, these four men actually escaped from Auschwitz -- not simply to save their own lives but to tell the world the truth about what was really happening behind those high walls and barbed wire.
Truly the greatest escape in all of human history. 
Several years go, I wrote a book called The Auschwitz Escape to help people rediscover what these men did and why. I also wrote this column for the same purpose. On this #HolocaustRemembranceDay, I hope you and your family will take some time to read their stories, learn their names and honor their heroism.
vrba-wetzler
By Joel C. Rosenberg
To misunderstand the nature and threat of evil is to risk being blindsided by it.
In 1933, the world was blindsided by the rise of Adolf Hitler. 
In 1939, it was stunned by the German invasion of Poland and the Nazi leader’s bloodthirsty quest for global domination. Perhaps most tragically, most of the world did not understand Hitler’s plan to annihilate the Jews until it was almost too late.
Today, we face dangerous new threats from Iran, North Korea, and a rising czar in Russia, not from Germany. Yet curiously, in recent weeks [various world leaders] have each warned that as we confront current challenges we must be careful to learn the lessons of history regarding how the world failed to understand the threat posed by Hitler and the Nazis and deal with it decisively, before events spun out of control.
I agree, and as an example, I would point the extraordinary events that occurred in the spring of 1944. 
Four men pulled off the greatest escapes in all of human history, from a Nazi death camp in southern Poland. They did not simply escape to save their own lives. Nor did they escape merely to tell the world about a terrible crime against humanity that had been – and was being – committed. What set these true heroes apart is that they planned and executed their escapes in the hope of stopping a horrific crime before it was committed – the extermination of the Jews of Hungary.
To commemorate the 70th anniversary of these escapes, and to draw attention to the significance these unknown – or unremembered – events, and the lessons they have to teach us, I recently wrote a work of historical fiction, The Auschwitz Escape. I changed the names of key figures involved so as not to put words in their mouths that cannot be verified to be their own. But it is my deepest hope that the book will cause many to dig into the real history of these remarkable heroes.
Their real names were Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler -- they were Slovak Jews. They escaped from Auschwitz on April 7, 1944.
Arnost Rosin was also a Slovak Jew. Czeslaw Mordowicz was a Polish Jew. These are more real names. Together these men escaped from Auschwitz on May 27, 1944.
auschwitz-joelontracks
Upon making it safely to Czechoslovakia, Vrba, only 19 years old, and Wetzler, 25, linked up with the Jewish underground. They explained Auschwitz was not simply a labor camp, as most thought, but rather a death camp. The Nazis were systematically murdering prisoners, mostly Jews, using poison gas called “Zyklon B,” then burning their bodies in enormous ovens.
The men explained the Nazis were dramatically enlarging an expansion camp a few miles from Auschwitz called “Birkenau,” building new train tracks, enormous new gas chambers, and massive new crematoria. They had also completed ramps leading all those arriving in the cattle cars directly into the gas chambers.
Vrba and Wetzler said they had heard SS guards talking about Hungarian “salami” that would soon be arriving. They knew from their jobs as clerks in the camp that none of Hungary’s nearly 450,000 Jews had yet arrived, even though Jews from most of Europe had come already. 
They urged the Czech Jewish leaders to warn Hungarian Jews immediately so they would revolt and not get on the trains. They also urged that the Allied leaders be notified so they would mount an operation to liberate Auschwitz.
Both men were asked to separately draft detailed eyewitness reports. Their reports were then cross-checked, compiled into a single report, and then simultaneously translated into multiple languages.
Eventually, Mordowicz, 23, and Rosin, 30, escaped as well. When they got to Czechoslovakia, they wrote up reports of their own, which were added to the existing document. But all this took precious time the Hungarian Jews did not have.
The report, known as “The Auschwitz Protocol,” was sent to Jewish and Allied leaders in early June 1944. Excerpts were leaked to the press, creating an international uproar. But the Germans had begun deporting Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz in massive numbers on May 15th. And “The Auschwitz Protocol” landed in the hands of President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill and their top aides just as the Allies were executing the D-Day invasion of Normandy and trying to liberate France.
On July 2nd, the U.S. began bombing Budapest. Admiral Miklos Horthy, the Nazi-backed Regent of Hungary, feared the air raid was in reprisal for the Jewish deportations. He ordered the trains halted. Thus, while, more than 300,000 Hungarian Jews had already been sent to Auschwitz and gassed, 120,000 more Hungarian Jews were saved from deportation and certain death.
Sir Martin Gilbert, the British historian, would later note, “The Auschwitz Protocol” was responsible for “the largest single greatest rescue of Jews in the Second World War.”
That said, neither the U.S. nor the British military took direct action to liberate Auschwitz during the war. Nor did they bomb the train lines to the death camps, or bomb the camps themselves, as Jewish leaders had implored. 
When the Soviets finally entered Auschwitz on January 27, 1945, only 7,000 prisoners remained alive. More than 1.1 million had already been exterminated.
Why didn’t Washington and London take decisive action upon receiving detailed, inside intelligence? Couldn’t they have at least tried to stop the Holocaust, or at least disrupt it, knowing the hellish nightmare people in the camps were experiencing?
Historians have been debating this for years. Yet the issues are not academic. Today, our leaders also face urgent questions. 
Let’s consider just one. Iran has threatened to “wipe Israel off the map.” It has threatened to create world without the “Great Satan” (aka, the U.S.), as well. The mullahs are actively developing the ability to build nuclear warheads and the missiles to deliver them. 
Do we currently have inside sources giving us accurate intelligence on the state of Iran’s nuclear program? If diplomacy and sanctions fail, should the West take military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities before the mullahs can set into motion a Second Holocaust? 
Rather than attack ourselves, should the U.S. support an Israeli preemptive strike? What are the risks of launching such a strike? What are the risks of delay? 
Would history forgive us if we wait too long and Iran strikes first?
The moral courage that Rudolf Vrba, Alfred Wetzler, Arnost Rosin, and Czeslaw Mordowicz demonstrated seventy years ago was extraordinary. They understood the nature and threat of evil, and they risked their lives to tell the world the truth. 
They deserve to be remembered and heralded by Jews and Christians and all who care about freedom and human dignity. 
We must never forget what they did, and why they did it. But we must also be ready to act wisely, bravely and decisively if a mortal threat rises again. For if we learn nothing else from the history of the Holocaust, we had better learn this: Evil, unchecked, is the prelude to genocide.

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joelcrosenberg | January 27, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Categories: Epicenter | URL: https://wp.me/piWZ7-8Kx