Rabbi J. Lichtenstein

Rabbi J. Lichtenstein is one of the most remarkable converts to Christianity in the nineteenth century. The story is briefly this:

Finding one day a New Testament in the school under his charge, he took it away, and hid it in his library. Then during an anti-Semitic agitation in Hungary he, thinking that there must be something in the teaching of the New Testament, which excited enmity against the Jews, examined it carefully, and was convinced of the contrary, and more, he began to admire and to love the Lord Jesus, and gradually to quote passages from the New Testament in his sermons in the synagogue of Tapio Szele, of which he had been minister for forty years.

He also wrote three pamphlets – “Der Talmud auf der Anklage Bank” Budapesth, 1866; “Mein Zeugniss,” 1886; “Die Liebe und die Bekehrung, ein sehr ernstes wort zu sehr ernster Zeit.”

At last some of his congregation accused him to the chief rabbi of Budapest of heterodoxy. Rabbi Lichtenstein then confessed his faith in Jesus Christ crucified. The result was that he had to resign his office, and to the end of his life he lived as a Christian, constantly preaching the Gospel in Pesth though not baptized. He died in the Lord in 1908.

Bernstein, A. 1999. Jewish Witnesses for Christ. Jerusalem: Keren Ahvah Meshihit.