Money was not on their side. Government and public opinion were against them. Their Jewishness handicapped them at every turn. Yet despite all this they won out – those twelve Jews who started out from Jerusalem to bring countless millions under the wings of the G-d of Israel.
Let those who hold with Napoleon that "G-d is on the side of the heaviest battalions," remember that history knows of twelve men who pitted their
lives against battalions, against wild beasts, the flame and the sword to raise aloft the banner of a Jewish cause in a world that was hostile to everything Jewish. Undaunted,
"they met the tyrant’s brandished steel,
The lion’s glory mane;
They bowed their necks the death to feel"…
The pagan could not understand these "G-d-intoxicated" Jews, and Jews who should have understood them, dismissed them as visionaries, chasing after a phantom. The centuries, however, have shown that no truer vision ever came to man than the Vision which led them on.
Strained as is the relation between Judaism and Christianity, the historic truth is that the warp and woof of Christianity were woven on the Jewish loom. Isadore Lehvinne indulged in no mere syllogism when he declared: "There remains this amazing, and so frequently overlooked truth: It is a lie that the Jews have rejected Christianity. Only a portion of Jews have rejected it. Had it not been for the other portion that went to death and exile there would have been no Christianity now."
The pages of the New Testament teem with incidents of Jewish activity among Jews and non-Jews in the interests of the Messianic movement of Jesus. What today is celebrated as Pentecost is but a harking back to that memorable Shavuot when 3,000 Jews allied themselves with the nascent movement and laid the foundation of a fellowship which has transcended race, time and clime. Inspired by the Messiah they carried the Torah and the message of the prophets beyond the confines of Shul’s and the Temple.
The world is in sore need of another twelve Jews of like heroic mettle to raise aloft the banner of our glorious Messiah. G-d has promised 12 times 12,000 in the Revelation, the last book of the Holy Bible.
Isaac Lichtenstein – District Rabbi of Tapio-Szele, Hungary
"I had thought the New Testament to be impure, a source of pride,
A sudden glory, a light, flashed through my soul. I looked for thorns,
Isaac Da Costa was a lineal descendant of the famous Jewish hero and martyr, Uriel Acosta. Next to Bilderdijk, he is considered the greatest poet of Holland.
This son of Israel was an ardent believer in the Messiahship of Jesus, and The Jewish Encyclopedia says of him:
"Da Costa’s character, no less than his genius, was respected by his contemporaries. To the end of his life he felt only reverence and love for his former coreligionists, was deeply interested in their past history, and often took their part."
The poem which follows was originally written in Dutch, and is generally assumed to have been translated into English by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
On the seventh day reposing, lo! the great Creator stood –
Saw the glorious work accomplished –
Saw that it was good:-
Heaven, Earth, Man, and Beast have being:
Day and night their courses run –
First Creation – infant Manhood – earliest Sabbath:-
It is done!
On the seventh day reposing, Jesus filled His sainted tomb,
From His spirit’s toil retreating, while He broke man’s fatal doom.
‘Twas a new Creation bursting,
Brighter than the primal one.
‘Twas Fulfilment – reconcilement; ’tis Redemption:-
It is done!
Date : 30/11/-0001