THE STAR OF LAODICEA
Comes once more the time of year when many of us are sadly reminded of the passing of the Parousia and Epiphany Messengers–accompanied howbeit by many pleasant memories of our personal experiences with them. In Revelation 1:16 we are told that “He [the Lord] had in His right hand seven stars,” and verse 20 explains that the “seven stars are the angels of the seven churches.” That these “stars” are not seven individuals, as some have taught, is clearly demonstrated in Revelation 12:1, where the “woman” (the true church) is adorned with “a crown of twelve stars.” Those twelve stars are the twelve Apostles, who comprised the composite star, or special messengers, to the incipient Gospel‑Age Church.
And, as was true of the first epoch of this Age, the same has likewise been true of all seven epochs of the Gospel Age–each epoch had more than one “angel” as the special Pastor and Teacher. In the last, or seventh, epoch in which we have been since 1870 the “star” contained but two individuals, the same being Brother Russell and Brother Johnson. Thus, we caption this paper “The Star of Laodicea,” and we hope to relate certain items about both of them to the pleasure and inspiration of our readers.
The “angels” all during the Age were under the Lord’s special guidance, protection and care; they were His messengers, or representatives. (See Berean Comment on Revelation 1:20.) It is well to note this fact as a sobering influence upon each of us in our appraisal and attitude toward them. Especially is the thought emphasized for the first and seventh epochs of this Age, of which more later.
It was never our privilege to meet Brother Russell personally, although we have received much information from various brethren who were closely attached to him. In Volumes 9 and 14 Brother Johnson has eulogized him far beyond anything we might here present; but to what he wrote about him we add one item he related to us personally, and is not given in detail anywhere in his writing, so far as we know–although a kindred thought is expressed in E‑8‑561.
As most of us know, Brother Russell never attended any institution of higher learning; therefore, his knowledge of Hebrew and Greek was limited. On the other hand, Brother Johnson was highly skilled in both languages, so much so that he often quoted copious sections of the Bible in English, then quoted the same text in Hebrew. Therefore, Brother Russell often asked his interpretation on difficult texts; and, in over four hundred such instances, Brother Russell himself had the correct meaning before asking Brother Johnson’s opinion. And it was this, said Brother Johnson, that thoroughly convinced him that Brother Russell was “That Servant,” because no one unschooled in Hebrew and Greek could have been so consistently right without the special enlightenment, guidance and care of the Lord.
And, as That Servant, “The Parousia Messenger was given charge of the Church, of its doctrinal, correctional, refutational and ethical teachings, of its work... specifically of the correct interpretation of the Scriptures on the ransom, atonement, sin‑offerings, mediator and covenants” (E‑11‑107); and “as a priest in his relations to the errors and wrong practices of the nominal church. Certainly his face was set like brass in strength against these errors and wrong practices.” (E‑11‑108) Of course, this aroused venom andvituperation from those whose errors and wrongs he exposed–just as the same course led Jesus to the cross.
Many were our personal experiences with such people in the years we spent in the colporteur work early in the Epiphany. On one occasion, as we approached a man, the hardening of his features became apparent, as he declared he wanted none of the literature; he had known “Russell” and attended a number of his lectures. In politeness we asked him what opinion he had formed of the man. His answer: “I think he was just an old crankl” In another instance we allayed the ire of a Mormon by mildness and politeness, after which he became affable enough to offer us this advice: “Young man, you have the qualities, and you could be an Evangelist if you just got away from the influence of that old quack.” Many such instances could we relate as we learned from experience the truth of the Lord’s words: “Men shall revile you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely.” And by such treatment That Servant learned that “the servant is not above His Master”–he drank the same cup as did Jesus. Brother Johnson said he once affectionately told Brother Russell that he was the most loved man on earth. Brother Russell’s answer: “Yes, Brother, and the most hatedl”
BROTHER RUSSELL’S STEWARDSHIP DOCTRINE
On previous occasion we have stated that Brother Russell’s stewardship doctrine was the correct interpretation of Leviticus 16, the central feature of which is Restitution. In support of this conclusion, we quote from E‑11‑94 (24): “It was especially during this period, in 1879, that the light on the tabernacle in general, and on Leviticus 16 in particular, was by Jesus given, first to That Servant and then later to the Church, showing the two antitypical Sin‑offerings, the two salvations in natures separate and distinct... Here, too, the doctrine of the World’s High Priest was brought to light.”
Corroborating the foregoing is this in Parousia Volume 3, page 216 by Brother Russell himself: “And strange to say, it is the message of God’s loving provision, in the ransom, for the restitution of all things [Acts 3:19‑21], by and through Christ Jesus and His glorified body, the Church, God’s Kingdom, that is to develop and draw into heart‑union the true class only, to test them and separate them from the nominal mass.” This statement by Brother Russell clearly states that the preaching of Restitution would accomplish the Harvest reaping work, and this is substantiated even in the name of one of his types in E‑14‑114:
“Jashobeam, the people shall return, in allusion to his preaching much on restitution.”
And further in E‑14‑155 (16): “Brother Russell also charged these Sunday Pilgrims to exhort the public to declare continually the restitution salvation.”
It was the understanding of Restitution that harmonized the Bible, made vital the Harvest Message. (See E‑8‑384, top) As at the First Advent, “The people that sat in darkness saw a great light,” so all of us “saw great light” when the restitution message was explained to us. But, just as the great light at the First Advent roused great opposition, so here in the Harvest time the Truth people became “the sect that everywhere is spoken against.” (Acts 28:22) Nevertheless, Brother Russell continued with vigor and determination to preach Restitution “through evil report, and good report”; and surely we all can join with Brother Johnson in exclaiming, “God bless his memory!”
[It is sad to note that the organization that Pastor Russell founded, known today as Jehovah’s Witnesses, does not teach Restitution and Resurrection for all mankind – only for those who join them. Pastor Russell is not the founder of their gross errors.]
THE SECOND STAR
Brother Johnson was Brother Russell’s companion helper, and faithfully carried on in spirit and in Truth the teachings and practices established by him. As he himself states in E‑11‑107, it was his duty “to expound and defend correctly everything connected with the antitypical Tabernacle.” If he was right in that statement, then the attempts to change the teachings of that Tabernacle which have been made since his death are all anathema.
As some of our readers know, it was in the fall of 1942 that we were privileged to accomplish a month’s pilgrim trip with Brother Johnson to the West Coast of the United States and back. This gave us many intimate hours of travel together, during which he related details of his life from infancy, which he said he had never before revealed to any one. Clearly enough, he was among us “as one that serveth” – ”an example of the believers” and to the believers. Nothing was ever too bad; he had that “godliness with contentment, which is great gain.” On occasion when the going was rough, he would emit his hearty chuckle with the observation: “When we get into the Kingdom, won’t we look back and laugh at some of these experiences.”
As we said at his funeral on October 27, 1950, he was a man, even as you and I; and he made mistakes, even. as you and I. But when we consider all the good he did for us in his years of faithful ministry, we reveal our sad limitations if we dwell upon his mistakes, rather than his virtues. As for us, and our house, we heartily exclaim, God bless his memory!
“MY SERVANT MOSES”
It is not good that we should extol the Stars of Laodicea beyond fact; although we should be guided by St. Paul’s clear admonition to “count them worthy of double honor who labor in word and doctrine.” (1 Tim. 5:17) They themselves repeatedly exhorted all likewise to “labor in word and doctrine” – “to prove all things, and to hold fast that which is good.” Thus, as faithful Pastors and Teachers, they “watched over your souls as they that must give an account,” and continually waged war against clericalism and sectarianism – two besetting Gospel‑Age sins of the Great Company that developed after the Apostles passed away. The Ephesus period of the Church was commended for the avoidance of these evils: “This thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” (Rev. 2:6) Note the Comments: “The deeds of the Nicolaitans (Nicholans means ‘Lord’–Compare verse 15.) Which I also hate–’One is your master [Lord] and all ye are brethren.”’
And, while we should not “fall at their feet and worship,” neither should we take the other extreme of discounting them too much, or become overly critical. The outstanding warning against this latter evil is to be found in Numbers 12, where the Lord’s anger was kindled against Miriam and Aaron: “Were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” We do well to take close note of this, and apply it properly and according to our time. Jesus specifically told the “Star” (the twelve Apostles) of the first Church: “He that receiveth you receiveth me.” (Matt. 10:40) At that time those that rejected the Apostles were not blessed with the Harvest Truth. That condition did not prevail between the two Harvests, because the Interim Stars did not possess the same authority as did the Apostles. But with the inception of the Gospel‑Age Harvest some of the same authority attached to the Laodicean Star; That Servant was made ruler over all His goods. Those who refused to receive him never came into Present Truth; and those who did receive him, and then “spoke against” him soon found themselves “leprous,” as was Miriam–they became “plagued” with error.
Especially would we say it is markedly true of those who came to an understanding of the Numbers 12 type. Once such began to “speak against” him, it was not long before they became noticeably “leprous”; they rejected some Truth they had, thus becoming “unclean.” (John 15:3)
These are troublous times, with the tendency in every direction being toward Anarchy; and the Lord’s people should be on guard that “it shall not come nigh thee.” (Psa. 91:7) We believe all would do well at this time to read Chapter 6 of Parousia Volume 6 – “Order and Discipline in the New Creation.” This will be honoring both members of the Laodicean Star.
It is well for us to note here once more that “the Lord seeth not as man seeth.” Moses was the youngest child–the “baby” in his family. Then, as is still true in many countries, the oldest boy was given the pre‑eminence in inheritance and prestige. Even yet, in Germany the oldest boy is considered the head of the family after the father dies, regardless of the superior brilliance and integrity that may reside in a younger son. We have the striking example of this in the way Joseph’s older brethren envied and discounted him–hated him, and “could not speak peaceably unto him.” (Gen. 37:4)
Somewhat similar was the situation of Brother Johnson, who was one of the younger pilgrims at Brother Russell’s death, and his older brethren would not bring themselves to accept instruction from him. Yet, it is now clear to us who hold his memory blessed, that he was more qualified than all of them combined to be leader of God’s people. Again there was demonstrated the truism that “Age is no proof against folly,” coupled with the advice of St. Paul to Timothy, “Let no man despise thy youth!” (1 Tim. 4:12) It is well that we honor those whom God honors, regardless of age or youth, and strive honestly to “see not as man seeth.”
It is our opinion that both Brother Russell and Brother Johnson did the best they knew how to do; nor will greater tribute ever be paid to any of us. As Jesus said of Mary, “She hath done what she could,” so may it eventually be said of each of us – “We have done what we could!” And again, God bless their memoryl
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the House of the Lord our God I will seek thy good.” (Psa. 122:6‑9)
(By John J. Hoefle, No. 404, October 1989)
A PAPAL VISIT CAN DO ONLY HARM
Under the present circumstances, a papal visit to the Holy Land would become a major blunder and embarrassment to all involved – if not worse.
It is common knowledge that the pope is planning to visit the Holy Land toward the year 2000. The reasons are obvious – and laudable: For a globe‑trotting pontiff like John Paul II, a visit to the land of Christianity’s origins would be a crown in a remarkable career; the aura of the millennium and celebrations connected with the 2000th year since the birth of Jesus are an appropriate context for such a visit; and last and not least, Pope John Paul’s inner urge to contribute to Jewish‑Arab reconciliation gives his pilgrimage an extra urgency.
Yet when looking at the prospects of a papal visit to the country, especially to Jerusalem, one cannot refrain from cautioning against it. It would do more harm than good–to prestige and standing of the pope, to the Roman Catholic Church, to Christian‑Jewish relations, and possibly also to the Israeli‑Palestinian peace process.
The Roman curia should seriously reconsider and reassess its plans and advise the pope that this pilgrimage, for all its personal significance and its message of peace and reconciliation, should not take place.
There is no doubt that personally, John Paul II is better suited than most, if not all, of this predecessors to embark on such a mission.
His personal history, as well as the annals of his pontificate, have proven an empathy to the Jewish people and its suffering unparalleled in the history of the Roman Catholic Church; his visit to the synagogue in Rome did perhaps more than any doctrinal statement in the texts of the Second Vatican Council to suggest that the Roman Catholic Church has turned a new page in its relations with what John Paul II consistently calls “our elder brethren,” the people who also brought the world Mary and Jesus.
Yet all this will vanish the moment the pope sets foot in the Holy Land–and I choose this term judiciously. The Vatican has finally established diplomatic relations with Israel after many years of unnecessary delay, yet its position on the question of Jerusalem has not changed.
It is obvious that the Vatican does not recognize the Israeli annexation of east Jerusalem: Does it unreservedly recognize Israel’s sovereignty over west Jerusalem, or does it still adhere to its initial position of internationalism–with the Roman Catholic Church (and also the Protestant denominations?) having some role in the running of the city?
Diplomats can live with ambiguities, but when concrete problems have to be confronted in the immediate here‑and‑now, they can become dicey. The pope may hope to make a pilgrimage to the celestial city of Jerusalem, to Civitas Dei, but at every turn he will be confronted with the contentions, confrontational and acerbic problem of the terrestrial Jerusalem.
When the pope arrives in Jerusalem and is welcomed by the president to “united Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the State of Israel” – will he acquiesce or demur?
Or will Vatican diplomacy put a prior veto on such an expression by the president of Israel? In either case, we shall have a major diplomatic incident.
Will he consent to be accompanied to the Old City by the mayor of Jerusalem? And at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, will he be greeted only by the Latin Patriarch, who is (as he should be) a Palestinian Arab, or will he insist on also being greeted by Faisal Husseini or another representative of the Palestinian Authority?
Every step is fraught with extremely delicate issues; no compromise can be easily devised when one deals not with a British foreign secretary, but with the head of the Roman Catholic Church.
The pope, out of his goodwill and wish to reach out to Jews, will certainly want to meet with Israeli rabbis. Will the chief rabbis even agree to meet him–and under what conditions? If the pope expresses his feeling for the tragedy of the Shoah, he will undoubtedly also express his sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians. Both sides will only hear that part they do not wish to hear.
In all probability, the pope’s visit in 1999 or 2000 will fall close to the Israeli elections, which means that Israeli politicians will have to play to the galleries as much as possible, and some of the language which might be used could become offensive.
If the pope tries to defend the role of Pius XII during World War II, he will only alienate the Israelis, while the Palestinians on the other side, will accuse him of caving in to the Jews.
In short, under the present circumstances, the pope cannot do right in such a visit, whatever he does. Everything, with the best of intentions in the world, will go wrong.
Last and not least, just imagining the security arrangements connected with a papal visit–and with the masses of tourists and pilgrims coming to Israel on this occasion – should give any sane person the creeps. Certainly the pope himself would not like his visit to Jerusalem to turn into a city under siege and virtual occupation.
The time is not ripe, or as the Greeks would say, this is not the right kairos. If the peace process were on track, a papal visit could be the icing on the cake. Under the present circumstances, it will become a major blunder and embarrassment to all involved – if not worse.
Vatican diplomacy tends to be wise, prudent and careful. Its officials and representatives know very well how to proceed at a glacial pace. His advisers should practice this wisdom and experience, and in all humility beg the head of the Roman Catholic Church not yet, not yet.
(Jerusalem Post, June 6, 1998)
PROMISES, BROKEN AND KEPT
Eighty‑one U.S. senators finally face the truth about the Middle East
Israel’s peacekeeping Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin died with the bitter knowledge that he had been betrayed. At Oslo, Yasser Arafat had given him a commitment: “You give us territory, and we’ll fight terrorism from that territory.” Rabin took the historic chance. He also took the precaution of asking two outstanding professionals to report on Arafat’s fulfillment of the promise: Gen. Amnon Shahak, as chief of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF); and Gen. Moshe Ya’alon, head of military intelligence.
Knowing what happened is essential to knowing where we are today. In September 1995, Ya’alon reported that instead of fighting the armed fundamentalist terrorists – Hamas and Islamic Jihad – Arafat was permitting their military strength to grow in the territories turned over by Israel. Other Arab leaders, from Egypt to Algeria, were fighting the fundamentalists because they recognized their menace. But Arafat, Ya’alon concluded, was using proxy terror to push Israel for more concessions. When Ya’alon advised Rabin that Arafat was dealing with Mohamed Def, one of the most radical terrorists, Rabin confronted Arafat with the allegation. Arafat’s response was to say, “Mohamed esh?” (“Mohamed who?”). It was, Rabin judged, a brazen deception. Soon afterward, with more damning intelligence in his hands, Rabin decided on a showdown with Arafat–but planned to wait until the Palestinian election on January 20, 1996, in hope that a political endorsement would strengthen Arafat’s hand against the terrorists.
Paralysis. Rabin died before he could carry out his plan. Four days after the Palestinian election, the new prime minister, Shimon Peres, visited Arafat. Israeli intelligence had learned that a terrorist group was planning five major bombings. Arafat was given that information – and did nothing. In February and March, four bombs exploded in buses, cafes, and shopping areas, killing dozens of Israelis and wounding hundreds. The impact on Israeli politics was devastating, leading to the election of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as the expression of Israel’s security concerns. The rise of Netanyahu did not bring about the paralysis of Oslo. It was the paralysis of Oslo that brought about the rise of Netanyahu.
Arafat mourned Rabin’s death, but he continues his double game. Last year, some 463 terrorist attacks were mounted; and additional 100 were foiled. Recently, Israel discovered a Hamas cell that planned the takeover of a major building; the planting of mines; a suicide bombing in a major residential area; car bombings in Haifa, Beit E1, and Ariel; and infiltration of explosives into video‑tapes. Only intense Israeli pressure induced the Palestinian Authority (PA) to raid this group: 1,500 pounds of explosives were found. Meanwhile evidence of Arafat’s betrayal multiplies. He has twice as many police under arms as agreed at Oslo but will not use them against terrorist havens minutes from major Israeli cities. He has freed Islamic Jihad terrorists responsible for the January 1995 Beit Lid bombing that killed a score of Israelis, as well as those who attacked the Jerusalem mall last September. He retains the chief of the 12,000‑strong police force in Gaza and the West Bank, Gen. Gnazi Jabali, who is known to be involved in terrorism. He allows PLO leaders to exhort their people to violence against Israelis. He has recruited 150 police officers from known terrorist groups, including at least 25 wanted for terrorist attacks on Israelis. A cartoon sums up Arafat’s definition of cracking down on terrorism: “No kiss. All you get is a hug.”
Does Arafat get criticized in the Western media for this appalling record? Of course not. All kinds of rationalizations are devised to excuse his abrogation of security commitments, which were underwritten in the Oslo “Note for the Record” by the United States itself. All sorts of pressures are brought on Israel to reward Arafat’s campaign by making further concessions. Israel knows full well that this would not buy peace. Withdrawal from Hebron has been followed by suicide bombings, more violent intifada – and demands for more withdrawals, more retreat from Oslo.
That is the bad news. The good news is that, despite the one‑eyed vision of the media, an impressive body of U.S. senators has finally broken the spell. Eighty‑one senators – who cannot be dismissed as partisan – have sent a letter to President Clinton containing the following truths: “The fact is that many Palestinians continue to use terror and violence as a political tool against Israel. Chairman Arafat, himself, repeatedly threatens renewals of widespread violence and continues to withhold full security cooperation with Israel.” The senators point out the injustice of pressuring Israel. It would be “particularly unfair and counterproductive since Israel has kept the promises it made at Oslo, and today is prepared to withdraw from even more territory of the West Bank before final status negotiations.” Then they assert: “On the other hand, the Palestinians have not provided Israel with adequate security.” They conclude: “Presenting an American plan–especially one that includes a specific redeployment figure beyond what Israel believes to be in its national‑security interest before final status arrangements–runs counter to [former Secretary of State Warren) Christopher’s commitment and can only undermine Israel’s confidence.”
Unfortunately, the State Department has become Arafat’s de facto advocate, pressuring Israel to pull out from more of the West Bank. This is unwise as well as unfair. In the light of the broken promises, and the need to retain some bargaining chips for the final negotiations, Israel has been remarkably forthcoming, especially since those same Rabin appointed, nonpolitical military advisers still make the same assessment of Arafat’s failure on security policy that they did in 1995. Israel has offered more land, but the Clinton administration seems to miss the point, as it tries to increase the percentage yielded. The argument should not be about how much extra land Israel yields but how every bit of land given up undermines Israel’s fundamental security. Israel is constrained by the imperative of survival – survival against not just the treacherous Arafat but also the radical Islamic government that might well succeed him. Every 1 percent in this argument is an area the size of Tel Aviv; every decimal point is a multiplier of risk. For instance: Israel cannot give up mountain ridges on the West Bank without losing early‑warning sites of Iraqi or Syrian attack. It cannot give up the vital underground aquifers that provide a huge share of Israel’s fresh water. It cannot do without a buffer zone against Arab infiltration along the so‑called Green Line, Israel’s pre‑1967 border. It must have a means of swiftly deploying into the Jordan Valley by means of four eastwest roads that enable the IDF to bypass Palestinian communities and local traffic. It must have a Jerusalem defense zone to protect its capital, and it must have a security zone to protect passenger planes landing in the Ben Gurion Airport: The Palestinians have been trying to acquire shoulder‑to‑air missiles.
Tin ear. The backdrop of the chill between Washington and Jerusalem is antipathy toward Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Beyond the gap of perception between what Israel knows it needs for its security and what America thinks it needs to appease Arafat, there is an ominous breakdown of trust. Given his remarkable early political success in Israel, Netanyahu has demonstrated an amazing tin ear for the politics of the situation. He seems not to realize the importance of inspiring trust in the people he must work with. His political foul‑ups have diverted attention from Palestinian failures on security. This has allowed the United States to convince itself it needs to beat up only on the awkward partner–on Netanyahu – when it should be leaning on Arafat to tighten security, the key to the whole confrontation. While Netanyahu is politically inept, he is strategically dead right–and right to reject American pressure. The record shows the Israelis right in their judgment that a progressive turnover of territory to the PA would be no more than a series of unilateral concessions. They would whet the appetites of the Palestinians and raise their expectations without bringing about any genuine PLO acceptance of the Jewish state, any elimination of terrorism.
Why does Washington see Israel’s reasonable demand for reciprocity as some form of sabotage of the peace process? Reciprocal obligation was the very foundation of the whole deal, as confirmed by the U.S. special ambassador in the Note for the Record following Hebron and in the letter from the secretary of state confirming that Israel would determine the amount of land it gives up. For the United States to treat that recognition as a “dead letter” would be to destroy the trust that Israel needs in its strategic ally and so preclude the possibility of a final status agreement.
Underlying all the tensions, of course, are different expectations on the territorial outcome of a final‑status negotiation. But Israel can never be expected to give up what is essential to its very survival, and every blow to its sense of trust makes it more likely that those final talks will end in deadlock and more violence. This is what the Israelis cannot forget. It should not be what the Clinton administration cannot remember. (By Mortimer B. Zuckerman, Editor‑in‑Chief, U. S. News & World Report, April 20, 1998)
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
From Bernard W. Hedman, Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement, Chester Springs, PA, I have gotten Nos. 746, 747 of The Bible Standard. It is a paper about Israel. I guess you have gotten this paper. It is to be regretted that there is printed the changed version of Brother Russell’s speech in New York in 1910.
I have felt it to be my duty to write enclosed letter to Bernard W. Hedman. I have sent him the correct version of Brother Russell’s speech hoping he will print a correction. I enclose a copy of my letter to Bernard W. Hedman for your knowledge.
I have sent my short lesson in the truth to Bible Students in USA, England, Germany and Emek Ha Shalom, hoping they will read it critically and if necessary propose alterations. I am enclosing a copy of “A Short Lesson in the Truth.” You have gotten a copy already, but–as you can see–I have made a small completion.
All the best and many kind regards, ------- (SWEDEN)
I must tell you what a pleasure it was to have had the opportunity to see you once again. Andrea was delighted to meet you at long last and to personally express her gratitude to you for your kindnesses to us, and for your true friendship. It was very thoughtful of you to invite your friend to visit with us as well. He was a charming and well spoken fellow with whom it was a pleasure to speak.
I have an interesting surprise to tell you about. Guess who just happened to pop in my office in the yeshiva the other day? Your friend Josef from Emek Ha Shalom! It was an amazing coincidence. Rabbi Eliezer Waldman, with whom I closely work, happened to meet Josef a while back at a demonstration, I think at Har Homa in Jerusalem. They got to talking and the Rabbi invited him to visit at the yeshiva. He came with two young men and had a nice chat with the Rabbi and, as they were leaving, the Rabbi decided to introduce them to me. When I heard the word Emek Ha Shalom my ears picked up and I mentioned your name. Then Josef’s ears picked up and he told me that he has gotten my writing from you and that he was happy to meet me.
It was such a wonderful coincidence! We had a very nice warm chat and I promised him that I would send his regards to you. It is, indeed, a small world.
I am taking the liberty of enclosing a few pictures taken of us during our recent visit. I am sorry that we didn’t take some at your house. Your niece, Marjorie, is as gracious as always and made us feel very welcome as she showed us around the house. We are sorry that we did not get to see Leonard this time.
Please remain as young as you are with your witty sense of humor. You have a twinkle in your eyes which always brings a smile to all who know you. It is an honor to be your friend.
With blessings from Hebron, Gary Cooperberg (ISRAEL)
Our dear Sister Emily: Shalom!
Thank you heartily for your two letters to us. Both letters are messages of love from one who cares lovingly for the well‑being of fellow workers.
Please excuse that we caused you worry, but the responsibilities are pressing and many folded. We would need a double portion of time and forces. Please pray for us, that we may receive the wisdom not to undertake more than we are able, even when many responsibilities and opportunities are abounding in front of us.
We are thankful that you had the Lord’s protection against the tornadoes and the floods. Thank God that we have it also every day under sometimes very poor circumstances.
Leif Malmkvist did not come, because his father died. But the Lord sent us help.
Thank you much for your prayers, please carry on, because we could not continue without the support of true brethren!
Always connected in Spirit and Love, Your thankful brethren in Christ,
Herman Bezner and Joseph Elisha ------- (ISRAEL)