[* This narrative was ‘peculiarly valuable as revealing how difficulties which are natural and inevitable in the mind of a Jew can be met and overcome  It was also obtainable in tract form from The Jewish Era, 404 N. Wesley Ave., Mount Morris, Ill., U.S.A.]


Born in Germany of orthodox Jewish parents, my earliest child-hood impression was of my parents rising in the morning very early in order to spend a long time reading the Hebrew prayers.  Even in the cold winter, before fires were kindled for their physical comfort, they carried on faithfully these early devotions.  Insofar as their knowledge of God was concerned, they were a devout and God-fearing couple.


From the ages of five to fifteen my training was in a Jewish school, in orthodox Judaism.  My associates led me into the sinful pleasures of the world, and although I attended synagogue and read my Hebrew prayers on the Sabbath, I drifted from the faith of my fathers.


A parental decision to send me to America to pursue my classical education brought me to Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio.  I graduated in seven years, having meanwhile taken my degrees in letteis and Hebrew literature, and four years later my Master’s degree.


After finishing the rabbinical course we were publicly ordained and inducted into the rabbinical office.  My first call was to Dayton, Ohio, where I officiated as rabbi for ten years, during which I made many friends and received many tokens of love which I treasure highly.  In my Friday evening lectures I spoke on social, industrial and economic questions, monotheism, ethical culture, the moral systems of the Jews, etc.  In the Saturday morning addresses I took weekly sections of the Pentateuch, followed by a corresponding section of the prophets.  On Sunday I taught Sunday School from eight in the morning until five in the evening, with one hour intermission for dinner.


In 1895 a series of meetings was held in the Christian Church of Dayton, with various denominational pastors giving addresses on their ieligion.  I stood proudly before that audience of professing Christians and told. them why I was a Jew and would not believe in their Christ as my Messiah and Saviour.  I gloried in Reformed Judaism that acknowleged no need of an atoning sacrifice for sin, a religion of ethics which quieted qualms of conscience through a smug self-righteousness.  In the audience sat an humble aged woman, a devout Christian, who was deeply stirred as she listened.  “O God,” she prayed, “bring Dr. Wertheimer to realize his utter need of that Saviour he so boastingly rejects.  Bring him if necessary to the very depths in order that he may know his need of my Lord Jesus Christ


What unforeseen forces were brought into action as a result of that unknown woman’s heart-cry!  How perfectly satisfied with life I was that day: I had a young, attractive, accomplished wife, was rabbi of the B’nai Yeshorum Synagogue, had a beautiful home, a comfortable income, a place of prominence in the community, had become an honorary member of the Ministerial Association, was a member of the Present-Day Club, served as chaplain in the Masonic lodge, and was a popular speaker before women’s clubs, schools civic organizations, etc.  Had you visited my library at that time you would have found a wide range of reading.  I had every book Bob Ingersoll wrote, read them, and corresponded with the author.  I was an oft-invited guest speaker in every denominational church in the city.  I was satisfied with life!  My wife and I enjoyed the musical treats, we had a large home, two servants, and a beautiful baby boy and daughter, Rose.


Suddenly there came a change.  My wife was taken seriously ill, and in spite of many physicians and specialists, she died, leaving me a distraught widower with two little children.  After the funeral, I found myself the most miserable of men.  I could not sleep.  I walked the streets, striving to forget the void, the vacancy in my heart and life.  My dreams of a successful career and serene domestic life were all shattered. Where was comfort to be found?  The heavens were brass when I called on the God of my fathers!  How could I speak as a rabbi words of comfort to others, when my own sorrow had brought me to despair?  I investigated Spiritism, but found it utter fallacy.  I attended meetings and read the literature of Theosophy and Christian Science, only to find it futile and hopeless.  My experience was comparable to Job’s when he cried: “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope” (Job 7: 6).  The tenth year of my rabbinical office drew to its close.  I decided not to accept re-election, and resigned.  I wanted to think over things.  I would study.  I turned to my Bible.


I studuied about Judaism, but it answered no questions, satisfied no craving of my heart.  Then I began reading the New Testament and comparing it with the Old Testament.  Many passages were read, pondered, meditated upon.  One made a definite impression: the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah, eleventh verse, last clause:- “By His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities  Here was the only mention of that phrase, “My righteous servant,” I could find.  It is found nowhere else in the Word of God in either Testament.  We have “David, my servant,” “Isaiah, my servant,” “Daniel, my servant,” but here it is “My righteous servant  I said to myself: “Who is that righteous servant?  To whom does the prophet refer  I argued: “Whoever that ‘righteous servant’ of Jehovah is, of one thing I am sure: he is not Israel, because the prophet declares Israel to be a sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a leprous nation.  The righteous servant of Jehovah must be One Who is holy.  If it isn’t Israel, who could it be  I decided it must be Isaiah.  But in Isaiah 6 I found it could never be the prophet for he confesses himself to be a guilty sinner and - a man of unclean lips in God’s sight.  Then I began to study the context of the fifty-third chapter and in Isaiah 50: 6 1 found, - “I gave My back to the smiters  I pondered that: Who gave his back to the smiters?  In the beginning of the chapter it says: “Thus saith Jehovah  Jehovah is the only speaker in the chapter.  Jehovah gave His back to the smiteis? Had God a back?  When and why was it smitten?  Who smote it?  Further I read: “Who gave His cheeks to them that plucked off the hair  And still further: “I hid not My face from shame and spitting  What did all this mean ? Who had been so abused?  When?  Why?  Did Jehovah have all these human characteristics?  I studied more and more various prophetic utterances.  In Psalm 110: 1 it is written: “The Lord said to my Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool  Here was David himself, speaking of his own seed and calling Him “Lord.”  How did He get up there?  Why didn’t God specify?  Why didn’t He speak so plainly to Israel that every Jew could understand?


In confusion I decided to begin at the first chapter of Isaiah and read the book through.  I was stopped at the ninth: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulders; His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Here was a most incomprehensible thing!


I was faced with the doctrine of the Trinity.  We Jews have a popular monotheistic slogan: “Sh’ma Isroel, Adonai, Eloheynu, Adonai, EchodThe word “echod” means one.  Upon that word the doctrine of unity of Jehovah is rooted and grounded, the entire philosophy of Judaisin is based.  Taught by the rabbis for ages, that word “echod” means absolute unity.  Now I could not believe it; my teaching was wrong!  I began to study the word, and I discovered it meant, not absolute unity but composite unity.  Let me illustrate: Adam and Eve became one flesh; the Hebrew for one flesh is bosor Echod, a composite unity.  Moses sent twelve spies into Canaan, and they returned bearing a gigantic bunch of grapes.  That cluster of grapes is called in Hebrew Eschol-Echod.  With hundreds of grapes on the stem it could not have been an absolute unity; they are called in Hebrew “one cluster  Composite unity.  There was an uprising of the tribe of Dan, and their carnalities disgraced Jehovah and His name and character.  The other tribes rose in rebellion and asked God which of them should go forth first to fight the Danites.  God answered: “Let the, tribe of Judah go first  That is what I want you to see: at that time Judah was composed of 700,000 fighting men, and they “stood up as one man” (In Hebrew: Ish Echod).  Here again composite unity: thousands acted as one!  These and other Scriptures showed conclusively that Echod cannot be an absolute unity.


Another problem succeeded it:  “Why is the name Jesus never mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures  I studied this question.  Imagine my surprise when I found that 275 years before Christ, King Ptolemy Philadelphus summoned men from Palestine, and bade them translate the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek vernacular.  They took the Pentateuch first and when they came to the name “Joshua” they translated it the book of “Yesous,” written with a circumflex over it to show there had been a suppression of Hebrew that could not be expressed in Greek.  When Joshua went into Canaan with the other eleven spies, he was called “Yehoshua” (Jehovah is the Saviour).  That is exactly what the word “Jesus” means.


I could hold out in unbelief no longer; I was convinced of the truth of God as it is in Christ Jesus.  I cried: “Lord I believe that Thou as Jehovah Yesous hast made the atonement for me. I believe that Jehovah Yesous died for me!  I believe Thou hast made provision for me!  I believe Thou hast the ability and power!  From henceforth I will publicly confess Yeshua as my Saviour and Lord  Thus after months of searching I was convinced that Jesus was the righteous servant of Jehovah (Jehovah‑tsidkenu), “The Lord our righteousness.” On March 30, 1904, I publicly confessed Christ in the Central Baptist Church in Bible teaching and God was ever faithful.  Were I to write of all the manifestations of His goodness and grace, it would fill a book.  Critical operations, publication of my books, supplying all our needs, He never failed to care and provide.  In Christ I have found my only abiding comfort for every sorrow.






Mr. Samuel F Hurnard writes:-


“It is evident from Scripture that the Jews are determined, like their forefather Jacob, to seize their birthright by hook or by crook.  They, too, will live bitterly to repent their folly.  Our Lord told the Jews of His day: “I am come in my Father’s Name and ye receive Me not; if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.”  Their leaders will sell their souls for the bauble of power.  Daniel tells of a coming prince, probably the Antichrist, with whom they make a treaty for seven years.  But their ‘agreement with hell shall not stand.’  The treaty is soon broken, and the great tribulation follows to subdue the pride and smass the hardness of the heart of stubborn Jewry.  It is only when the remnant repent and acknowledge their once-crucified Messiah that He can and will restore the Kingdom, and Israel will dwell in safety and peace every nan under his own vine and fig-tree.  No Peace Conference of the Allied Nations, or other man-made agreement, can ever fulfil God’s purposes and promises for Israel




General Smuts expresses (The Times, Sep. 30, 1946) the uneasiness felt by the statesmen of the world at the fruitless effort to create a human millennium:-


“The greatest drama of history unfolding before our eyes is still little understood.  After the great war, people generally expected the dawn of a new world.  After the armistice President Wilson was expected to inaugrate a new era.  That it was to come suddenly, like the coming of the Kingdom in which the early Christians implicitly believed.  I do not see the new spirit or temper in the world on which we can safely build any assurance of world peace in a more distant future.  The new kingdom has not yet come.  A peaceful world order could only be safely based on a new spirit and outlook widely spread and actively practised anong the nations.  Of such an enduring temper for peace there is no real evidence today




Only by a national repentance can the Holy Land be restored to a Holy People.  Jehovah has made it clear for all time.  “The anger of the Lord was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curse that is written in this book: and the Lord rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in a great indignation, and cast them into another land, as at this day. And when thou shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey His voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul: that then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all peoples, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.  If any of thine outcasts be in the uttermost parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will He fetch thee: and the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and He will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers:” (Deut. 29: 27, 28; 30: 2-6.)




"In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to Him, and His place of rest will be glorious.  In that day the Lord will reach out His hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of His people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the sea.  He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; He will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth" (Isaiah 11: 10-12). N.I.V.


"I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety.  They will be my people, and I will be their God.  I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them.  I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me" (Jeremiah 32: 37-40).


"...I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.  I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before.  I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and I will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me.  Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise, and honour before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it" (Jeremiah 33: 6-9).


"I will accept you as fragrant incense when I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will show Myself holy among you in the sight of the nations.  Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the land I had sworn with uplifted hand to give to your fathers.  There you will remember your conduct and all the actions by which you have defiled yourselves, and you will loathe yourselves for all the evil you have done.  You will know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for my name’s sake and not according to your evil ways and your corrupt practices, O house of Israel, declares the Lord” (Ezekiel 20: 41-44).


“For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will search for my sheep and look after them.  As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep.  I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.  I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land.” ... “I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd.  I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them.  I the Lord have spoken” (Ezekiel 34: 11-13, 23, 24).


"When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will show myself holy through them in the sight of many nations.  Then they will know that I am the Lord their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind.  I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord" (Ezekiel 39: 27-29).


"And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication.  They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son" (Zechariah 12: 10).


"He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver.  Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years" (Malachi 3: 3, 4).



What will it be to have the unveiled presence of Messiah?  In seasons of great revival the mere Name of God will send souls into a swoon: what shall it be like when His people see His face?


God the Lamb shall be there;

Their Light and Temple shall be;

And radient hosts will for ever share

The unveiled mystery.