I discovered quickly, upon our first interaction over thirty years ago, Rose Price was an original.  Anyone who knew her would tell you that. And even if you didn’t know her, you’d know it the moment you heard her story.

It’s a story of growing up in Skarzysko, Poland.  Navigating the terrors of the concentration camps. How she survived what she would later refer to as “a living hell,” though tragically losing most of her family. And how she came to the United States to make a life for herself out of the ruins.

Rose was the quintessential Jewish momma.  She met her husband-to-be, Charlie, at a bar mitzvah, they married and raised three Jewish children.  She was president of her synagogue.  Rose was what my bubbe would call a real balabusta.  She was the glue that held her family together. 

Rose was packed with faith and courage and chutzpah. When her daughter, Cookie, came to faith in Jesus, Rose felt betrayed and yet, through an amazing journey, came to the same conclusion. As strongly as she had opposed her daughter’s new faith, she became an even more powerful advocate for the Messiah. 

Rose’s full story, A Rose from the Ashes, was published in book form in 2006.

Rose didn’t pull any punches. She wasn’t a diplomat. She was always outspoken, some might even say rude, yet somehow lovable. She could get away with saying things that people might not want to hear… maybe because whatever she had to say, it was out of love.

And Rose always got to the heart of the matter, whether it was on the subject of reconciliation or forgiveness or the One whom she came to love and follow, Yeshua.

She would talk about substantive issues in a plain and sensible way and she had no patience for phonies or for those who had inflated egos.  That is probably one of her most endearing qualities to me.

I will miss my phone conversations with this great lady.  She did not like the Internet, so emails were not an option.  I will miss hearing her heart for the things of God, and I’ll even miss her chiding.   

In her last days, Rose suffered once again.  But now, no more.

Rose, you have graduated to your heavenly reward and you will no longer need to experience pain or confusion, disappointment or despair.  In this, we are so happy for you, daughter of Israel.

Rose’s story also appears in video form in Survivor Stories, the account of Rose and six other Holocaust survivors who came to faith in Yeshua. See a clip below: