I fulfilled a promise to my father after his memorial service last June, by telling a fuller version of the story in this month’s sneak preview” to a few hundred people who had gathered together afterward for a meal. But as Dad drew closer to his homegoing, I think he came to accept the fact that we would miss him terribly, and that pain and sorrow would be unavoidable. After all, Jesus said, “blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.”
But Moishe being Moishe, he still wanted to focus us on the hope of heaven. And so, in his will, he set aside funds for a dinner party to take place for his yahrzeit [literally “year’s time” in Yiddish, it marks the year anniversary of one’s death.] He stipulated that we should have good food, music, and make it a party that he would have liked to attend, centered on heaven as the theme.
Dave Garrett, a friend and staff member to whom Dad had entrusted the orchestration of his funeral and memorial service, promised Moishe he would see to these arrangements for his yahrzeit. He has been more than faithful in fulfilling that promise. Compared to last year’s memorial dinner, it will be a smaller, but still significant group of friends and family that will gather later this month.
I know that many of you, our extended friends and family, will be with us in spirit. Please pray for us during this tender time, that we might truly honor the Lord as well as Moishe’s memory by celebrating the fact that in Yeshua, Jesus, we do not sorrow as those without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18).
Many friends have valiantly fulfilled promises to honor the Lord through Moishe’s passing, including David Brickner, our executive director who has shown great care and concern for our family. I should also mention Susan Perlman who, as many of you know, was one of the founding Jews for Jesus back in the ’70s. She knew that Dad had always wanted his death to be an opportunity to preach the gospel—and she spearheaded the effort to make sure that it was just that. Among other things, Susan wrote a press release and saw to it that it was widely distributed immediately after Moishe’s homegoing.
More than a dozen religious and secular publications/news agencies found his passing newsworthy, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, the Wall Street Journal, The London Times, CNN, World Magazine, Charisma Magazine, The Jewish Chronicle online, and two Israeli publications, Haaretz.com and Arutz Sheva.
You can see a sampling of excerpts from the media here. Also, as many of you know the memorial service last May was streamed live on the Internet. Many of our staff reported that family members who do not yet know Jesus watched the service (which clearly presented the gospel) and were touched. Dad definitely got his wish to preach the gospel even in his death. In particular, many of the obituaries quoted statements Moishe had made in an article to be posted on our website following his death.
Finally, on behalf of our family, I want to take this opportunity to thank those of you who sent us such beautiful cards and notes of encouragement. We are blessed beyond measure to have your friendship.
Warmly in Yeshua,
Newsletter Editor, Missionary
Ruth Rosen, daughter of Jews for Jesus founder Moishe Rosen, is a staff writer and editor with Jews for Jesus. Her parents raised her with a sense of Jewishness as well as "Jesusness." Ruth has a degree in biblical studies from Biola College in Southern California and has been part of our full-time staff since 1979. She's toured with Jewish gospel drama teams and participated in many outreaches. She writes and edits quite a few of our evangelistic resources, including many broadside tracts. One of her favorites is, "Who Needs Politics." Ruth also helps other Jewish believers in Jesus tell their stories. That includes her father, whose biography she authored in what she says was "one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life." For details, or to order your copy of Called to Controversy the Unlikely Story of Moishe Rosen and the Founding of Jews for Jesus, click here. Or click here for a video desription of the biography. For the inside story and "extras" about the book, check out our Called to Controversy Facebook page. Ruth also writes shorter "faith journey" stories in books like Jewish Doctors Meet the Great Physician as well as in booklets like From Generation to Generation: A Jewish Family Finds Their Way Home, which you can download for free here. She edits the Jews for Jesus Newsletter and RealTime for Christians who want to pray for our ministry and our missionaries. In her spare time, Ruth enjoys writing fiction and playing with her dog, Annie, whom she "rescued" from a shelter. Ruth says, "Some people say that rescue dogs have issues, and that is probably true. If dogs could talk, they'd probably say that people have issues, and that is probably even more true. I'm glad that God is in the business of rescuing people, (and dogs) despite—or maybe because of—all our issues." You can follow Ruth Rosen on facebook or as RuthARosen on twitter.