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Moishe Rosen, founder of Jews for Jesus, has been released from this life and is with the Lord he served so courageously.

I remember him when he was still Martin Rosen. He and his wife Ceil came to our home for Sunday dinner one time in the early 1960s. My dad and he were dear friends and allies for the spread of the gospel.

In the late 1960s, during those wonderful times of radicalization, Martin became Moishe and took the gospel to the streets in bold new ways through Jews for Jesus. One time, when JforJ was coming to our church, my dad got a call that the church would be picketed. Dad loved that. He told the caller, “We’ll serve the picketers coffee and donuts. We’ll set out folding chairs. Wouldn’t want you to be uncomfortable.” They didn’t show, unfortunately. Moishe did. He preached the gospel with humor and gentle passion. He literally expected us believers in Jesus to be witnesses to our unbelieving friends. Imagine that.

Moishe refused to back down about Jesus being the only way to God for all people, including Jewish people. He took that stand out of love for Jesus and love for Jewish people. He was hated for it by some, both Jew and Gentile. Well, good for him. As Jesus himself reasoned, what if prophet-haters liked you (Matthew 5:10-12)?

In fact, Moishe mentioned to me once that he had a scar on his arm where some lady attacked him with scissors “to do God a favor,” as he wryly put it. Typical Moishe. Dry, self-deprecating, blunt, right-on.

I loved this man. Now he and my dad are pals again. With Jesus. Wish I were there.

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3 thoughts on “Moishe Rosen, 1932-2010”

  1. Lauren says:

    Ahh man! The dude will be missed! I am certain that the joys he has in Heaven are tenfold the ones he had on earth.

  2. sharon fahey says:

    It breaks my heart that I have not met Moshe. I love Jews for Jesus.I am thankful that I will see him one day when I go to be with the Lord. God’s peace and comfort be with all who love and will miss him. Great man!

  3. Bill Haynes says:

    In the late 1980s and early 90s I had the privilege of sitting on a board of directors for CASE with Moishe. He was a colorful and great man for Christ. I remember him telling me one time, “Bill, you will have troubles in the pastorate, you are too theological & doctrinal. But that’s good!!”

    He made a great impact for Christ. I was fortunate to be able to go with him on the streets of New York City during a summer blitz there. He was fearless for the Lord. He will be missed!!

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Ray Ortlund

Ray Ortlund is senior pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and serves as a Council member with The Gospel Coalition. You can follow him on Twitter.

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