Rabbi T. Tirschtiegel
A SALVATION TESTIMONY
RABBI DR. T. TIRSCHTIEGEL by P. Hermsdorf
One day a well-educated Jewish man visited me. He had been brought up in a religious home and had early in life decided to serve God. The services in the large, beautiful synagogue of his home town made a tremendous impression on him. As soon as he was able to read Hebrew, he said all his prayers in that language. Afterwards he attended the rabbinical college at Breslau, Germany.
Early in life he became acquainted with the New Testament. He read about Jesus but always tried to forget what he had read about Him. He was very interested in the science of comparative religion and sometimes attended Christian services which only strengthened him in his conviction of "the superiority of Judaism." Yet he was amazed at some of the things in the New Testament, even though the legality and the intolerance of traditional Judaism in him caused his doubts and scruples to increase.
While thus unsure of himself and doubtful he became a Rabbi but his spiritual balance and his love of Judaism were severely shocked during his office. The lack of religious interest of his congregation and the meager knowledge of the spiritual priesthood revolted him. Chaos arose in his soul. He longed fervently for the truth. Sometimes he asked himself: Is the Jewish faith the genuine religion? Can a religion which has so little influence on the disposition of its adherents really have any eternal value? Where does the soul find redemption, peace and rest?
The terrible uncertainty in him increased. And thus he clutched at the formerly despised Gospel and acknowledged with increasing assurance where rest and security, salvation and peace could be found for the human heart. I am the light of the world : he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life (John 8:12). There was a struggle like Paul's in his soul, a kicking against the pricks. At last, however, he saw the dishonesty of the struggle. He came to realize that he was unable to fight against the fervent longings of his heart and against the truth. He confessed to his congregation that he was unable to continue in his office as their Rabbi. He resigned from the Rabbinate and decided to be converted to the truth in Jesus Christ.
Thus Dr. Tirschtiegel came to me a seeking, longing and broken man. Gradually he started to learn to find the truth in the New Testament. It became very difficult for him as he experienced opposition from his mother and other relatives to his acceptance of the Christian faith. He was also aware of the fact that often anti-Semitism does not make things easy for Jewish people who embrace Christianity. He knew all this, and yet his heart was warmed as he searched in the Holy Scriptures, and by God’s grace one day he could fall on his knees and confess: Thou, dear brother Jesus, art also my brother and my Savior Who hast led me to thy Salvation.
With his whole heart he could say as Paul did: For no other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ; 1 Corinthians 3:11. And then he was baptized. It is certain that he was not persuaded by man or outward circumstances to come to the truth, but that he followed only the urge of his heart and the wooing of the Spirit of God. Well-equipped as he was with a knowledge of Jewish writings, sincere and a lover of the truth, he was constantly drawn nearer to Christ. Dr. Tirschtiegel had a burning zeal for the salvation of his Spiritually blind Jewish brethren to whom he preached Him Who ought to be their greatest pride and joy for He is the Savior of the world and the only one Who can give them salvation and peace, the Messiah. Who is also to them the way and the truth and the life John 14:6. The Lord richly blessed him and made him a blessing to many of the house of Israel.
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