Thursday, May 28, 2015


My newest book was just released, and it is very helpful in combating anti-Semitism.  I hope you will get a copy of Why Christians Should Care About Their Jewish Roots.  It is on, or you can get it from Energion Publications.  Since I was limited to 40 pages for this Line Drives volume, I could not include the following teaching.  But this subject needs to be addressed to vindicate the Jewish people.  It is a fitting lesson at the end of Jewish American Heritage Month.

WHO KILLED JESUS?  It was primarily the religious leaders who wanted Jesus killed.  The multitudes loved Him! The Jewish people had been flocking to Him for healing and to hear Him teach. The chief priests and scribes were the ones who stirred up the rabble that day, who said, "Crucify Him, crucify Him!"  "When morning came [after Jesus was arrested the night before and brought before the Sanhedrin], all the chief priests and elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put Him to death" (Matt. 27:1).  They took Him to Pilate.  "But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus" (Matt. 27:20). Pilate brought Jesus out to the crowd, saying, "Behold the man!  Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying 'Crucify Him, crucify Him!'" (John 19: 5-6).

Remember that Jesus told His disciples numerous times that it was "the elders, chief priests, and scribes" who would turn him over to be killed (Matt. 16:21).  He never implicated "the Jews" but only their leaders.  Even so, it was not all these leaders.  Among the elders of the Sanhedrin there were at least two Jews who loved Jesus, Nicodemus (John 3) and Joseph of Arimathea! (Luke 23: 50-53)

The crucifixion took place during Passover, one of the annual Feasts (Lev. 23) when all the Jews were required to come to Jerusalem, so the city was greatly crowded with Jews.  At the Passover Seder the people partook of the slain and roasted lambs and reenacted the Exodus from Egypt.  The ritual went on for hours, and the Jewish families in Jerusalem would have stayed up very late the night before the crucifixion.  Here is a possible scenario: Most of the Jews likely were aghast at what they saw as they came into the city later in the morning, witnessing a beaten Jesus carrying His cross! Of course, even Jesus' disciples all fled, except for John, His mother, and the women.  This fulfilled Scripture (Zech. 13:7).  So, most of the Jews didn't participate in Jesus' cruel murder, even though they didn't stand by Him.

Three days later Jesus came out of the grave and appeared to His disciples and many others for 40 days!  Then He ascended back into heaven, and ten days later, the Jews were again gathered in Jerusalem for another Feast - Shavuot (Pentecost).  When the Holy Spirit was poured out, the disciples of Jesus were accused of being drunk, so Peter stood up to preach and explain this supernatural phenomenon of tongues of fire on their heads and speaking in languages they had not learned!  It is true that in Peter's sermon He is preaching to the Jewish people, and saying, "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth ...Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, YOU have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death ..." (Acts 2:22-23).  No doubt some of these Jews had been the ones Jesus had asked forgiveness for on the cross, but most likely the great majority were horrified that this sinless, healing prophet had been put to death.  However, as Americans are held responsible for what their leaders do, so God held His chosen people responsible for what their leaders did. 

Peter had pointed out that it was God who was ultimately responsible for the crucifixion, but He had used both Roman and Jewish leaders - "For truly, against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done" (Acts. 4:27-28).  So these four named here bore equal responsibility for killing Jesus, right?

Wait a minute!  Didn't Jesus say that no man had the power to take His life?  Didn't He say that He willingly laid down His life?  (John 10: 17-18)  So think again, who really killed Jesus?  Why did He go to the cross willingly?  Surely you have heard.  HE DID IT FOR YOU AND ME!  That was the only way our sins could be forgiven, and we could have eternal life.  So, the real answer to the question, Who killed Jesus? is WE DID!  YOUR SINS AND MY SINS PUT JESUS ON THE CROSS!  He died for every people group, so everyone's sins in effect killed Jesus.

What has been the result of the false accusation that the Jews killed Jesus?  Down through the centuries they have been called "Christ Killers!"  One of the arguments by anti-Semites seems to be backed up by a parable Jesus told about the wicked vinedressers.  But this parable was pointed at the religious leaders, not the Jews in general.  This was a story about the owner of a vineyard who went away and later sent back his beloved son to get some of the fruit of the vineyard.  The wicked vinedressers killed him.  The owner destroyed these wicked vinedressers and gave the vineyard to others.  The religious leaders KNEW He was talking about them, and they plotted to kill Him. "And the chief priests and the scribes that very hour sought to lay hands on Him, but they feared the people - for they knew he had spoken this parable against THEM" (Luke 20:19).  

The Jews as a whole have been falsely accused of being like the wicked vinedressers, and many have assumed that the "others" in the parable represent the Church who replaced the Jews.  Not so. Paul explains in Romans 11 that only "some" of the natural branches (Jews) of the olive tree were broken off so the "wild branches" (Gentiles) could be grafted in.  He warned the Gentile believers not to boast against the natural branches, because the root of the Jewish olive tree of faith supports the wild branches.  God is able to graft back in the natural branches that were broken off, and when the Gentile Church wakes up to its Jewish roots, "all Israel will be saved!"  The second-century church's "replacement theology," a misinterpretation of Scripture, was like a poisonous virus that led straight to the Holocaust,   I prove this in my book, Why Christians Should Care About Their Jewish Roots.  If you have not heard this church history before, it will really shock you!

My whole ministry is to help the Church get back to her Jewish roots as preparation for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ/ Yeshua HaMashiach.  He is coming to Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish people, and His throne will be there.  He will be the King of the world but also the true King of the Jews!  He was Jewish, you know, and all the apostles, and the early church for ten years was entirely Jewish.  It was Jews who wrote the Bible, except for Luke, and they preserved it for us.  We are indebted to the Jews.

Anti-semitism arose in the church when the Gentiles came into leadership.  They forgot their Jewish roots.  Many atrocities by Christians were perpetrated against the Jews because of this, and Jews were labeled "Christ-killers."  Read my book and learn Why Christians Should Care About Their Jewish Roots!

Monday, May 25, 2015


Painting at Biblical Arts Center in Dallas - "Miracle at Pentecost" by Torger Thompson (124 feet!)
            In my book, Jewish Roots Journey, Memoirs of a Mizpah (Energion Publications: Gonzalez, FL, 2012, pp. 117-121), I give evidence for the LOCATION OF PENTECOST (ACTS 2).  My book can be purchased either from me, the publisher -Energion, or where you can read the reviews : Amazon (Kindle or print). Here is an excerpt from my book:
             "Pamela [Suran, Israeli tour guide] took us [Janice Bell and I] back to the Old City early the next day to see some places not usually seen in the average tour.  We parked at Zion Gate and walked a path hugging the southern wall of the City.  There was no one around.  She showed us the unearthed houses next to the wall where the believers of Acts 2:46 were going from house to house.  How interesting.  We walked through the Pedestrian Gate on the recently unearthed street where Yeshua walked.  After going through the Ophel Archaelogical Park, we continued walking around the southern wall to the southern stairs of the Temple, leading up to the double Hulda Gates.  Some scholars believe this is where Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost.[i]  I wasn't sure I agreed.
            "Back in July of 1992, our family visited the Biblical Arts Center in Dallas and saw the magnificent life-size “Miracle at Pentecost” painting, measuring 124 feet wide by 20 feet tall, featuring more than 200 biblical characters.  The artist, Torger Thompson, related in his book, Creation of a Masterpiece,[ii] that he was trying to paint the scene in the upper room and then realized that 120 people could not assemble in a room.  Finally, he consulted a Rabbi who assured him he knew the New Testament as well as the Old Testament.  The Rabbi said Pentecost was a Jewish festival, having been celebrated over 1,000 years prior to the coming of the Spirit.  He believed the Pentecost of Acts 2 happened in Solomon's Portico in the Temple, a place where a huge crowd could gather.  He went on, "If you fellows would read it the way us fellows wrote it, you wouldn't have so many problems with it.  Your 'New Testament' is a Jewish book, and it relates in Acts 2:2, 'And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a mighty rushing wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.'  Well, when we Jews use the expression 'the house' we invariably mean our Temple.  That's the house!'”  Torger decided to draw the miracle at the Temple, not the upper room.
            "Trying to harmonize the three possible locations of the miracle at Pentecost – the upper room, Solomon's Porch, and the southern stairs of the Temple, I pondered the evidence.  According to Acts 1:12-14, after Yeshua ascended back to heaven, the disciples, including Mary, the women, and Yeshua's brothers, assembled in an upper room in a prayer meeting.  I reasoned that at some point they must have moved to an area in the Temple courtyard where Yeshua used to teach the crowds.  Perhaps it was Solomon's Portico, as that rabbi believed, where they awaited the coming of the Holy Spirit that Yeshua had promised. 
            "When the Holy Spirit came and baptized them, tongues of fire were on their heads!  This fire on their heads must have set them on fire inside, because their tongues began to speak “the wonderful works of God” (Acts 2:11).  As if that wasn't enough of a miracle, their speaking was in languages they had not learned!  The Jews who had come from far and wide to celebrate Shavuot, their Feast of Weeks (or Pentecost, a Greek name), were attracted by this phenomenon of fire on the heads of people who were speaking languages that matched their own, no matter what country they had come from.  This amazing thing drew them to Solomon's Portico.  
            "The crowd continued to grow, but where could this huge crowd be accommodated?  Trying to visualize this astounding event on the Day of Pentecost, I reasoned that perhaps Peter and the 120 people, followed by the huge crowd, took the southern Hulda exit gate, and  Peter preached on the southern stairs, right where Pamela had taken us.  This scenario of the Day of Pentecost is speculation, but at least I am convinced of the location of the mass baptisms that day.  
            "We know from the Bible that after Peter's sermon, 3,000 were baptized (Acts 2:41).  They were immersed in water, not sprinkled, so where could that many people be baptized?  Pamela showed us the large and numerous mikvaot (baptismal pools) right there below the southern steps.  What a convenient place for the mass baptisms.  In the days following, Peter, the other Apostles, and the new believers who had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit would continue to go to the earthly Temple and pray, but now the Spirit-filled believers had themselves become the living and eternal Temple of God! 
            "Then Pamela showed us something wonderful.  At the base of the southern stairs a fig tree and a vine were growing up out of a mikveh (baptism pool) through the iron grating on top.  The Lord revealed to her that this green growth represented the growth of the Messianic Jews.  The vine represented Yeshua (John 15:1), and the fig tree represented Israel and the Jewish people (Matt. 24:32, 34).  Yeshua promised that this “generation” or “race” [of Jews] would not pass away until He returns.  That means that Jews are virtually indestructible, because Yeshua is preserving them for His Second Coming.  It is exciting to see the increase of Messianic Jewish believers, because that is a sign of His imminent return!"

[i]“The Southern Stairs,” That the World May Know
[ii]Torger Thompson and Zola Levitt, Creation of a Masterpiece, (Dallas: Biblical Arts Center, 1976), pp. 63-64.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


The Christian Pentecost Sunday and the Jewish Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) are one and the same celebration, and they occur on the same day this year, May 24, 2015.  This is an unusual occurrence, because normally the Jewish calendar and the Church calendar are different.  What is the significance of this?  Well, I think it is a "double-whammy" of the activity of the Holy Spirit in the earth at this time!  Jewish evangelism is on the rise.  Christians are recognizing their Jewish roots more and more, and this is a fulfillment of Paul's words: "For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  And so all Israel will be saved ..." (Rom. 11:25-26)

Then you know what happens next?  Jesus (Yeshua) says this must happen before He comes back: "For I say to you [religious leaders in Jerusalem], you shall see Me no more till you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!'" (Matt. 23:39)

Christians are familiar with the story in Acts, second chapter, about the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, but they may have not noticed that it was Jews who had come from everywhere to Jerusalem for the required gathering on Shavuot.  About 1,500 years prior to this, God had required the Israelites at Mt. Sinai to keep this feast, seven weeks plus one day (50 days) after the third day of Passover, beginning to count it down on the Feast of Firstfruits.  You can read all about it in Leviticus 23.  It was a harvest festival, and, indeed, in the fulfillment of this feast there was a harvest of souls!  Three thousand souls heard Peter preach about the Messiah and His resurrection from the dead, indicting the hearers for crucifying Jesus (Yeshua)!  They believed and were baptized right then and there, and this was the "birthday" of the Church!

So, Christians celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.  What do the Jews who don't believe in Yeshua celebrate on Shavuot today?  They celebrate the giving of the Law at Mt. Sinai, and they stay up all night reading the Torah ("instruction" = "law" = first 5 books of the Old Testament)!  They have the Book of Ruth read aloud.  It is a great day of rejoicing in Israel at the Western Wall in Jerusalem!

The Jews celebrate God giving them His Holy Word, the Old Testament, mainly the Ten Commandments, but also the entire Torah.  Christians celebrate the same day, but they celebrate the New Covenant of God that was written on their HEARTS by the Holy Spirit, not on tablets of stone.  The prophet Jeremiah foretold this momentous event.  Notice WHO the promise was given to:

"Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah -- not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord.  But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord:  I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord, for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." (Jer. 31: 31-34)

That is what happened on the first Pentecost/ Shavuot - the church was born, and all the members were Jewish.  So today, the Jews celebrate the Scripture, and the Church celebrates the Spirit.  We must have both. They are not opposites.  Paul wrote, "... in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit" (Rom. 8:4).

There is a great contrast in the events at Mt. Sinai (Exodus 19) and the events on Mt. Zion (Acts 2).  When God spoke the Ten Commandments audibly to the Israelites, there was thunder, lightning, an earthquake, a trumpet sound, fire, and smoke on the top of the mountain!  On Mt. Zion there was a "mighty wind" that filled the house (temple), and tongues of fire appeared on the heads of 120 disciples, and they began to speak in tongues the wonderful works of God.  Like the trumpet blast at Mt. Sinai, the disciples speaking in tongues on Mt. Zion got the attention of the people!  After Moses brought down the tablets of the Law engraved by the finger of God from the top of Mt. Sinai, he saw the people worshiping the golden calf.  Judgment fell and three thousand died!  But on Mt. Zion, after Peter preached, 3,000 were saved!

Another interesting part of the observance of Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) is that TWO loaves of bread are presented as a wave offering of firstfruits to God, and they are are LEAVENED!  What does that signify?  The Feast of Unleavened Bread was symbolic of the sinless body of our Messiah.  But the two loaves of leavened bread are symbolic of the Church, born on the Day of Pentecost, which still has sin in it and which consists of both Jews and Gentiles who are born again by the Spirit of God.

Yes, indeed!  The gospel is GOOD NEWS!  Celebrate it on Pentecost Sunday/ Shavuot!



A list of Jewish contributors in the field of entertainment could not be contained in a book, much less in a few lines or pages. Jewish comedians have garnered more recognition than perhaps any other segment of the world of entertainment. In an interview with Jewish comedian, Red Buttons, Buttons stated that he grew up in New York on the eastside of Manhattan in the same “square mile that gave the world comedians like George Burns, Fanny Brice, Eddie Cantor, and Jimmy Durante, just to name a few. George Gershwin and Irving Berlin¹ also played as children on the same streets” (Toth, Linda, Interview with Red Buttons, The Journal of Essential Vitality, Natren Inc., 1999). Buttons’ words reveal the likelihood that these Jewish comedians were the children of immigrants who had come to the United States seeking refuge and found their home in an American-style Jewish ghetto in New York. Although it was a common practice for entertainers to give themselves stage names, perhaps some of the rationale for Jews changing their names was to avoid the stigma of being Jewish which could have hindered their careers. A family left the old country under one name and emerged in American society with another, starting a brand new life. Bernie Schwartz became Tony Curtis. Issur Danielovitch became Kirk Douglas. Aaaron Chwatt reinvented himself as Red Buttons. Humor may have been a coping mechanism for the children of families who had borne the brunt of anti-Semitism. Whatever the reason, audiences the world over are indebted to the Jewish comedians and other entertainers who have brought the blessing of laughter through television, movies, and theater. 

Many Jewish entertainers have not necessarily embraced their Jewishness, but some have reveled in it. Henry Winkler, best known as “The Fonz” on the popular television series, Happy Days, is one example. Winkler said, “I’m proud of being Jewish. For 5,000 years people have tried to eradicate the Jew and we’re still here in a wonderfully positive, contributing way. It’s a nice thing” (Aushenker, Michael, Henry Winkler, The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, 2000).
Henry Winkler survived the pitfalls of stardom for 30 years intact with an admirable value system. He attributed his commitment to family, profession and community to his Jewish Manhattan upbringing, and especially to his parents. Winkler’s parents escaped Hitler’s death camps, and that played a big part in his youth. Winkler said, “In fact, the congregation my family belonged to was built by survivors” (Aushenker).

Today, at 69, Winkler is a successful actor, director, producer, and author.  He has had an enduring marriage of 37 years and devotes much of his free time to social causes, Jewish and secular, especially charities helping children. In 2011, Queen Elizabeth II awarded Winkler an Honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his service to children with special education needs. He’s received a United Nations Peace Prize and the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Artes et Lettres, the French government’s highest honor. He has received humanitarian prizes over the years from B’nai B’rith International, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and the United Nations.

Winkler was always a poor student in school, and it was only at the age of 31 that he was diagnosed with dyslexia.  In 2003, he began a series of children’s novels with a writing partner, Lin Oliver, titled “Hank Zipzer: The World’s Greatest Underachiever,” inspired by his own struggles.  They have become bestsellers and have given hope to many with learning disabilities.

Winkler’s humility and affinity with his heritage has given him the tools to persevere and to succeed. Wherever he goes in the world, he is received with great affection, because people still relate to him as “The Fonz” Fonzarelli, the lovable, leather-clad, cool ladies’ man of 1976. The Happy Days show didn’t just put Winkler on the map – it put him on the globe (Aushenker). The Fonz’s trademark leather jacket was even placed in the Smithsonian Institution!

How surprising that the Jewish people who have endured so much suffering could produce such a multitude of people to bless the world with the priceless gifts of music, laughter, and all kinds of entertainment. The burden of living has been lifted by the contributions of these talented individuals who are descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

(Most of this excerpted from "Destiny of the Jews," Master's Thesis by Nancy Petrey)

¹ Irving Berlin composed “God Bless America” and “White Christmas.”

Thursday, May 21, 2015


EMMA LAZARUS - Remember her contribution during Jewish American Heritage Month

Another Jew who saw the United States as a haven for her people, the Jews, was Emma Lazarus, who was born to wealthy Sephardic Jews in New York City in 1849. Emma was a precocious poet at a young age, and she composed many poems and essays which attracted the attention of Ralph Waldo Emerson, a leading American poet and essayist. She carried on a life-long correspondence with Emerson as well as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Emma Lazarus wrote essays and commentaries attacking the anti-Semites of the day. As a mature woman she became concerned for the plight of the Russian Jewish immigrants. She did volunteer work on Wards Island, where the immigrants landed from overseas. “In her writings Lazarus set forth her ideas and plans for the rebirth of Jewish life by a national and cultural revival in the United States and in the Holy Land” (Brody, Seymour, Emma Lazarus: A Poetess and Helper of Immigrants, 1996).

Sadly, at the height of her career, Emma was stricken with cancer and died at only 38 years of age. However, Emma Lazarus’ name lives on in the words of her most famous poem, a sonnet entitled The New Colossus. These words, written in 1883, are engraved on a memorial plaque that was affixed to the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty in 1903: 

Give me your tired, your poor, 
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, 
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, 
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, 
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” 

The compassion in this young woman’s heart for the downtrodden Jews was truly a blessing, and her words radiated hope just as the lamp of the Statue of Liberty radiated light to the weary travelers.

--Excerpt from Destiny of the Jews, Master's Thesis by Nancy Petrey, 2004.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015



Just as Jews played a part in the discovery of the New World, they also played a major part in establishing the United States of America as a nation independent of Great Britain. Schools and textbooks, teachers and politicians rarely remember one of the key figures in the history of the American Revolution, the forgotten Jewish patriot and financial hero, Haym Saloman. As a businessman and broker, he was responsible for raising most of the money to finance the American Revolution and later to save the new nation from collapse. Dr. David Lewis searched for ten years to document the story of Haym Salomon which culminated in publishing a booklet entitled, Israel and the USA: Restoring the Lost Pages of American History (Springfield: Menorah Press, 1993).

When Salomon saw that Washington’s troops were starving with cold as well as hunger, he determined to do all he could to finance the Revolution. Salomon knew he must give his fortune to help America survive for the sake of his own people, because he believed that America would be a safe haven for the Jews until one day in the future when Jerusalem would again rise from the dust, and the Jews would return to their ancient homeland, never to wander again.

Robert Morris was the Superintendent of Finance. His diary for the years 1781-84 recorded some 75 transactions with Haym Salomon to carry on the war. After the war ended and Washington became President, Morris made one last appeal to Salomon, who was lying on his bed, dying of tuberculosis. Salomon got up from the bed and opened his brokerage operation, raising the money necessary to save the new nation from bankruptcy. He advanced to the government about $800,000 of his own money, but when he died penniless, at the age of 45, leaving a young widow and four children, nothing was left for them. Rachel Salomon tried to collect on personal loans made to Morris, Congress, and others, but was told that all papers related to her inheritance were lost. Mathematical and computer experts have calculated the sum owed to the heirs of Haym Salomon, based on $800,000 at seven percent interest, compounded quarterly over a period of 217 years, and the most conservative figure they gave was two-and-a- half trillion dollars! (Feldberg, Michael. 2004. Haym Salomon: the rest of the story.)

Salomon also played a prominent role in Philadelphia and in the national Jewish community affairs. Within five years of his arrival in Philadelphia, Salomon advanced from penniless fugitive to respected businessman, philanthropist, and defender of his people. He helped lead the successful fight to repeal the test oath which kept Jews and other non-Christians from holding public office in Pennsylvania.

Salomon was buried in Philadelphia in a grave which is now unmarked. However, the United States one-dollar bills all bear the mark of Haym Salomon. George Washington directed the engraving of the Jewish star of David over the eagle on the one-dollar bill to honor his friend for his incalculable gifts (Weiss, Duane, “Why We Honor Israel and the Jewish People,” speech, 1995). Also erected in Chicago in honor of the Jewish patriot was a bronze memorial with the figures of Robert Morris and Haym Salomon on either side of George Washington (Keller, Sharon R., ed. 1992, The Jews: A Treasury of Art and Literature). Haym Salomon, the son of a rabbi, was blessed with wealth, and he in turn blessed the United States of America with the money needed for her survival. 

(Excerpt from DESTINY OF THE JEWS, master's thesis by Nancy Petrey, May 18, 2004)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

My Poem to Help Us Remember the Contributions of Jews to America


The Jews have their month each May in our land.
It’s time to regard them and take a stand.
Jewish Americans, what is your story?
Have you looked back at heroes of glory?
Some say Columbus was one of your number.
Stir your memory, and don’t let it slumber.
Emma Lazarus of poetic skill
Welcomed the Jews that others would kill –
The Statue of Liberty, standing in the harbor
Bore Emma’s words of poetic ardor:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost, to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”[1]

Then honor the man whose finances saved
America from Britain – Haym Salomon paid!
The war was won, but Salomon died
A pauper.  His wife and children denied
The payment of loans they did not receive.
At least say a prayer of thanks for his deed.[2]
Yes, let us all thank the Jews in our land
For blessings that God gave to us through their band.
In every field of human endeavor,
Their gifts to our nation show God’s special favor.
Discoveries, inventions, and medical marvels
And products we carry home by the armfuls.
In sports and in movies, especially comedy,
The Jews entertain us and help the economy!
Americans, put your hands together and clap!
May is the month for the Jews – don’t nap.
Notice the blessings that God promised Abram.
The Jews, his descendants, have blessed our nation.[3]

April 30, 2015
By Nancy Petrey

[1] Emma Lazarus, “The New Colossus,” 1883, affixed to the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty in 1903.
[2] David Lewis, Israel and the USA: Restoring the Lost Pages of American History (1993).
[3] Genesis 12:1-3.

Saturday, May 2, 2015


May is Jewish American Heritage Month.  It was proclaimed to be so by President George W. Bush in 2006.  By 2004 there had been 350 years of American Jewish history, so it was about time to recognize the contribution of Jews to our national history.  In 2010, Jewish astronaut, Garrett Reisman, carried this presidential proclamation to the International Space Station.  It now resides at the new National Museum of Jewish American History in Philadelphia.

By April of 2015, the census of the Jewish state of Israel showed 6,251,000 Jewish residents out of a population of 8,345,000.  It may surprise you to know that the United States has approximately the same number of Jews as Israel, over six million!  New York City is the city with the second highest population of Jews in the world, 2,028,200 Jews, as of the year 2012.  The only city exceeding that number is Tel Aviv in Israel, with 3,214,800.

Jews have made an enormous contribution to the United States of America.  A few names that are easily recognized are Irving Berlin (composer of "God Bless America"), George Gershwin ("Rhapsody in Blue" pianist and composer), Houdini (magician), Groucho Marx (comedian), and Leonard Nimoy ("Star Trek" television star). I will tell of many more in following blogs.

However, the most famous Jew on the planet who has fans by the millions in the U.S.A. and billions in the world down through history is Jesus Christ, known by His Hebrew name, "Yeshua HaMashiach."  You may say that He walked the earth before the discovery of America, and you would be right. However, you may not know that He is the One who inspired the discovery of America, and there were many Jews who assisted Him.  Let us take a look at the beginnings of American history, starting with this Jew, Christopher Columbus.

The Jews were expelled from Spain in the same year and month that Christopher Columbus set out to discover the New World, 1492.  There was no doubt that he was a Catholic, but his parents were a new Christian family from Genoa, which implied in the 15th century that they had previously been Jewish, probably Spanish.  Most important of all the clues indicating that Columbus was Jewish was the fact that he signed his letters to his son Diego in the upper left corner with the Hebrew letters, bet hey, which stood for the Hebrew blessing, "Be Ezrat Ha Shem," or "with God's help."  Columbus was aware of his divine calling as evidenced in his words recorded in an obscure Spanish volume, Book of Prophecies:

     "It was the Lord who put into my mind (I could feel his hand upon me) the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies.  All who heard of my project rejected it with laughter, ridiculing me.  There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because He comforted me with rays of marvelous inspiration from the Holy Scriptures ... I did not make use of intelligence, mathematics or maps.  It is simply the fulfillment of what Isaiah had prophesied ...." (August Kling, Jr. 1971. Quoted in Peter Marshall and David Manuel. The Light and the Glory, Fleming H. Revell Co., 1977.)

Columbus described in his journal the time when he dreamed that he heard a voice which reminded him that "the Almighty had singled him out ... for the honor of bearing the Light of Christ to a new world, had given him all that he had asked for, and was recording in heaven every event of his life!" (Marshall and Manuel 1977, p. 21)  Columbus, a Jew, was living out his destiny, blessing the world by discovering the New World, according to divine plan.