Weekly Chasidic Story #1153 (s5780-16/
16 Tevet, 5780)
The Cult-buster Rabbi who Honored a Missionary
"For the Love of Truth"
Connection: Seasonal - Last Tuesday was the Fast Day of the Tenth of
Tevet, when [in addition to commemerating the Siege of Jerusalem leading to
the destruction of the Holy Temple,] Kaddish is also said for the murdered victims
of the evil Nazis whose dates of death are unlnown.
Story in PDF
format for more convenient printing.
The Cult-buster Rabbi who Honored a Missionary
A number of years earlier, [the late] Rabbi J. Immanuel Schochet
authored a book encapsulating his unique style in countering Christian missionaries
and cults. Due to personal and health considerations, it had never been published.
Now , for the first time, the book is being made available to the public.
Rabbi Schochet was a world renowned author and lecturer on a myriad of topics,
with over 35 books disseminated in countless countries and translated into numerous
languages. Yet, he was perhaps best known for his "cult busting" lectures
[and debates!] where he would dazzle audiences worldwide with his erudite presentations.
His success in returning many a Jew to their roots is legendary.
The new book titled "For the Love of Truth" is more than just
an encapsu-lation of Rabbi Schochet's brilliant retorts against missionaries
and cults. It is very much a book which offers an understanding of basic Jewish
beliefs and principles, as well as insights into the essence of Judaism as a
Family members who published the book are positive that the book will invariably
strengthen pride in the reader's Jewish tradition and heritage, fortifying them
with a better understanding of Judaism's core beliefs, thus making this book
of great interest to all readers across the religious spectrum.
In what would appear to be a strange twist of irony, the book was dedicated
by Rabbi Schochet to Reverend Henk Hoek, a Protestant Minister.
In the preface to the book, Rabbi Schochet explained why:
"I humbly dedicate this work to a non-Jew, a Christian, in fact a Christian
cleric, Reverend Henk Hoek, minister of the Dutch Reformed Church of Gaast,
Friesland, and later of Oss, Noord Brabaant, in the Netherlands, and his wife
"This couple was an outstanding example of truly religious, honest and
decent people in the best sense of these words. They exposed themselves to life-threatening
dangers by hiding and fostering a young Jewish girl in Nazi-occupied Holland.
They kept her in their house for nearly three years under the eyes of the German
"There were a good number of other Christians who hid Jewish children,
but too many of them did so for the terrible price of the children's Jewish
identity by raising them as Christians and not restoring them to their families
or people after the war.
"Not so the Rev. Hoek and his wife. Though a minister of a Christian denomination,
committed to a faith in which evangelizing and proselytizing plays so great
a role, Rev. Hoek informed the girl's parents, themselves in hiding with a Roman
Catholic family, not only of their daughter's safety but also to assure them
that no attempts will be made to wean her away from her Judaism.
"To avoid suspicion, that young girl had to accompany her foster-parents
to church-services and had to partake of their non-kosher food; but the prayers
they made her say were kept free of any Christological content. He did not take
advantage of the circumstances to rob that girl of her identity and heritage;
he did not seek to impose his beliefs and values, to seduce her mind and heart.
He proved himself to be a truly honest, decent and sincerely religious man.
"That young girl became my dear wife and the worthy mother of our children.
Rev. Hoek was an honored guest at our wedding (his wife died shortly after the
war). When he passed away in the fall of 1970, I eulogized him in the major
sermon of Kol Nidrei, the beginning of the holiest day in the Jewish calendar,
Yom Kippur, as an exemplary role-model of honesty, decency, true religious values,
in short, of the very theme of our High Holidays.
"Rev. Hoek symbolizes the very spirit and purpose of this work, and therefore
it is dedicated to him and his wife, in profound gratitude, respect and humility.
It is this spirit which this work seeks to inculcate, in addition to the educational
goal of teaching a considered response to the odious attempts of missionaries.
If this work in its present form will achieve even a part of the success of
its original format, this will be the greatest reward I could wish and pray
Source: Annotated by Yerachmiel Tilles from COLlive.com, as reprinted
in the weekly emailing, "Shabbos Stories for the Parsha" (Ki Tavo
Connection: Seasonal - Last Tuesday was the Fast Day of the Tenth of Tevet,
when [in addition to commemorating the Siege of Jerusalem leading to the destruction
of the Holy Temple,] Kaddish is also said for the murdered victims of the evil
Nazis whose dates of death are unlnown.
Biographical note: Rabbi Jacob-Immanuel Schochet [28 Av 5695 - 20 Av
5773 (August 1935-July 2013)] was a renowned authority on Jewish philosophy
and mysticism. He wrote and lectured extensively on the history and philosophy
of Chassidism and topical themes of Jewish thought and ethics, with over 35
books disseminated in countless countries and translated into numerous languages.
Swiss born, he became rabbi of Cong. Beth Joseph, and professor of Philosophy
at Humber College, in Toronto, Canada.
Tilles is co-founder and associate director of Ascent-of-Safed, and chief editor
of this website (and of KabbalaOnline.org). He has hundreds of published stories
to his credit, and many have been translated into other languages. He tells
them live at Ascent nearly every Saturday night.
To receive the Story by e-mail every Wednesday--sign
"Festivals of the
("Under the Full Moon" vol 2 - holiday stories)
is now available
for purchase from ASCENT
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
Book 1 of Yerachmiel Tilles's 3-volume set,
"Saturday Night, Full Moon",
is also available for purchase on
back to Top back
to this year's Story Index Stories
home page Stories Archives