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Daniel Landsmann


Only he and one sister survived infancy. ... By 1860, in better health, and a tailor, he brought his wife and sister. What Is This? ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Daniel Landsmann

Daniel Landsmann
  • The First LCMS Missionary to the Jewish People

From Russia (now Belarus)
  • Born in Pinsk
  • June 18, 1836
  • Jewish businesses employed thousands of Jewish
    workers in chemical-factories, sawmills, a
    match-factory, a shoe-nail factory, a
    candle-factory, a cork-factory, a
    parquet-factory, a brewery, and
  • One cork-factory, owned by a Christian, employed
    150 Jewish workers. The shipyards, owned by a
    Frenchman, employed Jewish laborers to build
    large steamers and sailing vessels. Many Jewish
    laborers work on the docks.
  • Jewish artisans worked as nailsmiths, founders,
    workers in brass, and tanners in soap-factories,
    small breweries, violin-string factories, the
    molasses-factory, the flaxseed-oil factory, and
    the tallit-factory.
  • Jewish Sabbath and holy days are strictly
  • In 1905 the total population was 28,000 about
    18,000 were Jewish.
  • In 1942, 16,000 Jews were killed in the
  • - from the Jewish Encyclopedia -1898

Landsmanns Family
  • 15th of 18 children of Jacob and Rona.
  • Only he and one sister survived infancy.
  • At his bar mitzvah, his parents announced who he
    would marry.
  • He and his wife lived with her parents for 6
  • He began studying the Talmud, full time.

Talk About a Hard Life…
  • Suddenly, about age 19, both parents died.
  • He had a life threatening 2 year illness.
  • He vowed to go to Israel if God healed him.
  • He recovered, but walked with 2 canes.
  • When he left for Israel, to fulfill his vow, no
    one expected him to survive the trip.
  • He was near death on the 250 mile wagon ride to
    the Black Sea port of Galatz, Romania.

  • The captain said he was too sick to travel!
  • He paid a local Jewish broker to ship him in a
    wooden crate!
  • 28 hours later, he was unpacked in
  • He arrived in Israel about September, 1858.
  • By 1860, in better health, and a tailor, he
    brought his wife and sister.

What Is This?
  • He found a page in Hebrew on the street.
  • He didnt know it was from the Sermon on the
  • He was fascinated.
  • Who was this Rabbi?

A Stern Customer
  • Paulus Stern, a Jewish believer, missionary with
    the London Society (CMJ?), came to Landsmanns
    tailor shop.
  • When business slowed, some said, why dont you
    ask Stern for help? Landsmann refused to ask a
    convert for help.
  • When Stern brought up Jesus, Landsmann hit
    him…and was praised by Jewish friends.

Could Jesus be the Messiah?
  • The next time Stern came to his shop, he didnt
    mention being hit. Somehow, he discovered that
    the author of the page he found was Jesus!
  • He began studying the NT with Stern.
  • When I began searching the Bible 28 years ago in
    Jerusalem, the Rabbis strictly forbade me and
    named me an apostate (rebel), and when I ignored
    their threats they took everything I had from me
    wife and children, even wrote forged checks in
    order to force me to stop reading the Bible.

The Anglican Inquirers Home
  • Seeking safety, he spent 3 weeks at what was to
    become the Anglican International School (now
    affiliated with CMJ).
  • While he was there, a diphtheria epidemic claimed
    the life of three of his children!
  • Grieving, he returned to his wife, and tried to
    comfort her with the Gospel.
  • It didnt work his wife divorced him.
  • In 1863 he confessed faith and was baptized.

Blessed are the persecuted
  • He was beaten, one group put spikes in his hands,
    and another tried to bury him alive.
  • He went to Cairo, but the Jewish community drove
    him away.
  • In Beirut and Smyrna, he met a missionary with
    the Free Church of Scotland.
  • He was reluctant to serve, but Bishop, Samuel
    Gobat, shared the lesson of Jonah.
  • Irony Gobat translated the Bible into Arabic and
    focused on reaching Muslims.

In Constantinople…
  • Landsmann served as a missionary to the Jewish
    people from 1863-1881.
  • Many Jewish people confessed faith.
  • He led Bible Studies and started and led a
    congregation of Jewish believers.
  • Eliezer Basin (to the right) confessed faith, and
    also became a Scottish Free Church Missionary.

A Son!
  • Landsmann married Angelika Bik, a Dutch
  • On February 8, 1880, they had a son Theodore
    Anton Landsmann.
  • He was baptized by Alexander Tomory, a Missionary
    of the Scottish Free Church, in Constantinople.

Why LCMS Jewish Missions?
  • 1881 Synod Convention at Ft. Wayne
  • Pastor Otto Spehr, from Milwaukee, wrote 6
    articles in Der Lutheraner after an appeal from
    pastors in Central Illinois.
  • 12 reasons why the LCMS should begin Jewish
  • Proximity, many German speakers, conversions, OT
    theology, and availability of Hebrew NTs
  • All that was needed was a missionary!

The following, (from the General Proceedings of
the 18th General Synod, p. 78), is a Resolution
from the LCMS Convention in Ft. Wayne in
1881 Jewish Missions As a result of a
petition of the Illinois Central District
Conference, this issue was submitted for
discussion and observed. Although each Christian
can prove himself to be a true Jewish missionary
in his environment, as often as the occasion
arises, we should still earnestly consider
pursuing the unfortunate Jews through the
appointment of an actual Jewish missionary. Above
all, it will be necessary to, first of all,
awaken an interest in this mission in our
How to find a Jewish Missionary?
  • Pastor John Sieker, from St. Matthews, 854 Broom
    Street, Manhattan, helped in the search.
  • Finally, Stephanus Samuel Keyl (married to CFW
    Walthers sister), who was called to immigrant
    missions in NY from 1869-1905, heard about a
    Jewish believer serving in Constantinople…

The LCMS Connection
  • In Constantinople, Landsmann had a friend, a
    Swedish Pastor Sward, who knew Keyl, the LCMS
    Missionary in New York.
  • Keyl invited Landsmann to come and serve with the
    LCMS in New York.
  • Landsmann accepted!

Welcome to the LCMS!
  • He was told he needed to be seasoned in
    orthodox Lutheranism.
  • First stop? Seminary in Springfield, IL.
  • He was successful at deputation in Central
  • At a Pastors conference he pled with us… to
    begin a mission to the Jews.

  • Every true Lutheran is always a true missionary,
    full of zeal for the spreading of the holy,
    saving Gospel. - Missionstaube
  • In 1883, the only LCMS effort to non-Lutherans
    was the four station negro mission in the
  • In 1884, LCMS missions ended the year with a

When can we begin?
  • His biographer, Pastor Steup, wrote that by the
    end of the academic year, he had no peace.
  • In 1883, after hearing Landsmann, the clergy in
    Pekin, IL, demanded LCMS President, Henry
    Schwann, begin Jewish missions…NOW!
  • In 1883, the Central Illinois District wrote
    another series of articles in Der Lutheraner
  • We need to share with the elect remnant of Jews
    so they can come to faith!
  • How inexpressibly great will be our joy when
    converted Jews…testify… that our activity… had
    been the means of rescue…

What should we call him?
  • He was not ordained, not installed, and had no
    service or ceremony.
  • He was called an evangelist.
  • Some said, one who has served in a Reformed
    missions society could hardly be or become
  • After all, he was Jewish and NOT German!
  • His appointment was temporary, and he had no
    authority to baptize or teach.

To Him the Glory!
  • Landsmann served three churches in NYC from
  • He made initial contacts and taught them how to
    read and write German.
  • He did not have a congregation of Jewish
    believers. Converts joined LCMS churches.
  • Landsmann was not mentioned in the church records
    of those who were baptized!

So What Could One Man Do?
  • He went to every bris and wedding he could, gave
    out tracts and Bibles and invited people to hear
  • Police protection was required at his public
    meetings. He had about 30 a year, with 20-25 UJs
    at each!
  • In 13 years, 37 Jewish people were baptized in
    the LCMS.
  • How many others came to faith?

  • LCMS?
  • At the LCMS Convention in 1884, a Commission on
    Jewish Missions was established at the national
  • It continued until 1932.
  • Jewish Community?
  • Landsmann needs to be stopped!

Rabbi Friedmann?
  • Rabbi Nathaniel Friedmann was sent from Russia to
    win Landsmann back to Judaism.
  • Friedmann confessed faith, and was ordained as a
    Lutheran Pastor.
  • He became Landsmanns successor, serving in NYC
    until 1941.

Friedmanns Obituary
  • The New York Times, May 11, 1941

Lasting Fruit Yiddish Gospel Tracts
  • Titles
  • Jew and Jewish-Christian, a Discussion Between
    an Unconverted and Converted Jew.
  • What Does The Kabbala Say Concerning The Triune
  • What Do Rabbis Say Concerning the Messiah.
  • Memra Jehovah or Logos Jehovah?

Yiddish Tracts (contd)
  • Sabbath, Holidays and Circumcision.
  • Jesus of Nazareth the True Messiah.
  • Jesus the Sovereign Expression of Gods
  • Bible and Talmud, How Do They Compare?
  • Published by American Tract Society.
  • Despite warnings from the Jewish Community, these
    tracts were ordered by Jewish people from NY,
    Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, Portland
    and the State of Washington.

Landsmann and a Rabbi
  • The following is from A Witness of Jesus Christ
    Out of Israel, published in Zeuge der Wahrheit
    (Witness of the Truth), New York, New York, in
    March of 1897
  • Rabbi I have read your NT and found many
    contradictions in it. The apostles were
    dreamers, Jews given to exaggeration.
  • Landsmann In what way… show me!
  • Rabbi John 11-5 Is that not fanaticism? Is my
    Word a person? That is dumb and illogical. The
    other fisherman have destroyed the Torah and
    abolished everything. Fooey! Shame on you!

Reply to the Rabbi
  • Landsmann Who is the Word of God about which
    your Targum speaks? I took my Hebrew Bible and
    read for example
  • Psalm 336 By the Word of the LORD were the
    heavens made.
  • Genesis 13 And God spoke Let there be light,
  • Proverbs 822-35, speaking of Wisdom The LORD
    brought me forth as the first of his works…I was
    appointed from eternity…I was the craftsman at
    his side… blessed is the man who listens to me…
    whoever finds me, finds life…

The Word became flesh…
  • Landsmann This Word has become the Son of
    David, a man like us in order to redeem us.
    About Him all the prophets have prophesied.
    Without Him I am a lost man.
  • Rabbi The Rabbi paced back and forth and was
    very agitated. It was a mistake, he said, to
    have invited this man, the devil has done that.
    He went away, came back again and said loudly A
    woman cannot bear a child without a man. You are
    either possessed by the devil or you have lost
    your mind. He trembled with rage.

Beyond our understanding
  • Landsmann Dear Doctor, you are correct, it is
    certainly beyond our understanding… but we must
    believe it because it is in the Bible and God
    does not lie. God can do anything. The passage
    Jeremiah 3122 says, The LORD will create a new
    thing on earth - a woman will encircle a man.
    It is saying that this will be the Messiah,
    additionally, the Messiah must be called zemach
    (shoot, descendant) and will be born without a
    human father.

Death and Legacy?
  • He died May 13, 1896.
  • Left much fruit, and a well trained successor!
  • We are still translating and just beginning to
    use his Yiddish tracts.
  • Lord willing, the LCMS will recapture some of his

What Can We Learn?
  • The life and testimony of one person can
  • Articles on Jewish Missions can generate
  • When he started in the US, 1st step was
  • EVERY opportunity to start relationships and
    share the Gospel was precious.
  • He knew the Talmud, but found a way to get Jewish
  • people to set it aside and study the Hebrew
    Scriptures… that point to Jesus.
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