Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Rose Remembered

The third installment in the "Secret of the Rose" trilogy, A Rose Remembered was published by Tyndale in 1994. This novel takes place primarily in 1961-1962, and involves (among other things) a supposed "Jewish underground" movement in Eastern Europe in the 1950s and 1960s. The book paints a picture of a "second" secret Holocaust (or "silent Holocaust") undertaken by the Soviets (led by Stalin, who else?) and their allies to exterminate the Jews of eastern Europe and Russia. Part of the "Secret of the Rose" series, this book is a continuation of the author's The Eleventh Hour. The bad guys (former Nazis, now KGB and East German secret police, the Stasi) are still after the "Old Testament relics" (Urim and Thummim) that were in "Rabbi Wissen's holy box." (Rabbi Wissen is a primary character in this book as well the previous two books of the trilogy).

Continuing character Sabina is told by her mother: "You know I was raised with the traditions of the Torah. So many of the old Jewish ways are still good, even for Christian Jews." .... "You are one of the chosen, Sabina," she said. "Not because the Hebrew blood of our father Abraham flows in your veins, but because you are a child of almighty God. You are a Jew in the full and truest sense of the word, and a Christian because you are a follower and servant of Jesus Christ, our Messiah and the world's Messiah."

Wandering Jude asks: Why does all of the dialogue in this book (indeed, in the entire series) sound like speeches? "the Hebrew blood of our father Abraham flows in your veins?" It just sounds so.... pretentious.

A character named Korsch (part of the secret police) "had his own informers in Stalinist Russia keeping track of Jewish affairs and relics. His personal passion against the Jews found fertile soil in which to grow. He had developed his own department within the KGB to track the movements of important Jewish figures, and he became an important figure in the silent Stalinist purge of Abraham's sons and daughters."

It is true, Wandering Jude admits, that Stalin was an anti-Semite. He killed a lot of Jews. He also killed a lot of other people. WJ doesn't think there is evidence of a massive Stalinist "final solution." But who knows? It's possible that deep within his paranoid brain, Stalin really wanted to wipe out "the Jews." We'll never know for sure.

Re: escaping from the Soviet bloc. "But those of Abraham's lineage had not been destined to an easy time of it, not since Egypt, Assyria, and Babylonia had risen up against the people of Moses, David, and Daniel. The purge of Joseph Stalin against them, though quieter and kept from the world's eyes, continued what his archenemy Adolf Hitler had begun and proved equally horrific in its result. Jews, therefore, were all the more desperate to escape, yet had to measure their moves with the greatest care and caution. Identities still were kept close track of. Danger still lurked in unseen corners... Spiritual famine continued to enslave the land, and the sons of Jacob sought refuge, both in the West and in their own newly created homeland of Israel."

"Where they had come from, where they had been for the better part of two millennia, only the Father of Moses and the prophets could know. That two of their twelve tribes had survived as a recognizable people among the world's races for all that time was a miracle of clear supernatural intent.... Their persecutors numbered legion. Yet the children of the ancient Hebrew God survived, flourished, and outlived them all. Titus was dead. Hitler was dead. Stalin was dead. But the people of Judah and the Levites lived, in the land now known as Palestine. The four-thousand year old covenant given to Abraham once more had visual substance and reality in a place called Israel."

This is sort of a melodramatic way to talk about Jewish history, but yes, even WJ will confess that the story of the Hebrews/Jews/Israelis is pretty amazing.

Sabina says: "[One of Rabbi Wissen's daughters] and I lived with one another for a while [in the 1950s]. We had many lengthy talks about God, and especially about Judaism and Christianity. She eventually came to accept Jesus as the true Messiah, became a Christian, and became involved with us in the Network of the Rose." [the secret underground movement].

Conversion to Christianity is, of course, the final solution to the Jewish problem, as almost all evangelical conversionary novels will testify.

Sabina states: "We have been chiefly concerned with Jews, because of Rabbi Wissen, of course, and my own Jewish blood. Our mission, besides helping Jews in trouble, has been to get information to the free world about the plight of our people in the Soviet Union."

Like Wandering Jude pointed out in the other novels written by Michael Phillips in this trilogy, the author seems to have an obsession about "Jewish blood." WJ's response is this: "If you prick me, do I not bleed? And will my blood not be as red as anyone else's, no more, no less?" The focus on "Jewish blood" and the "Jewish race" cannot be healthy, even if one is ostensibly a Philo-Semite. First, the enemies of the Jewish people will use it against us. Second, there is no scientific evidence for "Jewish blood." And third, there has been a fair amount of intermarriage, conversion (to Judaism), and so forth, throughout the ages, that any talk of the Jewish race should have been put to rest a long time ago. Just look at how different Askenazi Jews look as compared to Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews. We're a people and a civilization, not a race. Let's encourage the enrichment of our "gene pool" through adoption, intermarriage, and completely voluntary conversion to Judaism. If a celebration of the "Jewish race" leads to anything, it leads to racism, anti-Semitism, and Tay Sachs disease.

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