Brandeis, Wilson, and the Reverend Who Changed History

By Klinger, Jerry | Midstream, Fall 2012 | Go to article overview
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Brandeis, Wilson, and the Reverend Who Changed History


Klinger, Jerry, Midstream


Maybe it was an accident that the gate to the Alliance Christian Missionary Cemetery in Jerusalem's German colony was open that evening. It almost never was. Maybe it was bashert. I went in and discovered the grave of the Reverend John Stanley Grauel. He had been a secret Haganah operative deliberately placed on the Exodus because, as Golda Meir said, he could do what no Jew could do. He is almost forgotten now. Because of Grauel, I began to learn of Christians who changed the history of Israel. Coming from a Yeshivah world, that is something that is just not done.

Louis D. Brandeis was born November 13, 1856 in Louisville, KY. His family, refugee immigrant Bohemian Jews, fled the failed Liberal European revolutions of 1848. The Brandeis family were not traditional practicing Jews. They had a vague connection to the false Messiah movement of Jacob Frank. Brandeis grew up comfortably middle class. He traveled abroad and spent two years studying in Dresden Germany before attending Harvard Law. At Harvard he demonstrated extraordinary leadership becoming the head of his class, all the while obtaining the highest academic scores of any student to date. Brandeis was gifted with an incredibly brilliant, disciplined, organized, and perceptive mind. Brandeis married Alice Goldmark in 1889, a woman from a similar Bohemian Jewish background as his own. He was appointed by President Wilson, and confirmed by the United States Senate in 1917, as the first Jew to serve on the United States Supreme Court.

Thomas Woodrow Wilson was born December 28, 1856, in Staunton, VA. His family was of Scot-Irish ancestry, Southern sympathizers and slave owners. His father, Reverend Dr. Joseph Ruggles Wilson, was a founder and a minister of the Southern Presbyterian Church when it broke away from the mainstream Presbyterian Church in 1861. They were deeply religious people. Woodrow Wilson read the Bible and prayed daily his entire life. Wilson, unable to read until he was ten, probably suffered from dyslexia. He devised his own system of shorthand to compensate. Diligent, determined, Wi1son worked hard to achieve his academic accomplishments. His family's moderate wealth provided the means for him to graduate Princeton in 1879 and afterwards attended law school for one year at the University of Virginia Changing majors, he earned a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University (1883) in history and political science. Wilson married Ellen Axson, a minister's daughter in 1885. She died in 1914. Woodrow Wilson had just been elected the 28th president of the United States. He remarried a year later to Edith Gait, a direct descendent of the American Indian princess Pocahontas.

William Eugene Blackstone was born in Adams County, New York, October 6, 1841. His family was of very modest means. The Blackstones were the first white settlers of Boston. A Methodist, he accepted Jesus publicly at age 11. Physically weak, he was rejected by the Union army during the American Civil War but volunteered through the U.S. Christian Commission--an institution akin to the Red Cross. W.E.B., as he modestly liked to be known, was never formally educated. He was never privileged to attend University or Divinity schools. W.E.B., possessing a brilliant intellect, was largely self- educated. In 1866 he married Sarah Lee Smith settling in Chicago four years later. Achieving respectable financial success as a real estate developer, he deliberately chose to abandon business and devote himself to God for the rest of his long life.

Superficially, Reverend William E. Blackstone was a premillennial dispensational Christian evangelist and missionary. He was the author of the hugely successful and influential, Jesus is Coming, in 1878. His book, the veritable reference source of American dispensationalist thought, sold millions of copies. It was translated into 48 languages. Blackstone clearly laid out the Biblical justifications for the return of the Jews and the reestablishment of the Jewish state as a pre-condition of the second coming of Jesus.

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