The Testimony of Rabbi Daniel Landsmann:
Rabbi Daniel Landsmann was born June 18th, 1836 (Died May 13th 1896) in Pinsk Russia which is now Belarus. He was the 15th of 18 children of Jacob and Rona Landsmann although only 1 sister and himself survived infancy.
At his Bar Mitzvah his parents announced who he would marry. He and his wife lived with her parents for 6 years. When he was 19 both of his parents died and he came down with a life threatening illness. He vowed to go to Israel if God would heal him.
He recovered enough to barley make the trip to Israel, keeping his vow to God, even though he had to walk with 2 canes. He arrived in Israel, feeling better as time went on, he became a tailor and sent for his wife and children in 1860.(1)
Rabbi Landsmann was a Jerusalem tailor and Talmudic scholar who came to faith in Yeshua in 1863. He was almost killed by his own people because they were angered that someone well educated in Jewish tradition should believe that Yeshua is the Messiah.(2)
His perspective on Yeshua began to change when he found upon the street a page in Hebrew torn from a book. He loved what he read, and when he later discovered that it was from the Sermon on the Mount, (Matthew 5) he began to think differently about Yeshua.(2)
In 1863 he confessed faith and was baptized.(1)
When he began to reveal that he believed Yeshua is the Messiah, his wife left him, a fanatical group attempted to wrestle him to the ground and nail spikes into his hands, and another tried to bury him alive.(2)
"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."(1)
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 but there was no peace. Nine months later he gave his wife a certificate of divorce.(1) He felt it was time to leave Jerusalem now.
Off To Constantinople:
Leaving Israel he went to Constantinople where he began and led a congregation of Jewish believers.
While in Constantinople Landsmann married his second wife, Angelika Bik, a Dutch deaconess.
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.
LCMS: (Lutheran Church Missouri Synod)
In Constantinople, Landsmann had a friend, a Swedish Pastor named Sward, who knew Stephanus 'Samuel' Keyl, the LCMS Missionary in New York. Keyl invited Landsmann to come and serve with the LCMS in New York. Landsmann accepted!(1)
LCMS (Lutheran Church Missouri Synod) an organization representing Lutheran's was at this time looking for a person who could take the message of the gospel to the Jews. Rabbi Landsmann eventually became active with the Lutheran denomination, going to a Lutheran seminary school in Springfield Illinois. He was successful at deputation in Central Illinois.(1)
In 1883, a Pekin Illinois Lutheran church, helped to encouraged LCMS to support a missionary that could take the Gospel message to the Jews. This prompting helped Landsmann to end up back in New York City.(1)
Landsmann became active in sharing the gospel message. He wrote some Gospel tracts in Yiddish, and handed out Bibles. In 13 years, 37 Jewish people were baptized in the LCMS.(1)
His wealth of Talmudic knowledge and a humble spirit, moved many other Jews to consider the Messiahship of Yeshua.(2)
Rabbi Landsmann's testimony is often linked to the testimony of Rabbi Nathaniel Friedmann who became a believer after originally setting out to convince Rabbi Landsmann to change his mind concerning his faith in Jesus. Both became Reverends sponsored by the Lutheran Church in New York City, with Rev. Friedmann succeeding Rev. Landsmann as the New York City Lutheran Missionary to the Jews.
Here is a copy of the Rabbi Friedmann's obituary that appeared in the New York Times Newspaper May 11, 1941.
Some of the things he wrote about to share his faith with others included: (3)
Other articles of interest include:
1). Some notes and obituary from Allan Butterworth's powerpoint presentation - Link below.
2). Source: http://www.messianicjudaism.me/yinon/2011/11/02/rabbis-who-thought-for-themselves by Rabbi Joshua.
3). Source: http://www.ha-gefen.org.il/len/aalphabetic%20presentation/c13763/150369.php