Dear friends,

Today I am posting the full translation of an amazingly interesting text – Christianity and Judaism – on the issue of the historical role of the Jewish people written by a, now reposed, Archbishop of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, Archbishop Nathanel (Lvov) [“Lvov” is his last name, no reference to the city in the Ukraine].  This has been made possible by the superb translation of this very nuanced text by Edvin Buday to whom I extend my most sincere gratitude (and admiration – this translation is a long and complex piece of work!).  The topic is “Christianity and Judaism”.  In Russian that would be “Христианство и Иудейство” where the second word, Iudeistvo, could also be translated as “Jewishness” or “that which is of/in the Jewish realm”.  What I am trying to convey here is that this is not about modern Judaism (which really is a misnomer and which should be called something like “rabbinical Phariseism” since all modern Judaic denomination are descendants of the sect of the Pharisees) and which is dramatically different from the religion of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (I always call modern “Judaism” the religion of Maimonides, Karo and Luria).

If Yuri Slezkine is right and the 20th century (or even the modern age) was, indeed “The Jewish Century“, and I would personally very much agree with this thesis, then it would be normal to have the topic of Jews and Jewishness as the focus of many interesting discussions.  Yet what we observe today is almost the polar opposite.  Oh sure, there is a lot of talk about Jews and Jewishness, but most of it is of an appallingly sophomoric level.  Not only that, but the many completely different dimensions of this issue are all mushed into one big fat conceptual blob about which a great deal of definitive statements are made without any regards to history, spirituality, culture, psychology, etc.  I am personally disgusted and discouraged to see how low these discussions typically can go.  Roughly speaking, most of the modern discourse is split between two warring factions:

Group “A”: they would have us believe that Jews are almost non-humans, that by some process unknown to science there is a specifically”Jewish” mentality, mindset, culture and even political identity which is transmitted over the generations from parents to their children and that this unique “thing” trumps both nature (or forms part of it) and nurture.  The simple truth is that proponents of this view separate mankind into “Jews” and “non-Jews” which is, of course, a typically racist attitude.

Group “B”: they will have us believe that Jews either have no role at all in society and/or politics or, if they do, then this is an exclusively benevolent one.  This is also the group which will tell you with a straight face that “Antisemitism” is a mysterious disease potentially infecting every single human being on the planet, a disease which has no cause whatsoever and from the effects of which Jews must be protected at all costs.  Expressing any critical view of anything Jewish, or even asking the wrong questions, is considered by Group B and a clear manifestation of this mysterious disease. The simple truth is that proponents of this view also separate mankind into “Jews” and “non-Jews” which is, of course, also a typically racist attitude.

In other words, all we are given the (pseudo-) “choice” between are two varieties of racist views.  The problem is that there is very strong, I would argue. even indisputable, historical evidence, that Jews are not a race or ethnicity (these terms themselves being rather vague to begin with).  Furthermore, the kind of worldview and ideology which fosters this kind of notions is always the product of what Russian philosophers have called a “человеконенавистническая идеология” which means a “Man/mankind-hating ideology”.

[Sidebar: for those who have not seen it before, here is my own working definition of racism: racism is, in my opinion, not so much the belief that various human groups are different from each other, say like dog breeds can be different, but the belief that the differences between human groups are larger than within the group. Second, racism is also a belief that the biological characteristics of your group somehow pre-determine your actions/choices/values in life. Third, racism often, but not always, assumes a hierarchy amongst human groups (Germanic Aryans over Slavs or Jews, Jews over Gentiles, etc.). I believe that God created all humans with the same purpose and that we are all “brothers in Adam”, that we all equally share the image (eternal and inherent potential for perfection) of God (as opposed to our likeness to Him, which is our temporary and changing individual condition). Tribal affiliations and ideological positions are, in contrast to one’s genetic make-up, the result of choices and, like all  choices, they are legitimate targets for scrutiny and criticism.]

The ultimate irony is, of course, that the racists in Group A and the racists in Group B are very much alike and their views very much mirror each other, they are just applied in different directions and towards different targets (the other target being the “other one”).

The result of this intellectually sterile and spiritually vitiated environment is that a fascinating and important topic has been reduced to a schoolyard shouting match in which both sides point fingers in anger at each other and verbal fists do most of the “talking”.  At the end of the day, both sides end up bloodied and exhausted (and none the wiser).

Jews, Jewishness and Judaism (in one form or another) have existed since antiquity, they have evolved and adapted to their environment and times and, like any other human group, they have dealt with numerous internal contradictions (how sad that nobody nowadays even knows what dialectics are!).  At the very least, this means that these topics should be studied on a historical, religious, philosophical, political, cultural, social, economic and many other levels.  Studied not to just come up with some slogan to hurl at the “other guy” but studied in order to understand the many, complex and often subtle nuances and dimensions of the topic at hand.

What I am posting today is one such investigation written from a purely religious point of view.  Agnostics and atheists are more than welcome to read it, but please understand that the person writing this comes from a background which you could not possibly understand (sorry, no offense intended here, I am just being truthful here).  It is also important to stress here that this article was written in 1949, right after WWII were the Nazi atrocities were already well-known to the general public but way before “Group B” managed to shove a psychological gag into the mouth of anybody daring to raising this topic in public.

It is particularly appalling to me to see that representatives of both “Group A” and “Group B” often present themselves, and their views, as “Christian” whereas nothing in reality could be further from the truth!  When is the last time you hear any of them refer to the writings of Saint Justin Martyr, Saint John Chrysostome, Saint Cyprian of Carthage or Saint Ephrem the Syrian?  The sad truth is that most of these “Christians” (they sometimes refer to themselves as “Cultural Christians”) never heard these names and know absolutely nothing about the religion they mistakenly believe they speak for.

Take the pseudo-Christians of “Group A”: Just a cursory familiarity with the writings of Saint Paul could have suggested to them that Christians “wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph. 6:12)” and that “circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commandments is what matters” (1 Cor 7:19).  In his epistle to Titus Saint Paul also reminded us to “avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain” (Titus 3:9) and yet these modern pseudo-Christians spend a great deal of time investigating who does, or does not, have Jewish blood (as if there was such thing!) and if yes, how much exactly.  Talk about foolish, vain and unprofitable “genealogies”!

Do any of those putatively “Christian” “Jew hunters” make any effort at all at understanding their own religion (and I don’t mean Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny!) or the writings of the Apostles?  Do they make any effort at all to try to acquire the “spirit/mindset” (phronema) of the Fathers?  Nope.  All they do is play “find the Jew” and then triumphantly place silly little echo signs ((())) around their names.

What kind of pagan kindergarten is that?!

Alas, the pseudo-Christians of Group “B” are no better.  The Latins (by that I mean the “Roman Catholics”, an expression which I do not use since the Latins are neither Roman nor Catholic) have now declared Urbi et Orbi that they are expecting the very same Messiah as the Judaics (see here and here).  The Pope who, according to Latin dogma, is infallible (when he speaks in his official capacity on spiritual matters) has gone as far as to declare that Judaics are the “elder brothers” of the Latins.  Apparently the (putatively) “holy” Father forgot that the Apostles themselves decreed that “If a Clergyman or a Layman should enter a Jewish synagogue, or pray with heretics, let him be excommunicated and defrocked” (Apostolic Canon 64) or, which is more likely, he does not believe that Apostolic Canons have authority over him.  The real problem is that Christian tradition very clearly states through the writings of numerous Church Fathers (such as Saint Hippolytus of Rome in his Treatise on Christ and the Antichrist) that the false Messiah the Judaics are waiting for will be the Antichrist!

[Sidebar: this is what Saint Hippolytus wrote about the Antichrist and which Christians used to read at least once a year in church: The Antichrist will be born from a harlot, who will appear to be a virgin, but will be of the Hebrew race, of the tribe of Dan, the son of Jacob; and he will supposedly live as Christ did, and will perform as many miracles as Christ, and will raise the dead. But all of these things—his birth, his flesh, and everything else—will be an illusion, as the Apostle says; and he will then be revealed as the son of perdition, with all power, with signs and deceitful wonders. However, as Saint John of Damascus says, the Devil himself will not be transformed into flesh, but a man who is the offspring of fornication will receive all the energy of Satan, and will suddenly rise up. He will appear good and gentle to all, and then there will be a mighty famine. He will supposedly satisfy the people, will study the Holy Scriptures, will practice fasting, and, compelled by men, will be proclaimed king; he will show especial love to the Hebrew race, restoring them to Jerusalem and rebuilding their temple. Before seven years have passed, as Daniel says, Enoch and Elias will come, preaching to the people that they should not accept him. He will arrest and torment them, and will then behead them. Those who choose to remain pious will flee far away into the mountains; when he finds them, through the agency of demons, he will make trial of them. Those seven years will be cut short for the sake of the elect, and there will be a mighty famine, and all the elements will be transformed, so that everyone will all but disappear.]

Interestingly, Islam also teaches that the next false Messiah will be the Antichrist and that Christ will come back to defeat him.  It is ironic that  Orthodox Christians and Muslims share a common view while Latins and Judaics share the opposite one.  As for Protestant denominations, I will just say that Protestant hardcore Zionists probably outnumber Jewish Zionist by a comfortable margin.  Yet these “Christians” all completely overlook such (Antisemitic?) passages of the Scripture as famous “the synagogue of Satan” (Rev 3:9) and “your Father the devil” (John 8:44).  Most importantly, they also completely ignore what orthodox Judaics really teach about non-Jews.

What kind of ‘Christian’ either ignores the teachings of his own religion or is ashamed of it?!

The sad reality is that we now live in a post-Christan and pseudo-pagan society (I say pseudo because the original pagans were extremely receptive to the Christian message, modern pseudo-pagans are just about the most incapable of even understanding it).   Frankly, most of our contemporaries are simply not equipped to understand a topic as subtle and complex as the amazing history of the Jewish people (understood here, of course, not as a race, but as a *tribe*, i.e. a group one can chose to join (Elizabeth Taylor) or leave (Gilad Atzmon) (official definition: a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader).  This tribe, however, is hardly uniform phenomenon but an amazingly diverse and complex collection of extremely different sub-groups and individuals: lumping all “Jews” into one category is just as futile and stupid as lumping all Muslims into one or, for that matter, all Christians).  And yes, some of these subgroups and individuals have, and still are, wielding enormous intellectual, economic and political power and to pretend like they did/do not or to pretend that this power has always been benevolent is simply ridiculous.  Folks who make that kind of silly statements are far more concerned about not alienating (or even pleasing) their sponsors than to remain faithful to faith “which the Lord gave, was preached by the Apostles, and was preserved by the Fathers. On this was the Church founded; and if anyone departs from this, he neither is nor any longer ought to be called a Christian” (St. Athanasius).

Icon of the Compassionate Samaritan

In sharp contrast all of the above, the text of Archbishop Nathanel (which has never, as far as I know, been translated into English) is a faithful expression of the Christian point of view on this question.  I don’t mean to say that everything His Eminence wrote is dogma and has to be accepted as some sort of absolute and indisputable truth, not at all, but it is an attempt to explain something immensely complex while remaining faithful to the mindset/spirit of true Christianity: with compassion and understanding towards all people but with an unbreakable determination and zeal to uphold and pass on the truth as revealed by the Prophets, Christ and the Church.

It seems to me that the Parable of the Compassionate Samaritan ( Luke 10:25–37) not only best illustrates what the correct answer to the question “who is my brother?” is but it also shows us how Christ instructs us all to act towards those who hold beliefs which are opposed to ours or even offensive to us (Jews and Samaritans mostly hated each other).  I don’t think that Christ would have welcomed the making of lists of Samaritans, if you see what I mean…

I am personally under no illusions whatsoever and I know that the members of the two groups described above with scoff at it all and, frankly, I am not posting this to convince them otherwise.  I am writing for those who seek a truly Christian discussion on a topic of tremendous importance for our times.  Contrary to the impression one might get listening to the AM dial, the Christian faith is not one which can be taught, or even intelligently discussed, while driving, with “commercial breaks” or even in a short, 300-400 words text.   It is one which is first and foremost lived, experienced, and one which centers on asceticism and prayer, not scholastic deductions.  Even a comparatively long(er) text like the one below is but the tiny tip of an immense iceberg hidden from the view of most and preserved by a few.  I strongly recommend that those of you who are interested seek out and read all the key Patristic texts on this topic as they are all available online (I recommend starting with Saint Justin Martyr’s “Dialog with Trypho” and then proceeding to Saint John Chrysostome’s “Kata Ioudaion“).  I also recommend that we all stay away from the regular verbal slugfests various outlets engage in which inevitably degenerate in more name calling and finger pointing then thinking.  Finally, even if you disagree or dislike what you will read there, at least you will be able to tell apart the true Christian view of this topic and the pseudo-Christian ersatz we are offered at every street corner.

Bonne lecture!

The Saker


Christianity and Judaism

by Archbishop Nathanail (Lvov)

Part I:

What an old and painful issue are the relations between Christianity and Judaism!

In the historical process of humanity, how many joint instances of guilt, hatred, and blood there are! The massacres of Jews on the one hand and cowardly murders on the other; ghettos here and hatred for the goyim there. Finally, in the last few years we have seen a raging racist theory with its millions of hecatombs by the hand of one of the ‘Christian’ peoples on the one hand and the nearly total capture of all pillars of human history by the Jews, the fully realistic possibility of the Judaisation of all humanity before our very eyes, and its subordination to Judaism on the other.

We would like to speak about the internal roots of this gigantic problem, without an understanding of which we could not hope to understand the processes taking place before our very eyes.

What is Judaism? Is it a shy, innocent little sheep that is unfairly persecuted by all, as it is sometimes presented? Or is it a terrifying hellspawn that does not resemble the rest of humanity at all, as Rozanov [1], Ford [2], and the German propagandists would have it?

To answer this question and to understand how untrue both of these representations are, we must recall Jewish history from a Christian point of view, a history that we not for nothing know better than the history of any other people.

Because of His wish to accomplish the salvation of the race of man and graft its feral vine to Himself, immediately after the fall of man the Lord starts the make a selection among humanity by destroying all that by virtue of its deep-rooted perversion cannot serve the cause of preparation for salvation, and, contrariwise, by separating and preparing all that is good.

Any man can save himself, i.e. he can become worthy of the Kingdom of God, and only the common, obdurate sin and stubbornness within him can disturb or halt the process of the maturation of the human soul for the Kingdom of God. And in this case (that of stubbornness in sin), man destroys himself among the living, as in the Lord’s universe there is not and cannot be anything senseless, and the existence of a man who does not mature for the Kingdom of God and who cannot mature is senseless.

The same can also be said of entire peoples. The knower of human hearts saw, by foreseeing the inner being of every separate man and every people and tribe, what kind of man and what kind of people are ready of the process that gives meaning to each life; these he saved and the others he destroyed.

However, there are few who are capable completion of salvation. The process of salvation itself must be completed. This process has been wrought by the Lord, but His human tools were surely necessary. The human share in his salvation is a miniscule one, but it is definitely necessary. Man is not a passive stone, man is the image of God: he is a limited, diminutive likeness of the Endless Absolute and by virtue of the natural attribute of this image he should actively participate in his salvation. A separate person is the best active part of his soul, and all of humanity is the best active part of humanity.

It is with the greatest caution that the Lord selects this best, most active part of humanity and makes a selection of the selection.

The worst part of humanity is destroyed in the waters of the flood: this was all of the spawn of Cain and all descendants of the other children of Adam and Eve who were seduced into mixing with the Cainites. Only the best descendants of the best of the children of Adam are spared: those of Sif.

During the construction of the Tower of Babylon, the nature of humanity receives a new characteristic: a division of tongues. The up until that point united humanity is separated into national cellules in order to prevent evil from spreading across the entire body of humanity.

By using this new, God-granted characteristic of humanity, the Lord sends a most sacred and loyal Chaldean man, who by one word from the Lord leaves his homeland and the house of his father and goes to a new land according to the divine plan, where, by using the Lord’s separation of humanity into nationalities, he will not mix with the surrounding peoples.

What an image, glowing with the highest moral strength presents this chosen one of God, Abraham, to us! Having obediently left for a foreign land and having received Divine covenant for his act, which says that from his descendants the Chosen People will come and that all earthly tribes will be blessed in him; Abraham is ready to sacrifice the one through whom this Divine covenant is supposed to go: his only son Isaac, thus becoming similar to God in his willingness to sacrifice and thereby enlarging his God-likeness.

It is clear that it is on this man’s shoulders that God puts a gigantic responsibility: to be both personally and through his line a tool of the Lord and an active participant in the salvation of the whole race of man.

This is the greatest version of the origin of the Jewish people by virtue of the glory of its design.

In order to fulfil the plan of the Lord, this people needs to have several traits: above all it must be loyal to God. To strengthen this trait, it is led through a series of trials: slavery in Egypt, the wanderings through the desert, the miraculous nourishment from manna, and, finally, the conquest of the Holy Land with the glorious aid of God. It was necessary that this people learned through experience that all its strength is in its God and that it is indebted with an unrepayable debt to this God.

This people should not mix with the other peoples, who had fallen to idolatry. This is why in the first few generations after Abraham this people is tempered not by mixing with other peoples, but by the marriage of every carrier of the fulness of the Divine covenant (i.e. Isaac and Jacob) with women that did not come from the surrounding peoples. And, because he did not fulfil this providential condition, Esau was eliminated and removed from the selection.

This trait of non-mixture with the other peoples and of separation from them has entered the spiritual and corporeal tissue of the Jewish people strongest of all and is its most characteristic feature to this very day.

But despite this non-mixing with other peoples, the Jewish people should not just be the pick of humanity, but also its representative, and should above all keep its unity with all of humanity and guard human versatility within itself, so that all branches of humanity could in this people recognise the fundamental traits that are essential to salvation.

And this we also see in the Jewish people. The Russian, the Black, the Frenchman, and the Japanese all understand the spiritual processes among the Chosen People that the Bible has noted for us. And it is not random chance that the holiest church fathers see in the history of the Jewish people a typological history of every human soul: in the Egyptian captivity and the pharaonic labours they see the condition of the soul when it is enslaved to sin, in the exodus from Egypt liberation from sin, in the forty-year wandering across the desert the process of being cleansed from sin, in the grumbling of the Jews during this process the frequent grumbling of the human soul during those challenges that accompany the cleansing process etc. (“You have preferred, O my soul, the meat of swine and the tempting food of Egypt to the food of Heaven, as did the ungrateful people of old in the wilderness) [3].

On the other hand, it is thanks to precisely this trait of their nature that the Jews have always been the best spreaders of any movement under any people, both during the early Christian time of preaching and in current anti-Christian propaganda.

In addition, by richly granting all kinds of natural gifts that are necessary for His plan to His Chosen People, the Lord kept them from excessive, unnecessary endowments. For example, this people was not given political power. It was not called upon to build gigantic empires like the Persians, Macedonians, or Romans.

Outside noises and the comparatively insignificant clattering of historical processes would be unnecessary and could draw away the spiritual and corporeal forces of the holy people to lower, external business, while God had something better prepared for them: active participation in the building of the Kingdom of God, the Eternal Kingdom without end, in front of which the vainglory of Alexander, Caesar, and the Romans looks like the fate of an insignificant, tawdry banality and despicable philistinism.

Several currents are especially important in the history of Israel: first, the external preparation for the arrival of the Son of God, although this was a relatively passive and outward affair, which, strictly speaking, any other people gifted with riches could have done. We are speaking here of the creation of a tabernacle, and then a temple, worship, and the entire exterior ritual of life.

But organically linked to this current is the second important tendency in the life of the Chosen People: moral preparation for the arrival of the Son of God in its midst. The ground must be prepared for the meeting. For the reception of the totality of Divine glory it was necessary to prepare by accepting and spreading a pedagogical, preparatory Divine Law, a trimmed heart, and washed ears.

This is especially clear in the example of the highest commandment of love towards one’s enemies.

It is not love that has become natural to the sinful, self-affirmed human heart, but vengeance, vengeance that does knows neither limits nor fulfilment through a long, sinful process from the fall of Adam to the murder of Cain and through many other killings. If one of my teeth has been knocked out, I’ll grind down the face of the perpetrator into mush. If someone has damaged one of my eyes, then I will roast him on a slow fire, cut him up into little pieces, and drink deeply from his sorrows. To use the recent example of the last war, we saw people who had denied Christ kill tens of hundreds, and sometimes even thousands of those they suspected of having killed one friend of theirs; we could see how insatiable the vengeance of man is.

To say without preparation to a man who has become accustomed to unbridled vengeance “love your enemies and do good to those that hate you” would be a hopeless nothing, or, in other words, empty talk. And the Lord does not speak for nothing. He who has created reality and is always creating only reality, He Who Is as He Is, i.e. the genuinely, truly existing Lord is realistic in everything to us. This is why before saying “love your enemies”, it would be necessary to prepare the human heart for this with a limitation to the unbridled fury of hatred. And Moses noted down the words from the Lord: eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.

In such a form, even an unprepared man can accept a limitation to his insatiable, unbridled revenge, as this rule is based on a form of justice that was kept safe from the times before the Fall of Man that is a natural part of every human heart. And if a man accepts a limit to his desire for vengeance, he really accepts it: by his reason, by his will, and by such a fulfilment of his life that the law enters into his very nature, that for one of my teeth that has been beaten out I cannot mutilate a whole man and can only inflict the same thing that he has inflicted on me, that for an eye I cannot subject him to endless torture, when I, having learned to limit my anger, am ready to accept the law of Divine love and can learn to love my enemies.

It is the same in the entire moral law of the Old Testament: it prepared the human heart to be ready to accept the law of Christ.

And this preparation was accomplished among the Chosen People, which played both the role of the crop of humanity and its representative in this matter. If it succeeds among the Jews, it will succeed among all of humanity, for all human traits have been concentrated in this people that the word of God names people par excellence, more human than all other men; it is not by chance that One from this people is called the Son of Man.

The holiest current in this people, in all of humanity, and in all of the world created by God is the one that was fully hidden by the Lord from any foreign, intrusive glances, the one in which by the grace of God from generation to generation the cleansing of the very nature of humanity took place in order to make it capable of receiving the Son of God.

Abraham was a high holiness, but alongside spiritual flight we also see within him the depths of the fall in Egypt and with Avimalekh. The Son of God could not come directly to him and unite with him in most glorious union. But his holiness did not remain barren: with both spirit and flesh he takes part in the fulfilment of the Divine plan, for from his seed God and Man were born. We repeat the same about Isaac, about Jacob, about Jude, about David, and about all forefathers of Christ, who were spiritually and corporeally the ancestors of the Son of Man. We can say this about almost all of the just men of the Old Testament, because they indirectly participated in God’s creation of that spiritual atmosphere that the best flower of humanity could come into by taking the Son of God within Itself.

The heart flutters when it thinks about this, when one considers how in the silence of the province of Palestine, which was guarded by God from the noise of the wide historical roads, the fruit of the most perfect streams of humanity matured, without which the Lord could not come to his people, and how the Holiest Virgin, Whose name is Mary, matured as well.

The first half of the divine plan was dignifiedly and rightly completed by Israel. It safeguarded the true faith among the pagan darkness throughout many ages, it created the Divine temple, which is the image of all temples of all ages, its prophets prepared the ground for the coming of Christ, they prepared the way of the Lord and made his path clear. From its bosom grew the Holiest Virgin and Saint John, about which the mouth of God says: among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist.

Nothing can take away this greatest glory from Israel, from this supernatural greatness of its fate. Even everything that follows cannot destroy the debt of gratitude that humanity owes to Israel. And what can also not destroy this debt of gratitude is, that having taken great glory upon itself, but also the terrible weight of Divine election, Israel carried this yoke for the other peoples. We Russians to a degree know how difficult this yoke is. Our prophet tells us:

Remember: to be the tool of God
Is heavy for earthly creations:
His servants he judges harshly,
And on you, oh, how many
Horrible sins have fallen.

(Khomyakov) [4]

And any other people could not have carried the yoke the same way Israel carried it; any other tribe would have buckled under it, and the royal lines would have far earlier. What the church teachings tell us of Adam and Eve, that, while not justifying their betrayal of God, we also should not dare to judge them, for we would have acted the same way, can also be repeated in an even greater measure about Israel: if, having completed the first half of the plan God had created for them, it betrayed the second half of God’s plan, then every other people in its stead would have acted even worse, even more undeserving of Divine election.

The fall of Israel is not just the tragedy of the nation, but of all of humanity as well, for it was the crop and representative of the whole race of Man. And Israel’s execution of the first half of the Divine plan and its preparation of the coming of Christ is not just its inalienable and never fading glory, but also the glory of all of humanity.

Part II

Both during the judgment of Pilate and to the Pharisees who accompanied him Christ said that His Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom: “My Kingdom is not of this world”, “the Kingdom of God is within you” [5]. But those who accepted His Kingdom as a supplement, as a tool to serve that Kingdom are granted external glory and the exterior, earthly rule as well by the Lord, according to the Law that was spoken by Him: “But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all this will be given to you as well” [6].

So that the preaching of the Gospels could take place unhindered, the Lord gave the Roman people the opportunity to create a worldly government. So that in the future this preaching could spread across the entire universe, the Lord gave precisely the Christian peoples unseen political and scientific strength.

Of course, if the Chosen Jewish People fulfilled the plan of God, if this whole people, or at least its fundamental, leading, representative part followed Christ, desired communion with the inner Kingdom of God, it would without any doubt have received the most glorious and strong worldly kingdom as an annex. As we know how flamingly, how selflessly the wild Celtic, Germanic, and Slavic tribes accepted the faith of Christ, we can well imagine with what veneration, honour, and service they would have surrounded the firstborn of the peoples in Christ, the people of the kin of the Lord in flesh. The veneration that the Christian peoples showed for Rome and Byzantium can give a small indication of this.

Of course, this was the Divine plan for humanity: His prepared part for the acceptance of the Son of God was supposed to have been cast into the world like a leavening into the dough. With this abundant leavening the whole race of Man would have seen the Kingdom of God and the Lord’s chosen would have gone before all the other peoples, guiding them on the road towards union with God as the vanguard of the Church of Christ.

Its temple was the temple of Jerusalem, the throne of all lands, which would have become the first Christian temple where, instead of the Old Testament shadow and the bloody sacrifice Christ Himself would have made the New Testament sacrifice of His Body and Blood. It is here that New Testament worship would have been developed by integrating the totality of all elements of Old Testament preparatory veneration. The entire people of Judea, which knew the multiplicity of human spirits like no other, would have gone on a mission [7] of preaching the other, unprepared part of the Gospel of humanity: all the other peoples, too, would have used their God-given talent for this work and all would have entered into communion with the Kingdom of God.

This Divine plan was disrupted by Israel’s betrayal. Although part of it (the holiest part of Israel and humanity that followed Christ), i.e. the apostles, were all Jews and could not have come from any other people, because all the other peoples were not prepared, the main mass of the people, mainly its guiding, representative part, i.e. the priests (who were the official rulers) and the Pharisean rabbis (their real rulers) did not follow Christ but crucified him through the hands of Roman soldiers while calling: “His Blood on us and on our children!” [8]

Only the First fall of Man, of Adam and Eve, is comparable in significance and inner meaning to this terrible catastrophe that twisted the Divine plan, the Lord’s design for subsequent history of humanity, which had been redeemed and saved by Christ.

Israel has been cast out. To be more precise, itself (the chosen one of the Lord) cast away its chosen nature, refused to serve the One who had chosen him and fulfil His plans.

There were thousands of reasons for this: all temptations, all enticements from the lowest lures of gluttony to the great, proud plans about the creation of a worldwide, earthly kingdom of Jerusalem, which the prophets speak of: all of this was united and mobilised by the unclean one in order to draw Israel from its path, which was to be the chosen tool to save all of mankind.

We will stop for a minute at the most important part, the deepest and most important temptation, the temptation of an earthly kingdom of Israel which was, after all, dreamt of by the best thinkers of the people of Judea, in accordance with the image drawn by the prophets of a kingdom in which swords turn to ploughshares and all tribes of the world will know peace.

The story of the temptation of the first men repeated itself in a significant way. The Lord created men for veneration. Having created them in His image and likeness, He gave them the task to become more and more like Him, become more and more gods themselves, for as the Lord says: “I said: you are gods, and all of you are sons of the most high” [9], and as Basil of Caesarea said: “I am a beast, but I have received the task of becoming God”.

The devil, however, when he tricks people, says: “Eat of the fruit and you will be as gods”, contrary to the Creator.

The devil does the same with Israel. By marking it as the means by which the Divine Spiritual Kingdom will be established, the Lord (as we have shown) would, of course, have given Israel an earthly kingdom as a small covenant. But the lords of Israel hungered for the earthly kingdom, and, by rejecting the Kingdom of God, fell away from their highest fate of Divine election.

We say that by doing this they disrupted the Divine plan. But this is but partly so.

An individual man and a whole people can disturb and twist the Divine plan for himself or itself. The inner fate of a man or a people is given over to his or its own free will by the Lord. But no one can disrupt the plan of God wholesale. The wisdom and strength of the Lord constantly correct disruptions in His Divine plan, disruptions that are affected by demonic power or confused human will. And all angelic forces and all just men of God are constantly surprised by the Lord’s force and wisdom, which knows how to unceasingly correct everything in the world that was created by Him and thus create the Lord’s ceaseless glory, as John the Apostle says.

The salvation of men must be completed. And Israel should guide this process. But Israel has rejected its mission. How can this be?

Christ warned the rulers of Israel that by their insubordination they will not stop the fate the Lord has given them. God can create the sons of Adam from these very rocks.

And from these rocks, and from tongues, and from peoples, how unprepared they may be for the acceptance of Christ, as from the rocks the Lord raises up a new Israel: the Christian peoples, who spiritually become the children of Adam, for they take his whole inheritance (the cause of Israel) of Divine election and guidance for the salvation of Man upon themselves.

God generously and graciously gave these peoples enormous spiritual and mental strength that are necessary for a most great mission; this is the very same strength that the Lord would have given Israel, had it remained in its station. And these Christian peoples, having taken the place of Israel, carried the world further towards Christ and salvation.

However, if Israel had been prepared for this by all of its earlier history to become the leader of peoples in their salvation, and if pagan crudeness would have been uprooted from it (or it should have at least been uprooted), then these new peoples, this wild olive tree had to come to the Church without being prepared by history, were grafted onto it from a wild, ill-prepared root, and their preparation would have been a long and complex process. And we see how it is really with great difficulty and many great acts of bravery the Christianisation of these people is being completed and how many very strong traces of pagan crudeness, stupidity, and narrow-mindedness remain within them.

Israel enters into a fight with these peoples. By repeating the story of the earliest fallen soul, which hated the race of Man because these despicable, weak, insignificant people, formed into a shape of rotting meat and flesh, were called by the love of God to take his place (instead of a proud and strong spirit), Old Israel also infinitely hates the crude pagan peoples that were called by Divine summons to take its place at the head of the earthly tribes.

Israel begins a fight. This is a very unequal struggle. The world belongs to the Christian and pagan peoples. Israel, having betrayed God, has lost everything that was given by God for the fulfilment of His task except for the inalienable internal gift of God: natural spiritual strength.

This is why the strength of Israel and its weapons of war can only be occult, internal means. Its very deep knowledge of human nature, that was given to it for the preaching of the Gospel but is used by Israel in the opposite way, serves it very well in this struggle.

Israel, having betrayed Christ because of the temptations of pride, greed, and gluttony, is also trying to seduce the peoples that have replaced it by these same lures. Through its hatred of the Christian peoples, it becomes like the fallen one, as its tragedy is similar to the tragedy of the demon: the tragedy of the latter consists of him being a fallen angel, the tragedy of the form in being God’s chosen people that has betrayed God.

The opinion of the Christian Church towards the fallen Israel is very ambivalent. On the one hand, the Church very clearly says that Judaism has not any rights towards the name of Israel in the New Testament and that the Church will become the New Israel: the Chosen Bride of Christ, and that it is to Her and no Judaism that the full scale of covenants and Divine gifts that were promised to the sons of Abraham belongs, for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all righteous ones of the Old Testament belong to the Church and entered into her as a component part. What is more, the Church separately removes Judaism from Its life and from all communion with Itself, so long as the Jews do not repent and come into the Church.

But on the other hand, the best representatives of the Church feel a great sorrow and understand very well the tragic fate of Old Testament Israel. We remember the sayings of apostle Paul, that are pregnant with infinite love towards his dear people that has wandered astray. We find similar sentiments with Basil of Caesarea, a Hellene by descent but an ardent lover of the Old Testament Israel, and also a man who could never remember Abraham without tears and also healed many Jewish souls that came to Christ with his love. Lastly, we can read similar sayings in the works of John Chrysostom and the other holy fathers.

However, as we have said before, in the bosom of the Christian peoples, or, to be more precise, those of the peoples that are being Christened, we still find many things vile and pagan that are incapable of this growing Christian love.

And this is why old Israel drank deeply of the most bitter wine of humiliation among the Christian peoples.

The threatening word of the Lord became full reality for Israel: “If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance. Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee. Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed. And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the LORD thy God. And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life: In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see. And the LORD shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you” [10].

For millenia the Jews had to hide grovel, kissing the lordly hand, flattering and currying favour with stupid and crude medieval Europeans, in which so much primitive paganism remained. This medieval Jew [11], with a sophisticated soul and Chosen by god for the greatest fate reviled, of course, the crude baron or lord that mocked him.

In our current banishment, we, Russians, can have some understanding of the century-long Jewish tragedy. Some Riurikovich or Gedeminovich [12] who serves as a chauffeur or a servant for an Argentinian or Venezuelan despises his master the same way that the medieval Jew despises the lord he served; that is, if our modern Russian aristocrat does not defend himself from such an unhealthy and destructive spiritual condition by way of Christian humility, which, woe is us, there is so catastrophically little of among us.

And despite their humiliation, these medieval Jews remembered their election well and carefully guarded proof of their descent from David or Aaron.

Part III

In our time, we see how Judaism is conquering new positions one after the other and is capturing nearly all reins, all driving belts of modern humanity.

The creation of a Jewish state, the meaning it immediately acquired in the world that became especially apparent in its instant recognition by the two strongest powers of the world (the US and USSR), and the zeal of both of these colossal states in their drive to gain Israel’s sympathy: all this clearly shows the exclusivity of Israel’s condition and its global importance.

From this point of view, an interview by a correspondent of the Parisian English-language newspaper “The Daily Mail” Jenny Nicholson with Israel’s chief rabbi, mister Herzog, and her further report on the subject.

Nicholson writes: “Mr. Herzog, the chief rabbi, lives in a smart modern house in Jerusalem. Through the open doors one can see his secretaries with their black beards and black hats, working behind their writing desks.

I was guided upstairs into his library, which was filled with gigantic Jewish books. The rustle of light footsteps could be heard: mr. Herzog entered the library: renowned learned rabbi in black clothes and with a long, gray beard that was separated in two halves.

His religion did not allow him to shake my hand:

– “The only woman whose hand I have shaken is the queen of the Netherlands”,- he said.

A Jewish girl in a red sweater brought Turkish coffee and crackers, the rabbi lit a cigarette and offered me another, and began to speak of ancient prophecy:

– “The new state of Israel, the return of the Jews to Palestine, all this is a preparatory step for the return of the Messiah”, – he said. – “The coming of the Messiah will not be a solely Jewish event, but it will have meaning for the whole world”.

– “But the prophecy tells us that the Messiah will come from the House of David, and how many can now pretend a descent from the house of David?” – asked Jenny Nicholson.

Herzog smiled and dusted the cigarette ash from his clothes.

– “I was recently invited to the christening (i.e. the circumcision) of a child, the father of which is a pretender to the throne of David.”

According to an article printed in the English-language Israeli Newspaper “The Palestine Post”, thousands of Israeli citizens can prove their descent from the House of David. The most well-known pretender is Samuel Solnik, a young dentist from Poland.

Solnik royally lifted up his uncrowned head when I came to visit him. He spread out his moustache and said:

– “Tradition is in the blood of the Jewish people. We make links to that moment in the past where we left off. Why shouldn’t we reinstate the monarchy?”

However, he added that the time wasn’t yet nigh:

– “Most importantly, we don’t yet have Israel. And the King of Israel should rule in his capital.”

Dr. Solnik serves as a dentist in a camp of Egyptian prisoners of war, but he spends sabbaths at home in Nafanay, which lies to the north of Tel-Aviv. There is no difference between this family and other middle-class ones, except for the fact that the eldest son of mr. Solnik is called ‘Melek’, or ‘king’ in school. What is more, no other dentist in the world has such special literature as mr. Solnik his, and he gladly shows his correspondence with persons of authority that show his official right to claim descent from the House of David.

All Jewish scholars are in agreement that anyone who can prove his descent from Abravanel is a descendant of the House of David. Our Solnik is methodically proving the emergence of his line from Samuil Abravanel, who in 1391 “arrived in Seville and worked as a tax collector”.

– “But in this case, you should hold the title of ‘Melek’.”

– “No”, – Solnik answers with a royal pose, – “I abjure all my rights for my son. I declare all my claims in his name”.

His son is called Emmanuil, in accordance with the prophecy of Isaiah: “and they will call Him Emmanuil”.

Emmanuil, a pretty, pale boy around five and a half years old, is playing with his younger brother, who is trying to pull of the golden crown of David that his brother is carrying on a necklace.

Solnik says:

– “The chances of the coming of the Kingdom of Israel are very great, and it might come soon. We might have a large monarchist party.” The Continental Daily Mail, No. 16971-1949.

Of course, all of this isn’t serious yet. In mr. Solnik’s candidature to become King of Israel, Emmanuil, there is a comic element. This is just a test. But the question has already been put forward and has been embedded in the order of the day and is standing in line in our modern life.

And what awesome, holy words there are for us here: “King of Israel, Son of David, He who is from the House of David, Who will sit on the throne of His Father David, and He Who has the obedience of all peoples for all time, Emmanuil”. From our youngest years, when the first considered impressions started filtering through to our consciousness, these names have become close, known, and infinitely dear to us, and we know well of Who they speak, on Whose cross “King of the Jews” was written, Who the people desirous of spiritual and physical healing turned to with the sacramental cry: “Son of David, have mercy on us”. We know Who Emmanuil is.

Have we made a mistake? Are all these titles not related to Him, but to someone else who is yet to come, who will come soon, as the honourable mr. Herzog and mr. Solnik say, as well as all the leading circles of Israel?

There is nothing unexpected to us here. We all knew this long ago. We knew that the entire glory, all actions, everything that has been completed by Him will be contested by him, the other that the holy Gospels tell us about: “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive” [13].

The signs of this other that will come “instead of Christ” (in Greek, ‘instead of’ is expressed as anti-) are described in many places in the Scripture, mostly by the apostle Paul in his 11 messages to the Thessalonians and in the Apocalypse of Saint John the Evangelist. A less well-known description of the calls of the Antichrist is found in the Synaxarium in the week before the Great Fast, which should be read in all churches on the Sunday before Shrovetide, but is actually only read in but a few monasteries.

It is written: “The Antichrist cometh and is born”, as says the holy Hippolytus of Rome [14], “from a deplorable woman and self-styled virgin from the Jews of the tribe of Dan, and like he walks and passes his life in the way of Christ (i.e. he imitates Christ in his exterior appearance), and he will complete miracles, and very much like Christ will he act, and he will resurrect the dead. But he will do everything dreamingly (i.e. only in spirit, not in reality). And then there will open calamities in all strength and significance and false miracles. For it is not the devil himself who becomes flesh, but a man born from sin, who will accept all the works of Satan and suddenly stand. He appears good and shy to everyone. And there will be a great hunger. And he will satisfy the people. And he will learn the writing. And he will demand from the people and declare himself king. And he will greatly love the Jewish people, and he will go to Jerusalem and raise their temple there… This is how suddenly like lighting from heaven the coming of the Lord will be”.

For nearly two thousand years nearly all Christian generations read these lines, and although they immutably believed them, they still seemed far off, as if covering themselves in the farthest darkness of time. And all of this has now directly come to us, crashed down on us, become the order of the day.

Rejected and having rejected the path of God, Israel came to want to reach without God, alongside God, against God, by its own hand that what is fathers dreamed of, that wat was promised to Israel by God, what God would have given him if it followed the path marked by God, but what it wanted to reach on the contrary path: a worldly Kingdom of Israel, rule over all the peoples of earth, as the prophecy says: ” And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee… The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel” [15]. All of this was promised to the children of Israel if only they kept to the path of the Lord, and they have gotten nearly all of this themselves while having rejected the Divine path. Before our very eyes, the strong (the strongest of this world) forgetting and leaving behind their hostility and competition rush to bow down to the new-born Israel.

How did Israel do this? In what way? Why?

Just by the strength and influence of world capital, which is inclined to them? Or the action of secret forces? Or by cultural and natural superiority over the other peoples? Or by some other, deeper ways?

Of course, Jewish capital, secret forces, and natural gifts play a role in this most import phenomenon of our time.

But this is not the main reason; instead, it is because the Christian peoples themselves have set out on the road of the old Israel and have come to internally resemble it.

What is the meaning of the Jewish tragedy?

In the fact that they could have become God’s tool for the salvation of the world and had all gifts for this, but did not want to.

What is the meaning of the modern apostasy of the current peoples?

It is the same meaning. They have gone the same way. Those called to the place of the old Israel, having to that end become the New Israel and the coryphaeus of all humanity, guiding it to Christianisation and salvation have rejected their calling and their election, and, in this way, have become internally Judeaised.

This is a complex and multiform process. Strictly speaking, it began immediately after the establishment of the Church by manifesting in every apostate of Christianity; for example, it appeared especially strongly in Julian Apostata, in whom we can very easily recognise the most characteristic traits of the modern man of state who fiercely hates and despises Christianity and who rallies in a toga of tolerance and apathy.

But this process took on special strength in the West in the era of the Renaissance (and for us from the time of Peter the Great), when, in its greed for bodily delights and unnaturality in everything, European humanity on the eve of its new great mission that was developed by earlier generations, on the eve of the discovery of lands on the other side of the ocean did not do its duty, but moved towards abandoned paganism and rejected Christ.

This process grew even stronger with the French Revolution and, finally, developed into an open rebellion against God and Christ in our revolution.

But there can be no return to paganism. Paganism is a stage that has been passed. The pagan did not now Christ, did not meet Him. But, having met Him, one must immediately either accept Him or reject Him.

And the peoples that reject Christ are internally becoming kin to the Jews, who also made this choice and rejected Christ two millennia ago.

And the Lord, Who “did not have mercy on natural branches”, does not, of course, create hypocrisy for the new peoples that have been called to replace Israel.

We see how before our eyes the primacy of the European peoples and their status as leaders of the race of Man is being taken away from them, when this position as a result of the betrayal of Christianity by the Europeans has lost its inner meaning.

The European peoples were called to replace Israel for Christianisation and spreading communion with Christ, because Israel did not want to lead people on the Divine path.

But, by changing betraying this duty and internally becoming similar to Israel, which had rejected Christ, the European peoples are really losing all their rights of whatever provision of guidance to the race of Man. By betraying Christ, they are entirely naturally coming under the leadership of that people, which has been given infinitely more gifts for the guidance of peoples*.

And this people, which has been called by the plan of God to become the leader of the saved peoples on their way to salvation instead becomes the leader of dying peoples on the path to ruin, which they started on by their own free will by having rejected Christ.

This is natural and inescapable. The attempts of the Germans to take the place of the Jews as leaders of the world were both comical and pitiful.

It is possible that those who understand the tragic fate of Israel better than anyone are we, Russians, for we have betrayed Israel in the fulfilment of the plan on our own plot of land and in securing the unspoiled purity of the Divine truth, i.e. Orthodoxy.

The other peoples were granted other gifts in this general Divine plan, some of them which Israel never had. The Roman people was a people of the building of state and judicial thought, the Greek people of philosophy. The Celtic and Germanic peoples have exclusive technical gifts. These are all talents that can be used in service to the Kingdom of God, but only peripherally, not essentially. These other peoples are all more skilled than us in this.

But, like old Israel, perhaps in a lesser degree than it but to a greater degree than all the other peoples, we, Russians, are gifted with the most important, most spiritual gift of the entire vision of God: the gift of heightened religiousness. We, like Israel, are an extraordinarily religious people. All our reactions are religious. Our patriotism is religious, we fall in love religiously, we think and feel religiously.

This is why our betrayal of God, like Israel’s betrayal, is accompanied by such a terrible tragedy, by endless suffering, by despair.

When other peoples betray their religious mission, they keep something neutral, while we, like Israel, remain with nothing except another form of religious service, a terrible one, a satanic one.

This is why we, like Israel, are a formidable people. We can be fully penetrated by God, and for this reason, like Israel, we can be fully penetrated by the adversary: by satanic powers.

This is why in the current times it is in Russia, which once was Holy Rus’, the grin of Satan is best visible.

This is why we share Israel’s fate: focusedly hated and reviled by the other peoples. We, like Israel, could save ourselves and the other peoples, and have betrayed this duty. They instinctively recognise this and our paying us with hatred and disgust. Truly, the hand of the Lord is on use and Israel.

It is interesting, that this hatred and contempt of the Jews (i.e. antisemitism, although, of course, this isn’t about the Semitic nature of the Jews; no one hates the other Semites, i.e. the Arabs and Assyrians) does not lessen, but even grows among the people who are losing Christianity and are practically under the control of Israel.

With full Christianisation antisemitism disappears. In our monasteries, for example, there was no antisemitism and it has never been strong among the clergy. Firstly, Christianisation removes the main, subconscious reason for hatred of the Jews: for a dying world sees in them, like in those who guide it on the road to ruin, those who are guilty of suffering and destruction and throws its share of the general guilt onto them, as the first people did during the Fall of Man, while the world that is saving itself has no reason to hate anyone. First, the Church, which soberly and reasonably looks at this big problem and understands it, never and not under any circumstances condoned antisemitism, and even though it is hunted to death by the Jews will not do so.

Antisemitism is not only just as sinful as any other form of hatred, but as hatred par excellence, to the highest degree. In this essay we are trying to show why the whole spectrum of human properties is embedded in the Jews, and why those who laugh of the ‘kikes’ and hate them can be told in a Gogolian way: “Who are you laughing at? You’re laughing at yourselves! Who do you hate? You hate yourselves!” [16].

But while it fully unconditionally condemns antisemitism, at the same time the Church fought and will continue to fight to the very end Judaism [17] and the Judiciasation of life, which, as we are trying to show, is ontologically related to a betrayal of Christ and with the rejection of the Divine plan for the salvation of mankind.

Others who are either confused or slander it sometimes try to present this battle as a kind of antisemitism. But the Church emphasises that this isn’t a battle of flesh and blood, but against the ancient enemy of God and man, against him who tries to use every man and every people against God.

The fundamental principle of the Christian struggle against Jewism was marked at the dawn of Christian history by saint Ignatius of Antioch (who was apparently a Jew himself, which is why, according to the teachings of the Church, he is the same child that Christ placed among the apostles and of whom he said: ” Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes Me” [18].

He writes: “Do not accept Judaism. If someone preaches the Jewish law to you, do not listen to him”. Further on, while explaining that this is not a question of personality and that there is no antisemitism here, he says: ” For it is better to hearken to Christian doctrine from a man who has been circumcised, than to Judaism from one uncircumcised. But if either of such persons do not speak concerning Jesus Christ, they are in my judgment but as monuments and sepulchres of the dead, upon which are written only the names of men. Flee therefore the wicked devices and snares of the prince of this world, lest at any time being conquered by his artifices, grow weak in your love” [19].

This is the main point of that struggle: to not cool one’s love. As long as the Christian heart hasn’t cooled, nothing foreign can nestle in it: when it has cooled, exterior things will inevitably come to stick to it, mainly the dirtying breath of a people that leads others to ruin.

Only the rebirth of the spiritual strength of the Christian peoples can be healing and salvation.

There is no other way.

And, by moving on this path, we save ourselves and we save them, the Jews.

For having become similar to Judaism by rejecting Christ, we, by finding a cure for this horrifying spiritual condition, will not just find it for ourselves, but for all branches of humanity that are infected with one common disease: apostasy.

But we need to clearly accept that the return to the road of salvation from ruin is a complex and difficult affair, more difficult and complex than the first conversion to Christ by the pagans. We can find confirmations of this in daily life.

From history we know how brightly, how irresistibly, how flamingly the pagan tribes accepted Christianity. Even today, such examples are encountered during missionary practice, although, strictly speaking, there are now no more peoples that are entirely uninvolved with Christianity. All over the world, at least the leading, main part of the peoples is already familiar with Christianity, has met Christ, and if they did not follow Him, they have entered into communion with the rejection of Him. This is why even among officially pagan peoples, cases of fiery communion with Christ have become even rarer than in antiquity.

There has never been such a tempestuous, fiery impulse towards Christ among the Jews, with the exception of the first years of Christianity, when, through the preaching of the apostles, that part of the Jews that did not refuse Christ turned to Christianity, the part, that like no other share of humanity of all earlier history was ready for the immediate acceptance of Christ. After this short, early period, conversion to Christianity from Judaism has remained and remains to this day a difficult, complex, and painstaking act, which is related to a great act of strength, suffering, labour, and pain. This was Saul’s conversion to apostle Paul. These are also the conversions of saint Epiphanius of Salamis, of Cyriacus of Jerusalem, of Constantine of Sinada, and of many others. All these conversions were a complex and difficult affair, but, having been crowned with success, they gave the Church great saints and guides.

The same can also fully be said of modern missionary work among peoples that count or counted themselves as Christians. Missionary work among them is linked to labour, great feats of faith, and diligence that are no less than amongst the Jews, internally because of the same reason.

A serious objection to this scheme of ours can consist of the only massive, tempestuous, and fiery move towards Christ of our time, which we find among the Russian people both at home and, during the war, in German captivity. Meanwhile, the Russian people, being, as we have pointed out, in the greatest sense of the word a religious people, should have been the least capable of returning to Christ after rejecting Him.

The thing is, that those among the Russian people who are guilty of betraying Christ in a significant manner were only the upper layers of society that weren’t our real ruling groups: between the upper layers and the people there existed a gap, and this is why our people is not fully responsible for the sin of its upper levels.

Modern power just tore our people away from Christ by way of brute force, and consequently, the most terrifying moment of apostasy was not present by a long way: a reluctance and refusal to follow the way of Christ. This element was only present when the upper layers of Russian intellectual society moved away from the Church. And we know very well and are convinced with every step, that missionary work for the re-Christianisation of the Russian intelligentsia is just as difficult, painstaking, and ineffective as missionary work in the West-European sphere. Because of this reason, the Russian intellectual surrenders to Christianity with the same difficulty as the Jew and European.

The Russian intelligentsia, the West-European climate, and the Jewish sphere are, internally speaking, the same phenomenon. And the entire hope for saving the world from the abyss developing before us and from the intolerable pain they suffer from lies in the Christianisation of that sphere, in ungrateful, torturously slow, and painstaking work to preach Christ among the people who have already rejected Him once: that is, among the Jews, Europeans, and Russian intelligentsia.

Does this work have any chance of succeeding? Can we hope for its success? Is a return to Christ after having betrayed Him possible at all?

Nothing is impossible for God. Daily experience teaches us that returning to Christ after betraying Him is possible. For if this was impossible, almost no one could be saved. For every sin is a betrayal of Christ and is only different from modern apostasy in quantity: it is shorter and less stubborn. And every one of us can confess to God with endless gratefulness and feel, how easy, how simply, how, without leaving a trace, our Kind Lord washes our sins from us. ” Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool” [20].

Here it is important to note, that the ancient prophet is speaking to Israel, and through it to all humanity.

Clear evidence of how deep our hope for the coming of old Israel to Christ (and subsequently for the resurrection of mankind) can be found in the words of the apostle Paul, which, after everything that has been said here, come in a very timely fashion, as much of what has been said in this article is inspired by that text of the holy apostle.

“I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree! I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob”” [21].

Of course, the extended meaning of these words is not fully clear to us. It is now that we have too little information to believe in the coming of Christ and the salvation of Israel. Overcome by pride because of what it has achieved with its own forces against God (that is, global rule), it seems like Israel is least of all considering repentance and reconciliation with Christ. On the contrary, it inspires and guides the storming of Christian fortresses.

But who knows the inner man except for He who has created him? Having reached the desired Kingdom of Israel, will Israel, which holds a soul that is meant for communion with God, be able to content itself with the philistinism of the building of a worldly government? Will it not dart away from this mirage that opens itself before it and devours its past towards the Holy Israel that it has abandoned? For it is impossible to seriously chose between Christ and Solnik, between the images of the Kingdom that were drawn by the prophets and the Israeli government of mr. Weizmann, Herzog, and others, even if the leaders of all other countries would obey them. For the devil is always vulgar, however he might try to prove otherwise or craft something great and beautiful from himself.

In any case, we know one thing very well: however the rebirth of the world and the spiritual strength of humanity might start, from the bosom of Israel or from the depths of the Christian countries, this rebirth will be shared by both of them. The world has already inwardly merged. It already lives by the same thoughts, the same fears, and the same problems. We, the banished Russians that are scattered all over the world, feel especially strongly that the world has merged into one and feel a fear that is common to all humanity, one that is linked to our country and its tragedy. This fear links humanity both horizontally (from pole to pole) and vertically (all layers of the population), for the lives of all depend on one or the other outcome of coming events.

This merging into one of all humanity should reach full strength in order for that final division of the centuries should become clearer, which is even now clearly noted: for Christ and against Christ, of those who save themselves and those who fall. This last division will not be related to any national or social loyalty: ” Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left” [22].

And among the saved there will be: “Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. And a great multitude of man that no one could count of all tribes and peoples stood before the throne and before the Lamb in white robes and with palm leaves in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb” [23].

* According to the plan of God, Israel was supposed to lead peoples to Christ, and all other peoples were to follow Israel on this path in roughly the same way, that our Russian people followed the Greeks to the Church of Christ, how the European peoples followed Rome, how the pagans followed Irish missionaries, and how the Europeans were followed by the peoples of Asia, Africa, America, and Australia.

But this position of guidance of people does not, of course, means rule over them. Apostle Peter warns: “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock” [24]. Christian missionaries served the peoples that they were enlightening by the faith. Colonial rule over enlightened peoples is a monstrous phenomenon that developed in the times when the Europeans started to betray their high calling more and more.

But guiding peoples on the road to destruction, their Antichristianisation, will, of course, be related to their enslavement. The Lord rules people in no other way than freely, for He wants them to come to Him from their own free will. This is why the process of coming to him should be free. The devil, however, want to enslave, and this is why the process of going to the devil is related to coercion and enslavement.

Translator’s notes:

[1]: Vasily Vasilievich Rozanov (1856 – 1919) was a Russian philosopher, known for his unorthodox union of Christianity with a philosophy of sexual activity and eroticism. Although he is sometimes considered to be an anti-Semite, Rozanov himself rejected such allegations.
[2]: The reference is to Henry Ford (1863 – 1947), American captain of industry and automobile magnate. He wrote a violently anti-Semitic book called The International Jew and promoted the Protocols of the Elder of Zion in the media.
[3]: Ode 6 of the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete.
[4]: Aleksey Stepanovich Khomyakov (1804 – 1860) was one of the founders of the Slavophilic movement and was also an able Orthodox theologian. The (somewhat shoddy) translation of the poem is mine.
[5]: Luke 17:21. All Bible translations have either been sourced from the New International Version or the King James Bible. As the most reverend archbishop has seen fit to sometimes abridge the text somewhat, I have in certain places been forced to amend the translations.
[6]: Matthew 6:33.
[7]: The Russian word used here, подвиг, has no direct translation to English and can mean ‘feat’, ‘great act of faith’, or ‘supreme achievement’. I have sometimes translated it to its direct meaning and sometimes as ‘mission’.
[8]: Matthew 27:25.
[9]: Psalm 82:6.
[10]: Deuteronomy 26:68.
[11]: The Russian word used here, жид, is an older name for a person of the Jewish faith. Now, however, it is highly offensive and is the Russian equivalent of the English ‘kike’. The most reverend archbishop uses it here in order to invoke a feeling of sorrow for the lamentable position of the Jews in medieval Europe in contrast to their improved position nowadays, for which he would have used the word еврей.
[12]: These are two royal lines: the Riurikovichi are descendants of Riurik, the founder of Kiev Rus’, while the Gedeminovichi are descendants of Gedeminas, a Lithuanian king who transformed his land into a great power which later merged with Poland.
[13]: John 5:43.
[14]: Hippolytus of Rome (170 – 235) was an early Church martyr who came into conflict with the Bishop of Rome. However, he was reconciled with the Church when he was martyred after being sentenced to harsh labour by Emperor Maximinus Thrax.
[15]: Isaiah 60:10.
[16]: Lines from Nikolai Gogol’s play The Government Inspector, which can be found here.
[17]: The most reverend archbishop here uses the term Иудейство, which can be translated as ‘Judaism’. However, the main stress is on the past and present behaviour of the Jews, not the entire religion and the Jews as an ethnic group.
[18]: Mark 9:37.
[19]: Epistle to the Philadelphians 6.
[20]: Isaiah 1:16-18.
[21]: Romans 11:13-26.
[22]: Matthew 24:40.
[23]: Revelation 7:5-10.
[24]: 1 Peter 5:2.

Translated from the Russian by Edvin Buday.



Архиепископ Нафанаил (Львов)

Archbishop Nathanael (Lvov)

Archbishop Nathanail (before his elevation: Vasily Vladmiriovich Lvov) was born on the 30th of August in Moscow. When he was thirteen years old he became the oldest man in his family [1], which fled the Red Army from Tomsk to Manchuria (China). There, he finished the Harbin High School (1922), worked as a labourer on the Eastern China railroad (1922-1929), studied theology in the Saint Vladimir Institute (1928-1931), and was the cell-attendant and secretary of the Kamchatkan missionary and archbishop Nestor (Anisimov).

In 1929 he became a monk and received the name of Nathanail, after which he was made a hieromonk. He worked as a catechetist in a children’s shelter at the Harbin Almshouse. From 1935 to 1936, the future archbishop undertook missionary work in the state of Kerala in Southern India. From 1937 to 1939 he was the leader of the Orthodox mission in Sri Lanka. On his return to Harbin, he was elevated to the station of archimandrite, and in 1939 he entered the Brotherhood of Saint Job of Pochaiv in Ladomirova in the Carpathian Mountains (Slovakia) where he also was the helper of the monastery’s abbot.

In 1945, he was in charge of the Resurrection Cathedral in Berlin. During the Second World War, father Nathanail actively participated in the spiritual work of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) on USSR territory that was occupied by the Germans. Near the end of the war, he took part in the saving of so-called ‘displaced persons’, i.e. Soviet citizens who had voluntarily left communism with the Germans. In accordance with the Treaty of Yalta that was signed by Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill in February 1945, all these persons were supposed to return to the USSR (in case of their refusal by force), where in a best-case scenario they would be sent to a special settlement, and in a worst-case scenario to their deaths or to the GULAG (which would also mean death). To Stalin, they, like prisoners of war and other Soviet citizens that had seen the West, they were “traitors to the motherland”. Many of them were ardent anti-communists and did not want to return. Archimandrite Nafanail did not have to fear extradition, because he had never been a citizen of the USSR. But he went to an English colonel who was overseeing the extraditions (this took place in the English zone in Berlin) and said, that all 600 displaced persons who were located in a camp close to Hamburg were actually Polish citizens.

In 1946, metropolitan Anastasi (Gribanovsky) elevated archimandrite Nathanail to the rank of bishop, and the ROCOR Hierarchical Synod gave him the position of bishop of Brussels and Western Europe.

After 1951, the reverend Nathanail headed the bishopric of North Africa from Tunis. According to some sources, around four thousand Russians were living in the region at the time. On the 11th of October 1953 he completed the foundation of a church.

From 1954 onward, the reverend father presided over the Orthodox parishes in Mannheim and Berlin. In 1966 he was made the abbot of the monastery of Saint Job in Munich.

From 1971 onward, he temporarily oversaw the bishopric of Austria, and in 1976 he became the bishop of Vienna and Austria. In 1981, he was elevated to the position of archbishop.

He served heartfeltly. His voice was clean and clear, and all who visited one of his services felt the height and beauty of his masses. During Easter, his happiness about the resurrected Christ was so great that it beamed out to all those present. Every parishioner felt that the most reverend father’s exclamation of “Christ is risen!” was directed at him or herself.

The most reverend father Nathanail was especially famous as an excellent preacher. Through his short conversations he opened hearts and led many to Christ the Saviour. He had wide knowledge of various areas of human thought, especially the theology, philosophy, and literature of Russia and the world. He was the author of many articles that were published in different journals of the Russian emigration, as well as many biographies in his “Lives of the Saints”, which were published by the Munich monastery.

He was the editor of the “Orthodox Voice” in Manchuria (1934-1937), “Orthodox Rus’” in the Carpathians (1939-1945), the journal “Youth in Christ” (1939-1944), “Orthodox Digests” in Paris (1947-1949), “Voice of the Church” in Germany, (1955-1964), and “Messenger of the Orthodox Cause”, also in Germany (1959-1963). He was the author of many articles in the journals “Heavenly Bread”, “Frontier”, and “Gun-bao” (Harbin), as well as in various European and American publications. He was also published under the pseudonym A Nelskiy.

On the day of the holy martyr Demetrios of Thessaloniki, Saturday 8 November 1986, the most reverend archbishop Nathanail peacefully passed away after a long sickness in the monastery of Saint Job in Munich.


Translated from the Russian by Edvin Buday.

[1]: the most reverend archbishop’s father, Vladimir Nikolaevich Lvov, was a scion of the ancient and noble Lvov family. From the third of March until the twenty-fourth of June 1917 he was oberprocurator of the Holy Synod, i.e. an ersatz minister of religion and the Orthodox Church. After the collapse of the White Armies, he busied himself with the affairs of the Orthodox Church in Tomsk until he was arrested in 1927. He died of a heart attack in the Tomsk prison hospital in 1930.

Archbishop Nathaniel 1906-1986


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