Friday 15 August 2008

Roy Schoeman: Salvation is from the Jews

This is a fascinating book by a Jewish convert to Roman Catholicism, Roy Schoeman.

He explains carefully how the Old Testament leads directly into the New Testament and neither makes sense without the other.

He explains that God's promises to the Jews have never been negated, apply now to the Church but that, even so, the Jews as a race, a people and even in their religious observances today, still have a part to play in salvation history.

But don't get the idea that he thinks Jews need not convert to Catholicism, as many Catholic bishops nowadays claim. On the contrary, he believes that Christ is the fulfilment of the promises of Adonai (the Lord) to the Jews.

In his second book, he provides wonderful tales of Jewish converts to the Faith, all of them remarkable and holy men and women.

This book is about the role of Judaism in salvation history from Abraham to the Second Coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in glory.

It is filled with learned commentary and scholarship and will reward and enrich the faith of any Catholic reading it.

Our Lord as a child teaching the Jewish doctors in the Temple

The author, Roy Schoeman, was born in a suburb of New York City of "Conservative" Jewish parents who had fled Nazi Germany.

His Jewish education and formation was received under some of the most prominent Rabbis in contemporary American Jewry, including Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, probably the foremost Conservative Rabbi in the US. Rabbi Arthur Green, later the head of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College was his religion teacher and mentor during high school and early college. Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, a prominent Hasidic Rabbi with whom he lived in Israel for several months, was another of his teachers.

His secular education included a BSc from MIT and an MBA magna cum laude from Harvard Business School.

Midway through a career of teaching and consulting (he had been appointed to the faculty of the Harvard Business School, aged 26) he experienced an unexpected and instantaneous conversion to Christianity which led to a dramatic refocus of his activities.

Since then he has pursued theological studies at several seminaries, helped produce and host a Catholic Television talk shows, and edited and written for several Catholic books and reviews.

I warmly recommend this fascinating book. I also recommend his web-site at

Professor Roy Schoeman, Jewish convert to Catholicism
and author of Salvation is from the Jews

And - better still! - Roy is a traditional Catholic who prefers the traditional Roman rite of mass.


Because it connects us more fully with the Catholic and Jewish past and is more faithful to the New and the Old Testaments. And because it is more fully Catholic.

Yet more proof- if any more were still needed - that the traditional rites are better supported by scholarship and learning.



Jeff said...

I loved this book and gave it to a Jewish convert to Catholicism and her husband for Christmas once. I've also enjoyed Schoemann's various tellings of the story of his conversion on various sites online.

I was saddened to see Schoemann attacked in the pages of Latin Mass magazine a couple of years ago for a "Judaizer". Traditionlists are a wonderful bunch, but if they have a flaw, it's their tendency to become unhinged.

(By the way, my family has attended the Tridentine Mass at Old St. Mary's Church in Washington DC every Sunday for a decade or so. I don't call myself a Traditionalist, but I do prefer the old Mass and find it in general more adequate than the new.)

Tribunus said...


Take care not to lump all traditionalists into one. They are as various as any other religious group - some are good, some are nutters.

I wouldn't necessarily agree with everthing Roy writes but I think it churlish in the extreme to attack him and cannot understand why TLM would want to do that.

I am not a Zionist but I recognise that the State of Israel has a right to exist, particularly after so many years (60 years now!).

I abhor the the Israeli treatment of Palestinians (and eequally of anti-Zionist Hasidic Jews in Israel who are regularly beaten up by Israeli police).

I abhor the Israeli treatment of Arab Christians.

But much of this is done by secular Jews who are nationalists and not really religious people.

Keep attending the traditional rites and try to go to sung Mass as often as you can. The Low Mass does not give you the real flavour of teh traditional rites. Once you have experienced a full year of the sung Roman rite, you will never be able to go back. It is so vastly superior.

God bless you.


Stephen D. said...

Thank you for the information about this book.

Before my conversion to Catholicism, I was in the evangelical wing of Protestantism in America, so I'm familiar with evangelicals who believe that the existence of the modern state of Israel represents the fulfillment of God's promises to the Jews, and as such, believe that God would never allow it to be destroyed. They also therefore seem to believe that the USA has a special calling by God to prevent Israel's destruction. Obviously, this can lead to their turning a blind eye to injustices committed by Israel or else trying to misguidedly justify them. I think it safe to say that most of these people also fall within the group known as "dispensationalists" who believe in the Rapture as a distinct event preceding the Second Coming of Christ.

I too believe in the right of the state of Israel to exist, and it obviously has its role to play in God's plan. But my sense now as a Catholic is that God could even allow its destruction if it leads to the "full inclusion" of the Jews in the Church mentioned in section 674 of the Catechism. Would this not be a perspective consonant with the Catholic Church's view of itself in relation the the Jews? I suppose Schoemann must expound upon these matters in his book.

God bless,

Tribunus said...

Dear Stephen,

Yes, that's all possible.

The only way to look at political and ethical issues is to to apply the principles of natural law and justice as endorsed and taught by the Church.

One does not acquire special rights by virtue of being a particular race.

The ordinary rules of natural justice would, in my view, disallow the destruction of the State of Israel (or any state) after 60 years of existence since that would be clearly disproportionate to any other just cause, apparent or real, including that of the Palestinians.

However, that does not in the least absolve the State of Israel from treating its minorities, and the Palestinians in particular, fairly and justly.

The Palestinians have an on-going cause of grievance which must be fully and justly addressed.

But the extremist cry of eliminating Israel or "driving it into the sea" etc cannot now be a just one.

The best solution for the present would be to use UN troops to maintain peace on the borders of Israel and the Arab states but - alas - the USA repeatedly uses its Security Council veto against such an obvious solution.

Hope that is of interest.


Café Literario said...

Tribunus: This is the first time I contact you although I read you a long time ago.
This particular subject of Judaism is really a very interesting one to me. That is why I would like to ask you whether there is any way to maintain a personal discussion with you about it. Thank you