I realize many of you did not know Charlie Schiffman.
|Mark Biltz & Charlie embrace after Charlie accepted|
a long awaited apology 1800 years in the making.
I was present
By Victor Sharpe
When I received the terrible news that my dear friend, Charlie Schiffman, had suddenly died from a massive heart attack in Jerusalem, Israel, I was initially unable to comprehend it. This could not be true; it could not be happening.
But, alas, it was all too true and the loss of such a genuine friend whose intellect, humanity and spiritual conviction was incomparable,has left me with a feeling of emptiness that is hard to bear.
It was only last year that I returned again to Israel and spent several wonderful weeks with Charlie and his wife, Marsha, who is now sadly his widow.
I stayed with them in their apartment in Pisgat Ze’ev, a beautiful and vibrant northern suburb of Jerusalem, but one which a venomous world does not recognize and vilifies by using the pejorative term, “settlement.”
But Charlie, true to his magnificent love of the reconstituted Jewish state of Israel was proud to live in this liberated and redeemed part of the eternal Jewish capital: Jerusalem.
I first met Charlie some thirty years ago when he was the Executive Director of the Portland Jewish Federation, a position he held for 23 years.
In fact, Charlie offered me a position with the Federation but Ideclined at the time as I was just beginning a new career elsewhere.
But I stayed in touch with him during these many years while I worked in supporting and defending Israel in the media.
Charlie had begun working, as I did, with many Christian supporters of Israel in the holy task of understanding the common roots of our two faiths, Judaism and Christianity, and in supporting the embattled Jewish state reconstituted in its ancestral and Biblical homeland.
In so doing, it was natural that Charlie would meet Pastor Dave McGarrah and begin the great radio program and partnership known as the Teacher and the Preacher.
Now the teacher is no longer with us but his spirit and inspiration will continue on and the God given work that Charlie the Teacher, and Pastor Dave, the Preacher, so successfully undertook must not be allowed to wither away.
There is so much work to do, especially in these perilous days when all around us ignorance, intolerance and growing anti-Jewish and anti-Christian hate is ever more evident.
The news of Charlie’s death came on the very day that PresidentObama delivered to the world his infamous legacy of doom.
July 14, 2015 will be remembered as the day this president ushered in his catastrophic sell-out to the most evil terror sponsoring regime on the planet - Iran - and planted, I fear, the inevitable seeds of World War Three.
It was also the fateful day when this essentially good and kind man, Charlie Schiffman, whose towering intellect, wisdom, and deep knowledge of Jewish faith - enshrined in the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) and in the Tanach (the Hebrew Bible) - passed away and left the world a poorer and darker place.
It was Pandit Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India who, lamenting the death of Mahatma Ghandi, said that “the light has gone out of our lives.”
That is how I lament the loss of Charlie Schiffman, whose Hebrew name was Tzadok Reuven Halevy.
In the Jewish tradition we say: May Charlie’s memory be for a blessing and his family comforted by all other mourners in Zion. Amen.Tribute to Charlie Schiffman which will be aired on the radio program, The Preacher & the Teacher, this Sunday at 6:30 PM on KPDX FM 93.9 in Portland and at 10.30 AM at KLFE 1590 AM in Seattle.
|Tzadok Reuven Halevy|
of blessed memory
http://wawradio.net (Internet Radio) Visit jeffsmorton.com for additional information