Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Charles Rich
Edited by Ronda Chervin

“How about a book for the elderly by a sage who was still making disciples in his ninetees?

“Who was this Charles Rich, anyhow? One of the most fascinating Hebrew Catholics of all times was Charles Rich (1899-1998). Born in Hungary in a Jewish village similar to the one in Fiddler on the Roof, Charles was noticed by the rabbis as an extraordinarly religious boy. He loved to stay in the forests to pray alone. His father joined one of the many waves of Jews who went to American to seek better opportunities. After establishing himself in New York City, he sent for the family.

“This was the beginning of a very dark time for Charles. He found it impossible to be close to God in the teeming city and among the strict legalistic rabbis he had to study with. Eventually, he lost his faith. He worked as a waiter by night and spent 8 hours a day at the 42nd St. public library searching world literature, philosophy and religious writings searching for the God he had lost.

“Eventually, Charles fell into despair and tried to commit suicide. Three times he tried; three times he failed, being rescued the last minute. Feeling even more of a failure, one day he went into a Catholic Church. Jesus spoke to him directly from a painting telling him that He was God and to trust in him.

“Instructed by the Jesuits, Charles became a Catholic and then a lay contemplative, spending hours and hours of the day rapt in prayer. Catholics seeking a deeper prayer life were attracted to him, especially Jewish converts such as myself. Quite a number of books of his thoughts and meditations have been published. ”

En Route Books and Media LLC, ©2023, Soft cover, 102 pages