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Memorial to Ruth Specter Lascelle 1915-2001

The following article (slightly revised) was read by Robert Specter at Ruth's memorial services in Arlington and Seattle, Washington. 

My heart is heavy.  I will miss my Aunt Ruth. Carrie, I, and our kids had planned and hoped to visit her the week that she went home.  I assume that God used my plans for his use and will.  I am here, a long way from home to honor a great lady. I owe her a great deal, and I am glad to share with you some memories of Aunt Ruth.

Her life was devoted to writing and teaching about her Jewish Messiah.  She leaves behind a rich legacy of both books and disciples from her many years as an author and educator.  One of her last books was about Jerusalem and Heaven, for that was what she had anticipated for many years, especially after the death of her husband Wally (Walter), her sister Fay, and more recently her brother Hyman.

As I travel across the nation, I meet pastors and many others who remember Ruth and the messages she gave while traveling as an evangelist and will miss her.  Also, many will be sad that they did not get to meet this wonderful lady.  For the last couple years, Aunt Ruth has written many notes to add to a genealogy book that our cousin Alan Bloomberg is writing.  Here is part of what she contributed about herself for the book:

"I was born in the city of Los Angeles, California.  My sister Fay and I attended a Jewish School in Boyle Heights.  I was in the Gospel ministry for 16 years--one year with Assemblies of God Hebrew Mission while attending the University of Judaism in Chicago, Illinois.  I have ministered to about 16 Bible Colleges and Universities (2 of these in Haiti through an interpreter and 2 in Japan also through interpreters).  I was able to minister at these invitations because I am Jewish (more Jewish now than I ever was before), and these schools of learning were interested in the Jewish customs and culture I observed.  

"I married a minister (Walter Lascelle) in 1961.  I traveled with him in evangelistic services throughout the United States, Canada and Alaska.  I ministered in several denominational churches, even some that did not believe in 'women preachers!' I also traveled twice to Japan with Wallie and ministered in 24 churches and 2 Bible Colleges ...I was professor of Bible subjects at Seattle Bible College for 23 years.

"I am now semi-retired since 1987 when I resigned my position at the College.  I am the author of 18 books, which are mostly about my Jewish people, their customs and holidays.  Two of these books have been translated into other languages and used as a textbook in some schools and Bible Colleges.  At the present time I am writing my 19th  book entitled Heavenly Jerusalem II.

"Since my husband of 31 years passed away, I have been living on a farm with my (adopted) daughter who is involved with miniature horses.   She is also owner of Bedrock Publishing which publishes all my books."

Of course this brief history does not do justice to her life and work, not to mention her dreams and desires.  If you have not read her testimony you need to.  As is common to the Specter family she was not tall in stature, only four foot eleven inches tall with the smallest feet that I'm sure a geisha girl from Japan would long for.

Aunt Ruth was neither afraid of adversity nor a challenge.  Just think, she was a Jew, an unmarried woman until the age of 45, an unmarried woman preacher-evangelist-missionary, and then she became a Bible college teacher and then an author.  Some would not have been able to surpass the prejudice of being a Jew much less an unmarried woman preacher.  She was patient and kind.  Just think about it, she waited until she was 45 before she found and married Walter Lascelle, a preacher.

She traveled from East to West, from Japan to Haiti, from Alaska to Israel.  She was adventuresome, I remember looking at pictures of her astride a camel in Israel and seeing her lounging at home in a mau-mau  from Hawaii.

She was not stuck in the mud.  She was ever learning new things.  In her writing, she graduated from doing her manuscripts on a typewriter to a varitype, from a varitype to a memory-writer, from a memory-writer to a computer, from one computer program to another.  When email became popular, it was the way she communicated with most of her friends and family.  She loved her computer games.  One of her favorite games was Jerusalem stones.  No, even in her eighties she was not afraid of a challenge.

She could easily find humor and have a good laugh.  Last March, Janna, Roger (my sister and brother) and I, had the pleasure of spending a few days with her and Wuffy.  When we went out to Weller's for dinner, I found myself looking around the room hoping that my sister and Aunt Ruth were not bothering the other guests with their loud laughter.  My aunt commented that we made her feel young.  I responded that she made us feel young.

She was neither afraid of criticism, nor differences of opinion.  She and I had many lively "discussions" about Messianic Judaism.  She was emotional and compassionate.  How often I have heard her preach or teach with sobs and tears rolling down her cheeks as she shared about her Lord and Messiah.  She was generous.

For her life and work, the Rock of Israel has much to thank God.  She not only was an encouragement to my father, Hyman when he started the ministry, but she also served on the Board.  At times, she gave donations to help with Rock of Israel's various projects.  We have distributed thousands of her books across the nation.  In the early printings, I remember her basement full of stacks of pages waiting to be collated into bookbinders.

Besides her books, she wrote many of the tracts and papers that Rock of Israel printed proclaiming Jesus to be the Messiah.  The dictionary's definition for Specter is Spirit or Ghost.  Aunt Ruth lived up to this name in the form of a Ghost Writer for many of the Rock of Israel radio programs that Hyman recorded and aired in many states.  Our administrative offices in Ohio have a library which was dedicated in her honor on her 8Oth birthday.  The Ruth Specter Lascelle Library--a resource for Judaic studies and Messianic apologetics--is also the recipient of many books from her personal library.  Many of our books contain a note inside, "This book was donated by Ruth Specter Lascelle." Most of the books pertain to Jewish studies, Messianic apologetics, Israel or typology.  We recently refurbished the library with new shelving and carpet and hope to make this a well-stocked, reference library for ministry.

If you knew her, you know Ruth Specter Lascelle lived a full and fruitful life.  Much more could be said.  So, now there is no need to pray for her, for she is healed of all diseases and pain (both physical and emotional). Rather, please be praying for Wuffy, her daughter.  By the way, it is due, to a great extent, to Wuffy's excellent care of Ruth that she lived so long.  My grandmother (Anna Specter), my Aunt (Fay Specter) and my father, Hyman all died at the age of 78, but Aunt Ruth lived to be 86.

It is a Jewish custom to place stones of remembrance on the grave markers of deceased loved ones.  The only stone that Ruth would appreciate being remembered by is that stone that she followed all her life--the stone that Scriptures say was rejected, the Cornerstone, Yeshua Ha Mashiach, Jesus the Messiah, the Rock of Israel.

 Ruth wrote 19 books and numerous articles.  Her works may be purchased by contacting Rock of Israel at 800-722- ROCK.  Further information can also be obtained at the Rock of Israel website www.rockofisrael.org.

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