CASPARI CENTER MEDIA REVIEW……………………………..JULY 2000, #2
The number of articles found in the Israeli media’s coverage of matters related to Messianic Jews, the Mission, and other Christian matters came to a total of 50. Of these, seventeen articles dealt with a scandal between the Greek Patriarch and the Jewish National Fund, fourteen articles reported the break-in and damaging of a Jewish study center, seven articles dealt with missionary and anti-missionary activity, and one article focused on Jewish/Christian relations. The remaining twelve articles were on miscellaneous topics dealing with Christian, Arab, or Jewish matters on their own merit.
Christianity Versus Judaism – Part II (Nekuda, June/July 2000)
In the last media review the first part of this article was explored. The writer focused more on the major differences between Judaism and Christianity, giving a general background to what Christians believe. The second part of the article explains why Christianity is, in fact, an impossible religion and how this impossible faith has affected different aspects of our world.
The tone of this article becomes more cynical and judgmental than the first. The background has been given, and now the author sets out to prove his initial point – Christianity’s unhealthy dependence upon Judaism and therefore, its impossibility of truth.
He begins by pointing out three or four dimensions of spiritual abuse by Christianity.
Firstly, Christianity robbed Judaism of its identity. “To approach a nation with a history of thousands of years of struggle and creativity, to learn this nation’s law, and then say ‘enough! From now I am the real you, and you cease to exist’ is nothing short of the spiritual murder of a nation.”
Secondly, Christianity has committed murder of the moral character of Judaism by believing that Judaism is narrow minded, clumsy, blind to spirituality and obsessed with material things.
Thirdly, the murder of the theological character of Judaism. “To call a Jew…a God killer…an impossibility by Jewish belief… is spiritual murder.”
Finally, the writer adds the emotional abuse the Jews have had to suffer by Christians over the period of 2000 years to the point of exclusion from the human race and identification with the devil himself.
Harav Kook (Rabbi Kook) has said that the need to believe in something is an incarnate [?] part of man like the need for food and life. “Man needs to go a long way to learn restraint, refinement… and be built up so that he does not only express himself, but will hear that which is beyond his Self. For this purpose, as a remedy for unrefined religious impulses, the word of God is given to Israel.” In taking away Judaism’s place in the world, Christianity clogs up the only vessel though which God speaks his word.
Christianity has affected many aspects of our world, including another major religion – Islam. Islam adopted Christianity’s view on the status of Israel and the annulment of God’s covenant with them. When Jews would not accept Islam as their religion, it wasn’t so hard for the Muslims to copy the Christians’ way of dealing with these people: eternal degradation and humiliation, turning the Jews into society’s outcasts.
Christianity not only affected other religions such as Islam, but has managed to affect even the essence of Judaism. By ignoring Judaism as an authentic religion and by rejecting it altogether, Jews were forced to narrow their horizons and possibilities and focus only on survival.
By treating Judaism as an outcast religion Christianity has created two responses: that of total seclusion and the rejection of any contact with the “outside world,” or that of self-hate.
The Catholic Church watched with worry as the Jewish state was established. If Judaism is able to reconstruct and rebuild itself, gathering itself up from the ashes of years of abuse and rejection, if Judaism can re-establish itself as a respected and authentic religion, then the very foundations on which Christianity is built are shaken. In order for Christianity to exist “lawfully” Judaism must be replaced and forgotten. This is why the church chooses to ignore the State of Israel.
Together with this blow, Christianity has suffered from within as well. The Protestants broke off from Catholics earlier on, stressing the need for equality and liberty. This too affected the Sate of Israel in a negative way since Israel was judged severely for its handling of the Palestinians. But even within this cut-off there has been “rebellion” and the formation of yet another Christian stream: the Evangelicals. “…and though (the Jews) we are the center of their affection and support, Zionism, settlements…this is all only in preparation for the return of Jesus, together with the support of the Mission. And this creates a serious problem. …But to say that the Jews will return to their religion and take upon themselves the messiahship and redemption of Jesus – why this is only the return of the original denial of Judaism.”
In conclusion the writer asks what would remain of Christianity if we took away all of its dependence on Judaism. He answers – not much. The remaining theology would be quite similar to any pagan religion of this world.
Unfortunately, Judaism and Jews are nowhere near the point where they can deny Christianity’s right to Judaism. For that to happen, this Jewish nation would need to return to its roots, do its homework.
“The law of the land of Israel is still waiting for us, and God will open our hearts in his law.”
Missionaries in Yeshiva! (Hamodia, 05/07/00)
According to this religious daily, English speaking missionaries tried to preach about “that man” in a Mea Shearim (Ultra Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood) yeshiva. They entered the place carrying a fair amount of printed material and in their “chutzpah” even asked for permission to speak before the stunned group of men. The missionaries were quickly evacuated and warned never to return again.
An Alarming Truth: Messianics Sending Missionaries to be Converted to Judaism! (Yom Hashishi, 14/07/00)
This two page article reports on what is believed to be an alarming discovery: the legal conversion of missionary women to Judaism. The beginning of the article describes in many ways the absolute horror of this discovery. The shock that Yad L’achim activists experienced, the inability to digest such disturbing news.
These women gave the appearance of being secular in every way, wanting to convert to Judaism to please a Jewish husband, or hoping to receive the benefits and status of new immigrants. But when they were followed by Yad L’achim activists it was discovered that they attend church regularly and clearly believe in “that man.” The purpose of such conversions is obvious – with such a “diploma” in Judaism the women can tempt more and more innocent Jews to come along with them to…church.
The story of Orly is given as an example. Orly is a new immigrant who is studying Judaism with the purpose of converting. When followed, it was discovered that she attends a Messianic church regularly. But this is not the worst of the story. Orly was engaged to be married to no less than a religious Jew from Bnei Brak (a religious city). In response to this information Yad L’achim activists decided to act in several ways. First they asked permission to speak to the rabbi in charge of her conversion. When they explained the situation to him, Orly was immediately thrown out of the Judaism classes. Secondly, Yad L’achim approached Orly’s future husband and interrogated him for some time. He claimed not to have known she was an active missionary and promised to end their relationship and never see her again.
Three days later Yad L’achim received more detailed information concerning these missionary women. They now had a list containing the names, phone numbers, and addresses of these women. The women would show up to classes dressed modestly with head coverings. Yad L’achim brought on their most professional workers and had them follow these women and watch them in their homes, only to confirm what was already known. These are missionaries of the worst kind, associated with the Messianic Jews, taking advantage of the Israeli system in order to further their horrific missionary activities.
Yad L’achim has one vital piece of evidence – a taped phone conversation between one of these women (Ilana) and a Yad L’achim activist. The activist identifies himself as a Messianic Jew wanting to convert to Judaism legally. He wants Ilana’s help. “Do they ask you if you believe in Jesus?” Ilana says they don’t ask, and she doesn’t volunteer the information. She just learns what they want her learn, sitting quietly in the back of the class. “You can be a Jew and believe in Jesus, like our pastor David” says Ilana. She is referring to David Lazarus, “one of the leaders of that cult.”
The paper not only accuses these women of lying but says there is a problem with the entire system if things like this can happen so easily. Yad L’achim has made a suggestion: they know that a Messianic Jew will never deny his/her faith in Jesus, so the most simple solution would be to ask each person directly “do you believe in Jesus?” No one who does believe would dare to deny it.