December 3 – 2005

Caspari Center Media Review… December 2005 #1

During the period of time covered by this review, we received 25 articles on the subjects of Messianic Jews, Christianity and the Mission. Of these:


   4 dealt with Jewish-Christian Relations

   1 dealt with Archaeology

   3 dealt with Anti-Missionary Attitudes

   4 dealt with Israeli/Jewish Attitudes about Christians

   2 dealt with Christian Support of Israel

   1 dealt with Messianic Jews

   2 dealt with Israeli/Jewish Attitudes about Jesus

   2 dealt were Book/Film reviews


The remaining 6 articles dealt with different matters of Jewish or Christian interest.


Messianic Jews

HaShavua B’Yerushalayim Nov. 2, 2005


An article in the religious weekly HaShavua B’Yerushalayim (Nov. 2) says “an announcement in (one of) Baruch Maoz’s journals… claims that Yad L’Achim is being funded by the Ministry of Interior.” Baruch Maoz is described as “the head of Grace and Truth missionary congregation” who is “very well known to Yad L’Achim for all his intense missionary work in the central region over the last few years.” Baruch is quoted “It’s obvious that among us are envoys of Yad L’Achim…on Shabbat we had a baptismal ceremony and in order that Yad L’Achim would not harass us we didn’t tell anyone where it was until the last minute.” He continues, “Regretfully, this organisation is still receiving funds from the Ministry of Interior… I don’t even know if (MK) Pines and Poraz are aware of it.”  The article says “a spokeswoman from the Ministry of Interior telephoned Yad L’Achim to verify the charges” and at Yad L’Achim “it was hard to hide a forlorn smile.”


Anti-Missionary Attitudes

Hadashot Netanya Nov 25, 2005; Yated Ne’eman Nov. 4, 2005


A public relations advert in the form of a letter appears in Hadashot Netanya (Nov. 25). In the letter the rabbi records some of his life experiences explaining that God gives us these to “stick close to Him.” One of the people, who made “an impact” on his life, was a teacher at his high school who “warned him and the other students about the dangers of the mission.” The rabbi notes, “out of all the teachers this was the only one who did as such.”


The religious English edition of Yated Ne’eman (Nov. 4) reports, “phones are being locked on weekends and during holidays” in Meah Shearim because, according to a neighbour “many Christians come to the neighbourhood on the Sabbath and speak on the phone for hours.” The report says, “This is something that we don’t wish for our children to see.”


The same edition also carries the headline “Christian visitors snubbed” reporting that when Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupoliansky “was asked to speak to the 6000 International Christian Embassy delegates…he declined.” It also says “neither the prime minister or the president met with them.”


Israeli/Jewish Attitudes about Christians

Tzomet HaSharon Nov. 25, 2005; Nisha October 2005;


In an article about the NBA basketball player Jeryl Sasser (Tzomet HaSharon Nov. 25) the author says that his team, Bnei Sharon, claim, “He belongs to a religious Christian group that believes that the Sabbath (Saturday) is a holy day.” His team also say “he agreed to play for us only when we agreed that we don’t play on the Sabbath.”


In a design journal, decorative styles in Judaism and Christianity are compared (Nisha October). The article says, “in Christianity, churches are decorated with enormous pictures and holy statues, everything is grandiose and the magnificence of the place causes a person to feel very small.” It continues,  “Judaism in comparison, adheres to the commandment ‘Thou shall make no graven image.’”


 Israeli/Jewish Attitudes about Jesus

Ma’ariv Nov. 10, 2005; HaAretz Nov. 28, 2005


In an article about political correctness in Britain, (HaAretz Nov. 28) the author notes how various theatrical performances have been altered so as “not to offend different religious audiences.”  One of these “Paul,” by Howard Brenton “offended Christian believers when it was suggested that ‘Yeshu’ was not the Son of God.”


An article in Ma’ariv (Nov. 10) critiques and compares the political left and its relationship to the murder of Rabin with “how Christianity treated Jews.” The author says that “collective guilt was imposed on the Jewish people and for 2000 years they wandered around with this charge of murder around their neck.” He says, “Unlike the Christian saints who barely knew the taste of sin, Judaism never glossed over reality.” He continues; “the Jewish Messiah is a descendent of King David, a grandson of a Moabite…with a dubious sexual history.” He also says “The Tanach (Old Testament) never censored David’s biography. Judaism clarifies that great men in history are simply people with failings and not, heaven forbid, some kind of faultless gods.”


Jewish-Christian Relations

In Jerusalem Nov. 4, 2005


Rabbi David Rosen is the focus of a feature in the weekly magazine In Jerusalem (Nov. 4). Rosen is described as “the first Israeli and Orthodox Jew ever to receive papal knighthood.” In an interview he says that the “gesture is a symbol of good will on behalf of Pope Benedict to the Jewish people and the State of Israel.” The award was presented at the Nostre Aetate ceremony. Offering an explanation of the contents of the Nostre Aetate document In Jerusalem says, “it condemned anti-Semitism and repudiated the charge that blamed the Jews for Christ’s death recognising the Jewish people’s right to return to the Land of Israel.” It also says that the document recognised the “Jewish roots of Christianity and ended ‘the teaching of contempt,’ a teaching that stated that because the Jews had not recognised the Christian Messiah and were responsible for the death of Jesus, the temple was destroyed.” Rosen offers his opinions on “the conversion issue in the Catholic Church” and says “there are many who believe that even if the covenant between God and the Jews is extant, the Catholic Church needs to offer Jews the opportunity to become complete by converting. This tension needs to be resolved.”


Theatre Review

Ma’ariv Nov. 28, 2005


Ma’ariv (Nov. 28) reviews the new Israeli version of Guys and Dolls (“Branshim Ve’Hatichot”) that is to be shown in Bet Lessin next month. Ma’ariv describes the plot of the well-known musical as “an innocent and devout missionary who falls in love with a smarmy gambler.” The paper says that the “showing of the musical is a gamble for all sorts of reasons, but the musical itself deals with the gambling world.”