May 17 – 2006

Caspari Center Media Review… May 2006 #3

During the period of time covered by this review, we received 23 articles on the subjects of Messianic Jews, Christianity and the Mission. Of these:


4 dealt with Anti-Missionary Attitude

2 dealt with Jewish-Christian Relations

4 dealt with Israeli/Jewish Attitudes about Jesus

2 dealt with Israeli/Jewish Attitudes about Christians

10 dealt with the film, “The Da Vinci Code”


The remaining 1 article dealt with different matters of Jewish or Christian interest.



Anti-Missionary Attitudes

Israeli May 5, 2006; HaAretz web site May 20, 2006;


An article in the English HaAretz web site (May 20) publishes an opinion by Bradley Burston that says “Jews for Jesus is evil.” While he calls “members” of Jews for Jesus “pure souls, wholesome, well-meaning and guileless” he says “proselytising is persecution” and calls upon Jews for Jesus to “leave the Jews alone.” He terms the evangelism activities that are directed towards the Russian immigrant community in Israel as “a venture as predictable as it is indecent” and concludes the article by saying “just stay the hell away from us.”

There is also a response page ( with more than 900 responses.


A short column in the secular publication Israeli (May 15) informs the public of the activities of Yad L’Achim. Rachel Shefer points out “although we do all that we can to look after our bodies, our souls do not always have protection.” Using this parallel she explains the “protective” role of Yad L’Achim and says, “we have all stumbled across Christian missionary activity from time to time and for this reason Yad L’Achim was established.” Yad L’Achim’s website address is also published so the readers can get more details.



Israeli/Jewish Attitudes about Jesus

Globes May 17, 2006; Makor Rishon May 5, 2006


In a column explaining the monthly “hot” colloquialisms in Israeli culture, the business daily newspaper Globes (May 17) reports of the frequent use of the words “Jesus Christ” (in English) as a term of frustration on the streets of Tel Aviv. Author Moran Sharir says, “ It is heard so much (in Tel Aviv) that an outsider would think that that they were in born-again Christian territory.” Sharir explains; “the way the words ‘Jesus Christ’ are mumbled indicates the level of annoyance.” The author explains that if the irritation is at its highest level then “a more rococo ‘Jesus Christ Almighty’ is needed.”


Makor Rishon (May 5) reports on the “scandal” of 70 pictures that the Stockholm Cultural Centre borrowed from the Israel Museum for an exhibition in Sweden. Makor Rishon says, “The exhibition caused the resignation of the city bishop.” The pictures depict Jesus on the cross “with others crucified naked beside him, with their sexual organs exposed.” Another picture is of a “woman standing naked beside the cross with a Mickey Mouse mask on her face.”


A feature in the same edition of the religious Makor Rishon analyses the writings of the late Jewish poet and author Uri Zvi Grinberg. The article examines the “King David imagery evident in his works.” Part of one of his poems is quoted and “describes Yeshu the crucified One.” In this poem Grinberg says that “He will return to the Land of Israel wearing the prayer shawl that He was crucified in.” He also calls Him “the redemption and lamp stand for the universe.” The author of the article says, “Grinberg turned the Christian Messiah into a Jew shrouded in a prayer shawl, crowned with King David’s crown. He further says, “Grinberg was not attracted to the Christian figure (Jesus) but rather to the passion that characterises Messianic imagery.”



The Da Vinci Code

HaAretz May 15, 18, 2006; Globes May 15, 2006; Ma’ariv May 18, 2006


The press was flooded with articles about the premier screening of the Da Vinci Code. The May 18 edition of HaAretz especially dedicated much space and published reviews and opinions. All the papers explained the plot of the film in detail and Ma’ariv (May 18) published an editorial opinion piece that pondered if the Christian reaction to the film will be “like the Muslim response to the Mohammed cartoons.” Author Arik Bachar says, “Yeshu is once again a superstar and whatever upsets the Christian culture is about to be put to the test.” HaAretz also quoted “openly gay” actor Ian McKellen, as saying, “I’m very happy that Jesus was married. I know the Catholic Church has problems with gay people and I thought this was proof that Jesus was not gay.” HaAretz says that this comment “stole the show.”