March 24 – 2010

Caspari Center Media Review – March 24, 2010

During the week covered by this review, we received 4 articles on the subjects of Messianic Jews, attitudes towards Christianity, and Christian Zionism. Of these:
1 dealt with Messianic Jews
1 dealt with attitudes towards Christianity
2 dealt with Christian sites
This week’s Review continued to report on the ruling given in the case of “Pnina Pie.”

Messianic Jews
Chadashot Shelanu – Ofakim veNetanya, March 12, 2010

This article provided alternative details concerning the “Pnina Pie” affair, suggesting that Ashdod’s Chief Rabbi, Ya’akov Sheinin sought to discover Pnina Conforty’s “true motives” in refusing to accept a kashrut supervisor for her bakery: “Does she have financial problems? Why does she oppose having a full-time supervisor? Is it a ‘decision of principle’? In an attempt to arrive at a compromise, Sheinin proposed a voluntary supervisor who would be present on the premises during every working hour – except for five hours, for which the bakery would pay, as customary in all businesses. She forcefully refused and returned to court.” Likewise, the court’s decision that “Pnina Pie” must abide by the same conditions as imposed on other bakeries was represented as a ruling in favor of R. Sheinin, the latter being quoted as stating that “‘a miracle has occurred.’”
Anti-missionary Activities
Yated Ne’eman, March 16, 2010

According to this piece, “The directors of the [anti-]missionary department at ‘Lev L’Achim’ are warning of the existence of resorts and the organization of events at places owned by missionaries who, despite the fact that all the great leaders within the Jewish people have long forbidden the use of computers, are attempting with all their power to infiltrate the Ultra-Orthodox camp via internet sites which call themselves ‘Haredim.’” The worst of these missionaries are “‘from the sect of Messianic Jews’” who use “all kinds of ‘kosherisms’ and Orthodox slogans,” when their true purpose is actually to gain hold of “the money and souls of the godfearing public.” The report also expressed its wonder and horror at the information that Rabbi of the local council of Mateh Yehuda, Joseph Harel, had attended the wedding of a Jew and a Christian and had even extended his congratulations to the couple, “when he should have been protesting with all his power against such an abominable act.”
Christian Sites
Yediot Yerushalayim, March 19; Ma’ariv, March 21, 2010

Signposts and directions to the Cenacle were recently defaced by anonymous vandals this past week, adding insult to the injury felt by Christian tourists faced with the piles of refuse and rubbish it contains and making it difficult for them to find their way to the site (Yediot Yerushalayim, March 19).

Other Christian sites are no more attractive to pilgrims, according to a report in Ma’ariv (March 21). According to Yuval Peled, who accompanied a group of Italians who had come to film the Galilee in which Jesus grew up, lived, and taught, “After two or three days of shooting, they abruptly announced that they were leaving. ‘They told us, “You’ve destroyed the story for us, with all the pollution, electricity wires, and infrastructure. This isn’t what we were taught about the place where Jesus grew up,”’ he recalls. The crew, which had planned to broadcast the film on Italian television – the country considered to be the capital of Christianity – told us that here, in the most authentic place in which the founder of their religion lived, we had destroyed their associations [to it] with pollution and infrastructure. Out of disappointment and despair, they left, and went to shoot the film in Tuscany.”