August 3 – 2010

Caspari Center Media Review – August 3, 2010


During the week covered by this review, we received 4 articles on the subjects of Messianic Jews, attitudes towards Christianity, and anti-missionary activity. Of these:

2 dealt with Messianic Jews

1 dealt with Christians in Israel

1 dealt with Christian sites


This week’s Review contained various references to Messianic Jews across the country.


Messianic Jews

Globes, July 29; Yom L’Yom, July 29, 2010

This summer, David Hadar’s family organized a vacation in the Galilee, arranging accommodation in a bed and breakfast establishment surrounded by expensive villas (Yom L’Yom, July 29). The latter were apparently set around an “expansive lawn adorned with rare flowers. The whole place transmitted an air of royal luxury. The place was owned by missionaries of the most corrupt sort who carry the name ‘Messianic Jews.’ They were holding a ‘seminar.’ A large group of our brethren was sitting around grand tables loaded with royal plates and cutlery, with food running like water, ‘the drinking was done according to the law, there was no compulsion’ [Est. 1:8]. The place was a guesthouse owned by them, and between the ostentatious banquets the Jews listen to lectures and teach about the mercy of the ‘Lord’ (may his name be blotted out). In the morning, I saw the agents of Satan enjoying themselves at leisure in this luxury estate, watering for their gratification the flowers, which wept over their ‘repair’ and the thought of having to grow in such a wretched place.” Hadar went on to lament the alleged disparity between the affluence and wealth of the “missionaries” and Orthodox Jewish organizations which have to scrape and beg for every dime, everyone knowing that “in addition to their salaries, [the missionaries] receive financial bonuses for every person they baptize into Christianity … These missionaries, who perceive each one of us as a potential source of huge income, live in their own world, live in a world in which they do not need to expend any effort. In everything concerned with their everyday activity – for which they do not need to exert any energy or think hard before they act about the true content of what they are doing or its purpose – this is their portion.”

At the opposite end of the country, Globes (July 27) included Messianic Jews in a scrutiny of Arad: “Arad, which used to be a homogenous and elitist city, with an absorption committee, has become a wretched town, full of clans and communities: the founders, Ethiopians, Russians (who have become the majority), the Orthodox, the Gerrer Hasidim and Habadniks … and the latest addition, the refugees from the south. Ah, excuse us, we forgot the Messianic Jews – or the Christian missionaries, depending on whom you ask; a small group of them has also settled in the city … With respect to the Messianic Jews, they are more or less the same number” as the refugees – although the precise figure to which this referred was unclear. One final comment: “The Orthodox constitute around 15% of the population and do not make any problems.”


Christians in Israel

Haaretz, July 27, 2010

The altar belonging to a Lutheran Church was recently discovered at an army base in Jerusalem, where it had been left following an Israeli order to the World Lutheran Church to evacuate the building in 1951 within a month. “For 60 years it did not occur to anyone to open the wooden chest in the main hall of Camp Schneller in north Jerusalem and see what was in it. The chest, discovered by accident amid piles of garbage and the ruined hall’s debris, was recently opened to reveal the altar of the German Lutheran church, on whose site the camp stood until two years ago … The compound, which German-Swiss missionary Johann Ludwig Schneller started building as a small mission in 1854, quickly became a thriving community. In 1939, with the eruption of World War II, the British Mandate authorities expelled all German nationals from Palestine, including the clergy. The compound was captured by the British army and taken over by the Israel Defense Forces in 1948 … The camp’s largest structure, once the Lutheran church, was turned into a gymnasium with basketball hoops replacing statues of Jesus. The soldiers playing there could not imagine the hall’s history or what was in the wooden chest near one of the walls … The altar, erected in 1910, was made of heavy marble plates, decorated with a mosaic of gold-painted glass and blue stones. The movers built a wooden chest around it instead of taking it apart,” Graebe, provost of the Evangelical German Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in the Old City of Jerusalem, suggested. “‘The altar is the last evidence at Schneller for the Christian ritual there,’ Graebe says. ‘It’s very exciting.’ That posed a problem. Preservation principles stipulate leaving the altar at Schneller, but since the compound is earmarked to serve the ultra-Orthodox, an object of Christian ritual cannot be left there. As [Site Preservation Council and architect Gil] Gordon diplomatically wrote in his report to the city: ‘The altar’s survival chances are zero in view of the compound’s current neighbors and future users’ … Deputy Jerusalem Mayor Naomi Tsur, responsible for preservation, conditioned the transfer on the altar’s not leaving Israel and having a sign discussing its history in its new location. The church agreed. The altar was transferred piece by piece, exactly 100 years after it was built. Its marble plates, which were cracked, were placed in a stretcher to prevent them from breaking, lifted with a crane and moved out through the church window to their new home on Mount Scopus. In the beautiful Augusta Victorian Church the altar was placed under a beautiful stone embossment of Moses holding the Ten Commandments. It will be inaugurated in November.”


Christian Sites

Yediot Ahronot, July 27, 2010

According to this report, the baptismal site on the Jordan “one of the holiest sites to Christianity,” has been closed due to fears of pollution, the Health Ministry order to halt access meaning that pilgrims are temporarily being prevented from being baptized in the place where, “according to Christian faith, Yeshu was baptized.”