During the week covered by this review, we received 11 articles on the following subjects:
Christian Jewish Relations
HaZvi, November 29, 2012
In the “letters” section of the paper, Herzel Revivo writes how the Messianic Jews should not be considered a problem for religious Jews alone, but rather the problem of “anyone who wants to maintain his or her identity as a Jew and an Israeli.” The goal of Messianic Jews, writes Revivo, is to make every Jew believe in Jesus. He quotes two well-known Jewish figures to support his claim, including former Minister of Justice Tommy Lapid, who said: “I am adamantly opposed to missionary activity, and believe that after the missionaries forced millions of Jews to convert to Christianity, the Jews have the right to be left alone in their own country.” Revivo also quotes Eli Wiesel, who said that “the Messianic Jews spread a net of lies and deceit.” “I think,” says Revivo, “that the facts speak for themselves.”
Din VeHeshbon, November 30, 2012
Missionary material was recently distributed to hundreds of mailboxes in the city of Sderot. “At first residents thought it was material meant to strengthen them in light of their demonstrated courage throughout the recent Operation Pillar of Defense,” but a quick glance at the pages revealed its blatant missionary content. One resident told the paper that as soon as he realized what the booklet was, he collected it from all his neighbors’ mailboxes. “It’s not the first time there is missionary activity in Sderot,” he said. The paper claims that the organization responsible for this distribution is one by the name of Chick, whose representative office is in Kiryat Shmona.
Yediot HaNegev, December 7, 2012
This article reported on the distribution of missionary material to teachers working within the education system in the north and south of Israel (see last Media Review for November and first Media Review for December).
The Jerusalem Post, December 14, 2012
The Jerusalem Post reports on the Jewish National Fund’s annual distribution of Christmas trees to the Christian community in Israel. “Partly out of a desire to prevent illegal tree poaching and partly to help Christians create a Christmas spirit in the Jewish state, every December KKL-JNF distributes Christmas to local churches, monasteries, convents, embassies, foreign journalists and the general public.” The trees are grown on special tree farms and are sold for a token fee of 80 ILS.
Haaretz, HaModia, Yated Ne’eman, Hapeles, December 11, 2012
Four articles reported on the recent archeological find in Jerusalem’s Kiryat HaYovel neighborhood of an agricultural farm dating back to the Hellenistic and Hasmonean periods. A lead weight and perfume bottle were among the items uncovered at the site. Daniel Mor, the excavation director, said that “little is known about the culture and history of the people of Jerusalem and the surrounding countryside” during this period of time, which is what makes the find all the more valuable.
Makor Rishon, December 14, 2012
This two page article describes the archeological site of Qumran, giving extensive historical background on the cult of the Essenes and the finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and recommends a hiking trail in the area. Regarding the scrolls, the article explains how their discovery “caused a great deal of excitement in the Jewish and Christian worlds . . . The scrolls are from the time of Jesus, and the words of Paul quoted in the New Testament bear a resemblance to the language used in the writings of the [Essene] cult. Not to mention another very important figure in Christianity, namely John the Baptist . . . who was associated with the cult, at least ideologically.”
Haaretz, December 11, 2012
This short inset article, which is part of a more extensive article examining the Pre-Raphaelite movement in art in the mid-nineteenth century, gives a brief history of English painter William Holman Hunt, who moved to Jerusalem in 1854. The Holy Land “held a special place in his heart: the ancient hills and valleys where the prophets and holy men walked were the perfect backdrop for painting biblical scenes from the life of Jesus.” Holman Hunt believed that living in the Holy Land would bring him closer to the truth of God, “and after several extended visits, he decided to build himself a permanent home in Jerusalem.” The home, which is situated on Prophets Street, now belongs to the Russian Orthodox Church.
Time Out – Israel, December 5, 2012
Snippet with information on Christian tourist attractions in Jerusalem, including the Via Dolorosa, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Room of the Last Supper, and a variety of other sites in and around the Old City.