During the week covered by this review, we received 8 articles on the following subjects:
Messianic Jews (Organizations)
Messianic Jews (Organizations)
HaShabbat B’Netanya, October 16, 2015
A district court judge has rejected the appeal of the Messianic non-profit organization HaMitzpe L’Israel against the Netanya municipality. The issue in question is in regard to a room the organization wished to rent in the Raziel school; the agreement was signed but then canceled “when the principal, the school’s signatory on the agreement, found out that the lectures that would take place in the room were of Messianic Jews.” The organization appealed to the Netanya municipality and then to the magistrate’s court, saying that it had been the victim of religious discrimination, since it had been as open as necessary for the school to understand that it is Messianic. The municipality maintained that this had not been the case, and the matter was brought before the district court, where the ruling was that “the [magistrate’s court] judge’s decision to protect the schoolchildren from influence and religious preaching is correct and justified” as the organization was going to rent the room during hours when after-school activities were still taking place.
Maariv, October 19, 2015
Due to the high number of stone- and Molotov cocktail–throwing incidents from Jerusalem’s Jabel Mukaber neighborhood towards the Armon HaNatziv neighborhood, the police have placed a temporary concrete barrier, 3 meters in height, between the neighborhoods. This move has proved extremely controversial, the most common objection being that it “looks like dividing the city” and the most common counterclaim being that this is one of the moves that the police were authorized to take due to the recent unrest. The police have stressed that this concrete fence is a temporary measure, necessary to save lives, and a high-ranking police official cited the example of the Gilo neighborhood in southern Jerusalem as well, where such concrete barriers were placed to protect the residents from regular shootings, and were greatly effective.
Haaretz, October 20, 2015
This article surveys the connection between the name of the kingdom of Judah, Yehudah, and the English word Jew, and states that the link is through the Latin iudaeus. As Old French gradually began to crystallize in the 4th and 5th centuries CE, the Latin iu came to be pronounced as j, changing the word to judeu and then juiu by the 11th century. The word was imported into English through the Norman Conquest in 1066, leading to the oldest English usage of “Jew” around 1275 (according to the Oxford English Dictionary). This was in a translation of John 18:35, where Pilate asks, “Am I a Jew?” (spelled Gyv in the original). “When the letter J appears in English in the 17th century we get the modern spelling,” the first usage of which is in Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s 1775 play The Rivals.
Tzafon 1, October 16, 2015
Annika and Chris de Books are Christians from the Netherlands whose close connection with Israel began in 1988, “when they stayed at a hotel in Herzliya and discovered they were the only guests”—and decided that “if the tourists cannot come to Israel they will bring Israel to the tourists.” Accordingly, they founded a company featuring Israeli art and jewelry, and opened a gallery for the products in their home. In 2005, they decided to emigrate to Israel, and have lived here ever since, having to leave every three months to renew their visa, but fighting all the while for permanent status. Now, ten years later, they have finally received citizenship, in part because Annika’s family was recognized by Yad VaShem as Righteous Among the Nations. “No one can touch them [Israel],” says Chris de Books. “God has great plans for this place. It is our dream that we would have a country safe for every Jew. I look at the blood that was spilt and this is the Jews’ strength to survive.”
BaKehila, October 22, 2015
Rabbi Shlomo Gangata has recently gained celebrity in the press for having been the one to subdue a stabber in an incident near Jerusalem’s Ammunition Hill light rail station. However, “he has come from a long way off to be able to do this,” being one of the Bnei Menashe community in India.
Intertwined with Gangata’s personal story are intriguing facts concerning the Bnei Menashe, who, though generally considered to be descendants of Menashe who wandered as far as India, lost connection with most of their Jewishness except for a few remaining vestiges, such as circumcision, the levirate custom, purification on the eve of Passover, and a corner of the house where only the father of the family could enter on only one day of the year. Gangata himself realized his Jewishness after three years of research and after meeting the late Rabbi Eliyahu Avihail, who taught Gangata’s family about Jewish customs. After making aliyah with his family, Gangata was not able to find regular work until he was ordained as a rabbi and worked for the Egged bus company as a driver, and it was this which enabled him to be on the spot to subdue the stabber with his martial arts skills until security arrived.
Israel Hayom, Haaretz, Yediot Ahronot, October 19, 2015
Adam Zartal, one of the senior archaeologists in Israel, has passed away at age 79. His funeral took place at his kibbutz, Ein Shemer, on October 20.
Zartal was Professor Emeritus of archaeology of the Land of Israel and the Ancient East at Haifa University, and lectured at the Kinneret Academic College as well. He is most known for having found an Israelite altar on Mount Ebal, concluding that it was “Joshua’s altar” and that therefore Mount Kabir was the mount of blessing, rather than Mount Gerizim. This conclusion remains controversial, but to Zartal it remained a proof of “the truth of the biblical descriptions.”
Zartal is survived by his younger sister, scholar and author Idit Zartal.