During the week covered by this review, we received 12 articles on the following subjects:
Christians in Israel
Messianic Jews (Organizations)
The Jerusalem Post, September 20, 2016
Pastor John C. Hagee was recently presented with the Friend of Zion Friendship Medallion for “his tremendous support for the State of Israel through education, humanitarian causes, leading delegations of pilgrims to the Holy Land, and helping so many in their hour of need.” The medallion was presented to Hagee by Dr. Mike D. Evans, founder of the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem.
Iton Shacharit, September 23, 2016
The anti-missionary activist organization Yad L’Achim wishes to alert the public concerning a “Christian evangelization event” to take place this Shabbat at the amphitheater in Caesarea, with “5,000 elderly Jews, most of whom are Holocaust survivors” present. The event is to take place after a day of touring the country, and will feature David Hathaway from Britain. In addition to sending a protest letter to the Nature Reserves and National Parks Authority, Yad L’Achim has set up a post to coordinate alerting the residents of the “missionary honey trap,” and hundreds of yeshiva students have volunteered their services to alert those arriving at the site itself.
Christians in Israel
The Jerusalem Post, September 22, 2016
Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, temporary administrator of the Latin Patriarchate, began his role by “urging inter-religious dialogue in the region in order to counter the impact of fundamentalists.” Speaking at a press conference before his investiture, Pizzaballa stated, “Fundamentalism wants to boycott any kind of dialogue and in order to fight fundamentalism we have to do exactly what they don’t want.” Pizzaballa stated that he plans to meet with President Reuven Rivlin and Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, as well as with the heads of Jewish and Muslim communities, and noted that contrary to Christians’ situation in other countries in the region, “Christians’ situation in Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority was better.” Among the issues Pizzaballa plans to address are “assistance to refugees, immigrants and foreign workers, many of whom are Christians,” and “the distancing of Christian youth from the Church.”
The Latin Patriarchate territory covers Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, and Cyprus.
Yediot HaNegev, September 16, 2016
A plan to build a synagogue in the guesthouse compound at Kibbutz Ein Gedi was voted down 90-69 on Tuesday. The kibbutz has stated that “it recognizes the importance of meeting the hotel guests’ need for a place of faith and prayer, but not in the form or according to the plans that were presented.” Dov Litvinoff, head of the Tamar regional council and a supporter of the project, stated that the decision against the plan is “a regrettable and historic mistake,” and that he plans “to survey possibilities of building in a location that everyone can agree to.”
The synagogue was to have been built according to the model of the ancient synagogue found in the area, and include a prayer hall, mikveh, and event hall, as well as a visitors’ center.
Globes, September 21, 2016
This article surveys the recent trend of reinterpreting biblical cuisine in a modern style. Covering the EAT festival in Tel-Aviv in May, the biblical meals and courses in ancient cooking at Neot Kedumim, and the significant place devoted to food at the Museum of Philistine Culture at Ashdod, the article quotes Prof. Dallen Timothy of Arizona State University, who said at a recent conference at the Kinneret Academic College that “food reflects societal and cultural norms. The issue is spiritual consuming of an experience, which is indeed staged and suggestive, but illustrates the seeking after the meals of the past.” Dr. Amos Ron of the Ashkelon Academic College said at the same conference that “today’s tourist is looking for experiences, and food is a good way of providing emotion and connection to heritage.”
Yom L’Yom, September 22, 2016
This article surveys the recent resurgence of stabbing attacks. It expresses the opinion that as there are only two holidays in the Muslim calendar, religious feeling is at its height at those times. It cites reasons for hatred of Jews—some of which pertain to Christians and “pagans” as well—that appear in Muslim sources: the fact that Islam defines Jews as “believers’ worst enemy”; that it says “Jews wish to convince Muslims to convert”; that it says “Jews are only allowed to live among Muslims as protégés with partial rights”; that since Islam defines Judaism as a false religion it is therefore “impossible that Jews should govern Muslims”; that Islam came to conquer other religions; that the Koran describes Jews as unclean, so they may not rule “pure” Muslims; and that since “Palestine is dedicated to Islam only,” any loyal Muslim must fight Jews who have “unlawfully” ruled it since 1948. Along with these reasons, the article cites the pleasures Islam promises to anyone who sacrifices himself for Islam, “the desire to return to the days when Islam ruled the world,” the continued military defeats of ISIS, and the presence of Jews and Christians during holidays, showing that contrary to what Islam says they have not “passed away from the world.”
Messianic Jews (Organizations)
Givatayim Plus, September 19, 2016
Moshav Yad HaShmonah was founded in 1971 by a group of Finnish volunteers, motivated by “their faith in the Bible and their love of the Jewish people and their God,” who wanted “to contribute to the building of the land of Israel” by building a community to memorialize the eight refugees who fled to Finland from the Nazis and were handed over to them “contrary to the general Finnish purpose.” At the founding of the community, the founders expressed public remorse in their own names and in the name of the whole Finnish people. Later, “Jewish Israelis who believe in the Bible and the New Testament joined the community as well.”
Built of Finnish pine, the hotel at the moshav presents a “unique and charming,” green, pastoral view toward all four points of the compass. The hotel is famous for two things is particular: the biblical garden, founded in 2000 in partnership with “Beit Shalom” of Switzerland and the Israel Antiquities Authority and boasting genuine artifacts, reconstructions of ancient agricultural machinery, biblical plants, and even an ancient synagogue; and the Friday brunch, known as “one of the best brunches in the country,” including a wide variety of breads, salads, cheeses, fruit, fish, desserts, and both hot and cold drinks.
Ha’Ir Kol Ha’Ir; Israel Hayom, September 23, 2016
The tenth annual “Houses from Inside” festival is to take place in Jerusalem, and will include an Ein-Kerem residence built in traditional Arab style, including a 2,000-year-old Jewish mikveh found beneath it; the “Photo Elia” studio, currently run by the son and grandson of Elia Kabadian who chronicled Jerusalem since 1924; the rare book warehouse; the Israel Museum Library of Illustrations; the hidden parts of the Shaarei Tzedek hospital; and what is to be seen beneath the Jaffa Gate. The festival is also to give the public a glimpse of current and upcoming projects in Jerusalem, such as the fast train line between Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv; the new brain sciences building at Hebrew University’s Givat Ram campus; the business district planned for the entrance to the city, and more.
Musical performances, both vocal and instrumental, poetry readings, and art exhibits will take place in some of the houses as well.
Merkaz Ha’Inyanim-Merkaz, September 19, 2016
This article wishes to alert the public to the existence of the Friends of Zion Museum, which was founded and funded by Christians. The article raises the suspicion that rather than being “an exciting story of cooperation and friendship between different religions and denominations,” the museum is merely “a platform for inculcating Jews with Christian worldviews.”
Sha’a Tova, September 15; The Jerusalem Post, September 18, 2016
A stone weight was recently found under the Tiferet Yisrael synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. The weight was inscribed in Persian and Aramaic with the name of the Second Temple-era priestly family of Katros, some of whom were even high priests. Archaeologists surmise that the weight may have served for weighing incense, and it was found under a deep layer of ashes.
A Second Temple-era mikveh and storage room with potsherds, glass items, coins, stone implements, candles, and bones were found on the site. Beneath them, the walls of a First Temple-era structure was also found.