During the week covered by this review, we received 5 articles on the following subjects:
The Bible/Biblical Scholarship
Israel Hayom, July 8, 2018; The Jerusalem Post, July 8, 2018
The first article featured an interview with former Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Abbott, under whose leadership Australia became a loyal ally to Israel. When asked why he fostered this relationship with Israel, Abbott explained, “…as a conservative religious man, I am interested in implementing a particular worldview where possible. I am aware that the culture that has shaped me owes much to the Jewish people and to Judaism… Christianity is in large measure a result of the world that Jesus lived in, and if one takes the Christian faith seriously, one has to take Zionism and the Jewish religion seriously, as well.” In the interview, Abbott called for the transfer of the Australian Embassy to Jerusalem in order to demonstrate solidarity with Israel, as well as to show support for President Donald Trump.
The second article reported that Pope Francis convened a summit on the subject of promoting peace in the Middle East, which featured various Christian leaders. Pope Francis gave a speech in which he said that continuing to build walls and to occupy land will not resolve the conflict. He backed a two-state solution and said that the status quo in Jerusalem should be respected. Pope Francis also spoke out against religious extremism, which he said stokes the conflict by posturing as true religion and “profaning God’s name.”
Iton Shacharit, July 8, 2018
A special evening aimed at strengthening the Jewish identity of a group of young men “saved” from missionaries took place recently. Three of the event’s attendees were teenage boys who had fallen in with Messianic Jews. The teens, who attend a religious school, were overheard trying to convince their peers to “believe in Christianity.” The teens’ teachers immediately called the Yad L’Achim hotline, who in turn investigated the matter and found that the boys had been taking part in the Christian faith for two years. The teens’ parents were reportedly shocked, claiming that they’d had no idea. The parents promised to do all they could to draw the boys out from the “claws of the missionaries.” After three meetings with Rabbi Yoav Robinson, the boys agreed to cut all ties with the missionaries and to return to the Jewish faith.
The Jerusalem Post, July 8, 2018
This article was written by Rabbi Tuly Weisz, the director of Israel365, which in partnership with Koren Publishers Jerusalem, recently published The Israel Bible. Weisz recalls standing in front of the bible section in Barnes and Nobles a number of years ago and being amazed at the variety of niche Christian bibles, such as The Woman’s Bible, The Golfer’s Bible, and The American Patriot’s Bible. Weisz noticed that there is no bible devoted to the theme of Israel, which he found strange given how prominent the theme of Israel is in the Bible. He decided that such an edition is necessary in order to strengthen Christian support for Israel. In 2012, Weisz began collecting all the bible verses about Israel, and then gathered scholars to write “Israel-focused” commentaries on each of the 929 chapters. Since the release of The Israel Bible, it has topped Amazon’s charts. Weisz said: “The Israel Bible specifically fills a major void for non-Jewish readers who might be on the fence about support of Israel as a Jewish state by proving the biblical, historical, and eternal connection of the Jews to this land.”
Yedioth Ahronoth, July 10, 2018
The International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem has donated a portable firefighting system to the Gaza border region. The system was acquired with money donated by Israel-supporting Christians.