During the 2 weeks covered by this review, we received 7 articles on the following subjects:
Haaretz, August 22, 2019
An excavation in the area of Hippos-Sussita has uncovered the “Burned Church”, and in it a floor mosaic depicting the Miracle of the Multiplication (when Jesus fed 5,000 with four loaves of bread and two fish). Archeologists estimate the church was built during the 5th century, which reinforces the notion that Hippos was a major Christian center during the Byzantine period. It is unknown whether the artist’s intent was simply to represent the famous miracle, or else to stake a claim for a different possible location for the miracle’s occurrence. Further excavation and 3D modeling may reveal more of what’s behind the artisan’s intent, who was likely not local, as the fish depicted in the mosaic do not exist in the Sea of Galilee. The Greek inscription is poorly misspelled, which may suggest that by the time the church was built, Greek was not well-known in the area.
The Jerusalem Post, August 23, 2019
This was a piece about the Wearp family (Steve, Doris, and five sons), who spend their time traveling around the US in an RV, selling goods from Judea and Samaria under the banner of “Blessed Buy Israel”. Steve Wearp decided to leave his job in 2010, after attending the March for Life in Tubingen, Germany. He said his intention was to “rectify what’s been done in our Christian forefathers’ name” by fighting anti-Semitism through advocacy for West Bank settlements. The Wearps sell olive oil, ceramics, chocolate, honey, dates, jewelry and soap.
Mishpacha, August 22, 2019; Kfar Chabad, August 22, 2019; Kol Israel, August 23, 2019; HaModia, August 30, 2019
The first three articles included reports about the anti-missionary conference that gathered in a Haredi neighborhood in Jerusalem (reported in the previous Media Review). One thousand from the Haredi community gathered for the event organized by Yad L’Achim, with the goal of raising awareness about the increase in missionary activity in Jerusalem, and to call for volunteers to assist in combating this activity.
The fourth article reported that a congress center in the city of Haifa, which had previously rejected hosting a Haredi conference on account of its exclusion of women, hosted a missionary conference for three days. Or L’Achim gathered hundreds to demonstrate at the event through prayer and the blowing of shofars. Or L’Achim demanded the conference be canceled, and stated that it was appalled such an event was allowed near Mount Carmel – where the Prophet Elijah had once defeated idol worship.
Haaretz, August 27, 2019
This was an article about the relationship between Donald Trump’s presidency and Messianic Jewish leaders in the United States such as conservative pundit Wayne Allyn Root, Rabbi Kirt Schneider, attorney Jay Sekulow, and Rabbi Loren Jacobs. Root is quoted as saying, “President Trump is the greatest president for Jews… in the history of the world and the Jewish people. Israel loves him like he’s the king of Israel… They love him like he is the second coming of God. But American Jews don’t know him or like him. They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense!” Root identifies as Jewish, but the article noted that it is a matter of controversy whether Messianic Jews should be considered Jewish, as “… every Jewish denomination has rejected the assertion that ethnic Jews who accept Jesus as the Jewish Messiah and the son of God remain Jewish.” Rabbi Rosen is quoted in support of this latter position: “Those who describe themselves as Messianic Jews or Hebrew Christians are purposely seeking to confuse the clear difference between Judaism and Christianity.”