During the week covered by this review, we received 6 articles on the following subjects:
Conversion to Judaism
Haaretz, November 22, 2020; Mishpacha, November 19, 2020; Kfar Chabad, November 19, 2020
United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, recently made a trip to Israel and the West Bank, where he visited a settlement. The trip was classified as “private” rather than for the purposes of State business, but one article stated that in making the trip, Pompeo is wooing Evangelical support and showing that he intends to run for office in four years. Vice President Mike Pence, also a committed Evangelical, also plans to run. During his visit, Pompeo stopped for dessert at the Friends of Zion Museum, an institution that symbolizes the alliance between American Christians and Israel’s right-wing settlers, a connection that has been deepened under the presidency of Donald Trump. The trip is seen as a final attempt to solidify “Trumpian” policies towards Israel, insofar as Pompeo defined BDS as anti-Semitic, and argued that products from settlements should not be distinguished from Israeli-made products. One article noted that Evangelicals donate a lot of money to settlements, fly Knesset members around the world, and generally identify with right-wing Israeli ideology. For Evangelicals, settlements are seen as Zionist miracles, second only to the miracle of the Jewish return to Zion.
The final article examined Joseph Biden’s positive historical relationship to the Orthodox Jewish community in the US and argued that Biden has shown himself aware of the beliefs and philosophy of Chabad. Some worry the transition between Trump and Biden will tamper with Israel-US relations. However, the article states, Biden has been a longtime supporter of Israel and has mentioned several times that Israel’s security and stability are a priority for him. Biden himself is a committed Catholic and is said to be good friends with Rabbi Abraham Shemtov.
Conversion to Judaism
Shabbaton, November 20, 2020
This was a piece about a Christian congregation that went on a spiritual journey together which resulted in the adoption of Jewish beliefs and practices, and a departure from Christianity. The group, called Bnei Moshe, does not claim to be Jewish, but claims a spiritual connection. The article said this is a recurring phenomenon – individuals or groups of Christians who come to Judaism after a long spiritual search, which leads them to the true roots of their faith. Members of Bnei Moshe do not send their children to public schools for fear that they could be exposed to pagan teachings. Many of them have moved to Israel.
Kol HaShavua, November 19, 2020
A missionary booklet entitled “The Secret to Eternal Life”, as well as the Gospel of Matthew, have been distributed in the city of Hadera. Residents have been warned by Yad L’Achim that if they receive these materials, they should throw them out.
HaModia, November 27, 2020
Or L’Achim has appealed to Israeli political leadership with a request to put an end to exposure to “missionary preaching” in the IDF. Or L’Achim claimed that Christian content is included in a military first aid course, where Christianity is presented to soldiers as a religion of “peace and grace”. An IDF spokesperson said that the course being referred to is old and hasn’t been in use for years. However, the IDF will look into whether the course has recently been used again.