August 31 – 2021

During the week covered by this review, we received 13 articles on the following subjects:

Anti-missionary Activity
Anti-missionary Attitudes
The Pope and the Vatican
Jewish / Christian Relations
Early Christianity / Book Review

Anti-missionary activity

Various articles

Yad L’Achim has taken credit for the closure of Adullam, a “missionary center” in Jerusalem, which they claimed had been targeting young religious men. The center was founded by a Messianic Jew, and had been active for about two years. Yad L’Achim acted against man who founded the center in various ways, and eventually managed to have the landlord evict him from the property.

Various articles

Or L’Achim claimed to have brought about the closure of a “missionary center” in Tsfat, which had been targeting Jewish immigrants from the former USSR, offering them humanitarian aid. The center had been operating out of a building owned by the municipality. Or L’Achim sent letters to various leaders, leading to the closure of the center.

Anti-missionary attitudes

Yahadut Basharon, August 18, 2021

Lev L’Achim reported on the distribution of missionary materials in post boxes in Netanya, and especially in an Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood. They warned the public about the flyers, and announced that they will continue to fight against such missionary activities.

The Pope and the Vatican

Various articles

Israel’s top religious authorities have expressed concern regarding the Pope’s comments about the Torah, in which he appeared to suggest that the Jewish law was obsolete, and have requested clarification. During a general audience on August 11, 2021, the Pope was reflecting on what Paul said about the Torah. He stated: “The Law does not give life. It does not offer the fulfilment of the promise… Those who seek life need to look to the promise and to its fulfilment in Christ.”  The Vatican’s Commission for Religious Relations with Jews replied that they are “considering it seriously and reflecting on a response”.

Jewish/Christian Relations

Hashavua BeAshdod, August 6, 2021

The Greek Orthodox Patriarch visited Ashdod, following the discovery of a Byzantine church complex at the archaeological site in Ashdod Yam. The visit included a prayer ceremony, as well as a discussion regarding the future of the site. Many residents, including the mayor, were excited about the visit, but several Orthodox Jewish factors expressed concern in light of what they refer to as “paganism under the protection of the municipality”.

Early Christianity / Book Review

Haaretz, August 27, 2021

A review about the book, “From a Holy Nation to a Shabbos Goy”, by Ishay Rosen-Zvi and Adi Ophir. The book traces the development of the term and category of the goy from the Bible to rabbinic literature, claiming that the designation of a goy as being “the opposite of a Jew” first appeared in Paul’s Letters. The authors claim that because of the lack of willingness to receive the Gospel among the Jews, Paul decided to address a new audience – the Gentiles. According to the book, Paul needed “a new marketing plan”, and rebranded the concept of goy to mean any individual who isn’t a Jew, enabling him to apply prophecies such as Isaiah 11:10 to the new Gentile Christians.