During the week covered by this review, we received 6 articles on the following subjects:
Mekomi Dati, September 15, 2022; Tzfat BeTnufa, September 16, 2022
As mentioned in previous reviews, Yad L’Achim has announced yet again that they have persuaded a “senior Israeli missionary” to return to Judaism. The man in question, Adam Ayish, described in an interview how he became a member of a Messianic congregation after “they sold him a lie and a fraud,” when he was “young and confused.” He claimed that he started questioning the Messianic faith after watching anti-Missionary videos and talking to Yad L’Achim activists. Rabbi Binyamin Vulcan, Yad L’Achim’s head of counter-missionary activity, took Adam, who is a resident of Safed to see the local rabbis, be blessed by them and lay tefillin.
Maariv, September 21, 2022
Prior to his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, King Abdullah II of Jordan warned against “undermining the status quo in Jerusalem” in his opening address to the UN General Assembly. “The future of Jerusalem is an urgent concern… Undermining Jerusalem’s legal and historical status quo triggers global tensions and deepens religious divides,” said Abdullah. “We are committed to defending the rights, the precious heritage of the Christian people in our region, and especially in Jerusalem. Today, Christianity in the holy city is under fire. The rights of churches in Jerusalem are threatened. This cannot continue.” He called for support of a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as a shared capitol city.
Passport, September 20, 2022
After a devastating couple of years due to the global pandemic, Bethlehem’s tourism industry is beginning to pick up again. Until the pandemic, tens of thousands of foreign tourists visited Bethlehem every year, the tourism capital of the Palestinian Authority, but due to the restrictions, many hotels and restaurants were forced out of business, and many locals lost their jobs. According to the article, since the development of the vaccine and subsequent removal of travel restrictions for vaccinated individuals, Bethlehem has started to enjoy the presence of tourists again, especially during Christmas and during the summer. The number of tourists is still low compared to pre-Covid years, but the article expressed hope that Christmas this year will again see Baba Noel aka Santa Claus greeting tens of thousands of tourists in the Church of the Nativity – the birthplace of Jesus according to local tradition – as in the good old days.
Kol Hair, September 23, 2022
On the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, where Christ ascended to heaven according to tradition, the Russian church built the Church of the Ascension, between 1870-1886, in order to preserve the memory of Jesus’ ascension to heaven. The church belongs to the “White Russians” (the “Church in Exile”), who did not recognize the authority of the official “Red Church,” which arose in Moscow at the time (the “Patriarchal Church”). In the heart of the complex, they erected the “Russian Candle” – the tallest tower in Jerusalem with 214 winding, spiral steps. The complex is isolated by high walls, and, according to the article, when you cross the iron door, you feel as if you are in a Russian village, with chickens roaming the spacious, clean yard, vegetables beds, ancient pine and olive trees and flowers in every corner. About 45 nuns reside here, in wooden huts, the windows of which are adorned with embroidered curtains and well-kept planters. This huge complex is “the result of the initiative of the energetic, talented and charismatic monk, Antonio Kapustin, who was sent to Israel by the Russian ambassador in Constantinople, to increase the Russian hold in Israel and in Jerusalem in particular. Kapustin is the one who also built the Moscow complex in Ein Kerem, and understood how important the acquisition of most of the Mount of Olives was for Christianity, and he did it despite all the difficulties piled up by the Turkish bureaucracy.”
Matzav HaRuach, September 23, 2022
Three sabras – Sheikh Kasem Bader, a prominent Druze religious leader and President of the Universal Peace Council, Yosef Garmon, former Chief Rabbi of Guatemala and President of the Humanitarian Coalition, and Archbishop Ramzi R. Musallam – embarked on a ten-day long journey through Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, with the aim of “providing humanitarian aid that will present the beautiful face of the State of Israel.” According to the article, the three met with senior government officials in each country, participated in events in the various parliaments, met ministers and other dignitaries, but the most important of all were their visits to communities without electricity and running water, where they promoted humanitarian projects for the sake of the less fortunate residents. “This is the way we can show the beautiful face of Israel through different leaders from different religions – but with a clear message that we are a family, because we came from the same man, we have the same needs, and we all want a better world,” explained Rabbi Garmon.