During the week covered by this review, we received 5 articles on the following subjects:
Conversion to Judaism
Hamodia, October 3, 2022
According to this article, since the outbreak of the war in the Ukraine, Yad L’Achim has been conducting “extensive and focused activities among the many refugees who immigrated from Russia and the Ukraine, both in order to bring them closer to their Father in Heaven and to save them from the missionaries, who ambush them and invest countless efforts and resources in order to trap them to convert their religion… while taking advantage of their plight and the fact that they are desperate for support.” This anti-missionary activity mainly involved inviting the immigrants to pray in the synagogues, and providing them with “supplies of food, electrical appliances and everything needed to acclimatize in the Holy Land in the best possible way.”
Jerusalem Post, October 6, 2022; Israel Hayom, October 7, 2022
More than 2,000 Zionist Christians from over seventy nations are currently arriving in Jerusalem to participate in the 43rd annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration, sponsored by the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. “Thousands of guests from around the world come to enjoy the bonds of brotherhood with Zionist Christians, to bless and strengthen the citizens of Israel, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles together in Jerusalem, according to the commandments of the Bible,” stated ICEJ President Dr. Jürgen Bühler. “This is the largest international gathering in Israel since the Covid restrictions were lifted.” Several cabinet ministers and members of parliament from countries in Africa, Europe and Latin America will be among those in attendance. Speakers at the celebration will include President Isaac Herzog and Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, Fleur Hassan-Nahoum.
Conversion to Judaism
Yated Ne’eman, October 6, 2022
This lengthy article was an interview with the Director of the Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce in Israel, Yisca Ester Tarashi aka Dyana Cordero. She is described as “a warm, pleasant and easy-going woman who smiles often, and speaks softly in melodious English that sounds like a magical tune. Her pleasantness does not reveal the complicated journey she had to endure before she was entitled to join the Jewish people.” Born to a Catholic family in Costa Rica, as a teenager, Cordero discovered that she was a descendent of Anusim – Sephardic Jews who were forced to convert by the Spanish Inquisition. After she married a Catholic man and had a daughter, she decided to convert to Judaism, but her husband objected. She left her husband to raise her daughter as a single mother to become a Jew, but found out that becoming a Jew in Costa Rica required large sums of money, which she lacked at the time. While searching for the means, she studied Business Administration and started working for the government, developing housing projects for low-income families, mostly single mothers like herself. There were also talks about opening a consulate that will deal with commercial coordination between Israel and Costa Rica in which she was involved. Eventually, she decided to travel to Israel for her conversion. Working tirelessly to promote the commercial coordination between the two countries, while undergoing the conversion process with an Israeli rabbi, she was appointed in charge of the Chamber of Commerce between Israel and Costa Rica. Cordero has remarried, and is now living in Israel as an Orthodox Jew.
Haaretz, October 7, 2022
This article, in response to the weekly Torah portion “Ha’azinu: The Poem of Testimony” stated that to prevent Italian Jews during the Renaissance from being tempted to follow the New Testament, Rabbi Ovadia Sforno, an Italian rabbi, biblical commentator, philosopher and physician, interpreted the poem as proof that the covenant God made with the people of Israel is an eternal one. In contrast to the prevailing Christian concept during the Renaissance, that God had forsaken Israel because of their sins, Sforno adopted a different perspective. Other Jewish commentators viewed the poem as an exhortation or admonition, and interpreted it as a future promise of an everlasting covenant that God makes with Israel, as long as they would not follow idolatry, like the Christians.