are the types of situations the Israeli Body of Messiah
has been bearing alone without raising an outcry because
they want to avoid the Church, their spiritual brothers,
their countrymen, their natural brothers, as ‘the
“Greater love has no one than
that one lay down his life for his friends.”
Caspari Media Review
Jerusalem Caspari Center for Biblical and
following reports are from the Caspari Media Review which
tracks media reports delivered in Hebrew which is of interest
to Christians and Messianic Jews. Caspari tracks a number
of interesting topics although the most critical is their
“anti-missionary” tracking—or more to
the point, what the Israeli media is saying in Hebrew print
about persecution against the community of Jewish believers
in Yeshua/Jesus in Israel. --dd
Caspari Reviews Feb 1 2007:
Three articles related to the "shock"
of the "exposure to danger" of missionary activity
amongst the children of Orthodox families "in the classroom."
(in HaModia, BaKehila, and Yom
L'Yom, all from January 11)
three papers reported that members of the "Shavei Zion"
(Those Returning to Zion, led
by Leon Mazin) congregation in Haifa - who also
"regularly visit the church of 'Ohalei Rachamim' (Tents
of Mercy, led by Eitan Shishkoff)
on Shabbat" - "are sending their children
to study in a Talmud-Torah [religious] school
designed for the 'children of those seeking to return [to
the week, the missionaries' children "sit on the school
benches of the Talmud-Torah school in the Haifa area,"
while on Shabbat they can be found "playing outside
with their schoolmates." On Shabbat, the children
get on "organized transport" arranged by "the
Messianic Jews" in order to take them "to the
church in Haifa." There, they participate
in "Christian rituals and prayers in the church
which runs the congregation. They listen to missionary
strengthening lessons from Eitan Shishkoff, the head of
the dangerous sect. These same children
infiltrate and influence their religious friends
during the weekdays."
good reason, it would appear, Yad
L'Achim [an anti-missionary organization]
accuses the Shavei Zion families of "preferring
the values and rootedness of the Orthodox educational system
which the Talmud-Torah school provides" in
the absence of any Messianic schools of their own.
When approached by Yad L'Achim,
the school expressed its intention of cooperating
with the anti-missionary organization in order "to
eliminate the serious phenomenon."
L'Achim also reported a deluge of "tracts"
in Haifa and its surroundings distributed by the Messianic
congregations, advertising a "preparation course for
bar and bat mitzvah," together with ads for the times
of prayer and Bible study of the Parashat haShavua - the
Torah portion of the week. Yad
L'Achim denounced these activities
as "perverse measures" - the missionaries being
willing to stop at nothing to "hunt the souls of innocent
regional paper Kol HaDarom (January
5) carried a full-length story on Pnina Comforti,
owner and manager of a chain of bakeries in the
south of the country (see previous Reviews).
Following the revoking of her kashrut license
by the Rabbinate due to the discovery that Pnina
was a Jewish believer - which has led to no small loss of
business and revenue - Pnina has decided to "fight
has filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court against
the Chief Rabbinate and the Rabbis of Ashdod and Gan Yavneh:
the moment when rumors started to fly around this issue
in Gan Yavneh [Pnina's original residence,
whence she was forced to leave as a result of the
harassment, and to set up another shop in Ashdod],
a real blood libel began against her conducted by
the radical Orthodox, whose whole purpose and objective
was and is to destroy the business of my client
in Gan Yavneh and everywhere else ..."
were hung with her picture in the shopping mall where
her shop is located identifying Pnina as a "missionary"
and a Messianic Jew. The latter are defined as those who
have "sold their souls, betrayed their people, and
gone over to the Christian religion."
The poster continues: "Don't give her a prize! Your
future and your children's future is most important. Don't
go into her shop because she has a slippery tongue and is
trying to hound you into the Christian religion. Stay away
from her. Be proud Jews. Vote with your feet."
lawsuit claims that "none of these rumors have any
foundation and are only slander and evil words." It
also states that "the community, and among them Rabbis,
are calling [upon the public] not to buy her goods and lending
a hand to a witch hunt against her."
revocation of Pnina's kashrut license, both in Gan Yavneh
and in Ashdod, was based on the grounds that, as a Messianic
believer, "it is impossible to trust you in matters
lawsuit argues that the source of the revocation of the
license lies in "foreign [non-relevant]
considerations." It was also done "in violation
of the law which forbids kashrut fraud, without any authority,
and out of discrimination because of her religion in violation
of Basic Law - Dignity of Man and his freedom, and infringement
of the freedom of business."
appears that the suit has made some impact already, since
Pnina's kashrut license has been restored - at least temporarily
- in Gan Yavneh. This will not end the story however:
Pnina's lawyers have stated that they will continue the
fight with a damages case, followed by charges of slander.
The report, it should be said, appears quite accurate and
objective, and concluded with an interview with Pnina herself
in order to "demonstrate just how complicated her situation
12, 2007 Media Review:
Several of the articles received in this week's Review are
repeats of earlier stories. These include "missionary
activities" in Bnei Brak and Beersheva, together
with coverage of the restraining order against Yehuda Deri.
continuation of the latter incident, several papers reported
that Deri met with the Chief Rabbi of Beersheva's
police force in order to encourage cooperation
between the two parties on such issues as road accident
prevention - and anti-missionary activity (Kol
HaNegev, January 19; HaMekoman, January 18).
"missionaries" were described as "Messianic
Jews, who pretend to be Orthodox [Jews]" and "endanger
Judaism when apparently breaking the law against conversion,
which forbids offering anything [to someone to make them
change their religion]." According to Deri,
while these "posers" do not give money, they do
offer "benefits, such as Bible studies and trips."
previous articles indicated, Deri's ire
has been roused precisely because of the missionaries' Jewish
identity: "If they came with a cross to their
activities, fine. [But] they come
with a Star of David and mitzvot [commandments]
and Torah and brain washing." [Meaning
they object to and deny that a Jew can remain a Jew while
holding faith in Yeshua/Jesus as the Jewish Messiah.]
Chief Rabbi for the police suggested in response
that the local religious council hire a person "to
document all missionary activity, in order to try and prove
that they apparently offer benefits, and only then to turn
to the police."
articles respond to the recent incident in Beersheva which
resulted in an interview with Howard Bass, the local congregation's
leader. Both articles stressed the fact that Bass
had acknowledged - even boasted - that he/the congregation
had baptized 40 Jews since his arrival in Beersheva.
(HaTzofeh, January 24; HaModia, January 28)
to HaTzofeh [a religious
newspaper], Deri responded to Bass's interview
by stating that: "If it turns out
that the missionary's words are true, we shall not rest
or stop and will hold a huge demonstration of protest and
crying out against conversion [apostasy] activity in the
indignantly reported that Bass "even pointed out the
place of the crime [baptisms], without any fear
of the law or police reaction.
proves that, quoting [Knesset] MK Meir Porush, the missionaries
relate to the State of Israel now as to a 'lawless' state
that encompasses a broad and unlimited field for their activity."
Porush continued his attack on the mission by
claiming not only that "they are overflowing
with financial means" but also, far more significantly,
that they constitute a national as well as a religious problem,
given that "it has been proved in the past
that there is even a connection between several missionary
bodies and groups close to terror organizations."
February 20, 2007 Media Review:
case of "Pnina Pie" is continuing to garner coverage,
especially in the local (regional)
media (see previous Reviews). Kol
HaDarom (February 2) carried
a further report on Pnina's case against the rabbinate over
the revoking of her kashrut license.
would appear that a compromise has been reached, according
to which one of Pnina's workers will be appointed to supervise
the kitchen of her bakery in Ashdod. This condition
will satisfy the rabbinate and allow the renewal of Pnina's
kashrut license without her being forced to provide a key
to the business to an outside supervisor.
The Supreme Court, to whom Pnina appealed against the revocation
of her license, has issued a ruling stating that it is to
be updated within twenty-one days regarding the implementation
of the compromise.
The article is written very fairly, stating quite clearly
that the call of the "inciters" to boycott her
business on the "ostensible pretext" that she
was using the bakery as a front for missionary activity
had "immediately led to insult and humiliation
becoming [Pnina's] fate."
February 28, 2007 Media Review:
The exposure of a "missionary hornet's nest"
masquerading as a soup kitchen in Upper Nazareth
was also reported by HaModia (February
15). [Soup kitchen run by Kehilat
Netzer HaGalil or Nazareth in the Galilee Congregation,
led by Leon Mazin].
According to the article, the 'deception' was revealed when
a near-by resident heard loud music issuing from the premises
on Holocaust Memorial Day, when respect for those killed
demands that there be no such entertainment performances.
On entering the building, in which a klezmer band was playing
and numerous people were dancing to the music, the neighbor
was quickly offered a meal, which he politely declined.
Having seen people being given food packages, tracts and
reading material in Russian, he then left. "He immediately
recognized that the place had no Jewish character and a
red light went off in his mind as to the true identity of
its owners": its real purpose was to draw immigrants
in through the gift of meals and food packages "to
what they defined as cultural activities which were in fact
regular visits to a nearby church."
the people attending the soup kitchen had been referred
by municipal social workers, once the 'fraud' was
unveiled, the city's mayor "took action without
delay and without any compromise" and spoke to all
members of the welfare office, making sure that his orders
- to the effect that the soup kitchen would no longer receive
any municipal funds or referrals - reached all its levels.
L'Achim [an anti-missionary organization]
claimed that this action was sufficient
to cause the soup kitchen's immediate closure and that "the
inevitable conclusion from such a story is that every humanitarian
activity must be monitored with a fine-tooth comb, since
this method is one which the mission frequently
exploits: distributing food and showering presents on people
in need, in order to deceive them." It also
noted that this "victory constitutes a heavy moral
blow against the mission which for so many years has been
endeavoring to establish a foothold in Nazareth."
you read these things, if the understanding is new to you
that religious Jews in Israel would persecute Jewish believers
in Jesus even while embracing a friendship with non-Jewish
Christians, please just go back & read the
Acts of the Apostles again because it is exactly the same
situation that is playing out.
Even as the apostle Paul persecuted the first century Jewish
believers, so many of these modern persecutors will also
see the light. Our business is to stand spiritually and
materially with the believers in Israel and pray in agreement
with their ministry needs. --dd