Copyright © 2008, R. Kossover
First published at Blogcritics Magazine
7 October, 2008
Amidst reports of the Israeli government handing over part of the Russian Compound in Jerusalem to the Russian government and "crime minister" Olmert talking about shrinking Israel to its pre-1967 size, some good news came out of the Holy Land recently. Several news source reported Sunday and Monday that a "Jews for Jesus" ad was kicked off Kol Rega Radio (Voice of the Moment) in northern Israel Thursday upon the demands of thousands of enraged Israelis. Reports are found in the Jerusalem Post, Arutz Sheva and Israel Insider. Even the neo-Nazi Stormfront saw fit to comment on the event, quoting the Post story with one commenter complaining that, "they allow gay parades but not ads for the Prince of Peace?"
A more accurate description of the "Jews for Jesus" can be found from Israel National Radio host and Rabbi, Tuvia Singer, founder of a leading anti-missionary group Outreach Judaism. He said, according to the Arutz Sheva report, "Jews for Jesus' is trying to do to the Jews spiritually what Hamas is trying to do physically." Singer added, “In their spiritual assault on Jewish communities in the US, Israel and Europe, 'Jews for Jesus' deliberately blurs the distinctions between Judaism and Christianity in order to lure Jews who would otherwise resist a straightforward Christian message."
According to Yaakov Ariel, in his work "Counterculture and Mission: Jews for Jesus and the Vietnam Era Missionary Campaigns, 1970-1975 The Jews for Jesus", "Jews for Jesus" was the informal name of an older organization, "The American Board of Missions to the Jews". Apparently they broke away from the original organization, but retained always the Protestant orientation they started with. They have struggled manfully to create a movement of Christians called "messianic Jews". The truth of the matter is that any Jew awaiting the messiah is a messianic Jew, but the Jews for Jesus and groups like them sought to steal the title for themselves.
These days, Christian missionaries can be found all over Israel trying to steal Jewish souls with their deceptive literature in Hebrew, taking advantage of the ignorance of many secular Israelis of their own faith. This writer has seen a number of samples of this literature, including pamphlets given to him by a religious Jew who did not really much about Christianity and who was fooled by much of what he saw till corrected and told the source of the data. But, as this incident in the Galíl last week illustrated, the missionaries are not accepted quietly.According to the Post story,
Yoel Ben-David, a Jews for Jesus activist, said Orthodox Jews from different streams have threatened him and his peers, pushed them and, in Kiryat Shmona, removed the air from a car tire.Rabbi Drori's comments are mild, considering the persecution Christians practiced against Jews for seventeen centuries since getting a central position of favor in the Roman Empire under the Emperor Constantine. And Christian persecution of Jews has not stopped. A Jewish soldier in the United States was beaten up recently after complaining of anti-Jewish treatment. The US Armed Forces has been a hotbed of Christian missionary activity, often aimed specifically at Jews. The American military has long had a history of anti-Jewish sentiment. The South African Defence Forces, under the apartheid regime, had a policy of refusing Jews any advancement into officers ranks, even though they happily did business with Israel, buying arms from them. This, of course pales with the violent attacks on Jews in Russia, Byelorus, the Ukraine and Lithuania, all lands where millions of Jews died at the hands of the Nazis - with the hearty approval of the local population, whose own hands were often bloodied with pogroms against Jews in previous decades.
Kiryat Shmona Chief Rabbi Tzfania Drori said he had heard rumors about the car tire. "That is probably one of the mildest reactions imaginable in response to aggressive missionary activity pursued by these Jews for Yeshu," he said.
"I believe we have a right to prevent these people from entering our town and promulgating New Testaments and missionary literature; it is tantamount to a woman performing a striptease in the middle of a public place," Drori, who also heads a yeshiva in Kiryat Shmona, said.
He said a group of his students had followed the Jews for Jesus group around the town, heckling them and preventing them distributing their literature.
So, every now and then, in an atmosphere where Jews and Israel are like the tail of an animal being dragged in the ground, threatened on all sides with death and humiliation, it is kind of nice to see a bit of good news from the Holy Land - the spiritual murderers of our people getting a good kick in the gut.
It is richly deserved.
Labels: Christian Missionaries