I receive an Israel update email from Glory of Zion every week with updates about what is going on in the land. There has been a growing persecution of Jewish Believers in Israel by the Orthodox Jews of the country. This week’s update was such a good delivery of both the most recent line of attack and the overall situation that I thought I would share it here. (Please excuse the lack of picture mentioned in the article, I did not know how to move it from an email to this blog post)…
The following enormous (15″ x 11″) dwarfed a “Sports” page in the first section of Friday’s Jerusalem Post (July 15, 2011, p.11). To the right is the same ad appearing last week in the Hebrew newspaper HaAretz.
The ad is sponsored by a leading “Anti-Missionary” organization in Israel. It begins, “‘Messianic Jews’ Are Pulling the Wool Over Our Eyes!'” This is followed by phrases drawn from four public figures, all very dated, and pulled out of context and presented to serve the purpose of the sponsors in presenting Messianic Judaism in a negative light. The add ends, “‘Messianic Jews’ try to entrap Jews by distributing material in the mail and by sponsoring concerts and street performances. The time has come to pass a law that halts the missionaries’ destructive activities. Join the struggle!” – followed by a website and telephone number of the sponsors. The website, reporting on purported responses to its present campaign, claimed that “many callers gladly added their names to a petition.calling on the Knesset to amend the anti-missionary law so that it forbids all missionary activity (and not just that among minors or involving financial inducements to convert).” Ironically, a slogan at the top of its page reads “We don’t give up on even a single Jew.” The “wool” which this organization and others like it pull over the eyes of Israelis is the falsehood that Jews who believe in Yeshua (Jesus) as their Messiah and Savior are no longer Jews. No such accusations are leveled on those of Hebrew lineage who follow the teachings of an Eastern religion, of New Age, of the supposed “Messiah” Shneerson (deceased), or who (like millions of Israelis) believe nothing at all. But one who believes in Yeshua, even if born in Israel of Holocaust survivor parents, is automatically no longer a Jew, but a dangerous person, seeking to “steal the souls” of those who are.
We have seen whole-page ads taken out by certain religious sects in the past to promote their beliefs. However, apart from the effect the content of these adds may have on their readers, it is troubling that such a publication as HaAretz, a left-wing paper which prides itself on its stand on behalf of civil rights, would lower itself to permitting within its advertisements such adds, which blatantly vilify, disparage and accuse a particular group of Israelis who serve honorably in the nation’s military and are exemplary citizens in its work force . In some ways such ads bear disturbing resemblances to those which began appearing in certain European countries 80 years ago accusing ALL Jews of having ulterior motives, of seeking to “entrap”, of “destructive activities”.
On a positive note.at least now, the name Messianic Jew (Hebrew: Yehudim Meshikhim), is being used within public media even by such organizations (albeit within quotation marks), as that which purchased the ad. This title has not always been allowed in most of the media. Then, in 2008 a young Messianic Jew in Ariel discovered a “Purim gift” on the landing of his family’s apartment. The gift turned out to be a powerful bomb which ignited when he picked it up. Miraculously, this young man has survived. Eventually, it came to light that the perpetrator had been an Orthodox Jewish man, one since alleged to have been associated with one of these same prominent “Anti-Missionary” organizations about which we are writing. Yet, through the many articles which came out as a result of this atrocity, an opening was made in many Israeli papers for articles to appear describing who the Messianic Jews are and what they believe. Today, most of the Israeli secular press has begun to make use of this title (without quotations marks); thus helping more and more citizens to become aware of their presence.
*That God will bring these accusations to nothing, make these plans of no effect (Psalm 33:10)
* “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Yeshua” (Acts 4:29-30). Pray for Divine direction and strategy for Israeli Jewish believers as persecution from the “religious” sector increases.
* “For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge“ (Romans 10:1). Pray for revelation of the knowledge of Messiah will come into the Orthodox Jewish community, including the ranks of the “anti-missionaries”. Pray that Messianic Jews and Gentile believers in the land would be granted a supernatural love for these people, while not being intimidated by them.
* “And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you.Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD, for He is aroused from His holy habitation!” (Zechariah 2:11b, 13). Pray that eyes will be opened to the many places where Yeshua is present in the Hebrew Bible.and that Jews will realize that it is the LORD they seek to serve Who sent Him.
*That a law banning sharing one’s Faith in Messiah Yeshua with other Jews will not be passed.
*That the Israeli press will not be intimidated by Orthodox anti-freedom of religion organizations and will not allow in theirk advertising sections large adds vilifying other Jews.