Monday, August 25, 2008

Yasamniks for Yeshua and Rhinestone Cowboys for Jesus

Posted by Ellen W. Horowitz

Messianic Christians Thrive in Israel (so says CBN)

CBN (Pat Robertson's network, which is directed by CUFI executive board member Michael Little) has recently put out this
glowing report on "messianic Jews" in Israel

[Note: the site of the posting identifies itself as "Christian Zionist"]

The Jewish Cop and the Christian Missionary tie the knot

Some of you may recall my newsletter last year about a cute self proclaimed “missionary volunteer” for Christian Friends of Israel (CFI), who seduced a yasamnik and brought him to Jesus. Well, they were married in a messianic ceremony. The story behind this is intriguing…
Last year the Chief Rabbinate proscribed Jewish participation in the annual Christian Feast of the Tabernacles Convention and the Succot march - due to a missionary presence.

Witnesses reported that some missionaries were indeed proselytizing and working the streets during the parade, but nobody imagined that Yassamniks for Yeshua would put in a rather aggressive appearance , too.

A mild-mannered gentleman was distributing flyers, warning of missionaries, when three yassamniks confronted him and got a little pushy. He noted that the one pictured in the middle was especially “zealous” in his reaction.

As it turns out, his missionary girlfriend was on the beat with him.

Enter CFI missionary Erin's site and
scroll down, past all of those stunning wedding photos of the kallah, kisses, ketubah, kippa and tallis (there was no chupah, nor were the groom’s parents present), and you will see our cop baptized. Another lost Jewish soul, but it appears that we are left with one less brutal yasamnik to deal with - so you decide if it’s “good news” and if we should bless or curse this Judeo-Christian union.

The story doesn’t end here. The happy couple, Erin and Tomer, are starting a new site called
messianic - “a website in defense of persecuted Messianics in Israel”, and she has another site called “forced exile”, where deranged rapper for Jesus Aviad Cohen makes an appearance in the form of a talk-back.
And speaking of fading stars…

"Messianic Judaism" has gone Hollywood Chic

Reuters reports: Glen Campbell's new home in Malibu probably resembles the residences of many other successful musicians in the wealthy beach resort. The Baptist-raised country star, who says he once confused "menorah" with "manure," displays a Jewish candelabrum on the mantel, and a Hebrew book sits on the coffee table...the Rhinestone Cowboy soon breaks into a plaintive cry, "Jeee-esus ... Help me find my special place."

For two decades, the Campbells have been adherents of Messianic Judaism, a religious movement whose members regard themselves as committed Jews but are rejected by mainstream Jewish denominations as following an essentially evangelical Christian theology.
"It's Jews who believe that Christ is the risen savior," Campbell said. "I think it will all come around to that."
Pop-tart Lindsay Lohan is apparently contemplating conversion to Judaism in order to be closer to her girlfriend, DJ Samantha Ronson. According to the BANG Showbiz news service,
However, friends of the ‘Mean Girls’ actress have doubts about her intention to fully convert to the religion and think she is just doing it for attention. The source added to Life and Style Weekly magazine: “Two years ago it was Kabbalah. Last year it was Alcoholics Anonymous. She was into ‘peace’ for a while. Whatever is of the moment, that’s Lindsay. But the one thing it does show is her commitment to Sam. She could be any religion and Lindsay would be open to it.”
These stories kind of validate the statement made by Penina Taylor, the Director of Jews for Judaism in Jerusalem:

I would like to make a distinction between being drawn to Jewish things and being drawn to Judaism. Many Rabbis and Jewish leaders have mistakenly confused the two ideas, praising Christians for what is being considered a move towards Torah and away from the pagan roots of Roman Christianity, without realizing that the attraction is only towards Jewish things and not Judaism...
A Very Profitable Non-Profit

Yechiel Eckstein must be doing something right (or wrong?) A new Crain's survey at has the Founder and President of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) earning $832,753 in 2007 and lists him as the second highest paid non-profit executive in the Chicago area (doesn't he live in Jerusalem?). That's some raise, as Forbes Magazine had him raking in a paltry $381,517 at the end of 2004.

Depending on the climate, it appears Eckstein is either hot, cold, or lukewarm on the issue of attempts to evangelize his Jewish brethren. According to, the official IFCJ policy on evangelizing is as follows: "IFCJ affirms the right and responsibility of evangelicals to share the Gospel. The organization neither endorses nor discourages such efforts".

Meanwhile Eckstein is running a series of radio commercials on Israeli stations, and even managed to get himself a major public relations plug in the form of a lengthy article in the JPost's "In Jerusalem" section. You need connections to get an article like that. Eckstein used to be a partners in the production of the Christian Edition of the Jerusalem Post, so I asked editor Gershom Gale if this was still the case. Gale responded, “No, Rabbi Eckstein and his IFCJ are no longer partners with The Jerusalem Post in the production of The Christian Edition, though the publication remains a natural friend and ally of his organization.”
Good friends and allies are hard to come by these days… Just ask Jerusalem City Coucilwoman, Mina Fenton...

It seems some Emunah women abandoned their good friend and ally after reading her criticism of Eckstein in the “In Jerusalem” article. They wrote two nasty letters to the editor in response. But they seemed to have forgotten that Fenton was the Chairperson of Emunah Jerusalem from 1996 -2001, and now serves as member of the boards of Emunah Jerusalem, Emunah Israel and World Emunah.

But what was really strange is that only a month ago Fenton addressed the missionary problem in a special seminar of Emunah Jerusalem and was joined by Penina Taylor, director of the Jerusalem branch of “Jews for Judaism”. The considerable audience of Emunah members present were impressed with the presentation, acknowledged the importance of the seminar and expressed the desire to help combat missionary activity in Israel. However, none of the signatories appearing on the letters to the editor were present at that seminar. Ya gotta wonder who put them up to it…
Property dispute:

The Jerusalem Post is reporting that Jews and Christians are at odds over constructionon Mt. Zion:
An ancient monastery adjacent to where, according to Christian tradition, Jesus ate the Last Supper, has turned into a legal battleground for Catholics and Jews.
"The construction work going on at the site raises the suspicion that someone is trying to Judaize a Catholic site and prevent freedom of religious expression."

Well someone tried to” Judeo-Christianize “ it too….
About eight years ago Eckstein tried to purchase property on Mt Zion in the area of the Tomb of King David with the purpose of establishing a world evangelical headquarters and center. When Councilwoman Mina Fenton presented the late Avner Shaki – who held the property - with evidence of Eckstein’s intentions, Shaki scrambled to break the deal. In the meantime the Vatican has relentlessly kept up the pressure on Israel to relinquish control of the site of the purported Last Supper.
If the Diaspora Yeshiva and those who maintain and pray at Kings David’s Tomb on Mt. Zion had to, G-d forbid, choose between having their studies and prayers disrupted by Roman Catholic High Mass, Gregorian chants, or a chorus of spirited holy rollers bellowing “Hallelujah”, “Amen” and “Jeeesus”, what would they choose?
Travel Advisory: Beware of Israeli Hotel for Jesus

The following email warning was recently sent out by a Licensed Tour Guide from the Israeli Ministry of Tourism:
“I was put up in the Gilgal Hotel, 7 Rehov Ness Tziona, Tel Aviv, by the agent.
The hotel has Israeli flags, Israeli papers, mezuzot and even a sign for the Shabbat elevator.But the only reading material in the room was a Gideon's Bible. The wall murals all have messianic themes. In the dining room other guests were discussing how to win over Jews. When questioned the receptionist admitted that the hotel was owned by Evangalists and a quick Google showed that they are set up in Tel Aviv to win the Jews over.
Beware! Do not send groups there, tell your agent you refuse to stay there and let everyone know.”
Hagee’s gone missionary…again

After I reported that his name had been removed as an endorser of the virulent messianic organization Maoz Israel, Pastor John Hagee and his wife have reappeared as supporters of the Tel Aviv based mission which aggressively and openly proselytizes in Israel.
Setting the world on fire

Steven Strang, a prominent and problematic director of CUFI, who promotes messianic movements in Israel, gave an endorsement to last week’s mass prayer gathering that took place at Washington’s National Mall. “The Call” is the brainchild of the fiery and very animated Christian fundamentalist Lou Engle.
In May, TheCall went to Jerusalem for the first time, “where gentile and Jewish believers came together to pray for the spiritual eyes of Israel to be opened to their Messiah - Jesus.” And Pat Robertson’s CBN gave special coverage to the event. We really ought to thank President of CBN, CUFI”S Michael Little for this coverage (must see)
Of course, Binyeine Hauma opened their doors wide for this event.

For those of you who can’t get enough of this strange fire and strange worship in Israel, I have created a virtual pilgrimage tour for you (with special thanks to YouTube). Enjoy the trip.
Lou Engle-from TheCall in Jerusalem
Lou Engle on Mt. Carmel in Israel!


Anonymous said...

Very alarming. This may be just the cream of the crop, I heard that CUFI is having a "mega-event" sometime in October where Israel will receive tens of thousands of "friendly" tourists who will roam around the streets doing G-d knows what.

Anonymous said...

At present, Christian tourism is a vital industry in Israel. And I have no problems with the Jewish state welcoming and providing top-notch services for the various visitors of all faiths that come here.

However, encouraging mega-missionary events and messianic church revivals is something we as Jews should not be doing.

We need to lay down the law with strict anti-missionary legislation and halachic guidelines.

Hadassa DeYoung said...

Vital industry? Since when has allowing idol worshipers into Israel been a vital industry? I'm not saying that we should ban non-Jewish tourists, but considering them vital is contrary to "Am levado ishcon".

Anonymous said...

Hi Hadassa,
I qualified my statement by saying,
" At present Christian tourism is a vital industry..." Meaning that in the future I hope it won't be vital.

Israel should be able to develop its tourism industry without crossing halachic lines, or having our economic well-being hinge on a faith that is foreign and forbidden to us.

Anonymous said...

You may want to do some more research on The Fellowship before leaving so many ridiculously false comments. First of all The Fellowship takes NO PART in evangelism. Since Christians and Jews share common beliefs dictated within the old testament the "discussion of the Gospel" is of course endorsed, however evangelism is NOT.

Also regarding the Rabbi's salary, you might want to check out charity navigator or and you will see that The Fellowship's allocation of administration costs are excellent and they are rated with three stars for efficiency in fundraising/stewardship.

Also, before proclaiming that one day you hope tourism by a "forbidden faith" isn't vital to Israel, you might want to investigate what exactly that "forbidden faith" has done to support Israel that have nothing to do with missionary legislation, but rather respect for a common history and hope for tolerance and understanding.

Here are some FACTUAL statics about The Fellowship...

The Fellowship has funded thousands of projects through hundreds of cities and organizations in Israel and the former Soviet Union

In 2007 The Fellowship rebuilt roughly 2,000 bomb shelters in Sderot, Ashkelon, and northern Israel

Thousands of Israelis eat in Fellowship-sponsored soup kitchens each day

Over 10,000 children receive assistance at various day care centers, dental clinics, and youth clubs throughout Israel

300,000 Holocaust survivors are receiving stipends from The Fellowship in 2008

Anonymous said...

I just re-read my post, and I fail to see "so many ridiculously false comments". I simply quoted the Fellowship's policy on evangelizing, and I quoted and linked to Eckstein's salary figures. I also made mention of his bid for property on Mt. Zion. Is something untrue here?

You, on the other hand, gave a whole lot of information...
First of all, according to standard dictionary definitions, the Gospel is defined as :
a: the message concerning Christ, the kingdom of God, and salvation
b(capitalized): one of the first four New Testament books telling of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; also : a similar apocryphal book c: an interpretation of the Christian message

In this sense the Christians and Jews share no "common beliefs", and your reference to the Fellowship's endorsement of "discussion of the Gospel" amounts to nothing more than politically correct evangelism.

Please understand that the amount of generosity pouring forth from Christian sources cannot negate the fact that Christianity is a "forbidden faith" for the Jews. No amount of money and humanitarian aid can change that. And the sooner the Christians understand and respect this, the better off we will all be.

I long for the day when Gentiles can once again generously and even anonymously support Israel without the name of christ attached. I was fortunate enough to see hundreds of thousands of dollars and services contributed to Israel from Gentile sources who felt no need to spread "the Word" and kept the "good news" to themselves.

esther kol said...

לתומר היקר, תודה שהפנת אותנו אל הבלוג הזה כשנתבקשת ע"י המשטרה לכתוב אלינו לאחר שחששנו לחייך אחרי היעלמותך והברחתך לחו"ל. חשוב לנו לכתוב לך באמצעי האחרון שהותרת לנו מכמה סיבות: בראש ובראשונה כדי שתדע, למרות שעמוק בפנים אתה הרי יודע, שאנחנו אוהבים ודואגים לך מכיוון שאנו יודעים בדיוק לאן נפלת! בלוג זה בא לתת לנו תשובות לחששותינו ולאמת את הדרך שהובלת אליה. לנו ולכתבת בבלוג זה אין כל קשר למרות שאתה חושב שהיא כתבה את שכתבה בגללנו! הכתבת פשוט עשתה שימוש במה ש"אהובתך" נתנה לה לעשות! תחשוב- למה לפרסם תמונות מזעזעות כאלו?! "אהובתך" היא זו שפירסמה את התמונות שאף אחד לא פירסם ואיפשרה את הכתבה הזו!!! מפה אתה תלמד מה שאנו כבר יודעים- היא עושה בך שימוש! מטרתה לבזות ולהשפיל אותך! גם אנו הרגשנו בדיוק כמו שאתה הרגשת כשראית את הכתבה הזו! אבל שוב, מי שאיפשר את החשיפה שלך זו "אהובתך" - היא זו שחשפה את המראה המזעזע של הטבילה שלך לנצרות בכנסייה בניו ז'רזי הידועה לשימצה בעבודת המיסיון שלה בעם היהודי! היא זו שנתנה חומר עליך!ילד יקר, הולכת שולל ע"י אנשים מקצועיים שמשתמשים בתום הלב שלך! עמוק בפנים אתה יודע שאנחנו אוהבים ותמיד נאהב אותך - לא משנה מה תגיד או יגידו עלינו! תמיד לצידך בכל זמן שתבקש! מחכים לך שתתעורר ותחזור אלינו! המחשבה שאנו אלו שחברו עם הכתבת בפירסום הכתבה היא מניפולציה שמעבירים אותך בגלל שאתה חושב בדיוק כמונו על פירסום התמונות הללו ע"י "אהובתך"! היא חושפת דברים פרטיים שלך ויש לה כוונה ולא מתוך תמימות או אהבה! אבל אנחנו פה ונגן עליך בכל מחיר! וזה בגלל שאנו יודעים שכל ההשמצות והשקרים עלינו באים לא ממך אלא מהסובבים אותך במטרתם להרחיק אותך ממנו ומכל מי שאוהב אותך! פקח את עיניך! למקרה ולא יעבירו אליך את ההודעה הזו- יש לנו מידע מהימן ומדוייק על המחזיקים אותך! ואנו נדע אם הודעה זו הועברה או לא- ונפעל בהתאם, כחוק!
לצעירנו זה המקום היחיד בו אנו יכולים לאחל לך יומולדת שמח ומי ייתן שה' לא יזנח אותך ומשפחה יהודייה תעזור לך ולנו כפי שכתוב בתהילים פרק מ"א: "למנצח מזמור לדוד, אשרי משכיל אל דל ביום רעה ימלטו ה' , השם ישמרהו וייחייהו ואושר בארץ ואל תתנהו בנפש אוייביו, ה' יסעדנו על ערש דוי כל משכבו הפכת בחוליו, אני אמרתי ה' חנני רפאה נפשי כי חטאתי לך, אוייבי יאמרו רע לי מתי ימות ואבד שמו ואם בא לראות שווא ידבר ליבו יקבץ אוון לו ייצא לחוץ ידבר, יחד עליי יתלחשו כל שונאיי עליי יחשבו רע לי, דבר בליעל יצוק בו ואשר שכב לא יוסיף לקום. גם איש שלומי אשר בטחתי בו אוכל לחמי הגדיל עליי עקב ואתה ה' חנני והקימני ואשלמה להם. בזאת ידעתי כי חפצת בי, כי לא יריע אוייבי עליי ואני בתומי תמכת בי ותציבני לפניך לעולם, ברוך ה' אלוהי ישראל מהעולם ועד העולם אמן ואמן". אוהבים אותך ונאהב תמיד! המשפחה שלך!

merav kol said...

the truth about the mistaken jewish soul

bareket57 said...

Remember! These guys were involoved in the brutal expulsion the Jews from Azza and North Shomron.

A Stranger In A Strange Land said...

Bareket 57 Which guys were involved in the brutal expulsion the Jews from Azza and North Shomron? The Xtians?