Sunday, October 11, 2009

Missionaries Rejoice over High Holiday Opportunities in Israel

Posted by Jewish Israel

Time for a High Holiday harvesting wrap-up...

Evangelical missionaries from the overt to the covert were especially active in Israel over the past few weeks. Jewish Israel offers comprehensive coverage of the “pilgrim’s progress" and reports of incidents ranging from missionaries in Bnai Brak to a massive Jews for Jesus campaign in the Jezreel Valley.

We also report on missionary mishaps on the part of the Israeli media, and top evangelical leaders unmask the true meaning behind the Christian Feast of the Tabernacles and Global prayer events in Jerusalem ( we have several new video clips)

Penina Taylor tries to help Rabbi Riskin with his root and branch issues.

We also cover the very strange and halachically challenging events which took place in Hevron last week…read the full report at Jewish Israel


Netivotgirl said...

Ellen, Boruch Hashem we have folks like you and Peyilim Yad La'achim fighting this "plague!"

Chizki ve'imtizi and Kol ha'kavod! Thanks for keeping us posted!

Keli Ata said...

Everyone at Jewish Israel does an amazing job!

It's disgusting that they'd choose the most religious time of year to pounce on Jews in Israel. They should be ashamed of themselves. Perhaps Israel should place a ban on Christian tourism during the High Holy days.

ellen said...

Netivotgirl and Keli Ata,

Thanks for the encouraging feedback.

Keeping track of this plague during the Chagim was a bit of a downer.

The covert missionary activities and increasing fundamentalist Christian influence in Israel is of very real concern- and JI is trying to keep on top of it. BUT the overt J4J stuff is a real provocation, and Jewish Israel is very anxious for rabbinic and political leaders to take a stand and to try and get some ground rules in place, because a lot of Jewish souls are very disturbed by what's taking place on our streets in the name of "religious freedom".

Anonymous said...

Keli, let's get a little bit real.

Until Israel and its Jews wake up to the danger and offensiveness of the Christian spiritual trampling and assault against us here, there's a very limited amount that can be done.

The first line of defense should be our religious leaders, both Rabbanim and politicians. Unfortunately, neither group is squeaky clean on these matters and even those that are don't seem to have the issue high enough on their priority list.

Rabbanim from communities and the Rabbanut as a whole should be compiling guidelines on dealing with Christian visitors and their activities here. Right now, they're swatting at flies.

Anonymous said...

Baruch Sheh'kivanti.


goyisherebbe said...

Keli, bans are not doable and not effective. The Saudi approach of banning is not suitable to the Jewish people. In the long run there is only one solution: Jewish education. When your average Jew on the street in Israel knows Tanach well and is well steeped in emuna (Jewish philosophy and belief) and has the character traits that cause others to say "Wow, I want to be like that!", then we won't have a problem. In the meantime we have do our homework to avoid the sucker punches and not lose our cool. We have to avoid violence because it is not effective. We have to remember that they raise money by showing what persecuted martyrs they are! If they would go out on the street and find the guys who see them, smile and say, "make my day", that will be much better. It will also keep them away from the weaker Jews who can't handle them. Another problem is the weakness for the glitter of that which is foreign, to say nothing of the glitter of money. We have to realize that Israel is second to none and has no need of them. We are not a Third World country. We should also target the missionaries for counter-missionary activity. Some of the most dedicated missionaries are actually very attracted to Jews and Jewish roots and are missionizing to convince themselves. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

ellen said...


Jewish education in the "long run" may be the ultimate answer, but right now we have an urgent short term disaster looming which requires immediate measures.

Counter-missionary legislation and strict halachic guidelines on this issue is not "the Saudi approach", it is the Jewish approach. And it doesn't involve violence.

I don't think Jews should be concerned that we will appear to be Taliban-like if we adopt measures to protect Torah Judaism and to an ensure the Jewish character of the state of Israel.

The Christian Right is regularly accusing us of "intolerance", "religious freedoms violations" and "church persecution" every time we try and curb the spreading of the gospel in Israel.

Even if Jews were well versed in Torah and missionaries posed no threat, would you still find it permissible to allow rampant avodah zarah in Israel? Dumb question, right? Because if we were well versed in Torah and properly educated - like you suggested - we would never allow this missionary activity or presence in our land.

So don't get bent out of shape if the gentile world starts branding us as or comparing us to Saudi or Taliban extremists because we try and act like sovereign Jews in our land.

goyisherebbe said...

I'm not getting bent out of shape about the gentile world. I'm talking about feasibility in the world today as it exists. When I say Saudi Arabia I don't refer to violence any more than when I say the expulsion used Nazi or Communist propaganda techniques do I intend gas chambers or gulags. I am talking about style and perception. If it were possible politically, which it isn't, for the State of Israel to hermetically ban Christians who could conceivably be missionaries, you could forget about kiruv and tourism. It would be a mistake. We have to get better with our message instead of hiding behind barbed wire. To complicate matters, I see that there is an ad for International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (Yechiel Eckstein), which many see as a conduit for potential missionary activity. Where do I see it? Right here on this blog! Trouble, right here in River City. Get real, people.

Keli Ata said...

Okay. I'm ignorant of the missionary threats in Israel; understandable since I am neither a missionary nor an Israeli.

My comments are just thinking out loud with some ranting mixed in.

As for banning missionary groups why not ban those that are particulary aggressive like J4J as a dangerous cult since they prey on the vulnerable?

If not a total ban then severe limitations on the amount of time missionaries from well-established groups can spend in Israel, say seven days (same too with groups like Peace Now. Boy is that the flip side of the coin!)

The majority of missionary groups are affliated with television ministries which scam vulnerable Americans out of their money (check into the whole 'give to get' concept on missionary telethons).

Missionaries have two agendas--convert everyone to JC and make money to help convert everyone to JC.

If not an outright ban on them, then limit their time in Israel.

Refuse them permission to establish television networks in Israel (sad that missionaries can set up tv stations in Israel but Jews in some parts of the country can't expand their communities).

Hold politicians accountable when they schmooze with the likes of John Hagee and accept donations. It's difficult since politicians need money for their campaign the draw of missionaries and their money is hard to resist.

Politicians are politicians and they're not inclined to refuse donations from anyone.

Rabbis should also be held accountable--they shouldn't accept money from missionaries and Xtian television ministries, even if the money is used for a good cause.

Such money is what xtians call "filthy lucre" or filthy money. Rabbis shouldn't touch it at all. Missionary money is filthy money.

I feel bad for R. Eckstein. He seems so sincere in those infomercials. He now has a TV show on Xtian networks (at least the local one in the US, TCT) in which he teaches xtians about Torah and Judaism.

The xtians are evangelicals and basically just picking his mind to gather enough info on Jews to rope them into accepting messianic Judaism as an accepted branch of Judaism.

Search online about the pressures among evangelicals for Rabbi Eckstein to convert.

Or read about the controversies in Messianic circles to refuse donations to Eckstein's IFCJ because he will not convert.

There's "Christian charity" at work for ya--no conversion, no money.

Finally--I feel very secure in saying the entire Christian Zionist movement is a sham to make Israel missionary-friendly.

I was a Catholic until 2002. Not once was missionary activity ever preached in my congregation. This whole Christian Zionist thing is a relatively new phenomena.

True, there's a small Hebrew Catholic mov'tment in Catholicism but nothing even close to the evangelical Christian Zionist movement.

What's behind the Christian Zionist movement? Lots of money coerced from gullible American Christians and a desire to convert Jews to JC. To quote Benny Hinn, "winning the lost at any cost."

Sorry sorry sorry for going on a rant. I just get passionate about this. And those videos on the J4J website of elderly Holocaust survivors tricked by J4J makes my blood boil.

And I have personal reasons for being so vehement about all missionaries. When my mother was young her employer's daughter--a bible thumping Baptist--hounded my mother about how she was going to hell because she was a Catholic and how Catholics weren't xtians.

All of my mother's adult life she would have dreams about that harassment, even into her 70s. When she died in 2003 she had a look of terror in her eyes as she gasped her last breaths. This despite being heavily sedated with IV Ativan and Morphine.

I always wonder if she thought she was going to hell because that missionary pounded it into her head that she was.

Not only did the missionary activity haunt my mother it haunts me now, too.

Again, I apologize for the rant, going OT, and for the very long comment (sorry Batya and Ellen!).

G-d bless everyone at Jewish Israel.

Shiloh said...

goyisherebbe, first educate Jews of the historical Jew who taught Jews to follow the Torah. Then missionaries would be irrelevant. Then teach goyim who so desperatly want to follow this Jew that his followers taught goyim to live by the Torah also. It would then bring millions of goyim to the Torah as it's supposed to happen. It would further increase tourism especially at Succot. Being truthful is the only way to solve this matter. Being deceptive snakes and slanderers will only make things worse.

I was talking to a non Jew this week who already abandoned his pagan man-g-d. He was lost as no one showed him the path of haShem. Why? Because the wicked Erev Rav kept the Torah for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Shiloh the messianic is back with more nonsense about his idol, Jesus.

We Jews know that the historical Jew who taught the Jews to follow the Torah was Moshe Rabbeinu and those who followed in his footsteps.

Hashem and Moses - someone who your dead Jesus didn't obey.