End of the Year 2008 Update

posted by Ellen W. Horowitz for JewishIsrael

“Joes” abandon Joel

Key Messianic leaders of the Ephramite movement (also referred to as “Joes” in reference to ” the House of Joe –seph”) have abandoned evangelical missionary Joel Bell and his World Biblical Zionist Center endeavor after questions of financial accountability and credibility were brought to the fore. Several weeks ago I wrote a critical report on Joel Bell and his missionary activities and, in an interview on A7, questioned the wisdom of World Likud and certain Likud members aligning themselves with him.

I dunno what Joel did with the Joes’ funds, but a couple of eyewitnesses at a recent Likud event saw Danny Dannon run up to Joel Bell with an urgent request for heavy funding. Follow the evangelical/messianic money trail, folks, and you may come up with an answer.

Joel Bell and Sagiv Assulin are scheduled speakers at a messianic restoration conference coming up in just over a week.

It should be mentioned that there have been recent reports connecting Sagiv Assulin to Moshe Feiglin and Manhigut Yehudit. But Feiglin is the only Likud member to publicly distance himself from evangelicals and their donations. Feiglin feels that as one climbs the political ladder, Hashem tests them – and on the evangelical/messianic front, Sagiv seems to be failing in a big way.

There are no secrets here and this writer suggests that reporters contact Moshe Feiglin or Shmuel Sackett directly on this issue.


Will Sephardic “Messianic” Jews inherit the Negev?

The Chistian Science Monitor reports on a growing trend among Christian Hispanics to trace – via DNA tests - their crypto Jewish roots. These Christians then join “messianic” congregations and emigration endeavors with the hopes of fulfilling “a prophesy that Sephardic Jews will inherit the Negev, a desert region of southern Israel.” The “rabbi”/ leader of the particular messianic Christian group discussed in the article, is “planning a trip to Israel in February and is in touch with government representatives about helping Hispanic Jews return to the country [Israel] to live.”

The Jewish Journal reported on this phenomenon back in July, noting that many of this group “convert” to Judaism, but retain their belief in Jesus which complicates the aliyah process under the law of return (but not if Messianic attorney Calev Myers gets his way).

Last April I reported that missionaries affiliated with James Hutchen’s Cyrus Fund were teaching the Gospel to Bnai Anusim via messianic churches - and getting those "converts" ready for aliyah to the Negev.What’s especially interesting to note is that in the mid 1970’s the very same retired Brigadier General Dr. James Hutchens, President of the Jerusalem Connection International, and his wife Patty, deceptively tried to convert to Judaism and make aliyah without abandoning their belief in Jesus (he even wrote a book about it, entitled “Guilty”)

Their efforts ended in failure when the Israeli Supreme Court rejected their “conversion”, and subsequent attempt to become Israeli citizens (they got swiftly booted out of this country). But that hasn’t stopped the good reverend - a former board member of John Hagee’s CUFI - from continuing efforts to promote a messianic Christian restoration in Israel.

What’s ironic and disturbing is that Benny Elon sits on Hutchen’s advisory board, and it was Benny’s father who handed down the decision on December 25, 1989 to categorically reject a bid by believers in Jesus to claim eligibility for aliyah as part of the Jewish people under the Law of Return. These are the words used by then Supreme Court Justice Elon:

"In the last two thousand years of history...the Jewish people have decided that messianic Jews do not belong to the Jewish nation...and have no right to force themselves on it," he wrote, concluding that "those who believe in Jesus, are, in fact Christians."


The Chairman of the Knesset Christian Caucus has announced his intentions to leave politics.
After being relegated to an embarrassing 17th spot on the "Jewish Home" Party list, Benny Elon said he would resign from politics, but continue his work with Christian supporters of Israel as chairman of the Israel Allies Caucus Foundation, the international arm of the
Knesset's cross-party Christian Allies Caucus.

Josh Reinstein, the director of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, also failed to make the grade on the “Jewish Home” list.


Yisrael Beiteinu chooses messianic Christian venue for Press conference

According to Arutz 7, Avigdor Lieberman convened his Yisrael Beiteinu Party press conference in the“missionary village” of Yad HaShmonah - a moshav west of Jerusalem, whose members are Messianic Jews and Christians.

According to Party spokesperson Irena Ettinger, Yad HaShmonah was chosen as the venue because, “It is a convenient location between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, with a nice-sized hall, and that’s it.”

The Jewish National fund site features Yad HaShmonah as an ideal place to hold a Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony and describes it as “a thriving moshav composed of Israeli and Finnish believers in Jesus Christ.”

Gotta wonder who gives the evangelical Christian village their hechsher?


Messianic Jewish Chaplains Must Wear Cross

The US Navy got it right. An order was handed down by Vice Admiral M. E. Ferguson U.S. Navy Deputy Chief of Naval Operations that Messianic Jewish chaplains must wear the cross lapel pin that identifies them as Christian rather than the Ten Commandments pin that signify a Jewish chaplain. That decision was made official last month after a messianic Christian applied to serve as a chaplain and requested the Jewish emblem, but was told to wear a cross. The loyal pseudo-Jew decided to leave the navy.


Messianic missionary leader detained at Ben-Gurion Airport

Jamie Cowen a director of the US Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations was detained at Ben Gurion airport for alleged missionary activity (duh!)

The Jerusalem Post reported that the Cowens were in Israel to visit their two daughters, one of whom is an Israeli citizen. The other is in the process of obtaining citizenship after she and a group of other Messianic Jews won a Supreme Court case against the state (Cowen is Jewish, his wife is not).

According to the report, Cowen said he had visited Israel about 10 times, and had been active in social causes via the Knesset Social Lobby (that would be via messianic attorney Calev Meyers who has served as Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Knesset Social Welfare Lobby).

"I've brought $100,000 in humanitarian aid to Israel. We've provided lone IDF soldiers with about $50,000 in aid… he said.”


Missionary musical director Chuck King to leave Israel

The Jerusalem Post reports that Chuck King, the music director at the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, has decided to end his sojourn in Israel.

What that article does not tell you is that Chuck King has done much to promote the messianic movement here in Israel by having served as the worship director for the messianic congregation Assembly Kings of Kings, located in Jerusalem's Clal Center.

King declared the theme of ICEJ 2008 Feast of the Tabernacles – the largest tourist event in Israel - to be year the of "the true “Lion King” – Jesus"

"we proclaim in this 60th year anniversary of Israel’s national rebirth, that the coming Lion of the Tribe of Judah will soon establish His rightful inheritance and establish His throne to rule over His city and the nations. "

Chuck King’s daughter recently married Israeli Oriel Danielson in a messianic Christian ceremony performed by pastor Tony Sperandeo. And Oriel is currently working as a broadcast technician for the missionary channel GodTV Satellite Network (beaming the gospel from Jerusalem).


Top evangelical, Rev. Richard Cizik, resigns from the NAE:

Reverend Richard Cizik resigned as the Vice President of Governmental Affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals. He did so after an NPR radio interview in which he voiced support for same-sex civil unions . The NAE said in a statement that Cizik had expressed regret, apologized and "affirmed our values." The NAE is an umbrella group for tens of thousands of churches and organizations.

Last year Cizik, who supports a two-state solution, met in a closed meeting with top evangelical leaders and Arab Muslim leaders to promote dialogue.

Cizik is a senior editorial advisor of the Christian Post which last summer published an attack on Orthodox Jews - accusing them of planting a bomb that severely injured a pastor’s son – despite there being no evidence, suspects, or arrests in the case to support that claim.

It should be noted that Cizik, like Benny Elon, sits on the advisory board of James Hutchen’s Jerusalem Connection International – a “Christian Zionist” publication (see earlier related story in this update).


Jewish mom uses this blog to plead for Israeli son lost to Jesus

Last August I blogged and sent out updates about a Jewish yassamnik who had been brought to Jesus via the evangelistic charms of a cute www.issuesthatmatter.com/israel19.htm"> missionary volunteer from Christians for Israel (CFI). Erin Elizabeth Adams wrote several www.issuesthatmatter.com/israel31.htm"> diary entries (which have since been taken offline) of how she step by step brought Tomer Kol to Jesus.


“My friend Tomer (Police guy) who I gave that book of Psalms to,has now agreed to attend www.kkcj.org/?s=youngadults"> "the deepend" at my congregation tonight”.

The deepend is a part of the www.kkcj.org/">Kings of Kings messianic missionary community in Jerusalem’s Clal Center (see earlier item on Chuck King).

It seems our “Police guy” went off the deep end shortly after his “deepend” encounter. He took off for the States, got baptized, and married the little missionary girl. The “ketuba” reads something like, “I will love you as Messiah Yeshua loved the Body and
gave himself for her…”

Well Tomer and his devastated Mom have been in touch with each other via my posting. Scroll down to the last comment of that blog post. It’s in Hebrew and is sure to bring you to tears. I’ll keep you posted, as we all hope and pray that Tomer comes home to his people (even if he is a yassamnik).


Missionaries Target Crown Heights, and Chabad Targets….Gentiles

Israel, you’re not alone. Crown Heights Brookline has a missionary problem.

“The Shomrim hotline received a call…informing them of a group of missionaries that was targeting Frum Yidden in front of 770, engaging in religious debate and distributing missionary paraphernalia.”

Meanwhile it appears that Chabad’s “messianic wing” has taken flight with a new mission of their own. The Jerusalem Post recently ran the following headline: New Indian Chabad House to reach out... to gentiles. The report seemed to ruffle the feathers of the mainstream Chabad leadership.

But there is no question that the Rebbe advocated that “…each person should fulfill the Seven Noahide Laws with all their details and particularities”.

I guess the jury is still out on the approach and the methods used to spread that message.


Jesus invited to Shul?: Riskin responds

I really haven’t had a chance to examine – in depth - Rabbi Riskin’s response to my post. I’m not a scholar (I’m just a Jewish mother with fairly good instincts), but at first glance it appears that Rabbi Riskin does indeed blur some lines.

This Jew finds it a little alienating when Rabbi Riskin expounds on the oneness of a threesome. But I was never really good at math or theology, and the concept of the trinity is really irrelevant to me as a Jew. I simply have no desire to understand it. And I was never under the impression that my faith advocated that “ultimately everyone will convert” to Judaism.I’ll have to pass Rabbi Riskin’s arguments on to greater minds than mine.

In the meantime, I’ll stick with Rav J.B. Soloveitchik’s psak against interfaith theological dialogue. And I would hope that Rabbi Riskin considers that despite his sweeping, prophetic, and scholarly views on the topic; the message which was ultimately conveyed about his center via a Christian–oriented publication is that Christians picked up the proselytizing ball which the Jews dropped, and that Jesus is now invited to shul.

And speaking of picking up dropped balls….


Eckstein: Evangelicals will fill the void in a post-Madoff era

The Jerusalem Post is reporting that Yechiel Eckstein's Christian group, IFCJ, is positioned to fill in the void left after the Jewish philanthropic world was devastated by the 50 billion dollar Madoff rip-off. Eckstein represents his Christian donors on the boards of the Jewish Agency, Keren Hayesod/United Israel Appeal, and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

I don’t doubt Eckstein’s word, as A7 reports that IFCJ is providing NIS 1,100,000 to Israeli communities currently under fire from the Palestinian Authority in Gaza.

I don't think we Jews have ever been in a position where we have had to hand the keys of tzedakah for our community over to Gentile hands. We have always strived to take care of our own. I expressed my concerns over this philanthropic deterioration within the Jewish community two years ago.

Our increasing dependency on Christian aid is a situation we asked for and which we created. Some would say we should be grateful, but as evidenced by this report I think we can clearly conclude that yes, there is a cost involved, and there are certainly strings attached.

“In the direction a person chooses to go, that’s where G-d will lead him.” (Makkot 10b)

------- For those who put their faith in John Hagee, he has a new book out called "Financial Armageddon"

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