Messianic Rapper Aviad Cohen to leave Israel

"The World's Most Kosher MC" turned Jesus freak, who made aliyah last fall, is reportedly leaving the country (thank G-d).

Jewish Israel had informed the Interior Ministry and alerted Yad L’achim about his activities. In addition we had posted videos clearly displaying his contempt for Orthodox Judaism and his overt missionary intentions.

Cohen’s own site posts the following:
MAY 31, 2009
“Aviad Cohen has chosen to move back to the USA soon. Where will he live?..."I should have stayed in the USA to share the Good News with the Gentiles and even some Jews." Aviad will also be seeking discipleship in the USA. Your prayers are appreciated during this challenging time.”

A Messianic blogger has posted a letter from Aviad:

"Dear friend,
Hi, it's Aviad Cohen. I will keep this note as brief as possible. After consulting legit professional therapists and counselors here in Israel (more than 1) who are believers who did an assessment on me and my situation, it has been made clear that I need to move back to the USA for many different reasons that I prefer not to disclose since some are of a sensitive nature… “

JI feels that Aviad Cohen is indeed a troubled and lost Jewish soul. In addition to his video and television rants against rabbinic Judaism, he would ramble in email about “rabbinic Pharisaic Judaism demons”, “the devil”, “witches” , and “the occult” .

Numerous rabbis and counter-missionary specialists have reached out and tried to assist him. We feel it is deplorable that premier Christian Television networks ranging from the established to the overtly messianic missionary to the occult have taken gross advantage of his talent and internal turmoil in order to promote their agenda to convert Jews.

JI notes that one of Aviad’s projects that he did while in Israel was to design a website in cooperation with his messianic attorney Calev Myers, and the messianic Ortiz family. The site features an “R’ rated documentary film reportedly commissioned by Calev Myer’s Jerusalem Institute of Justice. The site’s banner states:

“Ami Ortiz is probably the Israeli who has been injured the worst by Jewish terror” – Ilan Dayan (Reporter on Israel’s Uvda program on channel 2 TV).

Jewish Israel has already expressed its opinion of Ilana Dayan’s report, and of Calev Myer’s opportunistic agenda.

There is a complete media black-out and court-ordered gag on this case. Neither messianic attorney Calev Myers, nor the Ortiz family, nor Ilana Dayan are privy to the facts. At this point, any accusations leveled are nothing more than speculation bordering on a blood libel against the Orthodox Jewish community in Israel.

And there is much, much more to come from JI on this issue.

In the meantime, good riddance, Mr. Cohen. We hope and pray that you get proper help through truly Jewish channels, and that one day you will return to your people.

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Comment by Jewish Israel on July 30, 2009 at 11:08am
Well, that's a very existential and correct view for a Jew to take. We should all be carrying the burden and tuning in-to our perplexed and stumbling brothers and sisters. That's the big picture.

But, there's a smaller, more personal picture too. It involves family and friends, and - first and foremost - the individual himself. A person has to seek help, want help, and ultimately take responsibility for himself. Channels for aid certainly exist in the Jewish community. There are probably not enough of them. That many young people rebel and turn their backs on Judaism - or simply drop out - is something that the greater Jewish community needs to reflect and act upon. But ultimately it's the Jew as an individual who will have to muster the inner strength to do teshuva, and to return to himself and to G-d

That some of the Christian groups behave like Amalek and pick up the weak, vulnerable, and distressed (and in this case talented)of our ranks, and then use them to their advantage, is unsettling. But I suppose the lesson is that we Jews need to watch our back sides. Perhaps if we didn't have Amalek, to some extent, in the front of our ranks among some of our own leaders, then they wouldn't be picking us off in the back of the line.
Comment by Moshe Verschleisser on July 30, 2009 at 3:25am

They only got in touch with him once he was committed to doing it - it's part of his whole confusion about his upbringing. It's not about him in israel; he fell off of the Jew train before he even left NY for LA. Most, from what I recall then, tried openly to be mearev him; few even tried to befriend him.

He had always had a problem with Rabbis - always. I speculate it's to do with his desire to be the star, and with unimpressed Rabbis around, he turned towards rejection. The guy, from what i remember, just wanted to be wanted. hence why he loved the christian acceptance - and now that he isn't a big celeb for them anymore, where's he going?

Yes, it's juvenile of him - he refused to study with many people once his mind was made up - but someone in the community should've seen it. When we lose someone, it is our fault. Perhaps for not being attentive enough, or for treating them right, or for not educating them, or for neglecting them, or abusing a community, it's our responsibility.
Comment by Jewish Israel on July 29, 2009 at 12:06am
From what JI understands, an awful lot of Jewish counselors and rabbis, as well as non Jews were trying to help Aviad long before he came to Israel.
Meanwhile, the premier Christian television stations were giving him tremendous airtime and coverage.
And when he came to Israel it seems the "messianic" community used him plenty - like to design the Ami Ortiz website .
Don't blame the Jews for this one
Comment by Moshe Verschleisser on July 28, 2009 at 8:45pm
The people telling him to return to the US were therapists and counselors - not religious leaders. I don't know about teshuva calling him, per se, but he should probably consider long term therapy. In his letter, he admits to poor judgement and impulsive behaviors, consistent with his past.

We've got to daven for the poor guy. He failed as a Jewish musician on the East Coast; he failed as a Christian musician and minister on the West Coast; gave up whatever material posessions he had to get to Israel where again, he failed. We should've noticed his impulsive behaviors here and helped him get the help he needed. Perhaps then he wouldn't have gotten on the Jesus bus in the first place.

In a sense, we failed him before he failed himself.
Comment by Jewish Israel on June 4, 2009 at 9:49pm
Wonder what he's gonna do now. In the last video we saw of him - very recent - he sort of spoke as if Jerusalem was waking up that tortured soul of his. You don't think that teshuva could be in the cards for him, do you?

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