Now there arose new rabbis in Israel who knew not the Rav - Part 2

Part 1 of this series can be read here

Tuesday Night Live for Christians

Reports are coming in that Ari Abramowitz’s and Jeremy Gimpel’s Tuesday Night Live in Texas resembled a Baptist church revival with some token Jews in attendance. The crowd was overwhelmingly Christian, with missionary groups and personalities well represented. Jewish Israel is aware that the messianic Christian Crossover TV Productions filmed the event.

Missionary backing

Arutz 7, which had carried banners on their site for the event, was conspicuously absent, but Mike Isley and his organization Texans for Israel were visibly present- right down to the fundraising envelopes. In addition to hosting Ari and Jeremy’s recent speaking appearances, Mike has been funding Tuesday Night Live in Jerusalem at Heichel Shlomo. Isley is affiliated with the messianic missionary organization First Fruits of Zion –where he serves as a leader in their Hayesod program . Recently Mike Isley hosted a Jewish Sermon on the Mount which promoted a new Hebrew-English Gospel Edition of a publication that has been successfully used by notorious missionaries as an evangelical tool to target Jews for conversion. From the period of February 2010 until June 2010 Jewish Israel monitored The Texans for Israel Prayer page. Due to their open affiliation with Mike Isley, we informed Jeremy Gimpel and Ari Abramowitz of the problematic content at a personal meeting in Mid-March 2010 and again in mid-June 2010 via email. We viewed the page in mid- August 2010 and the overtly offensive references had been removed except for, that god would grant to congregations within Israel and the Diaspora boldness and passion for the son of god.

[update: we checked again on August 26th and the reference to "the son of god" has now been removed]

Rabbi Jeremy declares easter bunny unfit but forgets about the lamb

While in the States, Jeremy Gimpel lectured, as a newly ordained rabbi. One of the venues was el shaddai messianic ministries, where Rabbi Gimpel noted that belief in the easter bunny, and an old man with a beard in the sky, are pagan ideas. However, Rabbi Gimpel neglected to declare to his messianic Christian audience that a belief in jesus as lord and savior is equally false. And without mentioning that not-so-little detail, it appears that rabbis teaching Torah to gentiles are actually reinforcing a belief in jesus.


Nailed to the cross and Mincha for Christians

Meanwhile, Ari Abramowitz – also soon-to-be-ordained as a rabbi - put in an appearance on the Fast of Tammuz at Living Waters World Outreach. There you can find Abramowitz’s church lecture listed between “Father forgive them” and “Nailed to the cross”.

Abramowitz also spoke at the Fellowship Church

and lectured at the Bella Torah messianic congregation, an event hosted at the Squicciarini residence , where Ari reportedly led these messianic Christians in Jewish worship. (Excerpt):

“Although I highly enjoyed his presentation later on in the evening, the most meaningful part of his visit would have to be Minchah prayers. After dinner, our entire family + Greg(my sister’s fiance) had the incredible privilege of praying with Ari. He lead us through Minchah – in Hebrew – starting with Ashrei(Praiseworthy are those who dwell in Your house…), then the Shemoneh Esrei (Amidah – 18 Benedictions), Tachanun (PuttingDown the Head – I’d never prayed that section before), and finishingwith Aleinu (It is our duty…).”

A break with, and rape of, Jewish tradition

The interfaith ventures of up and coming rabbis Abramowitz and Gimpel clearly represent a severe break with Jewish Orthodox tradition, but there’s something more. Counter-missionary expert Penina Taylor of Shomrei Emet explains what can happen when Orthodox rabbis speak at messianic congregations:

“When Orthodox Rabbis speak at messianic congregations, they lend a stamp of approval to them. Gentiles in the congregation feel that the Rabbi’s presence indicates that they are on the right track and reinforces their desire to inculcate Jewish practices and forms into their Christian worship. I have heard several Christian pastors exclaim with pride that they have good friends who are Rabbis leaving the impression not only that Rabbis approve of what they are doing, but support it. Contrary to popular belief these relationships do not cause the Christians to have more respect for Judaism, rather they justify the raping of Jewish tradition and cause an infatuation with Jewish “things” but not with Judaism. Jews are still considered lost and going to hell.

Many people erroneously believe that Messianic Judaism is a stepping stone for Jews who have converted to Christianity to come back to Judaism. The theory being that since Messianic Judaism teaches some level of Torah observance, it is bringing the Jewish person one step closer to true Judaism. The truth is that although there certainly are some Jews who have returned to Judaism who first experimented with Messianic Judaism, for the vast majority it is a trap of the worst kind. Much like an inoculation which fools the body into creating defenses against a disease by introducing the disease in an impotent concentration, Messianic Judaism fools the Jewish believer into thinking that he has the true Judaism. The cries of his Jewish soul are quelled with the illusion of Judaism fooling his conscious into believing that he is being true to himself by being a Messianic Jew and therefore has no need to explore traditional Judaism.”

Ask a Rav

Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik z”l is greatly missed but, thank G-d, rabbis like Rav Sholom Gold are here to offer us guidance.

Last February, Jewish Israel noted that Ari Abramowitz interviewed Rabbi Gold on Arutz 7’sA Light Unto the Nations” program. Abramowitz asked Rabbi Gold whether Jews should be teaching gentiles Torah, and seemed rather reluctant to take no for an answer.

With characteristic good humor, and in the face of what can only be described as a friendly interrogation, Rabbi Gold stated, “Ari, I’m sorry you’re not going to get me on your side. I’m beginning to think you guys set me up over there on the street outside the Israel Center.”

Later in the segment Rabbi Gold reiterated, “You’re asking me as a rabbi what I believe we should do…There I have to tell you precisely what I believe. You can accept it - you don’t have to accept it. But I think it’s far, far too dangerous for us to enter into the business of teaching Torah to non-Jews.”

Noting Rabbi Gold’s vast experience and knowledge, Ari Abramowitz responded, “I think me not accepting something you say would be the most crazy proposition…”

But red lines have been crossed and it appears that some of us have entered into the territory of the absurd.

Part 3 of this series will be posted next week.

(Hat Tip to Geula Girl)


The Rav Series

Part 1: Now there arose new rabbis in Israel who knew not the Rav

Part 2: Now there arose new rabbis in Israel who knew not the Rav

Part 3: Fallen apple breaks interfaith fence

Part 4: A Missionary Sham and Shame for the Knesset






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Comment by ellen on August 23, 2010 at 10:13pm
You're getting close to my heart on this one, Shannon.
Read Loving Us To Death
It's an article I penned which was carried on A7 and echoes your sentiments
Comment by Jewish Israel on August 23, 2010 at 9:09pm
Thank you for your very heartfelt, honest and wise comment.
Comment by ellen on August 22, 2010 at 6:23pm
I think a lot of Jewish leaders and certain rabbis are currently playing the role of "theo-therapist" to an evolving and changing church. The reality of the State of Israel has triggered changes for the good in much of the Christian world, however it's not our role as Jews to grapple with the shifting theology of the church. That's a dangerous and probably forbidden game for us to play.

We should be available to offer a professional helping hand (rabbis and counter-missionary professionals and kiruv counselors) to those who wish to leave the church (and we shouldn't be entering the church to do this - people will find us). Gentiles and returning Jews will have to go through their own grueling, personal journey. That's part of the teshuva process.

Christianity in any form (a belief in jesus) remains off limits and avodah zarah to us. Whether a plain cross is preferable (and less pagan) to a crucifix is irrelevant to the Jewish people.
Because ultimately doing away with the cross and replacing it with with a menorah-fish-star-of David combo is duping the Jews and may be the worst trap of all.
Comment by Patty Abbatoy on August 22, 2010 at 6:04am
Yes. Excellent points. I can certainly see how these messianic cults can deceive many Jews. A traditional church is easy enough to recognize. Few Jews would probably walk into a church with a huge cross and altar, but remove them and add Jewish symbols and structures?

Messianic congregations can fool a lot of unsuspecting people.

Jeremy and Ari are treading in dangerous waters. Not that they're in danger but that their presence in these congregations is an advertisement for evangelical churches and their message.

It remains to be seen whether Jeremy and Ari are successfully in bringing Jews back to Judaism or not.
Comment by Jewish Israel on August 21, 2010 at 8:59pm
It could be that Jeremy and Ari disinguish between the conventional, orthodox churches and what they refer to as their pagan rituals, and the hebriac roots/messianic movements which they may consider a step away from "the church" and a stepping stone towards the Noahide movement or towards authentic Judaism. What Penina and other counter-missionary experts seem to be saying is that the messianic movement can be even more of a trap (and more difficult to leave) - because "messianic Judaism fools the Jewish believer into thinking that he has the true Judaism"

So when we hear claims from Torah observant Jews who speak at churches that they have been able to pull many Jews and gentiles out of the church, do they mean away from conventional churches and into the hebraic roots / messianic movements (that remain jesus-centered)? Because they should realize that these "rescued souls" may be exchanging one trap for another. And this blurring of lines is wreaking havoc here in Israel empowering the hebraic Christian cults.

With regards to Tovia leaving A7, we probably shouldn't speculate.
Comment by Patty Abbatoy on August 20, 2010 at 8:35pm
What's confusing is that everything Rabbi Jeremy is saying contradicts what he has said on R. Tovia Singer's show. BTW, R. Tovia's show is no longer on Arutz Sheva, without even a goodbye to his listeners. The cited reason is that he is going to focus his energy on his anti-missionary group, but I suspect it's critical comments he's made, comments that offended the show's evangelical listeners.

Penina is right. Jeremy is teaching Torah to gentiles. Not Noachides but gentiles who believe in JC. These evangelicals will do absolutely anything to ensnare Jews. Jeremy I fear has walked right into their net.

Even if they don't convert him, they'll use his presence to trick other Jews into thinking Orthodox Jews support evangelical beliefs.
Comment by Penina Tal Ohr (Taylor) on August 19, 2010 at 2:42pm
I know people have said, "Without Evangelical support Israel would cease to exist" but are they hearing what they themselves are saying???!!!! While that sentence is missing one critical word, it is the most important word in the world. "Without God's support Israel would cease to exist" of course, without God, we'd all cease to exist. But Israel's existence is not aided in any way by the negative energy this fear draws to her, if everyone would stop and acknowledge that God and God alone is responsible for Israel's existence and that because we see in the Prophets that Israel will continue to exist, we can know, believe and trust that Israel will continue - with or without Evangelical support.

Now, I'm not saying that we should spurn those that truly love Israel with a love that is unconditional and has no strings attached - for sure not, but we should not be courting those who clearly have an agenda to convert us to a derech that is contrary to that which we were created to walk.
Comment by Jewish Israel on August 19, 2010 at 1:46pm
Yes, Penina.
Is there is a Galut mentality (lack of faith?) at play here? It's been heard from more that one American Jewish leader that "without evangelical support, Israel would cease to exist". Many Jews who have not been able to make the leap of faith via aliyah feel that the best way to ensure Israel's continiued existence is to tie her to America - "together forever" as Pastor Hagee would say. That Israel welcomes and is dependant on American friends and support in one thing, but does it need to take on theological dimension which puts our uniqueness as a faith community - that dwells alone - in danger?
Comment by Penina Tal Ohr (Taylor) on August 19, 2010 at 7:37am
I think that the crux of the problem is that there are a few well-known Zionists - Ari, Jeremy and Rabbi Riskin among them, who so fear for the future of Israel that they are desperate to do "whatever is necessary" to make friends with the non-Jewish world. They look at all the anti-Israel protests and the growing anti-Israel sentiment in the face of the fundamentalist Islamic threat and feel that we cannot afford to alienate those who would support us. They are operating by fear and that fear clouds their vision - they cannot see that while trying to protect us physically, they are endangering us spiritually.

The problem is that it is the fear that is guiding their choices, and I think that if Israel in general, and her leadership specifically, would stop fearing the world and just trust in Hashem, we'd all be much better off.
Comment by Jewish Israel on August 19, 2010 at 6:39am
The lost tribe/ephramite/hebraic roots/prophetic times/end-of-days thing (call it what you will) is certainly a dynamic at play here. But regardless of what many acknowledge to be changing times and shifting sands, Jews should hold their ground, stay grounded, and keep their fences intact - now more than ever.

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