Certain segments of the Christian press, as well as members of the Christian messianic community are expressing frustration and disappointment at the delay in the trial of Yaacov Teitel, a man accused of a spate of violent crimes – including the bombing at the home of messianic Christian pastor David Ortiz which severely wounded his son.

According to Israeli press reports, Teitel is reportedly in a psychotic state and may not be fit to stand trial. But Ortiz believes Teitel is lying about his mental condition. A Ynet article reports Ortiz as saying, "Teitel is a very intelligent guy who carried out his crimes intelligently. It is a test for the judges and the State of Israel not to allow this murderer to get away."

A report on CBN (the Christian Broadcasting Network) has David Ortiz asking, "Does an intelligent man suddenly become insane for the trial?"

A messianic blogger has this to say: This is pure malarkey and we have seen it used before as a tactic to keep justice from being served when the perpetrator is ultra-orthodox.

Please pray for the Israeli courts to recognize that this cynical maneuver will cause serious damage to Israeli credibility. Pray for the judges to demand the proverbial second opinion assessment from a less compromised set of psychiatric experts.

Implying that a person is intelligent and cannot, therefore, be mentally ill is…well.. an insane assumption. The history of the world is full of mad geniuses who committed criminal acts motivated by political nationalism, religious theology, cultural ideology, love, hate, or utter confusion.

While we can understand the frustration of the families of both victims and survivors, and their demand that justice be served, the messianic and evangelical community in Israel is surely no stranger to criminal cases requiring thorough psychiatric assessments. Some of the "intelligent" perpetrators end up behind bars and others in psychiatric facilities.

Back in 1969, Dennis Michael Rohan an Australian evangelical belonging to a sect known as "the Church of God "tried to burn down Al Aqsa Mosque.

According to court transcripts, after reading a passage in Zachariah, Rohan believed he was "the branch" and chosen to build the Temple. And American Psychiatrist who had treated Rohan previously was brought to Israel to testify. Below is an excerpt from an ABC news interview with the psychiatrist:

Lorraine Livingstone: They felt that if he had a depressive illness, that that meant possibly he could be held responsible for his actions. But in the fact that he had a psychotic illness like schizophrenia, it made a difference to the judgment. The prosecutor who kept pushing me to say that he thought he was depressed, but I wasn't very keen on going that far.

Stan Correy: When he was at Bloomfield, you were treating him and I think it was your conclusion that you said to the court, that he was schizophrenic, therefore in terms of what he had done, that obviously impacted on his actions.

Lorraine Livingstone: Yes, and Israeli law had some very complex and very complicated ways of looking at this, and this is what a lot of the argument was after I left, as to how they'd interpret the evidence, and how they'd actually make their decision.

Stan Correy: Dr Lorraine Livingstone, who was Denis Rohan's psychiatrist when he was at Bloomfield in Orange, and appeared as a witness.

Man: The judgment in the case of the State of Israel against Denis Michael Rohan this day, the 30th December, ...

Stan Correy: On 30th December, 1969, the three judges gave their decision.

Translator: In view of the evidence, we have no doubt that the accused is still mentally ill. We order therefore that the accused be hospitalised.

In May of 1990 two "messianic Jews" were involved in the desecration of 300 graves in a Jewish cemetery in Haifa.

Police said, "the vandalism was motivated by a hope that the desecration would unify Jews to fight perceived Arab threats against Israel's existence. Police described both Israelis as intelligent and highly educated men who joined a messianic sect several years ago."

One suspect was found guilty and sentenced to 3 years in prison, whereas the other suspect was –at the time of the report – "undergoing psychiatric observation"

In January of 1999 Israel deported several members of an American Christian doomsday cult, who were accused of plotting attacks on sacred sites in Jerusalem.

The January 4th 1999 Jerusalem Post reported that the "Israel Psychiatric Society's Jerusalem branch and the Israel Medical Association's scientific council ...had the prescience to hold a six-hour symposium on "Tourism and Psychopathology, Jerusalem Toward the Year 2000…"

[Note: Prof. Richard Landes, who is currently serves on our board as an academic advisor, was a participant in that meeting in his capacity as an expert in medieval history at Boston University and director of its Center for Millennial Studies.]

YouTube has a 2008 report on Jerusalem Syndrome , which seems to effect Protestant Pilgrims far more than Jews or Catholics. The report is rather benign and humorous - save for the part about David Koresh and his Jerusalem connection.

Jewish Israel has just posted excerpts of a 2010 video by missionary Jacob Damkani in which he asks crowds on the streets to hit him and then proceeds to profess his love and understanding for those who oppose him because he understands that he is bringing them idolatrous beliefs which are proscribed by the Torah. Now that's provocative, insane, and dangerous thinking.

Hey Israel, how about a little sane legislation to help get the Mr. Damkanis of this world off the streets?

Jewish Israel recommends that frustrated and impatient members of the evangelical and messianic community acquire some Xanax or whatever it takes to relieve you of your persecution complex, and allow you to wait for the judges to decide whether or not Mr. Teitel is fit for trial.

Related Posts:

Ortiz bombing update: An arrest has been made

Portrait Of An Accused Jewish Terrorist As A Young Man

Ortiz case wrap-up: Jack Teitel gets two life sentences plus

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Comment by Jewish Israel on May 13, 2010 at 1:54pm
very profound and heavy stuff. And for sure the messianics who have a Jewish background are the most aggressive and committed missionaries. But a lot of these "messianic Jews: are truly Christians and do not possess a pintele yid.
Where are they coming from? (background music from "Jaws" may be an appropriate....)
Comment by Penina Tal Ohr (Taylor) on May 13, 2010 at 1:42pm
Additionally, there is the idea that since the concept of Messiah comes from Judaism, from both the Hebrew bible and Jewish writings, that the Jewish people are the "experts" on the concept of the messiah. If we rejected Jesus as the Messiah, then its possible that he's not it.

Studies have shown that cult groups which have experienced cognitive dissonance regarding their leader or his/her teachings tend to become more adamant and aggressive missionaries. It might seem counter-intuitive at first glance, but the more converts they make, the more justified they feel in their decision to follow this leader.
Comment by Penina Tal Ohr (Taylor) on May 13, 2010 at 1:21pm
I could approach this from a counter-missionary perspective or from a psychology perspective. But I suppose that my personal observation is a combination of both.

Inside of every Jew is a pintele yid - that Jewish spark in the soul that remains no matter how deeply buried by the garbage of this worldly existence. This spark speaks to the person, even if he can't understand its language, always drawing him back to the Jewish people, the source of his existence. This continual inner "draw" creates a yearning, even if subconscious. They want so much to be Jews, but for whatever reasons (and the reasons are many) they choose to embrace a foreign belief system

Yet, even with these foreign beliefs, their pintele yid continues to call. And so, they express this need to be part of the Jewish people in what we see as a persecution complex. "He's a Jew, why aren't I?" Rather than being willing to mold their beliefs to the Judaism they so desire to be a part of, they want to mold Judaism to fit their foreign beliefs.

And so, messianic Jews are among the most adamant missionaries, because getting other Jews to adopt their foreign beliefs makes them feel vindicated - as if Jews becoming Christians makes Christianity Jewish. They refuse to open their eyes and see that the belief system they have adopted puts them completely outside the boundaries of Judaism, no matter how much they may want it.
Comment by Jewish Israel on May 13, 2010 at 12:57pm
Powerful points, Penina.

As a former missionary, maybe you can tell us a little about this persecution complex that so many evangelicals seem to have.
We covered it a bit in our posting The Anti-Semitic “Messianic “ Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree
(Excerpt from a "friendly" evangelical):
In Israel, drug dealers, mafia, pimps, criminals and perverts are accepted as Jews. Gurus, witches and transvestites are part of the Jewish people…But Messianic Jews, whose contribution to society is almost always positive, are despised and rejected by the establishment, and told they are not Jews…Messianic Jews pray for their enemies. The Orthodox curse their enemies…
By the way the author of that quote has a new video out about church persecution and Calev Myers. a must see
Comment by Penina Tal Ohr (Taylor) on May 13, 2010 at 12:14pm
Perhaps a good follow up comment would be to quote Jabotinzky, who said it so well:

"We do not have to apologize for anything. We are a people as all other peoples; we do not have any intentions to be better than the rest. As one of the first conditions for equality we demand the right to have our own villains, exactly as other people have them. Yes, we do have provocateurs and draft dodgers, and it is even strange that we have so few of them under current conditions. Other people have also these kind of "good," and, in addition, they have embezzlers, and pogrom-makers, and torturers--so what-- the neighbors live and are not ashamed.... Do our neighbors blush for the Christians in Kishinyov who hammered nails into Jewish babies' eyes?" Not in the least,-- they walk with head raised high and look everybody in the face; they are absolutely right, and this is how it must be, as the persona of a people is royal, and not responsible and is not obliged to apologize..."
Comment by Penina Tal Ohr (Taylor) on May 13, 2010 at 12:11pm
To be sure there is a difference between intelligence (the opposite being stupid) and Sane (the opposite being insane). One can be any combination of the above - stupid and sane, stupid and insane, intelligent and sane, intelligent and insane.

I only have one question for the messianics who are complaining that Teitel is sane - what SANE man would murder people in cold blood? Clearly, he is insane. What the proper way to prosecute him is, is up to the courts.

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