By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL (BosNewsLife)– A hard-line Jewish ultra-Orthodox group in Israel has launched a campaign against Christian missionaries and Jewish Christians, known as Messianic Jews, who they view as a security threat.
The group Yad L’Achim confirmed Wednesday, June 29, that one of its latest activities wasa noisy demonstration near the home of Serge and Naama Kogen, a native Israeli couple,who allegedly “converted” a Jewish teenager to Christianity.
Sunday’s protest in Mevasseret Zion, a suburb west of Jerusalem, came despite public denials by the couple that they forced 16-year-old Donna Lubofsky to have faith in Yeshua (Jesus).
The couple said Donna expressed interest in attending their congregational worship and they had “obtained permission from her mother.” The Kogens also claimed they helped the girl to overcome alcohol abuse and other potentially self-destructive behaviors amid tensions with her parents.
Donna said in published remarks that the Kogens “never tried to get me to believe. They are just good people.”
Yet, Yad L’Achim argued that “shocked parents quickly contacted” its “countermissionary department, which investigated the case and found that it was serious.”
Yad L’Achim added that its lawyers visited the family “to help them file a police complaint against the missionary for harassment.”
The group also said it would pressure Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, to introduce tough legislation banning missionary activities in the Jewish state.
It already published an advertisement in Haaretz newspaper warning that “Messianic Jews are pulling the wool over our eyes”. “The time has come to legislate a law that will put the brakes on the missionaries’ destructive activities!”, the June add concluded.
The group has also organized a mass protest against missionaries.
Additionally, Yad L’Achim expressed concerns about reports that 1,000 American Christians signed a document requesting to convert to Judaism, move to Israel, and settle in Samaria.
The plan was hatched by American Baruch Abramovich, who hosts a messianic Russian-Christian radio show. Yad L’Achim described the Christians however as “missionaries” whose real aim was to convert Jews to Christianity.
Abramovich reportedly said however that “We aspire to create a community in Samaria, or in any area thatwould like to absorb people who truly love Israel and the Jewish religion.”
The latest developments have underscored what some Israeli media view as a significant escalation in incitement against local Jewish Christians and alleged missionaries. These are no isolated incidents.
In a recent comment, Israel’s Channel One television noted that at a recent Yad L’Achim rally, Messianic Jews were declared as dangerous to the Jewish nation as Hitler had been.
The segment, titled “The Jewish Big Brother,” included an interview with a young Jewish woman who does not believe in Yeshua, Israel Today publication reported.
She is an organ player and the only place she could find to practice her music was a downtown Jerusalem monastery. But that’s when the trouble began, both for the girl and the monastery.
The girl recounted how her parents received an anonymous written warning from Jewish anti-missionaries who said their daughter was being preyed upon by Christians.
When the girl continued accepting the hospitality of the monastery she reportedly began receiving anonymous phone calls, and was sure she was being followed and watched. “I felt like I was in a suspense movie,” she said. “I was constantly looking over my shoulder.”
Yad L’Achim also targeted the monastery itself, advising Israel’s Ministry of the Interior to revoke the residency visa of the priest overseeing the facility, media reported.
His case was reportedly still pending, but the priest has apparently been forced to all but go underground in an effort to preserve both his and his staff’s ability to be in Israel.
Yad L’Achim director Rabbi Shalom Dov Lifschitz said however if the missionaries are not stopped, soon “there will be no Jews left here.”
Messianic Jews counter that there’s no reason for panic as they are real Jews who happen to believe that Yeshua is the Messiah.
In my eyes, missionaries working in Israel are aiming to create divisions among the population. The New Testament depicts Jewish leaders in a very negative fashion — satanic, vipers, and so on. We killed the Christian god. Jewish religious leaders and those that follow them are are evil, according to the Christian scriptures. As a result, new Christian converts in Israel are vulnerable to emotional manipulation and could be convinced to work against the country or its government.
I have no beef against Christianity per se – everyone is entitled to believe what they want to believe. But Christian missionary work in Israel is cultural imperialism. Such efforts would be more profitably directed to the Muslim world, or elsewhere. Not to Jews, certainly not in Israel.
Dear Stan Levine,
As far as I understand it the New Testamend shows that Jesus (Yeshua) did not depict Jewish leaders themselves as satanic, but he urged religious teachers to truly teach what the Scriptures said and promised. While he criticized and condemned their often displayed hipocrisy, He was truly moved when a religious teacher seemed to understand Him. “Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, ‘You are not far from the Kingdom of God.’ And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions” says Mark 12:34 according to the New Living Translation of the Bible. That was during a discussion about the resurrection of the dead.
While according to the Bible Jewish leaders demanded Jesus to be killed, it were actually gentiles (Roman soldiers) who nailed Him at the cross. In my view, and based on how I understand it from the Bible, that also symbolizes the fact that He died (and especially rose up from the death) for the whole world. John 3:16 (New International Version) says: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
However He still has a plan for the Jewish people and Israel and the missionaries you speak about claim they want to show Yeshua’s love to the people He loves so much. After all, Yeshua appeared as a man born from a Jewish mother. There is no Christian, Jewish, or Muslim god. There is only one God as spelled out in John 3:16 and many other verses of the Bible.
Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife
Why don’t we fight these missionaries with the truth of the Tenakh and their many mis-translations of our Holy Scriptures? May I suggest Rabbi Tovia Singer formerly of Jews for Judaism. Study his writings and listen to his teachings and you will be pleasantly surprised. I was once convinced of the “truth” of the missionaries until I started reading Rabbi Singer. then I had an “epiphany” and returned to the bosom of my family’s religion and way of life.
To proselytize Jews to Christianity is particularly offensive because it necessarily involves the assertion that Judaism is an incomplete and/or false religion. If Judaism is wholly legitimate, as non-proselytizing Christians accept, then there should be no need to proselytize them on a Christian basis. However the missionaries may try to spin it, they are telling Jews that their civilization is flawed and illegitimate.
Many Jews are particularly offended by such organizations as the Messianists and Jews for Jesus because they attack Judaism while at the same time claiming that they are not attacking Judaism, that they love Judaism, and that they are themselves Jews and/or adherents of a superior form of Judaism. This compounds disrespect by insulting the intelligence.
‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how many times did I want to gather you under my wings like a hen gathers its chicks. But YOU rejected it. Your house is abandoned to you.’
You wait for the messiah for thousands of years, he finally comes as prophesied in your own hebrew scriptures. You aid in his death and sacrifice as prophesied in the Psalms and Isaiah and by your own Torah. Then you deny him and your own scriptures. You lose the temple and the ark; you build a new rabbinic religious system that hides the torah behind your traditions. Hiding the easy to follow Hebrew scriptures that clearly show Yeshua is the Messiah. And, now you go after your own Jews who are courageous enough to see beyond the lies. No wonder Yeshua spoke the words above.
When will the State of Israel consider this a crime? The charge is: intellectual terrorism. These ‘guests’ of The Jewish State come deliberately into my land with the specific task: to kidnap the souls of my people away from Hashem, The Creator of The Universe.
Case in point, I’m afraid.
((BosNewsLife strongly disagrees with this anti-Semitic remark of a person calling him or herself JewKiller007.
Below is the remark)).
“Judaism is a false and evil religion.”
((We would appreciate if that person writes his or her real name, instead of hiding behind this horrible nickname)).
Yahshua was never a Christian.
He was born a Jew, lived a lived and died a Jew.
There is no such thing as a Christian Bible.
There is a Bible, the Scriptures inclusive of Tanak & Messianic teachings.
Jews and Christians alike, they worship Yahweh Elohim their own ways.
Yahshua showed & guided people how to worship Elohim how the Elohim wants.
Yahshua the Messiah is coming again if those people really do it.
The so called Christians worship NOT according to the Scripture but to the Goyim teachings mixed with Yahshua’s teachings, Sun worshipping and Paganism.
Trust the Adonai not the religion. Religion is a very dangerous movement. The love of Yahshua is sufficient for all mankind. Amen.
Are you sure you have read the Torah and Bible? In John 14:6 ((New International Version (NIV))) Yeshua (Jesus) says: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” That’s also what Messianic Jews believe.
Indeed, Jesus, God’s only begotten Son, appeared as a Jewish man. You say he died as a Jew. But He didn’t stay in that grave after he died for our sins. Matthew 28:5-7 for instance says when women came to visit His grave: “5 But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.
6 “He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
7 “And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you”.”
I don’t read anything about sun worshipping and paganism. I agree that Yeshua’s love is for all human beings. But He does NOT force his love upon people. They have to make that personal choice to believe in and (accept) Him as their personal Savior, the Bible says. Take John 3:16: “16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that WHOEVER BELIEVES in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
I Hope that helps you.
Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife
I am Jewish. And Jesus is the Messiah. Ever since the Messiah has risen. There has been no material temple for about 2000 years. Jew’s think they do laws of the torah. Well they deceive themselves. God’s word is everlasting. Where are the sacrices, bulls, goats. Why have not Jew’s been stoned to death or had death sentences carried out in accordance with the justice required of the torah. Where is the high priest to carry out offerings of gifts and sacrifices. Where are the intercessors. And if salvation is of God and God alone. Than what difference does Judaism make. If judaism is the way. Then you don’t need God. Or has Judaism it’s self become The God. Judaism is like catholicsm with all it’s stuff. Anyway God is spirit. Judaism is vain. The world knows this. And if judaism is right. Then why is the world opposing it. If Judaism is so good then why would God punish the Jew’s in a holocaust. Also many old people tell me that Judaism has changed substantially over the decades. And why so many divisions over rabbi’s opinions. Something is very wrong indeed. They way Judaism is going. It is leading Israel to it’s own destruction. It’s not long now… Oh if you only need judaism then you won’t need a messiah…. Because obviously Judaism is so perfect. Or is it? It is a burden for Israel. Israel will be taken over at this rate by arabs until the Jew’s finally realise. This is why God will allow these things to happen.
How about this one then…. The Torah tells the Jewish people not to oppress strangers for we where once slaves in Egypt. Why are they oppressing strangers. This is a violation of the law. Sin leads to death so surely in principle the effects of the law must be upheld. Or are they partial in the law. Which again is another sin. Oh and if the torah is only for Jew’s than the arabs don’t need to worry about killing Jew’s as in no accordance to a torah which has not been given to the arabs…. Right. Do not kill is only for Jew’s. So then it doesn’t apply to the rest of the world. So why does the IDF kill people. When God’s word is everlasting. The torah says do not kill. Right.
Recently I have studied the holocaust and spoken with survivors. Even these believe Israel has become like a concentration camp, and a new intolerable aryan race is developing…. Well i’ve got news for you… When Jerusalem is taken again. God will sort this place out again in a big way. And if God has to do this, then it is humanity and it’s religions at fault. God is saving Jerusalem till last. He will smash this place like a pot. To finally get your attention… Judaism is for for the aryan race….
No immigration for anyone who isn’t willing to videotape and put on YouTube the following statement: “On my soul and the souls of my children, I reject Jesus as messiah and that he or anyone else will return from the dead to become the messiah, and these are the reasons…. I also reject Mohammed as a prophet.”
I do not believe that God “punished” Jews with the Holocaust. The Bible teaches that this is an evil world, ruled by the devil at the moment. Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:12: “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
I personally think that Hitler was either possessed by demons or a demon himself.
The good news is however that God indeed will one day take revenge restore Israel, with the Messiah ruling the world. Take for instance Nahum 2:2 “Even though the destroyer has destroyed Judah, the LORD will restore its honor. Israel’s vine has been stripped of branches, but he will restore its splendor.”
Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife
Let’s hope Israel’s government will not demand what you suggest as this would really spark a crackdown on Jewish Christians and the end of what in many ways had become a beacon of democracy in the Middle East. It seems to me also egoistic towards the future generations.
The good news ofcourse is that the Bible teaches that all those transformed by Jesus Christ, or Yeshua HaMoshiach, are freed from, and can cast out, generational curses.
Romans 8:1-2 says: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”
And what’s even more, everyone who has accepted Yeshua HaMoshiach as his or her personal savior has eternal life, as sins are forgiven. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord,” says Romans 6:23.
Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife
Matt, if you understand the Torah to say “do not kill”, it’s not a surprise you are so ignorant of Hebrew and therefor gullible to accept someone who never rebuilt the Temple, ended war, ended famine, ended religious strife, etc. as a false messiah.
Tons of mistranslations in the King James Version.
The commandment is “do not murder”. There are instances when it is a mitzvah to kill, eg self defense or righteous capital punishment.
If it wasn’t for that scum of Judaism, no gentile will side with the Jew. He will forever be of the nation of Israel. We love Israel because we love that Jew, who loves you. Judge us by the fruits. This Christian, a gentile dog American will gladly give his life for you and your nation. Stop thinking that we see you in a negative light concerning the death of Christ. Even you cant resist what G-d prophesied about hearing and not being able to hear. SO what if a dog brings to his master what is rightfully his? I am proud to be a gentile. That is what G-d has for me. It has it’s privileges. Gentiles who believe do not EVER replace a Jew by blood! Strength to Israel. Glory to G-d. Messiah Yeshua reigns.
G-d can do ANYTHING he wants to, including come in the flesh.
I have followed the above debates with interest, tinged with a little sorrow. Can I express a few thoughts:
God has a special chosen people (the Hebrews) and has extended his covenant with them to all men (including women!!) who place their faith in the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua. All this is explored throughout the New Testament, but especially in Romans Chapters 9 – 11.
The Christian church has 2 flawed doctrines as regards Israel – Replacement Theology and Two Covenant Theology. Neither can seriously be supported from the pages of the holy scriptures. Not all Christians would hold to either of these views, but they do seem to be the default position of many Christians.
I prefer to think of the Old Testament as “The Promise” and the New Testament as “The Promise Fulfilled” (indeed I think the labels OT and NT are nowadays unhelpful).
I encourage anyone really interested in this subject to obtain one of several books:
Rev Alex Jacob “The Case For Enlargement Theology” – charts a biblical course between Replacement Theology and Two Covenant Theology. Its a great book – but be warned it is a heavyweight theological treatise!!
Rev Alex Jacob “Receive The Truth!” looks at 20 FAQs relating to Christian witnessing to Jewish neighbours. Also a short exposition on 10 key scripture passages (from The Promise and The Promise fulfilled – as I note above). This si written at a more introductory level.
Rev David Pawson – ‘Israel In The New Testament’; and ‘Defending Christian Zionism’. Both books look at the biblical covenants and God’s on-going purposes for Israel. For those who are theologically aware, none of these 4 books is “Dispensational” in viewpoint, and so avoid some of the more obscure and alarming teachings and understandings of e.g. some US churches – which tend to adopt Two Covenant Theology as a default position.
These 4 books also contain great bibliographies for anyone truly interested to follow through the subject and get to grips with it.
Jewish people, alongside all people everywhere, deserve to hear the good news of the Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus) who fulfills biblical prophecy and Who is the saviour of all Mankind – both Jew and Gentile.
I will also recommend my own book “The Birth of Christ” which looks at the theological background to Yeshua’s birth, and the histrorical background, and at modern ‘objections’ to the biblical accounts. My book may well be of interest to both Jewish people and non-Jewish. My book is available as a free download on http://www.glorytoglory .co.uk but is also available as a paperback.
Hoping that this may be of some help toy BosNewsLife’s readers.
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