Messianic family asks for prayer ahead of attacker's trial

Sunday, October 24, 2010 |  Ryan Jones

The family of Ami Ortiz, the Messianic Israeli teenager who was nearly killed by a bomb planted at his doorstep almost 3 years ago, is asking for prayer ahead of the trial of the main suspect in the case. At risk, warned Ami’s mother, Leah Ortiz, is the future safety of believers in Yeshua (Jesus) across Israel.

On Purim 2008, Ami stepped outside his family’s house in the Samarian town of Ariel to find an anonymous holiday package, a common practice during Purim. When he opened it and set off the powerful bomb inside, Ami was critically wounded. Doctors believed he would never fully recover from his injuries, but they were eventually proved wrong, and Ami is today whole and healthy.

For years the police dragged their feet investigating the case, presumably because appearing to aid a Messianic family would not be viewed favorably by the Orthodox religious establishment. At one point, the police even made the outlandish assertion that the Ortiz family had brought the attack on themselves by being so open about their faith.

Last year, police finally captured Jack Teitel, the man believed behind the Ortiz bombing and a string of other attacks. On December 2, Teitel goes on trial, but his defense is working hard to make sure he is declared mentally unfit for prosecution, and instead have him sent for treatment to a psychiatric hospital.

Leah Ortiz explained in a letter to supporters that this is dangerous for two reasons.

First, details of the investigation tying Teitel to the aggressive anti-missionary organization Yad L’Achim will not come to light. Bringing that evidence to light would obligate certain legal action against and restraints on Yad L’Achim and the rabbis who back the organization, resulting in far less persecution of Messianic Jews.

Second, said Leah, “this will set a very dangerous precedent for the Messianic Community in Israel, as there are many like [Teitel] who will be emboldened and willing to give up a few years of their lives in a mental institution in order to murder those that believe in Yeshua as the promised Messiah.”

In light of these dangers, the Ortiz family is asking for prayer that true justice will be served and that Israeli believers will find themselves more secure rather than more imperiled by this ordeal.

To learn more about the attack on Ami Ortiz and the ensuing legal battles, visit

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