Israeli brand in hot water for putting 'Christian' prayer on shirt

Friday, May 18, 2012 |  Ryan Jones

The Israeli clothing company Castro remains in the crosshairs of Orthodox Jews a month after a young religious army officer wore a newly-purchased shirt to Passover synagogue services unaware that his clothing was inscribed with a passage from the "New Testament."

The shirt in question featured a stylized reprinting of "The Lord's Prayer" found in Matthew 6:9-13. It was even titled "The Lord's Prayer" on the t-shirt.

IDF officer Barak Tamir expressed shock and anger after being informed by an older gentleman at synagogue that day that his shirt was promoting a Christian prayer.

"Personally I have no problem with anybody who chooses to wear whatever shirt they feel like wearing," Tamir later wrote on his Facebook page. "I do however have a problem with an Israeli brand which, through subliminal messaging, plants Christian messages in its clothing and makes people walk around with shirts with these inscriptions without them wishing to do so. ...why does an Israeli company choose to promote a clothing line using a Christian prayer?"

Castro responded by noting that its designers "draw their inspiration from various and diverse cultural content. The print on this shirt is the creation of the designer and was done as part of a gothic inspiration and not at all in its religious context."

Most Orthodox Jews were appalled by the incident, and many called for a boycott of Castro. Most non-Orthodox Israelis simply didn't care. And at least one commenter on the website of Yediot Ahronot, which broke the story, noted that the Lord's Prayer, despite being found in the "Christian scriptures," is a very Jewish prayer.

Another commenter who identified himself as Orthodox scolded those taking aim at Castro, noting that the Lord's Prayer was not an invention of the New Testament's authors, but very much came from the so-called "Old Testament" and earlier Jewish prayers.

For instance, a prayer still recited by some Jewish communities every evening closely mirrors the Lord's Prayer with the words, "Our God in heaven, hallow thy name, and establish thy kingdom forever, and rule over us for ever and ever. Amen."

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