When an Israeli army general noticed the Yeshua placards along the highway on his way to base in Beersheva, he called his battalion to a special meeting and explained to his soldiers who these “Messianic Jews are and what they believe about Yeshua.”
While the gospel campaign by Jews for Jesus created a lot of buzz among local residents, not everyone was as sympathetic toward the Messianics as the general.
“May his name be cut off forever,” screamed Ofer Karadi, a member of the ultra-orthodox Shas party, when a Messianic Jew dared to mention the name of Yeshua (Jesus) on the Radio Darom morning program.
With all the commotion stirred up in the Negev by the campaign, the popular radio station was interviewing the local Shas representative together with the deputy mayor of Beersheva and a local Messianic Jew.
“Are you so degenerate as to allow this impious infidel to even speak on the radio,” shouted Karadi in reference to his Messianic co-guest. “It is unacceptable to allow these degenerates to speak about these things in our city.”
“These are all lies. Let them (Messianics) go to the Bedouins and tell them about Yesu. You should never give these infidels a microphone. You should hit him over the head with the microphone!” shouted the orthodox Shas representative.
Pleading to give others an opportunity to respond, the host asked Karadi to “please show some respect to others.”
“I respect everyone,” responded Karadi. “How degenerate can you people get. These people are criminals of humanity. They have nothing. No intelligence. Where do they get this stupidity. They should be sent out of the country.”
“What do you say about this campaign to tell people about Yeshua?” the host was finally able to ask his Messianic guest.
“Some within the Messianic community are opposed to this kind of public campaign. Although every believer is commanded to tell others about our faith. Everyone should at least have the opportunity to check for himself what the Hebrew Bible teaches about the Messiah,” said the local Jewish believer.
“How can you give a platform for these empty-headed people,” cut in Karadi. “They are extremists. They are causing a civil war here in Israel!” (what this really means is that if Messianic Jews keep preaching the gospel in Israel, the orthodox will rise up with violent resistance).
“Is Judaism so weak that you need to make these kind of threats to Jews who believe in Yeshua?” retored the host.
When Karadi continued shouting his anti- Messianic slogans, the announcer finally had enough and said “good-by” before turning off his microphone.
“What do you say to all this?” he asked the Messianic Jew, who responded:
“Yeshua is like Joseph in the Torah portion we read this week. He is still hidden to his own people. But the day is coming when he will be revealed. Everyone should be allowed to read for himself what the Scriptures teach about the Messiah and come to his or her own conclusion. We are Jews who believe that Yeshua is the promised Messiah for Israel. We are here to give everyone at least an opportunity to decide for themselves if Yeshua is our Messiah.”
“What do you say about all this, Mr. Deputy Mayor?” asked the host.
“I represent all of the citizens of Beersheva,” he said with some trepidation. “I want to be friends with everyone on all sides.” Not an easy task given the religious fervor stirred up when Jews believe in Jesus.
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