This is a brief roundup of recent attempts to prevent Jewish people in Israel from hearing the Gospel of Yeshua (Jesus) from local Messianic Jewish ministries and evangelists.
The City of Tel Aviv says that it will prevent the infiltration of Messianic Jewish literature in municipal “street libraries.”
Working behind the scenes to restrict Hebrew-language Messianic books in the open-air book stalls is Or L’Achim, an organization that seeks to prevent attempts to lead Jews away from their faith. Messianic Jews have been placing literature in the public libraries set up around the city to encourage reading.
Or L’Achim sent a formal complaint to Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai warning about “abuse of a municipal service for missionary conversion,” according to reports. The Tel Aviv Municipality responded that, “Library management instructed workers to check whether flyers were placed having to do with publications of a cult and were ordered to remove them from the shelves.” Organizations working to prevent Jews from hearing the Gospel like to paint Messianic Jews as belonging to a “cult.” In recent years, several genuinely dangerous cults have sprouted up around Israel, and placing Messianic Judaism in this category stirs public fears and encourages anti-Messianic crusades.
In other news, the Orthodox Jewish newspaper Hamodia describes a Jewish man who had fallen into the “Messianic Jewish cult.” The report claims that the man had been a member of a Messianic Jewish congregation for many years and that during his time with the Messianics he had “drawn closer to Judaism” and became confused about his faith in Jesus. Yad L’Achim, the anti-Messianic organization, claims to have convinced him that he had joined a cult and as a result of their efforts, the man decided to join a Yeshiva to study Orthodox Judaism in order to “make up for the time lost” during his spell as a Messianic Jew.
Yad L’Achim _publishes a Hebrew language magazine called _Mechapsim (Seekers). The magazine is periodically sent to hundreds of Messianic Jews around Israel who have “fallen into the nets” of Messianic Jewish congregations. Each issue includes stories of Messianic Jews who have left the faith and attempts to uncover so-called errors and inconsistencies between Messianic Jewish teachings and the Hebrew Scriptures.
Messianic Jews responded to the anti-Messianic publication by publishing their own Hebrew-language magazine called Motzim (Finders). Motzim provides biblical responses to Yad L’Achim’s claims that Jesus is not the Messiah and that the New Testament is full of historical and theological errors. Yad L’Achim also claims that many of the Messianic writers for Motzim are “antisemitic provocateurs,” corrupt and blatant liars. The anti-Messianic group is convinced that their magazine, Mechapsim, is causing Jewish believers to reject their faith in Jesus and that is influencing some to turn to Orthodox Judaism.
PHOTO: Illustration. Ultra-Orthodox Jews vigorously protest what they call the “cult” of Messianic Judaism. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)