Messianic Jews rarely get fair media coverage in Israel. Flash90

How the Israeli Media Really Sees Messianic Jews

What a recent Israeli interview with a local pastor tells us about perceptions of believers in the Jewish state

by Arthur Schwartzman

More and more people are coming to know that living among them are Messianic Jews. Social media, in the hands of faithful and courageous ministries, is a tool for spreading awareness about this lesser known group.

But a recent interview conducted by journalist Maya Gelfand of a Messianic Jewish pastor, Igor Grossman, for the Russian-Israeli Channel 9, shows us that many more knots need be untied in the minds of Israeli society regarding the Messianic community in the land.

The journalist arrived to the congregational facility just in time for worship, but the tone is quickly set in such a way that could easily give the reader the wrong idea. Gelfand states:

“The repeating phrase sounds like a spell, and soon the whole flock enthusiastically repeats after the singer ‘Ye-shua, Ye-shua.’ Monotonous recitative, a measured sounding of a tambourine, passionate singing sends the audience into a trance. Shine appears in the eyes, a strain in the voice, people echo words with ardor and passion. Prayer fascinates, hypnotizes, subjugates. And these people no longer belong to themselves – they belong...