Israel’s Knesset Finance Committee voted last week to prevent a Messianic Jewish congregation from receiving tax benefits on donations and taxation on land as allowed for synagogues and churches. The committee is headed by Rabbi Moshe Gafni (pictured center), one of the heads of the ultra-Orthodox party United Torah Judaism.
The decision should serve as a wakeup call for all Messianic Jews, considering that it was unanimously approved by all 16 committee members, including Arabs and Jews, secular and religious, left-wing and right-wing.
Financially, this is a setback for the Messianic Jewish movement in Israel, because the ability to write off income tax for donations made to their synagogues, churches, and activities would have been an important incentive for supporters to donate. In the US, Britain and many countries around the world, people choose to contribute to recognized non-profits which then allows them to reduce the amount of income tax they pay.
Money is not the problem
But monetary challenges are not the biggest problem for the Messianics, who already receive plenty of support from Christians around...