Sunday, March 10, 2013

JewishIsrael Strikes Again

I'll remind you of the unethical and misleading "Medad found Jesus" hit I took from Ellen Horowitz's Jewish Israel site.

She's back.

Now, I've seen this:

Tommy Waller and Hayovel enjoy the blessing of Har Bracha’s Chief Rabbi Eliezer Melamed. Waller and Hayovel have the support and encouragement from Jewish Israeli activists such as David Ha'Ivri, Moshe Goldsmith, Gershon Mesika and Yisrael Medad, to name but a few....Unfortunately, contrary to many a Jew’s wishful thinking, it turns out that these volunteers are still unable to subdue their passion to restore and raise the name of jesus ("Yeshua") in Israel.

Tommy Waller and the Hayovel team have come here on a bridge-building mission to serve the Jewish people in anticipation of the Christian version of end times. The development and presence of a community for these volunteers remains a high-risk venture, because it has become apparent that there is no way to properly monitor the plans and activities of the growing numbers of zealous volunteers and associates committed to a Christian “messianic Jewish” agenda or to ensure that their evolving religious fervor remain in check. Rabbis have expressed a concern that such a venture with Waller would result in Jews and Christians being spiritually drawn to one another, resulting in the eventual blurring of the distinction between Judaism and Christianity. An halachic position has been drafted on the matter.

Further on, they include this in an evil intimation:

Tommy Waller's newsletter from January 15th describes a Hayovel sponsored event in the US, featuring the Itamar community’s Moshe and Leah Goldsmith, with the newsletter declaring that "a new day has dawned" between Christian and Jew.

Let's try to clean up after all that mud-slinging and vicious mongering.

a) There is nothing wrong with raising the name of Jesus in Israel.  It is not a crime.  It is not an aveira.  His name appears in the Talmud.  And to be clear: these people are Christians and they have the right to do so.  They can praise and sing.  On the other hand, our cooperation with them and sharing with them in the laboring for the Land of Israel in all its senses, for them, for us and for the world, is not predicated on any form of proselytizing.  That site is intimating an improper behavior - which is not taking place.  They live, work and enjoy God in their own fashion and it stays there.

b) Not only is proselytization not taking place but there are special regulations that have been agreed upon and which, in the over eight years now, I think, that I have been working with Tommy, no problems have arisen and, as far as I know, no Jewish soul has been snatched or lost.  As for sould coming from the other direction, I am not sure either.

c)  The Bible promotes such cooperation and there are Halachic opinions which support the work done by HaYovel.  We would not be involved so deeply if that were not the case.  JewishIsrael hides that from its readers in the story.

d) In the past, rants and unsupportable claims have been connected to JewishIsrael and I understand they have been forced to distance themselves from persons who, to be generous, are rather radical, if not, at times, hysterical about Jewish-Christian cooperation that would strengthen the Land of Israel, including prominently Judea and Samaria, economically, diplomatically, spiritually and existentially.  I am sorry for their narrowminded approach.

e) Since they did not seem to have asked Rabbi Goldsmith what he meant by that "dawning" phrase, let me suggest that it was a simple metaphor and not some resurrectionist promotion of the returning Jesus.

There are real problems with other Christian groups and Messianists of all sorts. I wish JI all the best with those.

As for HaYovel and others I and my friends cooperate with (see CFOIC, for example), our friendship is carefully built and is reviewed and open to free exchanges of criticism and careful nuturing.

There is much more but since I've gone over this in the past, I am tired of Ellen Horowitz looking for things to do when so much of her effort and the funds she needs to raise could be devoted (is that too religious a term?) to other enterprises where there is danger.

We in Yesha, with Tommy and volunteers, are doing just fine.

I promise, and Tommy knows this, we are vigilant while being understanding and cooperative.  We all, in the end, benefit.

David Ha'Ivri's response to the attack.

1 comment:

YMedad said...

Info I collected:

Tommy has no affiliation with Boaz Michael. Seems Mike Isley is as far from a missionary as anyone can get and Jeremy Gimpel or Ari Abramowitz would know.

Har Bracha is not called "home" by the HaYovel volunteers, no more than the Thai workers call it home.