Ha’aretz: Jews for Jesus Video the Most Tasteless YouTube Video Ever

RPP is quoted again today, this time in the major Israeli Daily Newspaper Ha’aretz, however they make it seem as if we are really defending the Jews for Jesus video, which we were not, it was a nuanced critique! Ha’aretz seem to have only read the Christianity Today article which quoted RPP blogger Dror rather than reading his original post itself.

Read the Ha’aretz-cum-Christianity Today article here.

Needless to say, we told you so!

jfj tIt seems as if Jews for Jesus have succeeded again in getting people talking about… Jews for Jesus, however it does not necessarily mean that have succeeded in getting people to talk about… Jesus!

Many of Jews for Jesus non-Jewish supporters think the film is great, and are even keen to buy the T-shirt and other merchandising called ‘Witness Wear’! Buying the shirt, it is claimed, will support Jewish Mission. Maybe this is what the film will really achieve, generating Christian support for Jews for Jesus.

The film has gone down far better amongst non-Jewish Christians who think that Jews for Jesus know what they are doing and can best judge what is appropriate in the already controversial and contentious field of Christian witness to Jewish people. Seemingly not, as this massive backlash from the Jewish community is proving, Jews for Jesus got it wrong. However it must be remembered they believe they are called to controversy and all opposition will simply be interpreted as evidence that they must be getting it right. Self-fulfilling prophecy can be a delusive and dangerous thing.

Jews for Jesus, making Jesus for Jesus an unavoidable subject for Jewish people worldwide! The many genuine people at JfJ may feel incredulous at this, but this is what is happening.



Christianity Today Quotes RPP on JfJ Holocaust Video Controversy

Congrats to Dror who was way ahead of the curve with this one, being the first person to blog or probably even critique the video on 11th April, now being quoted in today’s Christianity Today artice.

For the full Christianity Today article by Carey Lodge titled: ‘That Jew died for you’ – controversial video hits one million views but is deemed ‘offensive’ by Jewish community - Click here

Relevant RPP paragraph is as follows:

Not everyone has found the video quite as abhorrent, however. A blogger known as Dror, who regularly contributes to the Rosh Pina Project – an online collective of Messianic Jews – says the video is “rather insensitively named” but welcomes the notion that “God understands the horrors of Auschwitz, because of His own death and his active and willing participation in receiving suffering”.

“However, JFJ’s video is clearly designed to elicit an emotional response, and whilst some may be moved by the concept of Jesus suffering in a concentration camp, it seems to distract from the main message of Yeshua being our atoning sacrifice,” he writes.

“There are Holocaust survivors who recognise the cross as a symbol used to persecute them, and just showing Jesus carrying a cross isn’t going to magically erase this. So I don’t think the video is particularly helpful.”

A quick thought on Greek philosophy, Truth and modern life

The other day I saw an advert on the trains, showing a philosophy course. For the equivalent of over 100 dollars, you could sign up for a meaning of life course, exploring the philosophy of Socrates in order to make sense of the modern world. I found it fascinating that in today’s modern world, people would voluntarily pay money to channel ancient philosophy into their own lives, and find comfort.

There’s a myth that we’ve progressed as a society, and we have left behind simplistic ancient wisdom as represented by religions, in favour of an agnostic, post-modern advanced world where we are all just doing fine. But people still clearly yearn for something extra in life, and modern businessmen are willing to pay large sums to learn from Socrates why they are on Earth, hoping to know the meaning of life.

By contrast, the message of Jesus as revealed in the Gospels is free and easy to understand. The best Greek wisdom can only reflect upon God’s truth in the Hebrew Bible; truth then brought to life in Jesus’ earthly persona. This comfort is true and is worth much more than 100 dollars, but is offered for free.

A Challenge to Dan Juster

Dan Juster at Christ at the Checkpoint 2014

Dan Juster at Christ at the Checkpoint 2014

We would like to publicly offer Dan Juster the space and opportunity to substantiate or withdraw his public statement that our analysis of his involvement was “a level of ungodly attack and accusation”. We believe that this is a false accusation, but wish to give Dan Juster fair opportunity to explain himself. Considering he was willing to travel a long way physically and conceptually for the sake of reconciliation at CaTC, we are wondering what distance he will travel to reconcile with his brethren at RPP?

We do hope Dan takes up this genuine offer because we think it is serious to make false accusations of the brethren and we want the best for Dan Juster spiritually.

South Dakota’s Hillel Embraces Messianic Jews

High Plains Hillel: Rachel Hunt and Tim Hanna are leaders of the tiny Jewish community at South Dakota State University.

High Plains Hillel: Rachel Hunt and Tim Hanna are leaders of the tiny Jewish community at South Dakota State University.

Now here is a refreshing change reported by the Forward.

Published Thursday, April 17, 2014

South Dakota’s Tiny Hillel Embraces Messianic Jews

9-Member Group Includes Handful of Jews for Jesus Adherents

By Derek Kwait

South Dakota State University’s Hillel affiliate, B’rith Sholom is more than the only Jewish cultural club in the entire state; its nine members constitute a unique diversity among America’s Jewish organizations, since about half of them identify as Messianic Jews, or those who engage in Jewish practices and accept Jesus as the Messiah.

Messianic Jews have historically been excluded from nearly every Jewish denomination and institution, even the most inclusive. Yet B’rith Sholom insists on its policy that all should be welcome.

The club began when Tim Hanna, a self-described “traditionalist” Jew, came to South Dakota State in 2010 following 11 years of active military service, in pursuit of a master’s degree in communication studies. He was also seeking, he said, “a little space.”

Hanna readily accepted the challenges of living an observant life in Brookings, S.D. But he missed having a Jewish community. And a search for other Jews led him to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. native Rachel Hunt, with whom he formed B’rith Sholom. Hanna assumed the role of president.

For the first few months, South Dakota’s only Jewish campus club consisted of just the two of them. But after the campus newspaper, The Collegian, got out the word of the club’s existence, they were able to fulfill the school’s requirements of seven affiliated members to become an officially registered campus organization. They also affiliated at that point with Hillel International, which added a link to B’rith Sholom on its website.

It was shortly after the formation of B’rith Sholom that Messianic Jews began expressing interest in it. The club’s original rules held that only Jews could hold leadership positions in the group and exercise voting rights, but anyone interested in Jewish culture could join. Hanna didn’t object to including the Messianic Jews in this group. But following negative experiences with proselytizing Messianics in New York City, Hanna insisted on a stipulation that anyone trying to proselytize members would be expelled. ”I hoped that the membership policy would keep the club in Jewish hands while embracing these cross-cultural exchanges,” he said.

The dedication shown by the two Messianics who joined that year earned Hanna’s and Hunt’s trust enough for them to allow them to hold what Hanna called “temporary, minor officer positions.”

One of these Messianic Jews was Brookings native Andy Engelmann, a part-time entrepreneurial studies major set to graduate in 2018. Engelmann’s path to Messianic Jewish belief was a winding one. Shortly after coming to America in the 1930s, his mother’s Jewish family converted to Christianity following his great-uncle’s marriage to a Catholic woman. His family followed this faith strictly until 2001, when a family friend told them about Hebrew Roots, a movement for bringing together Christians to practice their faith in a manner that incorporated recognition and observance of the faith that Jesus Christ himself practiced. While Engelmann’s family remained Christian, this led to it slowly growing in Jewish practice.

Engelmann believes Jews have treated him better than they have many other Messianics, because he himself is ethnically Jewish. But he says his messianism has made him a pariah of two communities.

“We keep Torah, so the Christians call us Jews. We believe the Messiah has come, so the Jews call us Christians. Individually, though, I’ve learned to speak both languages. I discuss the holidays and such around my Jewish friends, and focus more on the Messiah when talking with my Christian friends. I like to say we are the bipolar redheaded stepchild of both of these groups,” he said.