Yad L’Achim’s Clumsy Opposition to Jews for Jesus in Israel

A legal religious promotion campaign by Jews for Jesus in Israel has provided the anti-Missionary organization Yad L’Achim with many opportunities for them to prove that they are the last defense for Jewish identity against the mighty onslaught of missionary activity. I was being ironic!

Benny Vulcan at the Jews for Jesus market stall

Benny Vulcan at the Jews for Jesus market stall

Yad L’Achim activists have sought to create social unrest and even riot conditions at a market where Jews for Jesus had set up a stall offering books to whoever wanted them. Yad L’Achim new poster-boy henchman who seems to have replaced former Soviet policeman Alex Artovski, but continues his dirty tricks, is Benny Vulcan. Vulcan, no stranger to controversy and stalking of Israeli Messianic Jews outside places of worship, is right at the heart of most recent trouble caused by Yad L’Achim. Once again he is in this photo of the Jews for Jesus market stall that was closed by the police because of, as Yad L’Achim euphemistically called it, “disturbances near the booth”.

One of my favorite photos from Yad L’Achim is the one captionedThe few against the

Yad L'Achim comedy caption: The few against the many.

Yad L’Achim comedy caption: The few against the many.

many. At the Goral intersection at the entrance to Beersheva.” In fact there are two men holding a banner with one man getting into the face of one of the banner-men with a second one taking the photo. Not quite one against the many, rather two against two, but hey don’t expect Yad L’Achim to be telling the truth any time soon.

The blanket coverage of southern Israel with the message of Yeshua was sure to generate opposition, including the arrest and subsequent release of a Jews for Jesus activist. However to rub salt into the wounds, despite their best efforts Yad 1460208_257001754450158_525992670_nL’Achim have been frustrated again. Text messages were send to many people repeating the message on the roadside banners. Yad Y’Achim put photos of the SMS up but received complaints that they were helping the missionaries as they had not sufficiently covered up the contact number or email! Yad L’Achim could only complain of their “sneaky creativity” in an article for Israel National News.

I am just waiting for someone to claim that Yad L’Achim has been played by an even greater “sneaky creativity” for causing them to generate more publicity for the Jews for Jesus campaign than they had even paid for in the press adverts.

Threat to Kill Messianic Rabbi?

Threat against Shapira: ""Time to kill the kosher pig.

Threat against Shapira: “”Time to kill the kosher pig.

Tzahi Shapira has attracted the ire of many anti-Messianics, it is in their interest to try to discredit him and his book The Return of the Kosher Pig. Though there are some mistakes in the book, as there are in most books, he is obviously hitting an anti-Messianic tender spot. It may be because his was brought up Sephardi Orthodox and speaks fluent Hebrew, dismissing the two main claims against Messianic Jews from the anti-Messianics, first of not being brought up Orthodox and secondly not knowing Hebrew. This may explain the frenzy of anti-Messianic activity that Shapira has faced, including the recent veiled threat against him: “Time to Kill the Kosher Pig”. Shapira has taken this threat seriously and reported it to the authorities.

Tom Cantor anti-Missionary Public Enemy Number One!

Baptist bus driving in Jewish area sparks complaints

Baptist bus driving in Jewish area sparks complaints

Tom Cantor, as we reported last month here, is rapidly becoming public enemy number one for the anti-missionary/anti-messianic networks. Ironically this article in the Jewishpress.com utilizes the ancient anti-Semitic canard of a rich Jew seeking to influence public opinion and implies wrong-doing of some sort or a degree of nefarious behaviour.

The missionary effort is being financed by Tom Cantor, who was born into a Jewish family and who is the president of a medical products company in southern California. He said he spends more than $4 million a year to push his concept in the United States and elsewhere. The $1 million summer blitz focuses on Jewish areas in Baltimore as well as in other major East Coast cities.

The author of this hysterical piece Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu gets his facts wrong when he quotes a claim by Arthur C. Abramson “even the most liberal rabbi would reject the notion of a “Jewish Christian.”” Yet this claim evaporates under the facts, for example liberal Rabbi Dan Cohn-Sherbok’s position in his books Messianic Judaism and Voices of Messianic Judaism: Confronting Critical Issues Facing a Maturing Movement there is also another liberal rabbi Carol Harris-Shapiro who wrote Messianic Judaism: A Rabbi’s Journey Through Religious Change in America.

The article seeks to stigmatize the very notion of religious freedom expressed by an attempt, as old as religion itself, to convince others of the correctness and truth of said religious belief.

Ben-Gedalyahu also homes-in on the modest dress of these Baptist girls and attempts to paint it as an attempt to confuse. If the author knew conservative Baptists at all he would know modest dress was a part of that sub-culture too, however he prefers to sling whatever mud he can find and hope something sticks.

The Baptist girls approach them in modest clothing, giving the impression that they may be Orthodox Jews, although Lou Rossi, a pastor of  church helping the campaign  told the Sun he does not think the women are trying to deceive anyone.

However inconsistent claims and factual deficiency is an essential part of the anti-Missionary narrative. The Baltimore Jewish community is claimed to be cohesive and the missionary invasion, of ten Baptist girls, is such a threat to that! However such cohesiveness is marred by assimilation, so the community is not as cohesive as was claimed then!

The Jewish community in Baltimore is highly cohesive and includes one of the highest percentages of orthodox Jews in the country. It also suffers from the same crisis of assimilation that threatens every other Jewish community in the Diaspora.

The ten Baptist girls come from a church that has missionaries all over the world. They can hardly be claimed to be targeting the Jewish community. Yet the level of sensitivity and hysteria is evident, even a Baptist bus driving through the Jewish area is cause for complaint.

touring Jewish neighborhoods with a van marked “Granite Baptist Church”  is a cause of complaints from Jewish residents.

Ruth Guggenheim of Jews for Judaism stated the obvious as if it were some kind of profound hidden truth. “This is no different than the Jehovah’s Witnesses coming to your door.” Nor is it any different from political parties or TV adverts or Jews for Judaism trying to get us to consider their ideology or products!

Rabbi Schochet Passes

We offer our deepest condolences on the sad news of the passing of Rabbi Immanuel Schochet. Despite his opposition to Messianic Jews we mourn with those who mourn and pray his family finds comfort in the days to come.

We have had a few post about him over the years here are some:

Schochet on Messiah and Isaiah 53 here.

On Original Sin and the New Adam here

Torah might be defunct in Messianic Age here.

Cleveland on “Alert” Against Messianic Jewish Organisation!

FAQ__96825.1356029278.1280.1280Cleveland Jewish News indulging in overly dramatic language used to warn people off the Messianic Movement is quite telling. The “Action Alert” is concerned with well-mannered young adults who dress conservatively… mmmm despicable! Of course the alert has to spin their conservative dress and foist upon them an unproven nefarious motive for not wearing bikinis and beach-wear, which must be, according to the “Alert”, that they are dressing to confuse unsuspecting frummers and sneak Yeshua in.

Action Alert: Don’t be fooled by ‘Messianic’ movement

We have received reports that in Cleveland, a Messianic organization has returned for door-to-door evangelizing. Teams of young, well-mannered individuals who are dressed to appear “Orthodox,” try to engage Jewish individuals in religious discussions while distributing their proselytizing packets.

Each packet contains a 100-page booklet on “Frequently Asked Questions by Jewish People,” a DVD and a personal message from businessman Tom Cantor, a born Jew, who converted to Christianity and founded “Israel Restoration.”


The article goes on to quote The Jewish Federation of Cleveland:

However, we are disturbed and distressed by these so-called “Hebrew Christians” or “Messianic Jews” who would demean Judaism by suggesting that it is not as valid a faith as that of the proselytizer

Ironically, in complaining about having their faith being suggested as invalid, the Fed is more than happy to invalidate the faith of “so-called” Messianic Jews and not see the “so-called” inherent hypocrisy in doing so.

The answer to the challenge of Messianic Jews, as far as the Fed is concerned, is simple, don’t speak to them and hope Messianic Jews will disappear.

We recommend that members of our community not engage members of Israel Restoration and similar organizations in debate, nor get into arguments with them and/or yell

Mind you, they make a fair point about the yelling, that only encourages the Messianic kiruvniks, as they see they are being persecuted for the sake of HaShem!


US Department of State International Religious Freedom Report for 2012 – Israel Improves Record on Messianic Jews

usdos-logo-sealThe US Department of State International Religious Freedom Report for 2012 has an overview of religious freedom issues in all countries where religious minority groups have experienced problems. Israel has been featured in the report again this year with its record showing signs of improvement for, what the US DoS estimates is, 20,000 Israeli Messianic Jews.

Improvements and Positive Developments in Respect for Religious Freedom

There were no violent attacks against Messianic Jews

However there were violent attacks on other minority religious group members, and a stigma against Messianic Jews deeply embedded in society.

Societal attitudes toward missionary activities and conversion were generally negative. Most Jews opposed missionary activity directed at Jews, and some were hostile to Jewish converts to Christianity. Messianic Jews and Jehovah’s Witnesses were harassed regularly by Yad L’Achim and Lev L’Achim, Jewish religious organizations opposed to missionary activity. During the year, Jehovah’s Witnesses reported assaults, threats of violence, and other crimes to the police. On July 22, a Beersheva resident assaulted a 62-year-old woman, breaking her nose by butting his head against hers when she and another woman shared their faith with him outside his front door. The police arrested the perpetrator at his house on August 28, the same day the victim identified him to the police.

US Embassy officials sought to raise the profile of religious hate crimes and see them investigated properly. Also the previous practice of the Ministry of Interior using Yad L’Achim’s missionary blacklist to refuse people entry into Israel has, it seems, been ended.

Section IV. U.S. Government PolicyShare

Embassy officials engaged in detailed discussions on religious freedom with the government, as well as with religious and civil society organizations. The ambassador hosted and attended many events with Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Druze, and Bahai religious leaders, including on many of their holidays. The U.S. embassy consistently raised concerns about religious freedom with the MFA, the MOJ, the police, the Chief Rabbinate, and other government agencies. Issues included expanding the list of officially recognized religious groups; investigating religiously motivated acts of violence against minority religious groups, including Messianic Jews and Jehovah’s Witnesses; investigating vandalism of mosques and churches; upholding women’s rights against religious or social coercion in public spaces and on buses; and ensuring that the practice of preventing entry into the country based on the MOI’s lists of suspected “missionaries” was indeed ended.

Under the the section Improvements and Positive Developments in Respect for Religious Freedom, it is noted.

The MOI did not arrest, detain, require bail for entry or a written pledge to abstain from missionary activity, or refuse entry to anyone due to their religious beliefs. There was no indication that the MOI collected data on alleged missionaries from antimissionary groups and used it to deny entry to the country to foreign individuals. There was no official statement that the policy had changed, but no incidents were reported since the July 2011 action of a Jerusalem district court judge who reprimanded the MOI for the illegal procedure.

It is a welcomed sign of healthy Israeli democratic institutions seeking to give all citizens of Israel their full rights and protections under the law, irrespective of their religious faith commitments.

Yad L’Achim Promote Missionary Book!

bneibrakYad L’Achim are inadvertently advertising a missionary book titled Forbidden: What the rabbis don’t want you to know. They falsely claim the book is an incitement against the rabbis and Gedolei Yisrael where in fact the premise of the book is that the rabbis are scholarly and wise enough to have understood what the book is presenting.

The book was distributed by the Grace and Truth Congregation in the northern Israeli town of Kiriat Shemonah according to one Israeli news source.

Yad L’Achim have increased the book’s profile and appeal by giving an even racier profile and are proving the truth of the title as they are “warning the public not to peruse the destructive material, but to destroy it immediately”.

Yad L’Achim repeatedly use other people’s freedom of speech, religious expression and preaching, a freedom which the also exercise, as an excuse to call for Israel to impose restrictions upon religious freedom in the State of Israel. Time and time again Israel’s politicians have rightly rejected the calls for legislation that would draw towards the Talibanization of the state religion.

Yad L’Achim is being inundated with complaints from outraged Bnei Brak residents over missionary brochures that are appearing in their mailboxes. The brochures, titled “Forbidden – What the Rabbis Don’t Want You to Know,” incite against Rabbis and Gedolei Yisrael.
One caller to Yad L’Achim’s hotline expressed his anguish at the fact that his young son had brought such material into their home after picking it out of their mailbox. “I felt it was a violation of the sanctity of our home,” he said. “How could the postal system deliver such poison?”
Callers were told to immediately destroy the brochure. At the same time, Yad L’Achim distributed a brochure of its own throughout Bnei Brak warning the public not to peruse the destructive material, but to destroy it immediately.
Yad L’Achim’s brochure, titled “Shemad in Bnei Brak,” warns: “In many neighborhoods in our city, missionary material has been distributed in mail boxes by the ‘Messianic Jews’ group. Their brochure is a trap! Their real goal is to convert Jews to Christianity. If this missionary material reaches your hands, destroy it immediately!”
Yad L’Achim officials said this week that the missionaries have once again shown that their gall knows no limits, when they can dare to target Bnei Brak for their aggressive campaign of missionary shemad.
“The goal is clear: To infiltrate the homes of residents of the city of Torah and Chassidus.”
Yad L’Achim emphasized that it will continue to stand guard, using all legitimate means to prevent the missionaries from gaining a foothold, not just in Bnei Brak but anywhere in Israel.
“This is another example of the urgent need for meaningful legislation against the activities of missionaries in Israel,” officials said.


New Yad L’Achim Hate-Poster

Here is the latest hysterical hate-poster from Yad L’Achim.

Note the violent image of someone either falling off a cliff or being pushed off a cliff. Are they encouraging some one to do this to Meno Kalisher, pastor of Beit Geula Congregation in Jerusalem, or claiming this is what Kalisher does to others!

meno k yad L

Here is a translation of the hate-poster:

Meno Kalisher!

Is he a Messianic Jew?

A search of the internet proves that Meno Kalisher, who leads the Assembly and introduces himself as a Messianic Jew is:

-      An ordained Baptist priest and a known Missionary!

-      The main economic source that finances his activity is the Christian body that ordained him to priesthood!

-      Meno Kalisher himself defines his church as “Evangelical Baptist”. If you do not know the full meaning of this title, just ask any Christian. He surely knows.

-      The teaching of the group under the leadership of Meno Kalisher, justifies the persecution of the Jews in all times:

The main reason for every tribulation (upon the Jews), whatever it may be, is a result of the rejection of Jesus as a king and Savior of Israel”

“As long as the nation of Israel does not accept Jesus, it remains under the threat of punishment in any moment” [Meno Kalisher]

SO Than, Who is Meno Kalisher?

A Jew?

Kalisher is a Baptist priest under the disguise of a Jew who is working for the church and is searching for you, that you may be the next victim…

Meno Kalisher….Not for us!

Note that he words: Church, Missionary, Baptist-priest, are all derogatory terms in Israel.

Kalisher himself notes that “The aim of this group [Yad L'Achim] is to raise a protest among the people and hopefully a physical attack against us.” 

I doubt very much if Kalisher ” justifies the persecution of the Jews in all times”  and I would like to see where his quote is from. If it is from him, I totally disagree with it.

Yad L’Achim often get it wrong as it does here, a Baptist minister is not כומר- priest, a non-conformist Baptist pastor would be better translated into Hebrew as רועה הקהילה.

British Fascists Adopt Anti-Missionary Tactics

British fascists seem to be adopting tried and tested tactics, (favoured by the anti-missionaries in Israel), as they seek to chase left-wing campaigners from their neighbourhood. They tell them they are not welcome, they do not live in the area, shout false accusations and use the shout-scare tactic.They are bullied out of the area because a group of people have taken it upon themselves to be the self-declared guardians of their area and the political-thought-police for all their neighbours.

For years Israeli Messianic Jews and foreign Christian missionary visitors to Israel have faced this kind of tactic. They are told they are not welcome, they do not live there (though for many Israeli Messianic Jews they are being stalked near their homes).

Here are the clips from London, be warned there is a fair bit of bad language.

Compare with the tactics of anti-missionary, anti-messianic peyilim here and here.

If we are to rightly condemn the shameful bullying by BNP activists against left-wing campaigners, why should we be silent when we see the same kind of bullying intimidation in Israel by religious-thought-police seeking to silence others on behalf of a population that didn’t appoint them either!

New Yad L’Achim Leader Warns A Free Concert Could Convert You!

Yad L'Achim main office in Jerusalem

Yad L’Achim main office in Jerusalem

Yad L’Achim have had their radio adverts banned before, see the racist one here and the Galei Zahal Radio Station ban which has now been over-turned after new wording for the advert has been court approved. One of the new leaders of Yad L’Achim, Rabbi Shmuel Lifschitz, claims that a free concert would be enough to get someone to change their religion. What a load of old hysterical nonsense. However we do agree that offering material inducements to change a religion is wrong and invalidates any genuine religious-faith discovery. However, that said, groups like Chabad are not shy in offering their own inducements to join their group, such as free Shabbat meals in their Chabad Houses all over the world. That said, the Yad L’Achim radio ad is fair enough now, but the hysteria, lies and exaggeration will come once someone calls Yad L’Achim’s trained scaremongers.

Anti-Missionary Campaign Due to Start on IDF Radio

Rabbi Shmuel Lifschitz, one of the leaders of the Yad L’achim anti-missionary organization, said, Friday, that a public-awareness campaign against missionaries is about to start on Israel Defense Forces Radio, following a recent Supreme Court decision determining wording that was acceptable to the station. Two years ago, the station rejected wording that said, “Neshama [play on words between a term of endearment and the Hebrew word for soul -ed.], don’t let them trick your soul.” The wording approved by Supreme Court President Asher Grunis is, “If they try to get you to change your religion by granting you a bonus, it’s a criminal violation. For details, contact Yad L’achim.”

Rabbi Lifschitz said the bonuses include free concerts and that there are hundreds of missionaries in Israel who try to disuade youth from Judaism while telling them they can retain it. He noted that missionaries recently set up a large missionary center at the Kanut Junction, southeast of Tel Aviv, near the city of Gedera, and said anti-missionary laws are full of holes.

Read article here.