Jesus Comes Back to the Jews: Part 1

Featured

Israel Museum 2a

From December, 2016 at the Israel Museum an exhibit, Jesus comes back to the Jews, was boldly featured by the museum’s art curator, Amatai Mendelsohn. The exhibit featured 150 works by 40 mainly Jewish artists exploring the complex, evolving attitudes of Jewish, Zionist and Israeli artists toward the Christian Saviour. The exhibition concluded on the 22nd April, 2017. A companion book called: Behold the Man: Jesus in Israeli Art, was written by Amatai Mendelsohn. 

Kopfhoerer_4

[By JESSICA STEINBERG 23 January 2017, 12:13 pm]

 

Last supperAdi Nes’s ‘Untitled (Last Supper), planned down to the last plate (Courtesy Israel Museum)

Ms Jessica Steinberg said,

“Jesus and the Jews have had something of a complicated relationship.”

In “Behold The Man: Jesus in Israeli Art,” a new exhibit at the Israel Museum, curator Amatai Mendelsohn examines that complex iconography up close, through the prism of Jewish and Israeli art.

Picture1d

It’s a process Mr Mendelsohn began 10 years ago, when he first laid eyes on an unusual painting by Reuven Rubin, the famed Israeli artist and pioneer. (You may view my programme in Behold the Man series in which I feature Rubin’s work0.

At the time, Mendelsohn was working on an exhibit about Rubin, “Prophets and Visionaries: Reuven Rubin’s Early Years: 1914-23,” and stumbled upon one of Rubin’s earliest self-portraits, in which he mimics aspects of a Jesus figure, as he, the subject, stares down at his bloodied hands.

d47921d1640892929f3b90cc9860e567--jewish-art-rubin

“Rubin was attracted to Jesus, and that intrigued me,” he said. “Now I know how many Jewish artists dealt with the figure of Jesus.”

In one of the main gallery halls, the exhibit features the 150 works by some 40 artists, in which the evolving attitudes of Jewish, Zionist and Israeli artists toward Jesus is on display..

Christ_1.png

There are the classic works that place Christian-inspired images in classically Zionist settings, in which Jesus becomes a metaphor for the rebirth of the Jewish people in the Promised Land, and more contemporary, 20th- and 21st-century Israeli artists, who saw Jesus as a more familiar symbol of personal and universal suffering.

Picture1

The show, which opened in December, brings together works from the museum’s collections and from private and public collections in Israel, as well as several pieces borrowed from the National Museum in Warsaw and Centre Pompidou in Paris. The exhibit is open until April 22, 2017.

It’s a collection of works that Mendelsohn, who has been a curator at the Israel Museum for 20 years, has thought about for much of that time.

“For me, the art history process starts when I see something as part of my daily museum activity,” he said. “It’s a question of how religion and art connect.”

In order to tackle the many works dealing with Jesus, Mendelsohn divided the exhibit into sections, looking at Jesus deployed as a problematic figure in Jewish history, Jesus as the enemy, as a symbol of anti-Semitism, and as someone who had a “huge effect on Jewish existence,” he said.

 

The exhibit begins with “Jesus Preaching in Capernaum,” the last, unfinished piece from 1879 by Maurycy Gottlieb, the Polish artist who died at just 23, and is perhaps best known for his famed Yom Kippur painting. This work resembles that peace, with a similar composition, as it is set in a synagogue, albeit in Kfar Nahum or Capernaum, the northern Galilean town where Jesus famously preached.

Featuring Jesus in the centre with a mix of congregants listening to him, Gottlieb looked at Jesus as a Jew, and as a possible bridge between Christians and Jews, perhaps harkening to what could happen in his native Poland.

“It sets a tone for the show,” said Mendelsohn. “Here was Jesus, and he had a moral, universal, humanistic message.”

It’s a message that echoes the thoughts of German-Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelsohn — whom the curator is not related to — who saw Jesus as a moral Jew, as a prophet, perhaps one of the greatest Jews, but not as God.

“It takes Jesus back to the Jews,” said Mendelsohn.

To the right of Gottlieb’s work is “In the Shadow of the Cross,” a massive piece by Polish painter Samuel Hirszenberg, who worked a generation later. Taking a far darker, more sinister look, the Zionist painter created a difficult image of a wandering Jew, barely dressed, wandering among corpses in a cemetery.

Picture1b

It hung in the original Bezalel art school building in Jerusalem for many years, portraying the emergence of the Zionist movement, said Mendelsohn, and the early pioneers’ escape from Europe and anti-Semitism.

The third wall of the first section is completed with Chagall’s “Yellow Crucifixion” from 1942, depicting a Jew with the halo of a Christian saint, wearing phylacteries.

Picture1c

“Many don’t know that Chagall was attracted to and obsessed by Jesus as a figure of Jewish pain and suffering,” said Mendelsohn.

d6b6b7d57f16bc964175ed67d49bc930--the-painter-painters

So was Rubin, apparently. One section of the exhibit is devoted to several of his paintings, beginning with that early self-portrait that looks quite different from his other works, noted Mendelsohn.

“When I looked at this, I thought it was a strange Rubin,” he said. “It was all about his agony. Rubin was very interested in the story of Jesus.”

It was painted during Rubin’s early period when he spent some time in New York after 10 years in Romania and a year before that in pre-state Palestine.

jesus_p62

That piece is followed by others from Rubin, including one of an old, religious Jew sitting on a bench with a resurrected Jesus, and others featuring a Madonna, lolling on what looks like the shore of the Galilee, with a baby that could be the baby Jesus reborn in the land of the Jews.

 

Madonna_Vagabonds

“It’s resurrection of the birth of the baby, all about new beginnings,” said Mendelsohn.

A painting by Moshe Castel, who was born in Ottoman-era Palestine to a religious family, was discovered recently in a locked cupboard of the Moshe Castel Museum of Art in Ma’ale Adumim. It was painted after the artist’s newborn baby and wife died following childbirth.

The painter, who lived in Safed, secluded himself in a monastery and painted the dark, sad self-portrait that mimics other art of Jesus as the long-suffering, misunderstood prophet.

As the exhibit moves into more modern times, there are different sides of Jesus portrayed as well. Yigal Tumarkin, an immigrant from Germany whose father wasn’t Jewish, looks at the crucifixion in his rough, sharp-edged sculpture made from salvaged goods found in Bedouin camps, as he interpreted the tensions in Israeli society and prototypes of Christian art.

f7edcb1478

th

Moshe Gershuni’s exhibited works focus primarily on the blood of the crucifixion, perhaps creating a new testament between him and the Israeli public after he came out of the closet as gay, conjectured Mendelsohn.

בעין תודעה - מה נורא המקום הזה-3There are photographs of performance art by multimedia artist Motti Mizrachi, who is disabled, and walked down the Via Dolorosa in 1973 with a cross on his back. Another set of photographs juxtapose a newspaper photograph of a dead Palestinian man being carried during the First Intifada, with the famed paintings of the disciples carrying the crucified Jesus.

Nes-Adi-Untitled-Last-Supper-1999

The exhibit ends with the now-famous photo by Nes Adi, “Untitled (Last Supper),” a staged photo of Israeli soldiers eating a mess-hall dinner that echoes the “Last Supper” painting by Leonardo da Vinci.

Then there is the video installation by sculptor and installation artist Sigalit Landau, who filmed a series at the Dead Sea, including a piece depicting her floating on a whole watermelon. It conjures images of Mary with Jesus, as Landau’s hands are stretched to the sides, evoking the cross.

“Israelis are funny about Jesus,” said Mendelsohn. “But when we scrape the surface, we realise that there is a lot of Christian imagery all around us, even if we’re unaware of it.”

“Behold The Man: Jesus in Israeli Art,” Israel Museum, open until April 22, 2017.

____________________

Art and Theatre 

download_1a

With the depiction of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, there is a great danger of causing offence – particularly if this is done in a satirical or a mocking caricature of them. Jews, Christians and Moslems do not take kindly to such renderings. Anger, disgust, protest, rage and violence may result from those who have been offended, expressing outrage towards the artist and media personnel  who are involved in publicising the offensive material. This is the recent response to the McJesus sculpture and the Charlie Hebdo cartoon – the Christian reaction was comparatively mild and measured in comparison to the cartoon depiction of the Prophet of Islam:

McJesus Sculpture

900457501001599640360no

McJesus’ sculpture sparks outrage among Haifa’s Christians
Arab Christians call for the removal of sculpture that portrays Ronald McDonald as Jesus on the cross; on Friday, protesters hurled a firebomb and stones at the museum, wounding 3 police officers.
[Associated Press |Published:  01.15.19 , 16:23]

An art exhibit featuring a crucified Ronald McDonald has sparked protests by Haifa’s Arab Christian minority.

Hundreds of Christians calling for the removal of the sculpture, entitled “McJesus,” demonstrated at the museum in the northern city on Friday. The police said rioters hurled a firebomb at the museum and threw stones that wounded three police officers. Authorities dispersed the crowds with tear gas and stun grenades.
Church representatives brought their grievances to the district court Monday, demanding it order the removal of the exhibit’s most offensive items, including Barbie doll renditions of a bloodied Jesus and the Virgin Mary.

https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5447307,00.html

Charlie Hebdo

630-Mohammed_Cartoons

[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia]

Charlie Hebdo: from the French ‘Charlie Weekly,’ is a French satirical weekly magazine, featuring cartoons, reports, polemics, and jokes. Irreverent and stridently non-conformist in tone, the publication describes itself as above all secular, skeptic, and atheist, far-left-wing, and anti-racist publishing articles about the extreme right (especially the French nationalist National Front party), religion (Catholicism, Islam, Judaism), politics and culture.

The magazine has been the target of two terrorist attacks, in 2011 and 2015. Both were presumed to be in response to a number of controversial Muhammad cartoons it published. In the second of these attacks, 12 people were killed, including publishing director Charb and several other prominent cartoonists.

Charlie Hebdo first appeared in 1970 as a companion to the monthly Hara-Kiri magazine, after a previous title was banned for mocking the death of former French President Charles de Gaulle. In 1981 publication ceased, but the magazine was resurrected in 1992. Its current editor-in-chief is Gérard Biard. The previous editors were François Cavanna (1970–1981) and Philippe Val (1992–2009). The magazine is published every Wednesday, with special editions issued on an unscheduled basis.

ZOG

1984184692

Monopoly Board Game Parody of Jewish Control of World Finances

zog

ZOG – Zionist Occupied Government that controls the world 

Equally, to single out Jews for ridicule and to hold to anti-Semitic and conspiracy theories  that claim that they control world finances and governments – called ZOG. Alas, even Jeremy Corbyn’s the Labour leader was slow to condemn such ideas:

A Step too far

No serious minded person likes folk to poke fun or ridicule at that which is sacred to them, because of their particular faith – Jews, Christians and Moslems each have their redlines that when folk cross them they voice their opposition as is the case of the two examples given above:

  • McJesus’ sculpture
  • Prophet Muhammad depicted wearing a turban that in the shape of a bomb.
  • Ant-Semitic Monopoly board game mural

While satire and humour may be part of expression of free-speech, however, for some folk there is definitely a crossover point where those who are ridiculing that which fundamental to their faith go too far and they result in giving offence. This is clearly so in these cases that I have given, as well as to perpetuate anti-Semitic tropes as depicted in the last two image above.

Art as self-expression:

You will recall that I did a series of programmes during 2017 on the image of Jesus in Jewish and Israeli art. These were based upon the book by Amatai Mendelsohn –

Behold the Man: Jesus in Israeli Art

Various aspects of this subject were considered over a number of months on my blog. One example is –

Behold the Man: Between Judaism, Zionism, and Christianity

Posted on September 13, 2017:

https://hotrodronisblog.com/2017/09/13/behold-the-man-between-judaism-zionism-and-christianity/

In this programme I wish to explore the theme –

From Personal Experience to National Identity

Art that is true art is not simply a dispassionate and visual depiction of a given subject. For the true artist, for her or his work to have a significant impact, it must generally convey something of the artist who created the piece of work – this is equally true when we think about the amazing world in which we live. There is an intelligence behind it that thinks and feels [mind and heart – will and emotions] and those who believe, call the ONE the Creator G_D. For we do not live in a random universe, but it has a perfect order and design, like the fingerprints of the sculptor or brush strokes of the painter.

I recall the work of the sculptor Babara Hepworth who drew her inspiration from the costal environment in which she lived. The crashing of the sea sculpting the rock formation in the cove near where she lived is reflected  the awesome beauty that the motion of the sea carved from the rocks. Her inspired work reflects this starkness of the visual and audio impressions that were imprinted on her mind and reflected in her sculptures.

Image II 1960 by Dame Barbara Hepworth 1903-1975

Image II 1960 Dame Barbara Hepworth 1903-1975 Presented by the artist 1967 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T00958

Image II 1960 Dame Barbara Hepworth 1903-1975 Presented by the artist 1967 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T00958

8e80a4c7afbe6a1e66667904a77dd0b9

ff2d8d1ac13da780f521c17b59def52f

Hepworth_1a

Surgeon about his craft, like a Sculptor

krc3b6ller-mc3bcller-53-barbara-hepworth-curved-form-delphi-1955
A risky challenge

EPSON scanner image

Mark Anatokolsky

Picture1c

Marc Chagall

There is a risky and challenging undertaking that faces the Jewish and Israeli artist who seeks to depict Jesus, with the attendant danger and scope for being misunderstood. Both Marc Chagall and Mark Anatokolsky both faced severe criticism for depicting a Jewish looking Jesus – “Why did you paint/sculpture Christ?” said their fellow Jews and “Why did you paint/sculpture Christ like that?” said gentiles when confronted with a very Jewish looking Jesus. No one said that it would be easy, but then artist are often people who challenge the status quo and press the margins of what folk perceive as being acceptable. May one say that they live dangerously. Like the Chinese Chinese avant garde artist Wi Wi  who was driven into exile for his challenging the authoritarian communist rule in his native China.

From Personal Experience to National Identity

 

 

Moshe Castel, Crucifixion, ca. 1948. Ink on paper, 30 x 21 cm.                                             The Moshe Castel Museum of Art, Ma’ale Adumim, Israel

Moshe Castel

Moshe Castel 1900 – 1991, was born in Israel to Jewish parents that had lived in the Jerusalem for many generations. However, he lived in Paris from 1927 – 1940. Although his paintings dealt with general themes, in the European expressionistic style, when he returned to Israel, he did two paintings of deep significance related to our theme of Jesus in Jewish and Israeli art – they we both depicted a crucifixion of Jesus.

 

 

Paintings in sequence: Chaim Soutine 1 and 2,  3; Francis Bacon  4, 5, 6, & 7                                

_________________________________

As I have said above that the personal life of the artist almost always has an impact upon the content that is portrayed, relating to personal events and impressions.

IMG_2235

Painting by Roni Mechanic

________________

Take for example this painting done by me – you will notice that there  are  the image of three fish. On closer examination, there is a large whale above a dolphin and in the bottom left hand corner there is a shark. My wife Elisheva pointed out to me that she thought that the picture expressed a turbulent time that I had been facing and that the whale symbolised G_D’s protection over me, the dolphin, that was being threatened by the shark. I had not consciously painted these three fish with that in mind, but I had to agree with her summation of the imagery in the painting.

Similarly, Moshe Castel’s Crucifixion paintings gave expression to a very painful episode in his personal life. He painted these in 1948, when he withdrew from public life, spending a year in a monastery on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. This retreat took place after the death of his wife who died giving birth, and their child who died some three years later. It is in an expressive style, very similar to the work of Chaim Soutine. We should note that the third painting by Soutine of the human butchered body is echoed in Francis Bacon’s work – [See panel above for examples of their work]Castel depicts himself as the crucified Jesus, against a background of mountains on a stormy night. The depiction is reminiscent of  Matthias Groenewolt’s Isenheim crucifixion.

IMG_2233a

th (1)

In Castel’s depiction of Jesus, the face is that of the artist himself and the artist himself:

What Moshe Castel has done is not unique, Paul Gauguin did that as well in his Yellow Crucifixion. Vincent van Gogh’s Peita and Marc Chagall spoke of himself in his anguish as an artist as if he were being crucified. This type of portrayal of the artist as if he were Christ is a way of attempting to describe the depth of their personal anguish. It is particularly significant that Jewish and Israeli artist feel at liberty to cross this threshold of depicting Jesus’ crucified as not only an image of their own suffering, but equally as Chagall had done of Jewish suffering in general.

post-impressionism-16

 

pieta-1889

Van Gogh – Peita

EPSON scanner image

Chagall’s Anguish

Amatai Mendelsohn says, that it is apparent that an enormous emotional investment went into this surprising painting by Castel. One wonders if his time in the Catholic monastery had an influence upon him. This is pure conjecture on my part, but it does not completely surprise me that he should have painted this crucifixion that is at the heart of the Catholic and Christian/Messianic faith. All the more so that these images of the crucified Christ were never seen during the artist life, as the were found locked away in a cupboard in his home after his death.

A great taboo surrounds the question of Jewish and Israeli artist daring to depict the figure and person of Jesus still to this day. Mendelsohn continues in his discussion, that the inscription that went above the painting was planned in two preparatory sketches in which Castle used the proper Hebrew name for Jesus in place of the INRI – he wrote “Yeshua” instead of the “Yeshu,” that is often said and written derisively and is an acronym for “may his name and memory be obliterated.” As I have conjectured, Mendelsohn says, this suggests that the painter’s positive view, rather than the usual Jewish revolution towards Jesus’ name is implied by Castel’s rendering of it.

5f9871c39a03cf208c29b763518c2887

George Rouault Christ de face [detail]

This second painting by Moshe Castle [see below on blog], also unknown to critics or the public is a depiction of the crucifixion of Jesus, the head surrounded by a halo, and a cloth wrapped around his loins, suggesting a prayer shawl – tallit. Also included is the figure of a Jewish man wearing a skull-cap and a Jewish woman standing beneath the cross on which Jesus hung. There is a third figure with his back to the viewers, also wearing a skull cap. Two angels hover beneath the hands of the crucified figure.

IMG_2236a________________________________________________

In Paris, Castel had met Chagall and Soutine, and other Jewish artist of the Jewish School of Paris.

Ecole_de_paris_001Jacques_Lipchitz,_1920,_Portrait_of_Jean_Cocteau

André Warnod, Les Berceaux de la jeune peinture (1925). Cover illustration by Amedeo Modigliani

The Paris “Jewish” School

The term “School of Paris” was used in 1925 by André Warnod [fr] to refer to the many foreign-born artists who had migrated to Paris.[3] The term soon gained currency, often as a derogatory label by critics who saw the foreign artists—many of whom were Jewish—as a threat to the purity of French art.[4] Art critic Louis Vauxcelles, noted for coining the terms “Fauvism” and “Cubism”, also meant disparagingly, called immigrant artists unwashed “Slavs disguised as representatives of French art”.[5] Waldemar George, himself a French Jew, in 1931 lamented that the School of Paris name “allows any artist to pretend he is French…it refers to French tradition but instead annihilates it.”[6]

School of Paris artists were progressively marginalised. Beginning in 1935 art publications no longer wrote about Chagall, just magazines for Jewish audiences, and by June 1940 when the Vichy government took power, School of Paris artists could no longer exhibit in Paris at all.[6]

The artists working in Paris between World War I and World War II experimented with various styles including Cubism, Orphism, Surrealism and Dada. Foreign and French artists working in Paris included Jean Arp, Joan Miró, Constantin Brâncuși, Raoul Dufy, Tsuguharu Foujita, artists from Belarus like Michel Kikoine, Pinchus Kremegne, and Jacques Lipchitz, the Polish artist Marek Szwarc and others such as Russian-born prince Alexis Arapoff.[7]

A significant subset, the Jewish artists, came to be known as the Jewish School of Paris or the School of Montparnasse.[8] The “core members were almost all Jews, and the resentment expressed toward them by French critics in the 1930s was unquestionably fuelled by anti-Semitism.”[9] One account points to the 1924 Salon des Indépendants, which decided to separate the works of French-born artists from those by immigrants; in response critic Roger Allard [fr] referred to them as the School of Paris.[9][10] Jewish members of the group included Emmanuel Mané-Katz, Chaim Soutine, Adolphe Féder, Chagall, Moïse Kisling, Maxa Nordau and Shimshon Holzman.[11]

The artists of the Jewish School of Paris were stylistically diverse. Some, like Louis Marcoussis, worked in a cubist style, but most tended toward expression of mood rather than an emphasis on formal structure.[8] Their paintings often feature thickly brushed or troweled impasto. The Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme has works from School of Paris artists including Pascin, Kikoine, Soutine, Orloff and Lipschitz.[12]

In the aftermath of the war, “nationalistic and anti-Semitic attitudes were discredited, and the term took on a more general use denoting both foreign and French artists in Paris”.[4] But although the “Jewish problem” trope continued to surface in public discourse, art critics ceased making ethnic distinctions in using the term. While in the early 20th century French art critics contrasted The School of Paris and the École de France, after World War II the question was School of Paris vs School of New York.[13]

Post-World War II (Après-guerre), the term “School of Paris” often referred to tachisme, and lyrical abstraction, a European parallel to American Abstract Expressionism. These artists are also related to CoBrA.[14] Important proponents were Jean Dubuffet, Pierre Soulages, Jean-Michel Coulon, Nicolas de Staël, Hans Hartung, Serge Poliakoff, Bram van Velde, Georges Mathieu, Jean Messagier and Zoran Mušič, among others. Many of their exhibitions took place at the Galerie de France in Paris, and then at the Salon de Mai where a group of them exhibited until the 1970s.

________________________________________________

Moshe Castel’s second painting of The Crucifixion, 1940 – 1945, is a watercolour on paper, mounted on canvas, 50 x 36 cms, The Moshe Castel Meseum of Art, Ma’ale Adumim.

crucifixion-11

This painting was influenced by Marc Chagall and by George Henri Rousalt (see detail of the head of Christ, above).

th (5)

George Henri Rousalt

Chagall’s White Crucifixion is the most important painting of the crucified Jewish Christ of the Paris Jewish School.

The Expressionistic style of Rousalt, was influenced by religious icons and medieval artistic rendering of Biblical New Testament themes. The use of heavy bold colours, shapes and lines giving expression to the emotion and the drama of the death of Jesus.

While the depiction of the image of humans and the divine was forbidden in Judaism, Jewish artist looked elsewhere for references to be able to depict biblical and religious themes. What makes the Paris Jewish School’s work unique is that these Jewish artists were not under the constraint of the Jewish religious establishment who would have disapproved of their rendering of the image if Jesus in particular. One should note that Marc Chagall’s windows at the Jerusalem Hadassah Hospital of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, is largely abstract in its rendering of these biblical themes.

 

The Measure of the Person 

Apart from Moshe Castel’s two Crucifixion paintings and a few sketches, he did not publicly paint any images of Jesus in his work. He was the son of a respected rabbi, and he was intimately familiar with his religious and cultural Jewish heritage. In his art he explored the Jewish Bible, mysticism, and other Jewish themes. The enigma of what inspired him to pain these two Crucifixions after he left Paris and returned to Eretz-Israel, remains unanswered. What I personally find fascinating that in the desire to express his deepest, private pain and loss, he turned to the theme off the crucifixion of Jesus.

Amatai Mendelsohn suggests that a reason for this, may be found in his bitter anger towards the Jewish G_D. How ironic that while he sought to give expression to his anger towards HaShem, who he must have felt had abandoned him, nonetheless, he turns to his Jewish Son, who was despised and rejected by Jew and gentile alike. This private anger  towards God and fascination with Jesus, may suggest his ambivalence and fear about identifying himself publicly with an image that traditionally was considered as idolatrous. He did not stand alone for there were other Jewish people like Uri Zvi Greenberg, the poet, who was also drawn to his “brother’ on the cross, and this included Aharon Kabak, whose novel on the life of Jesus, also rose out of tragic personal loss.

Looking UNTO Jesus

Jewish people like so many others in their darkest hour of loss and despair have turned to Jesus – Yeshua and found him as their Messiah and Lord. Was this the case of Moshe Castel’s darkest secret that only emerged after his death? Locked away in a hidden cupboard, but there in the hidden chambers of his heart was the Saviour who was able to give him comfort and hope.

The prophet Zechariah says,

“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son: (12:10).

Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12:

13

Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.

14

As many were astounded at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:

15

So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

2

For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

3

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

7

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opens not his mouth.

8

He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

9

And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

10

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

11

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

12

Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
You too

You too can make the awesome discovery that the Suffering Sevant of G_D is both Lord and Messiah.This is a reality that countless Jews and gentiles testify to.

Amen.

SOS-PAYPALDONATIONBUTTONOVAL_zpsc96eeb95

Charitable Donation to Support Shalom Radio UK’s Running Costs
This is to enable you the listener to express your thanks and help me expand the work of Shalom Radio UK by making a donation CLICK ON LINK TO DONATE: 

https://paypal.me/hotrodronisblogcom

MTMI

MTMI – Messianic Teaching Ministry International

mtmi.teaching@hotrodronisblog.com

http://www.hotrodronisblog.com

MaxRon Discussions: Dispelling Confusion – Bible Translations

Roni Mechanic:

http://www.hotrodronisblog.com

Max Debono-De-Laurentis:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=torah+in+small+bites

Max’s books:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=debono-de-laurentisu0026amp;ref=nb_sb_noss

One of Max’s books – Visit Amazon for a full list

For Roni’s book: A Quest for The Jewish Jesus to purchase it at Amazon –  amazon.co.uk/s

THESE ARE ALL THE PLACES WHERE AMAZON HAS WEBSITES TO ENABLE YOU TO ORDER A COPY OF MY BOOK: 

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.de
Amazon.fr
Amazon.es
Amazon.it
Amazon.nl
Amazon.co.jp
Amazon.in
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com.br
Amazon.com.mx

The Book is also available as an e-book on Kindle

___________________________________

SOS-PAYPALDONATIONBUTTONOVAL_zpsc96eeb95

Charitable Donation to Support Shalom Radio UK’s Running Costs

This is to enable you the listener to express your thanks and help me expand the work of Shalom Radio UK by making a donation

CLICK ON LINK TO DONATE:

https://paypal.me/hotrodronisblogcom

(E.G. £10.00)

d8cf06fdd0caed8d13bc0b4212aaa574-2

http://www.hotrodronisblog.com

MTMI – Messianic Teaching Ministry International

 

MaxRon Discussions: Dispelling Confusion – Bible Translations

Which is the Best English Bible Translation?

Roni Mechanic:

http://www.hotrodronisblog.com

Max Debono-De-Laurentis:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=torah+in+small+bites

Max’s books:

One of Max’s books – Visit Amazon for a full list

For Roni’s book: A Quest for The Jewish Jesus to purchase it at Amazon –  amazon.co.uk/s

THESE ARE ALL THE PLACES WHERE AMAZON HAS WEBSITES TO ENABLE YOU TO ORDER A COPY OF MY BOOK: 

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.de
Amazon.fr
Amazon.es
Amazon.it
Amazon.nl
Amazon.co.jp
Amazon.in
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com.br
Amazon.com.mx

The Book is also available as an e-book on Kindle

___________________________________

SOS-PAYPALDONATIONBUTTONOVAL_zpsc96eeb95

Charitable Donation to Support Shalom Radio UK’s Running Costs

This is to enable you the listener to express your thanks and help me expand the work of Shalom Radio UK by making a donation

CLICK ON LINK TO DONATE:

https://paypal.me/hotrodronisblogcom

(E.G. £10.00)

d8cf06fdd0caed8d13bc0b4212aaa574-2

http://www.hotrodronisblog.com

MTMI – Messianic Teaching Ministry International

 

A Quest for The Jewish Jesus: Continued – Part 2

Dr Richard Harvey, a leading Messianic Jewish academic interviews Roni Mechanic about his new book – A Quest for The Jewish Jesus

Roni Mechanic’s “A Quest for the Jewish Jesus”

Messianic Jewish writer Roni Mechanic on his new book – A Quest for the Jewish Jesus. A Quest for the Jewish Jesus – Roni Mechanic – New Publication A Quest for the Jewish Jesus is for all who discover not only the Jesus of history, but also the Jesus of Faith. Many false notions are refuted and in this book the author Roni Mechanic endeavours to show who Jesus is. A Quest for The Jewish Jesus Jewish people say, “Look at what they have done to him!” Many struggle to even say the name “Jesus.” While Gentiles over two millennia have distorted his image by fashioning him according to their own theological and cultural outlook. However, this quest for the Jewish Jesus of history and faith is of paramount the importance. Rabbi Leo Baeck says, “He was a Jew among Jews; from no other people could a man like him have come forth, and in no other people could a man like him work; in no other people could he have found the apostles who believed in him.” (Ben-Chorin, Shalom, 1974:408; also see p 25). For Jewish people if Yeshua was not a Jew, then many like Roni would want to have nothing to do with him or the faith that he and his Jewish disciples proclaimed and propagated. That is why this quest is so important because it confronts may of the distorted images that people have made, exposing an often an underlying anti-Judaism, and sometimes a deep rooted Judeophobia that gives expression to anti-Semitic attitudes and actions. These at times have resulted in the murder of Jewish people in the name of “Christ.” The Aryan Jesus of the Nazi’s imaging is the worst example of Jesus being turned into the enemy of the Jews who they hold he came to destroy. Nothing could be further from the truth of who Jesus/Yeshua is, what he came to do and how we as Jews may reclaim him and embrace not only his Jewishness, but equally our own. This affirmation of our faith in the Jewish Messiah Yeshua should give us new confidence in our witness to our people. Roni also explores Jewish and rabbinic attitudes towards Yeshua. Some have taken bold steps towards reclaiming him as their own. This includes some famous Jewish scholars and rabbis such as Abraham Geiger, Leo Baeck, Martin Buber, Franz Rosenzweig, Will Herberg, Abraham Heschel, Susannah Heschel, Pinchas Lapide, David Flusser, and Geza Vermes. While none of these people became believers in Yeshua, they went a long way to reclaiming his as a Jewish luminary of great importance. This book, “A Quest for The Jewish Jesus,” will help answer the questions about how Yeshua is both the Jesus of history and equally the Jesus of faith. There cannot ever be a division between these two aspects of his being. There are those who say that we can’t really prove that he is a real historic person and beside the New Testament which is written by his disciples as a piece of propaganda, there is little else that is written about him that we can rely upon. Equally, there are many who say that by believing in Yeshua as Messiahs, it is like believing in Elvis Presley, who some say he is still alive. The historic Jesus and the Jesus of faith are the same person, and there can never be a division. Roni also shares something of his personal quest in this discovery of the Jewish Jesus and how that we may also discover a strong personal faith in God through him. About the author Roni Mechanic is an Artist, theological educator, writer, conference speaker and Messianic Jew. He has studied theology up to Master’s degree level. Roni taught Contemporary Judaism at the Nazarene Theological College, Manchester University, UK. This is also where Roni was awarded his MA in Theology, 2000. In addition, Roni is involved in inter-faith dialogue, particularly Jewish-Christian relations, and also Moslem and Israeli-Palestinian bridge-building. The book and e-book are both available from Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Quest-Jewish… See all Amazon websites for International orders. ISBN: 9781790847815 – Imprint: Independently published: High Volatage

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rj5b3CFfpA8&t=4s

You may purchase your copy of “A Quest for The Jewish Jesus,” from Amazon

To continue to read the book please purchase it at Amazon –  amazon.co.uk/s

THESE ARE ALL THE PLACES WHERE AMAZON HAS WEBSITES TO ENABLE YOU TO ORDER A COPY OF MY BOOK: 

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.de
Amazon.fr
Amazon.es
Amazon.it
Amazon.nl
Amazon.co.jp
Amazon.in
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com.br
Amazon.com.mx

The Book is also available as an e-book on Kindle

___________________________________

SOS-PAYPALDONATIONBUTTONOVAL_zpsc96eeb95

Charitable Donation to Support Shalom Radio UK’s Running Costs

This is to enable you the listener to express your thanks and help me expand the work of Shalom Radio UK by making a donation

CLICK ON LINK TO DONATE:

https://paypal.me/hotrodronisblogcom

(E.G. £10.00)

d8cf06fdd0caed8d13bc0b4212aaa574-2

http://www.hotrodronisblog.com

MTMI – Messianic Teaching Ministry International

Back cover

 

A Quest for The Jewish Jesus: “Who do you say that I am?” – Part 1

Copyright © 2020 Roni Mechanic

All rights reserved.

ISBN: 9781790847815

Imprint: Independently published:

High Voltage Publications

MTMI

Messianic Teaching Ministry International©

mtmi.teaching@gmail.com

MTMI

To continue to read the book please purchase it at Amazon –  amazon.co.uk/s

Amazon.com

These are all the places where Amazon has websites to enable you to order a copy of my book: 

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.de

Amazon.fr

Amazon.es

Amazon.it

Amazon.nl

Amazon.co.jp

Amazon.in

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com.br

Amazon.com.mx

 

 

 

 

Genesis 22:8 KJV
And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering;              so they went both of them together.

Image 20-12-2019 at 09.10

Forward

I recall some years ago while studying at Trinity Theological College in Bristol, UK, the librarian, as a way of introduction on the use of the college library, said, “There is no end of books” – (sounding more like ‘boeks’ in his Northern Ireland, Ulster accent). 

So why another book of theology and testimony? This is a good question – I feel compelled to share, not only my personal story, but also theological insights that I have gained in the nearly fifty years of walking along this long road that I have trod. 

From my personal perspective, over these five decades I have worked in ministry, that includes inter-faith dialogue. I am also an artist, teacher, writer and internet blogger. In addition, I have travelled internationally, with some cross-cultural exposure in the first world, and the majority two-thirds world (the so called “third world”). I am widely read, with an interest in English literature, theology, missiology (science of mission), philosophy, psychology, sociology, history, art and politics. I have particularly focused on Jewish studies that includes Jewish-Christian relations and Holocaust studies. I hope that from my broad life experience I have something worthwhile to contribute to the wider debate about Jesus’ identity as a Jewish first century luminary. 

I invite you to join me on this journey of discovery in which, I will not only grapple with the issue of ‘A Quest for the Jewish Jesus,’ but I will also look at many other facets that affect Jewish life and Jewish identity. You will meet the Push-Me-Pull-You [i] brigade along the way – some have attempted to pull Jesus this way and others pushed him that way! 

Though Jews and Christians share a common heritage with both looking to Abraham as father, like Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and Esau, very different paths have helped shape and forge the identities of two distinct people. Mutual mistrust; martyrdom, resulting in alienation, pain and sorrow; have helped separate them. Those Jews who seek to identify with Jesus often find themselves caught in the middle of two opposing forces. This can be a very challenging and uncomfortable place to be, yet it is possible to view it as a creative tension and not as something wholly irreconcilable and undesirable. The third mono-theistic faith of Islam is only briefly mentioned concerning the problems and opposition that both Jews and Moslems face concerning issues such as ritual slaughter and circumcision and the conflict over Israel-Palestine.  

We should not forget that in both cases, Ishmael and Esau, as well as Isaac and Jacob, each had their own blessing from their earthly fathers which, in turn, were given by divine sanction. So too, Jews and Christians each have their own path that they follow within the divine scheme of things. A common destiny inextricably links these two faiths in a way that no other faiths do. 

Not A Marginal Jew

All too often, those who oppose faith in Jesus as the Messiah of Israel have sought to, not only marginalise him, but equally those Jewish people who identify with him. However, it is my intention to show that to follow Jesus as Lord and Messiah, one is ‘not a marginal Jew,’ but one has become truly a completed and fulfilled Jew: An “Israelite indeed in whom there is no guile” (See John 1.47 – KJV).

Introduction

“Who do you say that I am” (Matthew 16:15)

Most Jewish and Christian scholars, agree that the historical Jesus of the first century was a Galilean Jew. His mother was Jewish, his Jewish followers called him “Rabbi,” he spoke Aramaic, quoted the Hebrew Scripture in his teachings and he taught in the synagogue in Galilee and the Jewish Temple in ancient Jerusalem. His Hebrew name was Yeshua (God saves). Also, almost all his early followers were Jews. So how did we get from the Jewish Jesus of Nazareth of the first century of the common era to the Gentile Christian Jesus of today? Jewish people say, “look at what they have done to him – We don’t recognise him at all – he does not appear to be a Jewish person.”[ii]

Yet, Rabbi Leo Baeck says, “He was a Jew among Jews; from no other people could a man like him have come forth and in no other people could a man like him work; in no other people could he have found the apostles who believed in him.”[iii]

A Quest for the Jewish Jesus

So, is it possible to discover the Jewish Jesus? This quest is not only something that is personally of great importance to me, but it also has a lot to do with the integrity of the of New Testament account of him; it also has to do with how Jewish people may approach him. Jewish and Christian scholars, in their quest for the historical Jesus, bring with them their own theological outlook and prejudices. We discover that the majority, rather than help resolve who Jesus is, serve to complicate the issues by further obscuring his true identity. While Jewish scholars have helped to reclaim him as a Jew, they universally deny that he is the divine Son of God and the Messiah. Moses Maimonides well illustrates this in his book On Inter-faith Dialogue when he said, “All these activities of Jesus the Christian, and the Ishmaelite (Muhammed) who came after him, are for the purpose of paving the way for the true King Messiah, and preparing the entire world to worship God together…” Equally, many of the nineteenth and early twentieth century Liberal Protestant Christian scholars, while affirming his deity and messiahship, have all too often de-Judaized him. Equally, Catholic scholarship is vexed with a long history of anti-Judaism that has also obscured the Jewish heritage of Jesus, Mary and the early Apostles and disciples. 

If he is not a Jew, then…

My quest for the Jewish Jesus, though related to “The Jesus Quest” of the nineteenth and twentieth century, follows a different line of enquiry and reasoning. I am not only concerned with discovering the Jesus of history, but more importantly, he must equally be the Jesus of faith. There can be no division between these dual aspects of his being. If he is not a Jew, and not the Jewish Messiah, then I can have nothing to do with him or the faith that he and subsequently his disciples proclaimed, because he would not be the Jesus who was anticipated and revealed in the Scriptures. This quest poses numerous challenges for the genuine enquirer. I have used the name Jesus and his Hebrew name Yeshua interchangeably. It is my sincere hope that you will discover the answer to the question posed by the subtitle of this book, “Who do you say that I am?” 

1  —  My Background

I am of British Jewish parents who emigrated to South
 Africa in 1947, and I was born in Johannesburg in the
 second half of 1948. They were among the 688 British Jews that came to South Africa in 1947.[iv] I was raised in a traditional English-speaking Jewish home. We regularly attended our local synagogue and I received Hebrew instruction in preparation for my Bar-mitzvah. 

I recall my Torah portion: – Shabbat Shuva שבת שובה or “Sabbath [of] Return” – which refers to the Shabbat that occurs during the Ten Days of Repentance (Days of Awe), between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur[v]. This Shabbat is named after the first word of the Haftorah (Hosea 14:2-10) and literally means “Return!” It is perhaps a play on shuvah, but not to be confused with Teshuvah – תשובה. This is the word for repentance. My journey to faith has been one of both return and repentance towards the God of Israel.

https://www.hebcal.com/holidays/shabbat-shuva

Formative Years

I was an active member of the Habonim (The Builders) Zionist Youth Movement (aligned to the Histadrut – Labour movement in Israel) – a secular Jewish Zionist organisation that not only encouraged Aliyah, immigration to Israel, but also included scouting and outdoor activities. 

It was intellectually stimulating, but also tremendous fun. On the one hand, debates, discussions, Israeli cultural and political insights; on the other hand, camping, hiking and boating were just some of our activities. I was in the movement for ten years from the ages of 7 to 17 years old. I must express my gratitude to our very talented leadership, names like Simon Kuiper, Lee Flax, and David Gordon who were our group leaders, together with the Mendelsohn brothers (they became very important in Israeli Labour politics). Lee Flax introduced us to Franz Kafka, an existentialist writer and philosopher whose books, MetamorphosisThe Trial and The Castle had a significant influence on my young mind. I still personally consider Kafka’s writing of importance and make reference to it in Chapter 31. We also considered the writing of Jean-Paul Sartre’s books including Nausea and his book on Anti-Semitism and the Jew.

In my final year of high school in Johannesburg, South Africa, I became an active member of the debating society at Theodore Roosevelt High School, Roosevelt Park, Johannesburg. There were three subject that were off limits, namely, sex, politics and religion. As a consequence, we rebelled when a group of us established an informal forum that we called ‘The Conversation Club’ and our meetings took place off school property at friends’ homes and our only agenda was sex, politics and religion.

Personally, there was an important link between the Conversation Club of students from Roosevelt High, and the influence of Habonim that included four of our members who were also involved in the Zionist youth movement as well as our local synagogue. We were young free-thinking liberals. I recall that we regularly invited guest speakers who were experts in their subject – a Jehovah’s Witness, a Moslem, a left-wing trade unionist and a gynaecologist were just some of those whose ideas were considered. Discussions about sex, politics and religion helped to broaden our outlook and not to stay confined to the political and social conservatism that good South African girls and boys were expected to adhere to. These endeavours contributed to our intellectual development and helped me to also question my own religious and spiritual thinking. At one level, I found my Jewish faith fulfilling. However, at another level, I had a growing sense of a spiritual void in my life. This is sometimes referred to as ‘a God-shaped hole or void.’

When the Rolling Stones said, “I can’t get no satisfaction,” they hit the nail on the head. Keith Richards and Mick Jagger expressed the places we often seek satisfaction – sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll and consumerism fail to satisfy the longing in the human soul. We try to satisfy our appetites for creature comforts, and yet we still feel unsatisfied.

I recall asking two deep existential questions:

Where do we come from? Where are we going? These lie at the heart of humankind’s quest for meaning that goes beyond the bounds of our material existence. 

In this book I include autobiographically significant aspects of my journey to faith and beyond. Yet, I do not necessarily follow a chronological sequence. In addition to my quest for discovering the Jewish Jesus, I am also concerned about laying out the case for how Jewish people may encounter him as Yeshua of Nazareth. The personal anecdotes that I include will hopefully contribute to the overall theme. I also explore how a Jewish person who believes in Yeshua is able to not only maintain a Jewish identity, but also give expression to their faith within both the Jewish and Christian world. 

In addition, the question of Jews living in a hostile world is something that impacted upon me personally from an early age. I discovered being Jewish placed an additional burden upon me. I experienced the phenomenon of anti-Semitism at a comparatively early age with my first encounter at primary school. I will say more about this in due course. My experience as a Jew is by no means unique for many of diverse backgrounds encounter xenophobia and race hatred early in their existence.

On my quest for the Jewish Jesus

It has been my desire for some time to lay out my faith journey. An equal concern is how Jewish people may reclaim Yeshua as their own. This is not just of academic interest to me, but it has a very personal significance because, as a Messianic Jew, one is caught in a world between the two faiths that sometimes feels a bit like someone trapped in “no-man’s-land.” This is a paradoxical position to find oneself in. I did not embrace Yeshua because I wanted to escape being Jewish, but as a consequence of my quest for life’s meaning. 

Fellow Jews say, “you are no longer Jewish,” while many Christians say, “you are one of us now!” This is sometimes said in an almost triumphalist way, as if to say, “We have saved one more lost Jew!” This is both patronizing and hurtful. I was neither fleeing my Jewishness, nor was I seeking assimilation into the wider Gentile Christian society in which I found myself. I am proud of my Jewish heritage and upbringing. I have never stopped enjoying the rich Jewish life-experience which I claim as my own. My reason for embracing belief in Yeshua is a complex one. 

Religious life is a very personal thing. Yet one must face numerous challenges in the desire to give expression to one’s new faith as a Messianic Jewish. Also, there are questions that arise about one’s identity. Can one attend synagogue (Orthodox), or temple (Reform) as well as church? Should one only eat kosher food and observe the sabbath and what other aspects of being Jewish should one keep? Does the Torah still have significance? When a Jewish person regularly attends a church service will it not, to all outward appearances, cause one to be identified not as a Jew but a Gentile Christian? Should one get baptised? This issue is viewed by the Jewish world as the cross over point. A Messianic Jewish identity offers a different paradigm to give expression to one’s faith in Yeshua: Christian Jews; Jewish Christian; Hebrew Christian or Messianic Jew. Which one best describes the person you are?

Self-identity

Theological, sociological and psychological issues about personal identity need to be faced. Who are you? Where do you come from? Where are you going and how do you want to be identified. These are just some of the questions to ponder. These and other issues related to my own personal story are intricately woven into the warp and woof of its very fabric. 

Theological issues surrounding personal identity help to address the question of how, according to Holy Scripture, we are viewed by God? This is a very important question and it helps to introduce an objectivity outside of ourselves. This adds a frame of reference beyond our narrow group and self-perception. 

The sociological implications of becoming a Messianic believer, for someone from a Jewish background, will have profound implications due to the hostility that the majority of Jewish people have towards Messianic Jews who embrace Yeshua as Messiah and Lord. Misunderstanding about what you will call yourself also characterises part of the question about identity that you will have to contend with. 

We must not underestimate the psychological impact that we may encounter from those who show hostility. While there may be an emotional struggle at first, I must personally say that my decision to follow Yeshua has given me a sense of determination. I discovered an inner strength that enabled me to overcome any hostility and rejection that I faced. The personal conflict that I am confronted with is far outweighed by a sense of well-being and Godly contentment. This sense of wholeness transcends any human suffering caused by rejection. This is due to the indwelling Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), that the Scriptures call the Spirit; the ‘Counsellor, Comforter, Guide, Go-between-God, Helper’. Though there is a personal cost to pay for becoming a Messianic Jew, the benefits far outweigh any negative issues that you may experience (see John 14.26). The concept of the activity of the Holy Spirit is not foreign to Judaism, for the work of the Spirit of God is ever present in the lives of the people of Israel. Judges, kings, prophets, prophetesses and priests alike were moved by the prompting of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) to perform and fulfil the work of God. This was not only for the benefit of Israel, but for the other nations as well. When the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit happened on the day of Pentecost, the limited work of the Spirit was then extended to all who yielded their lives to God through his Son Yeshua.

2  —  Personal experiences of anti-Semitism,

When at Franklin D. Roosevelt Primary School, Roosevelt Park, Johannesburg at the age of nine or ten years old, a fellow pupil from a Czechoslovakian background verbally abused me for being Jewish. Subsequently, this incident has caused me to ponder as to whether his father was a fascist who had collaborated with the Nazis during the Holocaust and then found his way to South Africa after the war? While this is conjecture on my part, having studied about the way that many Europeans under Nazi occupation collaborated with them during WWII, there is a reasonable possibility that his father could have been an active collaborator. What is clear, is that he harboured an anti-Semitic attitude and brought this with him to his new life in South Africa, influencing his son to be negative towards Jews.

“Hate speech” and physical assault

This incident was deeply distressing, and when I came home, I related it to my mother. She told me that during WWII in England, while doing war work in an ammunition’s factory, one of the supervisors had verbally abused her for being Jewish saying, “You Jews need to go back to Palestine, because you don’t belong here!” She discovered that he was a member of the Blackshirts who were fascists and members of the British Union of Fascists who held a pro-Nazi outlook and who actively practised anti-Semitism.

In addition, my maternal grandfather Isaac had been blinded in one eye when a brick was thrown at him during the fascist unrest in the East-End of London during the 1930’s, with him sustaining a detached retina. That was the side of his body that was struck by the bus that killed him during the blackouts during WWII. Therefore, I can hold the fascists indirectly responsible for his death. 

Similarly, my father Thomas and his cousin Cyril lived and grew up in Birmingham. Their journey to school took them through an area of the city where anti-Semitic attacks regularly took place during the 1930’s. My grandfather Hyman fashioned a whip for my father to use to fend off attacks from boys inspired by fascists to harass Jews. This begs the question as to whether Jewish people are safe anywhere? The phenomenon of anti-Semitism appears to be a universal problem. 

Christian Anti-Judaism

I recall that while living in the Cape, South Africa, I was invited to share a word of testimony at an Afrikaans Reformed Church in the Cape Peninsula. The minister preached from a passage in the Gospels in which Jesus and the Pharisees locked swords. During his sermon he ranted against the Pharisees.

After his sermon, he invited me to come to the front and share a word of testimony of how I had come to faith. I felt insulted by his negative attitude. Had the minister deliberately preached that sermon for my benefit or was that part of his normal preaching? Whatever his motive, his theology was an appalling travesty and caricature of Judaism and if not deliberately anti-Semitic, it certainly reeked of anti-Judaism of the worst kind. It appeared that he had no understanding of the meaning and deep significance of what I had experienced as a Jew who has come to faith in Yeshua. Neither did he show any empathy or insight into what a Jewish person faces in their sense of self-identity. He had missed the fact that many Pharisees became followers of Yeshua. The inheritor of the Pharisaic tradition is Rabbinic Judaism. Certainly, it has failures, but equally it also has great strengths and laid the foundation of Judaism. 

The attitude of this minister of the Christian Reformed Church is not an isolated phenomenon but is symptomatic of a deeper malady within Christian theology and its outlook towards Judaism. This problem will be more fully explored and addressed in my journey of faith. Negative as well as positive influences help to shape what we believe. My response is always to look beyond the particular experience, whether good or bad, and ask the question as to why someone holds a particular viewpoint or attitude and not to simply reject out of hand what they represent.

Anti-Zionism

Anti-Zionism, while not directly linked to the question of whether God has rejected the Jewish people [Israel], helps to contribute to an antipathy towards Jews, Judaism and Israel. Anti-Zionism is increasingly having a negative impact upon the Evangelical Christian church. I have personally encountered this phenomenon when people discover that I am a Messianic Jew, and also someone who declares his love for Israel. I have been accused of being a ‘Christian Zionist’ (as if that is a crime), and of holding racist attitudes because I stand for Israel’s sovereign right to exist as a nation. Many wrongly think that, if you support Israel, then you must be anti-Palestinian or anti-Arab. This accusation cannot be further from the truth. I have a number of Arab and Palestinian friends and I continue to seek ways to foster understanding and love between these two peoples whose destiny is inter-linked. (Visit my blog: http://www.hotrodronisblog.com).

Five Broken Cameras is an anti-Israeli propaganda film that was shot over a 5-year period, 2005-2009, by Palestinian Emad Burnat. It records the protests against the construction of a security barrier through the West Bank village of Bil’in. Burnat uses the destruction of his five cameras as a motif and connects the narrative to the development of his growing family. The film constructs a story that portrays the Palestinians as innocent, childlike victims fighting for land that has purportedly been stolen from them. Israelis are portrayed as cold-faced, heartless brutes. The Israelis are presented as acting only to cause suffering to the residents of Bil’in. This kind of one-sided accusation is becoming more frequent from Christians who follow the media and its constant negative reporting of Israel. The majority of these Christians have little, if any, first-hand contact with Israel or Israelis. They base their assertions on what they glean from an often-biased media. 

What is the reason for Israel erecting the security barrier which is often referred to as the “apartheid wall?” It was built not to exclude Palestinians from Israel, but to protect its citizens from regular terrorist attacks. People conveniently choose to forget the deadly attacks that were a regular occurrence inside Israel. With the building of the barrier there has been a drastic decline of such attacks. In addition, there is another aspect of the conflict that is hardly ever reported by the mainstream media: “Rioters hurl rocks, Molotov cocktails and burning tires at the defence force and the security fence … Since the beginning of 2008, about 170 members of the defence force have been injured in these villages.”[vi]

A new face of anti-Semitism

Julie Burchill in The Sunday Telegraph, Sunday 3 February, 2019 (p 18), discusses a report by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research into the link between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, concluding that those who are active in attacking Israel are more likely than not to be anti-Semitic. She has considered why the hard left in British politics is inherently anti-Semitic. Some claim to be anti-racist on the one hand, yet on the other hand happily believe “that the Jews asked for it.” Burchill calls this trend “Fresh ‘N’ Funky Anti-Semitism.” Alas, this type of jumbled thinking and activism is dangerous. When Jewish politicians challenge their colleagues in the British Labour Party about their anti-Semitic attitudes, instead of being taken seriously they are accused of overreacting. The victim is blamed for the actions of the victimiser. This is both perverse and a sign of a great sickness within the body politic. It is like blaming the actions of the Nazis upon their victims. “Jews had it coming to them!” 

Labour movement in Britain 

Historically, the Labour movement in Britain was the natural home of many British Jews, with the Israeli Labour Party closely aligned to her sister movement in the UK. However, this is not the case anymore. British Jews are increasingly feeling insecure about their place in the Labour party and its future in Britain. This change has taken place due to the rise of anti-Semitism that has manifested itself within the Labour party. This is driven by those on the hard-left whose anti-Zionism has led to increased anti-Semitic attitudes being expressed towards Jewish Labour MP’s. These attacks include hate-speech, hate-mail and death threats. “Debates over alleged antisemitism in the Labour Party may have sparked an increase in hate incidents against Jews in the UK, a report has found. The Community Security Trust (CST) recorded a record high of 1,652 incidents in 2018, an increase of 16 per cent on the previous year.” Alas, many of the front bench Labour leadership have been slow in tackling the problems of anti-Semitism within the party.[vii]

This trend that British Labour is manifesting is of personal significance to me due to my background in the Habonim movement with its close alignment to the Histadrut – the Labour movement in Israel (see p 5). As someone whose political inclination is of the centre-left, the hard-left’s anti-Semitic shift of British Labour’s current leadership is a source of deep concern. Together with many other fellow British Jews what is taking place at this present time within the Labour movement, is causing a deep sense of disquiet. Historically anti-Semitism found its home only in fringe hard-right fascist movements. However, with the UK’s main opposition party having become the home of so many people who hold anti-Semitic ideas, it has become main-stream. I too have begun to feel unsafe in Britain. Some political commentators are now openly saying that “Labour is a racist party.” With the election of the new Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer (2020), he has attempted to repair the damage done during the Jeremy Corbyn years. Yet there is still a long way to go in healing the relationship with the Jewish community in Britain, and particularly those former disaffected members who left the Labour Party.


[i] Push-Me-Pull-You – is a sports game for 2–4 players who are joined at the waist, you and your partner share a single worm-like body as you wrestle your opponent for control of the ball – It’s a bit like a big hug, or playing soccer with your small intestines. With every action affecting both you and your partner (and mandatory shouting) PMPY combines the best parts of co-op multiplayer with the worst parts of your last breakup. https://pmpygame.com 

[ii] See http://www.uscatholic.org/articles/201608/was-jesus…

[iii] Ben-Chorin, Shalom, The Image of Jesus in Modern Judaism , Journal of Ecumenical Studies 11, no. 3 – Summer 1974:408; also see p. 26

[iv] Sharon, Gustav & Hotz, Louis; The Jews in South Africa, A History ; 1955:381

[v] https://www.hebcal,com/holidays/shabbat-shuva

[vi] Ethan Bronner, https://shalom.kiwi/2016/02/5-broken-cameras-a-distorted-lens/

[vii] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/labour-antisemitism-jewish-hate-incidents-cst-jeremy-corbyn-israel-crime-abuse-a8766551.html

To continue to read the book please purchase it at Amazon –

And click on the link: more 

and buy your copy of:

A Quest for The Jewish Jesus – Roni Mechanic

It is available as a paperback or e-book

Your Help is Needed!

To enable me to continue to produce these programmes, your financial assistance is appreciated. Please visit the Paypal Donate button at the bottom of this page.

 

 

 

 

A Quest for The Jewish Jesus: “Who do you say that I am?”

Copyright © 2020 Roni Mechanic

All rights reserved.

ISBN: 9781790847815

Imprint: Independently published:

High Voltage Publications

MTMI

Messianic Teaching Ministry International©

mtmi.teaching@gmail.com

MTMI

To continue to read the book please purchase it at Amazon –  amazon.co.uk/s

These are all the places where Amazon has websites to enable you to order a copy of my book: 

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.de

Amazon.fr

Amazon.es

Amazon.it

Amazon.nl

Amazon.co.jp

Amazon.in

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com.br

Amazon.com.mx

 

 

 

 

Genesis 22:8 KJV
And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering;              so they went both of them together.

Image 20-12-2019 at 09.10

Forward

 

 

I recall some years ago while studying at Trinity Theological College in Bristol, UK, the librarian, as a way of introduction on the use of the college library, said, “There is no end of books” – (sounding more like ‘boeks’ in his Northern Ireland, Ulster accent). 

 

 

So why another book of theology and testimony? This is a good question – I feel compelled to share, not only my personal story, but also theological insights that I have gained in the nearly fifty years of walking along this long road that I have trod. 

 

 

From my personal perspective, over these five decades I have worked in ministry, that includes inter-faith dialogue. I am also an artist, teacher, writer and internet blogger. In addition, I have travelled internationally, with some cross-cultural exposure in the first world, and the majority two-thirds world (the so called “third world”). I am widely read, with an interest in English literature, theology, missiology (science of mission), philosophy, psychology, sociology, history, art and politics. I have particularly focused on Jewish studies that includes Jewish-Christian relations and Holocaust studies. I hope that from my broad life experience I have something worthwhile to contribute to the wider debate about Jesus’ identity as a Jewish first century luminary. 

 

 

I invite you to join me on this journey of discovery in which, I will not only grapple with the issue of ‘A Quest for the Jewish Jesus,’ but I will also look at many other facets that affect Jewish life and Jewish identity. You will meet the Push-Me-Pull-You [i] brigade along the way – some have attempted to pull Jesus this way and others pushed him that way! 

 

 

Though Jews and Christians share a common heritage with both looking to Abraham as father, like Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and Esau, very different paths have helped shape and forge the identities of two distinct people. Mutual mistrust; martyrdom, resulting in alienation, pain and sorrow; have helped separate them. Those Jews who seek to identify with Jesus often find themselves caught in the middle of two opposing forces. This can be a very challenging and uncomfortable place to be, yet it is possible to view it as a creative tension and not as something wholly irreconcilable and undesirable. The third mono-theistic faith of Islam is only briefly mentioned concerning the problems and opposition that both Jews and Moslems face concerning issues such as ritual slaughter and circumcision and the conflict over Israel-Palestine.  

 

 

We should not forget that in both cases, Ishmael and Esau, as well as Isaac and Jacob, each had their own blessing from their earthly fathers which, in turn, were given by divine sanction. So too, Jews and Christians each have their own path that they follow within the divine scheme of things. A common destiny inextricably links these two faiths in a way that no other faiths do. 

 

 

Not A Marginal Jew

 

 

All too often, those who oppose faith in Jesus as the Messiah of Israel have sought to, not only marginalise him, but equally those Jewish people who identify with him. However, it is my intention to show that to follow Jesus as Lord and Messiah, one is ‘not a marginal Jew,’ but one has become truly a completed and fulfilled Jew: An “Israelite indeed in whom there is no guile” (See John 1.47 – KJV).

 

 

Introduction

 

 

“Who do you say that I am” (Matthew 16:15)

 

 

Most Jewish and Christian scholars, agree that the historical Jesus of the first century was a Galilean Jew. His mother was Jewish, his Jewish followers called him “Rabbi,” he spoke Aramaic, quoted the Hebrew Scripture in his teachings and he taught in the synagogue in Galilee and the Jewish Temple in ancient Jerusalem. His Hebrew name was Yeshua (God saves). Also, almost all his early followers were Jews. So how did we get from the Jewish Jesus of Nazareth of the first century of the common era to the Gentile Christian Jesus of today? Jewish people say, “look at what they have done to him – We don’t recognise him at all – he does not appear to be a Jewish person.”[ii]

 

 

Yet, Rabbi Leo Baeck says, “He was a Jew among Jews; from no other people could a man like him have come forth and in no other people could a man like him work; in no other people could he have found the apostles who believed in him.”[iii]

 

 

A Quest for the Jewish Jesus

 

 

So, is it possible to discover the Jewish Jesus? This quest is not only something that is personally of great importance to me, but it also has a lot to do with the integrity of the of New Testament account of him; it also has to do with how Jewish people may approach him. Jewish and Christian scholars, in their quest for the historical Jesus, bring with them their own theological outlook and prejudices. We discover that the majority, rather than help resolve who Jesus is, serve to complicate the issues by further obscuring his true identity. While Jewish scholars have helped to reclaim him as a Jew, they universally deny that he is the divine Son of God and the Messiah. Moses Maimonides well illustrates this in his book On Inter-faith Dialogue when he said, “All these activities of Jesus the Christian, and the Ishmaelite (Muhammed) who came after him, are for the purpose of paving the way for the true King Messiah, and preparing the entire world to worship God together…” Equally, many of the nineteenth and early twentieth century Liberal Protestant Christian scholars, while affirming his deity and messiahship, have all too often de-Judaized him. Equally, Catholic scholarship is vexed with a long history of anti-Judaism that has also obscured the Jewish heritage of Jesus, Mary and the early Apostles and disciples. 

 

 

If he is not a Jew, then…

 

 

My quest for the Jewish Jesus, though related to “The Jesus Quest” of the nineteenth and twentieth century, follows a different line of enquiry and reasoning. I am not only concerned with discovering the Jesus of history, but more importantly, he must equally be the Jesus of faith. There can be no division between these dual aspects of his being. If he is not a Jew, and not the Jewish Messiah, then I can have nothing to do with him or the faith that he and subsequently his disciples proclaimed, because he would not be the Jesus who was anticipated and revealed in the Scriptures. This quest poses numerous challenges for the genuine enquirer. I have used the name Jesus and his Hebrew name Yeshua interchangeably. It is my sincere hope that you will discover the answer to the question posed by the subtitle of this book, “Who do you say that I am?” 

 

 

1  —  My Background

 

 

I am of British Jewish parents who emigrated to South
 Africa in 1947, and I was born in Johannesburg in the
 second half of 1948. They were among the 688 British Jews that came to South Africa in 1947.[iv] I was raised in a traditional English-speaking Jewish home. We regularly attended our local synagogue and I received Hebrew instruction in preparation for my Bar-mitzvah. 

 

 

I recall my Torah portion: – Shabbat Shuva שבת שובה or “Sabbath [of] Return” – which refers to the Shabbat that occurs during the Ten Days of Repentance (Days of Awe), between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur[v]. This Shabbat is named after the first word of the Haftorah (Hosea 14:2-10) and literally means “Return!” It is perhaps a play on shuvah, but not to be confused with Teshuvah – תשובה. This is the word for repentance. My journey to faith has been one of both return and repentance towards the God of Israel.

 

 

https://www.hebcal.com/holidays/shabbat-shuva

 

 

Formative Years

 

 

I was an active member of the Habonim (The Builders) Zionist Youth Movement (aligned to the Histadrut – Labour movement in Israel) – a secular Jewish Zionist organisation that not only encouraged Aliyah, immigration to Israel, but also included scouting and outdoor activities. 

 

 

It was intellectually stimulating, but also tremendous fun. On the one hand, debates, discussions, Israeli cultural and political insights; on the other hand, camping, hiking and boating were just some of our activities. I was in the movement for ten years from the ages of 7 to 17 years old. I must express my gratitude to our very talented leadership, names like Simon Kuiper, Lee Flax, and David Gordon who were our group leaders, together with the Mendelsohn brothers (they became very important in Israeli Labour politics). Lee Flax introduced us to Franz Kafka, an existentialist writer and philosopher whose books, MetamorphosisThe Trial and The Castle had a significant influence on my young mind. I still personally consider Kafka’s writing of importance and make reference to it in Chapter 31. We also considered the writing of Jean-Paul Sartre’s books including Nausea and his book on Anti-Semitism and the Jew.

 

 

In my final year of high school in Johannesburg, South Africa, I became an active member of the debating society at Theodore Roosevelt High School, Roosevelt Park, Johannesburg. There were three subject that were off limits, namely, sex, politics and religion. As a consequence, we rebelled when a group of us established an informal forum that we called ‘The Conversation Club’ and our meetings took place off school property at friends’ homes and our only agenda was sex, politics and religion.

 

 

Personally, there was an important link between the Conversation Club of students from Roosevelt High, and the influence of Habonim that included four of our members who were also involved in the Zionist youth movement as well as our local synagogue. We were young free-thinking liberals. I recall that we regularly invited guest speakers who were experts in their subject – a Jehovah’s Witness, a Moslem, a left-wing trade unionist and a gynaecologist were just some of those whose ideas were considered. Discussions about sex, politics and religion helped to broaden our outlook and not to stay confined to the political and social conservatism that good South African girls and boys were expected to adhere to. These endeavours contributed to our intellectual development and helped me to also question my own religious and spiritual thinking. At one level, I found my Jewish faith fulfilling. However, at another level, I had a growing sense of a spiritual void in my life. This is sometimes referred to as ‘a God-shaped hole or void.’

 

 

When the Rolling Stones said, “I can’t get no satisfaction,” they hit the nail on the head. Keith Richards and Mick Jagger expressed the places we often seek satisfaction – sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll and consumerism fail to satisfy the longing in the human soul. We try to satisfy our appetites for creature comforts, and yet we still feel unsatisfied.

 

 

I recall asking two deep existential questions:

 

 

Where do we come from? Where are we going? These lie at the heart of humankind’s quest for meaning that goes beyond the bounds of our material existence. 

 

 

In this book I include autobiographically significant aspects of my journey to faith and beyond. Yet, I do not necessarily follow a chronological sequence. In addition to my quest for discovering the Jewish Jesus, I am also concerned about laying out the case for how Jewish people may encounter him as Yeshua of Nazareth. The personal anecdotes that I include will hopefully contribute to the overall theme. I also explore how a Jewish person who believes in Yeshua is able to not only maintain a Jewish identity, but also give expression to their faith within both the Jewish and Christian world. 

 

 

In addition, the question of Jews living in a hostile world is something that impacted upon me personally from an early age. I discovered being Jewish placed an additional burden upon me. I experienced the phenomenon of anti-Semitism at a comparatively early age with my first encounter at primary school. I will say more about this in due course. My experience as a Jew is by no means unique for many of diverse backgrounds encounter xenophobia and race hatred early in their existence.

 

 

On my quest for the Jewish Jesus

 

 

It has been my desire for some time to lay out my faith journey. An equal concern is how Jewish people may reclaim Yeshua as their own. This is not just of academic interest to me, but it has a very personal significance because, as a Messianic Jew, one is caught in a world between the two faiths that sometimes feels a bit like someone trapped in “no-man’s-land.” This is a paradoxical position to find oneself in. I did not embrace Yeshua because I wanted to escape being Jewish, but as a consequence of my quest for life’s meaning. 

 

 

Fellow Jews say, “you are no longer Jewish,” while many Christians say, “you are one of us now!” This is sometimes said in an almost triumphalist way, as if to say, “We have saved one more lost Jew!” This is both patronizing and hurtful. I was neither fleeing my Jewishness, nor was I seeking assimilation into the wider Gentile Christian society in which I found myself. I am proud of my Jewish heritage and upbringing. I have never stopped enjoying the rich Jewish life-experience which I claim as my own. My reason for embracing belief in Yeshua is a complex one. 

 

 

Religious life is a very personal thing. Yet one must face numerous challenges in the desire to give expression to one’s new faith as a Messianic Jewish. Also, there are questions that arise about one’s identity. Can one attend synagogue (Orthodox), or temple (Reform) as well as church? Should one only eat kosher food and observe the sabbath and what other aspects of being Jewish should one keep? Does the Torah still have significance? When a Jewish person regularly attends a church service will it not, to all outward appearances, cause one to be identified not as a Jew but a Gentile Christian? Should one get baptised? This issue is viewed by the Jewish world as the cross over point. A Messianic Jewish identity offers a different paradigm to give expression to one’s faith in Yeshua: Christian Jews; Jewish Christian; Hebrew Christian or Messianic Jew. Which one best describes the person you are?

 

 

Self-identity

 

 

Theological, sociological and psychological issues about personal identity need to be faced. Who are you? Where do you come from? Where are you going and how do you want to be identified. These are just some of the questions to ponder. These and other issues related to my own personal story are intricately woven into the warp and woof of its very fabric. 

 

 

Theological issues surrounding personal identity help to address the question of how, according to Holy Scripture, we are viewed by God? This is a very important question and it helps to introduce an objectivity outside of ourselves. This adds a frame of reference beyond our narrow group and self-perception. 

 

 

The sociological implications of becoming a Messianic believer, for someone from a Jewish background, will have profound implications due to the hostility that the majority of Jewish people have towards Messianic Jews who embrace Yeshua as Messiah and Lord. Misunderstanding about what you will call yourself also characterises part of the question about identity that you will have to contend with. 

 

 

We must not underestimate the psychological impact that we may encounter from those who show hostility. While there may be an emotional struggle at first, I must personally say that my decision to follow Yeshua has given me a sense of determination. I discovered an inner strength that enabled me to overcome any hostility and rejection that I faced. The personal conflict that I am confronted with is far outweighed by a sense of well-being and Godly contentment. This sense of wholeness transcends any human suffering caused by rejection. This is due to the indwelling Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), that the Scriptures call the Spirit; the ‘Counsellor, Comforter, Guide, Go-between-God, Helper’. Though there is a personal cost to pay for becoming a Messianic Jew, the benefits far outweigh any negative issues that you may experience (see John 14.26). The concept of the activity of the Holy Spirit is not foreign to Judaism, for the work of the Spirit of God is ever present in the lives of the people of Israel. Judges, kings, prophets, prophetesses and priests alike were moved by the prompting of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) to perform and fulfil the work of God. This was not only for the benefit of Israel, but for the other nations as well. When the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit happened on the day of Pentecost, the limited work of the Spirit was then extended to all who yielded their lives to God through his Son Yeshua.

 

 

2  —  Personal experiences of anti-Semitism,

 

 

 

When at Franklin D. Roosevelt Primary School, Roosevelt Park, Johannesburg at the age of nine or ten years old, a fellow pupil from a Czechoslovakian background verbally abused me for being Jewish. Subsequently, this incident has caused me to ponder as to whether his father was a fascist who had collaborated with the Nazis during the Holocaust and then found his way to South Africa after the war? While this is conjecture on my part, having studied about the way that many Europeans under Nazi occupation collaborated with them during WWII, there is a reasonable possibility that his father could have been an active collaborator. What is clear, is that he harboured an anti-Semitic attitude and brought this with him to his new life in South Africa, influencing his son to be negative towards Jews.

 

 

“Hate speech” and physical assault

 

 

This incident was deeply distressing, and when I came home, I related it to my mother. She told me that during WWII in England, while doing war work in an ammunition’s factory, one of the supervisors had verbally abused her for being Jewish saying, “You Jews need to go back to Palestine, because you don’t belong here!” She discovered that he was a member of the Blackshirts who were fascists and members of the British Union of Fascists who held a pro-Nazi outlook and who actively practised anti-Semitism.

 

 

In addition, my maternal grandfather Isaac had been blinded in one eye when a brick was thrown at him during the fascist unrest in the East-End of London during the 1930’s, with him sustaining a detached retina. That was the side of his body that was struck by the bus that killed him during the blackouts during WWII. Therefore, I can hold the fascists indirectly responsible for his death. 

 

 

Similarly, my father Thomas and his cousin Cyril lived and grew up in Birmingham. Their journey to school took them through an area of the city where anti-Semitic attacks regularly took place during the 1930’s. My grandfather Hyman fashioned a whip for my father to use to fend off attacks from boys inspired by fascists to harass Jews. This begs the question as to whether Jewish people are safe anywhere? The phenomenon of anti-Semitism appears to be a universal problem. 

 

 

Christian Anti-Judaism

 

 

I recall that while living in the Cape, South Africa, I was invited to share a word of testimony at an Afrikaans Reformed Church in the Cape Peninsula. The minister preached from a passage in the Gospels in which Jesus and the Pharisees locked swords. During his sermon he ranted against the Pharisees.

 

 

After his sermon, he invited me to come to the front and share a word of testimony of how I had come to faith. I felt insulted by his negative attitude. Had the minister deliberately preached that sermon for my benefit or was that part of his normal preaching? Whatever his motive, his theology was an appalling travesty and caricature of Judaism and if not deliberately anti-Semitic, it certainly reeked of anti-Judaism of the worst kind. It appeared that he had no understanding of the meaning and deep significance of what I had experienced as a Jew who has come to faith in Yeshua. Neither did he show any empathy or insight into what a Jewish person faces in their sense of self-identity. He had missed the fact that many Pharisees became followers of Yeshua. The inheritor of the Pharisaic tradition is Rabbinic Judaism. Certainly, it has failures, but equally it also has great strengths and laid the foundation of Judaism. 

 

 

The attitude of this minister of the Christian Reformed Church is not an isolated phenomenon but is symptomatic of a deeper malady within Christian theology and its outlook towards Judaism. This problem will be more fully explored and addressed in my journey of faith. Negative as well as positive influences help to shape what we believe. My response is always to look beyond the particular experience, whether good or bad, and ask the question as to why someone holds a particular viewpoint or attitude and not to simply reject out of hand what they represent.

 

 

Anti-Zionism

 

 

Anti-Zionism, while not directly linked to the question of whether God has rejected the Jewish people [Israel], helps to contribute to an antipathy towards Jews, Judaism and Israel. Anti-Zionism is increasingly having a negative impact upon the Evangelical Christian church. I have personally encountered this phenomenon when people discover that I am a Messianic Jew, and also someone who declares his love for Israel. I have been accused of being a ‘Christian Zionist’ (as if that is a crime), and of holding racist attitudes because I stand for Israel’s sovereign right to exist as a nation. Many wrongly think that, if you support Israel, then you must be anti-Palestinian or anti-Arab. This accusation cannot be further from the truth. I have a number of Arab and Palestinian friends and I continue to seek ways to foster understanding and love between these two peoples whose destiny is inter-linked. (Visit my blog: http://www.hotrodronisblog.com).

 

 

Five Broken Cameras is an anti-Israeli propaganda film that was shot over a 5-year period, 2005-2009, by Palestinian Emad Burnat. It records the protests against the construction of a security barrier through the West Bank village of Bil’in. Burnat uses the destruction of his five cameras as a motif and connects the narrative to the development of his growing family. The film constructs a story that portrays the Palestinians as innocent, childlike victims fighting for land that has purportedly been stolen from them. Israelis are portrayed as cold-faced, heartless brutes. The Israelis are presented as acting only to cause suffering to the residents of Bil’in. This kind of one-sided accusation is becoming more frequent from Christians who follow the media and its constant negative reporting of Israel. The majority of these Christians have little, if any, first-hand contact with Israel or Israelis. They base their assertions on what they glean from an often-biased media. 

 

 

What is the reason for Israel erecting the security barrier which is often referred to as the “apartheid wall?” It was built not to exclude Palestinians from Israel, but to protect its citizens from regular terrorist attacks. People conveniently choose to forget the deadly attacks that were a regular occurrence inside Israel. With the building of the barrier there has been a drastic decline of such attacks. In addition, there is another aspect of the conflict that is hardly ever reported by the mainstream media: “Rioters hurl rocks, Molotov cocktails and burning tires at the defence force and the security fence … Since the beginning of 2008, about 170 members of the defence force have been injured in these villages.”[vi]

 

 

A new face of anti-Semitism

 

 

Julie Burchill in The Sunday Telegraph, Sunday 3 February, 2019 (p 18), discusses a report by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research into the link between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, concluding that those who are active in attacking Israel are more likely than not to be anti-Semitic. She has considered why the hard left in British politics is inherently anti-Semitic. Some claim to be anti-racist on the one hand, yet on the other hand happily believe “that the Jews asked for it.” Burchill calls this trend “Fresh ‘N’ Funky Anti-Semitism.” Alas, this type of jumbled thinking and activism is dangerous. When Jewish politicians challenge their colleagues in the British Labour Party about their anti-Semitic attitudes, instead of being taken seriously they are accused of overreacting. The victim is blamed for the actions of the victimiser. This is both perverse and a sign of a great sickness within the body politic. It is like blaming the actions of the Nazis upon their victims. “Jews had it coming to them!” 

 

 

Labour movement in Britain 

 

 

Historically, the Labour movement in Britain was the natural home of many British Jews, with the Israeli Labour Party closely aligned to her sister movement in the UK. However, this is not the case anymore. British Jews are increasingly feeling insecure about their place in the Labour party and its future in Britain. This change has taken place due to the rise of anti-Semitism that has manifested itself within the Labour party. This is driven by those on the hard-left whose anti-Zionism has led to increased anti-Semitic attitudes being expressed towards Jewish Labour MP’s. These attacks include hate-speech, hate-mail and death threats. “Debates over alleged antisemitism in the Labour Party may have sparked an increase in hate incidents against Jews in the UK, a report has found. The Community Security Trust (CST) recorded a record high of 1,652 incidents in 2018, an increase of 16 per cent on the previous year.” Alas, many of the front bench Labour leadership have been slow in tackling the problems of anti-Semitism within the party.[vii]

 

 

This trend that British Labour is manifesting is of personal significance to me due to my background in the Habonim movement with its close alignment to the Histadrut – the Labour movement in Israel (see p 5). As someone whose political inclination is of the centre-left, the hard-left’s anti-Semitic shift of British Labour’s current leadership is a source of deep concern. Together with many other fellow British Jews what is taking place at this present time within the Labour movement, is causing a deep sense of disquiet. Historically anti-Semitism found its home only in fringe hard-right fascist movements. However, with the UK’s main opposition party having become the home of so many people who hold anti-Semitic ideas, it has become main-stream. I too have begun to feel unsafe in Britain. Some political commentators are now openly saying that “Labour is a racist party.” With the election of the new Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer (2020), he has attempted to repair the damage done during the Jeremy Corbyn years. Yet there is still a long way to go in healing the relationship with the Jewish community in Britain, and particularly those former disaffected members who left the Labour Party.


 

 

[i] Push-Me-Pull-You – is a sports game for 2–4 players who are joined at the waist, you and your partner share a single worm-like body as you wrestle your opponent for control of the ball – It’s a bit like a big hug, or playing soccer with your small intestines. With every action affecting both you and your partner (and mandatory shouting) PMPY combines the best parts of co-op multiplayer with the worst parts of your last breakup. https://pmpygame.com 

 

 

[ii] See http://www.uscatholic.org/articles/201608/was-jesus…

 

 

[iii] Ben-Chorin, Shalom, The Image of Jesus in Modern Judaism , Journal of Ecumenical Studies 11, no. 3 – Summer 1974:408; also see p. 26

 

 

[iv] Sharon, Gustav & Hotz, Louis; The Jews in South Africa, A History ; 1955:381

 

 

[v] https://www.hebcal,com/holidays/shabbat-shuva

 

 

[vi] Ethan Bronner, https://shalom.kiwi/2016/02/5-broken-cameras-a-distorted-lens/

 

 

[vii] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/labour-antisemitism-jewish-hate-incidents-cst-jeremy-corbyn-israel-crime-abuse-a8766551.html

Jewish Spirituality: Haggadah & Halacha

Hagaddah&Halacha

Part 2

Fundamental to understanding the Jewish Bible – Hebrew Scriptures or Tenach is the fact that the Scriptures may be divided in to Haggadah and Halacha – that is Story and Torah.

Story is the narrative or the telling of how it happened and this involves the account of how G_D created the Heavens and the Earth and every living creature. The crown of his creation was humankind – male and female he created them. The narrative relates how the perfect humans that G_D made quickly rebelled and this resulted in their subsequent fall and alienation. The rest of the story relates to how G_D went about enacting his plan of redemption.

Torah or instruction involves the laying out or down of that framework of redemption and what G_D expected of humankind for them to experience his plan of salvation. This involves not only obeying his laws and commandments, but also the divine provision for their redemption.

Background 3a (2) (3)

Haggadah

Haggadah or Story needs explaining.

Halacha

Equally Halacha or how to walk according to the teaching of the Torah requires interpretation – and in Judaism the interpretation of Scripture and tradition as given in the Tulmud involves Midrash. This is also know as Hermeneutics science of interpretation or Hermanutical studies.

Midrash

PaRDeS – is an acronym for the four main levels of Midrash –

Pardes” refers to (types of) approaches to biblical exegesis in rabbinic Judaism or to interpretation of text in Torah study. The term, sometimes also spelled PaRDeS, is an acronym formed from the same initials of the following four approaches:

  • Peshat (פְּשָׁט) – “surface” (“straight”) or the literal (direct) meaning.[1]
  • Remez (רֶמֶז) – “hints” or the deep (allegoric: hidden or symbolic) meaning beyond just the literal sense.
  • Derash (דְּרַשׁ) – from Hebrew darash: “inquire” (“seek”) – the comparative (midrashic) meaning, as given through similar occurrences.
  • Sod (סוֹד) (pronounced with a long O as in ‘lore’) – “secret” (“mystery”) or the esoteric/mystical meaning, as given through inspiration or revelation.

Listen and learn from this programme on Jewish Spirituality – If you missed Part 1 listen below:

Shalom Radio Logo_7a

Your Help is Needed!

To enable me to continue to produce these programmes, your financial assistance is appreciated. Please visit the Paypal Donate button at the bottom of this page.

 

 

 

 

Stereotype Busting: Why do people hate Jews? Well do they?

Shalom Radio UK 2 (3)

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

Perhaps you recognize the opening paragraph from A Tale of Two Cities by the immortal Charles Dickens. He was providing analysis of the disruptive state of affairs in 18th century England, as well as across the Channel, in France. If you know about the disruptive state of affairs in the 21st century, perhaps you’ll appreciate the allegorical reference of these phrases of human affairs almost two and a half centuries later.

th (8)

Why do people hate Jews? Well do they?

“Let God be true and everyone else is a  liars” (See Romans 3.4).

Firstly, is this statement true and how universal is Jew-hatred?

Secondly, there are multitudes of people throughout the world that positively love Jewish people and do not have an anti-Semitic bone in their bodies.

Sweeping generalizations are not helpful at all when dealing with the love or hatred that may be held about a particular group of people.

In two recent films both that deal with the stereotypes that people hold about Jews, namely JoJo Rabbit an anti-hate satire and Hunters, inspired by true events.

poster-780

Jojo Rabbit is a 2019 American comedy drama film written and directed by Taika Waititi, based on Christine Leunens‘s book Caging Skies. Roman Griffin Davis portrays the title character, Johannes “Jojo” Betzler, a Hitler Youth member who finds out his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. He must then question his beliefs, while dealing with the intervention of his imaginary friend, a fanciful version of Adolf Hitler (Waititi). The film also stars Rebel WilsonStephen MerchantAlfie Allen, and Sam Rockwell.

primary_Hunters_1

Hunters is about a rag-tag team of Nazi Hunters in 1977 New York City who discover that hundreds of escaped Nazis are living in America. Like a ‘bad-ass’ vigilante squad set out on a bloody quest for revenge and justice. The soon discover that a far-reaching conspiracy and must race against time to thwart the Nazis’ new genocidal plans, that not only targets Jews, but all those deemed to be of inferior racial origins. Only the ‘true white race is to be preserved.’

Particularly in Episode 8 Nazi racial stereotypes are expounded in a TV – Money Show:

IMG_4041

It should not come as a suprise that these two films deal with the myths and racial stereotypes that many people hold concerning Jewish people. Alas, this is not a new phenomena but it has a very long history.

I find this question odd – as it presupposes that some stereotypes are true. One definition of the word “stereotype” is “A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing”. So any stereotype must agree with the facts and more often than not is likely to be false because it is an oversimplification.

Myth Busting

Nevertheless – there are numerous false stereotypes about Jews: So here goes with a list of stereotypes that are untrue:

blood libeljpgcartman-jew-haterdersturmer2

1) Jews have big noses

2) Jews are all dark haired.

3) Jews are all white

4) Jews are all rich

5) Jews control the media

6) Jews control the banks and world finances

7) Orthodox Jews have sex through a hole in the sheet

8) Jews use human blood in cooking their Passover “bread” – matzoth

9) Jews killed Jesus

10) Jews hate Arabs and Moslems

11) Ponzi (Scams) Schemers

12) And just because they are Jews

ponzi.scheme.debt_

There are many more – but let’s look at some of these:

1) Lots of Jews have small noses. Jewish noses show the same differences in size as non-Jewish noses.

2) There are lots of blonde haired Jews. Traditionally, King David was a red-head and there are lots of red-headed Jews too.

3) Jews are all white. False – look at the Ethiopian Jews living in Israel, or Jews from Iraq, Morocco, Algeria, and the rest of the Middle East. There are Indian Jews, and even some Chinese Jews. (Look up the history of the town called Kai Feng in China).

4) There are lots of poor Jews. Look at the story “Fiddler on the Roof” – it’s all about poor Jews. Look at the photos of Jews arriving at Ellis Island as immigrants to America. These were not rich Jews. Look at the films of Woody Allen describing his family. However one stereotype that is not false is that Jews put a high emphasis on education and so study and finish schooling. This means they are more likely to go into white-collar type professions and so be more successful than lesser educated non-Jews. However, in Israel there are lots of Jews below the poverty line – partly because even if all are literate, there are only so many jobs.

5 and 6) What about Jewish scientists, doctors, shopkeepers…. If you look at the world’s banks only are few are Jewish owned. It’s just that anti-Semites ignore Barclays, HSBC, Bank of America, Citibank, Chase, Swissbank, and 100s more not led by Jews and focus on Rothschilds and then say that this proves Jews control the banks. The same applies to the media – look at the top press barons and count the non-Jews versus the Jews. Non-Jews win out by far.

7) This is a joke – but some idiots will believe anything, like it is because they are Jews – that is is enough reason to hate them. You don’t need a reason just turn on the hate thing.

How sick can people get? This type of hatred without a reason

is verging upon insanity.

Insanity-Workout-Tips-4

Scared man

Crazy Man

8) This is raised to create hatred, like the ‘blood lible,’ for if you read the Bible you will discover the Jewish views on eating blood. It is abhorrent to Jews. Jews are forbidden totally to eat blood – even black pudding (made with dried blood) is forbidden.

9) I wasn’t there. Nor were you – so this proves that this is stupid.

10) Why – we both revere Abraham as the first monotheist. There are millions of Jews who are of Arabic origin, so why should we hate Arabs. We hate those who want to kill us – whoever they are.

In fact there are more ultra-wealthy Arabs in today’s world than Jews.

Why do so many people have a negative attitude toward Jewish people?

05106775ac175d441629b0202a67749d8a75ae-wm

It is not a question of what Jews have done, rather it is a question of how they are perceived. This often occurs through very tainted lenses. One should exercise caution when blaming the victim for such hatred. Having said that here are a number of different types of anti-Semitisms that I have identified in my reading.

I have qualified these seven types in my study of Jewish History. While they may not be independent from one another in the strict sense, they provide a useful methodology for understanding the historical hatred of the Jews. 

The problem is that the noun “Jew” or the three-letter word “Jew,” for one thing, it’s been used as a very, very negative verb in English, so to “Jew” someone is to try to cheat them, so that’s a negative connotation of the word.

th (9)

A hateful stereotypical image of a Jew

What are Jews like?

Not all stereotypes are negative, some are very positive and can result in an active appreciation of the particular group in focus. In contrast, negative stereotypes feed prejudice and will consequently result in negative, xenophobic, racist and anti-Semitic attitudes and action taking place.

The important question is not what religion is,

but what does it make you.

Jews are not all alike, for many are very different from each other. Just like the rest of humanity.

Why-Does-One-God-Have-Many-Religions (1)

With very different social groups, differing by their relationship to religion – orthodox, conservative, reform, liberal, secular and  atheistic identity, family values, clothing, food, work, physical appearance, people of other religions and ethnicity, language, politics, and a million other things.

Possibly the most frequently repeated positive stereotype about Jews is that Jews value education very much and do their best to give their children the best education possible. This may have some merit, given the relatively strong representation of Jews among Nobel prize winners, as well as physicians, lawyers and other professions that require long and difficult studies, but I also know a lot of Jews who unfortunately don’t care about their children’s education that much and blindly trust public schools, so it definitely doesn’t apply to all Jews.

The most frequent negative stereotype about Jews is that Jews are cunning liars who trick people out of their money and are trying to take over the world. It’s total nonsense and is based not on fact, but blind prejudice and often based on jealousy on the part of those who hold to such ideas.

adolf-hitler-3-638

What was Adolf Hitler’s rationale for hating Jews?

This answer begins in antiquity with the ancient Egyptians who feared the Hebrews because the had grown strong and numerous. In Medo-Persia, wicked Haman devised a plot to kill the Jews who refused to bow down and show him obesence.  The the Greek Seleucids tried to destroy Judaism in the 2nd century B.C.E. The Roman empire did grant the Jews  legal religiuos status. Many Jews prospered under Rome.  The Roman empire’s strength depended upon its system of laws and its financial strength (much like the United States today).

The Romans needed good, honest tax collectors whom they could trust to collect taxes in their provinces (colonies) and send them to Rome. The Romans found the Jews the best people for the job.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Jewish tax collectors ended up with a lot of the Roman tax money and nowhere to send it. If they did, when the Roman Empire began to collapse, they saw no need to send all of the proceeds to Rome.

After War 1, Germany was very financially strapped due to the financial restraints placed upon it by the League of Nations. Life in Germany was very miserable at this time. Germany had a debt to repay the Allied Nations that was impossible to repay.

Jewish people are not pretentious or showy, yet they have a lot of financial power. They also stick together perhaps better than any other group of people.

A lot of the German people needed to borrow money for one thing or another. While some of the banking system in Germany had Jews involved in it, they were by no means the only financiers in Germany. Hitler in looking for someone to blame for Germany’s economic and financial woes saw the Jews as a ready scapegoat and he blamed them for the economic hardships that post WWI had imposed upon Germany at the Treaty of Versailles.

Adolf Hitler began to speak publicly about a new Germany that people will not have to borrow money from others at such high interest rates that they could not afford nor feel strapped by. His speeches gave the people of Germany new hope in a land that desperately needed some. He blamed the Jews for the hardship that they faced as a nation.

Mein Kamph 1018316866 (1)

Hitler speeches aroused the German people and helped him come into power. His appointment as Chancellor of Germany did not happen overnight, but came after years of struggle Hitler’s Mein Kamph (stuggle). President Von Hindenburg though he despised Hitler, in a political stalemate, an old tired Von Hindenburg capitulated and following a series of failed national election, he allowed Hitler to form a minority government in 1933.   Hitler convinced the industialists and bankers to the back him. With their financial support, he was on his way to control and rule Germany.

In Mein Kampf Hitler expresses his distrust towards the Jews that began as a loathing and developed into a pathological hatred. His psychological state was that of someone with an obsessive personality, that became a mental illness. He was prone to bouts of ranting and when this was directed at the Jews he worked himself up into a frenzied rage, spewing out his hate-filled bile.

Once in control of Germany, he began his systematic persecution and enactment of his anti-Jewish race laws that were ratified in Nurenberg. He sought a solution to the Jewish Question, that resulted in Hitler’s Final Solution of anihalating the Jews. This became known as the Holocaust and the Shoah. Forced the migration of Jewish people was one of the earlier polocies, before the march towards the death camps was enacted. The Jews were protrayed as the enemy of the people of Germany.

The beginning of his persecution of the Jews at first, he simply marked them by having them wear special marks and then by the time they were sent to the concentration camps they had numbers tattooed on them like branded cattle. It is true there were slums in Germany that we’re predominantly Jewish. These areas were “cleaned up.” Adolf Hitler perhaps as an effort to get the German people behind him. In addition, the bankers probably liked the idea of taking the assets of the wealthy Jewish people for their own use.

In essence, Hitler used the Jewish people as a way to get the Germans together against a common enemy which happened to be people of Jewish ancestry. To a large extent Hitler blamed the Jews for the condition that the country was in. Hatred and anti-Semitism resulted. On the other hand German people stood together for the first time since World War 1 and the crippling stipulations against it made during the peace treaty.

With the new diffusion of wealth, conditions in Germany changed for the better and the people actually fared better under Hitler.

Ironically, the same people that Hitler persecuted, were the same people that Hitler used to develop the jet engines, V-2 rockets, and many other technological advances that no one else in the world could match. In WWI over 100,000 Jews had served in the German Forces, with 10,000 being decorated for bravery and loyalty. This was forgotten.

It could be argued that if the United States had not been able to get the scientists out of Germany and put them to work for the Allied Nations developing the same weapons, we would be speaking German or Japanese now.

Don’t think that genocide is gone now.

It exists today and is as ugly as it has ever been.

With the rise of anti-Semitism,

Miriam Margolis, the British Jewish actress recently said,

 ‘pogroms could happen in the UK.’ 

What is your own personal view about the Jewish people? 

  • Jewish people are a the Rainbow Gatherings of people and this is particularly true in modern Israel
  • in business (Russian Jews)
  • in the Art (I like Sephardic Ladino music and kinda collect it, Leonard Cohen…Isaac Singer is one of my favourite authors…)
  • in the science (I studied physics and spent a lot of sleepless nights with Feynman and Landau).

Turn to Loving Instead of Hating

Love is a very powerful force and I encourage us all to counter negative hateful stereotypes not only about Jewish people, but all kinds of God’s Rainbow People.

___________________________________

SOS-PAYPALDONATIONBUTTONOVAL_zpsc96eeb95

 

Coronavirus Prayer Request

———- Forwarded message ——–

My dears, Ihr Lieben,
From a good friend of Ruthi and me I got this prayer request from the underground churches especially in Wuhan – but also all around China!
With love from Nahariya!
Betty/Bettina

I am sharing thIs letter from a leader of underground churches in Wuhan, China, the origin of Corona Virus. A call for heartfelt prayer, thank you, Kim
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
In 2019, Wuhan was designated as a demonstrate site for religious policy by Chinese regime, with the most severe church persecution, forcing 48 underground churches to be closed. By the end of 2018, almost all missionaries were deported. But here in the report of a newspaper, the highest man in the department who implements the religious policy over the underground churches died as the number one victim of Wuhan pneumonia(Corona Virus)! It is possible to guess why Wuhan became the epicenter of the plague, and why it quickly spread across the country and caused great damages to the nation even in its full efforts to stop it.
By all means, China has taken this opportunity to persecute churches: destructing church buildings, burning of Bibles, taking down crosses, monitoring by CCTVs for each church, forcing to hang the portrait of Xi, flags, putting public propaganda in worship time, blocking church meetings, deporting missionaries, and putting church leaders into prison. Please pray for them to listen God’s message and to repent, and to acknowledge and believe in God, to rule the nation correctly, so that they will no longer oppose God.
Ah .. But three days ago, the churches of Wenzhou Province sent 10,000 masks, 10,000 gloves, 5,000 protective clothings, and 5,000 bottles of antiseptic to the underground churches in Wuhan. But those were intercepted by them. Please pray also for the realization of justice in this country so that people of government agencies can distribute these supplies and aids according to their consciences (so as not to sell them personally) and no longer sin.
Not only Wuhan but most of China is in confinement. This measure of preventing all people from leaving the house would probably prevent us from worshiping for at least a month or two. Please pray for us: While confined at home, each saint sheds away all fears and worries, personally becomes more intimate with God through prayer and meditating His words, and becomes more robust in spirit. And through this period of suffering, the saints of China can enjoy peace in the storm by listening to the voice of the Lord, not to the sound of the world, so that they can grow in His Spirit.
Please pray for us to preach the Gospel via the Internet or WeChat, so that the churches (saints) in China will be more able to pray and be filled with the Holy Spirit to take the mission for His Kingdom more wisely and powerfully during this time of suffering. We are asking you to intercede for the leaders of each church and for the saints so that they may strive to save souls. Even preaching of the Gospel has been illegitimately stopped due to the religious policy, but this may be the best time and opportunity for the soul harvest.
Dear prayer supporters! How desperately we need the cooperation of the prayers of our co-workers in this emergency! <From the Underground Churches in Wuhan, China>

Betreff:Request for prayer….

Righteous Among the Nations – Inika and Chris de Boks tell their Story

Shalom Radio Logo_10

27th of January is Holocaust Remembrance Observance Day and this interview with the de Bosks is most appropriate as Inika’s family saved a young Jewish boy during WWII. They tell their story to Roni:

Roni and Elisheva in a recent visit to Israel interviewed a Dutch-Israeli couple Inika and Chris de Boks and discovered that Inika’s family are Righteous Among the Nations for saving a Jewish child from the Nazis in occupied Holland during WII. Chris also found out that his family are descended from Spanish Jews who fled the Inquisition and settled in the Netherlands.

keep-calm-and-listen-to-Shalom Radio UK-2

229px-Righteous_Among_the_Nations_medal_simplified

Yad V’Shem – Righteous Among

the Nations symbol

___________________________________

SOS-PAYPALDONATIONBUTTONOVAL_zpsc96eeb95