Jerusalem Post hadde for nokre veker sidan ein magasinartikkel om fenomenet messianske jødar, altså jødar som trur på Jesus. Eg syns det er interessant å lesa koss dei messianske jødane, som eg reknar som søsken i trua, blir omtalt og forstått av ein israelsk kommentator.
Skribenten Lerry Derfner har i arbeidet med artikkelen hatt kontakt med mange ulike messianske forsamlingar og med den jødiske antimisjonsorganisasjonen Yad L’Achim. Generelt skriv han faktisk ganske positivt om den messianske rørsla og gir inntrykk av at han har måtta revurdera sitt syn på dei Jesustruande i kontakten med dei. Han kjenner seg meir uvel i møte med Jews for Jesus, som er ein aktiv evangeliserande organisasjon innanfor den messianske rørsla.
Han har, så langt eg veit, god informasjon om kor mange messianske jødar det er i Israel. Han oppgir at det er omlag 100 forsamlingar med tilsaman ca 7.000 truande (dvs ca 1 promille av innbyggjarane i landet).
Artikkelen er skriven på hebraisk av Larry Derfner, og omsett til engelsk i Caspari Media Review 03.03.2009:
Despite what most people think, the terms ‘Jews for Jesus’ and ‘Messianic Jews’ are not interchangeable. Jews for Jesus is an organization made up of Messianic Jews who actively proselytize, handing out leaflets and taking out newspaper ads. Their proactive approach makes many if not most Messianic Jews, at least in Israel, uncomfortable . . . My own impression of the Messianic Jews, though, is that they are a benign bunch – native Israelis and immigrants who usually came from outside society’s mainstream, who were spiritually hungry and found a new ‘faith community.’ Of the estimated 7,000 Messianic Jews here, as many as half are recent Russian immigrants who were not raised Jewish . . . The Messianics aren’t a cult, either. They have no single leader or even a leadership team, and none of them is considered by any means divine, or closer to God than others, or possessed of divine powers. Each of the 100 or so congregations is effectively a community unto itself . . . They maintain no closed commune or retreat where new converts are brainwashed or ‘love-bombed,’ the newcomers are not kept away from their families or friends, and anyone who wants to leave the community, leaves. While Jews for Jesus are the only ones who proselytize strangers in the street, Messianics are candid about talking up Jesus to any Jew (or gentile) who shows an interest . . . But their religion is indistinguishable from evangelical Christianity; they speak of themselves as ‘Messianics’ or ‘believers’ more than as ‘Messianic Jews.’ They pray in evangelical Christian churches and evangelical Christians pray in their congregations – they prefer not to use the term ‘synagogues’ – with no changes in text or ritual necessary . . . The Messianics say it’s only militant Orthodox Jews who give them problems; the mainstream Israeli Jews they live among are completely tolerant . . . Although society leaves the community largely to itself, when interest is shown, it’s largely negative. When I began approaching Messianics for this story in December, I ran into a lot of suspicion . . . I came armed with references from the community, but even my references were wary . . . The Bnei Brak-based Yad L’Achim, which considers Messianics to be law-breaking ‘missionaries’ and ‘cultists,’ makes no bones about doing everything legally possible to make these people’s lives miserable. In an interview in 2005, the organization’s aged leader, Rabbi Shalom Dov Lifschitz, told me: ‘When we find out about a missionary, we publicize his identity on posters, newspapers ads, by word of mouth. We don’t even have to phone up his place of work – a lot of Jewish employers don’t want to be involved with missionaries . . . So seeing an ad in the newspaper is enough for [the employer] to fire him. But not all employers will do this.’ . . . Yad L’Achim fully acknowledges sending undercover spies into the Messianics’ congregations, reporting on them to the Interior Ministry to prevent members from entering the country, making aliyah or getting citizenship.