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June 25, 2016 / 19 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘christian’

African-American Christian Ministers Visit Israel In Blooming Of ‘Natural’ Partnership

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

“My faith, as we interpret the scriptures, we identify with the people of Israel as God’s chosen people, and therefore we understand that those who bless Israel receive blessings and those who curse Israel are really fighting against our culture and faith,” said A.W. Mays, an African-American Christian leader from Austin, Texas.

Mays was one of 26 African-American members of the National Baptist Convention of America (NBCA) who were hand-picked to travel from the United States on a six-day educational mission to Israel from May 23-29. The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) sponsored the trip to help deepen Christian-Jewish ties and black leaders’ bonds with Israel.

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, The Fellowship’s founder and president, has been working to build bridges between Christians and Jews – as well as Christians and Israel – for more than 35 years. Last year, The Fellowship raised $138 million in humanitarian aid for Jews in Israel and around the world, almost entirely from Christian donors.

The trip just concluded marked The Fellowship’s third such mission; it brought 21 ministers to Israel in the summer of 2015 and 22 more in January of this year.

“African-Americans are the Jewish people’s natural partners,” said Yael Eckstein, Rabbi Eckstein’s daughter and senior vice president of The Fellowship.

“They know what it means to be suffering and reach freedom, to be slaves and come to enjoy the full benefits of American peoplehood.… We have not had positive ties throughout the years because no one ever put an effort into creating those ties.”

“What most people don’t understand,” said Rev. Deedee Coleman, the head of a 1,500-member Oak Park, Michigan congregation who has been to Israel more than a dozen times, “is that in Baptist culture we preach about Israel every Sunday, about the Jewish people and the trials of Moses and the Red Sea – everything that is not only in our Bible, but what starts in the first five books.”

Beyond the mission’s spiritual impact on attendees, the trip also enhanced the black leaders’ understanding of the challenges Israel faces. Many participants said they now have deeper knowledge of the political situation in Israel, and that the trip debunked the often-biased American media coverage of events on the ground in the Jewish state.

“I learned to not believe the American media 100 percent, and their slant on what this nation is,” said Rev. Samuel C. Tolbert, Jr., NBCA’s president, who helped organize the mission to Israel.

“It is best for people to come and see it firsthand, and they will see a totally different view of Israel.”

Kristina King, director of African-American outreach for The Fellowship, worked in a similar role with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) for eight years. She says that both organizations do dynamic work in helping leaders understand some of the geopolitical complexities and everyday realities in Israel.

But while AIPAC seeks to influence political policy, The Fellowship’s work is faith-based and focuses on common spiritual values. Those values don’t change, said King, regardless of who holds elected office in Israel or America.

“When African-Americans are exposed to Israel, they see our common values,” King said.

At the same time, the black Christian leaders who visited Israel can become powerful political partners and pro-Israel activists because of their faith, said Yael Eckstein.

“I think the Jewish community should stop sitting back and complaining that we don’t have friends,” said Yael Eckstein. “Be proactive and reach out to find things in common with the people who can stand with us long-term and be strategic partners for our future.”

“These are the ones who will bring back the message of Israel to the larger body,” said Rev. Coleman. “They have been on Facebook, tweeting, and they will bring it back [to America] and educate their people about what is real.”

Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman

Shlissel (Key) Challah: The Loaf of Idolatry?

Friday, May 6th, 2016

The post was originally published in 2011, but as this is the week some might bake shlissel challah, we are republishing the article.

JUDAIC STUDIES ACADEMIC PAPER SERIES, Authored by Shelomo Alfassa: The Origins of the Non-Jewish Custom Of “Shlissel Challah” (Key Bread) “The Loaf of Idolatry?

You can read it all here, or see the following key point from the research paper:

– Every year Jewish women, young and old, partake in the Ashkenazi custom to place a key (such as a door key to a home), inside the dough of a loaf of bread that they bake. This custom is known as shlissel challah—shlissel from the German language shlüssel (key) and challah or hallah from the Hebrew for bread.

– The baking of a key inside a bread is a non-Jewish custom which has its foundation in Christian, and possibly even earlier, pagan culture. At least one old Irish source tells how at times when a town was under attack, the men said, ―let our women-folk be instructed in the art of baking cakes containing keys.

– Keys were traditionally manufactured in the form of a cross, the traditional symbol of Christianity, a physical item all Christian commoners would posses in their home. On Easter, the Christian holiday which celebrates the idea of Jesus “rising” from the dead, they would bake the symbol of Jesus—the key shaped like a cross—into or onto a rising loaf.

– The modern Jewish custom of baking the symbolic shlissel challah, annually takes place on the shabbat immediately following the holiday of Pessah, when tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of religiously observant Jewish women practice this observance.

– In Christianity, baked goods associated with keys are commonly called “Easter breads,” and in Europe they are also known as ‘Paschals,’ as the holiday of Easter in the East is known as “Pascha” or “Pascua.” This is most likely the reason Christians often call Easter breads baked with keys Paschals.

– While the custom is said to be mentioned in the writings of Avraham Yehoshua Heshel (the Apter Rav: 1748-1825) and in the Ta’amei ha-Minhagim (1891), there is no one clear source for shlissel challah.

And while people will say there is a passuq (Biblical verse) attributed to it, there is not. And, even if there were, a passuq that can be linked to the practice is not the same as a source.

Micha Berger, founder of the AishDas Society, [orthodox] calls this type of logic “reverse engineering,” it‘s like drawing a circle around an arrow in a tree, and subsequently declaring the arrow is a bulls-eye. The idea of baking shlissel challah is not from the Torah; it‘s not in the Tannaitic, Amoraitic, Savoraitic, Gaonic or Rishonic literature.

– Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim19 of Mesora.Org [orthodox] teaches that:

The Torah teaches that Hashem punishes the wicked, and rewards the righteous. It does not say that challah baking or any other activity will help address our needs…When the matriarchs were barren, they did not resort to segulas, but introspected and prayed… Nothing in Torah supports this concept of segula; Torah sources reject the idea of a segula… baking challas with brachos cannot help… segulas are useless, and violate the Torah prohibition of Nichush [good luck charms]. It does not matter if the charm is a rabbit‘s foot, a horseshoe, a challah, key or a red bendel. The practice assumes that forces exist, which do not, and it is idolatrous. – On the far end of the scale, it can be said that shlissel challah observance is a nothing less than “the way of the Amorites.” It is precisely this type of behavior and observance which Jews are supposed to separate themselves from, so it doesn’t go on to influence our thoughts and deeds. Am Yisrael was not created to lose itself in such folklore, and Judaism without disciplined study is nothing but folklore. Judaism allows and encourages the use of our minds. It‘s never too late to realign our path with Torah sources, not blind faith practices which are trendy, in, or cool.

– Educated Jews should help to promote Torah sources to our friends and neighbors, not false practices which are of non-Jewish origin and have nothing to do with Judaism.

100 Amens to that!

Jameel@Muqata

Pro-Israel Christian Leader Compares UNESCO Temple Mount Resolution to Holocaust Denial

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

In recognition of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Laurie Cardoza-Moore, UN Special Envoy for the World Council of Independent Christian Churchs (WCICC) and President of Proclaiming Justice to The Nations (PJTN), attended meetings at the United Nations to condemn UNESCO’s effort to deny the historic, cultural and religious connection between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount.

The WCICC sponsors and promote meetings at the UN with countries and organizations that support Israel. The group represents more than 40 million Evangelical Christians worldwide, who, together with more than 13,000 global PJTN Watchmen are calling on UNESCO to condemn the strategic and deliberate destruction of ancient artifacts buried beneath the Temple Mount. This destruction has been carried out by the Islamic Waqf for over a decade now, in an attempt to physically eradicate and deny Jewish history connected to the holiest site in Judaism and Christianity.

This message is particularly important on Holocaust Remembrance Day, argues Cardoza-Moore, because “we cannot afford to stand by as Jewish history is publicly denied by an organization of the United Nations. Denying the Jewish people’s connection to the Temple Mount is tantamount to denying the existence of the Jewish people and is therefore even more grave than Holocaust Denial.”

Part of UNESCO’s mission is to promote and educate about religious tolerance, says Cardoza-Moore, noting that “with it’s denial of the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and its holy sites, UNESCO harms any prospect of peace and vicariously supports a radical ideology that denies the Jewish connection to the land of Israel and its holy sites.”

“We recognize UNESCO’s responsibility to promote culture and religious diversity by respecting the heritage of all nations,” she says, “Therefore, we call upon UNESCO to recognize the deep historic and religious Jewish connection as well.”

According to Cardoza-Moore, “Christians recognize the historic Jewish connection to Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and all of the ancient biblical sites in Israel. Christians also recognize that if we do not defend Israel’s biblical and historic connection to the Land, Christians will ultimately lose their historic connection as well. We are calling on all Christians to contact UNESCO and condemn this attempt to re-write biblical history and replace it with political propaganda.”

Cardoza-Moore concludes that “with the rise of global, genocidal anti-Semitism, as well as the global push to boycott, divest and sanction Israel, on this Yom HaShoah, as the world remembers one of the most horrific events in modern history, Christians, Jews and people of conscience must commit to make a stand and say never again.”

JNi.Media

Rivlin: Faithful Jews Are not Anti-Christian or Anti-Muslim

Monday, December 28th, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin told Christian leaders Monday that “a faithful Jew cannot be anti-Christian or anti-Muslim.”

He added that “we all have a duty…to show the world that the conflict in this region is not a war about religion; it is a war against hate.”

Absent from his speech was the questing of how to deal with clerics who preach hate in the name of their religion.

Hosting the traditional annual reception for leaders of Israel’s Christian communities to mark the civil New Year, he praised the 50-year-old fifty-year-old Nostra Aetate declaration, which defined the Catholic Church’s policy against anti-Semitism.

President Rivlin added:

I was honored this year, to meet with the Pope in the Vatican, where we spoke about how this relationship has grown stronger over the years….. Pope Francis said, ‘A true Christian cannot be an anti-Semite’.

Let me say – a faithful Jew cannot be anti-Christian or anti-Muslim….

I am proud that Israel protects the freedom of worship and expression for everyone, of every faith. It is not enough for us to only be a safe home for Christians. We want the community to prosper, and play a part in Israeli society.”

He said this mission as President is “to build bridges between our communities, in the Holy Land and around the world…and show that people with different beliefs can live side by side, and even together; in schools and universities, in the workplace, in parliament, and even on the soccer field.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Security Minister: Outlaw Muslim Radicals from Temple Mount

Monday, August 24th, 2015

Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan dropped the other shoe Monday in a letter calling on Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to outlaw two Muslim radical groups from the Temple Mount.

The Palestinian Authority called Edan’s proposal “racist.”

The right of Jews to ascend the Temple Mount, as stated in the Jordanian-Israeli Peace Treaty, has been under threat by increasingly violent Muslims who are paid to harass and attack Jews at the holy site.

Daily violence and the unprecedented action of Jerusalem policy facing off against Muslims who barricaded themselves inside the Al Aqsa mosque last year threatened to erupt into an all-out war until Jordanian King Abdullah and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met in Amman and took measures to cool things down.

Access to Jews was allowed, but the government made it clear that Cabinet ministers may not visit the Temple Mount.

The unwritten agreement held ground for several months until radical Muslim re-asserted their presence with men and women paid by the Islamic Movement to visit the holy site with the sole purpose of chasing and attacking Jews.

A visiting Christian was attacked last week, and Palestinian Authority and Arab world media have escalated incitement with constant reports that police escort settlers to “storm” the Temple Mount.

Erdan decided enough is enough and wrote to Ya’alon letter, which he said is supported by the police and the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), to outlaw the “Morabiton” and “Morabitat” radical Muslims groups.

He wrote:

These organizations follow Jewish visits to the Temple Mount and yell, incite and block them. Their aim is to use violence and intimidation to stop Jews from trying to visit the Temple Mount, and I will do everything I can to stop these dangerous organizations that violate the status quo.

The damage, partly irreversible, caused by the Israel’s government’s turning a blind eye to Muslim violence while limiting Jewish visitors is reflected in statements made by the Al Aqsa NGO, whose official told Reshet Bet (Voice of Israel) radio Monday:

We have seen an increase in visits to the Temple Mount by fanatics and criminal Jews who cause provocations.

Israel violates the status quo (by allowing Jews to visit]. Israel is not allowed to maintain security on the Temple Mount.

It is occupied territory under international law. Israel has occupied it since 1967.

Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount is within the “consensus” of almost all Israeli Jews, so much so that even the interviewer for the leftist and pluralistic Reshet Bet charged the Muslim official with lying. He also continuous questioned the Al Aqsa official about Muslims who attack Jews, but the only response was a repetition that the Temple Mount is not a part of Israel.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

IDF Tightens Rules for Soldiers in Judea, Samaria

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

The IDF tightened its rules of engagement yesterday for combat forces in Judea and Samaria, making defense of self and others much more difficult.

Publication of the new regulations was met with utter disgust by the troops who will be forced to carry them out.

The new rules are frankly dangerous to the soldiers, creating an unacceptable risk to their lives before they’re allowed to fire at attackers.

Christian combat soldiers who spoke with the Hebrew-language 0404 website made it clear they “will not hesitate to operate in accordance with the gunfire procedures that were in place prior to the announcement.”

The stringent new rules of engagement have tightened the regulation that previously required troops to fire at an attacker’s lower extremities in life-threatening situations. Under other circumstances in which there is a risk, a threatened soldier has only been allowed to fire in the air.

IDF soldiers who belong to the Christian community told the 0404 website that if they are confronted with a situation in which they feel threatened, they will not hesitate to shoot directly at a terrorist, even if the situation differs from permitted circumstances outlined in the new regulations.

One of the three soldiers from northern Israel who spoke with the website said, “Whoever throws a firebomb (Molotov cocktail) at me is clearly trying to kill me, and someone who wants to kill me is someone I will kill first.”

Another soldier said that his family had contacted him to ask whether news of the more stringent rules was really true. When he confirmed it, “My mother told me she does not care about the new directives and said that if I am in danger, I should not think twice [about firing to defend myself.]”

A third soldier from Nazareth sent a message to 0404, commenting, “The ‘Rules of Engagement’ sent shivers down my spine. A strong army stands in fear before a small enemy. No, no, absolutely not. I have one thing to say: One hundred mothers will weep and my mother will not cry. I am a Christian of Nazareth serving in the Kefir Brigade and I represent the Christian community.”

Hana Levi Julian

ISIS in Jerusalem, Threatens Christians

Friday, June 26th, 2015

ISIS has released a flyer in eastern Jerusalem threatening to kill all the Christian-Arabs living there.

ISIS explicitly threatened to kill the Christians if they don’t leave eastern Jerusalem by the end of Ramadan.

Presumably, the Pope hopes the Palestinian Authority will save them.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/isis-in-jerusalem-threatens-christians/2015/06/26/

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