Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Don't Proselytize a Rabbi

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                        

The funniest thing I've read in the news, and today it's hard to come up with something funny, was a Christian group trying to proselytize a rabbi in Jerusalem, Israel.  It was an "Ooops" moment.

Proselytizing is frowned upon in Israel. Under certain circumstances, it is illegal.   We've had enough of that with terrible results. For 2,000 years we've suffered the insults and attempts  to force us to become Christians, many of which have led to our deaths.  We do not proselytize others to become Jewish.  As a matter of fact, you have to ask us several times about Judaism or your wish to convert to get our attention.

 No more hitting on us!   Not in our own Jewish state-PLEASE!.  We've had it from Crusaders, the Spanish Inquisition,  Luther, and wherever we have been.  I've been hit on many times, so many I've lost count.  The last I heard about missionaries hitting on Jews was a Christian group who had infiltrated a Kibbutz made up of Nazi Holocaust survivors who had lost faith, so the proselytizers thought.  Their group was sending back reports about their progress in hiding their goals to the Argus newspaper in Ontario, Oregon where I was living and I read all about it.  I was of the one and only Jewish family in town, and so contacted some people I knew about it.  It was a very underhanded and deceitful way of proselytizing people, people who had already suffered enough and who were healing in their own land.
                                            A Cafe in Jerusalem

So what happened?  The Cafe Porta, a cafe in the Clal building in Jerusalem, seemed to be in fact a missionary center trying to convert unsuspecting Jews to Christianity.  The cafe needed a Kashrut certificate in order to be open.  This means that they had to be inspected to make sure they were following the rules of keeping Kosher, somewhat like the system used in the USA for receiving health certificates that are needed.

The Kashrut office sent out their own inspectors of which one was a rabbi,  to check on them and to their surprise, the owner of the cafe met them with some missionary material, including a "New Testament" to clinch what he was passing.  The cafe owner was an eager beaver,  starting right away on his proselytizing of all people, a rabbi!

The cafe lost their Kashrut certification.  It was revoked.

There are about 11,700 Christians living in Jerusalem.  Christians make up 2% of Israel's population which is about 158,000 people, and 80% of those are Arab Christians.  Some Christians come from Russia.  45% of Christians here are Catholic, 40% Orthodox, maybe Greek or Russian, and 20% could be from the USA and other places.  Most live in northern Israel with 22,400 living in Nazareth.

Another underhanded tactic was found to be used on unsuspecting listeners.  The city of Kfar Saba, Israel of 83,600 people in central Israel found out that their city icon was being used by missionaries in Australia, trying to give their activity a stamp of approval.  The very Jewish city  had no idea this was being done and of course was not giving their stamp of approval to missionaries.


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