VOL. 61 SPECIAL EDITION JULY 2009
“Sorry, but you are not eligible for Aliyah,” the 'shaliach' of Nephesh b’Nephesh told my American Jewish friends, who were preparing their Aliyah in September of this year. The reason for the rejection – their faith in Yeshua of Nazareth being Israel’s Messiah.
Just several years ago a bomb, hidden in a Purim package, was delivered to the home of Israeli Jewish believers in Yeshua and blew up in the face of their teenage son, who, thank G-d, miraculously survived. The reason for this heinous crime - the family’s faith in Yeshua of Nazareth as Israel’s Messiah.
The perpetrators of this evil deed - ultra-orthodox Jews known to the police - have still not been arrested, much less brought to justice. The order for this crime came from a highly-placed ultra-orthodox individual who is keeping the investigation at a standstill. Watch the YouTube:
And now we have the Beer-Sheva trial; Messianic Jews calling to account ultra-orthodox haredim who spread malicious lies and slander, and perpetrated acts of violence as they descended upon a peaceful congregation for no other reason than the congregants’ faith in Yeshua of Nazareth being Israel’s Messiah. The Messianic believers in Yeshua are hence seeking to establish their rights as equal Jewish citizens of the State of Israel.
Here are the facts:
In 2005, on Shabbat, December 24th, two young ladies were scheduled to be immersed in water as part of the regular weekly congregational gathering. The “anti-missionary” organization Yad L’Achim became aware of it, informed the Chief Sephardi Rabbi of Beer Sheva, Yehuda Deri (brother of Aryeh Deri, the former head of the Shas party which controls the Ministry of the Interior, who himself just spent time in prison for fraud), that there was to be a mass baptism of Jews and ten tour buses full of people were coming to participate. Rabbi Deri passed the information to eight other Rabbis in Beer Sheva. As a result, around 400-500 haredim (ultra-Orthodox Jews) descended on the Beer Sheva congregation. They destroyed property, accosted several of the believers, and even fought with a number of the 70 policemen that came to quell the riot.
Howard and Randy Bass, leaders of the congregation of Kehilat Nachalat Yeshua and Amutat Nichalim BaNegev (his organization) have filed suit against Yehuda Deria and against Yad L'Achim.L- (A Hand to Brethren), which spies on Messianics, harasses them, and slanders them to the Jewish public.
The suit comes after prayer and consultation with other leaders in Beer Sheva, the Negev, and around the country. The consensus was that as members of a free society, to confront those breaking the law was perhaps even more of an obligation than a right. However, there was total unity that the goal was neither to win the case nor to avoid persecution but above all else to glorify G-d in the manner He chose.
The JudgeY may find himself under much pressure. As Israel does not have a jury system, the decision rests entirely with the Judge; once he gives his final word there is no recourse. Israel’s Supreme Court has three judges only. Their decisions are final, thereby prohibiting any appeal. Evidently, this invites undue pressure, special favors and bribes.
The day following the riot in 2005, Rabbi Deri gave a radio interview, mentioning his desire to ‘forget the law’ and just get rid of the Messianics. A transcript of that interview, accompanied by a sworn affidavit, was submitted years ago to the Judge and to the defendants’ lawyers. However, the Judge ruled that the transcript was inadmissible as evidence and required instead the original recording.
The Messianics’ lawyers - against all odds - did locate the original tape and applied for the necessary court order to have the tape released. Meanwhile, the Judge granted Deri's lawyers five days to respond with any objections. This they did by claiming that the Messianics’ lawyers sprung the tape as a surprise. But, the transcript had already been on file for two years. The Judge could have issued a court order in just one hour, but didn’t, causing this very incriminating material to be withheld. Could this delay indicate a bias on the part of the Judge?
The trial convened on June 10 and 21 in Beer Sheva, and is to be reconvened for a final date on November 23 at 9:30 in the morning, with the verdict to be given by December 23. The lawyers – themselves believers in Yeshua - are Marvin Kramer and Kevork Nalbandian. Marvin, as the chief counsel for the plaintiff (the Messianics), began receiving threats even before the case was actually filed. He does not consider them to be empty words in view of the bomb delivered to the Ortiz family 2 years ago.
The ultra-orthodox, haredi community in Israel hates the Messianics and despises the “secular” Jews, regarding themselves as the only “true” Jews who uphold our people, guardians of Torah and our faith.
Yet, it was the secular Jews along with the traditional orthodox who rebuilt the nation from a barren, swamp-infested wasteland into a thriving, beautiful country. It was they who established Israel’s kibbutzim, moshavim, beautiful communities and modern cities. It was the secular mayor, Teddy Kollek, who transformed Jerusalem from the run-down, dirty village it had become under Arab and Ottoman rule, into the diadem of beauty the city is today.
It was not the ultra-orthodox Jews who built up Israel’s infrastructure, who turned her into an agricultural miracle, who shaped an economy that has made tiny Israel competitive on the world market despite U.S.’arm-twisting interferences9 and United Nations’ boycotts. Nor was it the ultra-orthodox who fought for Israel’s survival in six wars against Arab armies who vastly outnumbered her.
But it is they, the haredim, who have no qualms about demanding millions of shekels from Israel’s tax money to maintain their unique lifestyle.
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