In the last 24 hours two of Israel's major news sources have the following headlines:
YNET: Messianic Jews demand Israeli citizenship and
The Jerusalem Post: Aliya expert: Messianic Jews and aliya
The author and expert of the Jpost feature is Maurice Singer, an Independent Consultant and former Senior Aliyah Consultant at the Jewish Agency.
read the answer to the below question and weep (and then discuss):
Q: We are Messianic Jews and would like to make Aliyah. How difficult would this be?

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Penina Taylor, a counter missionary expert and member of JewishIsrael sent me this opinion today:
The issue of what to do with “Messianic Jews” wanting to immigrate to Israel is becoming more and more of an issue as of late as such Jewish Christians are pressing for more rights where Israel is concerned. Politicians, being what they are, are hesitant to offend this minority group which holds the backing of more than 70 million Evangelical Christians in America, and which constitutes the greatest single entity expressing political and financial support for the state of Israel.

In light of the fact that people with a Jewish father only and therefore not halachically Jewish qualify to make aliyah under the law of return, but not those with a Jewish mother, and in light of the fact that Christians with no connection to Judaism but a Jewish grandparent are also allowed to make aliyah under the law of return, it would make sense that halachically Jewish Hebrew Christians would feel discriminated against. In fact, I would agree that they are.

Basing the law of return on a belief is problematic since the law is then subject to the whim of the government or party in power at the time. An orthodox government could decide that atheist Jews are not Jews because they don’t believe in G-d or a secular government could decide that they want to limit the number of orthodox Jews immigrating. Instead, a better way to approach this situation is the following:

1. The law of return should be changed to only allow those who do not have a Jewish parent to make aliyah if they are coming from a country where being ¼ Jewish creates an unreasonable hardship. This would get rid of the right of return for people with only one Jewish grandparent from most western nations.
2. The law of the land should re-establish proselytizing as a criminal activity. Then, the state could rightly forbid those from making aliyah who have been proven to engage in such criminal activity or given reason to believe that they will engage in such criminal activity in the future. This would allow for the possibility of deportation of new immigrants or tourists who engage in such criminal activity, while still preserving the idea of freedom of religion in this country. Freedom of religion need only grant the right to believe what one wants and not the right to act as one wants.

To say that it is ok for Joe Messianic who has a Jewish father to immigrate and for Jack Messianic who has a Jewish mother not to immigrate even though they believe exactly the same thing is discrimination . On the face of things it would seem that Jack Messianic has more of a right to immigrate because he is halachically Jewish. Since the problem is the missionary activity, that should be the criteria on which such decisions are based. It would not be that difficult to redefine the law of return and the right of freedom of religion to be less subjective and more objective therefore strengthening the Rule of Law and reducing discrimination.
B"H

We already have a set of laws to deal with these issues. It's called halacha.

Only Jews [al pi halacha] and gerei toshav {ie. having received approval of the appropriate beth din} may have permanent residence in Eretz Yisrael.

The Law of Return has almost nothing to do with halacha, and should be thrown out.

Although many Jews practicing foreign forms of worship may in some ways be tinoq shenishba, the protection of Jewish society should override the allowance for them to come here, especially with accepted rabbinic authorities prepared to education and punish those violating Jewish Law, in case those related to avodah zarah, of which Christianity is included.

Until we have a gov't that recognizes the authority of the Torah, every effort should be to prevent such "Jews" from settling in the Land.
EsserAgaroth.blogspot.com
There's a related blog post on this issue. Rabbi Kravitz of Jews for Judaism sent a response which he posted under the YNET article.

I, too feel that we have to get our heads out of the democratic freedom of religion debate stuff and defend the halacha. Obviously western "Judeo-Christian values" (oh, how I hate that term) and the love of "personal freedoms" can more often than not run contrary to Torah values.

I think we have to be very honest, wise, and uniquely Jewish in our handling of this issue, and not try to come up with some clever formula based on western democratic thinking which will entangle us more in the future. It's time to think Jewish. And there's no reason for the gentiles - or secular Jews for that matter- to think that an halachic solution would not be civil and respectful.
I completely agree that Eretz Yisroel should be governed by Torah and Halacha, but as of right now, it is not. Until mashiach comes, I doubt it will (but I will still hold out hope). Rather than throw out the baby with the bath water, we have to deal with the situation we have. We have a secular government and we, as believing Jews, should use the system that's in place as best we can to accomplish what we know to be right.

At this moment we have a problem with missionaries. How, with a secular government, can we keep most or all of them out? We are losing Jewish souls by the droves. I am not a politician, I am a religious counselor/mentor (counter-missionary), but I do know that we need laws that will protect the precious Jewish neshamas that are here as best we can, understanding the the secular government doesn't give a white about them.
I don't think anyone has said this yet so here I go:

In many ways, "democracy" is the new Avodah Zara of the Jews.

The only thing we can practically do now is to try and make our voices heard to the politcal powers that be and to try to point out how tainted some of our politicians at high levels are because of their benfits to aligning to Christian causes.

This won't happen by making massive protests but I would suggest a letter campaign (not email nor fax) to our religious politcians of all parties and to numerous Rabbanim of influential persuasions.

And then there is Israel's "Supreme" Court.........................

I forgot to mention: don't forget to daven a little harder.
Penina Tal Ohr (Taylor) said:
I completely agree that Eretz Yisroel should be governed by Torah and Halacha, but as of right now, it is not. Until mashiach comes, I doubt it will (but I will still hold out hope). Rather than throw out the baby with the bath water, we have to deal with the situation we have. We have a secular government and we, as believing Jews, should use the system that's in place as best we can to accomplish what we know to be right.

At this moment we have a problem with missionaries. How, with a secular government, can we keep most or all of them out? We are losing Jewish souls by the droves. I am not a politician, I am a religious counselor/mentor (counter-missionary), but I do know that we need laws that will protect the precious Jewish neshamas that are here as best we can, understanding the the secular government doesn't give a white about them.
I believe Penina Tal Ohr (Taylor) is a person who has travelled many hard roads and is doing a fine job in trying to bring back lost souls who have gotten tricked into the lies of the christian doctrine. I believe we as Jews must go out to our unknowing brother and sister and bring them back to the truth, go out to the streets and talk to our people in the love of Torah. Fight these christians with the words of Torah not each other. Those who know Torah should pray for Jews show them the love not the fear, show them proof of the words of Torah showing christian lies and why yashu can not be Messiah show them the proof go out to the lost sheep help them do not condem them show them G-ds Love and Truth the same way these christians do showing our people who they are a chosen people.
For those interested in the current status of counter-missionary legislation in Israel and a brief - but very telling - history of the topic (including the strings attached), visit our updated page on legislative and freedom of religion issues
I think you make a good point here. I think you could be right because democracy is absent from the Torah, and Jews are overly dependent upon something which isn't EVEN a true democracy.

Mamlakhtim are the worst because they thing the current government IS a representation of Torah.

Shy Guy said:
I don't think anyone has said this yet so here I go:

In many ways, "democracy" is the new Avodah Zara of the Jews.

The only thing we can practically do now is to try and make our voices heard to the politcal powers that be and to try to point out how tainted some of our politicians at high levels are because of their benfits to aligning to Christian causes.

This won't happen by making massive protests but I would suggest a letter campaign (not email nor fax) to our religious politcians of all parties and to numerous Rabbanim of influential persuasions.

And then there is Israel's "Supreme" Court.........................

I forgot to mention: don't forget to daven a little harder.
Lo Titgodedu.

Please don't call Mamlachtiyim "worst". It's simply not true and inappropriate. And believe me I don't agree with their national outlook.

Furthermore, it's not that they claim the current govt. represents the Torah in practice (barring absolute am ha'aretzim, who are not lacking in any opinion camp). It's that they hold that in general Dina D'Malchuta Dina applies even to a Jewish government, (almost) no matter how anti-Torah they are.

The above is a vague generalization. In any case, I suggest we start uniting and not alienating in order to deal with this particular task at hand.

Ya'aqov Ben-Yehudah said:
Mamlakhtim are the worst because they think the current government IS a representation of Torah.
I ran into this article by the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America from about a year ago about their work in Eastern Europe trying to get people to become Messianic and help them with aliyah. I thought others may be interested in it. It is through a MJAA program called "The Russian Emergency Aliyah Fund":
http://www.mjaa.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5579

FYI....for those who don't know the MJAA was the Hebrew Christian Alliance of America until the 1970's. Their original conference booklet had the pictures of each of the attendees, along with their Christian denominations. Still dishonest, but much clearer than the current presentation.

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