Letter sent to Rabbis and a Former Missionary Reports on Beck's Caesarea event (UPDATED)

[UPDATE, 2011/08/23: Jewish Israel has received confirmation from the Office of the Chief Rabbinate that Rabbi Metzger will not be attending the 8/24 event. In addition, we received an inquiry from the office of Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, which implied that the Rabbi Rabinovitch is unaware that his name is listed on Glenn Beck's website as one of the anticipated distinguished attendees. Jewish Israel will keep our readership posted of any additional updates.]

Jewish Israel has been closely monitoring Glenn Beck's activities in Israel.  We expressed our concerns and hopes by letter to both Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger and Rabbi of the Kotel Shmuel Rabinovtich.  Both of these rabbinic figures plan on attending Glenn Beck's "Restoring Courage" rally on August 24.  The letter, which can be read in both Hebrew and English, was also copied to a number of other rabbinic leaders prior to yesterday's Christian event in Caesarea.

We believe Jewish Israel's efforts over the years have borne fruit.  The event in Caesarea was far more dignified and reserved than many of the other mega-Christian events that have been held in Israel in recent years. 

It remains problematic that missionary figures like Mike Evans (of Jews for Jesus fame) was given the stage and that TBN, an overt missionary network which actively targets Jews in Israel, was given the rights to broadcast Beck's event.

We asked a former active evangelical missionary, who has since converted to Judaism, to view yesterday's event in Caesarea with us and to give us her impressions:

"Overall I felt the event was harmless, and greatly subdued considering all the Christian hype it was given over the past weeks on the Glenn Beck show.

 The speakers seemed to be very careful, and put a great deal of effort into their wording and the subjects.  Kudos for that effort!  There was no reference to Ruth or Esther, as was made many times over the past months. "  

[Jewish Israel comments: Ruth and Esther was promoted as the "foundation"  of the this evening as well as for upcoming Beck events.  Only Pastor John Hagee made his usual reference to Ruth.]

"Every place you would expect a Christian to say "jesus", they seemed to have learned to replace that terminology with a less offensive "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob", although it did slip a couple of times with a "King of Kings" title."

[Jewish Israel comments: "King of Kings" is a name for jesus in Christian scripture.  Jews should also be aware that when Christians refer to the "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" they do mean jesus (see John 8:58 for an example).]

"There were a lot of mentions of the Apostle Paul because of the place in history of the New Testament.  Paul is someone Christians place a great deal of faith and respect in... the founder of Christianity.  They are likely unaware of how much the Jews detest him."

"The main statements of concern echoed throughout the evening.  David Brog stated it best in his pre-show interview, when he described evil, and that evil can only be overcome IF we stand together, and described events like tonight as WHY Israel will survive.  This view that we NEED the Christians is what is most disturbing about the interfaith relationships that are being built today.  Our leaders are putting their trust in the Christians to save us, crossing halachic lines to make and keep them, and I fear this will lead to only more hardships for the Jews.  Jews are commanded to trust in God alone, and when we don't, he has a harsh way of waking us up to whose really holding the strings. 

I would be much more open to this "unification", if I didn't know the 'salvation' agenda behind the Christian love, the end times scenario they hope to play out, and if Christians and Jews could both agree that Israel will survive with or without the gentiles coming to their rescue.

Glenn Beck said it best when he introduced Rabbi Riskin, that loving Israel means loving the Jewish people "AS THEY ARE". 

[Jewish Israel comments : Rabbi Riskin gave a fiery presentation for his Christian audience, but he too avoided his customary references to a covenantal relationship between Jews and Christians, to messianism , to the concept of grafting, or to the new testament]

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While Jewish Israel welcomes the positive change and more sensitive direction of Mr. Beck's presentation, this was, nevertheless, a Christian event and attending such events poses certain halachic problems.  We leave those matters to the rabbis.

 

JI posts on Glenn Beck:

Why Jews should be uncomfortable with Glenn Beck

Another Beck Column

Jewish Israel members weigh-in on Glenn Beck

Missionary TBN to broadcast Beck in Caesarea

Glenn Beck and Al-Dura: What IDF Footage?

 

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Comment by Sharbano on August 24, 2011 at 3:18am

Well, from what I watched on youtube I wasn't impressed.

 

There's one danger in Beck's rhetoric and that is how he works to divide one Jew against another. I had been watching him on Fox with my mother and he was speaking about Soros. I turned to my mother and said, I wonder if he'll mention him being a Jew. Sure enough he made a big deal of it. I've noted on other sites what would be the reason to actually specify that Soros is Jewish, whom Beck calls "spooky dude". I wonder what he would say if it were found that G-d was using Soros for some ultimate purpose in a Divine plan. Obviously his Xtian teaching doesn't allow for this. The same with his thinking that Israel cannot do without "him". Israel has survived all this time without people like him.

 

I heard him on the radio today and he went after the Jewish right and how radical they are. Mina Fenton was one he went after along with Rav Kook in which he and his co-hosts were mocking his name and how all those who question Beck are nothing more than kooks. It sure brings to light his remark about "make the Jews pay for what they did". I've noticed he's made a concerted effort to tell everyone that he will be going to the place where Yeshu turned over the tables.

 

When he first began talking about this rally I was considering giving him the benefit of the doubt. After today, though, I think he should be forthwith banned from any entry into Israel, especially Jerusalem. One of the reasons he claims to support Israel is simply because they are "like" the US, that is, being a Western Democracy.

 

On his last visit he went to the Dome and castigated Islam for the writing that there is only one G-d, not multiple gods. He remarked, see, they say there is no "trinity". Evidently he believes Judiasm also views G-d the same as Xtianity. I'd say he will be in for a big surprise when Mashiach comes.

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