Guest Post by Jewish Israel member Mordechai Yakkov Allen
So, what is a Jew supposed to do when he’s walking down a street in Israel and hears some missionary presenting his message loudly, as if to a crowd? I suppose it would depend on the religious orientation of the Jew. Is he secular, reform, conservative, neo-orthodox, charedie? Does the speaker have the legal right to do what he’s doing? What about the rights of the people on the street? What if some want to hear the speaker, but others feel it’s a disturbance of their peace. It’s a real mess, I suppose, and of such a nature that one would be wise to exercise due diligence if he desires to make it better.
What am I talking about? Simply put, it is the fulfillment of Hillel’s imperative to seek peace and bring people closer to Torah while, at the same time, dealing effectively with missionaries.
I understand that the more orthodox one is the more repugnant the missionary message is. I also understand that the mitzvah directs us to hate those who entice a Jew to idolatry. I have to believe, however, that it is possible to satisfy the Hillel imperative AND fulfill the mitzvah.
Consider the following presentation entitled Answers to a Missionary featuring Gutman Locks...(the GOOD), and compare it to Tourists praising the Lord / all hell broke lose! (1 of 2) and the results it produced…(the BAD).
Whereas Reb Locks succeeds in dealing quite openly and effectively with the missionary’s erroneous thinking while maintaining civility, the Orthodox men in the second video do not. The worst part of this particular inability to deal effectively with the missionaries is that it provided the missionary crowd the ideal material with which to propagate the not-so-hidden agenda of demonizing the Jew. Did you hear the commentary at the end of that particular segment? The Orthodox Jews, understandably vexed by the pretentious preaching of the missionary band, were written-off as “demons who couldn’t bear the message”. The video did accomplish one thing, however. It exposed what evangelicals truly think about religious Jews.
This documented unveiling of typical evangelical thinking is no surprise. And neither is the true color of the equally pretentious love for the Jew masterfully exposed by Max Blumenthal in his piece on John Hagee entitled The Christians United for Israel Tour (the SHMAD). You might say Max got the scoop directly from the horse’s mouth. (Another poignant expose of Hagee is presented in Bruce Wilson’s piece entitled John Hagee Pushes Hitler's anti-Jewish Conspiracy Theory.)
As in the case of Reb Locks, Max Blumenthal’s approach was civil but devastating. He exposed the true nature of the missionary message and intent without sticking his finger in their eye…or in the fan. This brings us back to the original thesis: it is possible for the Jew on the street to satisfy the Hillel imperative AND fulfill the mitzvah of dealing with the missionary.
If we are to take the fight for Jewish souls to the street, we must, likewise, take the moral, spiritual and rational high ground or lose the battle to flanking maneuvers by the missionaries. We must keep the confrontations friendly but frontal, allowing those with no real weaponry no possible escape. We are, after all, people of the Promise. We hold all the cards. We own THE BOOK! We need to know it, believe it and use it.
Tzinoh v’sochairoh amieto. “His shield and armor are His truth.”