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Revive Israel Ministries
Response to Rabbi Riskin

©September 12, 2010 by Asher Intrater

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin recently published an article (Jerusalem Post, 8-27-2010) criticizing Messianic Judaism.  Here is a brief excerpt from Asher's response:

Rabbi Riskin is well-respected in both Christian and Jewish circles. He is dynamic, intelligent, and spiritual. There are many issues in which we are in total agreement. However, there are certain points in which we would disagree. Riskin says that he does not believe our community has been persecuted. Yet consider, for example:

  1. Amiel Ortiz miraculously survived an attempt of murder upon his life.
  2. Mrs. Conforti's bakery business in Ashdod, where she has worked dawn to dusk for years, was deliberately destroyed.
  3. The Beer Sheva Messianic congregation was ransacked by a mob.
  4. The smaller Messianic congregation in Arad has been physically attacked repeatedly.
  5. Dozens of Messianic Jewish new immigrants have been denied citizenship.
  6. Numerous Messianic Jews have been beaten, attacked, kidnapped, spit upon, and cut off from families.

These attacks were perpetrated by extremist elements of the Ultra-Orthodox (who do not represent mainstream Judaism in our eyes).  The ONLY reason these attacks took place was because the victims were Messianic Jews. 

We are also accused of "proselytizing".  Yet, disseminating our beliefs is a basic right of freedom of expression and religion. In fact, we do not disseminate our faith as many Ultra-Orthodox missionaries do, who approach cars in the middle of traffic, ask people to lay tefillin in shopping centers, and drive mission-mobiles around the city with loudspeakers in their "proselytizing" efforts.

Rabbi Riskin accused us of being "deceptive." Yet our beliefs are openly stated to anyone who asks. Anyone who joins our gatherings for more than a few moments understands who we are. Expressions of Jewish practice, including circumcision, Shabbat, Holidays, Bar Mitzvah and Chuppa, are part of our faith. We have stood for those values despite criticism from both Christian and Rabbinic circles.

Finally, our view of the Messiah is said to put us out of the realm of Judaism. Then what about the Chabad movement which proclaims that their Rebbe is the Messiah? What about the Tel Aviv "Messiah?" What about those who proclaim that the name Nachman brings world redemption? What about atheist professors in Israeli universities?  What about Reform Judaism and New Kabbalah?  All of those above differ from Orthodox Judaism "mainstream."

Day of Atonement

This Friday Religious Jews and Messianic Jews alike will be celebrating the biblical Day of Atonement. Ahavat Yeshua will be meeting together with two other local congregations for a day of fasting, repentance, prayer, teaching and fellowship.

We find atonement in the shed blood of Yeshua. Orthodox Jews wave a chicken or monetary donation over the head of a person seeking atonement. The rabbi proclaims the words, "Replacement, Exchange, Atonement" during the ritual.

Water immersion for purity ("mikveh") is frequently done by Orthodox Jews on the morning before the Day of Atonement. The rabbis teach that the water immersion is a kind of "new birth" or "new creation".  When the person being immersed holds his breath under the water, that is a kind of "death," and when he comes up out of the water, it is a kind of "resurrection."

September 11th

Much of the media is decrying the dangers of "Islam-ophobia" in the United States. However it was not "Islam-ophobia" but "Islamic- jihad" that killed 3,000 people at the Twin Towers. President Obama said that the United States will never be in a war against Islam. However Islamic Jihadists already proclaim openly to be at war with the United States.

Obama also said that it was not Islam that attacked the twin towers but "Al Quaida." Yet, "Al Quaida" members certainly think they are Muslims. If "Al Quaida" is not Islam, what about Hizballa, Hamas, Wahabi, Popular Front, Islamic Brotherhood, Taliban, the Al Aksa Brigade?  They all desire the destruction of America and Israel. Are they also not Muslim?

Here is a video about the Israeli memorial in Jerusalem for 9-11 victims:

Gavriela Shalev


Recently Ma'ariv newspaper interviewed Professor Gavriela Shalev, retiring Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations. Shalev is a world-renown legal expert and scholar. She raised her two sons after her husband was killed in the Yom Kippur war while rescuing 33 trapped soldiers in the Suez Canal.

Shalev was challenged to defend Israel during such episodes as Cast Lead, the Goldstone Report and the Flotilla incident. (She jokingly compared the rich cultural life in Manhattan to the difficulty of representing Israel at UN headquarters as the difference between heaven and hell.)

Shalev described conversing for hours with an ambassador from a hostile Arab state at a private dinner party.  Then at the following public assemblies, he deliberately ignored her existence. “I understood quickly that at the UN there is truth, and there is a virtual truth.”  During operation Cast Lead, numerous representatives slandered Israel publicly for war crimes, and then privately approached her to encourage Israel to “finish the job” and destroy Hamas totally.

Shalev said that Goldstone was supposed to present his report in Geneva at the Human Rights Council, but manipulatively made a grand presentation at the General Assembly in NY. Shalev defended Israel's refusal to cooperate with the Goldstone report, because the committee's charter condemned Israel of war crimes before the investigation even began.

While the media flashed pictures of injured Palestinian children, Shalev decided to refrain from similar methods, which she considers cynical and manipulative. 

The Flotilla incident also demonstrated the hypocrisy of exerting such major media attention toward a relatively small and isolated occurrence. Shalev responded, “Hundreds are being killed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Chechnya; to what extent can an incident be turned into a platform for bashing Israel?”

Gavriella Shalev said that the media almost automatically denounces Israel. “Despite the mistakes, we are a normal country. I know this may sound cynical, but my main insight from the last two years at the UN is that Israel is a much better country than the image portrayed in the world.”

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