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"It is better to take refuge in Adonai than to trust in human beings; better to take refuge in Adonai than to put one's trust in princes." -Tehilah 118:8-9

Are you ready for War?

The other day, I picked up an issue of Israel My Glory. On the cover, it celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the Six Day War, when HaShem miraculously afforded us the ability to retake our holy capitol, Jerusalem. From what I've noticed, Christians in America have enjoyed celebrating this anniversary more than American Jews.

Charisma magazine, a publication of the Evangelical wing of the movement, devoted a section of a recent issue to all things Israel. Of course, the irony was that on one page, they wrote a music review on Paul Wilbur's latest album (he is a Messianic Jew, but not an Israeli) while on the page opposite, they hosted a full-page advertisement promoting Christian-Jewish relations that featured a picture of Yishai Fleisher, a host on Israel National Radio who has devoted entire programs to discussing how Jews can encourage Christian support while ignoring the message of Messiah (the "take the meat and leave the bones" theory in action, only in reverse). The following page contained a half-page picture of the Dome of the Rock, with one writer's travelogue commentary on Jerusalem being the "holy city of the Jews." (I wonder if they know we don't worship in mosques...) Needless to say, by the end of the "Special Israel Section" I was left rather confused as to what Evangelical Christians actually think about Israel, the Jewish people, and Messianic Judaism.

Which brings me back to Israel My Glory. The other day, I find myself flipping through the issue mentioned above when I come across an article I somehow missed during my first read. This article, the title of which I don't remember but will be happy to cite when I can lay my hands on the magazine, detailed that "since there are two distinct Biblical destinies for Christians and the nation of Israel (i.e. "Jewish people") it makes absolutely perfect sense that the Christians will be raptured before the apocalypse happens."

Now I get it. Now I understand why Christians are so supportive, yet completely divisive when it comes to expressing their love for the Jewish people-- they don't want to claim a responsibility for handling the hard stuff. They'd rather see the Jewish people suffer, fight, and die at the hands of the anti-Christ than fight that righteous fight they preach about every Sunday. The movement that holds an annual series of national conferences in honor of "spiritual warfare" is too afraid to face the battle here on earth. Nice. That says a lot about faith and trust in the Messiah you hold so dear. Jews like to think that Christians have made great strides in their support of Israel-- looking at the truth of the matter, the only thing the Evangelical Christian movement has done is to devise a brilliant strategy for putting glossy icing on the same old moldy cake of Jew hatred that has plagued gentiles since Abraham. If you aren't with us ALL THE WAY, then you might as well not be with us at all.

This is the monologue going on in the back of my mind when I come across posts like this one on Israel Matzav, which led me to this article from Ha'aretz. The premise is this: American Intelligence has let it be known that they know Hezbollah sleeper cells are in America, ready to attack if and when Israel OR the US decides to bomb Iran. That's right-- we, or our beloved Jewish allies bomb Iran, and suddenly LA, Detroit, NYC, Philly, Orlando, you-name-it, goes up in smoke.

Israel has been warning us about this for years, by the way.

How many Christians are going to be able to say they love Israel, when Israel finally does what she needs to do to save herself AND THE WORLD and the bad guys get mad? Actually, the real question of the moment is, when these Christians start living in a world of suicide bombers (not just writing checks out to the faceless, nameless victims overseas) how many of them are going to start questioning why they haven't been sucked up into that revival tent in the sky? Subsequently, how many are going to start questioning their love for the Jews (who put them in this mess) and their love for the G-d of the Jews (who's supposed to cover their wimpy tuchuses)? Talk about wheat from chaff scenarios.

Meanwhile, while the Messianic Times mails out its issues with grand-glorious cover stories on how Messianics were actually permitted to march at or near the head of the Jerusalem Day parade (under a banner that read: "Messianic Jewish Alliance of America: The MJAA & our Christian Friends declare that Jerusalem is the Eternal Capitol of Israel & the Jewish people" how grossly benign-- more like, "Yeshua says it's our turf-- you don't like it, get out!" Then again, if we didn't conceed to at least associating ourselves with Christians, no way would we be allowed to express our Jewishness...) and op/eds on the ineffectiveness of Evangelical support that does not promote evangelism (see commentary above) they neglect to print articles that say much of anything about the massive military buildup going on along both sides of the Israeli-Syrian border over a little strip of land known as the Golan Heights. Instead, we get news on missions to Ethiopian Jews in Africa via articles punctuated with placations from ministry leaders: "I think G-d will do great things with these people." Define "great things" in 20 words or less; spare me the platitudes. You might as well just come out with it: "Send us money." I'd respect a ministry a lot more if they didn't try to tug at my heartstrings in the hopes of digging through my purse. Come on-- we're Jews, we know business when we see it. It's like my Jewish boss said about Temple, "We collect dues at the beginning of the year-- that way we know you're paid up." A lot of people out there are paying up. IMHO, they should get a lot more than vague promises about great things for their investment. Then again, if your goal is to feed your flock fluff (say that ten times fast-- how about some alliteration donations?) you might as well keep them happy while the world is burning up in flames. Give those rapture-ready Christian supporters a little silver lining behind the cloud of doom-- in the secular world, sex sells; in the believing world, false hope pays big.

So, really, are you ready for war? If you do an honest assessment of all the news and commentary out there, you'll come to the conclusion that there's a play date scheduled in the very near future for Iran, Syria, Israel, and the United States, and let's just say they're bringing more than shovels and pails to the sandbox. It's all a question of who is going to make the first move. What do you think G-d thinks of this scenario? Better yet, why not answer for yourself instead of reiterating the sermon you heard last Saturday or Sunday morning?

Meanwhile, in another realm totally lost on the Messianic Jewish world outside of downtown Tel Aviv, Likud Primaries are set for August 14. For those not in the know, it is very likely that Likud stands to win the next election, thanks to the complete incompetence of Ehud Olmert (aka Olmerde) the most asinine political leader to hold office since Bill "I'm the First Black President" Clinton. Should Likud take the majority of the seats, the leader of the party will claim the coveted role of Prime Minister of Israel. (Think Tony Blair with a fetish for falafel and a sabra complexion.) Right now, Feiglin is in the running against the beloved Bibi Netanyahu. I'm not too crazy about Bibi; he was a good PM before, but I question his lack of a true stance against the Gush Katif eviction in 2005. In any case, he's certainly a better choice than the Orthodox Feiglin and his Manhigut Yehudit crew.

Popular with the ultra religious and ultra Zionistic across the country, Feiglin's platform has it's good points. However, one glaringly dangerous element should be sounding the alarm bells in the minds of all Messianic Jews:
The law will include a proposal for a detailed constitution for the Jewish State and the creation of two Houses of Representatives: A Lower House to administer ongoing municipal issues and an Upper House to oversee national issues. The Upper House will be composed of Jews only, will include representation from Diaspora Jewry and will also serve as the High Constitutional Court .
"Jews only". No Jew could truly give an answer to what that means. Why? Because we have yet to define who is a Jew. According to the Orthodox Feiglin, the Rabbis define who is a Jew. Therefore, Messianics beware: Your Israeli identity struggles may just be beginning.

Oh, and all you believers out there who are on Anti-Christ watch, you may want to take your eyes off the Hoff for a moment and check out the details of Feiglin's Manhigut Yehudit platform:
The Jewish leadership that we strive to establish is not the Messiah. But it is an immensely important step in the right direction. It is the forerunner of the Messiah and clears the way for his arrival.
and more details:
Surely, Torah law is the Divine blueprint for the Jewish state. The reality, though, is that currently, Torah law does not relate to the nuts and bolts of governing a state, but rather to personal, family and community issues. Since the exile from Jerusalem two thousand years ago, Jewish sages did not develop the codes of law that relate to government. This requires a major and multi-generational effort of the rabbinical leadership of the Jewish people. Building on the foundations delineated in the Torah and Rabbinic literature, they must develop Jewish law that can be applied in a modern and multi-faceted Jewish state. This includes the laws of the kingdom of Israel, Sanhedrin, justice, economics et al.
and another one:
Until the time that an authentic Jewish regime can be put into place, Jewish democracy is our choice for the interim regime.
I could copy and paste the entire platform in here, but the point is this: Feiglin's group proposes nothing less than a Rabbinic clique that will fashion the Israeli government into a modern-day Super-Sanhedrin with the goal of paving the way for the restoration of the Jewish monarch, who will prepare the way for the "arrival" of Messiah. Sound prophetic? Apocalyptic, maybe?

But we've got stories to print on how youth groups are cool. Yeah. Youth groups. Yeshua rocks. Tell me, in the case of imminent distaster on multiple fronts: WWYD?

The Messianics pay attention to nothing, the Christians to even less. They send out mounds of glossy color printed paperwork placating me with platitudes and reiterating 6-month old news about already known threats, and they think that is enough to induce me to send a check their way. Get a grip. This is the age where knowledge and travel have greatly increased-- I'm responsible for knowing what's going on in the world, and I certainly don't need to pay you to use the news to your advantage. Tell me, what is the Messianic community really doing to respond to the viable threats facing our people and our nation? Are we fighting an offensive war? No, we aren't. We're too afraid to offend when it comes to our enemies and our allies. We're the leaders, the light of the world, and we can't even keep our own troops in check. Wheat from chaff, people, wheat from chaff.

I'm ready for a good harvest.

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posted by Shoshana @ 5:47 PM