Messianic Jews Lose Israeli Court Case

BEERSHEVA, Israel – Four and a half years after hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews disrupted a Messianic Jewish service, throwing chairs and assaulting some of the members, an Israeli court ruled against the Messianic Jews’ civil suit this week.

“[It was] a complete miscarriage of justice,” said Howard Bass, pastor of Kehilat Nachalat Yeshua (Congregation Yeshua’s Inheritance) in Beersheva.

Bass and his congregation (with the backing of many Messianic Jewish leaders in Israel) were suing the chief rabbi of Beersheva, Yehuda Deri, and the anti-missionary organization, Yad L’Achim, for what they believe was their part in the melee that took place on December 24, 2005.

The trouble started on Christmas Eve day in 2005 when the congregation had planned to celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah with a special baptismal service. But hundreds of ultra-Orthodox protestors crashed the celebration before it began.

Despite a heavy police presence, the rioting continued for three hours as protesters overturned furniture and harassed members, singing and dancing disruptively. A young member of the congregation caught some of the fracas on camera.

The police turned over two of the handcuffed hooligans to Rabbi Deri, without asking if Bass wanted to press charges. The next day, Deri tried to whitewash the entire incident in a radio interview.

It wasn’t the first time the congregation had been bothered. Seven years earlier, more than 1,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews came against the congregation.

Now, the judge has ordered Bass and his congregation to pay not only the lawyers’ fees but a percentage of the claims they had demanded from the Deri and Yad L’Achim – altogether more than $40,000.

“The message is fairly clear,” said Bass. Part of it is a “wake-up call” to the local Body of Messiah to see the reality that the believers here are dealing with at this stage in God’s plans. Messianic Jews can’t expect the system to support them,” he said.

There are an estimated 20,000 Messianic Jews in Israel.


Related, Video: Who_would_have_believed


10 comments on “Messianic Jews Lose Israeli Court Case

  1. well… lets start with… would Jesus sue his enemies in court?

    • I think that is a very good question and one I admit I hadn’t thought of. Certainly scripture admonishes us not to sue fellow believers, but the question still remains. Nonetheless the incident clearly illustrates the lack of religious freedom in Israel.

    • According to Paul….Yes! In I Corinthians Paul states that believers should not take brethren to the law.

  2. What an obvious travesty of justice. But this is what happens to freedom of worship in a dominionist theocracy. It is not only an indicator of lack of personal freedoms in Israel, but if prophetic of where we are headed in the US if the religious dominionists prevail. That this sort of incident should happen in Israel is shocking. It is something one would expect in the former Soviet Union or in North Korea or China. If it had been the reverse with Messianic believers disrupting an Orthodox service, people would be in jail. There is no mention in the article of the makeup of the court or whether there is a pathway for appeal, but certainly the bias is obvious. Shame on Israel.

  3. Certainly scripture admonishes us not to sue fellow believers, but the question still remains.

    Yes. From my recollection there is nothing mentioned specifically under the new covenant about suing except when it pertains to brother suing brother, which wouldn’t apply in this case:

    1If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? 2Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! 4Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church![a] 5I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? 6But instead, one brother goes to law against another—and this in front of unbelievers! (1Cor 6)

    • I think the only scriptures one could apply here that might cast a shadow on this lawsuit would be the ones about “turning the other cheek” and “blessing and not cursing”. But I am not sure how or whether they would apply in this situation.

  4. we didnt lose..we won
    did Yeshua lose in his death….the world said he did…but he said; ‘for the joy set before me, i go that they may believe’
    He knew the final outcome..of the lamb to be rejected and die innocent for our sins…Isaiah 53.
    Israel is watching..they know the tyrancy of the orthodox…remember one named Saul who killed believers in Messiah…well…what was the outcome of that?

  5. I’m not sure I know either. Just seems counterproductive to fight for your rights against your enemy if you love them and want to see them come to Christ. Maybe it’s okay to take the legal stand as long as you go out of your way, at the same time, to show them you love them anyway. But it’s so easy to fall into hatred and seeking recompense, which makes us no different than them. I think that’s why Jesus taught what he did concerning our enemies. But there is a balance too – it’s not wrong to seek liberty I don’t think. Richard Wurmbrand, founder of Voice of the Martyrs, wrote a book called, “Christ on the Jewish Road.” In it, he describes living in Romania under at least 3 cruel regimes, either to Jews, Protestants, or both. They always sought to show kindness to those who persecuted them, even when the persecutors became the underdogs as regimes changed. They were never popular for this, but felt it was being obedient to Christ. Our rights as believers in this world will always be trampled on. It’s our opportunity to show love I think because it’s exactly what no one expects and follows the footsteps of our Lord

  6. Has anyone stopped think that maybe the case, at least in the way it was pursued, wasn’t so strong? That is to ask this: was it the best strategy to go after those that were assumed to be sending orders, rather than those who are on video causing damage?

  7. at times I believe one has to go through it to fully understand it… Love your enemy.

    is it possible to be so longsuffering with someone who is trying to kill you and your family; yet having only one motive for continuing in this manner is to win them over to Christ?

    for some this is their only mission; even dying for the cause.

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