SHOCKING! Fruit ripe for the picking, r"l!
U.S. JEWS AND NON-JEWS ARE PACKING SYNAGOGUES AND 'SHOWING UP FOR SHABBAT'Like the good-cop/bad-cop routine, first comes the violence, then comes the "love." If one doesn't get you, the other one might.
...An initiative of the American Jewish Committee that has been adopted by a host of other Jewish and non-Jewish organizations and individuals, #ShowUpForShabbat encourages Jews and others across the United States to attend Shabbat services this weekend.
Synagogues across the country were filled to capacity for Friday evening services, with worshipers of all faiths who had come to show solidarity with the Jewish community. Politicians, celebrities and citizens across the country tweeted their support for American Jews and their attendance at synagogue. In many communities, Christian and Muslim spiritual leaders shared the pulpit with local rabbis.
...Some on Twitter described unheard of turnout for services, and synagogue parking lots overflowing and lines out the door. Some synagogues even performed two services to make sure everyone had the chance to attend that night.
...Jennifer Mendelsohn, found solace in the unprecidented turnout for Shabbat services and wrote about their experiences on twitter. Mendelsohn wrote, "Tonight was astonishing. HUNDREDS of people came to our synagogue to #showupforshabbat. There was nowhere to park. Nowhere to sit. Not enough prayer books. But we sang and we mourned and we were together and we weren’t afraid. And that was exactly what we needed."
Expressing the sentiment that she no longer feels afraid with her fellow community members by her side, going out of their way to show support on a night where Jews and non-Jews sang together, mourned together and stood up to antisemitism as a country.
Would like to hear from anyone in the US Diaspora community if you had any experience with this over Shabbat.
As a separate, but related, issue, the following demonstrates how Anglo olim are providing a conduit through which assimilation can flow even into Eretz Yisrael.
On Pence having a "Messianic Rabbi" give a prayer in J*sus' name for the Jewish dead...
...Given that Pence is known to be tremendously pro-Israel and respectful of Jews, I would be surprised, and disappointed, if he did not come out with a statement that is clear, strong, and unambiguous, apologizing for any hurt or offense he may have caused or been part of,.... Nevertheless, it doesn’t change my perspective.God forbid! What can we say? What can we do? An entire generation is rushing into the arms of annihilation and dragging as many unsuspecting people with them as they possibly can. And they are proud of it, too.
...one thing that still unites most of us is that we do not believe Jesus was messiah. At a time where we as Jews find so much to bicker about,...this is something that Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist Jews, can pretty much all agree upon.
...But, spending much of my time among Christians who genuinely love Israel and the Jewish people, I can vouch for a certainty that many simply do not know or understand why we are different from messianic Jews, or why that would be a problem. Further, many Christians affiliate with messianic congregations so that they can feel a deeper connection to the Jewish roots of Christianity. Indeed, being among people who affirm their belief in Jesus and interweave aspects of Judaism into their lives and worship, is comfortable. For many Christians I know, it feels authentic, and I have had numerous conversations about that with Christian, and even messianic, friends.
Underscoring how even Christians who deeply love Israel and the Jewish people do not understand — recently, I was invited to spend Shabbat in two different messianic congregations by Christian friends who truly did not comprehend the issues that would create for me as an Orthodox Jew, and who sincerely invited me to join them in these services because they wanted me to be comfortable.
These are my friends, devout Christians, who would never do anything to hurt or offend me or make me uncomfortable in any way. They connect with me and my family and other Jews out of love. And still, they just did not know. Fortunately, because we are adults and friends, I was able to explain to them the issues, which created a deeper level of friendship, respect, and awareness.
But these are only two recent incidents, among friends. I could list dozens of such experiences where I have interacted with Christians who know next to nothing about Judaism. Because I am visibly identifiable as an Orthodox Jew with a blue knit kippah always on my head, I am party to lots of interesting conversations and experiences.
I have attended numerous Christian conventions, and even though I am introduced as an Orthodox Jew, many do not know what that means or how we differ from Christians. I get this all the time. I also am mistaken for a messianic Jew as well. Once, I was even approached by someone from a messianic organization who shared with me how he goes about trying to convert Jews. I listened patiently, even interested, and interjected that I am an Orthodox Jew and I believe that Jews should be strengthened and encouraged to be good Jews, and Christians should be strengthened and encouraged to be good Christians.
[ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jonathan Feldstein made aliyah in 2004, married and raising six children in the Judean mountains. He is a long time Jewish non-profit professional and works closely with many Christians who support Israel.]
This begs a question. Can someone ignore all the laws - both d'oraita and d'rabbanan - regarding association with non-Jews (practicing Xians even more so!) and still be allowed to identify as an "Orthodox" Jew?