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The Beersheba Case

written by Asher Intrater
November 23, 2009

In recent years, as the Body of believers in Yeshua (Jesus) is growing in Israel, and more and more congregations are being established, the unjust and even illegal persecution against the believers here is beginning to be reported by Israel’s media. A major newspaper recently published an article on the anti-Messianic organization, Yad L’achim. Organizations like them define Messianic Jews as a cult, claiming we abuse the Israeli democracy in order to “convert innocent Jews to Christianity.” They see all means against us as legitimate, including personal harassment, distributing damaging posters, phone call threats of losing jobs and even death threats. They see themselves as saving Jewish souls. The media is beginning to cover some of the anti-Messianic organizations’ actions against believers, including the harassment of Messianics in Arad, the attacks against Penina Pie bakery in Ashdod, the attempted murder of Amiel Ortiz, and others. Often those attacks have been ignored by the police and the media.

On December 24, 2005, an anti-Messianic riot took place against the Beersheba Messianic congregation. A law suit was brought against the chief Sephardic rabbi, and against Yad L’Achim. The suit was filed by the leader of the congregation, Howard Bass. Hearings were held on June 10 and 21 of this year. The final court date starts today, November 23.

The trial is a case to allow the legitimate right of believers to express their faith in Yeshua in Beersheba and throughout Israel; according to the existing laws which govern the State (the constitution gives freedom of religion).

We were asked by the leaders of the congregation to pray in love even for those who persecute us, in the Spirit of Yeshua, “for they know not what they do.” The religious “anti-Messianic” Jews think they are doing God’s will. Pray that the Lord will open their eyes. Pray for God’s grace and love to be poured out on those who seek to harm us (Romans 12:14). We wrestle not against flesh and blood; this is spiritual warfare. We come against the enemy of our souls and command him to let God’s people go, in the name of Yeshua!

Pray for truth, righteousness and victory in this case, and over the attempts of the anti-Messianic organizations to hinder the preaching of the Good News in Israel. Lift up lawyers Marvin Kramer and Kevork Nalbandian, representing the Beersheba congregation, and for Judge Iddo Ruzin, who will decide this case.

 

Asher serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He is founder of the Revive Israel five-fold ministry team, and oversees both Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua congregations in Israel.

He and his wife Betty share a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew, and unity of the Body of believers worldwide.

Asher was raised in a conservative Jewish home and holds degrees from Harvard University, Baltimore Hebrew College and Messiah Biblical Institute. He has authored numerous books, tracts and articles.

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