September 30: Lost souls

“Messianic Jew” is dishonest verbal camouflage for a Jewish apostate who has converted to Christianity.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Lost souls

In “J’lem rabbi assured: No proselytizing at ICEJ event” (September 25), David Parsons of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem repeatedly refers to “Messianic Jews” in saying the speakers at his Succot gathering would not proselytize – when the very term “Messianic Jew” is proselytizing.
“Messianic Jew” is dishonest verbal camouflage for a Jewish apostate who has converted to Christianity. It is a way of hiding this fact.
Every Jew is a messianic Jew.
The word “messiah” is nothing but a bad English transliteration of the Hebrew moshiach, and is a Jewish idea. Belief in the Messiah is one of the 13 principles of faith according to Maimonides.
So these are not “Messianic Jews.” We are. They are Christians, plain and simple, and no longer Jews except in a legalistic, halachic sense.
The same goes for that sly preacher at the 2014 Feast of Tabernacles who told IDF soldiers that “Jesus is not a Christian.
He is Jewish and we follow the Jew Jesus.” Nonsense. Jesus ordered his followers at the last supper to drink his blood. No real Jew would say such a thing.
Contrary to the dissembling missionary, Christians follow not “the Jew Jesus,” but the “anti- Jew Jesus.”
Rather than “Messianic Jews,” a better way to refer to these lost souls would be “new Christians.”
Let Parsons and others drop the lie of so-called “Messianic Jews” and do us all a service.
Rightful recoiling
I agree with most of David Weinberg’s “Refugee ruminations” (Know Comment, September 25), except for the part where he criticizes US President Barack Obama for “recoiling from attempts to impose... order built on Western ideals....”
President Obama is understandably reluctant to repeat George W. Bush’s disastrous attempts to create a “democratic” Iraq. In my opinion, that ludicrous adventure is what brought the Middle East and the world to the present dismal situation.
The fact is, no Muslim regime of whatever ilk has a clue as to the meaning of democracy as we see it, nor do such regimes give a tinker’s damn about “western ideals.”
TREVOR DAVIS Aseret David Weinberg and other pundits neglect one basic fact: There is one country in the world that has absorbed over 600,000 refugees from countries in North Africa and the Middle East in the last 60 years or so.
Perhaps opposition leader Isaac Herzog needs to be reminded of the fact that Israel absorbed these refugees. Yes, they were Jews, and yes, we could have done more for them, but we still absorbed them and they are a prominent part of our country.
Jewish refugees count, too.
Sherman gets personal
My pre-holiday happiness and hope for a more appropriate tone and discourse in the new year was ruined by Martin Sherman’s rage-filled rant about Yair Lapid (“Loopy, loopier... Lapid,” Into the Fray, September 25).
God forbid a new, young leader should come forward and offer a vision of hope for our country? God forbid over the years his views could have changed as he studied the issue more and decided it best not to divide Jerusalem, and best to hold onto the major blocs while also trying to pursue peace? A few hundred thousand Israelis trust Lapid and voted for him. Twice. He is quickly becoming the alternative to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who offers no hope and no vision for the future.
Mr. Sherman would be well to check his ego at the door and watch his words, as Israel might very well elect Lapid prime minister.
The demagoguery of Martin Sherman is the same display of fear mongering we’ve become used to lately, from both the writer and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Yair Lapid is a leader who is actually proposing a plan to ensure Israel’s security and its Jewish character.
It should not have come as a surprise to me when I went against my better judgment to read one of Martin Sherman’s predictable and incredibly lengthy rants. But I did, and I was stunned to see that even he would sink so low to pen such a vile diatribe against Yair Lapid.
Sherman has a right to his opinions, of course, but it is unacceptable to stoop to such a shameful level, to use such language against a politician whose party represents a sizable amount of the population, as much as Sherman regrets it.
The writer calls Lapid arrogant.
Who’s the arrogant one here? Who is he to be ranting against our democracy? Lapid demonstrated courage and vision in his Bar-Ilan speech, saying what many people in this country feel. It is more than legitimate to disagree with those positions, and given the recent election results, it appears that at this time, the majority in our democracy does. But it is not legitimate to defame people who are serving the public.
We should all be striving for more civil dialogue, one of mutual respect, even when it’s with others who say or believe things with which we disagree.
That was one of the potent messages of the recent High Holy Days.
It is wrong for Sherman to attack Lapid in this way, and it is wrong for The Jerusalem Post to allow it.
I always read Martin Sherman’s columns, and although I find them shallow, they are by and large not personal. But his very personal attack on Yair Lapid was below the belt and not worthy of The Jerusalem Post.
Israel is blessed with some excellent thinkers who can take the points of view of both Sherman and Lapid, both of whom are capable and make valid points, and interpret them in a sensible way. But Lapid has contributed more to Israel than Sherman has, whether one agrees with his views or not.
Lastly, as an Israeli voter, I take exception to being told that my preference is for “gloss over gravitas and for sound bites over substance.” Sherman, this is arrogance. You remind me of my upbringing in southern Africa, where there was no respect for alternative views.
Surely, Post columnists need to adhere to certain standards.
Respect breeds respect.
Overdone editorial
Don’t you think “Chilling boycott” (Editorial, September 24) is rather overdone? Marvelous, rich language. It obviously was written mainly for your readers abroad.
In sleepy Reykjavik, some municipal councilor wanted to gain quick attention. His fellow councilors, trying not to be outdone, jumped on the bandwagon; their half-hearted back-pedaling the next day said it all. It is doubtful whether these councilors really sought international recognition, but if they did, they’ve got you to thank for it.
You painted Israel once again as the perennially crying underdog, even when attacked politically by sleepy Reykjavik. Do we really want to be seen like that?
W.J. STRAUSS, Jerusalem

In “Thumbs up for justice, and stand up for peace” (Comment & Features, September 27), the passage “Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee” appears as an epigraph in Ernest Hemingway’s 1940 novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, although Hemingway was quoting from John Donne’s Devotions upon Emergent Occasions.