June 18, 2017 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm #1298631
I am wondering why it is that the Yeshiva World is NOT reporting about the xtian missionaries (aka The Waller Family, etc.) that has taken Jews out of Har Bracha by building caravans on Har Bracha and singing praises to their god – and now calling the vineyards that they so “lovingly help to harvest” a xtian vineyard now?? Are Jews in the diaspora truly clueless as to what is taking place?June 19, 2017 9:04 am at 9:04 am #1298715
Avram in MDParticipant
I read your OP a few times and am confused about what you are saying is going on. Is it possible to provide some more details or clarity?
Thanks!June 19, 2017 6:05 pm at 6:05 pm #1299586
Yes I am a clueless diaspora Jew and have no clue what you’re talking about.June 19, 2017 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm #1299659
The word is Christian. You can’t hide behind anything with the X because they also used to refer to him with a plain X. It’s better to write normally and give over your point effectively.June 21, 2017 9:14 am at 9:14 am #1301195
Rav Elliezer Melamed, the rav of the yishuv and rosh yeshiva, wrote the following:
Recently, a troublemaker distributed libelous materials accusing Tommy Waller, an American Christian, of being a missionary. This despite the fact that Tommy has been actively recruiting Christian volunteers for Israel for ten years, and not a single Jew claims that Tommy or any of the thousands of people he has brought here have tried to undermine their faith. Therefore, I feel it is incumbent upon me to speak on his behalf.
Out of an abiding faith in the uniqueness of the Jewish people and in the Divine mission to settle the Land, Tommy has rallied support for Israel from American Congressmen and Senators. The head of the Shomron Regional Council, Mr. Gershon Mesika, told me that Tommy’s activities have been very influential. Each year, through the summer, he organizes groups of Christians who love Israel to volunteer here. As he is a big believer in family values, many of the volunteers come with their entire families, including the young and the elderly. In recent years, at the request of the Regional Council, the Har Bracha settlement has hosted the volunteers on a hilltop near our community. From this base, the volunteers set out to work in vineyards and orchards throughout the Shomron.
Because of our difficult history with Christians, and due to concerns about possible missionizing, I felt it necessary to meet with Tommy. I wanted to have an upfront discussion with him about precisely what his positions were. At the same time, I wanted to convey a Jewish position without kowtowing or obsequiousness.
In the course of our conversation, I asked him: “If a Jew were to come before you and ask you whether it is better to be a Jew or a Christian what would you tell him?” He responded: “I would tell him to be a Jew!” Tommy added that he had not always thought this way. Originally, like other Christians, he was interested in everyone becoming Christian, but eventually he realized that this earlier position was the result of ignorance. Now, following his exposure to the Jewish renaissance in the Land ofIsrael, he wishes for all Jews to observe the Torah and mitzvoth.
I asked Tommy what led him to dedicate his life to bringing Christian volunteers to Israel. He told me that he read Yeshayahu 61:5: “Strangers shall stand and pasture your flocks; aliens shall be your plowmen and vine-trimmers.” This greatly moved him, and he said to himself: “Maybe I can be the one who is privileged to fulfill this holy verse!” Ever since then, he has encouraged people to visit Israel and to help Jews work the land.
Every summer Tommy brings hundreds of volunteers, some for a week and some for longer periods. They bring us greetings of peace and friendship from tens of millions of Americans who love us, and when they return home they serve as loyal ambassadors for Israel.
For the Sake of Heaven
When I began to look into this issue a number of years ago, I publicly declared that I would not accept any money for myself or my yeshiva from Christian friends of Israel, so that I could research the subject without a conflict of interest. I also made a statement to that effect in my column about two years ago.
In the meantime, at the initiative of a Jewish go-between, the Har Bracha settlement received such a donation, 120,000 shekels which it used towards building a park that cost over half a million shekels. When I heard about this, I asked the secretary general of Har Bracha to do me a favor and return the money. This was not because I felt there was any halakhic problem with accepting it, but because I wanted our positive attitude towards Christian philo-Semites to be purely for the sake of heaven. The righteous secretary general apologized and said he had not thought I had included the settlement in my commitment. (In truth, while I am the rabbi of the settlement, I cannot make commitments for it.) To my delight, he nevertheless responded positively to my request and returned the entire amount.
Rav Shalom Gold and Rav Dov Lior disagree. Their views can be seens on the website Jewish Israel.June 21, 2017 1:50 pm at 1:50 pm #1301638
Links are not allowedJune 21, 2017 2:40 pm at 2:40 pm #1301668
The best defense against a missionary, is knowledge. Continue to teach torah and torah hashkafa to all jews and a missionaries message will fall on deaf ears.
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