Jews Stunned as “Christian Rabbi” Prays With VP Pence After Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre

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A “rabbi” invited to pray at a Michigan campaign stop with Vice President Mike Pence on Monday referenced “J the Messiah” at the event.

Rabbi Loren Jacobs of Messianic congregation Shema Yisrael offered prayers for the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre.

Judaism reject “Messianic Judaism” as a form of Judaism, and Jacobs’ participation was condemned by Jews on social media.

A Pence aide told The Associated Press that Jacobs was invited to pray at the event in suburban Detroit’s Waterford Township by GOP congressional candidate Lena Epstein and said Pence did not know who he was when he invited Jacobs back onstage to offer another a prayer for the victims, their families and the nation. As Pence stood next to him, Jacobs ended his prayer by saying, “in the name of J.”

The aide was not authorized to discuss the situation publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“He was not invited by the VP’s office to speak on behalf of the Jewish community,” the aide said.

Epstein, who is Jewish, said in a statement that she invited Jacobs’ prayer “because we must unite as a nation — while embracing our religious differences — in the aftermath of Pennsylvania.” She said anyone attacking her or Pence over the prayer is “guilty of nothing short of religious intolerance and should be ashamed. This was an effort at unity, yet some are trying to create needless division to suit their political goals.”

Detroit-area Rabbi Jason Miller said on Facebook that there are at least 60 rabbis on a directory of Michigan rabbis and “yet the only rabbi they could find to offer a prayer for the 11 Jewish victims in Pittsburgh at the Mike Pence rally was a local Jews for Jesus rabbi? That’s pathetic!”

Jordan Acker, a Jewish lawyer who is running for the University of Michigan Board of Regents as a Democrat, criticized Epstein on Twitter. He said she was “deeply insensitive for bringing a group on stage whose entire mission is to convert Jews,” days after the worst instance of anti-Semitic violence in American history.

Epstein is running against Democrat Haley Stevens for a House seat opening with the retirement of Republican Rep. Dave Trott.

(AP)

20 COMMENTS

  1. Sadly he’s as much of a rabbi as some of the ones of the reform movement who are not even halachically Jewish.
    Pence, being an evangelical is probably a supporter of these missionary groups believing that if we all accept that man they pray to, he’ll come back.

  2. This is very sad and shocking!
    It is like pouring vinegar and salt on our pain of mourning of losing 11 innocent Jewish brothers and sisters.
    The innocent victims were not Christians, please no offense to any Christian reader. Christians would not tolerate it either, if a religious leader from a different religion pray for their lost ones. Thanks for understanding, please.
    They had to invite a Jewish rabbi to
    pray consolation prayers.
    Hitler would love Messianic Jews.
    So many Jews sacrificed their lives to stay Jewish to stay loyal to Judaism faith to love G-d obeying commandments.
    I do not mean to disrespect any
    religions, but what they did was not right
    , not inviting a true Jewish Rabbi.
    If the 11 innocent Jewish victims liked the prayers of a Messianic Jewish Rabbi then they would attend a Messianic worship place, and not a conservative temple, even reform temple is better than a Messianic worship center for a Jewish.
    A Messianic Jew is a Christian,
    not Jewish any more. I respect all religions, but it is very sad when
    a Jew leave his faith of Judaism to follow other religions, helping Nazi!!!!!! Sad

  3. So long as this Jacobs person is a Jew, as implied by his name, why is he worse than a Conservative “rabbi”? If in the name of unity we’re ignoring the particulars that divide us, and coming together as Jews, how can we reject this Jew?

    To the shooter, y”sh, we’re all the same. And lehavdil to the Ribono Shel Olam we’re also all the same. So we can allow a prayer from a heterodox clergyman and not protest.

    But the moment we break that unity by protesting against one heterodox clergyman, but do not protest at another one, then we are saying that the second one’s theology is somehow acceptable, that he is a real rabbi, that he can represent Jews while the first one cannot. And that’s heresy.

  4. Pence was once a reasonably respected member of Congress but has evolved into a pathetic lapdog of th Trumpopf who stands behind him shaking his head like some robotic reject with a low battery. He also has mastered the art of blaming everyone but himself for his screwups. After hearing the opening “prayer” by this “galach mit a tals” he invites him back onstage to “pray for the jews” who were niftar. In case you forget, the Trumpkopf managed to find one of the most racist and hateful galachim to offer the benidiction normal. And for many of us, while Obama and Clinton were deeply flawed, especially with respect to EY’s at th ceremony opening the new U.S. embassy in Yerushalayim. He may say the right words about EY but for how long will yidden rationalize the hate, division and vulgarity that would have us believe is the new security, this guy is so much worse for yidden and the world, its no comparison.

  5. Corrected version of text (which was jumbled).
    Pence was once a reasonably respected member of Congress but has evolved into a pathetic lapdog of the Trumpopf who he stands behind shaking his head up and down in agreement like some robotic reject with a low battery. Pence also has mastered the art of blaming everyone but himself for his screwups. After hearing the opening “prayer” by this “galach mit a tals” he invites him back onstage to “pray for the jews” who were niftar. In case you forget, it was the Trumpkopf who managed to find one of the most racist and hateful American galachim to offer the benidictionPence was once a reasonably respected member of Congress but has evolved into a pathetic lapdog of th Trumpopf who stands behind him shaking his head like some robotic reject with a low battery. He also has mastered the art of blaming everyone but himself for his screwups. After hearing the opening “prayer” by this “galach mit a tals” he invites him back onstage to “pray for the jews” who were niftar. In case you forget, the Trumpkopf managed to find one of the most racist and hateful galachim to offer the benidiction at the ceremony opening the new U.S. embassy in Yerushalayim. And for many of us, while Obama and Clinton were deeply flawed leaders, especially with respect to EY’s security, Trump and Pence may say the right words about EY but for how long will yidden rationalize the hate, division and vulgarity they wiould have us believe is the new normal.

  6. Interesting, he downgraded Yushke by “praying” to his god and “father” of Yushke… Christians usually pray “directly” to their idol Yushke. They think of him as a part of a god and son of a god (go figure that out)…the “father” figure in that three dimentional idol is relegated to second class)

    I guess they want to make it seem more “authentic” for their missionizing goals by praying to the “father” of their getschke as opposed to praying directly to their getchke.

  7. NBC News is reporting that Jacobs was stripped of his “rabbinic ordination” by the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations 15 years ago over accusations of libel.

  8. Gadolhadorah, ” Trump and Pence may say the right words about EY but for how long will yidden rationalize the hate, division and vulgarity they wiould have us believe is the new normal”. I’m pleased that you notice that Trump has said the right words about EY, that’s step 1- where many leaders (especially from the modern day Democratic party are having a hard time doing). But I’d like to add that Trump has not only said the right words but has actually put in action- Embassy, Israeli funding, pulling out the Iran agreement and reinstating sanctions upon a country that says they want us all in the sea, shoving the nasty UN aside, shoving hate-filled European and Arab countries antisemitic comments and desires aside. —- Regarding vulgarity, I do not appreciate, value, or praise Trump’s vulgarity- at the same time I don’t appreciate it from Democratic leaders, Saturday night live, liberal movie stars, non-Jewish coworkers and non-Jewish directors I work for, and non-Jewish residents in my apartment building. —Regarding hate, that is all up to one’s opinion. Liberals like yourself think we hate people when we push for the death penalty for murderers, strengthening immigration policies, maintaining marriage between a man and woman, not allowing late term abortions, the list goes on. Sure, as Democrat you personally may be in favor no abortions into the 9th month (but you’ll find someone even more liberal than you calling YOU a hater and wanting to control the bodies of others…. with some vulgarity thrown in the mix). What I’m saying is ‘hate’ is all relative. I’m sure Rubashkin’s children being able to sit at the shabbos table with their father don’t feel the same ‘hatred’ YOU feel, or the IDF with the increase in US funding.—- Division, from day 1 many of the same critics didn’t give him a chance. Doing some of the right things in life matter a lot, regardless if it goes against the grind of the rest of the world. I once heard a Muslim in my building say that Trump is dividing America because of his “unfair” support of Israel (interpret it as you’d like). As frum Jews living in galus, I certainly sadly know what division is like!

  9. “Jews for J” is one of the most obnoxious efforts by evangelicals to mess with Jews. Get used to it if you like Pence. He is an aggressive evangelical and will advance their interests at every opportunity.

  10. “…….TGIShabbos October 31, 2018 10:37 am at 10:37 am
    Gadolhadorah, Please stop using the phrase “Trumpkopf” as it comes off as insensitive towards Jews and Holocaust survivors. Thank you…..”
    TGIShabbos,

    Don’t get stressed out….. Halevei she says it for another 6 years.
    I’m a son of survivors also and duzn’t bother me.. Piously criticized someone on another thread about not respecting the name of the new glittering star, Octavia Cortez.

  11. Shiva13, how dare you say that Hitler would love “Messianic Jews”? Hitler didn’t care what religion a Jew believed in. To him, as to all antisemites, a Jew is a Jew is a Jew. They are not Christians, they don’t believe in any religion, so why should they care about it? Hitler killed all Jews, whether they believed in one G-d, three gods, or no gods at all.

    Also, how dare you say that a Jew who becomes a Christian is no longer a Jew? The Torah says the opposite. Being Jewish has nothing to do with religion. Jews are not a religion, we are a nation. But if it were true that abandoning yiddishkeit makes someone ch”v a goy, then how are “Conservative” or “Reform” or atheist Jews still Jews? How are the 11 victims of this shooter still Jews? What’s the difference between them and a “Jew for Jesus”? Thankfully the Torah says a Jew stays a Jew no matter what he does, because his pure neshomo remains the same no matter what sort of “filthy clothes” he dresses it in. In the end we will all remove our filthy clothes and return to Hashem, and that is what matters.

  12. Gadolhatorah, whom are you calling ” one of the most racist and hateful American galachim”? John Hagee, who is one of the biggest ohavei yisroel in the world?! If it is possible for a Xian to be a chasid umos ha’olam, Hagee is one. I dare you to point to one thing he’s ever said that’s wrong (apart of course from his religion). He believes in Hashem and loves the Jews because we are His children and He said ואברכה מברכך. Trump did very well to choose him to pray at the embassy opening.

  13. Thanks for pointing this out, Milhouse.
    Indeed, it’s the fulfillment of so many verses in Nach, that as Moshiach draws closer, many of the nations will come to support the Jewish people and their land. It’s an irony that so many liberal Jews are more frightened by the Evangelicals than the conservative minded…. Is it because they support the progressive agenda which is antithical to core Judeo- Christian values?