Should Messianic Jews be allowed to make aliyah into Israel?
From a recent messianic blog post titled Let Messianic Jews Make Aliyah To Israel
…… Messianic Jews desperately need the same protections as any other Jews for we, too, are in danger of being targeted and killed. To deny them entrance to their homeland, is tantamount to reaching the shores of a safe haven in a ship filled with those who paid all they had in order to escape the Nazi concentration camps only to be turned away by those countries and sent back to suffer that eventual fate.
I, too, am a Messianic believer and have lived in Israel for more than 20 years. I am a homeowner, beloved and respected in my neighbourhood. I am a career person who has been gainfully employed in the field of education almost since my arrival to the land. In fact, I have been a member of a kibbutz and graciously accepted by those living there. I have contributed in many significant ways to the economy and social fabric of this society, and I am able to have done so simply because I immigrated at a time when Google nor Nefesh b’Nefesh existed. Today, I would also be locked out…..
It is time for the doors to be opened and welcoming to all Jews regardless of their opinions and views, so long as they are willing to live as law-abiding citizens with respect and deference to others and to their government. It is time to put aside this particular phobia and accept the fact that Jews do not come in one size and shape. Among the Jews in the Land are those who are Buddhists, Scientologists, and even Jews who don’t believe in the existence of any God and reject or even abhor religion and Jewish observance. All are afforded the right to live here and the protection which comes with that right…
Former “Messianic Jew” here…. During my many years as a Jesus-worshiper, I too felt very sad and indignant that “Messianic Jews” like me were officially barred entry into Israel. I mean, they let everyone else in, right? However, I have since seen the providential wisdom behind this. The reason that Jewish-born converts to Christianity (i.e. Jews who worship a deified dead man Jesus/Yeshua as a deity) pose a danger to other Jews in Israel (and elsewhere) is because they are religiously obligated / commanded by the New Testament to spread, either actively through organized evangelism or more passively (by “sharing the gospel” with Israeli friends), their worship of their man-god (a.k.a. idol) to other Jews, while the same cannot be said of Jews with any other ideology.
It’s not about being good citizens, serving in the army, paying your taxes or being a good neighbor or a coworker. It’s not about knowing who messiah is. It’s about the fundamental and active tampering with the very core of what it means to be a Jew through introduction of worship of and allegiance to a false “deity”, a man-god worshiped by the nations, the gravest violation that there’s is for a Jew.
Worshiping a mortal, long dead man as if he were Hashem, The G-d of Israel. Practicing and promoting a two thousand year old idolatry among the Jewish people. That really is the pivotal point of Christianity and its foremost difference with Judaism. Its grave implications most Messianic Jews fail to fully grasp, just as they fail to judge it from G-d’s perspective as outlined in the TaNaKh. But they do see it as a “problem”, one that must be overcome in the face of Jewish objections, a sharp thorn when trying to evangelize those Jews who know at least something about their heritage. Which is why most Messianics and Evangelical missionaries to Jews, both in U.S. and Israel, rarely bring up the Jesus’ “deity” when trying to inoculate their Christian beliefs into their targeted audience, choosing instead to focus on their man-god being a “messiah”, a “tzadik’ or a “promised Jewish king”.
Should “Messianic Jews” (those who are Jewish halachically, that is born to a Jewish mother) be legally allowed into Israel? My answer is no, they should not be, at least not during the time of peace. Still, they are victims too, victims of assimilation, of ignorance brought on by lack of Jewish education, of targeted, well financed, refined Christian proselytism. They are not wicked people who truly wish to harm anyone, but they are gravely ill patients with a very dangerous, communicable infection called idolatry. Others, e.g. vulnerable Jews, must be warned about and protected from it. However, if the Jewish converts to Christianity were to face real threats of physical persecution by either their Christian or Muslim neighbors and they truly have nowhere else to go, I would say that they should be allowed to enter Israel (with all precautions taken), to save their lives and in the hope that perhaps they or their children will one day see their folly and return to the G-d of Israel, turning away from dead, mute idols that do not save. May they repent and seek Hashem this Yom Kippur and rejoin their people.