Missionaries Sell Fake Mezuzot to Jews in Israel
According to a recent report, Christian missionaries in Israel were selling empty mezuza cases to Jews, leading them to unknowingly sin.
Empty Mezuzot: An Attempt to Convert Jews?
Hebrew-language 20il reported that Christian missionaries in Israel are selling empty mezuzot cases that bear the symbol of “Messianic Judaism”; a fish, Jewish star, and seven-branched menorah. The actions of the missionaries were discovered by Yad L’Achim, an Orthodox Jewish organization operating in Israel focusing on outreach, counter-missionary work, and opposition to interfaith marriage. 20il reported that a rabbi who works with Russian-speaking Jews in the north of Israel discovered one such mezuzah at a large club for the elderly affixed incorrectly to the left side of the door. He also noted the unusual insignia identifying it as a product of Messianic Judaism missionaries. He requested permission from the owner of the club to inspect the mezuzah and shocked to discover that it was empty and did not contain the requisite parchment.
It was then discovered that a chain of stores selling furniture was selling the Messianic Judaism mezuzah cases. The rabbi contacted the owner of the store who, despite incurring a large financial loss, withdrew the false mezuzah cases from his stores.
It is unclear what the motives were for distributing the unkosher mezuzot since the Jews who affixed them to their doors were not expressing a belief in Jesus and were simply being deceived, similar to feeding pork to Jews who ate kosher.
Messianic Judaism: An Oxymoron
“Messianic Judaism” was started in the 1960s as a means of attracting disenfranchised Jews for the purpose of converting them to Christianity. Though some members of the “Messianic Judaism” movement are ethnically Jewish, the movement requires a belief in “salvation through Jesus” and the Jewish religion is incompatible with that belief. The Supreme Court of Israel has rejected the claim that “Messianic Judaism” is a form of Judaism in cases related to the Law of Return, and instead consider Messianic Judaism to be a form of Christianity.
Mezuzah: Sign of the Covenant
A mezuzah is a parchment inscribed with the Jewish prayer Shema Yisrael, beginning with the phrase: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord (is) our God, the Lord is One” and recorded in Deuteronomy 6:4–9 and 11:13–21. The parchment must be prepared in a specific manner from a kosher animal and the verses must be hand-written with a specific ink by a God-fearing Jew with a quill. parchment is then rolled up and placed inside the case which is affixed to the right side of the doorpost
The mezuzah is reminiscent of the lamb’s blood that was painted on the lintels of Jewish homes to protect them from the angel of death before they left Egypt. It is a visible reminder of the covenant the Jews have with God. The back of the parchment is inscribed with the word “Shaddai,” spelled shin, dalet, yod, which is one of the names of God. These are also the initials of the phrase shomer daltot yisrael, the guardian of the doors of Israel.
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