An article published on a Hebrew website, MyNet, intended to warn Jews living in Petach Tikva, Israel of Christians/Messianic Jews preaching Jesus has instead revealed hundreds of Orthodox Jews are accepting Christ as the Jewish Messiah.
Kehila News, a Messianic website, was the first to report on the curious article on MyNet which functions as a news portal for the Israeli City of Petach Tikva. Kehila describes the reaction among Orthodox Jews as a “spiritual meltdown.”
Located in Central Israel, Petach Tikva has a population of 225,00, of which 70,000 are considered Orthodox Jews or haredim. The strength of the Orthodox population is seen in the 300 synagogues and eight ritual baths in the city.
MyNet accused Christians/Messianic Jews of sharing propaganda. Even the city’s acting Mayor Uriel Boso waded into the controversy voicing his concern. Boso specifically cited Jews for Jesus as one of the main offending groups.
According to Kehila, Boso described the number of Jews becoming Christians as a “dire phenomena.”
The article on MyNet is in Hebrew, and below is a rough Google translation of part of the article that confirms what Kehila is reporting:
This conflict appeared here and there in cities across the country, but in recent weeks he grows ever stronger through the streets of Petah Tikva. On the one hand – the activities of Messianic Jews belonging to different sects, some of which are trying to work through persuasion and distribution of missionary material; On the other hand, who are summoned from that activity and fear is overwhelming followed by hundreds of new believers – mostly from the Orthodox community in the city.
It is also clear from the article that it is Orthodox Jews who are turning to Christ, not the secular ones. These are the Jews who regularly study the Torah, often hours every day.
MyNet describes what is happening this way: “[the] Messiah is so powerfully reaching those people who have lived their lives behind the Torah curtain.”
The news is quite startling as Orthodox Jews and MyNet have at various times accused Messianic Jews as being deceitful because they appear Jewish by following Jewish customs while at the same time believing Jesus is the Messiah.
The MyNet article quaintly describes Messianic Jews as living on the “border of Christianity and Judaism.”
Messianic Jews consider themselves as just a continuation of Israel — those who have embraced the Jewish Messiah and the New Testament as an extension of the Old Testament.
But the Orthodox Jews have become increasing alarmed by the growth of the Messianic Jews in Israel. A group is now producing a magazine, Mephapsim, intended to convince Hebrew-speaking Messianic Jews of their error.
Of course, it is not all good news. MyNet points out that the Jehovah Witnesses are also making inroads.
But nevertheless the article exposes the growing openness among Jews to the Gospel. Last fall, American Evangelist Sid Roth, a Messianic Jew, held a one-day gospel meeting in Odessa, Ukraine attended largely by Jews.
He described it as an “open heaven” when over 1,000 Jews accept Christ. Roth added, “I’ve never heard of this outside of the days when Jesus walked in the flesh.”
In his letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul said once the time of the gentiles has ended, God will move on the Jews and they will accept Jesus as their Messiah:
And so all Israel will be saved. (Romans 11:26a NASV).
- Panic in Petach Tikva: Ultra-orthodox oppose Messianic presence in major Israelit city: Kehila news
- Ultra-Othodox Jews experiencing “spiritual meltdown of historic proportions’ and turning to Jesus, report claims: Christianpost.com
- A peek inside: Activity Messianic Jews in Petah Tikva: Mynet (In Hebrew, you will need to use Google translate)