“It’s natural for people to fear the stranger and unknown. The people of Israel have suffered for 2,000 years from persecutions in the name of the Christian cross, and the fear of certain residents is understandable, but I think we must overcome these fears.”
Har Bracha residents: Christians out!

Settlers claim presence of Evangelical volunteers in religious community violates fabric of their society. Community Rabbi Eliezer Melamed approves their stay, says ‘they’re not missionaries’

Settlers living on the western hill of the religious community of Har Bracha recently sent a letter to the community secretariat, protesting the housing of Evangelical Christians in their neighborhood.

According to the residents, the presence of the Christian volunteers – who arrived to work in the community’s vineyards – violates the fabric of their society, and as a result – they hardly leave their houses.

“When we came to live in a religious community, we never imagined that one of these days we would be forced to live alongside people of a different religion, which doesn’t match our faith and lifestyle,” the residents wrote.

“We’re not interested in associating with them, or alternatively – staying away from the public domain… We live in a small, intimate place, which is greatly affected by the composition of the population living here.”

The residents warned the community secretariat that the Christians’ presence in their neighborhood may affect the possibility of taking in new families in light of the fear that “the hill will be branded – at least by outsiders – as a characterless place which takes in any ‘vagabond.'”

Rabbi’s approval

The Christian volunteers are part of a large group of American volunteers affiliated with Yuval – a pro-Israel Evangelical organization. The group includes dozens of people, and their stay in Har Bracha was made possible after the community rabbi, Eliezer Melamed, met with them and ruled that they are not missionaries.

The rabbi’s stand was recently published in detail in the Beit El Yeshiva website, under the title, “Respect and love for the lovers of Israel.”

Rabbi Melamed discusses the question of the Christian supporters of Israel, ruling that “in recent years we are witnessing increasing support for Israel on the part of Evangelical Christians. They view the State of Israel as the miracle of realization of the prophets’ vision…

“They stand by us and their support is very important to us as they are a key element in the United States, the strongest country in the world today.”

In the article, Rabbi Melamed explains that these are not Christians “seeking to convert us” and even refers to them as “Righteous Gentiles.”

The community spokesman, Yaakov Idels, added: “Rabbi Melamed looked into the issue thoroughly and came to the conclusion that in this specific case there is no reason for concern, as this is a good thing.

“In such matters we rely on his opinion, and as far as we’re concerned, he decides and we accept his ruling unconditionally.”

The rabbi’s stand is supported by Har Bracha Committee Chairman Yonadav Zar. “The Christian volunteers came here to help. Naturally, they need a place to stay and we’re happy to accommodate them.

“It’s natural for people to fear the stranger and unknown. The people of Israel have suffered for 2,000 years from persecutions in the name of the Christian cross, and the fear of certain residents is understandable, but I think we must overcome these fears.”

‘Partial information’

Former Jerusalem Council Member Mina Fenton, who has launched several battles against Christian organizations in Israel, is unimpressed by the calming messages of the community representatives.

“This is a very serious affair,” she says. “It’s the first time Christians are accommodated in a Samaria community, and the first time the rabbi approves of it. I’m not sure that he had all the information on the nature of these people.

“I’ve learned about these Christian volunteers and others. They began as a one-family project, and now they’re an organization of hundreds of people with Christian goals.

“I have already turned to dozens of rabbis, who are conducting a halachic inquiry into this matter.”



  1. Derek said,

    December 2, 2011 at 13:08

    So bizarre. An Irrational alternate universe. Twilight zone.

  2. Tom Dee said,

    December 2, 2011 at 19:46

    Oswald Refeisen, a Polish Jew, voluntarily converted to Catholicism, eventually becoming Father Daniel of the Carmelite Order. He immigrated to Israel in 1958. As he had a Jewish mother and considered himself a Jew, he applied for the status of an oleh (aliyah) under the Law of Return.

When his request was denied, he took his case to the Supreme Court where a four-to-one majority decided that Father Daniel was not a Jew for the purpose of the Law of Return.

Stilberg, the presiding judge said: “A Jew who becomes a Christian cannot be called a Jew.”

If the 60 million Christian right expect a Second Coming of Jesus Christ into the Holy Land, they are in for a shock. His Jewish mother would not be good enough to get Him residency.

  3. Big Fish said,

    December 2, 2011 at 21:33

    Such nasty people. I think they are the problem and not as we’ve been told the Palestinians.

  4. December 2, 2011 at 22:06


  5. Luke said,

    December 3, 2011 at 00:38

    Act 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
    23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.

    The verses above are nearly a direct quote from Dueteronomy 18:18. That prophet was Jesus Christ. Those that were destroyed from among the people, were destroyed by the Roman army in 70A.D..

  6. Adam Czerniaków said,

    December 3, 2011 at 01:27

    Tom Dee,

    The 60 million Christians will have an even greater problem in convincing MOSSAD that Jesus Christ is not a Palestinian, but an American citizen. Actually Jesus may end-up in an Israeli jail with the rest of Palestinians and we will never know that the Second Coming took place.

  7. December 3, 2011 at 12:54

    boycott israhell !

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