Bible Burnt in Israel

The New Testament was burned publicly at Orat State Religious School in Beith Shamesh, Israel . The Principal Rabbi Yair Bachar ordered the burning and Ronen Tzarum, sixth-grade teacher led the burning. Bringing the bible by one student of sixth- grade in school, led to this horrifying event. The student was carrying the Hebrew version of the Bible. “This week before Hanukka, Tazram discovered that one of his sixth-grade student had brought in a Hebrew copy of the New Testament, given to him by Christian missionaries. The teacher consulted with Bachar and, after receiving his approval, burned the book in the school courtyard,” The Jerusalem Report, December 28, 2001.

At the Orat State Religious School, 60 percent students are Anglo. Remaining 40 percent are Russian and Ethiopian.

One segment of Israeli society is blaming the Missionaries for the incident. “Several People said that the focus of the incident should not be on the burning of the New Testament or on the educators responsible for it, but on the proselytizing that led to a student to bring the book to class.

“The key is not New Testament-burning, it’s the missionary problem, said Mark Powers, International director of Jews for Judaism, a counter missionary organization.” The Jerusalem Report, December, 28, 2001.

In the entire Israel, there are 100 Hebrew-Christian groups. Between 8,000 and 12,000 people belong to these groups. ” The number of Hebrew- Christian groups in the country has increased over the last six to seven years from about 30 to more than 100, said Powers. He estimate that between 8,000 and 12,000 people belong to these groups, although he doesn’t know how many Jew they approached or converted.” The Jerusalem Report, December 28, 2001.

Due to the limited reach of the Hebrew-Christian group, the Mayor of Beit Shamesh does not think to fight these groups with “tanks”.

“Beit Shamesh Mayor Daniel Vaknin maintained missionary activity is not a major problem in the city and said he does not intend to take any steps to curtail it.

” I don’t see some established (missionary) institution in action in my city, and even if there are exceptional instances here and there, there’s no need to fight them with tanks, he said. You don’t have to bring in tanks for a fly.” The Jerusalem Post, December 28, 2001.

Few Comments.

1.The harassment of the Missionaries is not a new phenomenon in Israel. There is a strong reason for the animosity displayed by the Jews against the Missionaries. Jews are the only one among the followers of the divine religions who do not believe in the prophethood of Jesus (PBUH) or Mohammad (PBUH). As the Muslims are concerned, they believe in the prophethood of Jesus (PBUH). They also believe in the prophethood of Moses (PBUH). This is the reason that in the entire Muslim World, any Muslim can not think to be disrespectful to Torah or the Bible.

Burning of a holy book is out of question in the Muslim World.

2. Think how the Jewish leadership would have reacted in the U.S. if this unthinkable event has happened in the Muslim World. The principles of “freedom of expression” has been cited again and again. The media would have been grilling the Muslim World for its “intolerance” of other religions. Muslim religious schools have been blamed for spreading “political Islam” and so forth. The Jewish Congressmen would have been demanding the applications of the existing U.S. laws about the “freedom of religion”. But if a sacred Book like Bible is burned in a school, it does not even become a lead story in any new paper in the United States. The champions of the “religious freedom” have not raised the issue at any forum. This is a double standard. It is quite clear that laws are made for ‘all’ but are applied only on the Muslims. India and Israel are two main exemptions .

3. In the last decades, about one million Jews have married out of their religion in the Untied States. This is an other way to convert the Christian to “Judaism.” (This is the term used by all the Jewish scholars). Study should be done by the Christian and the other concerned organizations that by these tactics how many are converted from Christians to Jews. What is the percentage of male Jews marrying a Christian lady? What is the percentage of the children from these marriages who are raised as Jews without the consent of the Christian spouse.

4. As Palestine is concerned, Palestinians were the second religious community in Palestine before the occupation of Palestine in the First World War by Great Britain. Why now they number only 138,000 in Israel. There should have been at least one million by this time. What happened to them. Where are they? What happened to their properties?

5. As an occupying power, the Jewish leadership in Israel has tried its level best to sow the seed of confrontation between the Muslims and the Christians. But it failed miserably on this account. Both Muslim and Christians have been standing together against an occupying power. Most of the credit goes to the Christians because they can gain a lot by siding with an occupying power, Jews. But they have opted to stand by the Muslims.

6. “Proselytizing minors is a crime” in Israel. The Jerusalem Post, December 28, 2001.