Israeli Bible contest criticized for Messianic Jewish student contestant
Israeli Bible contest criticized for Messianic Jewish student contestant

.- A Messianic Jewish student’s bid to win Israel’s annual youth Bible quiz has triggered a controversy because of her belief in Jesus.

In a protest letter quoted by the Israeli newspaper Maariv, the anti-missionary group Yad L’Ahim argues that the 17-year-old Bat El Levy should not be allowed to participate in the May 8 International Bible Contest for Jewish Youth, held in Jerusalem on Israel’s 60th Independence Day.  Yad L’Ahim chairman Rabbi Shlomo Dov Lipschitz claimed Israeli law forbidding Christians from proselytizing should bar Levy’s participation.  He further argued that the girl’s belief in Jesus should disqualify her from the quiz since, in his view, she is not Jewish.

According to Israel National News, Meir Porush, a member of the Knesset, asked that Levy be disqualified because she is not Jewish according to Israel’s High Court of Justice.  The High Court has ruled in cases related to the Law of Return that citizenship is automatically granted to Jewish immigrants.

However, it has ruled that those who profess Christianity will not be recognized as Jews regardless of ethnic background.

Israel’s Education Ministry, which runs the contest, rejected the argument that Levy is not Jewish.  “The girl is designated as Jewish, and her personal beliefs are not a matter of concern to us,” a spokeswoman from the ministry said.

Levy, who has won several regional Bible contests, is one of four Israeli students participating in the international competition.

The Levy family has not denied that they are members of a messianic Jewish congregation, and says there had been attempts by Yad L'Ahim to dissuade Bat-El from taking part in the competition.

Representatives of Israeli Jews who believe in Jesus say they number between 8,000 and 10,000 people, out of 7 million Israelis.  They keep a low profile in a state where many blame Christianity for past European anti-Jewish persecution.

Jewish Christians in Israel have occasionally been targeted for attack.  In March, a boy was maimed when a homemade bomb exploded in a West Bank settlement where members of the Jewish Christian community live.  Last October, a firebomb attack damaged a Jerusalem church that holds services in Hebrew.

Several rabbis have called for a boycott of the Bible contest if the girl is allowed to participate.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

A state without territory elects new government
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage

Liturgical Calendar

July 24, 2014

Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:10-17


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 2: 1-3, 7-8, 12-13
Gospel:: Mt 13: 10-17

Saint of the Day

St. Charbel Makhlouf »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:10-17


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: