Battle for Jewish souls
Since Moses extradited the Israelis from Egypt, the
struggle for Jewish souls emerged. Moses displayed signs and warnings to the Israelis to
capture their souls. Similarly, Jesus devoted his life to annex Jewish souls. Even
Muhammad aimed to encompass the souls of Jews in his mission.
Jewish faith has experienced many trials and tribulations over the centuries, from the punishments by Crusaders and Nazis, to the pleasures of inter-religious marriages, all challenging the adherence to Judaism.
A NEW TYPE OF SOLDIER
After World War II, a unique approach towards Jews commenced. Over eight hundred different missionary groups spending in excess of $250 million, mobilized to convert Jews, without violence. One of the greatest pioneers of this strategy was Moishe Rosen, himself a convert from Judaism to Christianity in 1953. Mr. Rosen ambitiously advanced an army of evangelists in 1973 named "Jews for Jesus" (www.JewsforJesus.org). In 1978, there were 10,000 Jews who believed in Jesus.
Through vigorous tactics, by 1998, over 250,000 Jews counted themselves as believers in Jesus, these are impressive figures considering there are only 13 million Jews world wide. Yet the battle was far from over, a counter missionary group was formed in 1998 by Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz entitled Jews for Judaism (www.JewsforJudaism.org), striving to take back souls confiscated by Christians.
The newest division in this struggle are the Jews for Allah (www.Jews-for-Allah.org) founded in 2000 by Mohamed Ghounem. Though Jews for Jesus has a 28 year advantage over Jews for Allah (who recently celebrated their one year anniversary), their resources and popularity are quickly catching up with thousands of visitors per day to their website and two new books to be published.
Many Jews who become Muslim are secretive concerning their conversion for safety reasons, hindering an accurate estimate towards the number of Jews for Allah. Though thousands of Jews were recorded to have converted to Islam when a presumed Messiah named Shabbetai Zevi converted to Islam in 1650.
Some Orthodox Rabbis, Muslim Ministers and Christian
Priests from each camp view these organizations as an encroachment and even anti-Semitic.
Despite such controversy, the majority view these Jewish sects as pioneers in building
bridges between both Jews and gentiles.
THE MISSION STATEMENTS
Each of the three groups attempt to gain more Jews to their side through various ingenious strategies and slogans. These peaceful and pleasant attempts are in sharp contrast to the inquisitions, crusades and holocaust of the past generations. Each of these groups utilize their interpreted status of Jesus as leverage for their side.
Jews for Jesus founder Mr. Rosen states "they were not converted Jews--they were converted sinners who happened to be Jewish." The Jews for Jesus mission statement is; "We exist to make the Messiahship of Jesus an unavoidable issue to our Jewish people world-wide." The group distributes signs stating "Be More Jewish, Believe in Jesus", "Jesus Was Raised in a Kosher Home." and "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Jesus...But Were Afraid to Ask Your Rabbi". They produce books, cassettes and most recently in April 2001, a video entitled "Survivor Stories" which proselytizes through Holocaust victims.
Jews for Judaism pride themselves on being the first and only active international, full-time counter missionary, educational, outreach and counseling organization dedicated to countering the multi-million dollar efforts of missionary groups. The three primary goals of Jews for Judaism are; preventative education, re-uniting families, and bringing Jews home. Through their website, they list testimonies of former Jews for Jesus and material countering the Christian ideals.
Jews for Allah in essence compliments both groups, they help Jews for Judaism by also countering deity claims towards Jesus, as well as helping Jews for Jesus by promoting Jesus as the Messiah, a belief taught in the Muslim Holy book, the Quran. This organization promotes settling the differences among Jews through Quranic teachings: "Hast thou not turned Thy vision to those who have been given a portion of the Book? They are invited to the Book of Allah, to settle their dispute..." [3:23]
The Jews for Allah mission statement is "Accepting the Messiahship of Jesus without the Trinitarian theology". One of their slogans is a Star of David on top of a Crescent moon, with the caption "Judaism and Islam, a match made in Heaven." Their material contains an array of uniting similarities between Judaism and Islam as well as a list of testimonies from both Jews for Judaism and Jews for Jesus, sharing their journey to Allah. This group was founded at a time when dialog between Israelis and Muslims was desperately needed.
All three groups provide an on-line forum at their respective websites to communicate and learn each other's points of views.
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