Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Rabbi's Appreciation for Evangelical Charity

Author and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach penned an op-ed  article for the Jerusalem Post recently that was appreciative for the extensive Christian charity many evangelicals express for Israel and its beleaguered people.

" ¶ Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, [and] prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace [be] within thee. Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good." (Ps 122:6-9 AV)


No Holds Barred: Jewish ingratitude to Christians

11/23/2010 00:47 

Rather than attacking Christians for having nefarious motives for their charity, we should offer thanks.

Talkbacks (70)

Every year, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews raises about $100 million from mostly evangelical Christians in the US for distribution to social-welfare projects in Israel and the former Soviet Union. This is a staggering sum, making the IFCJ arguably the largest foundation for needy Jews in the world. One would think that the Jewish community would show immense gratitude to our Christian brothers and sisters for such love. I therefore found it extraordinary to hear that there is a campaign in the Israeli rabbinate to discredit the organization and forbid Jewish groups from benefiting from its funds.

In our religion, the worst of all character traits is to be an ingrate. Denying the goodness that others perform on your behalf leads to a closing of the human heart. No one wants to be taken for granted. So great is the Jewish emphasis on appreciation that our greatest prophet, Moses, was commanded by God not to strike the Nile River and turn it into blood (in the first plague against the Egyptians) because that same river had saved his life when he was a baby. Later, in plague number three, God warned Moses against smiting the dust of Egypt (and turning it into lice) because that dust had saved his life when he had to bury the body of a murderous Egyptian taskmaster.

Imagine that. A man who spoke to God "face to face" was told he must show thanks to water and dust. Such is the extent to which Judaism demands gratitude.

Over the past two decades, evangelical Christians have emerged as Israel's most reliable friends. Pastors like John Hagee, my friend
 Pat Robertson and countless others have galvanized colossal Christian support for Israel. Even in the worst bombings of the second intifada, when tourism to Israel fell off a cliff, Christians still came in their millions. The same is true of stalwart Christian political support. 

While President Barack Obama continues to bully Israel over apartments in Israel's undivided and eternal capital, many American Christians have a litmus test for their elected leaders: You don't support Israel? You're out.

As I write these lines, former president George W. Bush is enjoying a public renaissance in America with the publication of his book, Decision Points. The best friend Israel ever had in the White House makes clear, at the beginning of his book, how he turned his life over to Jesus, and there can be no question that there is a direct link between his deep Christian faith and his unyielding support for Israel against those who, like
 Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, seek its annihilation. …

The rest of this article can be read on The Jerusalem Post website.