This was the headline of a feature in the Jerusalem Post today:
This column is written by Maurice Singer who is an independent consultant and former Senior Aliyah Consultant at the Jewish Agency. In other words, he has been a major player in the area of Jewish immigration to Israel. Click here to read the article (scroll down near bottom).
In his column people ask him various questions about how to immigrate to Israel. One of the questions came from a Messianic Jewish couple and was as follows:
“We are Messianic Jews and would like to make Aliyah. How difficult would this be?”
As an expert this must not be the first time he has encountered the controversial question of Messianic Jews and aliyah. Nevertheless, here was his response.
“From the inquiries that I have received, I have come to the conclusion that there seems to be two different interpretations of the meaning of “Messianic Jews”. One seems to be people born Jewish who have embraced Jesus as the Messiah and follow the New and Old Testament. The other appears to be people not of Jewish birth who support the Jewish religion and who believe in both testaments. If the questioner is the former then it would appear that he/she is entitled to make Aliyah in accordance with the Law of Return. If the latter is the case then the questioner does not qualify for Aliyah.”
What? Are you kidding!
In other words this non-Messianic Jewish expert is saying it doesn’t matter what a person of Jewish lineage believes, he/she is qualified to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return.
MY OH MY! How Things Have Changed!
Until recently there is no way we would have seen such a response in print from the mainstream Jewish world in a paper like the Jerusalem Post. I could hardly believe my eyes that this would be his response despite the current reading and interpretation of the Law of Return especially by the Orthodox Jewish community that would say that Messianic Jews have left the fold of Jewish faith and therefore do NOT qualify to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return.
Is this issue less controversial than it was 40 years ago when the revival first broke out in the late 1960’s?
Has the Messianic communities hard work inside and outside of Israel through the Joseph Project etc slowly cultivated an appreciation for our community and a lessening of tensions and greater acceptance?
Whatever it is, the response of this aliyah expert is quite remarkable!
As Bob Dylan once wrote, “The times they are a changin”.
~The views contained in The Joel Chernoff Report are not necessarily views held by the MJAA~