Yad L'Achim has filed a police complaint against those engaged in the sale of missionary literature to children – in clear violation of the law banning efforts to convince minors to convert out of their religion.
Yad L'Achim reports that the book in question was displayed at a stand put up by HaGefen Publishing during a Book Week event in Rishon Lezion.
In keeping with the deceptive practices of the missionaries, chief among them the Messianic Jews, the book was presented in a misleading way. Signs posted at the exhibit promised "The Tenach in Modern Hebrew," but a perusal of the book revealed an entirely different picture. What emerged was Christian concepts embedded in the verses of the Tenach, as they interpret it.
Media outlets that turned to HaGefen Pulishing for a response received an "innocent" explanation: "The publisher has existed as a registered association for 42 years in Rishon LeZion. The series Edut (Testimony) is a literal translation of the Tenach in modern Hebrew. It is a literal translation, not commentary. It has no messianic content."
The response completely ignores the explanatory material put out by the publisher that describes the series as literature that aims to clarify the image of "that man" in the eyes of his believers, R"l. "The situation of the congregation (of Messianic Jews) in Israel is quickly changing for the better," the explanatory material further states. "The gospel is being preached with great strength. Many are joining the congregation and many more are acquiring professional education and training."
As mentioned, Yad L'Achim was quick to file a police complaint, but, an official added, "to our regret, the law-enforcement agencies are doing nothing about it."
The counter-missionary organization is not giving up. It has dispatched its people to take up positions near the stand and warn passersby that the books are misleading and intended to get Jews to convert out of their religion. Their efforts resulted in many Jews staying away from the book stand, to the consternation of the missionaries.
Commenting on the incident, a top official at Yad L'Achim said that "when a missionary organization puts up a stand during Hebrew Book Week that is a very serious matter. When the publisher does not clarify that the books deal with missionary teaching and assimilation that is misrepresentation, and when we're talking about children's books it is a criminal violation. For this and more, we have decided to file a complaint with the Rishon LeZion police. Our fervent hope is that after so many years of suffering by our people, deceptive Christian missionary activity will not be allowed here."