Missionary to Participate in Int'l Bible Contest
Participation of a member of the Messianic Jews could give the cult legitimacy in the eyes of many, warn Yad L'Achim officials
Yishai Gispan is awarded first prize in last year'

"We are hereby notifying you that the winner of the Bible Contest for state-secular schools, Bat El Levi, is a member of the Messianic Jews cult. Her parents belong to the messianic community in the settlement of Adam (Geva Binyamin), which meets in their home; the congregation is headed by her grandfather, Yaakov Zigel. The Bible Contest is intended for Jewish youngsters. Members of the Messianic Jews cult are not recognized as Jews, not even according to the High Court (Ruling 467/75)!"

This chilling warning opens a letter sent recently by Yad L'Achim chairman Harav Shalom Dov Lifschitz to the chief rabbis and to the Education and Defense ministries, which are responsible for running the International Bible Contest scheduled as part of Israel's Independence Day activities this Thursday.

As the winner of the Bible Contest for state-secular schools, Levi, an out-and-out cult member, is entitled to participate in the International Bible Contest.

"The missionaries are crafty," said one Yad L'Achim official. "The fact that she participates, the Messianic Jews will receive world recognition, as if they are Jews. This is a new, brazen way to lead innocent Jews astray and to show them that you can be Jews, even prominent Jews, and still believe in Jesus and go in his way. If that's not bad enough, the missionaries are likely to use their International Bible Contest as part of a massive campaign among young people that could have catastrophic results."

In light of the seriousness of the situation, Rabbis are considering holding a separate International Bible Contest for religious youths.

At the behest of Yad L'Achim, a number of Rabbis, including leaders of religious Zionism, signed an urgent petition calling on the public and other contestants not to participate in the event if it is attended by a missionary. In their petition, the Rabbis stress that if she wins the contest, it could be a boost,  to the missionaries in Israel and around the world. Among those who signed were Rabbi Shmuel Eliahu (son of Harav Mordechai Eliahu and chief rabbi of Tzefas), Rabbi Yaakov Yosef (son of Harav Ovadia Yosef), Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, Rav of Beit El and head of Ateret Kohanim Yeshivah, Rabbi Zvi Yisrael Tau, head of Har Hamor Yeshivah and Rabbi David Druckman.

MK Rabbi Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism) submitted an urgent appeal to Education Minister Yuli Tamir asking that she cancel the choice of a missionary as representative of the state-secular schools. "I ask for an immediate response due to the fact that there is so little time left until the International Bible Contest is held. If you do not respond favorably to our request, we will be forced to take other steps."

Harav Lifschitz stated unequivocally that if the girl participates, then religious youths will boycott the event. "If they allow her to participate, we will do everything to ensure that no religious Jews do," he said.

Meanwhile, due to the failure of the Education Ministry to respond to the various appeals, all religious institutions have received letters from Yad L'Achim, calling on them not to participate in the contest.

In addition, Yad L'Achim is organizing a large demonstration outside Binyenei Ha'uma, site of the competition, during the event.

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