Lawsuit Update – 20 Apr 2007

Shalom,

I’m sorry that it has taken so long to give you an update on the pending court case between us and the Chief Rabbi of Beer Sheva and against the anti-missionary organization Yad L’Achim. This is partly due to the nature of things here in Israel and the judicial process, and partly due to the frailties of our human condition. We do very much appreciate your interest and prayers and willingness to contribute to this case, and hope to keep you informed as things progress to help you in praying in the Spirit and with the mind. Please remember to keep our lawyers, Marvin and Kevork, also in your prayers, and that the outcome would bring honor to the name of the Lord and also promote His righteous and gracious purposes in Israel and even beyond.

This case is not against Israel or against the Jewish people. It is not to be used in any way to foment or promote anti-Israel or anti-Jewish actions or reactions. It is already known through the Scriptures that Israel at present is opposed to the good news of God, so we are not out to make them an enemy. Nor is our legal action intended to be used by any other minority or religious groups in Israel to encourage or affirm anti-Israel/Jewish sentiment. For the sake of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, Israel and her people are beloved by God the Father for His honor and glory, and for the honor and glory of His Son.

Here is the update from our lawyers of the legal proceedings: (The terminology is consistent with that of the Defendants.)

The following is submitted as an up-date for the benefit of the multitude who have inquired regarding the status of the lawsuit that was filed in the Magistrate’s Court of Beer Sheva against Rabbi Yehuda Deri (the Chief Rabbi of Beer Sheva) and “Yad L’Achim (R.A.)” for their involvement in the illegal and violent demonstration that took place on 24th December, 2005, and the violations to the rights to freedom of religion and freedom of religious expression and faith of the believers who gathered together at the congregation on that Shabbat.

Both defendants, through separate laws firms, have filed their Statements of Defense. While the particular allegations of each Defendant will not be gone into at length at this juncture, still, it can be stated that an attempt is being made by the Defendants to turn an illegal, violent demonstration into an “open air prayer meeting”, which is claimed to be not against the law; that the Defendants are not responsible for acts of individuals which were contrary to the call for a “peaceful” prayer meeting; that the purpose of the gathering was to allow Jewish persons who arrive at the congregation to have second thoughts about their actions when they see the public prayers; that when efforts are made to try to impose on Jews the ways of Christians and that Yeshua is the Messiah and Redeemer of Israel, then they have the right to cause the public to have second thoughts about their actions. In addition, it is argued, among other things, that the Statement of Claim (the lawsuit) was filed in an effort to stop the “holy war” which the Defendants are directing against baptizing Jews to Christianity, against causing Jews to change their religion and against attempting to persuade Jews to become Christians. It is also argued that the purpose of the lawsuit is to establish a situation where Jews can be baptized to Christianity without any opposition from the Rabbi of the City or from Yad L’Achim. These are only some of the allegations made by the Defendants.

Please keep this matter in your prayers. At this point, pre-trial procedures and maneuvering will be undertaken. It is reasonable to presume that there will be considerable opposition throughout the entire course of the lawsuit.

With blessings,

Advocate Marvin S. Kramer

Advocate Kevork Nalbandian

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Thank-you, and God bless you all. This coming Monday is Israel’s 59th Independence Day. Please continue in prayer for Israel to become dependent upon the Lord, freed to serve and worship Him only.

Your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Yeshua the Messiah,

Howard

Lawsuit Update – 22 Feb 2007

News article and commentary

Translation of Article in the Sheva weekly dated 22 Feb 07

The Rabbinate Against “The Messianics/Christians”

The Chief Rabbinic Council for Israel decided in its meeting last Monday (20 February) to establish a special committee for “War Against the Mission Throughout the Country”.

The initiator of the matter, the Chief Rabbi of Beer Sheva and a member of the Council, the Rabbi Yehuda Deri, notes that he, [along with] Rabbi Simcha Ha-Cohen, the Chief Rabbi of Rehovot, and Rabbi Yitzhak Peretz, the Chief Rabbi of Ra’anana and former Chairman of the Shas movement and Minister of the Interior, will work on the matter, within the framework of the Committee, by holding meetings with Members of Parliament (Knesset), acting to change the law regarding missionary work, cooperating with rabbis in the battle of this matter, and working with the police in enforcing the existing law, which forbids changing [of one’s] religion. Rabbi Deri noted in the meeting of the Council that activities of the sect “the Messianic Jews”, in Beer Sheva in particular and in the country generally, is “the spiritual danger that threatens us today more than ever”, and presented different instances of activities of members of the sect throughout the country, in which he emphasized the fact that the Chief Rabbinate has not yet expressed its opinion on the matter. Among other things, the Rabbi told about the baptism of 15 Jews on one Sabbath (Saturday) about two months ago at [an Exhibition Hall] in Tel Aviv.

The Chief Rabbinic Council discussed the issue of the filing of another lawsuit in the Magistrate’s Court in Beer Sheva against Rabbi Deri by persons of the sect, this time for [financial] compensation, for offenses against activities of “the Messianic Jews” during a mass demonstration led by the Rabbi about one year ago in which there was violence. Rabbi Deri reported at that time to Sheva [newspaper] that a few hotheads arrived at the demonstration site before him and engaged in violent acts, which were stopped immediately by him. The Rabbi is certain that the lawsuit is “a stepping up and an opening of a frontline war, which is intended only to frighten him and to restrict his steps in his uncompromising battle unprecedented in its scope against the sect’s activities”.

By the way, Rabbi Deri mentions with praise the success of his latest initiative to enforce the decision of the local rabbinate, according to which about 300 restaurants in the city that enjoy the supervision of the rabbinate will use only worm-free vegetables, except for cabbage. In his words, “Not one of the business owners had to give up his kosher license in the follow-up to apply the decision, which is an increase of ten degrees in the field of food acceptability. Other cities in the country can only be jealous of this outstanding precedent.”

Shalom from where all things converge!

The recent filing of the lawsuit against the Chief Rabbi of Beer Sheva and Yad L’Achim has received written media attention in the Sheva weekly newspaper, published 22nd February. A copy of that article is attached for your review. It should be noted that the terminology has been changed from “struggle against the mission” to “war against the mission”, which is what it was in reality. We again solicit your on-going and fervent prayers for all of the brethren who are involved in this matter, as well as prayers for the salvation of those who presently oppose us and who seek to prevent the promulgation of the Gospel in Israel.

As many of you are aware, there are a number of different battles going on around the Promised Land over the issue of believing in the Name of the Son of God. It does seem that the signs of the times are heating up — and not just physical global warming! — as the Sovereign God works straitens [sic] us to bring to pass that “which is written”. Your prayers according to His will for all of us are greatly valued, and we pray for your own watchfulness in your own territories.

In Messiah with you,

Howard

Lawsuit Update – Initiation of Suit – 9 Feb 2007

Initiation of the Lawsuit
 
 
Greetings in the name of the Lord!The case will be difficult; we are coming against rulers and principalities; we are not — God help us! — going to allow the media to bring confusion or to prejudice the case (they can come to court in session if they want). We need your prayers and that the Holy Spirit rules within us and that we bring ourselves under subjection to the Lord, so that we can win this fight by His Spirit, to His glory, and that, having won, we will still stand on holy ground. Please pray for our lawyers, Marvin and Kevork, that they will be used of God in a way that will also be an example of honor and integrity in their profession throughout the proceedings and following.God bless you all. Let His name be praised from the rising of the sun till its going down!Howard
Phlp 1: 27-30
 
Below is a letter from our lawyers (both of them believers) regarding the status of the anticipated court case following the riot the day before Christmas and Hannuka in 2005:Brethren,As you will recall, on Shabbat, 24 December, 2005, a violent demonstration took place at Kehilat “Nahalat Yeshua” in Beer Sheva, and the orthodox demonstrators even entered and took control of the congregational premises for a period of about 3 hours.Yesterday, 8 February, 2007, a lawsuit was filed against Rabbi Yehuda Deri (the Chief Rabbi of Beer Sheva) and “Yad L’Achim (R.A.)” for their involvement in the above demonstration, which seriously violated the right to freedom of religion and freedom of religious expression and faith of the believers who gathered together at the congregation on that Shabbat.

Less than 3 hours after filing the lawsuit, information about the filing of the suit was leaked to the media and we began to receive various calls from media personnel as well as anonymous threats.

Please notify your respective congregations and organizations about what is stated above and pray for the congregation in Beer Sheva, and, particularly, for Howard Bass and his family. Also, please pray that the Lord Yeshua would grant us wisdom in all matters related to the handling of the suit and that he would protect us from the various attacks that may come from those who oppose our faith.
Finally, please pray: for the judges who will be involved in making the various decisions in the above case; that the truth will be made manifest; that justice will be rendered, and that the holy Name of our Lord Yeshua, and His only, will be exalted, sanctified and magnified.

With blessings,
Advocate Marvin S. Kramer
Advocate Kevork Nalbandian

 
 

Shalom from a very dry Negev (which means ‘dry land’).

8 Feb 2009

Shalom from a very dry Negev (which means ‘dry land’).

Despite the extremely dry weather for winter — the driest on record — the flu has been going around. It got to me, so I was laid up in bed for a few days a couple of weeks ago. I also have what must be a pinched nerve in my neck for about a 1/2 year now. For the last couple of months, I’ve been getting some physical therapy, but it hasn’t really released the pinch. I did it to myself while doing some exercises (at the loving concern of my family). Hoping it would go away by itself, I didn’t do anything about it for a couple of months, before going finally for an x-ray. It took more than another month to start some treatment. Anyway, the body ages, while the inner man is renewed day-by-day! Praise the Lord!

The last-days weather patterns are certainly less predictable than just a few years ago. God’s covenant blessings of the right amount of rain at the right times were based on Israel’s obedience with faith in Him. Since this is still not the case, and since the times are nearing for God’s interventions in righteous judgments, then the lack of ‘good’ rain is a means by which He would want His people to repent and return to Him. (Dt 28:12, 23-24) Yet God has promised since the Flood that as long as this Earth remains, there would still be the four seasons (Gen 8:22). And He has further promised that as long as He is in control of our unique solar system within His universe, and that the size of the universe can not be determined, Israel would remain a nation before Him, and His covenants with David and with the Levites would not be broken (Jer 31:33-37; 33:19-26). So we can be assured that Yeshua is going to return at the appointed time to regenerate this Creation and make the Earth a very habitable place during His reign! (Ps 96; Mt 24:32-39; Rom 8:18-25)

Elections
Israel once again goes to national elections for Prime Minister and for Knesset (Parliament) seats. Once again, the elections are critical. It seems that every election here is a ‘fateful’ one. The security of the nation and its integrity is once again the major issue. The economy, which is also adversely affected along with the rest of the world’s countries, has not been discussed very much publicly, yet obviously will have a major impact on our lives. Two of the major candidates, Bibi Netanyahu (Likud) and Ehud Barak (Labor), have been PM before, and each had a major negative impact on the nation. Tzipi Livni, currently Foreign Minister, has risen to prominence through her earlier connection with Ariel Sharon and the formation of the new political party, Kadima. That party was formed out from the more right-wing party Likud, and with a platform to divide the country into two. A fourth major candidate this time is Avigdor Liberman (Israel Beiteinu – Israel Our Home) is running on a platform which essentially requires citizens to pledge allegiance to the State of Israel if they want to partake of its privileges. The Likud and all of the nationalist parties promote with worldly reason the necessity of Israel being a Jewish and ‘democratic’ country.

This sounds reasonable, but has been and will be used against Jews and Christians in other countries. When a Jew is required to pledge more loyalty to his ‘home’ country over Israel, what will he answer? (Ps 137:1-6) When a Christian is required to pledge more allegiance to his ‘home’ country over the Kingdom of God, what will you answer? (Acts 17:7; Jn 18:36; Ps 2; Rev 11:15-18) Will believers in Jesus also be required in Israel to pledge greater allegiance to a Jewish state — that is, a state where Judaism is the supreme religion — over the truth of Jesus being the Messiah, the Son of God, which Judaism rejects? Are we prepared for such a time as that?