Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Terrorist Purim Bomb Severely Wounds Messianic Teen

Terrorist Purim Bomb Severely Wounds a 15-yr old Messianic Jewish Boy in Israel. The Investigation is Pointing to a Religious Jewish “anti-missionary” Sect. Justice for the Amiel Ortiz, son of David and Leah Ortiz of Ariel, Israel, may require activism from the worldwide Christian community for a thorough investigation and a just sentencing of the perpetrators. This is a call to alarm for the Church on behalf of the Messianic Jews of Israel.

Please give this the widest Christian circulation possible by forwarding to all those you know who care about God's blessing upon Israel.
This is a call for the Church to activate by contacting the Israeli Embassy immediately and to keep it up until the perpetrators of terrorism against the believing family in Ariel, Israel are brought to justice. This is the first Messianic Action Committee alert that has been issued since around 1997 when so many bills were being attempted in the Knesset to imprison believers who share the gospel.

The Messianic Action Committee (MAC)

Report 82--March 2008

"Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you,
and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.” (Matt. 5:11)

“…in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you
will think he is offering a service to God.” (John 16:2)

Dear Friends,

On Thursday, March 20th, the eve of the feast of Purim here in Israel, fifteen year-old Ami Ortiz eagerly opened a brightly wrapped “Purim basket” which had been left anonymously on the family’s doorstep. The transparent cellophane wrapping showed a collection of candies within, the traditional contents of such gifts given and received by families throughout Israel at the holiday. Suddenly, with a deafening blast, the pipe bomb hidden beneath the sweets exploded, throwing Ami backwards into the kitchen and perforating his young body with hundreds of metal shards, nails, and screws which had been imbedded in the bomb for maximum killing power. Critically injured, Ami’s survival of the initial explosion was already a miracle, as the main force of the blast (and shrapnel) went up, down and out away from him, wreaking devastation on the ceiling, walls and furniture of the apartment.

Alone in the apartment, Ami had stayed home from school while his parents, Messianic Pastor David and Leah Ortiz, traveled to Jerusalem for the day. A friend who had just left the home after cleaning the apartment rushed back in to find Ami hanging between life and death and heard him murmur, “Yeshua, I need your help now.” Emergency medical personnel arrived quickly and initiated life saving procedures as they rushed him directly to 8 hours of surgery at the closest major hospital.

A team of surgeons took turns caring for massive open wounds on his limbs and torso, serious burns from the blast, a collapsed lung (with several screws and bolts lodged within), and damage to his right eye. Only after five days of surgeries and intensive care—and the medical staff’s repeated exclamations of “it’s a miracle!”—were the doctors able to say that Ami had a good chance of survival. Just this morning (March 28th), following surgery on Ami’s right eye for the removal of more shrapnel, the Ortiz’s were informed that it looked like Ami would be able to see out of both eyes. Praise God! Nevertheless, Ami has a very long road ahead of him, including tremendous pain and significant risks due to his wounds and burns and the possibility of infection. Please pray for Ami and his family (including 5 older siblings), that the Lord would continue to work miracles of healing, and give them grace and supernatural comfort and strength.

Israeli police and security services investigating this murderous attack are keeping a very tight lid on leads and potential suspects in this case, hoping to uncover the conspiratorial ring behind the one who planted the bomb. It is clear, however, that David and his wife Leah were the intended targets, their patterns of activity being well known and often observed. David has been active for many years in outreach to Palestinian Muslims throughout the West Bank region surrounding the town of Ariel when the family lives, and David pastors a home congregation of Jewish believers there, also the fruit of his ministry. He has received threats and harassment from both fundamentalist Muslims and Orthodox Jews, including slanderous claims that he is part of “the missionary cult of Messianic Jews”—an accusation which would justify murder in certain radical religious circles.

Such slanders have been disseminated against many believers and congregations in the Land, and have resulted in threats, personal attacks and even violent demonstrations against Messianic congregations in Arad and Beersheba. To date, police efforts have been minimal at best in protecting the rights and safety of believers, once again because they are perceived as “missionaries” who are assumed to ‘prey upon the poor, young, and ignorant, using every underhanded trick (including bribery) in order to steal their souls from the Jewish people via conversion to Christianity.’ Unfortunately, even the public media in the country promote this prejudice and unwittingly justify the attacks with statements such as, “where there are missionaries there will be anti-missionaries” (Channel 10 television news on the evening following the attack on the Ortiz family). Internet ‘talk-backs’ responding to the few journalists who have spoken out clearly and strongly against the attack have included claims that the attempted murder was a legitimate act of self defense against a spiritual assault on the Jewish people! (See,7340,L-3522911,00.html).

Please pray for those believers who are being interviewed in the media as a result of this attack and who must deal with inquiries into our faith and practices which are often intended to portray believers as some kind of secretive and suspect cult. Pray that the believers’ responses will be clear, uncompromising, and yet gracious, and that Israelis will be drawn to learn about Yeshua the Messiah as a result.

As believers in the Messiah Yeshua, we have a command from our Lord to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:44). This we do, entreating the Father that He might give to those who have been blinded by the ‘god of this world’ “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Messiah” (II Cor. 4:6)—as He gave to the persecutor Saul on the Damascus road. At the same time, we take our example from Saul/Paul, who demanded that the municipal officials in Philippi, who had wrongly beaten and imprisoned him and Silas, personally and publicly release them, in order to demonstrate to all that the believers in Yeshua had done no wrong in proclaiming Him (Acts 16:35-40). Living in a democratic society, we have every right, in fact we have the responsibility, to use the law and our rights as citizens to protect ourselves from illegal abuse and thus to protect our right to proclaim Yeshua as Messiah and Savior to our people.

There is good reason to believe that, if the perpetrators of this attempted murder were in fact Jewish religious extremists, there will be great pressure on the police and courts to “go easy on them” given the alleged severe “provocation” of the “missionaries.” Ultra-orthodox religious politicians, who wield considerable power and influence in Israel’s Knesset and government ministries, have been key propagators of the slanderous misrepresentations of Messianic believers in Yeshua through their bills to outlaw the free expression of Messianic faith in Israel. We would urge you to pray that justice—complete and uncompromising justice—will be done in this case; that a precedent will be clearly established rejecting totally and unequivocally any violence or incitement against believers in Yeshua simply because of their faith in Him and their obedience to His commands.

In addition, we would ask each of you to contact your elected officials and to urge them to contact their Israeli counterparts or the Israeli embassy in your country and to express their concerns both over the attack on Ami Ortiz (who also holds an American passport) and also regarding the possibility of a half-hearted prosecution of the perpetrators of this hate-crime. Communication between government officials as suggested will help bolster the forces of freedom and democracy in our country and to counterbalance the influence of the anti-democratic minority who do not accept or respect equal rights for all under the laws of the State of Israel.

Also consider contacting your local Israeli embassy or consulate directly by fax, phone, and/or email as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the Ministry of Public Safety in Israel, as this also has a cumulative effect on Israeli policy makers (for a model letter and links to contact information, see end of report). It is important that your request be communicated in a spirit of genuine love and support for the people of Israel, and of deep respect and concern for the country’s democratic nature. The people of Israel generally are appalled by attacks such as these, even if the media often under-reports or reframes the issues in a negative way towards us. Many of Israel’s politicians are embarrassed and dismayed by the lack of internalized democratic values among some of Israel’s citizenry.

Thank you for “standing in the gap” with us in response to this serious development in the situation of the Body of Messiah in Israel. The implications for all of us who live and serve in the Land cannot be underestimated.

We urge you to keep the Messianic Action Committee in your prayers for wisdom, as we continue to monitor anti-religious freedom legislation in the Knesset, and as we consider how to deal with both latent and blatant discrimination against the believers in Israel.


Noam Hendren, Chairman
Israel Harel, Vice-Chairman
Eitan Kashtan
Charles Kopp
Marvin Kramer, Esq.

**The MAC's continued work depends on contributions from our friends and partners. Those interested in helping may send donations to our mailing address at the bottom of the page, or by wire to:

Bank Leumi, 32 Maskit Street, Herzliya Pituach, Israel
Telephone: 972-9-970-6333, Fax No. 972-9-970-6355
Branch/Account No. 864-12986-16 ABA No./SWIST CODE LEUMILIT864

99000 The MAC P. O. Box 697, Beit Shemesh 99000 Israel



Feel free to use the following as a model for your own letter, or to copy and paste it into a new document:

Dear Israeli Ambassador/Minister,

As a Christian friend of Israel, I am appalled at the recent terrorist attempt to murder the Ortiz family in Ariel during Purim. I am deeply saddened that young Ami Ortiz has to fight for his life in an intensive care unit due to this heinous hate crime against Messianic Jews in Israel. I am counting on the Israeli government to make every effort to apprehend the perpetrators of this attack and to prosecute them as you would any other terrorist (for that is what they are). Anything less will simply give a signal that believers in Yeshua/Jesus are “fair game” and that acts of persecution and terror against them are somehow tolerable.

Your government’s reluctance to take decisive action against those who have attacked Messianic Jews and their congregations in Arad and Beersheba during recent years appears to have emboldened those with no respect for Israel’s democratic tradition of equal rights under the law. Inaction or compromise at this critical juncture will inevitably damage Israel’s well-deserved reputation as the only true democracy in the Middle East and could seriously undermine the strong support for Israel which Evangelical Christians around the world maintain. I pray that your government and judiciary will not let such a thing happen.

Please urge your government to take whatever steps are necessary insure the safety of Messianic Jews and other believers in Jesus throughout Israel and to uphold their religious freedom and democratic rights, as promised in Israel’s Declaration of Independence. This will guarantee that Israel will truly fulfill her calling to be “a light to the nations.”

I am praying for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122).

Yours Truly,

Contact Information:

Israeli Embassies and Consulates abroad:
MFA link:
**Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs is Ms. Tsippi Livni

Ministry of Public Security, email address:
**Israel’s Minister of Public Safety is Mr. Abraham Dichter

Would Jesus seek to convert the Jews?

Would Jesus seek to convert the Jews?
More to the point:
Would Yeshua call Jews to return to the Lord?


A few days a great controversy was stirred up by the World Evangelical Alliance which published a statement in the New York Times affirming their love and friendship for the Jewish people, but unapologetically stating that salvation comes only through Jesus Christ.

Although they may have softened the blow somewhat by using His Hebrew name and title, Messiah Yeshua, nevertheless it was a statement bound to make waves in religious circles.

Fairly immediately many in the Jewish community – especially those who have fostered inter-faith alliances with the Christian community – cried, Foul! Asking publicly, “Would Jesus seek to convert the Jews?

Before Israel-supporting Christians beat a hasty retreat from the backlash of the WEA statement we must understand what the word “convert” means to Jewish ears and what it meant to those Jews, including Jesus, who spoke about it in its Hebrew context in the first century.

When Jews today hear or say the word “convert” in relationship to a Jew placing faith in Jesus, what they think is, this is a Jew who has ceased being Jewish and has become a Christian…like they forced Jews to do in the Spainish Inquisition, for example.

The sense of the word “convert” or “conversion” in these days is bound up in the Jewish mind as the forced conversions of Jews to Christianity in the past. As Christians we need to understand that heavy baggage we carry with Jews but we also need to address the sense of the word in its root form, and in the meaning it was given by the biblical speakers.

It is not a "conversion" to Christianity for Jews to recognize Israel's Messiah.
It is instead a return to the God their fathers. As Yeshua said in John 8:53, Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”

Few of us wanted people bothering us with the gospel before God quickened our hearts with the knowledge that Jesus was the son of God. Jews are no different from us in that, with the exception of a history of Christian coercion of Jews to see the Light that God had not yet shown them.

It is good that the WEA statement acknowledged that fools rush in unprepared to understand where the Jewish people are really coming from on the issue of Yeshua, whose very name means salvation in Hebrew. It is good that the WEA has made a distinction that both upholds the good news of salvation to every nation, tongue and tribe in the world, without compromising on the good and FREE will of all to see Him and choose Him.

There will be a lot a pressure applied because of this WEA statement to compromise the gospel by saying Jews have their own special way to God that does not need Jesus. It is better for these evangelicals to keep their alliance with Yeshua and the Father God, than to try to keep alliance with unsaved Israel.

The WEA made the very important statement that there is an anointing to reach the Jewish people that they would leave up to those with the anointing, which would be the Jewish and Palestinian Arab followers of Yeshua who are Israeli citizens. Some 10-15,000 Jews believers in Israel carry the testimony of the Lord in their daily lives, which is were all valid testimony is demonstrated.

The WEA is doing its part just by recognizing and supporting the anointing that is on the Jewish believers of Israel to be witnesses for the Lord to their own people.

Those who refuse to make this acknowledgment, and who compromise on the need of Jews for Yeshua's salvation, are not merely trying to keep peace within the context of the Jewish-Christian alliance, they are also compromised with regards to the gospel of Messiah Yeshua, or as they refer to Him, Jesus Christ.

In the true sense of the word, it is not “conversion” for Jews to come to faith in Yeshua.

James 5:19 uses the word in the same sense as the Hebrew word tshuvah – to turn, to make a turnaround.

Matthew 13:15, Yeshua says of Israel, 15For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Again, it is used the word in the same sense as the Hebrew word tshuvah – to turn, to make a turnaround.

In every case of use in the New Testament, it is used in the same sense as the word tshuvah, to make a turnaround. We are walking the wrong way, then we see Yeshua and make a turnaround and follow Him in the right path. That is what the word “convert” means, which has taken on a religious meaning that is alien to the true meaning as it was spoken and written the Lord and His first century apostles who understood the meaning of tshuvah – and the call of God throughout the ages to “Tshuvah!”

As in Psalm 80:7 Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

"Turn," which is from the root Hebrew word “shub,” to turn back, to return to the starting point.

Salvation is coming to the Jewish people. It has already begun. There is great warfare that surrounds it, but it is promised by God to come and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Support the Body of Messiah in Israel who bear the witness and testimony of God’s salvation to the Jews through Messiah Yeshua.

As Yeshua told His countrymen at the temple in Jerusalem just before the crowd became a mob picking up stones to throw at Him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”