The Top Ten
Gavriel Aryeh Sanders - Jewsweek.com - February 22, 2005
A former evangelical minister and now an observant Jew, Gavriel Sanders tells us ten things Christian Zionists ask him about Jews and Israel. The issue of Jonathan Pollard is one of the top 10 questions.
As I've traveled the country this last year, I've had numerous conversations with pro-Israel evangelicals, commonly known as Christian Zionists. They have many questions about how the Jewish community works, how Israel functions as a society, and how Jews around the world see themselves in relation to God, the Torah, Jewish values, and Jewish influence. Here is a distilled list of commonly heard questions. If you'd like to offer an answer to any of these, please send your reply to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll share your insights in an upcoming edition.
- How is it that the people that gave the world the Bible live more like the world than the Bible?
- I thought Israel was to be a light unto the nations. Why are they trying so hard to be like and liked by the nations?
- If, after 2000 years of dispersion and prayer for restoration, Jews finally have a homeland: Why don't more Jews go home? Why are they giving away the land?
- It the title deed for the Temple Mount, Joseph's Tomb, and the Cave of the Patriarchs is contained in the Jewish Bible, how can the Israeli government give away these treasures of heritage to an enemy?
- If pidyon shuvyim (ransom of a captive Jew) is a priority amongst Jewish values, why isn't there a greater outcry to free Jonathan Pollard? After his unfair sentencing and 20-year imprisonment, isn't he as much a prisoner of Zion as was Natan Sharansky?
- In a "land for peace" exchange, the Jews give up tangible turf that can't be returned for an intangible pledge that can't be guaranteed. Why?
- If Jews are so committed to saving Jewish lives, why have more than two million Jewish babies been aborted in Israel since 1948? How does that square with replacing the 1.5 million children lost in the Holocaust?
- Why do liberal Jews insist on making peace with an enemy that has not renounced its commitment to the destruction of the Jewish state? America would never do this. Is the "New Israel Fund" really a "No Israel Fund"?
- Why do so many Jews insist on bending the Torah to fit their cultural preferences rather than adjust their lives to live by the Torah? Isn't God's will more important than a Saturday golf game? Isn't preserving faith and family more important than eating seafood?
- Why does it seem that so many Jews hate their own religion or have so little knowledge of their own Bible? Most evangelicals know the Jewish scriptures better than most Jews.
The author is the senior religion columnist for Jewsweek Magazine. He is a former evangelical minister who was a covert missionary in Israel and Saudi Arabia. In the process of mastering Hebrew, he began to see many serious flaws in the Christian Bible. His studies of Tanakh persuaded him to convert to Judaism "al pi halakhah". Now an observant Jew, Sanders resides in New York. Sanders spent two and half years working in Saudi Arabia, including the period during the Gulf War. A popular national speaker, he inspires Jewish audiences across the spectrum to embrace the challenge and rewards of Jewish learning and Jewish living.