My apologies for not being able to get this out sooner, since I know that many of you were and have been praying for our day in court yesterday. Also some of you even called, or SMSed, or sent e-mails, and we are very encouraged by such attentive support.
Up to about 30 also met at Ha-MaKoM for worship and intercession during the course of the court session, which went on till about 1:00pm. Once again, the defendants displayed a disrespect for the court and for the entire proceedings by showing up late or not at all. This is the attitude taken by the religious authorities in other cases involving believers in Yeshua here, that the authority of the civil courts are not fully recognized, if at all. (I would say that believers, who find themselves in court over legal matters in any country, need to be careful not to show contempt of court, since we are commanded to submit to the civil authorities, and not to curse our rulers.) Continue reading “Lawsuit Update – 10 Mar 2010”
Hag Purim sameach! The God of Israel continues His sleepless watch over His people. . .and because of such sovereign grace and power, we are not consumed but prevail! Hallelu-Yah!
Next Tuesday, March 9, at 9:00, in Beer Sheva Court Shalom, 4th Fl, Room #44, our scheduled last appearance before Judge Iddo Ruzin takes place in our lawsuit against Beer Sheva Chief Rabbi Yehuda Deri and against the organization Yad L’Achim. Alex Artovsky, their director for the department, The Struggle Against The Mission, is scheduled to testify, after which the three principal attorneys will present their closing arguments before the judge, who will then have up to 30 days to give his verdict in our civil suit. Continue reading “Lawsuit Update – 28 Feb 2010”
This is a reminder about our next and last day in court in our civil lawsuit against Beer Sheva Chief Rabbi Yehuda Deri, and against the Shas-related ‘counter-missionary’ organization, Yad L’Achim.
On Tuesday morning, March 9, in the Beer Sheva Magistrate’s Court Shalom (Room 44, 4th Fl), testimony will be heard by Rabbi Alex Artovsky of Yad L’Achim. Following his testimony, the lawyers representing the parties will each give their oral closing arguments before the Judge, Iddo Ruzin. The judge will have 30 days in which to render his verdict.
The case arises out of an illegal demonstration and trespass on to private [‘church-owned’] property, which developed quickly into a riot, requiring about 70 policemen to bring order after about 3 hours of disturbances preventing lawful assembly for the purpose of conducting lawful religious activities. All this occurred over four years ago, on Dec. 24, 2005. The police did not follow up with the case; we filed suit in February 2007.
We are represented by attorneys Marvin Kramer and Kevork Nalbandian.
“For the vineyard of YHVH of Hosts is the House of Israel, and the men of Judah are His pleasant plant. He looked for justice (righteous judgment), but behold, oppression; for righteousness, but behold, a cry for help.” (Isaiah 5:7 Hebrew)
Here is a link to a well done video by MAOZ regarding our going to court:
For those who could not open the link http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART1/971/819.html to the original online Maariv newspaper article, it seems to work if you copy and paste, and then click on the Hebrew word at the left side of the page which comes up.
Here is the Caspari Media Review English translation of part of the article: it seems to indicate that the article says we are suing for slander because of being accused of trying to convert Jews. I had not noticed that in the original, but if that is what it says, please know that we do evangelize whomsoever that they may believe the gospel and be born again, and be conformed to the image of the Son of God.
Date: Wed, 02 Dec 2009 06:01:24 -0500
From: Caspari Center
Subject: Caspari Media Review – December 2, 2009 December 2, 2009
An article published in Ma’ariv (November 27) featured the congregation in Beersheva (Nachalat Yeshua) as its law suit against Yehuda Deri, the city’s chief rabbi, was finally heard. Entitled “He Encountered a Determined Jew,” its subtitle read: “Howard Bass and the Messianic Jews in Beersheva organized a baptismal ceremony. Rabbi Yehuda Deri heard about the planned event, arrived at the premises with his people, and started a riot. They broke Bass’s glasses, threw him into the pool, and destroyed property. This week Deri gave witness in court. ‘I acted as a rabbi is supposed to,’ he explained. ‘I deserve a medal.'” The pastor of the local congregation, Howard Bass, “waited a whole year” before deciding to bring the case against Deri. “‘It’s not easy to bring charges against the chief rabbi of a city,’ he said. ‘We’re talking about the highest spiritual authority in the town. We wanted to do this with care, but we also wanted people to understand that they can’t take the law into their own hands.” Bass is suing Deri for 60,000NIS [approx. $16,000] for damage to property, the breaking of his glasses, and slander.
According to the suit, Deri waited outside the premises while his followers ran amok, only entering three hours later and attempting to calm down the ruckus. Bass claims that the consequences witness to the fact that the demonstration was orchestrated rather than spontaneous. “At present, Bass and Deri face off against one another, each one fortified by his faith and convinced that he did the right thing for his community. Each views the events from the point where he stood when the event occurred: Bass was inside the congregational compound, whereas Deri entered only toward the end of the incident. Whatever the outcome of the trial, the rashomon they represent [i.e., their individual subjective perception] will never be reconciled.” Although Deri insisted that the prayers held outside the building included no violence – “‘Anyone who says otherwise is lying,’ he declared; ‘people came, prayed, sang – nothing else'” – “media reports concerning the demonstration describe disturbances which calmed down only with the intervention of the police. Deri himself, in an interview with ‘Erev Chadash’ [on TV], replied in response to a question concerning why the demonstrators had thrown stones, that the phenomenon of Messianic Jews is a modern twentieth-century form of the Inquisition. ‘We shall not rest or cease,’ he then said.” In defending his decision to call people to pray outside the congregational building, Deri asserted that he wanted the community to “‘think twice about what they were doing, when they saw Jews praying nearby.'” “‘When Jews take on Christian customs,’ he wrote, ‘the chief rabbi has the right to conduct prayers whose purpose is to get that same public to consider their actions. Freedom of religion works both ways.’ At the same time, he was certain that the event would not deteriorate into violence. According to his statement, he emphasized that prayer must be conducted without any disturbance. ‘I’m against violence; any act of violence will gain the opposite effect.'”
Bass, on the other hand, claims that this is a “‘false plea of innocence’ … The dozens of demonstrators who broke into the compound were indeed determined to act, and did so within the framework of an illegal demonstration.” Deri himself claims that he witnessed no violence, maintaining that he cannot be held responsible for people who acted on their own judgment, that he did not call for anyone to demonstrate nor expect people to show up earlier, and that what was done was performed contrary to his call. “‘From the time I arrived, there was no violence,’ he stated in court. ‘I cannot be held responsible for the actions of the demonstrators. The rumor of a baptismal ceremony of Jews reached the ears of others apart from me and the rabbis with whom I consulted, and they decided to trespass and act provocatively. I never expected that anything would be done to desecrate Shabbat; it’s unthinkable that I would incite anyone to desecrate Shabbat.'” Bass, on the other hand, claims that Deri could have entered the compound much earlier than he did (and thus ended the disturbance much more quickly), and that if there was no violence what need was there for seventy policemen to arrive? His demand for 50,000NIS for slander is based on the fact that the following day Deri stated in a radio interview that the congregation was engaged in converting Jews: “‘This is one of the most serious accusations a Jew can make, and no one with Jewish blood in his veins can tolerate listening to such a reproach.'” In response, Deri argued that he was innocently doing his job of making people aware of what was happening.
The court’s ruling will be handed down in a couple of months’ time. “Deri is convinced that it will exonerate him. ‘The person who brought order to the situation was me,’ he said. ‘The person who prevented violence and ordered the people to return to their homes was Yehuda Deri, the chief rabbi of the city. Everything happened before the time scheduled for the prayer assembly. I didn’t hear about any violence. The claims are false … I was the only calming influence there … I acted as a rabbi should.’ [Interviewer:] ‘A rabbi is supposed to bring hundreds of demonstrators to a Messianic congregational service?’ [Deri:] ‘Baptism is a very serious matter. When I receive a report about the baptism of children I must call a prayer assembly. It would be unimaginable for me not to do so. I did my duty. A rabbi cannot be responsible for this or that disturbance. In this matter, I deserve a medal.'”
Many of you have written, and even called, to express your support and encouragements for our day in court today. This has been wonderfully gratifying to us, for we know through you how much God is with us.
Yesterday, brothers and sisters from all parts of the country, and also from Europe and North America, came together at the ‘Old House’, where the Nachalat Yeshua Congregation meets together to worship. There was a joyful and meekly confident spirit amongst us all as we gave ourselves to thank, to praise, and to worship our Heavenly Father and the Lord Yeshua, the Lamb upon the Throne. Something special took place yesterday, which we pray and believe the Holy Spirit to carry through towards sanctifying the Body of Messiah — even as we sanctify ourselves — to fulfill the answer to Messiah’s, the Son of God’s prayer for our complete union, which will be the full testimony of who He is and who we are in Him. Many thanks to Arni Klein for taking this whole matter to heart, and to act in faith upon it. Continue reading “Lawsuit Update – 23 Nov 2009”
This Friday, the Maariv will carry a story about our lawsuit. This is the first such article as news that the Israeli media is doing! Other newspapers, such as the HaAretz, which did a major article recently about/against Yad L’Achim and their activities against the Messianic believers, have not covered this story even though a significant chief Rabbi of a major city in Israel is being sued for illegal acts done under his authority. I contacted the writer of that story, yet received no response.
For those following our case, we did offer Rabbi Deri [only] another opportunity to issue a public apology, and to pay what amounts to about 1/2 the court and legal expenses, before he must give testimony in court on Monday, Nov 23. He refused it, just as he did at the beginning. Although he says that he is ‘against violence’, and knows that ‘pleasant ways’ produce better results, he has no regrets about the violence and unpleasant ways against us, and he denies any responsibility for them.
Attached are directions for getting to the Old House, the Beit Kehilat Nachalat Yeshua, for those coming down sometime during the day on Sunday, Nov 22, to intercede and to worship together. We will begin at 12:00 noon, and continue until at least 19:00. A number of people will even be sleeping there. Anyone else who would also like to sleep there, please notify me in advance so that we can make some [very informal and flexible] arrangements. There is a full kitchen and also showers.
On Monday, Nov 23, we would again ask that only those who have sufficient understanding of Hebrew try to sit in the very small courtroom. The doors of the Beer Sheva Magistrate’s Court open at 0830; the trial is scheduled to begin at 0930. For those who hope to get a seat, it is advisable to arrive at the court building by 0815, in case the supporters of the defendants should also want to get into the court room. The case will be heard in Room 44, 4th Fl, of Beit Mishpat Shalom, located at the intersection of Itzhak Rager Blvd and Henrietta Szold St.For those who do not know enough Hebrew, and for those who are unable to get a seat inside the court room of Judge Iddo Ruzin, you can remain quietly in the foyer of the 4th floor, without entering into any disputes with those who support the defendants. Or, from 9:00 till 11:00 at Ha-MaKoM (located within walking distance at the intersection of Herzl St and Rambam St in the Old City). We do not know how long the day in court may be, but the Judge has said that he wants to conclude it that day.
WE WOULD VERY MUCH BE ENCOURAGED TO HEAR FROM THOSE WHO ARE NOT COMING BUT ARE STANDING WITH US IN SPIRIT. And if there are any who still feel that our action is improper, you can also speak up so that we can humbly take all things into account as we come before the Lord.
For the true peace in Jerusalem and upon all Israel,
Howard, and Kehilat Nachalat Yeshua/Amutat Nichalim BaNegev
The anticipation of our scheduled final day in court on November 23 is increasing. Believers from all around Israel and from other nations are writing and encouraging and PRAYING for the righteousness of God to be revealed through the proceedings of the day, and especially in the verdict which the judge will deliver sometime up till December 23, four years after the illegal event which we believe that the anti-Christian/Messianic organization, Yad L’Achim, represented by Rabbi Alex Artovsky, and the Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Beer Sheva, Yehuda Deri, are legally responsible or irresponsible for inciting and approving. Sunday the 22nd has been set apart as a national day of worship and intercession, with many from the Body of Messiah in Israel coming together that day. Continue reading “Lawsuit Suit – 10 Nov 2009”
Shalom, and thank God for Yeshua that our names are already written in the Lamb’s Book of Life!
I want to update you on some good news regarding our lawsuit against the Beer Sheva Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yehuda Deri, and against the anti-great commission organization, Yad L’Achim with Rabbi Alex Atrovsky as their representative being the head of their Struggle Against the Mission section, scheduled to be completed in the Beer Sheva Magistrate’s Court in our civil suit on November 23, with a decision by Judge Iddo Ruzin by December 23, exactly four years from the [second] riotous event against our congregation, Nachalat Yeshua (Yeshua’s Inheritance). The two defendants are the only ones remaining to testify in the court proceedings. Continue reading “Lawsuit Update – 29 Sep 2009”
Thanks again for expressing so much support for us throughout this lawsuit, which is a significant part of what the Lord is seeking through our stand together.
I have been asked to give banking information, in case any one is interested in helping us cover our legal and court costs for the trial. We have received some contributions over the last couple of years, and have even been blessed to receive from some Israeli congregations and organizations. Our two believing lawyers have given us a very ‘brotherly’ rate for their extensive services, but, nonetheless, the costs do add up.
Any victory that is savored afterwards was hard fought.
Good evening from here after a hot, hard, and long day.
Our trial — no pun intended but very apropos — is not yet over, and will be convened again for a final date on November 23 at 9:30 in the morning. The verdict will then be given by December 23.
I have been greatly encouraged by the response of the believers within and without Israel to us and this case. It anticipates a day when there will be a unity that transcends all those things that still is out of God’s order in His perfect redemption of His creation. Continue reading “Lawsuit Update – 21 Jun 2009”