A Jewish outreach organization has called on mainstream booksellers, including Barnes & Noble and Amazon, to remove a Christian missionary version of the traditional Passover Hagaddah from the Judaism sections of online and conventional bookstores.
Rabbi Tovia Singer, director of Outreach Judaism, warned, "Despite the innocent-sounding title 'Passover Family Pack: Everything You Need to Enjoy a Passover Seder Dinner,' the guide quickly departs from the traditional holiday message once it is opened."
Jewish families seeking to celebrate the ancient exodus of the Jewish People from Egyptian slavery find once they open the package that they are encouraged to express their faith in the Christian deity, "Yeshua the Messiah."
"Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, WalMart Books and other retailers are trusted names in the book industry," Singer said. "As such, they have a special responsibility to accurately label such material under a Christian category rather group it together with legitimate Jewish material," he added.
"The 'Passover Kit' is an insidious tool Christian organizations use to convert Jewish people," declared Singer, who also urged buyers to lobby booksellers' corporate offices to remove the publication from Judaism publications lists.
Outreach Judaism urges all denominations of Judaism - Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative, and Orthodox - and people of all faiths to sign an online petition to pressure booksellers to exercise responsibility to the public and remove the missionary Hagaddah from Judaism sections.
The publisher of the missionary Passover guide, Messianic Jewish Resources, is associated with works such as The Jewish New Testament, The Messianic Jewish Manifesto, and other similar books. Singer said that such books are "an assault to the Jewish faith" and placing them in the Jewish section of their walk-in and on-line book stores is tantamount to "consumer fraud."
Singer noted that missionary publishers often intentionally try to mislead the book-buying public by giving their works Jewish-sounding titles. "It's ironic that mainstream organizations who are seeking to undermine the Jewish faith are able to pass themselves off as legitimate Jewish groups,” he commented. "The unsuspecting Jewish families who purchase this "Haggadah" are undoubtedly stunned by a not-so-familiar Passover story."
Singer, who has released for free internet download a 24-hour lecture series on Judaism's Response to Christian Missionaries, called on people who have already purchased the Haggadah to return the volume at the point of sale.
Action items from Outreach Judaism:
- Sign the online petition
- Send emails to the following bookstore chains: Barnes and Noble, and Wal-Mart (click and follow the customer service links). For Amazon, go to http://www.amazon.com, click on "help" in upper right corner of page. Click on yellow "Contact us" tab in right column. Then click "Skip sign in" at bottom of box.
- Hear Rabbi Tovia Singer's Radio show