missionary book in IDF
missionary book in IDFOr L'Achim

A missionary organization has been distributing pamphlet-sized booklets entitled "Standing orders for the Messianic Soldier," with an explanation of how to spread the gospel of Christianity among soldiers and how to defend the concept of Christianity under its definition as the "Messianic faith."

Rabbi Binyamin Vulkan, director of the department for the fight against missionary activity in the Or L'Achim organization, says: "This is an organization called 'Netiva' of the Christian-funded Messianic Jewish sect. Their faith is messianic and missionary in every way. They have a program called 'Natzor' in which they hold conferences for soldiers and now they have published a booklet on how to preach to soldiers on various religious levels, how to preach to the religious, secular and atheist soldier."

Rabbi Vulkan adds: "We also received a request that tells of a soldier who swore on the Bible of the same 'Netiva' organization." On the contents of the information booklet, which is designed as a pocket command booklet, he adds that it explains "how to make sure that there is no rejection by the soldier who is talking to him. They give the relevant verses to hold the conversation and define the New Testament as a continuation of the Bible and that it is not something new."

Is it possible that their self-definition as 'Messianic Jews' gives them a label of a legitimate stream in Judaism and as a result there is difficulty in preventing them from distributing materials and content at IDF bases? Rabbi Vulkan replies that there is no movement in Judaism that recognizes them and that even the Reform movement does not recognize them, so that their definition as Jews is far from reality. He further notes that "Rabin, as defense minister, also issued an order not to allow the missionaries to conduct missionary activity within the IDF. They mislead, but we as an organization are taking the mask off. Every Messianic community in the country is a mission and a branch of a church abroad, that's how it also appears on their websites."

"This is a cult as they have been defined in Israeli courts. We are at the forefront of the fight and receive inquiries and complaints and also hold theological talks to explain questions that arise among innocent young people who meet them," he says.

With regard to the booklet in question, the IDF spokesman stated that "the booklets in question are from an organization that does not operate in a military framework or in the areas of IDF bases, and does not manage any work interface with the IDF. In their free time and not under IDF auspices, IDF soldiers are allowed to consume civilian content."

Rabbi Vulkan clarifies that there is no claim that the missionary activity is carried out in cooperation with the IDF, but that there is a movement to preach the values ​​of Christianity within the IDF.