Leo Hohmann complains in an Aug. 31 WorldNetDaily article:
The state of Israel’s religious establishment is taking its persecution of Messianic Jewish believers in Jesus to a new level.
A rabbinic court, or Sanhedrin, has ruled that a Jew who believes in Jesus as the Jewish Messiah is no longer considered a Jew for purposes of marriage in Israel. This makes it impossible for two Messianic Jews to get married inside the country.
“An Israeli couple who are Messianic Jews cannot marry in a traditional Jewish religious ceremony in Israel because they are considered converts to Christianity, a rabbinical court ruled on Tuesday,” according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
It was the first time a rabbinical court has ruled on the issue of the status of Jews who believe in Jesus as Son of God, after a Messianic couple requested they be married in Israel according to Jewish law or "halacha."
But Hohmann gets one key fact wrong. As religious blogger Richard Bartholomew explains, the Israeli rabbinical court that made this ruling is not a "Sanhedrin" -- a Sanhedrin handles criminal matters, and this is a civil matter -- and does not use that word to describe itself. Bartholomew adds: "Hohman (or an editor) perhaps chose the word 'Sanhedrin' because of its Biblical connotations – reflecting a Christian Zionist tendency to conflate modern and ancient Israel, and in the context of rabbinical hostility to Messianic Jews perhaps also recalling the trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin as described in the New Testament."
Despite this wrong terminology, WND perpetuated it. Editor Joseph Farah ranted in a Sept. 1 column:
Everyone knows I love Israel.
I lead some of the largest tour groups from America every year.
I spend about 5 percent of my time there.
I have been there six times in the last five years, usually for at least two weeks.
But when Israel makes a mistake, I’m the first to admit it. And the Israeli Sanhedrin, or rabbinic court, made one this week – just as it did nearly 2,000 years ago when it condemned the one and only legitimate candidate for the Jewish Messiah.
But if Farah is the Israelophile he claims he is, wouldn't he know that the rabbinical court is not a Sanhedrin?
Apparently not. In a Sept. 5 column, Farah documents his email exchange with the webmaster for "the nascent Sanhedrin." But this is not the Sanhedrin that made the ruling; we we've noted, this is a group of extremist rabbis with links to the banned, violence-tolerating Kahane movement and an intent to replace secular law with Torah law.
Farah cheered the group's existence earlier this year when it bashed the United Nations, going so far as to declare himself "in total agreement with Israel’s Sanhedrin, which not only sees this issue the way clear-thinking people on earth do, but understand the way it is viewed by the Creator-God, who sees the beginning from the end and the end from the beginning."
(The Sanhedrin webmaster, however, did get Farah to back off his suggestion that today's nascent Sanhedrin was the same one that condemned Jesus to death. And he curiously didn't disabuse Farah of his incorrect notion that the rabbinical court that issued the ruling is not the Sanhedrin.)
Why isn't Farah in "total agreement" with the Sanhedrin, or whatever, now? Preobably because WND columnist Michael Brown is a "messianic Jewish scholar" -- WND's original article and Farah's first column on the subject quote him -- and apparent WND buddy Zev Porat is a messianic rabbi in with a ministry in Israel seeking to convert Jews into believing Jesus is the Messiah. Also, WND's favorite terrible lawyer, Larry Klayman, also claims to be a messianic Jew.
Hohmann gave Porat a platform to rant about the "Sanhedrin" in a Sept. 6 WND article, in which he "issued a direct challenge to the regathered Sanhedrin, or rabbic council."In true WND tradition, Hohmann could not be bothered to contact a member of the issuing council to offer its views its decision -- or explain to him why they're not the Sanhedrin.