‘Messianic Jews’ Defect from Cult, Turn to Yad L’Achim for Help


yad-lachimIt took a nasty rift among “Messianic Jewish” groups in Israel to get two veteran cult members to recognize that they had been living a lie – and to turn to Yad L’Achim, previously their arch enemy, for help.

The cult has been torn apart by disputes among its leaders, leading to mutual recriminations and causing at least two cult members, Jews who had been led astray, to rethink the path they had chosen.

The two, one of whom had been with the cult for 30 years, decided to contact Yad L’Achim, which has led the battle against missionaries, for answers to questions that had become more and more troubling.

“Suddenly, I began to understand that the cult is a well-oiled machine for those who are profiting on people and their faith,” said one.

“They make money at the expense of people in distress who are seeking direction,” said the other.

After questioning the motives of the cult’s leaders, the two began to look deeper at its practices. “Suddenly, I noticed that I was calling myself a Messianic ‘Jew,’ but I was a Christian in every way. There was absolutely no difference between me and the Christians who came to us.”

Added his friend: “There were stunning contradictions between the Tenach and the new testatment.”

At the instruction of Yad L’Achim chairman Rav Shalom Dov Lifschitz, a meeting was arranged between the two confused cult members and Rabbi Binyamin Kluger, a leading Yad L’Achim staffer who specializes in cults.

Rabbi Kluger, a former pastor in France who converted to Judaism, shared his personal story. “I came to Yad L’Achim not to find a job, but because I myself was a missionary and was exposed to their distortions, deceit, and the cynical way they took advantage of people,” Rabbi Kluger told them.

What disturbed the two the most, Rabbi Kluger learned, was the discovery that the heads of the cult had been secretly leading lives of luxury. They were even more startled to see the documents Rabbi Klugman produced, showing exactly how much cult leaders earn in Israel. No less shocking was documentation showing that the head of the “community,” who presented himself as a “Messianic Jew,” was a church employee from the north working as a missionary.

That was too much for the two, and they decided there and then to sever their ties with the cult and begin taking first steps back to the Jewish people.

In response to these events, Rav Lifschitz noted that Yad L’Achim had been aware of this deception for a while, but “the fact that this should come to light for these two cult members on Chanuka, when we celebrate victory over the assimilationists, gives expression to our faith that Jews will never be severed from their source. Even Jews who have been caught up with missionaries for decades can return to the faith of their fathers. It is never too late.”

{Matzav.com Israel}


  1. Rabbi Tuvia Singer has a collection of recorded lectures that highlight the textual inconsistancies, mistranslations and outright falsification of dozens -if not hundreds- of ‘verses’ in the ‘Old Testament’. Enlightening and often infuriating listening.

  2. Hopefully, these two members can influence and share their newfound knowledge with other members….and slowly…slowly bring them back to their faith…..
    Halevei they can influence the secular yidden in Eretz Yisroel and give them a taste for what they are truly missing….
    May the pintele yid burn bright and ignite!!!!!

  3. How do we know that these two people are for real? Maybe they are just making up a story in order to infiltrate into our community?

  4. Yad leachim is smarter then that. They can sence sincerity. Anyway we don’t run an army operation to be afraid of spies and inflitrators, we are who we are and believe in what we believe.

  5. Thank G-d they realized the truth of the matter and came back into the fold! Groups like Yad L’Achim and Jews for Judaism are doing excellent work in helping to fight the lies coming from the missionaries.

  6. There are a number of problems with the “facts” of this article:

    1) It assumes an organized leadership structure among Messianic Jews in Israel.

    The problem is that this hardly the case. There is no leadership structure, or centralized authority. The only thing that seems true about the article is the comment about rifts in the community. The problem is because there is no one set of shared philosophies, practice, etc. The community is very disorganized.

    2) The second problem is the “secret documentation” accusing Messianic leaders of bringing in large amounts of money and “leading lives of luxury.”

    In reality, the Messianic Jewish community hardly has the money Anti-Missionaries often pretend they do. Most are struggling to get by to to harassment and prejudice. It is true that Christian missionary organizations that employ Jewish Christians, like Jews for Jesus, do have considerable budget. However, Jews for Jesus are not Messianic Jews, and are not in favor of, nor are involved in Messianic congregations. There has long been a rift between the two groups despite popular belief that they are one and the same.

    3) Lastly, because there is no cohesion, and the community is highly disorganized, there is no “well-oiled” machine. Additionally, “machine” assumes some large numbers or organization.

    These problems, as well as others lead me to completely question the reliability of the entire article