Last week a couple came before the rabbinical court in Tel Aviv for a decision on if the rabbinate would officiate and marry them off. Both the man and the woman are Jewish by birth and they wanted to stand under the marriage canopy according to the “Law of Moses and Israel”; could they?
When the couple originally came to the Rabbinate to file for marriage certification and their desire to get married according to Jewish Law that was when this strange question came up. Upon further investigation both were Jewish from families dating back many generations but they themselves believe in Jesus. They acknowledge they are members of the Tiferet Yehoshua congregation which is a missionary congregation of Jews for Jesus. They said that they are not ashamed of their faith, quite the contrary; they see it as their mission to spread the message of Christianity.
So what is their halachic status? This question was brought before a special judicial panel with the participation of Chief Court Rabbi, Rabbi Zavdia Cohen, and the chief court rabbis, Rabbi Achiezer Amrani and Rabbi Zvi Ben Yaakov. They invited an investigator that’s an expert in Christianity and missionaries and cults.
After this Judicial panel discussed the matter the publicized their decision in a long explanation including many halachic sources and also including Supreme Court rulings too. The decision in the case of this couple was that they are considered apostates who don’t ascribe to the laws of “Moses and Israel” so therefore their request for a Jewish marriage was rejected. “However, if they declare before the Rabbinical Court that they reject their Christian faith totally including leaving their missionary congregation and they immerse themselves in a Mikvah to become Jews under the auspices of the Rabbinical Court and believe in one G-d only the G-d of Israel, they will be Jews and their request for marriage can be resubmitted for consideration by the Rabbinical Court.”
For further reading on who Jews for Jesus are, why they are wrong and what dangers they pose click on link below: