Messianic Jewish Church Won’t Appeal Israeli Court Ruling
Congregation sought apology for riotous attack on baptism service
By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST Ministries, July 14, 2010
BEER SHEVA, ISRAEL (ANS) -- Compass Direct News (CND) is reporting that a congregation of Messianic Jews in Israel who recently lost a lawsuit against an ultra-orthodox Jewish group that allegedly incited a riot against them has decided not to appeal their case, the church’s pastor has said.
CDN said, “In 2007, Bass filed suit against Yehuda Deri, chief Sephardic rabbi in the city of Beer Sheva, and Yad L’Achim, an organization that fights against Messianic Jews in Israel, for allegedly inciting a riot at a December 2005 service that Bass was leading. On Dec. 24, 2005, during a baptismal service in Beer Sheva, a group of about 200 men pushed their way into a small, covered structure being used to baptize two new Christians and tried to stop the service.
Howard Bass and wife Randi Bass of Yeshua’s Inheritance church
(Photo: Compass Direct)
The CDN story that that after meeting with his congregation and members of the Messianic community in Israel, Howard Bass, pastor of Yeshua’s Inheritance church in Beer Sheva, said that although there are strong legal grounds for an appeal, he believes it is not God’s will to do so.
“We didn’t see that it’s right to appeal, even though there is good legal basis. But we don’t feel it’s the Lord’s will to appeal,” Bass said, later adding he felt the verdict was “totally distorted.”
“The assailants tossed patio chairs, damaged audiovisual equipment, threw a grill and other items into a baptismal pool, pushed Bass into the pool and broke his glasses. In the days before the riot, Yad L’Achim issued notices to people about a 'mass baptism' scheduled to take place at the facility in the city 51 miles southwest of Jerusalem.
“In the days after the riot, Deri bragged about the incident on a radio talk show, including a boast that Bass had been ‘baptized’ at the gathering. Bass demanded either a public apology for their alleged role in the attack, or 1.5 million shekels (US$389,052) from the rabbi and Yad L’Achim.”
The case, Bass said, was to “honor the name of Jesus Christ in Israel.” He said he had sought monetary damages “as a tool to elicit an apology” from Deri and Yad L’Achim.”
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