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6 years ago  ::  Jul 26, 2008 - 9:03AM #1
Pam34
Posts: 2,655
Messianic Jews complain about Ohio prisons
The Associated Press
Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated:07/25/2008 07:29:43 PM MDT
Columbus, Ohio » The inmates say they're Jewish, but the prison considers them Protestant.
    A long-running debate over defining the term ''Messianic Jew'' has spilled into a dispute over self-described Messianic Jews at an Ohio prison claiming discrimination in their attempts to keep kosher.
    Messianic Jews say they can be Jewish while believing that Jesus is the Messiah foretold in Jewish scriptures - an idea contrary to traditional Judaism.
    At least four Messianic Jewish prisoners at Richland Correctional Institution in Mansfield have filed grievances, alleging discrimination. Federal law says the government cannot impede the religious exercise of an inmate unless those restrictions support a compelling governmental interest.
    The Rev. Gary Sims, religious-services administrator for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, said he revoked kosher privileges for Messianic Jews in 2004 after consulting with Messianic Jewish rabbis who told him the meals weren't essential. The meals also are prohibitively expensive, he said.
    Another complaint stems from the fact that the Messianic Jews have to meet on Sundays because there's no volunteer to serve them on the Jewish Sabbath, which begins at sundown Friday and ends at sundown Saturday. Regular chaplains are off during that time, Sims said.
    He said the prison system is re-evaluating its religious-accommodation policies.
    - The Associated Press
Blessed are You, HaShem, Who blesses the years.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 26, 2008 - 9:42AM #2
Pam34
Posts: 2,655
Well THAT was a slip - sorry - that's mJ's in prison. Sorry. Too late to fix.
Blessed are You, HaShem, Who blesses the years.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 28, 2008 - 7:42AM #3
Bunsinspace
Posts: 5,929

Pam34 wrote:

Messianic Jews complain about Ohio prisons
The Associated Press
Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated:07/25/2008 07:29:43 PM MDT
Columbus, Ohio » The inmates say they're Jewish, but the prison considers them Protestant.
A long-running debate over defining the term ''Messianic Jew'' has spilled into a dispute over self-described Messianic Jews at an Ohio prison claiming discrimination in their attempts to keep kosher.
Messianic Jews say they can be Jewish while believing that Jesus is the Messiah foretold in Jewish scriptures - an idea contrary to traditional Judaism.
At least four Messianic Jewish prisoners at Richland Correctional Institution in Mansfield have filed grievances, alleging discrimination. Federal law says the government cannot impede the religious exercise of an inmate unless those restrictions support a compelling governmental interest.
The Rev. Gary Sims, religious-services administrator for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, said he revoked kosher privileges for Messianic Jews in 2004 after consulting with Messianic Jewish rabbis who told him the meals weren't essential. The meals also are prohibitively expensive, he said.
Another complaint stems from the fact that the Messianic Jews have to meet on Sundays because there's no volunteer to serve them on the Jewish Sabbath, which begins at sundown Friday and ends at sundown Saturday. Regular chaplains are off during that time, Sims said.
He said the prison system is re-evaluating its religious-accommodation policies.
- The Associated Press



BS"D

Well this is a fine sectarian mess. As the Christian Bible encourages Christians to visit those in prison, it looks like either the MJ's themselves or some compassionate Protestants will have to step up to the plate to unravel this mess. The MJ's want kosher food? I thought that Jesus did away with Jewish "legalism." It looks like this is a no-win scenario for MJ Identity. If they side with the Jews and Jewish observance they forfeit their support from the Christian community for "Judaizing" the religion of Jesus. If they side with the Christians they forfeit their right to request kosher food and Shabbos worship effectively nullifying their claim to Jewish identity.

This is a case in point where it is very BAD to be a sectarian. Either some MJ's must step up to the plate or they are practically forsaking not only their own coreligionists in prison, but they are violating the commandment of their god Jesus to visit those in prison. No-matter what they do they cannot come out ahead in this worst-case scenario that forces these ever-on-the-fence sectarians to take a side and stick to it. Maybe this excellent real-world case will settle once and for all the question as to whether MJ is a Christian sect or legitmately Jewish according to the law of the land (In Judaism the Law of the Land is THE LAW unless Jewish Law is more strict in each case - "derekh eretz.") I am interested to see the actual outcome of this interesting dilemma for the MJ community at large.:confused:

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6 years ago  ::  Aug 20, 2008 - 3:36PM #4
Devinlaw
Posts: 22
This is a common "scam" amongst prisoners all over the country.  They claim to be "Jewish" so they can get kosher food.  The kosher food IS a lot better apparently than standard prison fare.
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