An Unholy Trinity: A Menorah, a Star of David, and the ‘FISH’ (2022)

Photo Credit: courtesy

Many visitors to theEin Keshatot national heritage sitein the Golan Heights were perturbed by the sight of a monument promoting a Christian missionaary agenda that was donated by Curt Landry and his network of ministries.

The statue has three symbols: a menorah, a Star of David, and a fish – the latter being a Christian symbol. Engraved on a stone at the base are the words: “This symbol of the One New Man represents the friendship and brotherhood between Christianity and Judaism. Our shared love for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

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Yet the ‘One New Man’ theology in fact represents a merging of Christianity and Judaism and ablurring of the differencesrather than a friendship between the followers of two different faiths.

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“It’s so striking that they’re using the fish symbol together with the Star of David,” leading anti-missionary activist Rabbi Tovia Singer toldWorld Israel News. (WIN).

“The Jesus fish is a very ancient symbol, much older than the cross, to represent Christianity. The fish symbol was used and continues to be used because the word for a fish is an acronym in Greek. The Greek word is ‘ichthys,’ which is an acronym for ‘Jesus Christ Son of God Savior.’

“Missionaries won’t use the term ‘Jesus Christ.’ Rather, they say ‘Yeshua’ in order to enable evangelism.

“So, the Jesus fish was an ancient Christian secret message, like a dog whistle, to convey that this is really Christianity, and it has become very popular in the last 40 years as the growth of the messianic movement emerged,” Singer explained.

“Blending the fish – which seems innocuous at first glance but actually conveys Jesus Christ and Son of God, meaning Divine and the only savior – with the Star of David is precisely what missionaries do to blur the distinction between Judaism and Christianity in order to lure Jews who otherwise would resist…

“And that lends itself directly to theOne New Manor New Humanity theology that’s in the Book of Colossians [the 12th book of the New Testament written by the apostle Paul],” Singer said. “It’s designed to create a melding of Judaism and Christianity. But theologically, it’s Christianity.”

“When Michael El-Kohen was on Morningstar Ministries, he talked about this in his interview,” Singer continued, referring toMichael Elk, who immigrated to Israel using the last name El-Kohen, presented himself as an Orthodox Jew and ensonced himself in the community…

“The reason they’re so interested in converting Jews is they believe the Jews alone, through conversion, will bring Jesus’ Second Coming.”

Furthermore,”what’s going on in Israel doesn’t go on in any other country in the world. Meaning that nowhere else in the world are synagogues working with missionaries. Jewish community centers don’t have a working relationship with evangelical Christians. It’s only going on here in Israel. We have the evangelicals so deeply ensconced in government…and that clout only exists in Israel. They’re targeting us.”

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The missionary organizations are pro-Israel and donate serious money to worthy causes in the country as well as providing political support, including in Judea and Samaria. Many have turned a blind eye to their missionary activities because of this support.

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“One of the reasons I made Aliyah [immigrated to Israel] more than three years ago is that I realized the problem is such a cancer,” Singer said. “I came on a speaking tour to Israel and saw the situation.”

Another reason that missionaries have had success in the Jewish state – there are roughly 200 messianic “synagogues” across the country – is that most Israelis have no understanding of Christianity and are unaware of the the symbolism, including a seemingly innocent carving of a fish. However, some visitors to Ein Keshatot who saw the monument did comprehend the meaning behind it and protested to the Golan Regional Council.

Ellen Horowitz, a writer and consultant on the Israel-Evangelical relationship who lives in the Golan Heights, investigated the situation and told WIN what she discovered.

She asked the artist, Sam Philipe, who is known for his sculptures of biblical and New Testament figures, why the enormous area around the statue had been cleared of all rubble, and “he said it’s going to be a parking lot.”

“So, the first thing visitors to the national heritage site will see is a messianic symbol,” she said.

Most Israelis do not grasp the Christian symbolism, she said. Also, “Curt Landry is giving a lot of money all over the place in Israel, and obviously it increases his influence…he gives a lot to the IDF, to hospitals – all good causes, but he’s definitely an active missionary.”

‘They were DUPED’

Horowitz believes that the Golan Regional Council members were tricked into accepting the statue as a gift, unaware of the “sinister” scheme.

“They now recognize there’s a missionary intent behind the sculpture. They were duped. There’s a real toxic agenda behind it, to break down the barriers between Judaism and Christianity.

“It’s a convoluted mess. It was very good people in the Golan Heights – religious, secular, across the political spectrum – who pressured the Council.

“But even if they had put up a friendlier, kinder, gentler monument, the collaboration between the Council and a missionary organization is there,” she lamented.

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Horowitz becomes incensed by people who accept money from those who “cross red lines” and allow “a blatant affront to the Jewish people and to Torah and to the Land of Israel.

“That’s really what’s happening here. When something so wrong like this happens, people have to be honest and transparent and say, ‘You can’t go there Mr. Landry, Rabbi, Pastor – whoever you are. You’ve just crossed a red line that cannot be crossed.’”

‘Historic, continuing threat’ to Jewish continuity

“B’nai B’rith has been fighting against missionary activity in the Land of Israel since 1888, B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem director Alan Schneider told WIN.

“Proselytism targeting Jews, including through attempts by missionaries to disguise themselves and their faith as Jewish, represents one of the major historic and continuing threats to the continuity of the Jewish people and its religion, Judaism. Jews are broadly united in seeing such practices – including when accompanied by ostensible acts of support for vulnerable and needy Jewish populations – as hostile,” Schneider said.

“Unfortunately, Curt Landry is among those promoting a ‘Messianic Judaism’ in which Jews effectively adopt Christianity. Over recent years, some professed friends of Israel, utilizing both largesse and deceptive tactics, have overseen an alarming escalation of efforts to infiltrate and win converts in Israeli Jewish communities. The public placement, next to the ancient synagogue at Ein Keshatot, of a Messianic monument tied to Landry is just one especially brazen signal of this intensified evangelism.”

Looking for a ‘suitable’ location

WIN asked Council spokesperson Limor Holtz on Tuesday where the statue would be relocated.

An Unholy Trinity: A Menorah, a Star of David, and the ‘FISH’ (2)

Statue with missionary symbols at Ein Keshatot heritage site covered up following outcry, July 26, 2022. (Anonymous)

“I don’t know where the new location is, it’s yet to be determined” she said,” adding that “it was not the Golan residents who were bothered by it…

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“We didn’t have a full understanding of what the statue means when we got the request to put it there, but for now it’s covered.”

An Unholy Trinity: A Menorah, a Star of David, and the ‘FISH’ (3)

As of Wednesday afternoon, the covering is removed to reveal the missionary message. (Anonymous)

In fact, while the statue has not yet been removed, it was completely draped for some time, as seen on photos sent from observers on Tuesday. As of Wednesday afternoon, however, the engraved base with the writing about One New Man is uncovered and clearly visible.

It will be up to those in collaboration with the artist and the donor to find a location, but “not a heritage site,” Holtz said.“I cannot speak on behalf of anybody else, but I noticed there were conversations about getting a new location that everybody is going to be happy about.”

Asked whether it could be problematic to put it anywhere else in the country other than at a church or some other Christian site, she said , “I’m not sure. We’re still looking into it.

“We didn’t know until a few days ago that somebody got offended by it, and now we are looking for a place that’s going to be suitable for everybody. It will take a little time, but I guess a solution will be found.”

{Reposted from the WIN site}

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FAQs

Why is the fish a symbol of Jesus? ›

This is a very ancient symbol that early Christians used in the Roman Empire to avoid persecution.

What is the meaning of the Messianic symbol? ›

The Messianic Seal of Jerusalem is a symbol used by Messianic Judaism. The symbol is a depiction of the Temple Menorah, an ancient Jewish symbol, together with the Ichthys, an ancient depictive representation of Christian faith and the community of Jesus followers, creating a Star of David at the intersection.

What does the menorah symbolize? ›

The seven lamps allude to the branches of human knowledge, represented by the six lamps inclined inwards towards, and symbolically guided by, the light of God represented by the central lamp. The menorah also symbolizes the creation in seven days, with the center light representing the Sabbath.

Why is the Star of David the symbol of Judaism? ›

The earliest uses of the Star of David in Jewish culture had little to do with religion. According to historian Alec Mishory, the star was originally used by Jewish printers to mark their ancestry, decorate their books and to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

What does a fish symbolize spiritually? ›

Fish Symbolism & Spiritual Meanings Of Fish

Fish are symbols of rebirth, fertility, the unconscious or higher self, luck, change, health, and feelings. Fish are also commonly associated with the water element, which signifies stability, balance, and tranquility.

What is the name of the Jesus fish? ›

Christianity. The Ichthys is an important identification symbol in Christianity. More than just a Jesus fish on the bumper of the car, the Ichthys (same root as ichthyology) is arguably the second most important symbol in the Christian religion.

What is Star of David? ›

Star of David, Hebrew Magen David (“Shield of David”), Magen also spelled Mogen, Jewish symbol composed of two overlaid equilateral triangles that form a six-pointed star. It appears on synagogues, Jewish tombstones, and the flag of the State of Israel.

Which religion did Jesus follow? ›

Of course, Jesus was a Jew. He was born of a Jewish mother, in Galilee, a Jewish part of the world. All of his friends, associates, colleagues, disciples, all of them were Jews. He regularly worshipped in Jewish communal worship, what we call synagogues.

What religion is messianic? ›

Messianic Jews consider themselves Jewish Christians. Specifically they believe, as do all Christians, that Jesus is the son of God, as well as the Messiah, and that he died in atonement for the sins of mankind. There are approximately 175,000 to 250,000 messianic Jews in the U.S, and 350,000 worldwide.

What is the story behind the menorah? ›

An eight-branched menorah modeled after the Temple menorah is used by Jews in rites during the eight-day festival of Hanukkah. The menorah is first mentioned in the biblical book of Exodus (25:31–40), according to which the design of the lamp was revealed to Moses by God on Mount Sinai.

Is a menorah a religious symbol? ›

However, a menorah is a religious symbol and a creche is a religious symbol. …

Does the menorah represent the tree of life? ›

The menorah brings us back to the creation story, where the first creation was light. (Genesis 1:3) In the center of the Garden of Eden were the tree of knowledge and tree of life. The menorah looks like a tree. It is adorned with flowers, knobs and cups.

Is the Star of David a Catholic symbol? ›

While predominately recognized as a symbol of Judaism and Israel, many Christians identify with the Star of David as well. The five pointed star is also a symbol of Christianity associated with the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

What does the six pointed star symbolize? ›

Alchemists used it to symbolize the union of opposites, and it is considered by some to be the symbolic epitome of “as above, so below.” Known as the Star of David, or the Magen David, and commonly associated with Judaism today, the six-pointed star is actually a relatively new symbol of the Jewish faith.

What God does Judaism worship? ›

God in Judaism has been conceived in a variety of ways. Traditionally, Judaism holds that Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the national god of the Israelites, delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, and gave them the Law of Moses at Mount Sinai as described in the Torah.

What does the fish symbol mean in Catholicism? ›

The Fish

The fish is based on the first letters of the Greek words for Jesus Christ. The Greek word for fish is 'Ichthus', which is also an acronym for Jesus. The Greek, 'Iesous CHristos THeou Uios Soter' translates in English to, 'Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour'.

What do fish have to do with anything symbolism? ›

In Avi's shorts story "What do Fish have to Do with Anything?" through a unique use of symbolism, he compares the inconsiderate and selfish person to a blind fish, showing that if you don't choose to see, you will never be able to see, revealing that you cannot have true sight unless you notice people as individuals.

What does it mean when you see a fish in your dream? ›

There are several potential meanings to dreams about fish, including receiving power, prosperity, personal growth, and fertility.

What is the true symbol of Jesus? ›

cross, the principal symbol of the Christian religion, recalling the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the redeeming benefits of his Passion and death. The cross is thus a sign both of Christ himself and of the faith of Christians.

What did Jesus do with fish? ›

Jesus told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn give to the people. They all ate and were satisfied.

What does the alpha and omega symbol mean in Christianity? ›

Table of Contents. Alpha and Omega, in Christianity, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, used to designate the comprehensiveness of God, implying that God includes all that can be. In the New Testament Revelation to John, the term is used as the self-designation of God and of Christ.

What did Jesus do with fish? ›

Jesus told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn give to the people. They all ate and were satisfied.

What does the fish symbol mean in Catholicism? ›

The Fish

The fish is based on the first letters of the Greek words for Jesus Christ. The Greek word for fish is 'Ichthus', which is also an acronym for Jesus. The Greek, 'Iesous CHristos THeou Uios Soter' translates in English to, 'Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour'.

Why do Christians eat fish on Friday? ›

It simply meant abstaining from eating the flesh of warm-blooded animals—since the thinking goes, Jesus was a warm-blooded animal. Fish, though, which are cold blooded were considered okay to eat on fasting days. Hence, Fish on Fridays and “Fish Friday” (among many other religious holidays) was born.

Is tilapia the Jesus fish? ›

Tilapia is rumored to be the fish that was caught by St. Peter in the Sea of Galilee and fed to the masses of Tabgha, an ancient town on the north-west coast of the sea, by Jesus. This is one of the reasons why the fish is also known as “St. Peter's fish” and is separated from meat according to Lenten standards.

What is the message of the loaves and fishes? ›

Jesus Feeds the 5000

This story is popular for children as it teaches the importance of sharing, making the most of what you have, and that Christians must place their trust in God. This being in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ within the Christian religion.

What is the meaning of fish in Bible? ›

In latin Christian symbology, the fish is related to Christ. Jesus told Peter (the first apostle), a fisherman by trade, that he would become a "fisher of men" if he were to follow Christ. For its connection with Christ it has also come to embody resurrection and immortality, as well as the savior.

Who did Jesus fish with? ›

It is reported in the last chapter of the Gospel of John (John 21:1–14) and takes place after the Resurrection of Jesus. In Christian art, the two miracles are distinguished by the fact that in the first miracle Jesus is shown sitting in the boat with Peter, while in the second miracle he is standing on the shore.

What are the 4 symbols of the church? ›

The words one, holy, catholic and apostolic are often called the four marks of the Church.

What does the PX symbol mean in Christianity? ›

The monogram that looks like a combination of a P and an X is actually the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ – Chi (X) and Rho (P). The symbol was used by early Christians and is attributed to the Roman Emporer Contstantine, who used it as a military symbol.

What are the seven symbols of the Holy Spirit? ›

The symbols of the Holy Spirit are: Dove, Fire, Oil, Wind and Water. The Dove: This can be seen in the description of the baptism of Christ (Matt. 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:30-34). A dove symbolises peace (Psalms 55:6; Song of Songs 2:12); purity (Song of Songs 5:2; 6:9); innocence (Matt.

Why is fish not considered meat? ›

Basic definitions

Because fish are cold-blooded, they would not be regarded as meat under this definition. Others use the term “meat” to refer exclusively to the flesh of fur-covered mammals, which excludes animals like chicken and fish.

Why did Catholics not eat meat on Fridays? ›

Abstinence from meat on Fridays is done as a sacrifice by many Christians because they believe that on Good Friday, Jesus sacrificed his flesh for humanity. In Orthodox Christianity, in addition to fasting from food until sundown, the faithful are enjoined to abstain from sexual relations on Fridays as well.

Why do Christians not eat meat on Good Friday? ›

Christians believe that Jesus was executed on Good Friday, sacrificing his flesh for our sins. For centuries, Christians have abstained from eating meat on Good Friday, and this was a rule laid out by the Vatican.

Is Jesus a vegetarian? ›

Many biblical scholars believe that Jesus was a vegetarian. Jesus' message is one of love and compassion, and there is nothing loving or compassionate about factory farms and slaughterhouses, where billions of animals live miserable lives and die violent, bloody deaths.

What type of fish would Jesus have eaten? ›

If you remember, Jesus was cooking fish over a fire on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias the third time that he appeared to the apostles after the Resurrection. One of the most prevalent fish in that area is tilapia.

What type of food did Jesus eat? ›

Based on the Bible and historical records, Jesus most likely ate a diet similar to the Mediterranean diet, which includes foods like kale, pine nuts, dates, olive oil, lentils and soups. They also baked fish.

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