At a campaign stop in Michigan on October 30, Vice President Mike Pence asked a “leader in the Jewish community” to offer a prayer for the victims of the recent mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
The prayer was delivered by Loren Jacobs, senior rabbi at a nearby Messianic Jewish temple. Messianic Jews are commonly known as Jews for Jesus or people from a Jewish background that have accepted Jesus Christ as their lord and savior.
So, basically, he’s a born-again Christian.
“Judaism itself is a multi-denominational religion that encompasses multiple forms of expression and belief,” the Rabbinical Assembly said in a statement. “Nonetheless, so-called ‘Messianic Judaism’ is not a Jewish movement, and the phrase ‘Jews for Jesus’ is a contradiction in terms, insofar as Judaism does not recognize Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah.”
To go even further, Jacobs hasn’t been a Messianic Jewish rabbi for over 15 years. “Loren Jacobs was stripped of his rabbinic ordination by the UMJC in 2003, after our judicial board found him guilty of libel,” Monique Brumbach, a spokeswoman for the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations, said in an email to NBC.
At the end of the event, Jacobs came out and said a prayer for the 11 victims of the Pittsburgh shooting, which included a shout-out to Jesus Christ.
“God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, God and father of my lord and savior Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah, and my God and father, too,” Jacobs began his prayer.
In Hebrew, Yeshua means Jesus.
Calling on a Messianic Jew to say a prayer for victims of an anti-semitic attack was an unbelievably tone-deaf move by Pence, and Lena Epstein, the Republican congressional candidate for which he campaigned.
It could even be seen as a slap in the face.
Rafael Shimunov, founder of the Working Families Party and self-procialmed member of the Jewish Resistance, perfectly explained why Pence’s careless decision was insulting to those affected by the tragedy in Pittsburgh.
Preview image via Saul Loeb / Getty Images.