At Monday's campaign stop in Michigan, Mike Pence invited Loren Jacobs, the senior rabbi and founder of the Messianic congregation Shema Yisrael, on stage to mourn the 11 worshippers killed at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday.
"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 opened his prayer, much to the outrage of mainstream Jews who don't consider Jesus the messiah.
In response to antisemitic white nationalist attack, Vice President Mike Pence opens campaign event with a Christian Rabbi. pic.twitter.com/5iMLx1V3NH— Rafael Shimunov 🔥 (@rafaelshimunov) 30 октября 2018 г.
Loren Jacobs's Shema Yisrael (Hear, O Israel) is a Messianic synagogue that follows Jewish laws but accepts the authenticity of the New Testament and embraces Jesus as the messiah.
Messianic Jews are largely ostracized by mainstream Jewish religious movements and by Israel, and aren't recognized by the Chief Rabbinate, the supreme religious authority in Israel. According to a 1989 Israeli Supreme Court case, a Messianic Jew is considered a member of another religion, and thus is not eligible for Aliyah (return to Israel).
Despite Jacobs praying in his address for "unity and peace" instead of alienation, his invocation of Jesus Christ has sparked outrage among Jews on social media, with some accusing the US Vice President of "Christian supremacy."
this gentleman also prayed for the success of republican candidates by name, but did not mention the names of those slain in pittsburgh. needless to say, this weird, blasphemous burlesque of judaism is beyond insulting to those murdered for their faith https://t.co/Mq5ZfZJYYJ— Talia B Lavin (@chick_in_kiev) 30 октября 2018 г.
cool that mike pence’s idea of a good jew is one that believes in jesus, which you know, is kind of a thing we avoid— Talia B Lavin (@chick_in_kiev) 29 октября 2018 г.
Dear Pence, please give up the pretense of Jewish presence. You are a Christian supremacist. We know that, you know that.— Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR) 30 октября 2018 г.
Also we will defeat you.
But in the meantime, just stop pretending and appropriating my people. https://t.co/dJGc62DmBM
That’s a Christian prayer at what was claimed to be a Jewish Service. Would it have killed them to have a Jewish rabbi recite a Jewish prayer to memorialize an attack on Jewish people at Sabbath services?— Bada$$ Broad (@bailedireachmom) 29 октября 2018 г.
Clueless and monumentally disrespectful.@VP @mike_pence Shame on you.
Fake Jews! Okay okay, I’m done with the joke. I promise.— Molly Jong☠️Fast (@MollyJongFast) 30 октября 2018 г.
An aide to Mike Pence later explained that the VP didn't know the controversial rabbi, who was invited to the rally by GOP congressional candidate Lena Epstein.
On Saturday, Robert Bowers, 46, opened fire at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, killing 11 people and leaving another six injured. The gunman was subdued by police while attempting to leave the building after being injured in a shootout. According to media reports, he chased people from the main hall into the synagogue's basement, armed with a rifle and three handguns.
Bowers has been charged with 29 federal counts, including 11 counts of using a firearm to commit murder, and, according to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, will most likely face the death penalty. He appeared in federal court on Monday and acknowledged the charges; the next hearing in the case is scheduled for Thursday.