Reports that retired NBA star Allen Iverson will play for Israel's Maccabi Haifa basketball team in two upcoming exhibition games against NBA teams are false, a Maccabi representative told JTA.
An advertisement that appeared in 80 American Jewish newspapers last week, including this one, looked fairly innocuous.
The title of a film, "The Rabbi," appears in Hebrew-style lettering, above a close-up shot of a bearded, yarmulka-wearing man praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
"The unforgettable story of an Israeli rabbi and his struggles in modern society," the ad says. "The drama of this family relationship will move and inspire you."
What it does not mention is that "The Rabbi," a one-hour made-for-television film broadcast on stations throughout the country last weekend, is about a "messianic Jew" who gradually convinces his Orthodox family that he did not abandon Judaism when he took "Yeshua" into his heart -- the name "messianic Jews" use for Jesus.
Also omitted from the advertisement is the fact that "The Rabbi" was produced by Morris Cerullo, a San Diego-based Christian missionary who describes himself as a "servant of God."
I am in a cult.
Not one with an Indian twist, nor a homegrown one full of fervid believers waiting for a modern-day Shabtai Tzvi to fly us all to a New Jerusalem. No, my cult is more like that of those UFO suicides in Rancho Santa Fe waiting for the spaceship to take them away to a far better place.
My cult is called Hollywood.