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Standing on the rooftop of Aish HaTorah’s Jerusalem facilities, which overlook the Western Wall and the Temple Mount, Pastor John Hagee, leader of Christians United for Israel, points to where Jesus will reign for 1,000 years, where “every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess.”
This is, of course, a belief of Christian Millennialism, making the location of Hagee’s pronouncement a little odd. Aish HaTorah is an Orthodox Jewish organization known for its Torah study and Jewish outreach. Jewish Israel reached out to Aish to see what they knew about Hagee’s rooftop visit:
About an hour after the initial phone conversation, Jewish Israel was called by Yossi Lapko, who introduced himself as the personal assistant to Rabbi Yehuda Weinberg, the COO of Aish Jerusalem. Mr. Lapko told Jewish Israel that Aish can’t take responsibility for what is said or done on their rooftop and that they have no control over tourists or guests. Lapko confirmed that he is fully aware of the fact that Hagee is a celebrated mega pastor and that he was aware of Hagee’s visit to Aish last week. However, Mr. Lapko claims it was not a pre-planned visit with a film crew or entourage. Lapko reiterated that the Aish building is frequented by many visitors.
Mr. Lapko did feel that the content of the video was terrible and he said he would have stopped it had he known what was being said, but he clearly wanted to underplay the incident - referring to it as, “like spilt milk”. Jewish Israel was also told that Aish has no plans to change their visitation policy at this time or to caution guests to respect the nature and location of their site. Lapko also seemed opposed to having any type of supervision on the roof.
Read the rest here. I’m not clear on how “open” Aish’s visitation policy is, but I think that it weighs heavily on Aish’s response. I also think that a lot of Jews understand Hagee’s theological beliefs and his impetus for supporting Israel as a Jewish state. Hagee wants the Jews to return to the Holy Land to facilitate Christ’s return.