This is the story of a rally Mike Pence held for Michigan candidate Lena Epstein, running for U.S. Representative in Michigan's 11th District, against Democrat Haley Stevens.
Because this rally was being held on the heels of the tragedy at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, organizers felt it was necessary to bring in a rabbi. So of course, given Mike Pence's fundamentalism, they brought in exactly the wrong person. "Rabbi" Loren Jacobs is a "messianic Jew," which is specifically a person born into the Jewish faith who is evangelized by a sect of Southern Baptist into becoming a Christian. Messianic Jews renounce their Jewish faith in favor of the Christian faith.
In other words, it is a way of erasing their Jewishness.
In a tweet, Ron Hogan said “Rabbi” Jacobs is a Jewish studies major from the evangelical Moody Bible Institute, with a degree in biblical literature from the equally evangelical Northeastern Bible College. Before launching “Shema Yisrael,” he worked directly with Jews for Jesus for nearly a decade.
Moody Bible Institute is about as Southern Baptist as they come. He's been well indoctrinated.
Oh, and did I mention that the only Holocaust Memorial Center in Michigan is in Farmington Hills, which is in the 11th District? Do you suppose they might have been able to find an ACTUAL rabbi instead of one whose mission it is to erase Jews?
Coming the day after the horrific right wing extremist terrorist attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburg, it’s hard to comprehend but given Pence’s evangelical approach to all things, it’s hard to see this as an accident.
Worse yet, this "rabbi" didn't really offer much in the way of prayers or comfort for the victims of Saturday's hate crime. Instead he prayed for all the Republican candidates by name (see video above).
Twitter lit up. Rafael Shimunov's whole Twitter thread is worth reading but here are a few choice selections:
"This is history again," he writes. Yes, it is. And we should know better. We MUST know better. We must stop this march toward authoritarianism.