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Apr 26, 2021

more on the jerusalem Jewish goy

Since yesterday's post about the Haredi family in Jerusalem that were really missionaries, much more information has come out and been made public. I posted some links in the comments section of yesterday's post, and you can check those links out for more details and information.

What I wanted to add here, after being in touch with people who knew the family personally and were even involved along the way with the discovery of the family's real identity, is that the entire story seems less dramatic than it initially sounded or as the news made it out to be.

First, Mr Fraud, Michael Elkohen, was learning in a kabbalist yeshiva and claimed to be a cousin of Baba Sali. That is pretty funny. I wonder if he was aiming to turn himself into a Baba like the rest of the family and make millions off the family name.

The anti-missionary organizations knew about them for a while and were not overly concerned. Maybe because they were not actively missionizing. I do not fully understand because even without the missionary work they were non-Jews posing as Jews and should have been outed. Perhaps they served treif food to friends and to community members (ie guests for Shabbos, shalach manos, meal train participation, etc). While it might not be the worst prohibition in the Torah, at minimum anyone who ate their food was eating bishul akum even if the food was not actual treif. So the organizations seem to have known but were not overly concerned.

It seems he was sofer but never wrote a torah and the mezuzas and tefillin he wrote were not sold publicly but were written for his messianic community. Also he was not a public mohel but only circumcised his children. I am not sure all this information is 100% true - if a friend asked him to do a bris, would he always have said no? If a friend asked for tefillin or a mezuza would he always have said no? If we knew he was writing for messianics all along, how was he not exposed earlier? It sounds strange but it also sounds like his influence, in the sense of being a messianic and missionary, was very minimal.

The worst of it seems to be the deception on a personal and communal level. They made friendships, they used that to raise money from friends, all based on a false persona created by deception. That hurts people who were their friends.


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  1. He answered questions here: https://judaism.stackexchange.com/users/184/rabbi-michael-tzadok
    He had a blog called Mekubal which was quoted by many blogs, including Daat Torah, Josh Waxman's and Alan Brills.

  2. This and other violations which affect the public is what is at stake in the Land of Israel, due to it being ruled by so-called 'democracy' rather than making sure that Jewish public laws are not violated. We all know that the Jewishness in the Land has been watered down to an almost 'Dead Sea' level. Hashem Yerachem.

  3. For what it’s worth, I tangled with Elkohen a decade ago here:


    Our debate continued in the comments there, and see his diatribe in response here:



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