In a matter-of-fact if not outright positive article, The Jerusalem Post featured a young Messianic man and his siblings from the United States who came to Israel to serve in the IDF.
Without any snark or venom, the secular newspaper quoted Simon Zauber as saying that he “believes serving in the IDF is his way of following in Jesus’ footsteps.”
The newspaper’s article, published online last week, objectively related the story of the Zauber siblings — six of 12 of whom have served or are currently enlisted in Israel’s army. In fact, the article even lays out the complicated situation for Messianic Jews living in Israel or trying to immigrate here.
“There are an estimated 20,000 Messianic Jewish believers in Israel, but due to their beliefs have been subjected to discrimination, such as being ineligible to make aliya because it is not accepted that a Jew can believe in Jesus, even though they consider themselves to be Jewish,” the Post reports.
The newspaper presented the Messianic parents from North Carolina as having “instilled a love for the State of Israel into the Zauber children.”
Asher Zauber, who was just discharged from the army two months ago, said his parents brought the family to Israel often, encouraging their children to serve in the army and move to Israel. His decision to come to Israel, Asher said, was influenced more by Judaism than his Messianic beliefs.
“My upbringing influenced me, but I don’t think it was anything special about Messianic, it was more Jewish,” he said. “That I had a family and place in the world that belonged to the Jewish people.”
His belief in Jesus “just adds onto the love that I have for Israel with the responsibility as someone who loves Jesus,” he said.
Simon, 19, who was recently sworn in and is serving in the Givati brigade like Asher, said his Messianic upbringing prompted him to come serve in the IDF.
“We were raised in believing in Jesus and to follow his footsteps and what he did was serve, so for me it’s very important to serve, in any way I can,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “Israel is defending itself. It needs people and so I wanted to be in an army that actually needed somebody. It’s not as if I’m fighting on someone else’s ground, it’s a fight for survival. This is God’s land and this is God’s people and in the end I’d rather fight for God’s land and God’s people rather than in America.”
Four Zauber children are living in Israel. Asher will begin his studies in Haifa while Simon hopes to become an officer in the military.
“I believe that was God’s will for my life,” Simon said. “By my serving and by my helping it will help other people to understand the love Jesus has for Israel. The same love that God has for Israel is also in me.”
“I’m so grateful to be here, to be serving,” he added.