At a rally here in Michigan on Monday, Vice President Mike Pence introduced “a leader in the Jewish community” to offer a prayer for the victims of the Pittsburgh massacre. He neglected to mention that this so-called “rabbi” is actually not a rabbi at all. Loren Jacobs was ordained at an evangelical seminary and identifies as a “Jew For Jesus.” This means that while he might be ethnically Jewish, he is religiously Christian by definition, which automatically disqualifies him from being considered “a leader in the Jewish community” by most Jewish people’s standards.
Let’s also remember that Jacobs believes all non-Christians will go straight to hell after they die (especially Jews, whom he argues have a “greater responsibility” to accept Christ than the rest of us). He can believe whatever nonsense he likes, of course; but the Pittsburgh shooting victims were all mainstream Jews, not “Jews For Jesus.” So what does this tell us? It tells us that “Rabbi” Jacobs probably isn’t the best person to be leading a “Jewish” prayer for Jewish martyrs. This much should be especially clear given the fact that Jacobs ended his prayer with the words “Jesus the Messiah.”
If you’re having trouble understanding why this might be offensive to Jews, imagine for a moment that somebody has committed a mass shooting at an evangelical church. Imagine that following the massacre, a Muslim guy goes on TV and starts leading prayers for the victims, even though he has publicly stated that non-Muslims are all infidels burning in Jahannam (i.e., Hell). And imagine that this Muslim gentleman is being introduced at rallies around the country as “a leader in the Christian community” for some bizarre reason, even though he’s invoking the Prophet Mohammad and quoting from the Koran all the time. Look me in the eye and tell me that White Christian America wouldn’t go completely apeshit over that!