A Match Made in Heav­en: Amer­i­can Jews, Chris­t­ian Zion­ists, and One Man’s Explo­ration of the Weird and Won­der­ful Judeo-Evan­gel­i­cal Alliance

Zev Chafetz
  • Review
By – December 5, 2011

That tire­some old line some of my best friends are Jew­ish,” would be an apt sub­ti­tle for Zev Chafetz’s new book, in which he warns lib­er­al Amer­i­can Jews to guard against being sus­pi­cious of evan­gel­i­cal sup­port based on stereo­types, knee­jerk par­ti­san­ship, or sim­ple prej­u­dice.” He sug­gests that Amer­i­can Jew­ry take a clos­er look at Chris­t­ian Zion­ism, espe­cial­ly in a time of Mus­lim ter­ror­ism and war. 

Skep­tics and crit­ics abound. How can evan­gel­i­cals be trust­ed when it is a tenet of their faith that accept­ing Jesus as a sav­ior is nec­es­sary for redemp­tion? Chafetz urges us, in his own tongue-in-cheek and irrev­er­ent style, to accept as fact that most Chris­tians have come to acknowl­edge that G‑d’s they believe their own covenant is. This is referred to in the evan­gel­i­cal ver­nac­u­lar as the dual covenant” the­ol­o­gy. With this belief, there is no rea­son to con­vert Jews to Chris­tian­i­ty and there­fore no dan­ger” exists to Jews from evangelicals. 

The book is divid­ed into chap­ters, which deal with his­tor­i­cal issues of the Jew­i­she­van­gel­i­cal rela­tions to the cur­rent state of that rela­tion­ship. Chafetz enter­tains us with anec­dotes from his own expe­ri­ences rang­ing from his par­tic­i­pa­tion in an evan­gel­i­cal pil­grim­age to Israel to inter­views with the patri­archs of evan­ge­lism, Jer­ry Fal­well and Pat Robert­son. Tak­ing occa­sion­al pot­shots at the reli­gious author­i­ties in Israel for their stance (or monop­oly) on con­ver­sions as well as con­temp­tu­ous barbs aimed at what he per­ceives as the lib­er­al Amer­i­can Jew­ish agen­da, Chafetz is eager to have us believe that it is a long estab­lished rela­tion­ship between the lead­ers of evan­gel­i­cal Amer­i­can Chris­tian­i­ty and main­stream Israel. Every prime min­is­ter since Begin has relied on the sup­port of the Chris­t­ian right.”

In for­mu­lat­ing an answer to the title of part two of the book, Is it good for the Jews?” one is tempt­ed to answer with anoth­er ques­tion, How can it be bad?”

Paula Lubin is a human­i­ties teacher at the North Shore Hebrew Acad­e­my Mid­dle School. She has writ­ten for a vari­ety of pub­li­ca­tions, most recent­ly the New York Health­care Law Update.

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