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Pence rally features former Jews for Jesus ‘rabbi’ praying for Pittsburgh victims, GOP candidates

"Pence could not possibly have done something more offensive to Jews."

Mike Pence during a speech at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C. on October 23, 2018. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Mike Pence during a speech at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C. on October 23, 2018. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Vice President Mike Pence attended a campaign event in Michigan on Monday for Republican Senate candidate John James, GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette, and other conservatives on the ballot.

The rally near Grand Rapids, occurring just two days after a gunman murdered 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue in what is likely the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history, opened with a prayer from Loren Jacobs, who ResistHere’s Rafael Shimunov noted is a “Christian Rabbi.”

Jacobs is “actually a Christian who leads a group who calls themselves Messianic Jews,” per Eclectablog, which also notes he “spent eight years with the group Jews for Jesus.”

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After briefly mentioning the mass murder of Jewish people in Pittsburgh, Jacobs then prayed for Michigan’s Republican candidates.

Pence praised Jacobs as “a leader in the Jewish community” after the prayer.

The vice president’s staff later told Politico that Jacobs was invited by Republican congressional candidate Lena Epstein.

The New Republic explained the supposed theology behind Jacobs’ beliefs.

A rabbi referring to Jesus as the Messiah is, of course, an unusual event but Jacobs is no ordinary rabbi. He is, in fact, a Christian. Shema Yisrael is a synagogue devoted to Messianic Judaism, which is to say, towards a faith that mixes Jewish cultural practices with a variation of Christian theology.

Daily Kos’ David Nir tweeted “Pence could not possibly have done something more offensive to Jews” on Monday.