In an extraordinary tale of what appears to be furtive and clandestine religious infiltration, a “rabbi,” “scribe,” and “mohel” posing as an ultra-Orthodox Jew in the French Hill neighborhood of Jerusalem has recently been exposed as an apparent covert missionary and member of the Messianic movement.
Even more incredibly, this is the second community the missionary has infiltrated and the second time he has been outed.
The individual in question, Michael Elkohen, or Elk as he was born, claims, however, that he is Jewish from birth, and that although he was a missionary in the Messianic movement, he is today a committed Jew.
Elkohen has lived for the last five years in French Hill with his five children and, until February, with his wife, Amanda, who tragically died after a long illness two months ago.
He worked as a scribe, writing mezuzot, tefillin, and other holy writings, studied in yeshiva, and posed as a learned rabbi who was well versed in Jewish law.
Indeed, Elkohen did obtain rabbinical ordination from an Orthodox US institution called Pirchei Shoshanim in an online program.
Elkohen claimed to be Jewish from birth, as did his wife, and even claimed to be a kohen, meaning that both his mother and father were Jewish and that his father was not descended from converts.
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