UK rabbi-politician burns Christian Bible, sparking ire

Rabbi Shneur Odze, running as UKIP candidate for Manchester mayor, August 2013. (Screen capture: YouTube) The Times of Israel
UKIP Manchester mayoral candidate Shneur Odze criticized for tweeting image of smoldering scriptures on Passover eve

The Times of Israel Staff

A high-profile rabbi and aspiring politician stirred up controversy in British media when he burned a Bible on the eve of Passover.

Rabbi Shneur Odze, a 33-year-old United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) candidate for mayor of Manchester, tweeted a photo of the burning bible last Monday.

“Grateful to whoever put a missionary bible amongst our synagogue’s books. Was wondering what I’d burn my Chametz with,” he tweeted, a reference to the leavened bread that Jews destroy on the eve of the Passover festival.

The tweet has since been deleted, but Britain’s Daily Mail reported on the incident on Sunday.

The Hebrew-English Bible was published by the Society for Distributing Hebrew Scriptures and placed in a local synagogue without permission by a member of the Christian group.

Odze claimed that the book contained not only the Old Testament, which Orthodox Jews consider holy, but also the Christian New Testament. The rabbi told the Mail that he had no option but to burn it, since it was produced by “an extreme proselytizing Christian sect of former Jews trying to convert practicing Jews to a belief in Christ as the prophesied Messiah.”

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