By Rabbi Binyamin Sheldrake, of the Adat Yeshua Messianic Synagogue, Norwich

CW: Antisemitism

In many ways we could be forgiven for feeling that the world is in a constant state of flux right now — not just with the pandemic and how that has deeply affected us all, but also in terms of our economy, politics and, in a lesser-known arena possibly, the religious world too. While Messianic Judaism is not a direct by-product of the recent turbulence in the world today, the interest shown in it most certainly is. During the lockdown, the huge numbers of texts, calls and emails we received bore testimony to the exponential growth in interest in this modern (and not so modern) form of Judaism. Some fourteen years ago now, Time Magazine ran an article about an emerging idea that they suggested would go on to fundamentally change the world: that Yeshua was a Jew and nothing else. 

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by Jess Howard

The work of the infamous graffiti artists Banksy has caused controversy and divided opinions since it began to appear around Britain in the early nineties. His identity has supposedly been revealed countless times, and many auctions have attempted to sell off his work, to leave the new owner responsible for its protection or removal. Throughout every piece of controversy, the artist has remained anonymous.

A fan of graffiti art in general, I have always been a member of the pro-Banksy camp. Whilst I understand the issues and ramifications of vandalism, to me art seems like one of the best methods of political activism. However, the recent awarding of listed status to a Banksy piece in Cheltenham struck a chord with me. The mural depicts three spies inspecting a phone booth, and was painted onto the side of a Grade II listed building. Since its appearance it has been repeatedly subjected to vandalism of its own, with other graffiti artists attempting to cover it in their own paint. Owing to the fact that the image was unauthorised, it could not be protected under the buildings pre-existing status.Continue Reading