Thursday, April 3, 2008

Where do I begin…Rabbi Riskin?

Posted by Ellen W. Horowitz

Christian and Jewish leaders are going celebrate Israel’s 60th birthday at a Jerusalem Prayer Banquet on May 15th. The venue of the event … THE UNITED NATIONS!!

Rabbi Riskin, Pastor Hagee, and Israeli Ambassador Assaf Shariv will be among the speakers.

“Evangelical Christians and Jewish people will stand together, declaring a God of love, not hatred, and calling for peace, not violence,” said Rabbi Riskin, who recently launched the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation in Israel.

Allow me to throw in a word by Pastor Hagee so we understand the significance of this happening:

“The coming nuclear showdown with Iran is a certainty. The battle for Jerusalem has already begun. That war will affect every nation on Earth, including America, and will affect every person on Planet Earth."

Wow! The Jewish man of peace, and the Christian man of war, coming together as brothers to pray at the UN. It’s like a Yaakov-Esau reconciliation of sorts. How Messianic!!

Most major poskim (recognized rabbinic authorities on the Jewish Law) do not participate in Jewish-Christian prayer events. Rabbi Riskin - one of a very few exceptions to the rule - seems to have overturned his own Rav’s psak on this issue. But I’ll leave that one alone for a moment (I guess it’s between Rabbi Riskin and The Lonely Man of Faith, Rav Yoseph B. Soloveichik, z”l), and move on to matters I can better understand.

The article about the prayer banquet at
mentions that Stephen Strang of Charisma Magazine will be a participant. Heads up, Rabbi Riskin, as Strang is a signatory on the recent World Evangelical Alliance statement which supports continued evangelical efforts to convert the Jews, and defends the “messianic”/Hebrew Christian movement.

I blogged about the WEA statement and the ADL response earlier this week

But it gets worse, as Jay Sekulaw, Chief Counsel for Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), is also scheduled to be at the event.

Sekulow, 48, who was raised Jewish but converted to Christianity … now considers himself a "Messianic Jew,"

Christian pseudo-Jews like lawyers Calev Myers ( and Jay Sekulaw are in the forefront of the battle for "religious freedom" in Israel - which basically boils down to efforts to shoot down our attempts at passing anti-missionary legislation, while promoting their agenda of protecting the right of Christians to spread the gospel and convert Jews.

Take it from Jay, “There are many messianic Jews in Israel right now who are sharing the gospel, and are part of the military, serving with the Israeli Defense Force.”

A Judeo-Christian prayer banquet at the UN is not the only thing Jay Sekulaw and Rabbi Riskin will have in common. Jay’s brother is a “rabbi”…

“We were warmly received by the people of Israel,” said Rabbi Scott Sekulow, who heads up Israel’s Harvest Ministry – an Atlanta-based Messianic ministry that shares the message of Yeshua (Jesus) with Jews.

Seems to me that Rabbi Riskin’s interfaith venture with the evangelical Christian community is more than a risky business, and puts the people of Israel in spiritual jeopardy.


Avi said...

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, its a duck. These Messianics are Christian. We must fight them to the last.

Anonymous said...

We need to take a good look at ourselves,repair broken fences and lay down the law and red lines.

I hope Rabbi Riskin will respond to
each and every point mentioned in this post, as well the one entitled:
Riskin, the Rav and the Rebbe

Unknown said...

Alas, we don't respond to C converters in kind - that will turn the tables so fast, the matter will dissolve itself. But Jews are stuck in the Defense position and hurting. Yet think about it - which christians will not convert if Jews used those same measures? Yet surely we have to stop blaming christians for doing what they are inherently inclined to do. Its all about who is more stiff-necked, and here Jews have a far more powerful advantage: or are we fearful of ourselves?


Anonymous said...

Ellen's concerns are surely warranted. BUT - yes - BUT. We Jews have our history pre-written, and in a way, we make our own history, which diversifies us from Christians who pray it all in, and wait for G-d to do the work. Christian Zionism is a late phenomenon, after centuries of presenting us with a choice between the sword and their 'new' Bible. Rabbi Riskin sees the demographic risk for us Jews today in the Land, and more than a few Jewish leaders are rattled by the John Hagee's of late - who have declared their non-proselytizing, our biggest fear - NOT risk.

Back to our Prophets and our destined future. Every Rabbi is conversant with the prophesied Return of the Lost 10 Tribes of Israel from Exile. The Gaon of Vilna is probably the most noted scholar on this topic. The 10 Tribes, multimillions of them, have to RETURN. From the moon? No, from amongst the nations of the world. They will be identified by their love for Zion - can it be the Hagee's and his hordes? And by their Return to Torah - can it be those 'freaks' amongst the goyim today, who 'return' to their Hebraic Roots, as they claim? - to Shabbat, chaggim, kosher - even tzit-tzit - and a zeal towant to live in Eretz and help us Jews defend it (while most of our own support the giving away of our heritage to our sworn annihilators!?)

What Jews are not aware of, is that amongst these 'extremist' Zionists (like Hagee and the Torah returnees), there is a growing resolution NOT to evangelize Jews!

Rabbi Riskin is not the only Rabbi who is kind towards these most probable "Returning 10-Tribers". Some very prominent scholars are waking up to this reality - the probable unfolding of one of the greatest Events in the 'Life' of Israel - the 2nd Exodus, from ALL 4 corners of the earth, of ALL 12 Tribes of Israel.

If this is not it, then they must come from the moon or from Mars! But come they will! It certainly is not the way we would like it to be, or the way we expected it to be.

Obviously, we will oppose it (at first). But then we have to face some questions like:
How do you get a goy to urge after Torah?
To want to be Jewish?
To want to live in Israel? (when many Jews don’t want to!)
To want to help a Jew and not kill him?
Our leftist govt's strategy of withdrawing into a corner where Jews can remain a majority, may be an academic political answer - but it is Jewish suicide! Our Prophets foresaw a great expanding of our nation, a Return to the Land which would be 'too small' for the Returnees who will number "like the sand of the sea and the stars of heaven!"

If it aint these pro-Zionists around the world, then WHO do we expect it to be? WHERE will they come from, if not from ALL the nations as our Scriptures repeat so indefinitely!?

Has HaShem in His Wisdom and foresight not reserved these multiple millions amongst the nations, to Return when Judah would be faced with nuclear extinction.

Ellen, with respect, do you not believe Ahmajinehad and his nuclear arsenal in the making? Has Hagee got more insight than you? And you scoff at him? Has Jerusalem ever been in this position, facing us right round the corner, of "soldiers eyes and tongues rotting out of their sockets" (Zech 14) as we are attacked by "all the nations"


Of course, our fear dictates that this should not happen. Unfortunately it is written - and the Hagees and his hordes BELIEVE HaShem!

Perhaps we should follow Rabbi Riskin's example, and start conforming to our Torah obligation of receiving these 10-Tribers back. Like when we came out of Egypt, we were far strayed from Torah - not even received it yet! Why should the 2nd Exodus be different or scare us?

We HAVE Torah today. If we used this as a strategy against proselytizing, and believe and teach them further on Torah, as well as teach our own these facts, there will be NO NEED for Jews to accept a pagan non-Torah religion. The proof is in the pudding: THEY ARE RETURNING TO TORAH! - it is we that obstruct them! If we could just open our eyes and minds to a wonderful opportunity! We could thus protect ourselves physically (bringing them Home and becoming a massive majority) and spiritually (protecting our loved ones from not straying to paganland).

Regarding Rabbi Riskin's demographic references. Perhaps you want to read the real impact of Jewish demographics and the "Hidden solution" that HaShem seems to have provided,

The Kol HaTor Vision

Anonymous said...

I am one who is returning from the nations and it has not been easy to get back to Torah. I have lived most of my life without God or at least not knowing him. I was abused as a child, I have done drugs, been a heavy smoker had promiscuous sex. being a thief, a liar and a cheat, you name it I've done it, and my soul just screamed within me the whole time. I just thank God with all my heart that he brought me back that He was so faithful and so merciful. I now worry about how to pray and how to teach my children Hebrew and how to bridge the gap between the Jewish people who I consider my brothers and sisters. Anyone coming back to Torah has been purged of all they know. It is a lonely journey most of the time because you leave behind so many who you love because they are simply not prepared to journey with you. For every Christian who is returning to Torah there must be 1000 that are not, only a small remnant are even interested in Israel or even less in Torah. I think more Jewish people need to help those coming back, most returnees don't even have a full understanding of just what God is doing in their lives, and sometimes it seems to me there are many more people who could help God by helping to bring these precious people home.Getting home to Israel seems somedays a million miles away, but when I consider the determination God has placed in my heart I'm already living in the joy of being there. (By the way, I was in Shiloh very briefly during Sukkot, it was very special to me, I tried the wine from Shiloh Winery and brought a number of bottles home to enjoy on Shabbat, G-d is good, He really is). Stephanie