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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Rabbi Riskin on messianics and Tisha b' Av with CUFI

Posted by Jewish Israel

Now there arose new rabbis in Israel who knew not the RavPart 1:
The guidelines pertaining to interfaith discussions, dialogue, debate and worship which Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik set forth some 46 years ago remain relevant today, and still stand as the halacha on interfaith relations for the Modern Orthodox world. And yet a number of Orthodox rabbis and Torah observant leaders are engaging in interfaith activities (including worship), and forging theologically-based alliances which appear to be challenging basic Jewish tradition and are out sync with those guidelines set by Rabbi Soloveitchik.

Jewish Israel reviews recent unsettling events - like Tisha b'Av worship with CUFI and interfaith dialogue on the trinity - and asks, “would the Rav approve?”...more

Are messianics missionaries? We asked the experts:
The August print edition of the Jerusalem Post Christian Edition has an article by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin entitled “the Messianic movement”. Rabbi Riskin seems to feel that messianic Christians, for the most part, do not have a missionizing agenda and want to “practice their faith” in peace.

Jewish Israel showed a number of counter-missionary professionals excerpts from Rabbi Riskin’s article and drew quite a response...more

A kosher alert about a treif product
In their latest creative campaign the Baltimore chapter of Jews for Judaism exposes the hypocrisy of the messianic movement in an animation posted on YouTube which asks, “In this day and age…can pigs EVER be kosher?” The cartoon pig is depicted as cute and friendly and the overall presentation is thoughtful and clearly educational in a very Jewish way.

But in today’s world even generic and benign cartoons can inflame passions and illicit strong reactions. So Jewish Israel asked Jews for Judaism’s Ruth Guggenheim if the organization expected any flak from the PC crowd over this presentation?...more

And you thought replacement theology was dead:
Maoz Israel is a $2,500,000 plus enterprise based in Israel which targets Jews for conversion, propagates "messianic judaism", and has an incredible disdain for Orthodox Jewry. This past Tisha b’Av, their blog encouraged "friends" not to fast with the Jewish people but for them...

(Excerpt): "Many Jews will be fasting, as a sign of mourning over the destructionof the Temples. But we at Maoz encourage our friends around the world, to fast not with the Israeli people, but for them. To fast that the nation would see that we are the Temple of God! We are the Body of Messiah, the LORD now lives in us!...":

[Note: MaozIsrael programs are endorsed by several evangelical leaders who serve as regional directors and executive board members of CUFI (Christians United for Israel)....more


Shtuey said...

Shlomo Riskin's "rabbi Jesus" talk is chilul Hashem. He is more dangerous than the missionaries in my opinion, leading Jews astray while he minimizes the threat of messianism. It is disgraceful to me that he trots out his Soloveitchik pedigree while twisting and ignoring his teachings.

Ellen said...

Those are tough words, Shtuey. The issue is very painful. I'm going to be a good girl and bite my tongue over this.
Jewish Israel's job is to report the facts and hopefully create public awareness. We want some honesty and accountability from our leaders.

Ilana-Davita said...

I am not opposed to all interfaith events - such as ltalking on a specific topic where we present what we share and where we disagree. For instance a friend of mine participated in a lecture to hospital staff on the rites assoicated with illness and death in the three monotheist religions.
But worship is certaily off-limits in my book.

ellen said...

There's no problem with interaction and cooperation between faiths on an academic, political or humanistic plane.

But it seems halachic lines are crossed when those representing the Jewish community attempt to form theological bonds with other faith communities or discuss aspects of our personal and intimate relationship with G-d and other aspects of our religious commitment.

And, as you say, interfaith worship is certainly out of bounds for a Torah observant Jew.

Keli Ata said...
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Keli Ata said...
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Keli Ata said...

I normally have a swift response to these matters but the whole idea of Christians describing Tisha b'Av and reading Eicha as a "joyous" occassion floored me. It took me a few days to compose my thoughts.

Joyous Tisha b'Av...good grief! They just don't get it at all.

The problem with interfaith dialogue as I see it is that by definition it involves dialogues on matters of faith.

I've seen a couple of Hagee's Night to Honor Israel and with all of the music and sermons (by Hagee) it seems very much like Christian worship with a few Jewish decorations (Israeli flags, Magen Davids).

The Jews attending are attending church services, in my opinion.

All such interfatih dialogues have one thing in common; a huge, white, invisible elephant in the room--Jesus.

Christians will allude to him and Jews will never feel comfortable enough or have the freedom to refute to say explictly why Torah denies that he is messiah and G-d. There is never any true dialogue on matters of faith. And even if there were, the Jews in question would leave such conferences with tar and feathers on themselves.

We all know what Christians belief about the messiah, JC, and the trinity.

While I personally have no problem at all confronting Christians who accuse me of rejecting Jesus, I also have never been persecuted in his name so it holds no fear for me.

I think perhaps other Jews are afraid to say that, for fear of...I'm not sure.

How many of Christians know the Jewish belief in G-d, what echad really means, and the truth about the Jewish messiah?

In other words, these largely evangelicals don't want to know.

Messianics are absolutely missionary. True, there is a small movement within Catholicism (ie. Hebrew Catholics, Remnant of Israel, an occassional episode of Journey Home on EWTN), but they don't have any Jewish props. It's impossible with all of the statues and religious symbols. They don't hide about being a church with Christian beliefs.

The messianic movement has a lot of Jewish props and deliberately lie and trick.

Can Christians and Jews unite for political and humanitarian issues? In theory, yes. In practice? I don't think so.

While my mother cared for elderly people in their homes through the Concerned Ecumenical Ministry, she was also so traumatized by a Baptist preaching to her that she would go to hell that, well, my mother would never push her faith on anyone.

I can't say that is the case with other Christians involved in interfaith humanitarian aid. That makes these dialogues and cooperations so dangerous to Jews.

Keli Ata said...

Blogger is acting weird. It's sending comments before I finish typing, then navigating me away from the page, then sending all of the comments--partial and complete through.

ellen said...

thanks for those thoughts Keli Ata.
Actually the term "joyous" came from an observant Jew - which really makes you wonder...

I thing Jewish and Christian groups can certainly cooperate on political, humanitarian, educational, and other secular endeavors (scientific, technological, and even cultural).
I even think issues of morality and ethics can and should be discussed between faiths.

Individuals of differnt faiths do this all the time as part of functioning in this world.

However, very fervent evangelicals
wear jesus on their sleeves - as opposed to other faith communities and denominations which keep their faith and relationship with G-d a private and intimate matter. So this is what is making matters so difficult for us.

Keli Ata said...

You're right. Absolutely right, and I do believe the problems with interfaith dialogues largely stem from the evangelical camp.

Not that I am a huge fan of the Reform movement but at least locally they do manage quite successfully to work on matters of ethics and humanitarian causes with Christians (mostly mainstream, liturgical) and other faiths (Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist).

So far I haven't seen any dialogues with evangelicals.

As far as Christian denominations go, the less liturgical the more problematic (just my personal observation).

Shabbat Shalom all!