Sunday, February 13, 2011

Rabbi Riskin Breaks Theological Ground in Jerusalem

Posted by Jewish Israel

Today and Tomorrow, Ohr Torah Stone’s Center for Jewish Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC) in Efrat is sponsoring an interfaith theological conference and exploring the subjects of, “Covenant, Mission and Conversion” at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem.

While it's being billed as a "first" international conference which introduces "groundbreaking material" and "new research", Rabbi Riskin previously sponsored an identical conference at Yale last year, with the same speakers and papers being used. Jewish Israel's reports about that conference are available in both English and Hebrew and are certainly worth reviewing at this time.

Representatives from Jewish Israel will be at the Van Leer conference today and tomorrow and we will keep our readership informed of developments… more


Keli Ata said...

Great reporting and newsgathering as usual, Ellen. JI always stays on top of this important matter.

A couple of thoughts: My mother always told me that the Catholic Church would forbid Catholics from entering a Protestant church for fear it would destroy the faith of the Catholic.

That, and that Jews don't believe in JC. It was a given. Now there's the whole messianic xtian mov't blurring everything.

Bad introduction, but I always thought the same about Jews entering any church. Now people like Raskin are not only going into their churches but even considering that they have a faith in common.

This conference takes things to a new and dangerous level, because they're trying to make a case for christians as a legit extension of Judaism.

I don't know what to attribute this too. On the xtian side I think it's a case of xtians 1.having the attitude that because their is a shared repulsion of Islam, that somehow translates into a shared religion.

Christians just happen to hate Muslims at the moment than they hate and want to convert Muslims.

2. In the JI article, there's this comment:

"Are there authentic grounds for a new theological relationship in which Jews see Christians as participating in a common covenant with them?"

Off topic a little but I recently had a polite disagreement with some on an INN blog. I was making comments against the whole missionary tactics of an xtian poster and a Jewish man politely reminded to learn about what the Rambam had to say about why xtianity is allowed to spread--that the shared belief in a messiah would introduce them to the concept and they would recognize the true messiah when he comes.

Who am I to argue against the Rambam but I found it confusing to belief that G-d would allow the spread of false religion. Unless the article I read on the Rambam was superficial and I didn't fully understand.

Ironically, in making my case against and trying to identify the woman's statements about xtianity...another poster said I sounded just like her and was probably an xitian too:(

Sorry for venting. It just gets tiring being told I haven't fully "purged" myself of xtianity when I get criticized here in US by some xtians of being "too Jewish" and in the words of a former lay minister that I knew "more about Judaism" than anyone he knew.

I know, really really OT, I just needed to vent. This xtian/Jewish debate is happening all over the place.

I'm glad JI will be at the conference.

Keli Ata said...

*christians happen to hate Muslims at the moment more than they hate Jews.

ellen said...

Keli Ata,
Great feedback. Love it when you vent! You said it well:
"This conference takes things to a new and dangerous level, because they're trying to make a case for christians as a legit extension of Judaism."

BTW the Van Leer conference is being broadcast live. So tomorrow at 10am go to

With regards to Rambam, I'm no expert, so don't quote me. But I understand that he definitely DID NOT express admiration for christianity or jesus . On the contrary. However, when looking for G-d's greater purpose, Rambam does acknowledge the contributions of Christianity and Islam in spreading moral codes and laws throughout the world and helping prepare the way for a messianic era.

Anonymous said...

Keli, as for why Hashem "tolerates" false deities, here's an informative read from Rabbi Tovia Singer:

But Look How Believing in Jesus Has Changed My Life!

The answer lies in the 2nd half of the article, but read the whole thing.

Batya said...

Ellen, thanks, looking forward to seeing your report. It's sad to see that Rabbi Riskin has crossed the line. Who are his rabbinic advisors?

Keliata said...

Thank you Ellen and Shy.

I will read the link, Shy. I think the one I was referred to left a lot out.