Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Statement by Rabbi Dr. Sholom Gold in Response to the CJCUC Initiated "Orthodox Rabbinic Statement on Christianity"

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JewishIsrael's Rabbinic Director Sholom Gold has issued a lengthy and comprehensive statement highly critical of the CJCUC initiated  "Orthodox Rabbinic Statement on Christianity".


"The 'Orthodox Rabbinic Statement on Christianity' is neither normatively 'Orthodox', nor 'Rabbinic', but it certainly feels 'ecumenical'. In fact, tragically, it reads like the ultimate 'anti-Rav' document – in irreverent defiance of the widely accepted directives on interfaith conduct formulated by Rabbi Riskin's own mentor, Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik Z"L…"

"That such conciliatory gestures are being offered-up in a time where mainline churches - across denominations - are driving the divestment movement and have all but declared war against Israel is unthinkable…"

"It is tragic irony that a theological document that paves the way for Jewish assimilation with Christianity has been introduced by 'Orthodox' rabbis during the Festival of Hanukah"more


Batya said...

Rabbi Gold, Ellen and all of you in Jewish-Israel, Thanks for the vital information

Anonymous said...

that such heresy can be going in these times is sickening and frightening.

YMedad said...

I maintain that the representation by JewishIsrael of the Rav's 1964 statement on the Vatican is in error and is a misrepresentation of that document and its historical setting.

YMedad said...

And now this:

"Catholics should not try to convert Jews and should work with them to fight anti-Semitism, the Vatican said on Thursday in a major document drawing the Church further away from the strained relations of the past.

It was the latest move on a host of issues, such as gay rights and re-marriage, that the Vatican or Pope Francis have made showing a desire to be more compassionate and open and to move further away from entrenched traditions.

In the past, for example, Catholic prayers have denounced Jews for not believing in Jesus. Jews have also accused the World War Two papacy of turning a blind eye to the Holocaust, a charge the Vatican denies.

The new document from the Vatican's Commission for Religious Relations with Jews stressed recent Vatican teachings that the two religions were intertwined and that God had never annulled his covenant with the Jewish people.

"The Church is therefore obliged to view evangelization (spreading Christianity) to Jews, who believe in the one God, in a different manner from that to people of other religions and world views," it said.

It also said Catholics should be particularly sensitive about the significance to Jews of the Shoah, the Hebrew word for the Holocaust, and pledged "to do all that is possible with our Jewish friends to repel anti-Semitic tendencies".

"A Christian can never be an anti-Semite, especially because of the Jewish roots of Christianity," it said.

The document coincided with the 50th anniversary of a Vatican repudiation of the concept of collective Jewish guilt for Jesus' death and the launch of a theological dialogue that traditionalists have rejected.

They believe there should be a so-called "Jewish mission" to convert Jews because they did not accept Jesus as the Messiah. Such traditionalists were therefore bound to be displeased by the document's words on conversion, a senior Vatican official said.

"In concrete terms this means that the Catholic Church neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed towards Jews," said the document, adding that there was a "principled rejection of an institutional Jewish mission"."

Read more at Reuters

Anonymous said...

There cannot be religious interaction between Judaism and any religion. Secular matters are something else, but no affiliation religious-wise. This has been our mesorah for millenia. A nation that dwells alone!!!

ellen said...

None of the Vatican or Catholic News sources are making a big deal about this evangelizing thing. Not much of an historic change, as the Catholic church hasn't been into organized evangelism of the Jews for years. If you read the "Catholic News" as well as the actual document it becomes rather clear that there is a reaffirmation of the obligation witness to the Jews.

Methinks that Rabbi Rosen, Rabbi Riskin and the folks at CJCUC are trying to whip up and spin some PR for themselves and their new Rabbinic Document, which is mentioned at length towards the end of the Catholic News article

The actual document reads "the Catholic Church neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed towards Jews. While there is a principled rejection of an institutional Jewish mission, Christians are nonetheless called to bear witness to their faith in Jesus Christ also to Jews..."

Also this: "The theory that there may be two different paths to salvation, the Jewish path without Christ and the path with the Christ, whom Christians believe is Jesus of Nazareth, would in fact endanger the foundations of Christian faith (35)."

At any rate it seems that Rav J.B. Soloveitchik, Z"L felt it was highly inappropriate for us Jews to try and get another faith to change their texts and doctrines. He felt if the Gentiles are genuinely concerned,"they will act in accordance with their convictions without any prompting on our part. It is not within our purview to advise or solicit."

ellen said...

Deja vu from August 2002. Same oversimplified headlines: The Boston Globe “Catholics Reject Evangelization of Jews.” The Washington Post o “U.S. Catholic Bishops Disown Efforts to Convert Jews.” Christianity Today , “Jews Are Already Saved, Say U.S." But by 2009 the Catholic Church -at least American Bishops - seemed to shift positions, viewing interfaith dialogue as a chance to "invite Jews to become Catholic." Needless to stay,Jewish leaders went ballistic.
But it seems almost unfair to put this kind of pressure on the Church. The Rav had it right: "they will act in accordance with their convictions without any prompting on our part. It is not within our purview to advise or solicit."

It's this kind of interfaith dialoguing that can actually backfire and cause very serious misunderstandings on both sides