Halachic Guidelines On Interfaith Matters And Challenges To Rabbi Riskin


jewish-interfaithDear Sir,

In August 2012 we noted that Matzav.com cited JewishIsrael in this post on Rabbi Shlomo Riskin’s stance on interfaith matters. We also read with interest your posting of Rabbi Hershel Schachter’s article.  Our staff has met with Rabbi Schachter in order to clarify and confirm our understanding of the late Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s psak on interfaith matters and we  have since written a number of follow-up reports which we would like to bring to your attention.

Below is a recent newsletter with links to some of those follow-up reports and developments.  The complete JewishIsrael report in response to Rabbi Riskin can be found here.

We would be most grateful if Matzav.com would consider bringing these reports and important developments to the attention of you readership.

Thank you for your attention and consideration.

Ellen Horowitz

Content and Research Director


New at Jewish Israel Kislev 8, 5773

Rabbinic Committee Formulates Policy Regarding the Acceptance of Assistance from Christian Sources

A document of principles regarding the acceptance of monetary and manpower assistance from Christian organizations or individuals has been formulated by the Committee of Binyamin Region Rabbis.

The halachic document which can be read here in Hebrew should be reviewed by any Jew in Israel who is involved in any way with Christian sources. It is very thorough, clear, and addresses many of the concerns which JewishIsrael has brought to the attention of the public over the years. The document enjoys the endorsement of an impressive list of prominent rabbinic leaders in Israel…more

JewishIsrael Responds to Rabbi Riskin’s Reinterpretation of Rav Soloveitchik’s Position

JewishIsrael feels Rabbi Riskin’s feature article in Makor Rishon inverted the inherent intent of Rabbi Joseph Dov Ber Soloveitchik’s (the Rav) major essay on the subject, “Confrontation”, and JewishIsrael has responded with a comprehensive report.

In the report, JewishIsrael takes a very in-depth look at Rabbi Riskin’s article and his reinterpretation of the Rav’s directives. Our report explores the activities and aspirations of some of the major personalities and “friends” mentioned in Rabbi Riskin’s article, who almost without exception are not only partnering with and supporting the Christian messianic movement and missionaries in Israel, but are actively engaged in advancing a theological unification of the Judaic and the Christian, something the Rav was adamantly against…more

Dr. David Berger Responds to Rabbi Riskin in Makor Rishon

In May 2012 the Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon ran a lengthy feature article by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin. The subject matter was whether or not Jewish-Christian theological dialogue is permissible. In that article Rabbi Riskin appeared to have inverted the long-standing position of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik, z”l.

In a lengthy rebuttal of Rabbi Riskin’s position, Rabbi Dr. David Berger, a recognized scholar on Jewish-Christian relations who serves on the Rabbinical Council of America’s (RCA) Interfaith committee, has upheld Rav Soloveitchik’s stance as it has long been understood...more

Hospital History in the Holy Land: a Proactive Jewish Response to Christian Missionary Activity

Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is celebrating their centennial anniversary. Hadassah and other Jewish medical foundations were founded, in part, as a proactive response to Christian missionary hospitals which were fiercely dedicated to converting Jews in pre-state Israel.

JewishIsrael feels it is especially timely to review some hospital history because today’s modern state of Israel is embracing evangelizing entities and becoming progressively more dependent on donations from those sources. The reaction to missionary activity among today’s Jewish leadership stands in startling contrast to the historic norm. …more

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