In May 2012, the Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon ran a seven-page feature article in their "Shabbat HaGadol" supplement, penned by Chief Rabbi of Efrat Shlomo Riskin. The subject matter was whether or not Jewish-Christian theological dialogue is permissible. Rabbi Riskin, a maverick on interfaith issues, has on more than one occasion ventured out onto an extreme theological limb.
JewishIsrael feels Rabbi Riskin 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.
This blurring of lines between faith communities was of primary concern to Rav Soloveitchik, as reflected in "Confrontation" and in numerous letters written by the Rav on a variety on interfaith matters. With deceptive proselytizing tactics and "messianic Jewish" escapades and masquerades still very much a part of evangelical Christianity's approach, it would seem that times are far from being ripe for the type of intimate and honest theological encounters which Rabbi Riskin encourages.
While it is important to acknowledge the existence of significant numbers of sincere truth seekers and supporters of Israel, many of these gentiles are caught-up in a wealth of Hebraic roots and messianic sects whose leaders remain diehard adherents to the gospel message and its sanctioned methods of deception.
The report also includes our initial comments and notes on Rabbi Riskin's interpretation of "Confrontation" and offers recommended guidelines for the Torah approach to interfaith dialogue.
We would like to thank our readership for their patience while we compiled this report and for their continued interest and concern.