Chief Rabbi of Efrat, Shlomo Riskin, is being used as the primary figure to promote the 2014 International Christian Embassy, Jerusalem (ICEJ) Christian Feast of the Tabernacles. JewishIsrael has posted the one minute promo video.
While Rabbi Riskin speaks of the universal message of Isaiah, ICEJ's Feast homepage banner and text as well as the explanation of this year's theme, "Aim for Restoration", is hardly universal. Rather, it is an exclusive message, heavily focused on jesus, christian scripture and church history.
"Restoration is the essence of the cross of Calvary…Think and pray about how you can bring the restoring power of the blood of Jesus to the people around you. Aim for Restoration."
A need for clarity from Rabbi Riskin
This is certainly not the first time Rabbi Riskin has been featured in a video presentation which has raised eyebrows and caused controversy.
In a June 2009 video collaboration with ICEJ, Rabbi Riskin quoted from the new testament, stating that, "certainly the evangelical Christian community has grafted itself upon the covenant" that G-d has with the Jewish people and he went on to speak about the need to "resurrect god" in this generation. After JewishIsrael brought this video to the public's attention in a report on our site, Rabbi Riskin retracted some of his remarks.
In a December 2009 video posted by a messianic Christian source on YouTube, Rabbi Riskin discussed his fascination with Christianity’s ”Rabbi” Jesus, and messianism. JewishIsrael publicized the clip, which became a topic of concern among numerous Jewish news sites and bloggers. Rabbi Riskin responded by issuing a widely disseminated statement of clarification.
Some related background information
As expressed by ICEJ directors and missionary participants, the annual "Feast" is decidedly a christ-centered pilgrimage. The week-long event, focused on the worship of jesus and featuring a number of missionary speakers, has been the subject of numerous JewishIsrael reports over the years. Yet due to the obvious windfall from "Israel's largest annual tourism event", most Israelis in the government and business sector prefer to underplay any uncomfortable religious aspect, while throwing an intense spotlight on the ICEJ's pro-Israel participation in the colorful, flag-waving, Sukkot parade that has become a regular part of the Feast's itinerary.
JewishIsrael has sent this report to Rabbi Riskin with the hope that he will once again try and clarify his position and consider asking the ICEJ to remove the promotion, which appears to give Rabbi Riskin’s sanction to the worship of jesus in Jerusalem.
(Hat Tip: Geula Girl)