Rabbi Riskin: Taken-in or Grafted-in?

When a prominent Anglo Israeli Orthodox rabbinic leader cites the new testament’s concept of a fusion of faiths, and then proceeds to call for the need to “resurrect god” in a promotional Christian video, how is the Torah observant community supposed to react? How will that declaration be perceived by fervent Christians, and how will that ambiguity (heresy?) effect and reflect on the Jewish community?

For a period of two years, Jewish Israel and this writer have been questioning Rabbi Shlomo Riskin’s interfaith endeavors, and his shift towards a close theological dialogue and relationship with Christian evangelists.

Jewish Israel feels Rabbi Riskin’s imprudent approach towards interfaith relations is part of a trend among certain community leaders, government officials, and entrepreneurs which has led to the compromising of Jewish tradition, the erosion of halacha, and the breaching of fences built around the Torah.

Are Rabbi Riskin’s most recent pronouncements, in the ICEJ video, beyond the pale of normative Judaism?

“As Romans* states quite clearly, certainly the evangelical Christian community has grafted itself upon the covenant.”

“And it’s critical that we join hands. It’s critical that we resurrect god** in this generation.”

View the video and read the full report

*[note: Since when in Jewish history have our rabbinic leaders cited Christian scripture to define the terms of G-d’s covenant?]

**[note: Jewish Israel has chosen to use a lower case “g” in reference to Rabbi Riskin’s quote, as the term “resurrect” when used in this context has a distinctly Christian connotation, and refers to bringing something (someone) back to life. Obviously the one and only G-d we Jews worship is alive and well – so one wonders just who is Rabbi Riskin referring to?]

Prior to posting, Rav Sholom Gold – Jewish Israel’s Rabbinic Advisor - met with the staff of Jewish Israel and viewed this report in full.

UPDATE: Rabbi Riskin Explains 'Resurrection' Remarks (INN A7 report)
(IsraelNN.com) A Christian Embassy video features Rabbi Shlomo Riskin using language that some Jews charge is theologically problematic. Speaking later with Israel National News, Rabbi Riskin retracted part and explained the rest...

See the latest JI posting on this issue
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[Jewish Israel notes that there have been a number of new developments with Rabbi Riskin since this post was written.  We urge readers to use the below links to reference  updated information, or use our search facility in the upper right hand corner of the screen.]

Rabbi Riskin discusses Jesus and Messianism
Statement from Rabbi Shlomo Riskin and Reaction by Rabbi Sholom Gold
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, in Jerusalem, Promoting 2009 Christian Day of Prayer for Peace
Invoking Melchizedek - or Jesus - in Jerusalem?
Rabbi Riskin at the CUFI 2010 Convention in Jerusalem
Interfaith Jesus resort to open on shores of Galilee
The Galilean Resort’s Missionary and Rabbinic Hechsher
Are messianics missionaries? We asked the experts

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