"Interfaith Dialogue" has an Agenda
What is going on here? Is Heichal Shlomo becoming a venue for missionaries whose agenda, underneath, is converting Jews? Read on:
In an unprecedented and radical move, which most Torah observant Jews would categorize as an outright Chilul Hashem, Heichal Shlomo will be hosting a Christian “worship convocation” and banquet sponsored by evangelical missionary Christine Darg of Exploits Ministries. The event is scheduled for October 1, 2009 (a day before Erev Sukkot), and is being promoted as a prelude to ICEJ’s Feast of Tabernacles. The advertisement for the event calls for an afternoon “Daughter of Jerusalem” Worship Convocation in the 18th Century Renanim Synagogue of the Heichal Shlomo, followed by a banquet at the Heichel Shlomo.And why is Rabbi Yehuda Glick of the Temple Institute participating in a ceremony like this one:
Heichal Shlomo is a complex which for years served as the seat of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, and currently houses the Great Synagogue, the Jewish Heritage Museum, the Renanim Synagogue and a number of rabbinic offices.
A poster advertising “The Daughter of Jerusalem” Worship Convocation and Banquet can be seen here. Other known “messianic”(Christian) and evangelical personalities will be featured at the event. Also participating is at least one Knesset member and Jewish community leaders - including Josh Reinstein the Director of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus. Christine Darg and her husband Peter regularly work with the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus and organize events for them.
In the past Reinstein has consistently denied working with missionary groups and has upheld the position that “The Christian Allies Caucus…refuses to work with the messianic Jewish community on the grounds that it actively seeks to convert Jews. ‘We believe they work against the interests of the State of Israel.” David Rotem, the current Chairman of the Knesset Christian Caucus also reaffirms that “the caucus's guidelines bar any connection with missionary groups.” And the Caucus admits that “it is legally bound to refrain from all connections with missionary groups in order to have NGO status”
(from Jewish Israel)
Heichal Shlomo will be hosting a Christian “worship convocation” and banquet sponsored by evangelical missionary Christine Darg of Exploits
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This is nothing more than blatant evangelizing. It is wonderful for non-Jews to support Israel, and we appreciate all the friends we can get in this antisemitic world; but not with an underpinning of an agenda to ultimately convert us to their faith.
We Jews have our own, unique, Divinely inspired faith, and Israel must remain a Jewish state, true to Judaism, not to any other religion or belief system, no matter how "holy" Jerusalem is to those others.
I look at it this way: if you love something and believe in it very much, you generally do not want to share it --you want to keep it to yourself; it's a natural reaction, an act of self preservation.
We Jews do not go out proselytizing our faith to others of different religions--only to our own. So, why do some other religions go out in force to convert others? Is it because. . . they need to prove to themselves that their religion is true? Because, psychologically, if you can convince someone else that what you are saying is right, then you believe it more yourself. It shows a basic insecurity in the proselytizer's belief system. Maybe, just maybe, it isn't true after all. . . ?
I agree with Ellen W. Horowitz's response to Isi Leibler when she wrote (emphasis mine):
...I fully acknowledge that Christianity has certainly evolved into a kinder, gentler religion which has boldly struggled to incorporate the rebirth of the modern state of Israel into its theological worldview.We are Jews. Let us be firm in our emunah* and dat*, and set our boundaries.
However, as long as evangelizing remains the number one priority for evangelicals, and as long as the Jewish nation is obliged to remain a separate and unique faith community, with a belief in one G-d and an aversion to idolatry, “respect them and suspect them” is the most workable premise for our establishing relations with another faith group – especially one comprised of zealous, theologically inspired, evangelizing Christians.
*emunah: faith *dat: religion