Rabbi Shlomo Riskin's recently published article ("Dialogue: The Messianic Movement," Jerusalem Post, 8-27-2010) describing his assessment of Messianic Judaism demands a thoughtful response by someone who is part of this community.
Rabbi Riskin is well-respected in both Christian and Jewish circles. He is dynamic, intelligent, spiritual, and has great leadership abilities. We respect him as well for those qualities.
Furthermore, there are many issues in which we are in total agreement.
- He promotes dialogue between Christians and Jews.
- We should emphasize common ground in interfaith dialogue.
- Cooperation between Israel and the Church is a national duty.
- Pioneers of reconciliation face a barrage of criticism.
- We are under attack from Islamic Jihad and secular materialism.
We Messianic Jews are not asking anyone in either Orthodox Judaism or Christian Zionism to agree with us. We believe our position is correct, just as they do. We ask others to examine our beliefs with the same respect that we give to theirs.
Having said that, there are certain points in which we would disagree with Rabbi Riskin's statements.