This article addresses interreligious relations in the perspective of Jewish law with emphasis on the role and purpose of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. After an introduction regarding the unique area of interreligious relations, its challenges and its global importance, it deals with the historical confrontation between Judaism and Christianity and its implications regarding the Jewish people and the phenomenon of antisemitism. It will also examine the traditional Jewish approaches to interreligious relations, especially towards Christianity, as well as the changes that have taken place during the past seventy years, with a special focus on Vatican II and Nostra Aetate. A substantial part is devoted to the implications of these changes on interreligious dialogue and the Jewish-Christian relationship. In the concluding part, the article describes the unique characteristics and role of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel as a religious-government entity in the State of Israel. Finally, it argues that the involvement of the Chief Rabbinate in the interreligious relations with the Vatican is a game changer that enables interreligious dialogue to flourish and reach new horizons.
Interreligious dialogue is fundamental to an integrated, whole, and healthy society. This paper presents two spiritual leaders of interfaith dialogue and introduces an initiative inspired by their example. The paper comes as a result of a conference in Reggio Calabria dedicated to human rights and commemorating the interfaith works of Rabbi Giuseppe Laras (Milan) and Monseigneur Ferro (Reggio Calabria). Both men have spent lifetimes striving to engage different communities in dialogue with each other, above all by finding practical remedies for age-old, stereotypical misconceptions. This article elaborates on the goals and findings of the conference, and it confronts various arguments on specific problems in the Italian social strata of Jewish Orthodoxy and Christianity.
The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict involves not only territorial disputes, but also contested identities and competing narratives. Dialogue encounters between Israeli-Jews and Palestinians aim to bridge the gap between identities and narratives through intergroup contact. These encounters are largely identified with secular and leftist values, while religious Jews are often associated with a more hawkish and less conciliatory position. This study explores through qualitative methods and in-depth interviews the participation of Israeli-Jews from the Religious Zionism camp in dialogue encounters with Palestinians. Religious Zionism is a subgroup of Orthodox Judaism which attributes religious significance to the modern State of Israel.
Our findings indicate that the encounter between the beliefs of our religious Zionist Jewish-Israeli interviewees and Palestinian narratives elicits dilemmas. On a broader level, this study contributes to our understanding of the ways in which this specific ideological and social background affects perception changes during dialogue encounters. It also contributes to expanding our knowledge on the relationship between religious norms and ideology, as well as social and psychological elements of the participation of religious Zionist Israel-Jews in dialogue encounters with Palestinians.
Adrienne Rich, one of the most accomplished American poets, lesbian feminists and critics, has published more than fifteen volumes of poetry and several collections of essays. A persisting feature in most of her works is the interweaving and interaction of poetry, history and politics. She was not so “political” in her early writings in 1950s as in her mid and late writings. Her radical lesbian-feminist voice was prevailing in her writings of 1970s like Diving into the Wreck (1973), Of Woman Born: Motherhood as an Experience and Institution (1976), and The Dream of a Common Language (1978). And in the 1980s, the central themes of her later poetry are the problems of national and ethnic identity (especially Jewishness), history, death and the passing of time. As a daughter of a Gentile mother and a Jewish father who is not so willing to acknowledge his Jewish identity, Rich’s poems and her own life experiences are mostly bound around conflicting themes of identity and assimilation. Indeed, she discusses the political, historical and biographical realities in her poems. Rich regrets the muteness of Jewishness in her family and she suffers from a sense of guilt and fury with the absence of Jewish education in her family. This article shows how Rich’s biographical experience, her Jewish roots and the Holocaust are displayed in two of her testimonial poems “Sources” and “Contradiction.”
This article has a twofold aim: historical and practical. First, it conducts a brief historical review of the Jewish community in Serbia, addressing the ways in which this community has contributed to country’s culture, history, sciences, politics, and social life. It focuses especially on Jewish life in Serbia after the Holocaust, and the various difficulties of assimilation and emigration. Second, the essay investigates the practical realities of interculturalism in Serbia, weighing these realities against concerns about preserving Jewish identity. The article stems from three interviews: Stefan Sablić, theater director, musician, and founder of Shira U’tfila; Sonja Viličić, activist and founder/director ofNGOHaver Serbia; Dragana Stojanović, anthropologist and scholar of cultural studies. Taken together, the responses of these speakers offer novel approaches to multiculturalism and intercultural dialogue in an area with a complex history and cultural makeup.
Historical Jesus research, Jewish or Christian, is marked by the search for origins and authenticity. The various Quests for the Historical Jesus contributed to a crisis of identity within Western Christianity. The result was a move “back to the Jewish roots!”
For Jewish scholars it was a means to position Jewry within a dominantly Christian culture. As a consequence, Jews now feel more at ease to relate to Jesus as a Jew.
For Walter Homolka the Christian challenge now is to formulate a new Christology: between a Christian exclusivism that denies the universality of God, and a pluralism that endangers the specificity of the Christian understanding of God and the uniqueness of religious traditions, including that of Christianity.