As someone who works in the field of Jewish- Christian relations I recently found myself with a meeting scheduled at a monastery in the Galilee. This meeting just happened to come along at a time when my father was visiting from Canada, so I urged him to come along, to see the extraordinary design and architecture of the building and learn something about Christian life in Israel. My father was unsure, as a man with a healthy degree of skepticism toward religion generally, and some settled ideas about the Roman Catholic Church and the Jews.
Some of this is my own fault. Because of my own years of research and work, my father has become wellacquainted with evangelical- Jewish relations and Christian Zionism, and the efforts underway in that corner of the Christian world to develop better Jewish-Christian relations. As with my father, I find many Jews today to be surprised and deeply skeptical of about relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the Jews.
Increasingly there’s a tendency, particularly in Israel, to see Christian support for Israel, Christian efforts to combat anti-Semitism and Christian love for the Jews primarily through an evangelical, Christian Zionist lens. For many Jews, Roman Catholic priests taking Judaism seriously, celebrating Jewish holidays, honoring Torah and learning Hebrew is a shock.
I do not mean in any way to minimize the importance (and complexity) of evangelical Christian support for Israel and efforts in building better relations between Christians and Jews. But it would be a tragic mistake to forget the work underway in other expressions of Christianity.
There are lovers of Israel and the Jews to be found among all denominations, just as there are evangelical anti- Semites. It’s a mistake for Jews in Israel and abroad to narrow our Christian conversation partners, challengers and allies down to a single branch of Christianity…
Read on here.