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Conceding the Christianity Argument

July 16, 2015

I have just finished speaking to our master, Rabbi Nahum Rabinovitch, and he has told me that with regard to Christianity nowadays,

1. since the Reformation, the Protestant and Catholic streams are certainly not idolatry;

2. Maimonides, if he were around today, would agree with (1);

3. the Eastern Churches are also probably no longer idolatrous;

4. it is the Israeli Jewish community’s imperative to show tolerance toward peaceful strangers who live among them, including the Christian groups that have been harassed of late. The State must do everything to ensure their safety and rights, and the community should show compassion towards them.

In light of Rabbi Rabinovitch’s opinions, I would like to concede some of the arguments I had earlier with Rabbi Joe from Jerusalem.

This does not mean that Rabbi Rabinovitch’s colleagues completely agree with him.


From → halacha

  1. Esser Agaroth ( wished to leave the following comment:

    I’m not sure what the point is. If you look at Hil. A”Z of the Ramba”m, ch. 10, his use of the term means stam goy. The last halakha confirms this, as does his shu”t (148). The Tur says this explicitly (249 – lo techonem), and the Beth Yosef and [uncensored] Ba”ch concur.
    (There is a theory that Rav Ovadian z”L and even Rav Kook z”l may not have had the uncensored version of the Ba”ch, and used it to justify heter mekhirah. Even though Rav Kook knew that piqu’ah nefesh in his time was sufficient, he also knew that the Am would demand a source, more than this.)
    Thus regarding Christians, ANY Christians, we do not allow them to live in Eretz Yisrael, should not give them the zechuth of doing mitzvoth for us, and certainly not speak of them b’shevah, among the other things mentioned in this chapter, A”Z or not.
    This is one of the fundamental errors rabbis are making these days regarding Christians. Of course I do not know what R’ Rabinovitch says about this.
    Article forthcoming on this subject.

    • The point is that I can not fault people like Rabbi Joe for their positions if they are following their teachers.

      • Rabbi Joe? Anyway, I can fault him.

        Maimonides would agree? Perhaps as “idolaters,” but not as A”Z, the better translation being “foreign worship.” See my explanation above as to what the Rambam really meant b the term A”Z. Stam goy.

        Furthermore, in Hil. Teshuvah 3:17 the Rambam clearly states that Christians and Muslims are koferim, which precludes them from being accepted as Bnei Noah, and thus Gerei Toshav in the future, and thus from residing in the Land, which is the main point I wanted to make.

        For now, I will assume that the above rabbi’s comments are taken out of context incomplete.

        I would be very interested in his response to the sources I bring above.

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