Thursday, June 13, 2019

Jewish group CJCUC presumes to speaks for Christians, they are Noahides?

The Center for Jewish-Christain Understanding & Cooperation (CJCUC) is a Jewish organization that promotes interfaith dialogue between Jews and Christians on matters of theology. In 2011 CJCUC put out a statement entitled "CJCUC's Statement on Jewish Understanding of Christians and Christianity". Even though the statement is supposed to be about how many Jews view Christian, within the statement, CJCUC presumes to speak for Christians as to how they see themselves, and according to CJCUC, Christians view themselves as being members of the "Noahide covenant" and that they were responsible for removing idolatry from nations under the direction of the Noahide Laws. Most Christians at this time would not even know what the Noahide covenant is, let alone claim it is the impetus for their actions and beliefs. This is because the "Noahide Laws" are not found within the Old Testament of the Bible but inside the Talmud (here) a purely Jewish text. More than this, according to the Talmud where the Noahide Laws are found, Jesus is described as a blasphemer and sorcerer, distinctions which would warrant his death under Jewish Noahide Law, additionally it is stated that converting to Christianity is one of the worst sins one can commit and Christians (minuth) are said to be tortured in hell (here).  Why are Jewish groups like CJCUC speaking for Christians and stating that Noahide Law is part of Christian doctrine, especially that this logic is particularly deceptive? 



After collaborating and working with various Christian organizations, leaders, and scholars over the past three years, the leaders of the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC) in Efrat and Jerusalem have released a statement of A Jewish Understanding of Christians and Christianity. CJCUC is the first Orthodox Jewish entity dedicated to engaging in dialogue with the Christian world
In partnership with The Witherspoon Institute in Princeton New Jersey, CJCUC recently publicized their scholarly work at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem and at Yale University on the topics of “Covenant & Mission” and “Hope & Responsibility in the 21st Century.” In addition, CJCUC has collaborated with scholars connected with the Hebraic Heritage Christian Center in Atlanta, GA, in discussing the issues of “Evangelization” and “Jewish Understanding of Christianity.”
CJCUC’s Founder Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Riskin said, “This statement only represents the view of our center but should also be used as a catalyst for other orthodox Jews and Jewry worldwide to consider fostering relationships with Christian communities. Leaders within the Catholic and mainline Protestant churches as well as the non-denominational movements of Evangelical Christianity have become sincere friends of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. It is vital that we strengthen our relationship with them. We are certain that through these relational dialogues we will find far more which unites us than divides us.”
For more information, please contact CJCUC’s Media Division at 516-882-3220 or

A Jewish Understanding of Christians and Christianity

Many leaders of Christianity today no longer seek to displace Judaism. They recognize the Jewish people’s continuing role in God’s plan for history, and through their own understanding of the Christian Testament, they understand themselves as grafted into the living Abrahamic covenant.
Christians see themselves not merely as members of the Noahide covenant, but as spiritual partners within the Jewish covenant.  At the same time, they believe that God does not repent of his covenantal gifts and that the Jewish people continues to enjoy a unique covenantal relationship with God in accordance with its historical 2000 year traditions.
Jewish and Christian theologies are no longer engaged in a theological duel to the death and therefore Jews should not fear a sympathetic understanding of Christianity that is true to the Torah, Jewish thought and values. In today’s unprecedented reality of Christian support for the Jewish people, Jews should strive to work together with Christians toward the same spiritual goals of sacred history—universal morality, peace, and redemption under God—but under different and separate systems of commandments for each faith community and distinct theological beliefs.
Nearly all medieval and modern Jewish biblical commentators understood Abraham’s primary mission as teaching the world about God and bearing witness to His moral law. Maimonides insisted in his halakhic and philosophical writings that spreading the knowledge of the One God of Heaven and Earth throughout the world was the main vocation of Abraham.  Significantly, this understanding of Abraham’s religious mission is exactly the role and historical impact of Christianity as understood by great rabbis such as Rabbis Moses Rivkis, Yaakov Emden and Samson Raphael Hirsch.
R. Moses Rivkis (17th century Lithuania):
The gentiles in whose shadow Jews live and among whom Jews are disbursed are not idolators. Rather they believe in creatio ex nihilo and the Exodus from Egypt and the main principles of faith. Their intention is to the Creator of Heaven and Earth and we are obligated to pray for their welfare (Gloss on Shulhan Arukh, Hoshen Mishpat, Section 425:5). 
And Rabbi Jacob Emden (18th century Germany):
The Nazarene brought a double goodness to the world… The Christian eradicated avodah zarah, removed idols (from the nations) and obligated them in the seven mitsvot of Noah…a congregation that works for the sake of heaven—(people) who are destined to endure, whose intent is for the sake of heaven and whose reward will not denied. (Seder Olam Rabbah 35-37; Sefer ha-Shimush 15-17.

And Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (19th century Germany):
Although disparaged because of its alleged particularism, the Jewish religion actually teaches that the upright of all peoples are headed toward the highest goal. In particular, rabbis have been at pains to stress that, while in other respects Christian views and ways of life may differ from those of Judaism, the peoples in whose midst the Jews are now living [i.e. Christians] have accepted the Jewish Bible of the Old Testament as a book of Divine revelation. They profess their belief in the God of heaven and earth as proclaimed in the Bible and they acknowledge the sovereignty of Divine Providence in both this life and the next. Their acceptance of the practical duties incumbent upon all men by the will of God distinguishes these nations from the heathen and idolatrous nations of the talmudic era (Principles of Education, “Talmudic Judaism and Society,” 225-227).

Israel…produced an offshoot [Christianity] that had to become estranged from it in great measure, in order to bring to the world—sunk in idol worship, violence, immorality and the degradation of man—at least the tidings of the One Alone, of the brotherhood of all men, and of man’s superiority over the beast. (Nineteen Letters on Judaism (Jerusalem, 1995).
When we combine this rabbinic appreciation of Christianity with today’s non-replacement Christian theologies toward Judaism, we find fresh possibilities for rethinking a Jewish relationship with Christianity and for fashioning new Jewish-Christian cooperation in pursuit of common values.  If so, Jews can view Christians as partners in spreading monotheism, peace, and morality throughout the world.
This new understanding must encompass a mutual respect of each other’s theological beliefs and eschatological convictions.  Some Christians maintain that Christianity is the most perfect revelation of God and that all will join the church when truth is revealed at the end of time.  Jews, too, are free to continue to believe, as Maimonides believed, that “all will return to the true religion” (Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings, 12:1) and, as Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik declared, “In the ultimate truthfulness of our views, [we] pray fervently for and expect confidently the fulfillment of our eschatological vision when our faith will rise from particularity to universality and will convince our peers of the other faith community”(“Confrontation” from Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Thought, 1964, 6:2).
The new relationship requires that Christians respect the right of all Jewish peoples to exist as Jews with complete self-determination—free from any attempts of conversion to Christianity. At the same time, Judaism must respect Christian faithfulness to their revelation, value their role in divine history, and acknowledge that Christians have entered a relationship with the God of Israel. In our pre-eschaton days, God has more than enough blessings to bestow upon all of His children.
The prophet Micah offers a stunning description of the messianic culmination of human history:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord and the God of Jacob, that He teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths.…Let the peoples beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.  Nations shall not lift up sword against nation, nor shall they learn war anymore. Let every man sit under his vine and under his fig tree; and no one shall make him afraid….Let all the people walk, each in the name of his God; and we shall walk in the name of our Lord our God forever and ever.” (4:2-5)
Jews and Christians must bear witness together to the presence of God and to His moral laws.  If Jews and Christians can become partners after nearly 2,000 years of theological delegitimization and physical conflict, then peace is possible between any two peoples anywhere.  That peace would be our most powerful witness to God’s presence in human history and to our covenantal responsibility to carry God’s blessing to the world.  It is the very essence of what makes up the messianic dream.
Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Riskin, Founder & Chancellor of CJCUC and Ohr Torah Stone
Rabbi Dr. Eugene Korn, CJCUC’s North American Director
Rabbi Pesach Wolicki, CJCUC’s Associate Director
David Nekrutman, CJCUC’s Executive Director

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  1. Chabad Lubavitch, difference between Commandments (jews) and Seven Noahide Laws(gentiles):
    - “With respect to G-d's commandments, all of humanity is divided into two general classifications – the children of Israel and the children of Noah. The children of Israel are the jews, the descendants of the patriarch Jacob. They are commanded to fulfil the 613 commandments of the Torah. The children of Noah are commanded the Seven Universal Laws, also known as the Seven Laws of the children of Noah or The Seven Noahide Laws.

    Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim – the seven noahide laws:
    - “The Noahide Laws are the bare essentials that entitle a human being to retain him right to life. Jews must encourage this mass conversion by refusing to voice acceptance for other religions....Judaism views all other religions as imposters, since no other religion was G-d-given...This means no other laws are acceptable, for any people.”

    Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, 1987:
    - “Influencing non-jews to keep their mitzvos (religious duty), the seven noahide laws...will assist our task of making the world into a dwelling place for G-d, and help bring about the arrival of the Messiah...Every jew has the obligation to ensure that.”

    Sanhedrin 57a:
    - “Violation of any of the seven laws subjects the noahide to capital punishment by decapitation.”

    Babylonian Talmud, Midrasch Talpioth, pag.225, L:
    - “Jehovah created the non-jew in human form so that the jew would not be served by beasts. The non-jew is consequently an animal in human form, and condemned to serve the jew, day and night.”

    Babylonian Talmud, Baba Mecia 114, 6:
    - “You are human beings but the nations of the world are not human beings, but beasts.”

    Thikune Zohar, Edition Berdiwetsch, 88b:
    - “Furthermore, there is a commandment pertaining to the killing of strangers, who are like beasts. This killing has to be done in the lawful Jewish method. Those who do not bid themselves to the Jewish religious law must be offered up as sacrifices to the High God."

  2. Encyclopaedia Judaica, (Sanhedrin 57a)"Noahide Laws":
    - "... violation of any one of the seven laws subjects the Noachide to capital punishment by decapitation.”

    Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Melachim 11:
    - "... a gentile who worships false gods is liable, [for the death penalty] provided he worships them in the accepted manner. A gentile is executed for every type of foreign worship which a Jewish court would consider worthy of capital punishment."

    Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, “the king's torah”, laws concerning the killing of gentiles, 2010:
    - “Gentiles are uncompassionate by nature, and should be killed in order to curb their evil inclinations...If we kill a gentile who has violated one of the 7 commandments (of noah)....there is nothing wrong with the murder...There is justification for killing babies if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us and in such a situation they may be harmed deliberately, and not only during combat with adults.”

    Chabad Lubavitch website,, Sanhedrin 57a, b; Rambam, Hilchos Melakim 9:14:
    - “The Seven Noachide laws are general commandments with many details. Transgressing any one of them is considered such a breach in the natural order that the offender incurs the death penalty. Apart from a few exceptions, the death sentence for a Ben Noach is Sayif, death by the sword / decapitation, the least painful of the four modes of execution of criminals (see the Rambam's Hilchos Melachim 9:14). (The four methods of capital punishment in Torah are: S’kilah - Stoning; S’rifah - Burning; Hereg - Decapitation; Henek - Strangulation.) The many formalities of procedure essential when the accused is an Israelite need not be observed in the case of the Noachite. The latter may be convicted on the testimony of one witness, even on that of relatives, but not on that of a woman. He need have had no warning from the witnesses; and a single judge may pass sentence on him.”

    Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 57b, Steinsaltz edition, vol.18, page 110:
    - "A non-Jew is put to death on the basis of a decision given by one judge [no jury], and on the basis of testimony given by a single witness, and even if he was not given a proper warning prior to the commission of his offence. He is put to death on the basis of testimony and a decision given by a man but not on the basis of testimony and a decision given by a woman, and the man who testified or decided against him can even be a relative.