On Israeli Independence Day in 2015, Rabbi Pesach Wolicki took part in organizing an interfaith service at an Orthodox synagogue in Jerusalem, in which Christians joined Jews in the recitation of Psalms 113-118 (known as Hallel). The service, which had the imprimatur of Shlomo Riskin, a leading American-Israeli rabbi, naturally drew sharp criticism from some rabbinic opponents. Undeterred, Wolicki has continued to organize such interfaith activities; he also conducts programs for Christians visiting Israel and defends the rights of Israeli Christians—once arguing for the presence of a Christmas tree in the University of Haifa’s cafeteria. In an interview with Alan Brill, Wolicki explains his positions:
For every Bible-believing Jew the ultimate goal is the redemption of the world. This redemption is described differently by different prophets, but the basic idea is the same. In Isaiah’s words, the goal is to reach a state wherein “knowledge of God covers the earth as water covers the sea,” or in the words of Zephaniah, when “all are calling on the name of the Lord and serving Him shoulder to shoulder.” The goal is for the entirety of humanity to believe in and worship the same God—the God of Israel. . . .
Joining in prayer with those who are not Jewish is not a deviation from [this] mission. In its ideal form, it represents the realization of that mission. . . .
The Christian Zionist/Jewish Religious Zionist relationship is not really an interfaith relationship in the traditional understanding of the term. It’s not a relationship based on the liberal idea of tolerance for and acceptance of the value of the difference of the other’s faith system. It’s more of an intrafaith relationship; it seeks and expands upon common points of faith and builds the relationship around what is shared. My understanding is that Christian Zionism is not primarily a political movement. It’s a theological redefinition of Christianity that leads directly to a Bible-based Zionism, which then produces political activity.
Critical responses to Wolicki’s arguments can also be found by following the link below.