For the Church, a Purely Neutral Approach to the Existence of Israel is Theologically Unsustainable

It will be either pro or con.

Then-Pope Benedict XVI with Shimon Peres, then president of Israel, in Jerusalem on May 11, 2009. Ahikam Seri/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

Then-Pope Benedict XVI with Shimon Peres, then president of Israel, in Jerusalem on May 11, 2009. Ahikam Seri/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

Response
Sept. 25 2019
About the author

Meir Soloveichik is the rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel in New York and director of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University.


In his essay “Confrontation,” the great Talmudist and philosopher Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik responded to the mid-1960s advent of the Second Vatican Council by emphasizing that certain root theological concepts—like, for instance, “covenant” and “election”—are approached by different faiths through the lens and language of their respective religious experience. Therefore, he wrote, while Christians and Jews should discuss certain matters of vital concern to both communities, no good could come of their debating or entering into “public dialogue” about core theological issues.

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