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A Naive Heretic

The Talmud relates the tragic story of an ancient Jewish sage named Elisha ben Abuyah. Initially one of his generation’s leading rabbinic luminaries, Elisha eventually became ­Judaism’s first unambiguous Epikoros, or theological apostate, earning the sobriquet Akher (“the . . . . Continue Reading »

Catholic Zionism

In 1965, in Nostra Aetate, the Second Vatican Council affirmed that God’s covenant with the Jewish people is irrevocable. Lumen Gentium had done the same the year before, concurring with what St. Paul says about biblical Judaism in Romans 11:29 (“For the gifts and the call of God . . . . Continue Reading »

Boy on the Temple Roof

Young Rabbi Binder has opened the floor for a “free discussion” period at the afternoon Hebrew school housed in the synagogue, where the minimal Jewish education he dispenses to postwar Jewish boys is a prerequisite for their bar mitzvah ritual. As usual, most of the kids are indifferent, even . . . . Continue Reading »

Political Supersessionism

Last spring I attended a conference at the newly established St. Olaf Institute for Freedom and Community, which is dedicated to “free inquiry and meaningful debate of important political and social issues.” The institute invited four professors to talk about religious conflict: a well-known . . . . Continue Reading »

The Road to Nostra Aetate

Of all the documents of Vatican II, few have been more discussed and written about than Nostra Aetate. The official text, the shortest of the council’s documents, is only five paragraphs long, containing forty-one sentences. The fourth paragraph, on the Church’s relationship with the Jewish . . . . Continue Reading »

Burning Churches in Israel

Earlier this summer, in the spot on the Sea of Galilee traditionally hailed as the site of Christ’s feeding of the five thousand, the Roman Catholic Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes in Tabgha, Israel, was torched in an arson attack. And as of Thursday, three young right-wing Jewish men—Yinon Reuveni, twenty, Yehuda Asraf, nineteen, and Moshe Orbach, twenty-four—have been indicted on suspicion of responsibility. Continue Reading »

Jewish Survival in a Gentile World

There are only two possible strategies for Jewish survival in a gentile world. One is to be tolerated. The other is to be indispensable. The first strategy hopes that if every minority is tolerated, then perhaps even the Jews, the minority with the longest history of persecution, might also be . . . . Continue Reading »

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