Rabbis Vs the Pope
By Micah Halpern
Tuesday August 24, 2021
There is a kerfuffle going on between the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Pope.
The Israeli Chief Rabbinate sent a letter to the Pope asking for an explanation and for clarification after a very significant public address that he gave.
Rabbi Ratzon Arusi, chairman of the Rabbinates Commission on Dialogue with the Holy See, aka the Vatican, sent the letter to the Vatican.
The issue in question is simple and yet, very crucial. It is at the very essence of how Christians view Jews and how Christianity views Judaism.
On August 11, speaking at the Vatican, Pope Francis said that God gave the Torah to the Jewish people. He said: “God offered them the Torah, the Law, so they could understand his will and live in justice. We have to think that at that time, a Law like this was necessary, it was a tremendous gift that God gave his people.”
Later, however, Pope Francis added an addendum to his remarks when he said:
In his letter to the Vatican, Arusi wrote: “In his homily, the pope presents the Christian faith as not just superseding the Torah; but asserts that the latter no longer gives life, implying that Jewish religious practice in the present era is rendered obsolete … This is in effect part and parcel of the ‘teaching of contempt’ towards Jews and Judaism that we had thought had been fully repudiated by the Church.”
Truth be told, this is actually the way Christianity understands their role versus the Jewish role. And that is why Christians term their Bible the New Bible or New Testament and refer to the Jewish Bible as the Old Testament.
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