Saturday, May 05, 2007

Rabbi Jack Moline and Rev. John Hagee

I hope the fact that I haven't posted anything to my blog in over two weeks means that I've just been busy and not that I've run out of things to say.

After spending last week in Boston at the Rabbinical Assembly Convention, I have a lot of blogging to do. The convention was simply amazing with one great session after another. I was very impressed with the Rabbinical Assembly, and I left with newfound hope and excitement about Conservative Judaism in general.

I will post some reflections about the convention in the next day or two. In the meantime, I was struck by a couple of articles about my colleague Jack Moline of Agudas Achim in Alexandria, Virginia. Rabbi Jack is one of the more politically liberal Conservative rabbis, but has nevertheless agreed to sit on the dais at Reverend John Hagee's "Night to Honor Israel" in the Washington area this month. After hearing John Hagee (right) speak at AIPAC in March, I am not surprised about the support he is getting from even the most liberal rabbis who cannot support his conservative Christian Right agenda, but will stand together with him for the sake of Israel. With Zev Chafetz's book A Match Made in Heaven receiving critical acclaim, there will no doubt be much more attention paid to the reaction of mainstream Judaism toward Evangelical Christian support of Israel.

I especially liked Jack's quote in the Baltimore Jewish Times:

"I don't like his politics or his theology, but we live in a time when friends of Israel are few and far between. We have to recognize that we are receiving support from the evangelical community that we are not receiving from our traditional friends. I'll be happy to talk about the theological context after we achieve a safe and secure Israel."

This is the article from YNet News by Yaakov Lappin:
Fresh controversy has erupted around Christian Zionist leader Pastor John Hagee, after Conservative leader Rabbi Jack Moline's name appeared on the list of invited guests at an event hosted by Hagee's Christians United for Israel (CFI) group, the Jewish Week said.
"Rabbi Jack Moline is a Jewish centrist in almost every respect. He is leader in the Conservative movement, a crusader against intermarriage and a fierce opponent of the religious right's growing influence on American life," the Jewish Week said.
"Rabbi Moline says his views about the domestic dangers posed by the religious right have not changed, but conditions have," the report added.
The Jewish Week quoted Rabbi Moline as saying: "We're no longer in a position of being too selective in choosing our friends," and citing "the threat posed by Iran and Israel's growing isolation."
"Rabbi Moline's participation marks the growing if uneasy acceptance of Rev. Hagee's brand of pro-Israel activism across the Jewish community.
Mainstream Jewish leaders are rushing to embrace him, despite continuing concerns about his apocalyptic views about Israel's future, his open advocacy of war with Iran and his harsh domestic views, and critics are being pressured into silence," the Jewish Week added.

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