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There is no common ethic between Torah and a theology that requires man to accept another man as a deity and a savior to find salvation. Truth be told, interfaith dialogue with Christians or any member of another faith community on matter of religion has always been viewed as contrary to Halachah. There has always been a consensus on this issue across the wide spectrum of Torah leaders. Even among those groups that have no interest in converting Jews. Certainly, those who prey on Jews for conversion are enemies. We aren’t allowed to meet with them or accept charity; no hosting them in Eretz Yisroel. They are evangelical. Their stated mission is to draw Jews to the cross.

As the bloody headlines inform us daily, Islam is a scourge upon the earth. It is natural for Jews to want allies against them. But to align ourselves with those who wish to convert us, even if it is in their distant dream of a messianic redemption, is insane. Righteous gentiles who want to assist the nation of Israel may have opportunities to do so, but it must always be in accordance with Jewish law. This is where proper poskim need to come into the equation, since it is purely an Halachic matter. But those who are evangelical cannot have any foothold in the country!

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“The Harvesters” and others like them have an advantage over other missionaries. They are mingling, and spending considerable time with Jews in the vineyards. They are forging friendships and finding a commonality that is blurring the distinction between gentile and Jew. “The Harvesters” have discovered that strumming folk songs based solely on “Old Testament” verses, while tending to the fields, have opened doors to them. Some of their women even cover their heads with mitpachot.

What will happen, (and Heaven Forbid, it is almost a certainly that it will,) when some infatuated Jewish boy falls head over heels for the pretty blond girl in the field who he sees for weeks at a time. His name is Daniel, and she likes the Book of Daniel. She has a nice smile. She plays the guitar and enjoys evening strolls as the sun sets. So does he. What about the mirror equivalent? A Jewish girl who finds a rugged southern gentleman, who believes in the notion of a creator, never mentions Jesus, and works his boots off in the field. A mentch, right?

Unlikely scenario? I think not. I think that it is more unlikely that this won’t happen, if things persist as they are. Frankly I wouldn’t be surprised if such “meetings” are already occurring.

Not Anti-Gentile!

Heaven Forbid that this should be taken as an an anti-gentile polemic. Without getting into the complicated Halachic issue of whether Jewish theology deems Christianity an appropriate religion for gentiles, all authentic Jewish positions are in agreement with one thing: it is prohibited for Jews. I believe that perfection of the self and Divine reward is available to Jew and gentile alike, provided they follow the proper framework. Maimonides required the non-Jew to follow the 7 Laws of Noah. I will venture to say this: Gentiles have the same responsibility as Jews to accept the true Creator. The rising phenomenon of the B’nai Noach community in the U.S. and across the world shows that it can be done.

It should be noted that despite his rigid Halachic stance regarding Christianity and Islam, Maimonides notes that we don’t understand G-d’s plan, and perhaps the former two faiths will be a vehicle for man to ultimately draw close to the truth. In short, since they are better than a purer paganism, or polytheism, they represent man heading towards the truth. Ultimately, The Almighty Himself will judge each man/woman to the extent that they dedicated their lives to uncovering the truth of His Name.

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Donny Fuchs made aliyah in 2006 from Long Island to the Negev, where he resides with his family. He has a keen passion for the flora and fauna of Israel and enjoys hiking the Negev desert. His religious perspective is deeply grounded in the Rambam's rational approach to Judaism.
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