Archive for the ‘Leon Klenicki’ Category

"Yom HaShoah" Liturgy for Catholic Children

February 2, 2011


Teaching the Holocaust: Commemoration in the Classroom: Liturgy for Christian Schools

Collected by members of the Seattle Archdiocese

ADL, Vatican Launch "Catholic-Jewish Permanent Dialogue"

April 9, 2009

Fr. James Massa who is involved in this racket offers the Latin Mass in NYC.

read:

A Point of Interest for Latin Mass Community in Sungenis/Catechism Controversy


ADL Sponsors Major Catholic-Jewish Dialogue in Honor of Rabbi Leon Klenicki

Posted: March 23, 2009

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. announced the launching of a major new national Catholic-Jewish permanent dialogue.

The announcement was made February 26 following a national tribute to the late Rabbi Leon Klenicki, ADL’s longtime Director of Interfaith Affairs who passed away in January.

Prominent Catholic and Jewish leaders from around the country, including cardinals, bishops, and leading national Catholic officials joined with prominent rabbis to memorialize Rabbi Klenicki, a pioneer in interfaith relations. The group then met for two hours to discuss the future of Catholic-Jewish relations in America in light of several ongoing controversies facing the dialogue.

Following the session, sponsored by ADL and hosted by the John Paul II Center, the religious leaders announced their intention to launch a new permanent dialogue between the two religions, which would meet regularly to deal with controversies and help deepen the dialogue between Catholics and Jews. The new dialogue would be based at the Pope John Paul II Center, as requested by the Vatican.

The gathering in Washington has been called the most significant gathering of Catholic and Jewish leaders since Pope Benedict XVI’s two events with Jewish audiences during his 2008 visit to the United States. Religious leaders called the formation of the new dialogue group a historic event.

Participants at the event included Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley of Boston, Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore, Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington, D.C., Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Center, Father James Massa, Executive Director of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Father Steven Boguslawski, Executive Director of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center, Dr. Philip Cunningham, Director of the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations of Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA, Sister Celia Deutch, Associate Professor at Barnard College, Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, Rabbi Eric Greenberg, ADL Director of Interfaith Policy, Rabbi James Rudin, Senior Interreligious Advisor for the American Jewish Committee, Rabbi Irving Yitz Greenberg, founding President, CLAL, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, and Rabbi Ruth Langer, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at Boston College and Associate Director of its Center for Christian-Jewish Learning.

http://www.adl.org/main_Interfaith/New_Catholic_Jewish_Dialogue.htm

ADL, Vatican Launch "Catholic-Jewish Permanent Dialogue"

April 9, 2009

Fr. James Massa who is involved in this racket offers the Latin Mass in NYC.

read:

A Point of Interest for Latin Mass Community in Sungenis/Catechism Controversy


ADL Sponsors Major Catholic-Jewish Dialogue in Honor of Rabbi Leon Klenicki

Posted: March 23, 2009

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. announced the launching of a major new national Catholic-Jewish permanent dialogue.

The announcement was made February 26 following a national tribute to the late Rabbi Leon Klenicki, ADL’s longtime Director of Interfaith Affairs who passed away in January.

Prominent Catholic and Jewish leaders from around the country, including cardinals, bishops, and leading national Catholic officials joined with prominent rabbis to memorialize Rabbi Klenicki, a pioneer in interfaith relations. The group then met for two hours to discuss the future of Catholic-Jewish relations in America in light of several ongoing controversies facing the dialogue.

Following the session, sponsored by ADL and hosted by the John Paul II Center, the religious leaders announced their intention to launch a new permanent dialogue between the two religions, which would meet regularly to deal with controversies and help deepen the dialogue between Catholics and Jews. The new dialogue would be based at the Pope John Paul II Center, as requested by the Vatican.

The gathering in Washington has been called the most significant gathering of Catholic and Jewish leaders since Pope Benedict XVI’s two events with Jewish audiences during his 2008 visit to the United States. Religious leaders called the formation of the new dialogue group a historic event.

Participants at the event included Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley of Boston, Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore, Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington, D.C., Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Center, Father James Massa, Executive Director of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Father Steven Boguslawski, Executive Director of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center, Dr. Philip Cunningham, Director of the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations of Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA, Sister Celia Deutch, Associate Professor at Barnard College, Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, Rabbi Eric Greenberg, ADL Director of Interfaith Policy, Rabbi James Rudin, Senior Interreligious Advisor for the American Jewish Committee, Rabbi Irving Yitz Greenberg, founding President, CLAL, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, and Rabbi Ruth Langer, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at Boston College and Associate Director of its Center for Christian-Jewish Learning.

http://www.adl.org/main_Interfaith/New_Catholic_Jewish_Dialogue.htm

Vatican, German Chancellor Win Temporary Pharisee Approval

February 6, 2009

“American” “Jewish” Committee operative and proud, self-proclaimed Pharisee, David Rosen, who was in 2005 knighted by Pope Benedict XVI, is very pleased with the measures taken by church and state in Europe in response to the heresy of “Holocaust” denial. Pharisaic praise is quickly withdrawn, however. This will last only until the next shameful act of treachery is demanded, which will, no doubt, happen soon enough.

AJC Welcomes Vatican Statement on Holocaust Denier Bishop

New York – February 4, 2009 – AJC has applauded today’s statement from the Vatican demanding that Bishop Richard Williamson “absolutely, unequivocally and publicly distance himself” from his advocacy of Holocaust denial.

Williamson, a conservative Bishop whose excommunication by the late Pope John Paul II was recently revoked by Pope Benedict XVI, has consistently denied the existence of the Nazi gas chambers. The Vatican’s statement demanding he recant these view follows a chorus of angry protest from both Jewish groups and non-Jewish groups.

“This is what we were asking for – an unequivocal repudiation of Williamson’s odious opinions and all such forms of anti-Semitism,” said Rabbi David Rosen, AJC’s International Director of Interreligious Affairs. “This welcome statement, as well as the clear reiteration that the Society of Saint Pius X, to which Williamson belongs, will only be allowed back into the Church once it respects the historic reforms of the Second Vatican Council, demonstrates the Vatican’s continuing commitment to good relations with the Jewish community. Had all this been expressed at the outset, we could have avoided the unnecessary damage and distress.”

Rosen paid special tribute to the many religious and civic leaders who contributed to this satisfactory resolution, in particular German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Chancellor Merkel urged the Vatican to go further in its clear rejection of Holocaust denial and deniers. “We deeply appreciate Chancellor Merkel’s principled stance,” Rosen said. “Holocaust denial must never be tolerated or legitimized.”

Original

Coincidentally, Rabbi/Pharisee David Rosen was one of the signers of the joint Delegation of the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews /Chief Rabbinate of Israel document which falsely claims that the Talmudic “Noahide laws” have a biblical foundation.

I believe it’s fair to ask whether this AJC rabbi emissary to the Vatican, David Rosen, has the same motivations as his predecessor, Rabbi Abraham Heschel. I have no doubt, but Rosen is far more slick than Heschel.

Another rabbi-Inquisitor of Holocaustolatry, Leon Klenicki was knighted by Benedict XVI in 2007. Rabbi Leon Klenicki, in addition to being an “Anti-Defamation” League operative, was a strong advocate of Rabbi Benamozegh’s teachings on “Noahide” Churchianity.

Dear Reader, here are two Judaic power organization operatives, zealous rabbi/inquisitors against “Holocaust” denial, deceitful evangelists of the “Noahide laws,” who also happen to have been knighted by Benedict XVI.

I ask people to consider whether “full communion” with Benedict XVI and his elder brother peddlers of the “Noahide” faith is something to be sought after by true followers of Jesus Christ and His Gospel teachings.

Vatican, German Chancellor Win Temporary Pharisee Approval

February 6, 2009

“American” “Jewish” Committee operative and proud, self-proclaimed Pharisee, David Rosen, who was in 2005 knighted by Pope Benedict XVI, is very pleased with the measures taken by church and state in Europe in response to the heresy of “Holocaust” denial. Pharisaic praise is quickly withdrawn, however. This will last only until the next shameful act of treachery is demanded, which will, no doubt, happen soon enough.

AJC Welcomes Vatican Statement on Holocaust Denier Bishop

New York – February 4, 2009 – AJC has applauded today’s statement from the Vatican demanding that Bishop Richard Williamson “absolutely, unequivocally and publicly distance himself” from his advocacy of Holocaust denial.

Williamson, a conservative Bishop whose excommunication by the late Pope John Paul II was recently revoked by Pope Benedict XVI, has consistently denied the existence of the Nazi gas chambers. The Vatican’s statement demanding he recant these view follows a chorus of angry protest from both Jewish groups and non-Jewish groups.

“This is what we were asking for – an unequivocal repudiation of Williamson’s odious opinions and all such forms of anti-Semitism,” said Rabbi David Rosen, AJC’s International Director of Interreligious Affairs. “This welcome statement, as well as the clear reiteration that the Society of Saint Pius X, to which Williamson belongs, will only be allowed back into the Church once it respects the historic reforms of the Second Vatican Council, demonstrates the Vatican’s continuing commitment to good relations with the Jewish community. Had all this been expressed at the outset, we could have avoided the unnecessary damage and distress.”

Rosen paid special tribute to the many religious and civic leaders who contributed to this satisfactory resolution, in particular German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Chancellor Merkel urged the Vatican to go further in its clear rejection of Holocaust denial and deniers. “We deeply appreciate Chancellor Merkel’s principled stance,” Rosen said. “Holocaust denial must never be tolerated or legitimized.”

Original

Coincidentally, Rabbi/Pharisee David Rosen was one of the signers of the joint Delegation of the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews /Chief Rabbinate of Israel document which falsely claims that the Talmudic “Noahide laws” have a biblical foundation.

I believe it’s fair to ask whether this AJC rabbi emissary to the Vatican, David Rosen, has the same motivations as his predecessor, Rabbi Abraham Heschel. I have no doubt, but Rosen is far more slick than Heschel.

Another rabbi-Inquisitor of Holocaustolatry, Leon Klenicki was knighted by Benedict XVI in 2007. Rabbi Leon Klenicki, in addition to being an “Anti-Defamation” League operative, was a strong advocate of Rabbi Benamozegh’s teachings on “Noahide” Churchianity.

Dear Reader, here are two Judaic power organization operatives, zealous rabbi/inquisitors against “Holocaust” denial, deceitful evangelists of the “Noahide laws,” who also happen to have been knighted by Benedict XVI.

I ask people to consider whether “full communion” with Benedict XVI and his elder brother peddlers of the “Noahide” faith is something to be sought after by true followers of Jesus Christ and His Gospel teachings.

Kosher-Catholic Paulist Press Publishes Rabbi Benamozegh’s "Noahide" Tome as "Classic of Western Spirituality"

June 11, 2008

Anti-Defamation League’s Interfaith Affairs Director Emeritus Rabbi Leon Klenicki who below champion’s the Kabbalist Elijah Benamozegh’s attempt to transform Christendom into a “Noahide” Golem, was made a papal knight by Benedict XVI in 2007:

http://www.adl.org/PresRele/VaticanJewish_96/5119_96.htm

In 1998 Rabbi-Knight Klenicki announced that the Vatican had been conscribed in the rabbinic inquisition against the heresy of “Holocaust denial.”

http://mauricepinay.blogspot.com/2007/11/catholic-jewish-relations-move-forward.html

I hope that opponents of “dual-covenant” theory will read this interview closely because it reveals a truth regarding this theory that is missed by most investigators, which is, “dual-covenant” theory is the “Noahide Laws.” According to the Rabbis, “Jews” have their own exclusive covenant and the other “70 Nations” have another non-Biblical, lower-tier covenant which the rabbis contrived for them which culminates in the Talmudic “Noahide Laws.”

Never forget that when the rabbis and the bishops “dialogue” about “dual-covenant” theory, that it’s the Talmudic “Noahide covenant” that applies for Christians, not the Biblical covenants. Their challenge is to make the Talmudic “Noahide Laws” appear to be Biblical. We saw a Vatican attempt at this impossible task last year:

Papal Commission Promotes Noahide Laws

This is all pretended in accordance with the popular delusion that Christianity is the “daughter religion” of rabbinic Judaism–a ridiculous proposition if there ever was one.

Israel and Humanity: A Study on the Problem of a Universal Religion, and Its Solution.

By Elijah Benamozegh

Translated by Maxwell Uria, in the series Classics of Western Spirituality. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1995. US$22.95.

Elijah Benamozegh’s Israel and Humanity appeared originally in Italian at the end of the nineteenth century. Rabbi Benamozegh was the spiritual leader of the Jewish community of Livorno, Italy, and a well-known kabbalist and religious leader of great influence in European Jewry.

Benamozegh’s book is an important contribution to Christian-Jewish dialogue, and by his reflection on the meaning of Christianity, he became a pioneering figure, inspiring both Jews and Christians to reflect on the meaning of the Jewish-Christian encounter in our time. Israel and Humanity is a reflection on the meaning of Christianity for Judaism, as well as a personal, very interesting story.

The following dialogue was prepared by Reverend James Loughran and Rabbi Leon Klenicki and published by the Central Conference of American Rabbis’ CCAR Journal, 4/1999. Rabbi Klenicki kindly forwarded it with a strong recommendation to use the book to further the Christian-Jewish encounter. Father Loughran is the Director of the Commission on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the Catholic Diocese of New York. Rabbi Klenicki is the Director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Department of Interfaith Affairs.

The Thought and Life of Elijah Benamozegh

A Dialogue on a Pioneer of Christian-Jewish Understanding

James Loughran and Leon Klenicki

Rev. James Loughran: Paulist Press recently published a translation of Elijah Benamozegh’s book, Israel and Humanity. It is a valuable contribution to the dialogue between Judaism and Christianity, because it makes available to the English-speaking world the thoughts of an important nineteenth-century Italian rabbi in the theological discourse of what has come to be called the “dual-covenant” theory.

Rabbi Leon Klenicki: Rabbi Benamozegh may not be known to many people, so I think it is important to give a brief sketch of his life and his thought.

Elijah ben Abraham Benamozegh (1823-1900), whose family had come to Italy from Morocco, was a rabbi of the important Jewish community of Livorno (Leghom), an intellectual leader of nineteenth century Italian Jewry, and its most articulate advocate of Kabbalah. Among his distinguished volumes, Israel and Humanity is perhaps his masterpiece.

Israel and Humanity forms a grand synthesis of Benamozegh’s religious thought. It is at once a wide-ranging summa of scriptural, Talmudic, Midrashic, and kabbalistic ideas, and an intensely personal account of Jewish identity. It is also a systematic, meticulously reasoned philosophy of Judaism in its relation to the other religions of mankind, especially its daughter religions, Christianity and Islam. Scrupulously Orthodox in his Jewish perspective, Benamozegh was a highly original thinker and wholly at ease in European secular and religious culture. His book breathes the exceptionally tolerant religious atmosphere of nineteenthth-century Italy.

Rev. JL: Benamozegh’s attitude toward Christianity is almost fraternal His insights, based on the Law of Noah and the use of kabbalistic traditions, lead him to believe that Judaism and Christianity can work as religious partners in telling the world that God is One. Jews should remain absolutely committed to Judaism, which he prefers to call “Hebraism” and Gentiles should learn of the One God through Christianity. As a thoroughly Orthodox rabbi, Benamozegh does not attempt a theological fusion of Judaism and Christianity, but he is theologically progressive when he examines Christianity’s relationship with Judaism

Given all the other urgent needs of the Jewish-Christian dialogue, a theological examination of this kind among Jewish scholars is most welcome by Christians like me. We continue to work on the priorities of a reckoning of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust and the relationship of Christians with the State of Israel. Christian scholars have also developed a better understanding of how Judaism is treated in Christian theology, voiding theories of a theology of contempt. A Jewish theological treatment of Christianity can assist us as well in strengthening the trust between our communities.

Benamozegh’s attitude about Christianity is, basically, that it is a true path to knowledge of the One God for Gentiles who follow the proscriptions of the Noahide Law.

Rabbi LK: As a matter of fact, Benamozegh’s book was the result of a conversation he had with Aime Palliere (1875-1949), who wanted to convert to Judaism. Benamozegh was very influential in his community, in the nineteenth century.. He told Palliere that there was no need for his conversion. He stressed the point that Aime had a mission and a vocation by himself. That mission was to bring God to humanity by following the traditions of Noah and Jesus according to the rabbi’s interpretation. Palliere lived in France during the Nazi occupation and was involved in saving Jews from deportation.

Rabbi Benamozegh’s book, nearly a hundred years old, is especially significant for our dialogue, and particularly to the understanding of the spiritual and theological meaning of our witnessing together in the world.

Rev. JL: Benamozegh certainly suggests there can be cooperation between Judaism and Christianity when he writes, “For Judaism, the world is like a great family, where the father lives in immediate contact with his children, who are the different peoples of the earth. Among these children there is a first-born, who, in conformity with ancient institutions, was the priest of the family, charged with executing the father’s orders, and with replacing him in his absence…. Such is the Jewish conception of the world. In heaven a single God, father of all humans alike; on earth a family of people, among whom Israel is the ‘first-born’” (p. 53).

Benamozegh dedicates a whole section of his book to promote the ideas of the universality of Judaism. Judaism is not, contrary to stereotypes, closed in on itself. it has a universal mission. As the Jewish people live halakhah, the life of Torah, they minister not only on their own behalf but on behalf of the whole human race. This concept was enlightening for me. At the same time, he limits the priestly ministry to Judaism, which is a concept not accepted by Christianity.

Rabbi LK: Benamozegh, rooted in the Jewish medieval philosophical heritage, tries to understand Christianity in the design of God, overcoming what I call the “triumphalism of memories.” Many Jews approach Christianity through the lens of past experiences of Christian anti-Semitism, and present realities in certain Latin American and European countries. There is, in contrast with the past, a new reality. It is the growing Christian theological recognition of Israel’s ongoing role in God’s covenant, and the Christian condemnation of anti-Semitism. Jews are challenged to reflect upon the meaning of Christianity as a “partner” in God’s design. Benamozegh was aware of this idea even before our late-twentieth-century formulation. For him, both Judaism and Christianity are the arms of God toward a world that has had to keep God’s commandments.

Rev. JL: Rediscovering Benamozegh in our time is most exciting and gives Jewish scholars a strong argument that there is precedence for discussing Christianity in theological terms without fear of conversion or disputation.

Benamozegh offers a clear Jewish perspective that there is one true and universal religion in which all people recognize the One God and are obedient to the covenant God made with Noah. He does not see a conflict between Jewish obedience to the Torah and Christians finding God through belief in Jesus, as long as they accept the Noahide commandments [according to which, belief in the divinity of Jesus is punished with execution. M.P.].

Rabbi LK: Benamozegh follows an idea that was already rooted in some Jewish medieval thinkers, that is, that the first covenant was established by God with Noah entailing moral commandments. These are the seven Noahide laws: prohibitions against idolatry, blasphemy, murder, illicit intercourse, theft, eating the meat of a living animal, and the maintenance of justice.

These basic laws were supposed to be followed by Noah and his family in order to become partners in the covenant with God. He fails, and God decides, according to rabbinic thought, to choose Abram to be a witness of the moral covenant with God. Abram and Sarai changed their names to Abraham and Sarah in accepting God’s call, as a testimony to the fact that a religious commitment changes the life of the individual and the community. These are the two covenants revealed in the biblical text, one of God with all humanity, and the other with Israel.

Rev. JL: A problem arises here for Christian tradition. The dual covenant approach of Benamozegh and other Jewish scholars is appreciated for the fact that at least it legitimizes Christianity as a valid religion. At the same time, it is in disagreement with Christian self-description.

Christian theology teaches that the Christian covenant with God is something much more particular than the covenant with Noah. Throughout the New Testament and in the course of Christian interpretation throughout tradition, Christianity sees itself as the successor of all the covenants made between God and humanity in all of scripture. Christianity has a covenant with God sealed in the blood of Jesus, whom we accept as the universal Messiah.

As a result, we do not consider ourselves gentiles. Gentiles are non-Jewish nonbelievers. Our language gives us away on this. In the Roman Catholic Church we always consider our mission to be “ad gentes” to the nations. Once a person is incorporated into the Church, he or she shares, through the Christian covenant, in the heritage of Israel as well as the heritage of all humanity. We say that we are children of Abraham by adoption. Our theologies here are probably not reconcilable.

In our own modern theology of Judaism’s relationship with Christianity, we are able to say that we believe the covenants with Abraham and Moses have never been revoked and are still in effect for Jews. At the same time, we cannot comprehend the possibility of Christianity existing separate from its Jewish inheritance.

Rabbi LK: I sincerely think that at this stage of our dialogue and encounter, we Jews need to consider the meaning and purpose of Jesus and Christianity in God’s design. I share Benamozegh’s belief that Jesus fulfills God’s covenant with Noah. I feel, however, the need to reflect on the Christian theological claim of descent from Abraham.

Rev. JL: I appreciate the potential of the dual covenant theory as promoted by Benamozegh, because in many ways he does see Christianity as more than just another monotheistic religion teaching moral values. He speaks rather lovingly of Christianity as a “daughter” religion. There is a definite link here between Judaism and Christianity.

He even attempts to reconcile the concept of Trinity with monotheism, using kabbalistic ideas about the theory of “emanation.” On page 68, he wonders if the three persons of the Trinity don’t actually merge somehow into a greater unity. This is not in agreement with the Christian dogma of the Trinity, but with his desire to understand it; to demonstrate a theory of flexibility in Jewish monotheism to allow for Christian monotheism is most commendable.

Benamozegh is far ahead of his time among Jewish scholars. He can look beyond the sins of Christians to the beauty of the message and the reality of their faith in the same God who is the God of Israel. His work is truly important and can be a great catalyst for further discussion.

Rabbi LK: The translation and publication of Benamozegh’s book by the Paulist Press in its beautiful collection, “The Classics of Western Spirituality” is a real contribution to our present relationship and discussion. This book would have caused some problems forty or fifty years ago. Nowadays, the Christian-Jewish encounter is one in which we can share our traditions without any fear of syncretism or spiritual confusion.

The importance of Benamozegh is his invitation to dialogue at a theological level. We Christians and Jews have to deal with social and economic problems, with questions of racism, anti-Catholicism, and anti-Semitism, but we also have the need, I would even say obligation, to consider theological matters. I’m using the word “consider,” not “discuss.” Our theological considerations should be undertaken with a sense of commitment, respecting the other person as a fellow child of God, not as an adversary. I must clarify that considering and discussing theology evokes for Jews the memory of the reality of medieval European confrontations.

That time is over, and it is important for us to deal with religious matters coming out of our respective theological commitments. Otherwise, our dialogue will continue being an encounter of “tea and sympathy” that Benamozegh would consider lacking spiritual weight.

Rev. JL: I would like to add to your words an invitation. I invite Christian-Jewish dialogue groups to study Elijah Benamozegh’s Israel and Humanity. In doing so, they will be challenged to think in a deeper way about the knowledge of God and our joint testimony to God.

http://www.jcrelations.net/en/?item=1445

Kosher-Catholic Paulist Press Publishes Rabbi Benamozegh’s "Noahide" Tome as "Classic of Western Spirituality"

June 11, 2008

Anti-Defamation League’s Interfaith Affairs Director Emeritus Rabbi Leon Klenicki who below champion’s the Kabbalist Elijah Benamozegh’s attempt to transform Christendom into a “Noahide” Golem, was made a papal knight by Benedict XVI in 2007:

http://www.adl.org/PresRele/VaticanJewish_96/5119_96.htm

In 1998 Rabbi-Knight Klenicki announced that the Vatican had been conscribed in the rabbinic inquisition against the heresy of “Holocaust denial.”

http://mauricepinay.blogspot.com/2007/11/catholic-jewish-relations-move-forward.html

I hope that opponents of “dual-covenant” theory will read this interview closely because it reveals a truth regarding this theory that is missed by most investigators, which is, “dual-covenant” theory is the “Noahide Laws.” According to the Rabbis, “Jews” have their own exclusive covenant and the other “70 Nations” have another non-Biblical, lower-tier covenant which the rabbis contrived for them which culminates in the Talmudic “Noahide Laws.”

Never forget that when the rabbis and the bishops “dialogue” about “dual-covenant” theory, that it’s the Talmudic “Noahide covenant” that applies for Christians, not the Biblical covenants. Their challenge is to make the Talmudic “Noahide Laws” appear to be Biblical. We saw a Vatican attempt at this impossible task last year:

Papal Commission Promotes Noahide Laws

This is all pretended in accordance with the popular delusion that Christianity is the “daughter religion” of rabbinic Judaism–a ridiculous proposition if there ever was one.

Israel and Humanity: A Study on the Problem of a Universal Religion, and Its Solution.

By Elijah Benamozegh

Translated by Maxwell Uria, in the series Classics of Western Spirituality. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1995. US$22.95.

Elijah Benamozegh’s Israel and Humanity appeared originally in Italian at the end of the nineteenth century. Rabbi Benamozegh was the spiritual leader of the Jewish community of Livorno, Italy, and a well-known kabbalist and religious leader of great influence in European Jewry.

Benamozegh’s book is an important contribution to Christian-Jewish dialogue, and by his reflection on the meaning of Christianity, he became a pioneering figure, inspiring both Jews and Christians to reflect on the meaning of the Jewish-Christian encounter in our time. Israel and Humanity is a reflection on the meaning of Christianity for Judaism, as well as a personal, very interesting story.

The following dialogue was prepared by Reverend James Loughran and Rabbi Leon Klenicki and published by the Central Conference of American Rabbis’ CCAR Journal, 4/1999. Rabbi Klenicki kindly forwarded it with a strong recommendation to use the book to further the Christian-Jewish encounter. Father Loughran is the Director of the Commission on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the Catholic Diocese of New York. Rabbi Klenicki is the Director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Department of Interfaith Affairs.

The Thought and Life of Elijah Benamozegh

A Dialogue on a Pioneer of Christian-Jewish Understanding

James Loughran and Leon Klenicki

Rev. James Loughran: Paulist Press recently published a translation of Elijah Benamozegh’s book, Israel and Humanity. It is a valuable contribution to the dialogue between Judaism and Christianity, because it makes available to the English-speaking world the thoughts of an important nineteenth-century Italian rabbi in the theological discourse of what has come to be called the “dual-covenant” theory.

Rabbi Leon Klenicki: Rabbi Benamozegh may not be known to many people, so I think it is important to give a brief sketch of his life and his thought.

Elijah ben Abraham Benamozegh (1823-1900), whose family had come to Italy from Morocco, was a rabbi of the important Jewish community of Livorno (Leghom), an intellectual leader of nineteenth century Italian Jewry, and its most articulate advocate of Kabbalah. Among his distinguished volumes, Israel and Humanity is perhaps his masterpiece.

Israel and Humanity forms a grand synthesis of Benamozegh’s religious thought. It is at once a wide-ranging summa of scriptural, Talmudic, Midrashic, and kabbalistic ideas, and an intensely personal account of Jewish identity. It is also a systematic, meticulously reasoned philosophy of Judaism in its relation to the other religions of mankind, especially its daughter religions, Christianity and Islam. Scrupulously Orthodox in his Jewish perspective, Benamozegh was a highly original thinker and wholly at ease in European secular and religious culture. His book breathes the exceptionally tolerant religious atmosphere of nineteenthth-century Italy.

Rev. JL: Benamozegh’s attitude toward Christianity is almost fraternal His insights, based on the Law of Noah and the use of kabbalistic traditions, lead him to believe that Judaism and Christianity can work as religious partners in telling the world that God is One. Jews should remain absolutely committed to Judaism, which he prefers to call “Hebraism” and Gentiles should learn of the One God through Christianity. As a thoroughly Orthodox rabbi, Benamozegh does not attempt a theological fusion of Judaism and Christianity, but he is theologically progressive when he examines Christianity’s relationship with Judaism

Given all the other urgent needs of the Jewish-Christian dialogue, a theological examination of this kind among Jewish scholars is most welcome by Christians like me. We continue to work on the priorities of a reckoning of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust and the relationship of Christians with the State of Israel. Christian scholars have also developed a better understanding of how Judaism is treated in Christian theology, voiding theories of a theology of contempt. A Jewish theological treatment of Christianity can assist us as well in strengthening the trust between our communities.

Benamozegh’s attitude about Christianity is, basically, that it is a true path to knowledge of the One God for Gentiles who follow the proscriptions of the Noahide Law.

Rabbi LK: As a matter of fact, Benamozegh’s book was the result of a conversation he had with Aime Palliere (1875-1949), who wanted to convert to Judaism. Benamozegh was very influential in his community, in the nineteenth century.. He told Palliere that there was no need for his conversion. He stressed the point that Aime had a mission and a vocation by himself. That mission was to bring God to humanity by following the traditions of Noah and Jesus according to the rabbi’s interpretation. Palliere lived in France during the Nazi occupation and was involved in saving Jews from deportation.

Rabbi Benamozegh’s book, nearly a hundred years old, is especially significant for our dialogue, and particularly to the understanding of the spiritual and theological meaning of our witnessing together in the world.

Rev. JL: Benamozegh certainly suggests there can be cooperation between Judaism and Christianity when he writes, “For Judaism, the world is like a great family, where the father lives in immediate contact with his children, who are the different peoples of the earth. Among these children there is a first-born, who, in conformity with ancient institutions, was the priest of the family, charged with executing the father’s orders, and with replacing him in his absence…. Such is the Jewish conception of the world. In heaven a single God, father of all humans alike; on earth a family of people, among whom Israel is the ‘first-born’” (p. 53).

Benamozegh dedicates a whole section of his book to promote the ideas of the universality of Judaism. Judaism is not, contrary to stereotypes, closed in on itself. it has a universal mission. As the Jewish people live halakhah, the life of Torah, they minister not only on their own behalf but on behalf of the whole human race. This concept was enlightening for me. At the same time, he limits the priestly ministry to Judaism, which is a concept not accepted by Christianity.

Rabbi LK: Benamozegh, rooted in the Jewish medieval philosophical heritage, tries to understand Christianity in the design of God, overcoming what I call the “triumphalism of memories.” Many Jews approach Christianity through the lens of past experiences of Christian anti-Semitism, and present realities in certain Latin American and European countries. There is, in contrast with the past, a new reality. It is the growing Christian theological recognition of Israel’s ongoing role in God’s covenant, and the Christian condemnation of anti-Semitism. Jews are challenged to reflect upon the meaning of Christianity as a “partner” in God’s design. Benamozegh was aware of this idea even before our late-twentieth-century formulation. For him, both Judaism and Christianity are the arms of God toward a world that has had to keep God’s commandments.

Rev. JL: Rediscovering Benamozegh in our time is most exciting and gives Jewish scholars a strong argument that there is precedence for discussing Christianity in theological terms without fear of conversion or disputation.

Benamozegh offers a clear Jewish perspective that there is one true and universal religion in which all people recognize the One God and are obedient to the covenant God made with Noah. He does not see a conflict between Jewish obedience to the Torah and Christians finding God through belief in Jesus, as long as they accept the Noahide commandments [according to which, belief in the divinity of Jesus is punished with execution. M.P.].

Rabbi LK: Benamozegh follows an idea that was already rooted in some Jewish medieval thinkers, that is, that the first covenant was established by God with Noah entailing moral commandments. These are the seven Noahide laws: prohibitions against idolatry, blasphemy, murder, illicit intercourse, theft, eating the meat of a living animal, and the maintenance of justice.

These basic laws were supposed to be followed by Noah and his family in order to become partners in the covenant with God. He fails, and God decides, according to rabbinic thought, to choose Abram to be a witness of the moral covenant with God. Abram and Sarai changed their names to Abraham and Sarah in accepting God’s call, as a testimony to the fact that a religious commitment changes the life of the individual and the community. These are the two covenants revealed in the biblical text, one of God with all humanity, and the other with Israel.

Rev. JL: A problem arises here for Christian tradition. The dual covenant approach of Benamozegh and other Jewish scholars is appreciated for the fact that at least it legitimizes Christianity as a valid religion. At the same time, it is in disagreement with Christian self-description.

Christian theology teaches that the Christian covenant with God is something much more particular than the covenant with Noah. Throughout the New Testament and in the course of Christian interpretation throughout tradition, Christianity sees itself as the successor of all the covenants made between God and humanity in all of scripture. Christianity has a covenant with God sealed in the blood of Jesus, whom we accept as the universal Messiah.

As a result, we do not consider ourselves gentiles. Gentiles are non-Jewish nonbelievers. Our language gives us away on this. In the Roman Catholic Church we always consider our mission to be “ad gentes” to the nations. Once a person is incorporated into the Church, he or she shares, through the Christian covenant, in the heritage of Israel as well as the heritage of all humanity. We say that we are children of Abraham by adoption. Our theologies here are probably not reconcilable.

In our own modern theology of Judaism’s relationship with Christianity, we are able to say that we believe the covenants with Abraham and Moses have never been revoked and are still in effect for Jews. At the same time, we cannot comprehend the possibility of Christianity existing separate from its Jewish inheritance.

Rabbi LK: I sincerely think that at this stage of our dialogue and encounter, we Jews need to consider the meaning and purpose of Jesus and Christianity in God’s design. I share Benamozegh’s belief that Jesus fulfills God’s covenant with Noah. I feel, however, the need to reflect on the Christian theological claim of descent from Abraham.

Rev. JL: I appreciate the potential of the dual covenant theory as promoted by Benamozegh, because in many ways he does see Christianity as more than just another monotheistic religion teaching moral values. He speaks rather lovingly of Christianity as a “daughter” religion. There is a definite link here between Judaism and Christianity.

He even attempts to reconcile the concept of Trinity with monotheism, using kabbalistic ideas about the theory of “emanation.” On page 68, he wonders if the three persons of the Trinity don’t actually merge somehow into a greater unity. This is not in agreement with the Christian dogma of the Trinity, but with his desire to understand it; to demonstrate a theory of flexibility in Jewish monotheism to allow for Christian monotheism is most commendable.

Benamozegh is far ahead of his time among Jewish scholars. He can look beyond the sins of Christians to the beauty of the message and the reality of their faith in the same God who is the God of Israel. His work is truly important and can be a great catalyst for further discussion.

Rabbi LK: The translation and publication of Benamozegh’s book by the Paulist Press in its beautiful collection, “The Classics of Western Spirituality” is a real contribution to our present relationship and discussion. This book would have caused some problems forty or fifty years ago. Nowadays, the Christian-Jewish encounter is one in which we can share our traditions without any fear of syncretism or spiritual confusion.

The importance of Benamozegh is his invitation to dialogue at a theological level. We Christians and Jews have to deal with social and economic problems, with questions of racism, anti-Catholicism, and anti-Semitism, but we also have the need, I would even say obligation, to consider theological matters. I’m using the word “consider,” not “discuss.” Our theological considerations should be undertaken with a sense of commitment, respecting the other person as a fellow child of God, not as an adversary. I must clarify that considering and discussing theology evokes for Jews the memory of the reality of medieval European confrontations.

That time is over, and it is important for us to deal with religious matters coming out of our respective theological commitments. Otherwise, our dialogue will continue being an encounter of “tea and sympathy” that Benamozegh would consider lacking spiritual weight.

Rev. JL: I would like to add to your words an invitation. I invite Christian-Jewish dialogue groups to study Elijah Benamozegh’s Israel and Humanity. In doing so, they will be challenged to think in a deeper way about the knowledge of God and our joint testimony to God.

http://www.jcrelations.net/en/?item=1445

Kosher-Catholic Paulist Press Publishes Rabbi Benamozegh’s "Noahide" Tome as "Classic of Western Spirituality"

June 11, 2008

Anti-Defamation League’s Interfaith Affairs Director Emeritus Rabbi Leon Klenicki who below champion’s the Kabbalist Elijah Benamozegh’s attempt to transform Christendom into a “Noahide” Golem, was made a papal knight by Benedict XVI in 2007:

http://www.adl.org/PresRele/VaticanJewish_96/5119_96.htm

In 1998 Rabbi-Knight Klenicki announced that the Vatican had been conscribed in the rabbinic inquisition against the heresy of “Holocaust denial.”

http://mauricepinay.blogspot.com/2007/11/catholic-jewish-relations-move-forward.html

I hope that opponents of “dual-covenant” theory will read this interview closely because it reveals a truth regarding this theory that is missed by most investigators, which is, “dual-covenant” theory is the “Noahide Laws.” According to the Rabbis, “Jews” have their own exclusive covenant and the other “70 Nations” have another non-Biblical, lower-tier covenant which the rabbis contrived for them which culminates in the Talmudic “Noahide Laws.”

Never forget that when the rabbis and the bishops “dialogue” about “dual-covenant” theory, that it’s the Talmudic “Noahide covenant” that applies for Christians, not the Biblical covenants. Their challenge is to make the Talmudic “Noahide Laws” appear to be Biblical. We saw a Vatican attempt at this impossible task last year:

Papal Commission Promotes Noahide Laws

This is all pretended in accordance with the popular delusion that Christianity is the “daughter religion” of rabbinic Judaism–a ridiculous proposition if there ever was one.

Israel and Humanity: A Study on the Problem of a Universal Religion, and Its Solution.

By Elijah Benamozegh

Translated by Maxwell Uria, in the series Classics of Western Spirituality. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1995. US$22.95.

Elijah Benamozegh’s Israel and Humanity appeared originally in Italian at the end of the nineteenth century. Rabbi Benamozegh was the spiritual leader of the Jewish community of Livorno, Italy, and a well-known kabbalist and religious leader of great influence in European Jewry.

Benamozegh’s book is an important contribution to Christian-Jewish dialogue, and by his reflection on the meaning of Christianity, he became a pioneering figure, inspiring both Jews and Christians to reflect on the meaning of the Jewish-Christian encounter in our time. Israel and Humanity is a reflection on the meaning of Christianity for Judaism, as well as a personal, very interesting story.

The following dialogue was prepared by Reverend James Loughran and Rabbi Leon Klenicki and published by the Central Conference of American Rabbis’ CCAR Journal, 4/1999. Rabbi Klenicki kindly forwarded it with a strong recommendation to use the book to further the Christian-Jewish encounter. Father Loughran is the Director of the Commission on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the Catholic Diocese of New York. Rabbi Klenicki is the Director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Department of Interfaith Affairs.

The Thought and Life of Elijah Benamozegh

A Dialogue on a Pioneer of Christian-Jewish Understanding

James Loughran and Leon Klenicki

Rev. James Loughran: Paulist Press recently published a translation of Elijah Benamozegh’s book, Israel and Humanity. It is a valuable contribution to the dialogue between Judaism and Christianity, because it makes available to the English-speaking world the thoughts of an important nineteenth-century Italian rabbi in the theological discourse of what has come to be called the “dual-covenant” theory.

Rabbi Leon Klenicki: Rabbi Benamozegh may not be known to many people, so I think it is important to give a brief sketch of his life and his thought.

Elijah ben Abraham Benamozegh (1823-1900), whose family had come to Italy from Morocco, was a rabbi of the important Jewish community of Livorno (Leghom), an intellectual leader of nineteenth century Italian Jewry, and its most articulate advocate of Kabbalah. Among his distinguished volumes, Israel and Humanity is perhaps his masterpiece.

Israel and Humanity forms a grand synthesis of Benamozegh’s religious thought. It is at once a wide-ranging summa of scriptural, Talmudic, Midrashic, and kabbalistic ideas, and an intensely personal account of Jewish identity. It is also a systematic, meticulously reasoned philosophy of Judaism in its relation to the other religions of mankind, especially its daughter religions, Christianity and Islam. Scrupulously Orthodox in his Jewish perspective, Benamozegh was a highly original thinker and wholly at ease in European secular and religious culture. His book breathes the exceptionally tolerant religious atmosphere of nineteenthth-century Italy.

Rev. JL: Benamozegh’s attitude toward Christianity is almost fraternal His insights, based on the Law of Noah and the use of kabbalistic traditions, lead him to believe that Judaism and Christianity can work as religious partners in telling the world that God is One. Jews should remain absolutely committed to Judaism, which he prefers to call “Hebraism” and Gentiles should learn of the One God through Christianity. As a thoroughly Orthodox rabbi, Benamozegh does not attempt a theological fusion of Judaism and Christianity, but he is theologically progressive when he examines Christianity’s relationship with Judaism

Given all the other urgent needs of the Jewish-Christian dialogue, a theological examination of this kind among Jewish scholars is most welcome by Christians like me. We continue to work on the priorities of a reckoning of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust and the relationship of Christians with the State of Israel. Christian scholars have also developed a better understanding of how Judaism is treated in Christian theology, voiding theories of a theology of contempt. A Jewish theological treatment of Christianity can assist us as well in strengthening the trust between our communities.

Benamozegh’s attitude about Christianity is, basically, that it is a true path to knowledge of the One God for Gentiles who follow the proscriptions of the Noahide Law.

Rabbi LK: As a matter of fact, Benamozegh’s book was the result of a conversation he had with Aime Palliere (1875-1949), who wanted to convert to Judaism. Benamozegh was very influential in his community, in the nineteenth century.. He told Palliere that there was no need for his conversion. He stressed the point that Aime had a mission and a vocation by himself. That mission was to bring God to humanity by following the traditions of Noah and Jesus according to the rabbi’s interpretation. Palliere lived in France during the Nazi occupation and was involved in saving Jews from deportation.

Rabbi Benamozegh’s book, nearly a hundred years old, is especially significant for our dialogue, and particularly to the understanding of the spiritual and theological meaning of our witnessing together in the world.

Rev. JL: Benamozegh certainly suggests there can be cooperation between Judaism and Christianity when he writes, “For Judaism, the world is like a great family, where the father lives in immediate contact with his children, who are the different peoples of the earth. Among these children there is a first-born, who, in conformity with ancient institutions, was the priest of the family, charged with executing the father’s orders, and with replacing him in his absence…. Such is the Jewish conception of the world. In heaven a single God, father of all humans alike; on earth a family of people, among whom Israel is the ‘first-born’” (p. 53).

Benamozegh dedicates a whole section of his book to promote the ideas of the universality of Judaism. Judaism is not, contrary to stereotypes, closed in on itself. it has a universal mission. As the Jewish people live halakhah, the life of Torah, they minister not only on their own behalf but on behalf of the whole human race. This concept was enlightening for me. At the same time, he limits the priestly ministry to Judaism, which is a concept not accepted by Christianity.

Rabbi LK: Benamozegh, rooted in the Jewish medieval philosophical heritage, tries to understand Christianity in the design of God, overcoming what I call the “triumphalism of memories.” Many Jews approach Christianity through the lens of past experiences of Christian anti-Semitism, and present realities in certain Latin American and European countries. There is, in contrast with the past, a new reality. It is the growing Christian theological recognition of Israel’s ongoing role in God’s covenant, and the Christian condemnation of anti-Semitism. Jews are challenged to reflect upon the meaning of Christianity as a “partner” in God’s design. Benamozegh was aware of this idea even before our late-twentieth-century formulation. For him, both Judaism and Christianity are the arms of God toward a world that has had to keep God’s commandments.

Rev. JL: Rediscovering Benamozegh in our time is most exciting and gives Jewish scholars a strong argument that there is precedence for discussing Christianity in theological terms without fear of conversion or disputation.

Benamozegh offers a clear Jewish perspective that there is one true and universal religion in which all people recognize the One God and are obedient to the covenant God made with Noah. He does not see a conflict between Jewish obedience to the Torah and Christians finding God through belief in Jesus, as long as they accept the Noahide commandments [according to which, belief in the divinity of Jesus is punished with execution. M.P.].

Rabbi LK: Benamozegh follows an idea that was already rooted in some Jewish medieval thinkers, that is, that the first covenant was established by God with Noah entailing moral commandments. These are the seven Noahide laws: prohibitions against idolatry, blasphemy, murder, illicit intercourse, theft, eating the meat of a living animal, and the maintenance of justice.

These basic laws were supposed to be followed by Noah and his family in order to become partners in the covenant with God. He fails, and God decides, according to rabbinic thought, to choose Abram to be a witness of the moral covenant with God. Abram and Sarai changed their names to Abraham and Sarah in accepting God’s call, as a testimony to the fact that a religious commitment changes the life of the individual and the community. These are the two covenants revealed in the biblical text, one of God with all humanity, and the other with Israel.

Rev. JL: A problem arises here for Christian tradition. The dual covenant approach of Benamozegh and other Jewish scholars is appreciated for the fact that at least it legitimizes Christianity as a valid religion. At the same time, it is in disagreement with Christian self-description.

Christian theology teaches that the Christian covenant with God is something much more particular than the covenant with Noah. Throughout the New Testament and in the course of Christian interpretation throughout tradition, Christianity sees itself as the successor of all the covenants made between God and humanity in all of scripture. Christianity has a covenant with God sealed in the blood of Jesus, whom we accept as the universal Messiah.

As a result, we do not consider ourselves gentiles. Gentiles are non-Jewish nonbelievers. Our language gives us away on this. In the Roman Catholic Church we always consider our mission to be “ad gentes” to the nations. Once a person is incorporated into the Church, he or she shares, through the Christian covenant, in the heritage of Israel as well as the heritage of all humanity. We say that we are children of Abraham by adoption. Our theologies here are probably not reconcilable.

In our own modern theology of Judaism’s relationship with Christianity, we are able to say that we believe the covenants with Abraham and Moses have never been revoked and are still in effect for Jews. At the same time, we cannot comprehend the possibility of Christianity existing separate from its Jewish inheritance.

Rabbi LK: I sincerely think that at this stage of our dialogue and encounter, we Jews need to consider the meaning and purpose of Jesus and Christianity in God’s design. I share Benamozegh’s belief that Jesus fulfills God’s covenant with Noah. I feel, however, the need to reflect on the Christian theological claim of descent from Abraham.

Rev. JL: I appreciate the potential of the dual covenant theory as promoted by Benamozegh, because in many ways he does see Christianity as more than just another monotheistic religion teaching moral values. He speaks rather lovingly of Christianity as a “daughter” religion. There is a definite link here between Judaism and Christianity.

He even attempts to reconcile the concept of Trinity with monotheism, using kabbalistic ideas about the theory of “emanation.” On page 68, he wonders if the three persons of the Trinity don’t actually merge somehow into a greater unity. This is not in agreement with the Christian dogma of the Trinity, but with his desire to understand it; to demonstrate a theory of flexibility in Jewish monotheism to allow for Christian monotheism is most commendable.

Benamozegh is far ahead of his time among Jewish scholars. He can look beyond the sins of Christians to the beauty of the message and the reality of their faith in the same God who is the God of Israel. His work is truly important and can be a great catalyst for further discussion.

Rabbi LK: The translation and publication of Benamozegh’s book by the Paulist Press in its beautiful collection, “The Classics of Western Spirituality” is a real contribution to our present relationship and discussion. This book would have caused some problems forty or fifty years ago. Nowadays, the Christian-Jewish encounter is one in which we can share our traditions without any fear of syncretism or spiritual confusion.

The importance of Benamozegh is his invitation to dialogue at a theological level. We Christians and Jews have to deal with social and economic problems, with questions of racism, anti-Catholicism, and anti-Semitism, but we also have the need, I would even say obligation, to consider theological matters. I’m using the word “consider,” not “discuss.” Our theological considerations should be undertaken with a sense of commitment, respecting the other person as a fellow child of God, not as an adversary. I must clarify that considering and discussing theology evokes for Jews the memory of the reality of medieval European confrontations.

That time is over, and it is important for us to deal with religious matters coming out of our respective theological commitments. Otherwise, our dialogue will continue being an encounter of “tea and sympathy” that Benamozegh would consider lacking spiritual weight.

Rev. JL: I would like to add to your words an invitation. I invite Christian-Jewish dialogue groups to study Elijah Benamozegh’s Israel and Humanity. In doing so, they will be challenged to think in a deeper way about the knowledge of God and our joint testimony to God.

http://www.jcrelations.net/en/?item=1445

Kosher-Catholic Paulist Press Publishes Rabbi Benamozegh’s "Noahide" Tome as "Classic of Western Spirituality"

June 11, 2008

Anti-Defamation League’s Interfaith Affairs Director Emeritus Rabbi Leon Klenicki who below champion’s the Kabbalist Elijah Benamozegh’s attempt to transform Christendom into a “Noahide” Golem, was made a papal knight by Benedict XVI in 2007:

http://www.adl.org/PresRele/VaticanJewish_96/5119_96.htm

In 1998 Rabbi-Knight Klenicki announced that the Vatican had been conscribed in the rabbinic inquisition against the heresy of “Holocaust denial.”

http://mauricepinay.blogspot.com/2007/11/catholic-jewish-relations-move-forward.html

I hope that opponents of “dual-covenant” theory will read this interview closely because it reveals a truth regarding this theory that is missed by most investigators, which is, “dual-covenant” theory is the “Noahide Laws.” According to the Rabbis, “Jews” have their own exclusive covenant and the other “70 Nations” have another non-Biblical, lower-tier covenant which the rabbis contrived for them which culminates in the Talmudic “Noahide Laws.”

Never forget that when the rabbis and the bishops “dialogue” about “dual-covenant” theory, that it’s the Talmudic “Noahide covenant” that applies for Christians, not the Biblical covenants. Their challenge is to make the Talmudic “Noahide Laws” appear to be Biblical. We saw a Vatican attempt at this impossible task last year:

Papal Commission Promotes Noahide Laws

This is all pretended in accordance with the popular delusion that Christianity is the “daughter religion” of rabbinic Judaism–a ridiculous proposition if there ever was one.

Israel and Humanity: A Study on the Problem of a Universal Religion, and Its Solution.

By Elijah Benamozegh

Translated by Maxwell Uria, in the series Classics of Western Spirituality. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1995. US$22.95.

Elijah Benamozegh’s Israel and Humanity appeared originally in Italian at the end of the nineteenth century. Rabbi Benamozegh was the spiritual leader of the Jewish community of Livorno, Italy, and a well-known kabbalist and religious leader of great influence in European Jewry.

Benamozegh’s book is an important contribution to Christian-Jewish dialogue, and by his reflection on the meaning of Christianity, he became a pioneering figure, inspiring both Jews and Christians to reflect on the meaning of the Jewish-Christian encounter in our time. Israel and Humanity is a reflection on the meaning of Christianity for Judaism, as well as a personal, very interesting story.

The following dialogue was prepared by Reverend James Loughran and Rabbi Leon Klenicki and published by the Central Conference of American Rabbis’ CCAR Journal, 4/1999. Rabbi Klenicki kindly forwarded it with a strong recommendation to use the book to further the Christian-Jewish encounter. Father Loughran is the Director of the Commission on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the Catholic Diocese of New York. Rabbi Klenicki is the Director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Department of Interfaith Affairs.

The Thought and Life of Elijah Benamozegh

A Dialogue on a Pioneer of Christian-Jewish Understanding

James Loughran and Leon Klenicki

Rev. James Loughran: Paulist Press recently published a translation of Elijah Benamozegh’s book, Israel and Humanity. It is a valuable contribution to the dialogue between Judaism and Christianity, because it makes available to the English-speaking world the thoughts of an important nineteenth-century Italian rabbi in the theological discourse of what has come to be called the “dual-covenant” theory.

Rabbi Leon Klenicki: Rabbi Benamozegh may not be known to many people, so I think it is important to give a brief sketch of his life and his thought.

Elijah ben Abraham Benamozegh (1823-1900), whose family had come to Italy from Morocco, was a rabbi of the important Jewish community of Livorno (Leghom), an intellectual leader of nineteenth century Italian Jewry, and its most articulate advocate of Kabbalah. Among his distinguished volumes, Israel and Humanity is perhaps his masterpiece.

Israel and Humanity forms a grand synthesis of Benamozegh’s religious thought. It is at once a wide-ranging summa of scriptural, Talmudic, Midrashic, and kabbalistic ideas, and an intensely personal account of Jewish identity. It is also a systematic, meticulously reasoned philosophy of Judaism in its relation to the other religions of mankind, especially its daughter religions, Christianity and Islam. Scrupulously Orthodox in his Jewish perspective, Benamozegh was a highly original thinker and wholly at ease in European secular and religious culture. His book breathes the exceptionally tolerant religious atmosphere of nineteenthth-century Italy.

Rev. JL: Benamozegh’s attitude toward Christianity is almost fraternal His insights, based on the Law of Noah and the use of kabbalistic traditions, lead him to believe that Judaism and Christianity can work as religious partners in telling the world that God is One. Jews should remain absolutely committed to Judaism, which he prefers to call “Hebraism” and Gentiles should learn of the One God through Christianity. As a thoroughly Orthodox rabbi, Benamozegh does not attempt a theological fusion of Judaism and Christianity, but he is theologically progressive when he examines Christianity’s relationship with Judaism

Given all the other urgent needs of the Jewish-Christian dialogue, a theological examination of this kind among Jewish scholars is most welcome by Christians like me. We continue to work on the priorities of a reckoning of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust and the relationship of Christians with the State of Israel. Christian scholars have also developed a better understanding of how Judaism is treated in Christian theology, voiding theories of a theology of contempt. A Jewish theological treatment of Christianity can assist us as well in strengthening the trust between our communities.

Benamozegh’s attitude about Christianity is, basically, that it is a true path to knowledge of the One God for Gentiles who follow the proscriptions of the Noahide Law.

Rabbi LK: As a matter of fact, Benamozegh’s book was the result of a conversation he had with Aime Palliere (1875-1949), who wanted to convert to Judaism. Benamozegh was very influential in his community, in the nineteenth century.. He told Palliere that there was no need for his conversion. He stressed the point that Aime had a mission and a vocation by himself. That mission was to bring God to humanity by following the traditions of Noah and Jesus according to the rabbi’s interpretation. Palliere lived in France during the Nazi occupation and was involved in saving Jews from deportation.

Rabbi Benamozegh’s book, nearly a hundred years old, is especially significant for our dialogue, and particularly to the understanding of the spiritual and theological meaning of our witnessing together in the world.

Rev. JL: Benamozegh certainly suggests there can be cooperation between Judaism and Christianity when he writes, “For Judaism, the world is like a great family, where the father lives in immediate contact with his children, who are the different peoples of the earth. Among these children there is a first-born, who, in conformity with ancient institutions, was the priest of the family, charged with executing the father’s orders, and with replacing him in his absence…. Such is the Jewish conception of the world. In heaven a single God, father of all humans alike; on earth a family of people, among whom Israel is the ‘first-born’” (p. 53).

Benamozegh dedicates a whole section of his book to promote the ideas of the universality of Judaism. Judaism is not, contrary to stereotypes, closed in on itself. it has a universal mission. As the Jewish people live halakhah, the life of Torah, they minister not only on their own behalf but on behalf of the whole human race. This concept was enlightening for me. At the same time, he limits the priestly ministry to Judaism, which is a concept not accepted by Christianity.

Rabbi LK: Benamozegh, rooted in the Jewish medieval philosophical heritage, tries to understand Christianity in the design of God, overcoming what I call the “triumphalism of memories.” Many Jews approach Christianity through the lens of past experiences of Christian anti-Semitism, and present realities in certain Latin American and European countries. There is, in contrast with the past, a new reality. It is the growing Christian theological recognition of Israel’s ongoing role in God’s covenant, and the Christian condemnation of anti-Semitism. Jews are challenged to reflect upon the meaning of Christianity as a “partner” in God’s design. Benamozegh was aware of this idea even before our late-twentieth-century formulation. For him, both Judaism and Christianity are the arms of God toward a world that has had to keep God’s commandments.

Rev. JL: Rediscovering Benamozegh in our time is most exciting and gives Jewish scholars a strong argument that there is precedence for discussing Christianity in theological terms without fear of conversion or disputation.

Benamozegh offers a clear Jewish perspective that there is one true and universal religion in which all people recognize the One God and are obedient to the covenant God made with Noah. He does not see a conflict between Jewish obedience to the Torah and Christians finding God through belief in Jesus, as long as they accept the Noahide commandments [according to which, belief in the divinity of Jesus is punished with execution. M.P.].

Rabbi LK: Benamozegh follows an idea that was already rooted in some Jewish medieval thinkers, that is, that the first covenant was established by God with Noah entailing moral commandments. These are the seven Noahide laws: prohibitions against idolatry, blasphemy, murder, illicit intercourse, theft, eating the meat of a living animal, and the maintenance of justice.

These basic laws were supposed to be followed by Noah and his family in order to become partners in the covenant with God. He fails, and God decides, according to rabbinic thought, to choose Abram to be a witness of the moral covenant with God. Abram and Sarai changed their names to Abraham and Sarah in accepting God’s call, as a testimony to the fact that a religious commitment changes the life of the individual and the community. These are the two covenants revealed in the biblical text, one of God with all humanity, and the other with Israel.

Rev. JL: A problem arises here for Christian tradition. The dual covenant approach of Benamozegh and other Jewish scholars is appreciated for the fact that at least it legitimizes Christianity as a valid religion. At the same time, it is in disagreement with Christian self-description.

Christian theology teaches that the Christian covenant with God is something much more particular than the covenant with Noah. Throughout the New Testament and in the course of Christian interpretation throughout tradition, Christianity sees itself as the successor of all the covenants made between God and humanity in all of scripture. Christianity has a covenant with God sealed in the blood of Jesus, whom we accept as the universal Messiah.

As a result, we do not consider ourselves gentiles. Gentiles are non-Jewish nonbelievers. Our language gives us away on this. In the Roman Catholic Church we always consider our mission to be “ad gentes” to the nations. Once a person is incorporated into the Church, he or she shares, through the Christian covenant, in the heritage of Israel as well as the heritage of all humanity. We say that we are children of Abraham by adoption. Our theologies here are probably not reconcilable.

In our own modern theology of Judaism’s relationship with Christianity, we are able to say that we believe the covenants with Abraham and Moses have never been revoked and are still in effect for Jews. At the same time, we cannot comprehend the possibility of Christianity existing separate from its Jewish inheritance.

Rabbi LK: I sincerely think that at this stage of our dialogue and encounter, we Jews need to consider the meaning and purpose of Jesus and Christianity in God’s design. I share Benamozegh’s belief that Jesus fulfills God’s covenant with Noah. I feel, however, the need to reflect on the Christian theological claim of descent from Abraham.

Rev. JL: I appreciate the potential of the dual covenant theory as promoted by Benamozegh, because in many ways he does see Christianity as more than just another monotheistic religion teaching moral values. He speaks rather lovingly of Christianity as a “daughter” religion. There is a definite link here between Judaism and Christianity.

He even attempts to reconcile the concept of Trinity with monotheism, using kabbalistic ideas about the theory of “emanation.” On page 68, he wonders if the three persons of the Trinity don’t actually merge somehow into a greater unity. This is not in agreement with the Christian dogma of the Trinity, but with his desire to understand it; to demonstrate a theory of flexibility in Jewish monotheism to allow for Christian monotheism is most commendable.

Benamozegh is far ahead of his time among Jewish scholars. He can look beyond the sins of Christians to the beauty of the message and the reality of their faith in the same God who is the God of Israel. His work is truly important and can be a great catalyst for further discussion.

Rabbi LK: The translation and publication of Benamozegh’s book by the Paulist Press in its beautiful collection, “The Classics of Western Spirituality” is a real contribution to our present relationship and discussion. This book would have caused some problems forty or fifty years ago. Nowadays, the Christian-Jewish encounter is one in which we can share our traditions without any fear of syncretism or spiritual confusion.

The importance of Benamozegh is his invitation to dialogue at a theological level. We Christians and Jews have to deal with social and economic problems, with questions of racism, anti-Catholicism, and anti-Semitism, but we also have the need, I would even say obligation, to consider theological matters. I’m using the word “consider,” not “discuss.” Our theological considerations should be undertaken with a sense of commitment, respecting the other person as a fellow child of God, not as an adversary. I must clarify that considering and discussing theology evokes for Jews the memory of the reality of medieval European confrontations.

That time is over, and it is important for us to deal with religious matters coming out of our respective theological commitments. Otherwise, our dialogue will continue being an encounter of “tea and sympathy” that Benamozegh would consider lacking spiritual weight.

Rev. JL: I would like to add to your words an invitation. I invite Christian-Jewish dialogue groups to study Elijah Benamozegh’s Israel and Humanity. In doing so, they will be challenged to think in a deeper way about the knowledge of God and our joint testimony to God.

http://www.jcrelations.net/en/?item=1445

One More Papal Knight Defender of the Talmud Joins the Battalion

March 27, 2007

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one of the Vatican’s eight Talmudic/Kabbalistic knights. More on the other seven HERE, and HERE. This one is not only a rabbi, but also a member of the Anti-Defamation League of the Judaic, Freemasonic B’nai B’rith. Who needs enemies when you have rabbinic-masonic knights on your side?

Catholic-Jewish Relations Pioneer Named By Pope To Receive Highest Church Honor

New York, New York, March 26, 2007…Rabbi Leon Klenicki, Director Emeritus of Interfaith Affairs of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), has been named a Papal Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great by Pope Benedict XVI, for his historic contributions in improving the relationship between Catholics and Jews. The Papal Order of Saint Gregory is the highest honor the Catholic Church confers on a layperson, in recognition of “Outstanding Services Rendered to the Welfare of Society and the Church”. This Pontifical Honor of Knighthood is conferred by the Holy Father on his own initiative and at the recommendation of diocesan bishops who present worthy candidates to the Holy Father.

Rabbi Klenicki becomes the second ADL interfaith official to receive papal knighthood. In 1986, the late Dr. Joseph L. Lichten became the first American Jew to receive the honor when Pope John Paul II named him a knight commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great.

Rabbi Klenicki, a renowned scholar and theologian, now joins a select group of living Jews, and only a handful of rabbis, who have been so honored by the Vatican.

“We are extremely proud that Rabbi Klenicki’s decades of work to help reconcile the Catholic and Jewish faiths have been recognized by Pope Benedict XVI with this unique papal honor,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “We can think of no one more deserving of this honor than Rabbi Leon Klenicki,” who has worked tirelessly and passionately to bring about mutual understanding and respect between the two faiths.”

Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, who will present a scroll from the Holy See as a formal recognition of Knighthood, and the medallion and sword which are the insignia of the Order, said, ” Rabbi Klenicki has been a pioneer in Jewish-Catholic relations for decades. His own personal experiences of anti-Semitism led the Rabbi to be a passionate advocate for education as means of dispelling religious prejudice and promoting inter-religious collaboration. Rabbi Leon Klenicki’s life has been the source of blessings for all of us, we are deeply grateful for his witness and his work.”

A native of Argentina, Klenicki received his rabbinical degree from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati in 1967 and returned to Buenos Aires as Director of the Latin American Office of the World Union for Progressive Judaism. In that position he helped develop Reform Judaism in Latin America.

Since his days as a student growing up in Argentina, Rabbi Klenicki has been interested in inter-religious dialogue. In 1968, he delivered the major paper representing the Jewish community at the first Latin American meeting of Jews and Catholics in Bogota, Colombia. This historic meeting, organized by ADL and CELAM (Latin American Episcopal Conference), occurred during the visit of Pope Paul VI to Colombia. It was the first time that Jews and Catholics met in Latin America on a continental basis, and it paved the way for future dialogues and inter-religious work.

Rabbi Klenicki was authorized by CELAM and the Argentine Council of Jews and Christians to undertake a study of catechisms and Catholic religious texts, the first of its kind to be done in South America. His final recommendations were presented to the Bishops Conference in Argentina for a revision of how Jews and Judaism were portrayed in Catholic texts. He traveled to Rome on behalf of the Council of Jews and Christians for study sessions at the Vatican. He also served as an advisor on interfaith affairs for the DAIA, the main Jewish organization in Argentina. He served as spiritual leader of Congregation Emanu-El in Buenos Aires.

In 1973 he moved to New York to become head of ADL’s Jewish-Catholic Relations Department and in was named ADL Director of Interfaith Affairs Co-Liaison to the Vatican in 1984, positions he held until his retirement in 2001.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops recommended to all US bishops and cardinals to observe Holocaust Day by using as a liturgy the service prepared by Rabbi Klenicki and Dr. Eugene J. Fisher, Associate Director, Secretariat for Ecumenical and Inter-religious Affairs, USCCB.

A lecturer at Catholic and Jewish universities and seminaries, Rabbi Klenicki was the first Hugo Gryn Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Jewish Christian Relations at Cambridge University, England; one of the first two Scholars-at-Large for the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute in New York; and a visiting professor at Leuven Catholic University in Belgium.

A prolific writer and editor on inter-religious issues for American and international publications, Rabbi Klenicki is the recipient of many awards and honors.

http://www.adl.org/PresRele/Mise_00/5012_00.htm