NEW YORK, Dec. 23, 2016 /Christian Newswire
/ -- The staff at the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation in Jerusalem are appalled by the recent ruling of Rabbi Elad Dukov, the Technion's synagogue rabbi, forbidding Jewish students to enter the student hall where a decorated Christmas tree is present and calling it paganism as well as an anti-Jewish symbol.
According to the overwhelming majority of Jewish law (halakhic) decisors, (including eminent figures such as Rabbi Jacob Emden and Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch) Christianity is not idolatry and Christmas trees are neither worshiped by Christians nor used in their worship services. Furthermore, the Technion Student Center is not a place of worship and placing a tree within it in no way designates the student center as a Christian house of worship.
It is tragic that when extremist Islam is targeting Christianity as the infidel who must be destroyed, Rabbi Dukov would add fuel to the flames. It rather behooves us Jews to welcome the Christians in our midst as being our brothers and sisters, gerei toshav, who share our belief in ethical monotheism and live in accordance with the seven universal laws of morality. We must respect their religious symbols; imagine if the Christian majority in America would forbid Christians from eating in a room with a Hanukkah menorah? The God of Israel and the world believes in absolute morality and cultural pluralism, as is powerfully stated by our prophet Micah, "Let all the nations walk each one in the name of his god and we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever." Let us respect and work together with those nations who accept the morality of God's covenant with Noah and let us use our energies to fight the terrorism running rampant in a world in which a large segment no longer sees peace as the highest ideal.
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Founder
David Nekrutman, Executive Director
Rabbi Pesach Wolicki, Associate Director
Rabbi Eugene Korn, Academic Director
Rabbi Abe Reichman, Community Relations
Limor Riskin, Director of Operations
Sara Kremer, Marketing Director
Rabbi Joshua Ahrens, CJCUC German Office
Rabbi Alan Yuter, CJCUC Lecturer
Roy Doliner, CJCUC Lecturer