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The will of the Father
About the Declaration of Orthodox Rabbis on Christianity, December 2015
by Eliezer Schilt

On the fiftieth anniversary of the declaration Nostra Aetate, a group of Orthodox rabbis from Israel, North America and Europe wanted to mark the event by publishing, on December 3, 2015, a Jewish response to the "fundamental and irrevocable" change in the teaching of the Catholic Church regarding Judaism.

As a starting point for a "process of reconciliation" between the two communities, the Catholic text is presented as a rejection – definitive, after the lessons learned from the Holocaust - of "all forms of anti-Semitism", and a recognition by Christians of the role played by the Jewish people, both in the past and in the present.

Taking another crucial step, the authors of this text, while relying on the opinions of medieval and contemporary Jewish decision-makers, emphasize that it is by the "divine will" that Judaism and Christianity have separated, not because they were "rival brothers", but on the contrary, because they are different partners in the project of God.

This document was first elaborated by five orthodox rabbis; then it was signed by more than 60 orthodox rabbis, such as current or former chief rabbis of France, Finland, Serbia or personalities, such as Rabbis Irving Greenberg, Benjamin Lau, Shlomo Riskin, David Rosen or David Bigman.