Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Beware ‘Meatloaf Religion’ Dutch Rabbi Says After Pro-Christian Gesture

AMSTERDAM — A prominent European rabbi who is known for his interfaith work criticized a pro-Christian statement by other rabbis, which he said “went too far.”

The criticism by Dutch Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs on Friday concerned a document published on Dec. 3 and signed by more than 50 Orthodox rabbis from Israel, the United States and Europe, including several chief rabbis such as Simon Livson of Finland and Kotel Dadon of Croatia.

Titled “To Do the Will of Our Father in Heaven,” the statement says Christianity is part of a divine plan in which God would have Jews and Christians work together to redeem the world — an idea that Jacobs warned might be seen as “lumping the two religions into a single meatloaf religion,” as he told the Friesch Dagblad in an interview published by the daily Friday.

According to the rabbinical document, Christianity is “willed by God” and is “a gift to the peoples,” whereas Jesus “strengthened the Torah of Moses.” It also states: “We Jews recognize the continued constructive validity of Christianity as our partner in the redemption of the world.”

The statement comes in reaction to several pro-Jewish gestures by the Vatican ahead of the 50th anniversary last year of the publication of Nostra Aetate — a groundbreaking document on Catholic-Jewish relations in which the church rejected the notion that Jews were responsible for Jesus’ death.

Last year, the Vatican elaborated on its relationship with Judaism with statements that said Christians should not proselytize Jews, because their worshiping of God is a manifestation of His will. That position was a rejection of certain Christian theologies that argued redemption will only come if Jews convert to Christianity.

Jacobs, who in 2012 was knighted in the Netherlands for “building bridges” to other faiths, told JTA that while he is “a strong supporter of interfaith work, the rabbis’ statement goes too far.” He added: “It seems to me like a sort of joint profession of [a single] faith.”





    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.