To many of us, Rabbi Lookstein’s participation in the National Prayer Service (issue of 1/23) seemed proper and even praiseworthy. Others have expressed reservations about it. However, the RCA’s argument is baffling. They fault Lookstein on the grounds that the RCA discourages all interfaith prayer services for fear of such participation aiding missionaries in their efforts to win over Jews.
Coming from the RCA, this strikes us as disingenuous. By capitulating to the Israeli Chief Rabbinate’s demands regarding giyur (conversion), that august body was emboldened to declare over 40,000 Jews [to be] gentiles. To the extent that it continues to go along with [those] policies, the RCA appears complicit in driving Jews away from our faith. Not since King David have Jews ousted their brethren from their share in the Lord’s inheritance, leaving them prey to the “service of other gods” (cf. 1Sam.26:19).