The Oneness of God and the Diversity of Religions: A Jewish Perspective
One of Judaism's most hallowed claims about the reality of God is what Jews refer to (after its first Hebrew word) as the Sh'ma: "Hear, O Israel, the Eternal is our God, the Eternal is One" (Deut 6:4). Deeply committed to the affirmation of God's oneness, many Jews also share the belief of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972) that "diversity of religions is the will of God." In this lecture, Rabbi Sabath Beit-Halachmi will explain why she considers this belief not only compatible with but also demanded by the affirmation of God's oneness.
Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi is president's scholar and national director of recruitment and admissions at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati, where she also heads the Office of Community Engagement. Previously she taught on the Jerusalem campus of Hebrew Union College and served as vice president and a faculty member of the Shalom Hartman Institute, also in Jerusalem, and she directed the Hartman programs for lay leadership, rabbinic leadership, and Christian leadership. Ordained in 1995 at HUC-JIR, Rabbi Sabath also earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York. The co-author of two books, Striving toward Virtue: A Contemporary Guide to Jewish Ethical Behavior (1996) and Preparing Your Heart for the High Holy Days (1996), Rabbi Sabath has published numerous articles, writes a monthly column in the Jerusalem Post, and lectures throughout North America on theology, gender, leadership, and Israel. She is currently writing a book on the future of covenant for Jewish peoplehood.
Sabath Beit-Halachmi, Rachel, "The Oneness of God and the Diversity of Religions: A Jewish Perspective" (2017). Jay Phillips Center Lectures. 17.