Project Genesis

Peace Among Religions

Question: I was assigned a project on whether or not people of the Islamic, Christian, and Jewish faiths can ever co-exist peacefully? Is there anything in any of the doctrines that you know of that would prohibit this from happening? Peace seems to be a quintessential element in all of the religions, but why is there strife between them and what can we do to fix it?

Answer: In my opinion, the answer to your question is no, they cannot coexist in peace, not in the long-term. This is because both Christianity and Islam are exclusive – they teach that if you’re not a Christian/Moslem then you’re damned, and that the entire world should and will become Christian/Moslem . Judaism doesn’t teach this – there is nothing in Judaism that says the Gentiles ought to become Jews. On the contrary, the Torah teaches that “the righteous of all the nations have a share in the World to Come.” So from our perspective, we should all be able to live in peace and harmony, but as long as Christianity and Islam are absolutist, I don’t see how that is going to happen.

Rabbi Seinfeld

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