Tag Archives: Nosta Aetate

Levinas and Nostra Aetate

In one of the lesser know pieces by Emmanuel Levinas, he helped prepare in 1965 a three page Jewish version of Nosta Aetate for the French Orthodox rabbinate. The document was never formally issued becuase there was too much dissent.  It has many similarities to Levinas’ own essays where he proposes the idea that all righteous Christians are really to be included in Israel; It is  a concept  of anonymous Jews, similar to Rahner’s Anonymous Christians.

Report of the Commission of experts named by the Chief Rabbi of France and including Mr. Lévinas, Mr. Touati and Mr. Vaida.

Its main headings are the following:

1. The rejection of Christianity could have been avoided

2. The Christians are not idolaters ; they adore the God who created the world and they have a certain number of beliefs in common with the Jews

3. Eternal Salvation for Christians

The term « Israel » in the sentence, « All Israel has a part in the ‘olam ha-ba’ means the righteous from all the nations », unless they impute iniquity to God (‘Aqedat Yitshaq, Shemini, gateway 60).

4. Israel must be inspired by Christians and by Muslims, etc.

5. Christianity and Islam contributed towards the improvement of humanity

6. Christianity and Islam clear the way for the Messiah

After 45 years, it remains a fascinating document.