An Orthodox rabbi broke Jewish law by participating in an interfaith prayer service on Wednesday (Jan. 21) at Washington National Cathedral, according to the Rabbinical Council of America.
Rabbi Haskel Lookstein [pictured in middle above], who leads Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in New York, was one of three rabbis who participated in the National Prayer Service. The others were from Judaism’s Conservative and Reform branches.
Lookstein recited a nondenominational prayer during Wednesday’s service.
"The long-standing policy of the Rabbinical Council of America," the RCA said in a statement, "in accordance with Jewish law, is that participation in a prayer service held in the sanctuary of a church is prohibited."
Rabbi Basil Herring, RCA’s executive vice president, said he does not expect Lookstein to be punished for his role in the service. "We simply wanted to make the point that he was not going there on behalf of the rabbinical council, and that whatever he did, he did in his own capacity."
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