Rabbi who defended religious liberty to deliver opening invocation at GOP convention

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Tomorrow, the convention will be getting started, and Rabbi Meir Soloveichik will be giving the invocation to open the first day. (Here is the updated convention schedule.)

Soloveichik, a member of a distinguished American Orthodox rabbinic family, is a rising intellectual star in Modern Orthodoxy and is a frequent contributor to the conservative Jewish magazine Commentary. Currently the director of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University and associate rabbi at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Soloveichik was recently reported to be a top candidate for the post of British chief rabbi to replace the retiring Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.

The rabbi was part of a trio of authors who wrote a column in defense of religious liberty in the Wall Street Journal last winter (the other two being Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Charles Colson):

Instead of encouraging the different faith communities to continue their vital work for the good of all, the Obama administration is forcing them to make a choice: serving God and their neighbors according to the dictates of their respective faiths—or bending the knee to the dictates of the state…

…At this critical moment, Americans of every faith, as guardians of their own freedom, must, in the words of the First Amendment, “petition the government for the redress of grievances.” That’s why over the past two years more than 500,000 people have signed the “Manhattan Declaration” in defense of religious liberty. They believe, as do we, that under no circumstances should people of faith violate their consciences and discard their most cherished religious beliefs in order to comply with a gravely unjust law.

That’s something that this Catholic, this Protestant and this Jew are in perfect agreement about.


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