Rabbi & Reverend Unite in Israel to Teach Their Congregations


Paige Lambert

Slider image by Rabbi Arthur Nemitoff.

A Rabbi and a Minister flew to Israel, not to tell a questionable joke, but to record sermons for each of their congregations, all of which featured different stories about King David. Even though Rabbi Arthur Nemitoff, the senior Rabbi at The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah, and Reverend Adam Hamilton, the senior Pastor at Church of the Resurrection, come from different religious backgrounds, we should all strive for their tolerance of each other’s beliefs.

In a video that was posted by The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah, at the end of September, the two announced their ten day journey to Israel. The initial plan was for them to film three video sermons, but they ended up doing four.  The goal of their trip was to walk where King David had walked.

The reason King David was chosen for the sermon series is that he is an important religious figure in both Judaism and Christianity. Both men reiterate to their congregations how they can learn from King David. Much can be learned from the good and the bad that he did in his lifetime.

This was one of the many cites they saw on their Israel adventure. Image courtesy of Nemitoff.

The two traveled to Bethlehem, Israel to view where King David battled the infamous Goliath, and then they visited the Valley of the Shadow of Death.They next went to Jerusalem to teach about King David’s years as king and his relationship with Bathsheba.

The idea for this partnership came from Rev. Hamilton, who wanted to do a joint sermon series; he contacted Rabbi Nemitoff asking him if he would be interested. Rabbi Nemitoff was thrilled by the idea, and when Rev. Hamilton asked if he would be interested in doing these sermons in Israel, Rabbi Nemitoff was even more ecstatic.

“Nemitoff, thinks that this trip is one step closer to equality for all.” Image courtesy of Nemitoff.

He explains that “[his] Christian knowledge has grown, [and] thus [his] appreciation for the faith has grown.”

He strongly believes that these sermons will help both Jews and Christians realize that they are more alike than different. Also, his hope is that these sermons can help Jews and Christians embrace each other, especially since the two religions share the same values. Rabbi Nemitoff also said that since Jews and Christians tell and and look at the story differently, we “sometimes have to talk in a language [different from our own] so that others can understand.”

He also says that it is important for the youth in our community to be proud of their Judaism and share it with others.

Nemitoff said that “the most important lesson that came out of this trip was acceptance.” Acceptance of diversity is important now more than ever in a world filled of hate. Not only can we learn from King David and the highs and lows of his lifetime, but we can learn from the Rabbi and the Reverend. When we see that two different religions can unite in peace and accept each other despite our differences, we can accept others for who they are and work to repair the world.