return to religion-onlineJudaic and Judaism
A Christianís view as an "insider" at Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) because he is married to a Jew.
To turn Jewish and Christian faiths into generic philosophies for civil purposes is to misunderstand whatever in them ever gave people hope or power.
Christians can repudiate anti-Semitism by (1) supporting Zionism on theological grounds and (2) criticizing it on ethical grounds. The author raises charges of anti-Semitism that have been raised in connection with the New Testament, the film Jesus Christ Superstar, and critics (such as Dan Berrigan) of the State of Israel.
The author discusses Avodat Yisrael, a Messianic Jewish congregation in suburban Philadelphia which has more than casual relations with a Presbyterian Church -- raising significant questions about the relationship between Jews and Christians.
Both Judaism and Christianity tend to view the divine indifference as a way of teasing us out of ourselves and into relationship with God.
The Gospels understand Jesus' whole coming and ministry in the context of Israel’s messianic hope. Yet it is the very same messianic hope which apparently makes it impossible for "all Israel" to see Jesus as being already the messiah.
Two central goals characterize the essays in this book. The first is to renew Jewish self-understanding through traditional rabbinic categories, and the second is to understand and interpret Christianity from within these categories.
Denominationalism tends to reduce Christianity to a private faith based on a narrow revelation under the protection of competing agencies. It is at best a religious "philosophy" -- a set of beliefs and ideas which can be accepted if properly adjusted to an enlightened mind. Mordecai Kaplan, the formulator of Reconstructionism, insists that Judaism must be a civilization or it is nothing. The dimensions of Christian faithfulness demand that same totality.
The richness of Judaism’s “sacramental” sensibilities, its wealth of ritual practices and its appreciation of religious action, may offer Protestantism some insights for resisting the divergent tendencies of American culture to encapsulate religion in feeling and inwardness on the one hand, or to package religion as for telemarketing (rationalizing even the inner life) on the other.
In interfaith dialogue we are not just exchanging information; we are also testifying to truths that have taken hold of us and shaped our commitments. The great priority lies not in strategies, programs and campaigns to convert Jews, but in a major Christian educational effort to help church members recover the roots of their faith in Judaism.
To anyone who knows the tragic history of the Jews, it comes as no great surprise that the Holocaust could and did take place in the heart of Christendom. The Nazis’ “final solution” cannot be divorced from the attempts to get rid of the Jews throughout church history -- first by forced conversion, then by expulsion, then by extermination.
It is impossible to specify or determine simultaneously both the position and velocity of a particle (from the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle).† †To Jews, however, history is like a railroad train; It lurches forward as we sit in the observation car, facing backward. We do not know where the train is going, but see only where it has been. We have no control over its destination because the engine, and even the club car, are off-limits. Hence is born the Jewish Uncertainty Principle.
The fact that Judaism and Christianity are not compatible has, it seems, been a well-guarded secret. The Messianic Jewish movement (e.g., "Jews for Jesus") continues to grow and may well be one of the most important religious phenomena of the decade.
Some of us by doing good have done right well, and this has led to the charge that Jews are materialistic, or in any case “worldly.” The charge is meant as a reproach, but not only is the reality explainable with reference to our history, it is also defensible theologically.