Du bow digest germany edition march 6, 2013


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anti-Semitism, Germany, Jews

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Du bow digest germany edition march 6, 2013

  1. 1. AN AMERICAN JEWISH – GERMAN INFORMATION & OPINION NEWSLETTERdubowdigest@optonline.netGERMANY EDITIONMarch 9, 2013Dear Friends:In the last few days we had a genuine winter snowstorm here in New York. However,today the sun is out and it has warmed up. Spring is just around the corner.In Jewish households Spring brings with it the Passover holiday. This year it starts onthe evening of March 25th.Passover is a family holiday celebrated mostly in homes with a special Passover meal(called a Seder). It is loaded with important symbols, matzohs (unleavened bread) andmany other good things to eat. There is a (fairly) regularized service to go through withthe highlight usually featuring the youngest participant asking 4 questions beginningwith,” Why is this night different from all other nights?”Without going too deeply into its meaning, Passover is the liberation holiday of theJewish people marking their release from bondage in Egypt.If youd like to know more about it click here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PassoverTo all my Christian friends, of course, I wish you a wonderful Easter.If there was a 5th Passover question I would vote for, “Aint Spring great?”Lets get on to the news...IN THIS EDITIONTHE ISRAELI ELECTION – The election is over but the quest for a workable coalitiongovernment is not. 1
  2. 2. ANTI-SEMITISM: GERMANY – Is it more acceptable these days?OBAMA IN ISRAEL – He’s visit soon. A new peace plan? Forget it!THE POPE & THE JEWS – How will he be remembered?IRELAND & ISRAEL – How come they don’t love each other?CHRISTIANS AS “THE NEW JEWS” – No! It’s not about conversion, it’s about beingpersecuted.THE ISRAELI ELECTIONThe Israeli election took place over a month ago. I thought that by this time PrimeMinister Netanyahu would have been able to put together a ruling coalition but that hasnot happened – though it may come to pass in the few days or so.Why all the trouble? The Prime Minister’s party, Likud/YisroelBeiteinu could not gatherenough strength for a wide coalition because two new parties, one on the left, Yesh Atidheaded by Yair Lapid and one on the right, Jewish Home Party headed by NaftaliBennett joined together in a peculiar post-election alliance to block it. Neither wanted tobe in a coalition with the ultra-Orthodox parties.Their bond had nothing to do with the Israeli – Palestinian situation. As a matter of factthat issue was, sort of, put on the back-burner. The main issue joining the two has to dowith how the government is to treat the extreme Orthodox and their issues of marriage,divorce, conversion and, most important, exemption from military service for yeshivastudents. Netanyahu has always had the ultra-Orthodox in his coalitions and wanted tocontinue that. It is not to be this time.After a lot of negotiating it now looks as if P.M. Netanyahu will include the Lapid andBennett parties and the ultra- Orthodox will go into opposition. The Times of Israelreports, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made considerable progress towardbuilding what is set to be a 70-strong coalition, sources close to the negotiations saidFriday evening. They stressed, however, that the key deals had yet to be signed, andnothing would be concrete until they were.The coalition, set to be finalized early next week, will comprise Netanyahu‟s Likud-Beytenu (31 seats), Yesh Atid (19), Jewish Home (12), Hatnua (6) and Kadima (2).Labor would lead the opposition, in which the two ultra-Orthodox parties, Shas andUnited Torah Judaism, would also sit, the sources said.The emerging compromise on ultra-Orthodox military service will see 1,500-2,000scholars exempted from service each year — a far higher number than the 400 capYesh Atid had sought. Ultra-Orthodox men will be called for service at age 22, not 18, inanother reported compromise. 2
  3. 3. A Friday morning meeting at the Prime Minister‟s Residence between Lapid andNetanyahu yielded significant progress, both sides said.The coalition negotiation teams were scheduled to reconvene Saturday night, and agovernment could be announced by Wednesday or even sooner, Israel Radio reported.Earlier on Friday, Bennett likened the talks to a birth, and, while indicating that acoalition with both his and Lapid‟s parties was all but inevitable, cautioned that a dealwith Netanyahu hadn‟t quite crowned.“If establishing the government was like a labor process, we‟d be two fingers dilated,and the doctor would be optimistic,” Bennett tweeted.Netanyahu, who has until next Saturday to form a coalition, will likely aim to present anagreement to President Shimon Peres upon Peres‟s return next Wednesday from asojourn in Europe.If Netanyahu failed to present a new government in time — he is already in the midst ofa 14-day extension granted him by Peres on March 2 after his first 28 days of effortsproved futile — the president would either tap another politician as presumptive primeminister, or call another round of elections. But that prospect, always unlikely, isreceding all the time, the sources said, and Netanyahu is said to be aiming for aWednesday or Thursday swearing-in ceremony for his new government.”So what does all this mean? Well, it seems as if the new Israeli government will have amore liberal domestic caste to it when it comes into office. The ultra-Orthodox will nothave such a strangle-hold on the policies mentioned above and, most important, someof their young people will have to do military or national service. They are seen by a lotof Israelis as non-contributors to the national good while the rest of the population hasto support them.Where does this leave the peace process? It appears to be status quo. The Bennettparty is made up mostly of settlers. They are in large part opposed to any forward peacemovement. On the other hand, (again The Times of Israel), “Tzipi Livni‟s Hatnua [party],with six seats, is the only party to date to have signed with Likud-Beytenu. In addition tothe position of justice minister, Livni was promised the right to lead peace talks with thePalestinians.Will there be movement? Don’t bet on it. Even Pres. Obama, who is to visit Israel shortly(see below), is not coming with any new peace program. Recently Palestinian Pres.Abbas said he would be willing to resume talks but set out a whole list of pre-conditionsthat even he knew were not realistic and so nothing new is about to happen.All we can do is – stay tuned – which we will do.ANTI-SEMITISM: GERMANY 3
  4. 4. (This article also appears in my American Edition)When Jews and Israel are discussed one of the most difficult issues to come to termswith is “What is anti-Semitism and what is legitimate political criticism of the JewishState of Israel?” There is no doubt that some people who are critical of Israel’s policiesare not anti-Semites even though they are accused of being just that. On the otherhand, there are those with deep seated anti-Jewish feelings and attitudes that claimthey are only being critical of political policies. Because overt anti-Semitism is no longeracceptable in Western society they claim not to be anti-Semitic and, therefore,“bulletproof”. Sometimes the armor looks pretty thin. Over the years wordsmiths have worked up ways of expressing anti-Semitism so thatno one can lay a glove on the purveyors. Indeed, it is sometimes very difficult to “prove”that individuals are anti-Semites. “Smoking guns” are frequently hard to find. However,what are we to believe when there is a tsunami of anti-Israelism in a society? Is it justpolitical criticism or is it something more troubling? There are indications that somethinglike that may be happening in Germany. Isi Leibler is a well-known Israeli leader and political “pundit”. He writes frequently in theJerusalem Post and Israel Hayom. In a recent article which appeared in both journalshe wrote, “In the aftermath of the Holocaust, successive German governments havemeticulously upheld their obligations to the Jewish people. Study of the Holocaust is amandatory component of the German state education curriculum, Holocaust denial isclassified as a crime and restitution commitments were honored and even exceeded.Chancellor Angela Merkel is a genuine friend of the Jews and despite intense politicalpressures and occasional minor vacillations, has consistently supported Israel,describing its security as “part of my country‟s raison d‟etre”. However in recent years,as in other European countries, German public opinion has turned against Israel,perceiving it as the principal threat to global stability and peace. This hostility hasincreasingly assumed overt anti-Semitic tones.There is growing resentment against Jews, who are blamed for imposing excessiveemphasis on collective German national guilt for the Holocaust.Anti-Jewish hostility is often expressed in the more „politically respectable‟ demonizationof the Jewish nation state, allegedly not related to anti-Semitism although the“Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe” (OSCE) explicitly defines suchbehavior as anti-Semitic. I am going to make you read Leibler’s article (see below) wherein he spells out thevarious outcroppings of the kind of language which seems to prove the point he makesthat anti-Semitism is becoming more acceptable than it would have been a decade ago. Leibler concludes his article with, “It was significant that in 2010, two Bundestag leftistrepresentatives were aboard the Turkish Marvi Marmara and that for the first time, theleft and the right united in parliament to carry a unanimous resolution censuring Israelfor the Gaza flotilla episode. This in itself may not represent anti-Semitism, but reflectsthe atmosphere of increasing hostility against Israel which would have been 4
  5. 5. inconceivable in Germany only a few years ago.For Jews, the positive side of Germany is the evident abundance of pro-Israeli and evenphilo-Semitic rank and file Germans in all walks of life. Yet, simultaneously theintensifying efforts by left wing activists uniting with Moslem extremists and occasionallyeven Nazis, to demonize Israel and promote anti-Semitism, provide valid grounds forconcern about a future for Jews in Germany.The situation is likely to further deteriorate drastically after the culmination of AngelaMerkel‟s term as Chancellor. Perhaps he is a bit over the top about his “concern about a future for Jews inGermany”. Every time I see an eruption of anti-Semitic writing or behavior I also see astrong reaction in Germany. As long as it remains the democracy it is the implicationsremain positive for Jews and Jewish life. However, European anti-Semitism remains aconstant and, indeed, is growing by leaps and bounds. If the virus spreads further, well,all bets are off. It is a time when actions and words have to be examined more closely.What is happening is very unsettling.The Leibler article can be read by clicking here.http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=68624233&msgid=994155&act=MF2Y&c=365152&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwordfromjerusalem.com%2F%3Fp%3D4518OBAMA IN ISRAELIn a few weeks Pres. Obama will make his first visit to Israel as President. Almost everycolumnist and TV talking head in the U.S. has made it known what they believe willcome to pass as a result of the visit. To me, some make sense and others do not. Thebest analysis thus far was penned by James D. Besser of The Jewish Week.A few weeks ago writing in that journal he posted, “The announcement of [the] triptriggered widespread speculation of a possible new U.S. peace push — speculation theWhite House has tried hard to quash.A dramatically altered Middle East climate may relieve much of the internationalpressure that past presidents felt to dip their feet in the turbulent waters of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. At home, the subject of U.S. involvement has become so toxicthat few politicians of either party see much point in actively supporting it — especiallywith Israeli and Palestinian leaders so entrenched in their reluctance to makeconfidence-building compromises.Obama may feel even less political pressure to make peacemaking a top priority [thandid Pres. Clinton] because supporters of a more active U.S. role do not get much helpfrom a Palestinian Authority with weak, vacillating leaders and no realistic plan fordealing with the split that has left Gaza in the hands of Hamas. 5
  6. 6. Under the Obama administration, a new realism has crept into U.S. foreign policy thatseems to eschew grand but inevitably futile and costly gestures.The results can be seen in the administration‟s cautious approach to the bloody,explosive civil war in Syria, the chaos in Egypt and pressure to ratchet up militarythreats against Iran and close the door to diplomacy with Tehran.That same caution is likely to diminish Obama‟s eagerness to dive back into the Israeli-Palestinian quagmire without clear signs both sides are ready to take big political risksto make negotiations happen.Underneath it all, it‟s possible to detect a kind of “a pox on both your houses” in aWashington foreign policy establishment weary of years of fruitless peacemaking, tiredof the blame game played by both sides and increasingly refocused on dramaticchanges in other parts of the Middle East and around the world.Support for Israel remains strong across the Washington political spectrum — a matterof both genuine belief and political expedience — but interest in helping Israel reach apeace agreement with its neighbors has gone deep underground.Ultimately, that could prove disastrous for a Jewish state afflicted with a strain ofpolitical paralysis that is rapidly undercutting any chance for the kind of two-statesolution that may be its only hope for both its long-term security and an end to itsgrowing international isolation.There is a clear understanding that this president is much more risk averse in foreignpolicy than his predecessors — and much less likely to launch new policy initiativeswhen the chances of success are slim to nonexistent.Looking at the Middle East, European leaders are much more concerned about the civilwar in Syria and its implications for the region, the unrest in Egypt and what it portendsabout the future of the Arab Spring movement, the ongoing confrontation with Iran overits alleged nuclear weapons program and the tumult in North Africa — all issues thathave little or nothing to do with the entrenched Israeli-Palestinian stalemate.But for now, at least, the era of sweeping U.S. peace initiatives and overt pressure onboth sides to come to the table is probably over. That will make the upcoming U.S.diplomatic forays a kind of holding pattern while waiting for political realities in Israel andthe West Bank to change.There is more to the Besser article but, by and large, as noted above he does not thinkmuch will come of the Obama visit. I have to agree. There just does not seem to beanything on the horizon that will move the parties from their tightly held positions. All theleaders involved have their own constituencies to think about and those, while voicingthe need for movement and peace, are holding fast to their long held positions.To read Besser’s article click here.http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/international-news/obama-trip-looming-new- 6
  7. 7. realism-limits-optionsTHE POPE & THE JEWSIn surveying the Jewish press, there are about as many articles on the retirement ofPope Benedict XVI as there are writers. Everyone seems to have an opinion. – andrightly so. Since Benedict was shepherd to 1 billion Catholics, each every statement hemade that had any implication for the Jewish community had to be taken seriously. Therelationship between Catholicism and Judaism especially, as it pertains to the rise or fallof anti-Semitism, is of (if you’ll pardon the pun) cardinal importance.Perhaps the most comprehensive article on Benedict is one by Prof. John Connelly ofUC Berkley who has written a book,“From Enemy to Brother: the Revolution in CatholicTeaching on the Jews, 1933-1965,” (Harvard University Press, 2012).Prof. Connellyquoted in The Forward states, “In the field of Jewish-Christian relations he will not beremembered as having enjoyed success. Most of his initiatives involved a gaffe of onesort or other. From a visit he made to Auschwitz we recall that he conspicuouslyavoided any statement of repentance for the church‟s history of teaching anti-Semitism.Later, he attempted to reconcile the church with reactionaries who deny the reforms ofVatican II, where, among other things the church renounced the theological sources ofhatred of the Jews, sometimes called anti-Judaism, above all the idea that Jews livedunder a curse for killing God. These extremists have refused the Vatican‟s overtures,perhaps saving the pope further embarrassment. Among their number are Holocaustdeniers.Perhaps most troubling, in the spring of 2008 Benedict announced a Good FridayPrayer for the Jews “that God our Lord should illuminate their hearts, so that they willrecognize Jesus Christ, the Savior of all men.” This seemed to presage a return to thepractice of trying to convert Jews and denying—against the teaching of Vatican II—thatJews stand in a covenantal relation with God.Those who study history have good reason to fear that progress may be reversed. ButBenedict‟s record in Jewish-Christian affairs shows the limited impact even a tone deafPope can have.Prof. Connelly feels that a more positive relationship with the Jews has been built, soPope Benedict notwithstanding, the relationship between Jews & Catholics is not at risk.Perhaps I’m a cynic but I believe that all things can change and that anti-Semitism isalways available to use should the proper situations arise. It’s up to Jews and non-Jewsalike to see that it doesn’t.You should read the entire article which you can by clickinghere.http://forward.com/articles/171377/the-next-pope-could-be-progressive-and-transform-r/?p=all#ixzz2LGOGMxJU 7
  8. 8. My AJC colleague, Rabbi David Rosen, the Director of International interreligiousRelations who knows the Pope quite well has a different sort of a take. He notes, “Whilemany liberals within and outside the Church will be hoping for a successor with a verydifferent outlook, those who care about the future of Catholic-Jewish relations and whoknow Pope Benedict XVIs record will be concerned that the next pope might not havethe same commitment as his predecessors.Benedict XVI has been a true follower, in word and deed, of John Paul II regarding theChurchs relationship with the Jews. In fact, in many ways he consolidated the latterssteps. One might have considered John Paul IIs visit to the synagogue in Rome or hispilgrimage to Israel, paying respects to the states highest elected political and religiousleaders, to be the atypical actions of a pope who had had a unique personal connectionwith Jews since childhood. The fact that Benedict did the same confirmed thesegestures as belonging to the Church as much as to individuals, and potentially madethem a template for his successors.There are few people who know more about Catholic – Jewish relations than David.One must take what he says about the Pope seriously. I do. Let’s then hope that the“the next guy in the door” (I’m pretty sure it won’t be a woman) is, indeed, as positiveabout the Jews as was Benedict – perhaps with fewer slips of the lip.Last, but certainly not least, my now retired colleague Rabbi A. James Rudin, writing inthe Religion News Service noted,Benedict had the unenviable task of succeeding alegendary larger-than-life figure, John Paul II, who during his 27 years as pope becamethe best-known person on the globe. John Paul‟s style, early vigor and charisma cast aconstant shadow over Benedict‟s pontificate.But he was not, as some critics charge, a “transitional” or an “accidental” pope. Historywill, however, view him as the last of the traditional European pontiffs. And that, in theend, might not be a bad thing for the church.The most serious problem that dogged his papacy was the continuing sexual abusescandal across an increasing number of nations. The clergy scandal was a constantmalignancy within the church that eroded the moral authority of priests and bishops andincreased the disenchantment of many lay people.The scholarly and professorial pope was seemingly unable to cope adequately with therapid technological changes sweeping throughout society. It also led to an earlyheadache, when a quick Google search would have confirmed that one of thebreakaway traditionalist bishops he welcomed back into the church was a vocal denierof the Holocaust.That move, with others, caused both anger and concern in the Jewish community.Muslims, too, took issue when Benedict invoked a Byzantine emperor who said Islamwas violent and “spread by the sword.” Although Benedict is a committed champion ofpositive interfaith relations, several of his public remarks, statements and actionsseemed out of step with that ideal. 8
  9. 9. Benedict perhaps will be best remembered as an intellectual, a German theologiansteeped in traditional values who had the unavoidable and difficult task of following alegendary figure. He is likely to be the last of a generation of European pontiffs whowere shaped by World War II, the Holocaust and even the historic reforms of Vatican II.Neither he nor the institution he led was sure-footed in navigating the changing tides ofthe 21st century. Unlike Vatican II‟s Pope John XXIII or John Paul, he was not a papalgame changer who set his church on a new course. Some of the biggest issues facingthe church — clergy celibacy, women‟s ordination and a shortage of priests, the role ofthe laity — didn‟t get much attention, and they‟ll soon be transferred to a youngerleader.The Greek philosopher correctly warned that we never step into the same river twice;both we and the river constantly change. In 2005, Benedict stepped into a raging river ofchange, conflict, and even chaos. It‟s still too soon to tell just how well he navigated hischurch in the world‟s churning waters.I think that says it all. Obviously Benedict made mistakes but, in the long run, wasdeeply committed to the improvement of Catholic – Jewish relations. He now belongs tohistory which will be the judge of his pontificate. Let’s hope that the “new guy”understands the needs of the Jewish community and that anti-Semitism is seen asdangerous to the Church as it is to the Jews.IRELAND & ISRAELSince I’m on the subject of Jews and Catholics (above) I thought I would mention one ofthose political matters that puzzles me the most – the relationship between the Jewishstate of Israel and the mostly Catholic state of Ireland.I must admit it never even occurred to me that Ireland would be one of the most, if notthe most, anti-Israel state in Europe. After all, throughout the cities of the United StatesJews and people of Irish extraction live side by side almost invariably in peace andharmony. Of course, anyone my age is well aware that in the later part of the 20thCentury the Catholic Church had in it strong elements of belief that were anti-Semitic.Nostra Aetate and the 2nd Vatican Council introduced a whole different vision of Jewsthat removed a good deal of the hateful thinking and feeling that had been part ofCatholic theology.In addition, I thought back to the 1930’s and 1940’s when both the Jews trying to formthe Jewish state of Israel and the “troubles” the Irish had with the British in NorthernIreland. Both groups had a common negative feeling about the Brits.I have been deeply surprised that none of the above has had an impact on today’spolitical landscape shared by the two countries.The Times of Israel recently ran an article on a left-wing conference, “Billed as 9
  10. 10. “Discussions on Austerity, Resistance and the Left Alternative,” the event wasorganized by Paul Murphy, the socialist Irish member of the European Parliament, andattended by various European leftists. The agenda on the flyer was ambitious:“Militarisation, Democracy, Women‟s Rights, Palestine, The Far Right and Building toDefeat EU Austerity.”Yes, Palestine was just dropped in there like a political football. There were no otherforeign policy issues. No Kurds, Kashmir or Syria, currently being torn apart in a civilwar. Even US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan has slipped off the radar.This single-minded focus on “Palestine/Israel” is a feature of the hard left, and indeed ofthe softer left: One of the summit participants was Sinn Fein, now a centrist party in theSouth and North of Ireland.Billed as “Discussions on Austerity, Resistance and the Left Alternative,” the event wasorganized by Paul Murphy, the socialist Irish member of the European Parliament, andattended by various European leftists. The agenda on the flyer was ambitious:“Militarisation, Democracy, Women‟s Rights, Palestine, The Far Right and Building toDefeat EU Austerity.”Yes, Palestine was just dropped in there like a political football. There were no otherforeign policy issues. No Kurds, Kashmir or Syria, currently being torn apart in a civilwar. Even US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan has slipped off the radar.This single-minded focus on “Palestine/Israel” is a feature of the hard left, and indeed ofthe softer left: One of the summit participants was Sinn Fein, now a centrist party in theSouth and North of Ireland.In Ireland, this focus is especially obsessive, and Israel-bashing is a hot topic, whichconnects to a wider European agenda.Thus, although the anti-summit and its participants are small in scale, they are noisy,and have a disproportionate influence. As does Ireland itself. In 1980, it was a famouslyoutspoken statement by then foreign minister Brian Lenihan supporting Palestinian“self-determination” and recognition of the PLO (the Bahrain Declaration) that led to theVenice Declaration later that year, in which the European Economic Community — theprecursor to the EU — followed suit.Since then, Ireland has consistently pushed the EU to take a harder line on Israel.So for a small country with no geopolitical connection to the Middle East, and with aminimal ethnic connection (there is a small Muslim population and smaller Jewish one),Ireland is surprisingly active on issues related to Israel and the Israeli-Palestinianconflict. It is an interest not necessarily shown in other foreign disputes by this ofteninsular island.The focus may have something to do with the parallels between Irish history andperceptions of colonialism in the Middle East, but either way, Ireland has provided someof the most vocal opposition to Israeli security policy, be it through support for the Gaza 10
  11. 11. flotillas, official government statements or the controversial campaign by a majorcharity, Trocaire, to boycott goods from Jewish settlements…I do not want to take up too much of this edition’s space with a rant about Ireland.However, though Israel does have diplomatic relations with Ireland and there aresupporters in the general population and the government, they are a loud anti-Israelvoice in the EU and therefore have some relationship to Germany.History is strange. Ireland should be Israel’s best friend in the EU and turns out to be itsmost outstanding adversary. Germany, which should be on the negative side of theledger is its best friend. Truly strange!P.S. If you think I’m a little too worked up about Ireland, read the following about an IrishTV news broadcast. Click here.http://www.timesofisrael.com/irish-channel-must-apologize-for-show-calling-israel-cancer/#.UTIMqAOCS4c.emailCHRISTIANS AS “THE NEW JEWS”Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, who directs interfaith affairs for the Simon WiesenthalCenter, and chairs Jewish Law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, has written a mostinteresting piece in Patheos Jewish, a well-known Jewish website entitled, “AreChristians the New Jews?”In it he writes, "If you want to understand us, study our story, learn of our pain." That iswhat Jews told Christians who wanted to build new bridges of respect after theHolocaust. Ironically, when Christians begin listening to the story of the Jews, they arefinding reflections of themselves.Christians who listened learned of a Jewish history written in blood from ancient tomodern times. When they thought of Christian martyrdom, on the other hand, they hadto turn for the most part to antiquity, to early Christianity under the thumb of Romanemperors.That has all changed. While Jews feel threatened by the massive explosion of globalanti-Semitism in the last years, coupled with Iranian and Islamist calls for the genocidaldestruction of all Jews, very few Jews in 2013 are dying because of their faith or theirroots. Christians, on the other hand, have become the New Jews.That term used to be a theological one, telling the faithful that G-ds covenants with theJewish people had been rewritten in favor of new beneficiaries: Christians. Today,however, it means that Christians have succeeded Jews as the numerically mostpersecuted people on the face of the earth. In a huge swath of territory from Nigeriaeast and north to Iran and Pakistan, millions of Christians live in fear of losing theirproperty or their lives simply because they are Christians. In the Assyrian Triangle of 11
  12. 12. Iraq, the campaign of church-burning, clergy-killing, and terror has all but decimated thehistorically oldest Christian communities.Today, Christians—especially those who take their faith most seriously—report that theyfeel like a scorned stepchild within general culture. They are mocked and derided, andtreated as intellectual pygmies who have nothing to offer the better, more enlightenedpeople around them.Christians who listen to the Jewish saga begin to understand how Jews lived withthemselves through the long centuries of persecution. Jews felt the power ofconviction—of belief that if you are fortunate enough to possess the truth, you do notcompromise or sacrifice it, even if it means that you continue on only as tiny fleck ofmankind. Ironically, those who mocked Jews for their insignificance now considervoluntarily choosing to live with the same ethic. Pope Benedict XVI will be remembered,among other things, for his theological depth, for facing intellectual challenges head-onand refusing to water down what he considered essential truths. Writing as CardinalJoseph Ratzinger in Das Salz von der Erde, he made a startling confession. "We mighthave to part with the notion of a popular Church. It is possible that we are on the vergeof a new era in the history of the Church, under circumstances very different from thosewe have faced in the past, when Christianity will resemble the mustard seed [Matthew13:31-32], that is, will continue only in the form of small and seemingly insignificantgroups, which yet will oppose evil with all their strength and bring Good into this world."Lastly, Christians are discovering their Jewish roots—how deeply dependentChristianity had been on its Jewish beginnings. As T.S. Eliot put it, "And the end of allour exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time."That place, for many Christians today, is looking more Jewish all the time.There is more to the article including the Rabbi’s assertion that the safest place forChristians in the Middle East is Israel. From what I’ve read he’s probably right.In any case, you should read the entire piece which you can by clicking here.http://www.patheos.com/Jewish/Christians-New-Jews-Yitzchok-Adlerstein-02-21-2013?offset=1&max=1************************************************************************************See you again in April.DuBow Digest is written and published by Eugene DuBow who can be contacted byclicking hereBoth the American and Germany editions are posted at www.dubowdigest.typepad.comClick here to connect 12
  13. 13. BTW – all editions are posted at www.dubowdigest.typepad.com 13