So, here is something to think about after an indulgent Pesach / Easter holiday. At least, I hope it was indulgent. Mine certainly was.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach; the celebrity Rabbi with political aspirations, argues in his new book, “Kosher Jesus,” that “Jews have much to learn from Jesus – and from Christianity as a whole – without accepting Jesus’ divinity. He wants him back in the clan.
I can still remember my Wednesday evenings spent at the musty, slightly damp B.B.Y.O club house. We would be dropped off by our parents, chat outside for a few quick minutes to catch up on all the latest gossip and see who would be last, then huddle into the small narrow space with its low ceiling, small door and too few windows, and sit where ever we could – floor, box, chair, lap – it didn’t matter.
Some of us were serious. Others, try as we might, had a hard time focusing on whatever ‘task’ was at hand. And at least once every Wednesday, a few of the more spirited boys, always with their backs against a wall as if they knew someone would smack them over the head if they could, would try to get a laugh from out of us by putting up their fits and yelling; JEWS FOR JESUS!
Needless to say they succeeded in getting a giggle. Laugh out loud, often, actually. I had to think of those Wednesdays when I read the Rabbi’s news.
The Rabbi doesn’t seem to be very nuanced in his writing. (Note; I have not read the book) I am not convinced we should re-appropriate Jesus. He kind of isn’t ours to claim. But when a little girl in the tram on Sunday asked her grandfather, who was explaining Easter to her, how it was possible that ‘Jesus was a Christian if he was Jewish’, to which the grandfather quickly, and with a chuckle, replied that she should look at the pretty buildings outside, I wondered if the Rabbi might be on to something wanting to explain the links.
For now, I will do as my friend Tessa does and wrap is all together for you by wishing you a happy Paas-ach (Pasen is Easter in Dutch. Ach for PesACH)
The picture was taken in a church in Sevilla, Spain.