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The Jesus That Was And The Jesus That Is

Concluding the series on Shmuley Boteach's Kosher Jesus.

Rhonda Robinson


October 7, 2013 - 10:00 am


It’s never been my habit to argue religion–in public or private. I hold a deep personal faith as a follower of Christ, for which I feel no need to defend. Nor do I wish to push anyone else into defense mode. My intention was to provoke my readers to introspection, not to challenge convictions, but to test assumptions–especially about a faith not personally held.

Like many of my readers, I knew this type of a series could easily degenerate from lofty ideals and restoration to falling into the same deep crevices of ignorance and hate that has divided us for centuries.

Thanks to the nature of the vast majority of the PJMedia readership, that fear never materialized. Instead, they deposited nuggets of wisdom within the comment sections.

Several readers suggested resources for further study such as Dr. Michael Kogan’s Opening the Covenantand The Life of Messiah, From a Jewish Perspective the DVD series by Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum. Many sources were cited, and I found much of the commentary compelling and thoughtful.

Prof.lw wrote in the comments on ”Could We Restore America If Jews and Christians Accepted An Hyphenated Jesus?:


Prof.lw points to the real fork in the road for the two faiths.

Unfortunately, the good rabbi discredits himself with Christians by deconstructing the gospels, painting Paul as a lying opportunist and giving no credence to the accounts of the resurrection rendering a quite different Jesus.

The Boteach-Jesus that the author constructs is not the Christian-Jesus. Not because of Judaism, as the author presumes– rather, as Prof.lw asserts, because of the vast and profound difference between “WAS” and “IS.”

In this rapidly changing and hostile world, Christians and Jews alike must let go of real and perceived hurts from history. We have to accept our differences as our strengths.

One last quote in closing:

“The world today needs both a philosophy of peace and leaders of peace. I feel deeply that Christians and Jews can supply both in great measure– and together form the visible vanguard for real tik-kun olam, healing of the world. Surprising as it may sound to Jews, one of the important keys to it all is Jesus.”

Then the hyphen between us becomes a linking of arms.


Photo Credits Shutterstock Carlos E. Santa Maria

Rhonda Robinson writes on the social, political and parenting issues currently shaping the American family. She lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Middle Tennessee. Follow on twitter @amotherslife

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Mrs. Robinson, I should like to thank you for your series of articles on the theme. At the onset I failed to grasp the intent of your really unsual point of view. I also misjudged the nature of the discussion. Because I thought that the discussion could easily degenerate into hostile feelings, I at first suggested leaving the matter to "professionals". Well, that was a wrong formulation. I really meant, let us leave the matter to the "experts" (relative to which I exclude myself despite my "divine" professorial status). But I was dead wrong and the discussions taught me of my error. The experts probably have realized and discussed the often sad story of Jewish/Chrisitan relations through out history. No, the point was to involve interested opinion from non-experts who normally to not concern themselves with the problematic. Involvement in reading and entering the discussion on occasion has enriched my self-knowledge and my failures in considering the problem. I must thank you for your stimulus.

There is, however, another aspect, one fully peculiar to my circumstances. I had German grandparents who immigrated to America. And, as occasionally happens, someone in the third generation returns to the "old homeland". Somehow my return transformed into permanent residence. Slowly at first and later almost with obsession I just had to find out why such a pleasant country now and one where thousands of American scholars obtained their doctral titles in the 19th Century -- American uni.s had none then --, why such a country could degenerate into such a massive hate machine, particularly focused upon Jews. The search was and still is one of personal research. If my parents had returned to Germany and with my age (or assuming I were 15 years older), I would have been open to Nazi propaganda (excellently done) and Nazi education (extremely well done) and I would have become .... (?). Would I have become a Nazi, a SS soldier or a professor (like Heidigger) who turns on Jews? I am afraid of the answer. So, the German problematic is also personally mine by adoption. But, in principle it is everyone's within the Christian tradition. And your series addressed this tradition.
1 year ago
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Enjoyed the series, even if I didn't agree with rabbi Boteach very often.
1 year ago
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