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Switch to Forum Live View The book "Kosher Jesus"
3 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 7:13PM #1
chanceuse
Posts: 30
Hi again!

I'm presently reading Rabbi Schmuley Boteach's new book "Kosher Jesus" and am finding it interesting.
I was just wondering if any of you on this forum agree with him that Jews should learn more about Jesus because he was one of your own.
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3 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 9:00PM #2
Bunsinspace
Posts: 5,929

BS"D


Personally there are many things I agree with that he says and this happens to be of those with which I vehemently disagree.


It is not up to us to "reclaim" or "understand" the gods of other people.   No good can come of trying to force somebody else's god into our cultural understanding IMHO.  It is best AFAIK to follow the advice of our sages to not meddle with the traditions of other peoples or seek to reinterpret them so that they become acceptable to us.  


As Jews we learn that a people's divine revelation is sacred to them and we have nothing we can add to or detract from it (unless, of course, it exists primarily to murder other peoples and destroy Creation as some sectarians seem to support.)

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3 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 9:07PM #3
rocketjsquirell
Posts: 16,558

I have no present intention of reading the book. Schmuley is a celebrity, not a serious scholar.

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3 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 9:12PM #4
Bunsinspace
Posts: 5,929

May 1, 2012 -- 9:07PM, rocketjsquirell wrote:


I have no present intention of reading the book. Schmuley is a celebrity, not a serious scholar.




BS"D


As he is a rabbi to many in Hollywood, so to them he is their only scholar and as such his influence should not be easily dismissed.   And the fact that non-Jews are aware of his works makes it all that more important IMHO to respond to his claims whether they arise from serious scholarship or simple political appeasement (as appears to be the case here.) 

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3 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 11:45PM #5
howiedds
Posts: 2,687

chanceuse :


I was just wondering if any of you on this forum agree with him that Jews should learn more about Jesus because he was one of your own.



Personally, I would prefer that Christians learned more about the Jewishness of Jesus. That would certainly do more for Jewish well being than if we learned more about him.

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3 years ago  ::  May 02, 2012 - 7:40AM #6
ffb
Posts: 2,246

i think the issue is a difficult one. if one could learn more about "jesus" without becoming mired in the theology which has sprouted around jesus, then maybe, as some scholarly and historical exercise, learning about jesus could be useful. what is important to note is that the wisdom in the traditional christian texts was often imported from jewish texts so there is not as much as one might think that can be gained from reading the gospels (and is difficult to learn more about jesus without going through the gospels as there is a paucity of verifiable contemporary corroboration which adds anything to the understanding beyond simple claims to historicity).

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3 years ago  ::  May 02, 2012 - 8:22AM #7
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,921

It is true that the Tanakh contains much of the wisdom found in the Gospel. While the Torah contains the commandment of loving God with all one's might and soul (Deuteronomy), as well as loving one's neighbour as oneself (Leviticus), is there anything in the Torah (or the entire Tanakh for that matter) that clearly suggests that these two commandments are the greatest of all commandments? The Gospel is rather clear on this point (Mark 12:28-31). The Gospel also asserts that man should even love his enemy (Matt. 5:43-48).


I haven't found anything in the Tanakh that states such teachings with such clarity and hence I think it is justifiable for Christians to regard them as new. Once more let me point out that I am not saying that loving God and loving one's neighbour are new teachings, but rather the teaching that these two commandments are the greatest of all commandments.


Kind regards,


LilWabbit

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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3 years ago  ::  May 02, 2012 - 9:37AM #8
Bunsinspace
Posts: 5,929

May 2, 2012 -- 8:22AM, Lilwabbit wrote:


I haven't found anything in the Tanakh that states such teachings with such clarity and hence I think it is justifiable for Christians to regard them as new. ....


Kind regards,


LilWabbit




BS"D


That is a good point.  But anyone who studies Jewish texts (such as Talmud for example) will readily see that such notions are not new by any stretch of the imagination.  Nevertheless it is a curious question that has been raised about the Jewish text as well - is the text identical to the people - and by extension - is the god identical to the text?


I believe all peoples should learn about the sacred texts of others to know the good that is their potential.  But to pit one people against the other is fostering hatred IMHO. 


Rather than claiming uniqueness for a religious text which is impossible to prove I prefer to use the good behaviors of individuals and groups to demonstrate the goodness that can come from a people and their holy text.   That good behavior is what is truly unique about any people IMHO.

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3 years ago  ::  May 02, 2012 - 9:38AM #9
JAstor
Posts: 3,957

May 2, 2012 -- 8:22AM, Lilwabbit wrote:


It is true that the Tanakh contains much of the wisdom found in the Gospel. While the Torah contains the commandment of loving God with all one's might and soul (Deuteronomy), as well as loving one's neighbour as oneself (Leviticus), is there anything in the Torah (or the entire Tanakh for that matter) that clearly suggests that these two commandments are the greatest of all commandments? The Gospel is rather clear on this point (Mark 12:28-31). The Gospel also asserts that man should even love his enemy (Matt. 5:43-48).


I haven't found anything in the Tanakh that states such teachings with such clarity and hence I think it is justifiable for Christians to regard them as new. Once more let me point out that I am not saying that loving God and loving one's neighbour are new teachings, but rather the teaching that these two commandments are the greatest of all commandments.


Kind regards,


LilWabbit




Christianity not only took from the Written Torah but from the Oral Torah itself (Paul, who was once Saul, study under the Pharisees). Two of the most famous statements in the Oral Torah are:


-- Rabbi Akiva says: "Love your neighbor as yourself" is the most important principle in the Torah.


-- Hillel says: Don't do unto others as you would not want them to do to yourself (inverse baseline understanding of love your neighbor as yourself) is the essence of Torah. Everything else is commentary. 

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3 years ago  ::  May 02, 2012 - 9:40AM #10
JAstor
Posts: 3,957

May 1, 2012 -- 7:13PM, chanceuse wrote:

Hi again!

I'm presently reading Rabbi Schmuley Boteach's new book "Kosher Jesus" and am finding it interesting.
I was just wondering if any of you on this forum agree with him that Jews should learn more about Jesus because he was one of your own.



I disagree. As the saying goes: If it's true, it ain't new. If it's new, it ain't true.


There is nothing of worth in Christianity (same for Islam) that did not proceed it/them in Judaism and does not exist in Judaism. 

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