Jewish Ideas Daily publishes a book review about the “Jesus question”. Namely, how to understand the ancient Yhoshua (Historical Jesus) within the context of the Tora (Judaism).
(Chagall, Marc. ©1943. “Yellow Crucifixion”. Online: Jewish Ideas Daily.
Eve Levavi Feinstein reviews the following book about Yhoshua, his place within Tora, and by extension the implications for the modern friendship between Yhudim (Jews) and Notsrim (Christians).
• The Jewish Jesus: Revelation, Reflection, Reclamation. Edited by Garber, Zev. ©2011.
(The Jewish Jesus. Online: www.thepress.purdue.edu.
The Jewish Jesus is a collection of essays whose topics range from the ancient Yhoshua doing the Tora to modern Yhudi scholars reclaiming him as a Yhudi spiritual figure.
The review concludes cautiously:
“It may certainly be argued that beliefs such as these are not beyond the pale of traditional rabbinic Judaism.
Yet it is difficult to imagine that they will be widely accepted within the Jewish community any time soon, making them a questionable basis for genuine inter-communal dialogue.
Moreover, as none of the Jewish thinkers cited in these essays accepts the core Christian doctrines of the resurrection and full divinity of Jesus, the gulf between mainstream Jewish and Christian views of Jesus remains quite wide.
For Jews, learning to understand and respect Christian views about Jesus - without necessarily accepting them - may be more fruitful than attempting to claim him as one of our own.”
In sum, Yhoshua seems true to Tora. There are ways to understand him within Tora. At the same time, the Tora is unable to entertain the “full divinity” of Yhoshua - namely, unable to worship a human as if a human is God.
Even so, it seems to me, Notsrim have enough ideological room to bridge the gulf.
Thus the modern reclamation of Yhoshua as a Yhudi is valuable because it clarifies how Notsrim connect to the Tora.
Rather than Yhudim needing to embrace the theology of Notsrim, Notsrim can bridge the difference, by understanding the teachings of Yhoshua within the context of the Tora.
Yhoshua, like any human, is to be “one” with God. Even so, God isnt a human. God is utterly beyond any human, including beyond the human Yhoshua.
And so on within the context of the Tora - especially within the concepts of Kabala (Jewish spirituality) - it is possible for Notsrim to reexplain the theology to clarify its monotheism.
I believe it is possible, for Yhudim and Notsrim to form a spiritual alliance.
More than a friendship among those who agree to disagree, it seems to me possible to arrive at a mutual understanding.
The bridge between Yhudim and Notsrim has something to do with the following:
• See Yhoshua as one among many Yhudim,
• See the ongoing Tora among all Yhudim as the spiritual authority,
• See the spiritual necessity of both Yhudim and Non-Yhudim,
• See why Yhudim need to do Tora, and why Non-Yhudim dont need to do Tora.
• See Non-Yhudi students of Yhoshua as God-fearers, a kind of Gerim, thus part of the spiritual community of Yisrael.
• Jewish Ideas Daily. ©2011. jewishideasdaily.com, 2011.
• Feinstein, Eve Levavi. ©2011. “Jesus for Jews”. jewishideasdaily.com.
• The Jewish Jesus: Revelation, Reflection, and Reclamation. Edited by Galber, Zev. ©2011. Purdue University Press.