Praying for the Jews

Perhaps it’s because I’m not very religious, but I’m completely unoffended by the Pope including this language in his Good Friday prayer: “Let us also pray for the Jews: That our God and Lord may illuminate their hearts, that they acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men.” As long as it doesn’t become coercive, I have no problems with the Christian and Mormon impulse to have others share their version of their Good News. Indeed, I find it a very generous impulse.

Of course, if the Pope had said “Let us all round up and torture the Jews until they convert” or “Let us all deprive Jews of any civil rights and liberties until they die or convert” (both of which are the very old-fashioned Christian approach and the current Muslim approach), I might be screeching a different tune. As it is, while I appreciate the prayers to try to save my soul, I’ll politely decline the implied offer to convert and say, instead, that I’ll continue on my Jewish way and take my chances before God himself at the end of days.

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  1. benning says

    “both of which are the very old-fashioned Christian approach” – Just remember that that very old approach was not the original approach, but an abberation once Christianity gained political power in the Roman Empire and beyond. It was ugly, un-scriptural, and is happily dead.

    I pray for Jews, Moslems, and Christians, and for everyone I can remember. I also pray daily for the USA and for Israel. I dunno if I’m doing any good, but I still pray for their victory over darkness.


  2. SGT Dave says

    BW and all,
    I am glad that you are taking the prayer at its intent – the Catholic faith, for all its faults, still regards the Jewish community as a group that holds the keys to share in our version of salvation but has not quite “seen the light”. Since the Reformation and Martin Luther’s “heresy” (the reasons were valid, the methods somewhat dicey), the Church has returned to the oldest path – salvation is an individual path, accompanied only by the grace of God and his words. Since the Church only believes that this grace can be found in the sacrifice of Iesu the Nazarene, the call for conversion is one of a cousin to take the stairs and not the elevator.
    Have a good Pentecost season – and a blessed Passover to those who celebrate it.
    SGT Dave – “Faith is the armor of the soul against despair; even if it only be faith in your own dreams.”

  3. says

    I’m a religious Jew and I don’t find it offensive.

    Now if this were a different time in Europe, I wouldn’t necessarily be so comfortable. However I don’t believe that it was a Catholic who recently shot up a Yeshiva where young men were involved in studying the Talmud.

  4. suek says

    I’m a Catholic. I’ve never been particularly conscious of this prayer, but I consider Jews to be our religious “parent”…and having taken a different path, I’d be very happy if the Jews would join us on that path. Not that I consider it likely, but it would be a welcome thing.
    I’ve become much more conscious of Jews since 9/11, and much more interested in their welfare.
    I ran across this somewhere, and saved it:

    “Below is my translation. (Note that the Rambla del Raval is a street in Barcelona with many immigrant Arabs and Muslims, and that Leganés is the Madrid suburb where suspects in the 11 March 2004 terror attacks blew themselves up.

    ‘Europe Died at Auschwitz

    Published November 21, 2004 12:08
    by Sebastian Vivar Rodriguez
    I was walking along the Rambla del Raval (Barcelona) and I saw it clearly: “The truth marries no one.” (Spanish proverb)
    We murdered 6 million Jews, only to end up importing 20 million mostly fundamentalist Muslims.
    You say that it’s impossible to generalize? Well, given how things have gone I think it is possible to generalize. You say that there are exceptions? Agreed … but they are exceptions.
    For the rest, you know, in general it has to be said that at Auschwitz we burned culture, intelligence, and the ability to create riches; we burned the people who proclaimed themselves God’s chosen people. Because this is the people that has given to humanity the best minds, capable of changing the course of history (Christ, Marx, Einstein, Freud), as well as great moments of progress and wellbeing.
    And it also has to be said that as a result of relaxed borders and of cultural and moral relativism, under the absurd pretext of tolerance, we have allowed these 20 million often illiterate and fanatical Muslims to enter, people who are, in the best of cases, as I said, in this Rambla del Raval, the highest expression of the third world and of the ghetto, and who, in the worst of cases, are preparing attacks like those in Manhattan and Madrid, in the subsidized housing that we give them day by day.
    We exchanged culture for fanatacism, the capacity to create wealth for the desire to destroy it. Intelligence for superstition.
    We exchanged the instinct for improvement of the Jews – who never, even in the worst conditions imaginable, tired of hoping for a better, more peaceful world—for the suicidal drive of Leganés. The diamonds—portable wealth for the next time they would have to flee—for the stones of the Palestinians, which negate any intention for peace.
    We exchanged the pride of survival for the fanatical obsession to die, and perhaps to kill us and our children.
    What a mistake we made!’ “

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