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Showing posts from April, 2011

Lenders and Borrowers?

How should we Jews respond when our rituals are taken up by Christians? That’s a question that I have been asked quite often over the last few weeks, ever since an article appeared in the New York Times describing Christian brides/grooms who are ordering ketubot – Jewish marriage contracts – in order to feel closer to their “Jewish” roots. I have Christian friends who claim to observe a Yom Kippur fast or a Passover seder because they believe that Jesus might have experienced those rituals, hence deepening their faith. I also know of “bait and switch” ritual observances: taking a Jewish ritual, such as a seder for example, and layering it with Christian symbolism (i.e., the three matzot become symbols of the trinity, the wine is transmogrified into Jesus’ blood, etc.). What are we supposed to make of such appropriations of Jewish ritual by Christians? My reactions are grounded in yet another question, “Is it good for the Jews, specifically American Jews?”
If someone who is not a Jew ch…