Despite my own personal ideological struggles, I am a Jew who believes in the philosophies of Judaism before I believe in those of any other religion. However, I do feel that now maybe more than any time in history the alliance between Christians and Jews has never been more important. The rise of Islam, a rise that in many places preaches only Islam, has put the concept of freedom of religion in more danger than any time in modern history. With that in mind I am making a short post to discuss, and hopefully create a discussion regarding the connection between Passover and Easter.
I often say, only partially tongue in cheek, that there are 2 major differences between Christianity and Judaism. One is that while Christians are awaiting the 2nd coming, us Jews are still awaiting the 1st. Either way we are still awaiting the supposed Messiah or Messianic era. The second difference would be the disagreement over who is the best Jew of all time. There would be some discussion on the matter, but as a Jew I would put in my vote for Moses, and I would be surprised if I didn’t end up backing the winner. Christians however, even if they have a fondness for Moses, clearly would pick Jesus.
It is widely believed that “The last supper” was actually a Passover Seder. Seeing the apparent time of year and the fact that a group got together around the table for discussion, there is much credence to this belief. Ultimately, those who believe in the Messiah coming in a mystical, ultra spiritual way would see the events celebrated by Christians as a realistic method for the savior to be revealed. Us Jews however do not believe that has actually taken place. However, if either belief causes people to behave in ways of peace, love and tolerance, they help the world far more than hurt the world.
What are your thoughts?
The whole point of any of this, of remembering history, good and bad, of writing about events and milestones, attitudes and philosophies, is basically one thing over all others. It is to create a continuation of our world and of our values. This past weekend as two groups of family and friends celebrated the union of two special people, something even more special occurred; the merging of values.
I know my family well. I know how they think and I know what is important to them. I also know their personalities and idiosyncrasies, of which I myself have plenty. So when my nephew Justin found his bride Kim, as a loving and opinionated Uncle I naturally took it upon myself to form an opinion of which I was and still am more than happy to share.
I am like most people who love both Justin and Kim for the wonderful caring people that they are. That does not separate me in any way nor do I look for it to do so. Just watching how much they love each other is enough to be thrilled over this union. But what I was able to learn in getting to know Kim’s family and friends was something far more significant in the big picture than even the beauty the bride and groom shared. What I learned was that the two families share the same core values.
Even when people are from the same country, in this case the majority in both families is American, and have the same religion, the majority being Jewish, it is still very feasible that lifestyles will be different. My personal philosophy has always been that there is no right and wrong in lifestyle choice. People have every right to live how they want to live and I don’t believe that it is the responsibility of man to make that judgment. What I do believe is important however, are the comparable values people live by, values that often transcend nationality and religion. Of all the things to bring me joy from this wedding, maybe the most significant was watching two families, families with the values of love and respect for friends and family, as well as a love and appreciation for all the good things given to them, became connected in what can only be termed, holy matrimony.
None of us may be able to save the world, but when so many people unite under the terms of such love and joy, a small world grows into something more special and important to all those who come in contact with it in all walks of life. I for one am grateful to be fortunate to be part of something so special. Continuation of our world.