Wednesday, 11 April 2012

A Challenge and a Response - 2

Cantor Wolberg's Response

Hag Kasher v'Samei'ach,

Dear E,
It was so nice hearing from you. I always welcome disagreements and intellectual and theological challenges.

First let me clarify that my message was not an Easter message, no more than a Passover message. It was an interfaith message explaining certain connections. To say I "never get there" is [merely] your perception, and just because my belief differs from yours is not to say I "never get there." What in essence you are saying is that I don't concur with your theology, which is not to say that I am judging your theology. Therefore, it is unfair for you to judge my theology.

Your explanation that Passover "was the foreshadow of the 'Messiah' to come" is your belief. We have very good commentaries and explanations as to what the various rituals signified. You are correct about  "Being freed from slavery was not the main point" but for the wrong reason as far as the Jews were concerned. The main point of being freed from slavery was for the Jews to receive the Torah 7 weeks later on Mt. Sinai. And if you read the Torah carefully, you will see that nothing in the Torah was to be changed – including adopting a new theology.

Also, if you studied Judaism, you would realize that we have the Oral Law which is equally as important as the written law (Torah) and without the Oral Law, all kinds of claims are made by people who don't even know what the Oral Law is. For you to say " How can you not get that JC was the Messiah from all the examples found in the Old Testament?"  is condescending and ignorant. You don't think there were scholars a lot greater than you and me, put together times a thousand, who were able to "get it" and understood what the references in the Torah (which you refer to as the Old Testament) really signified.

Unfortunately, you belong to the small sect of Christians who believe you have the sole truth and that everyone else is going to hell. I would urge you to study the Torah and Oral Law as conscientiously as you have studied the New Testament and then get back to me. Though I am pained at your cavalier attitude and approach, I [do] greatly respect the fact that you are not a phony and that you don't smile to my face and stab me in the back.

The other thing I would like to make clear, is that in Judaism, we have no agenda to convert anyone of another faith. We respect all faiths and I would never confront someone indicating that their theology is flawed and that they "don't get it." I will end with one analogy: if you see the color white, you think you are seeing just one color. What's the color that we have in Judaism that illustrates trust in God? White…   Why white? When you look at white, you see a very small percentage of its reality. When you look at white light under a prism, what do you notice? It is separated into its constituent spectrum of colors. You see many colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. But you know what? The colors are hidden. So what white means is that what my eyes perceive is only a small part of reality. The real texture, the rainbow of what's really there is hidden.

And that, Mr. E, is where you're at right now. You see the white and you're trying to convince me that there's nothing beyond what you believe. But, unfortunately, you are seeing a very small percentage of reality. Study the Torah, Talmud and the myriad [works in] Jewish literature, and I think you will become a little more humble. I have studied and have had many scholarly conversations with people like Cardinal O'Malley and many clergyman. I dare say that with very little exception, they would be appalled at what you wrote in your email to me, but again, I [do] respect your honesty. Also, I hold no animosity toward you, even though I feel you are way off in your approach. I respect your theology and only ask that you do likewise.

Very truly yours,                                    
Richard Wolberg

1 comment:

Adam Zur said...

i think the mitzvahs are not any type of foreshadowing. However i think and i have written on my blog that i think there is a hierarchy of miztvot. [briefly i think the mitzvahs are in order to give Israel the merit needed to be in Israel. after being in Israel i consider the mitzvahs to be to bring to the building of the temple. and in turn that is to bring to love and fear of God.] and i also think that the basic meme of Torah is the 613 mitzvot. This in fact puts me in conflict with many the opinions about Torah that are current.