[Milton-L] Re-send of question re Judaism

srevard at siue.edu srevard at siue.edu
Wed Jul 26 04:11:50 EDT 2006

Quoting Benjamin Myers <b.myers at uq.edu.au>:

> The brilliant modern Jewish theologian Martin Buber offers an
> interesting perspective on loving one's enemies. In his influential
> book "I and Thou" (1923), he emphasises our responsibility towards
> the other, and he argues that "moral judgment" on others is
> "abolished forever" through our relatedness to God. Thus I am also
> responsible for my enemies: "the 'evil' man is simply one who is
> commended to [me] for greater responsibility, one even more needy of
> love" (p. 109).
> But although this is an interesting and illuminating parallel to the
> Christian idea of love for enemies, I doubt that Buber is talking
> about "love" in quite the same way as Christian tradition. In fact,
> in his book "Between Man and Man" (1947), Buber critiques what he
> calls an "altruistic" interpretation of the love of Jesus: "I know no
> one in any time who has succeeded in loving every man he met. Even
> Jesus obviously loved of 'sinners' only the loose, lovable sinners,
> sinners against the Law; not those who ... sinned against him and his
> message. Yet to the latter as to the former he stood in a direct
> relation" (p. 24).
> So for Buber, what seems to matter is a formal "dialogic" relatedness
> to one's enemies: one must never allow these "enemies" to become
> unrelated to oneself, but must always stand "in a direct relation" to
> them. Even if this is not quite the same as what Jesus calls "love",
> it is perhaps its basic precondition.
> Best wishes,
> Benjamin Myers
> >>>I am re-sending this question, which has had few responses and
> >>>very few from Jewish scholars.  The question has a Miltonic
> >>>bearing which will become apparent if my brain-cells live long
> >>>enough.  If you don't get the joke in the last line of the
> >>>message, you may not be qualified to respond.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>***********************************************************
> >>>
> >>>At my age I need to know which kind of cleric to ask for when I
> >>>hit the Emergency Ward, so I am trying to figure out the
> >>>differences between Christianity and Judaism.  There are some
> >>>large academic tomes on my desk, but we are in the midst of a heat
> >>>wave.
> >>>
> >>>I have what strikes me as a low-level but not entirely useless
> >>>work called Jewish Literacy by Joseph Telushkin, and he says there
> >>>are three innovative teachings of Jesus diametrically opposed to
> >>>Jewish teachings:
> >>>
> >>>1. Jesus forgives all sins
> >>>
> >>>2. Judaism does not demand that one love one's enemies.
> >>>
> >>>3. Jesus' claim that people can come to God only through him.
> >>>
> >>>All three on pages 128-129
> >>>
> >>>I suspect that the first and third are claims of the
> >>>gospel-writer/editors rather than claims of Jesus - I have yet to
> >>>be convinced of the historical accuracy of the gospels, which are
> >>>"fanciful" according to one Jewish scholar and theological rather
> >>>than historical according to a good many Christian commentators,
> >>>but I should like to know if the second statement by Telushkin is
> >>>correct.
> >>>
> >>>Is there anything in the Hebrew scriptures which suggests that we
> >>>should forgive our enemies?
> >>>
> >>>Naturally, I expect you to write your response while standing on one leg.
> >>>
> >>>Alan Rudrum
> >>>Professor Emeritus
> >>>Department of English
> >>>Simon Fraser University
> >>>Canada
> >>>
> >>>www.sfu.ca/~rudrum
> --

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