“I’d be interested in seeing you write a piece on what your take on Judaism is. It could be about the religion, the culture, Jewish people, matzo ball soup — whatever you decide. I’m sincerely interested in what you might write specifically because you spent most of your life growing up in a place where there was no sizable Jewish community.”
Shiny was the first person to answer my call for guest post topics and this was his request. The phrase that popped out at me was I’m sincerely interested in what you might write specifically because you spent most of your life growing up in a place where there was no sizable Jewish community.
In other words, he assumed I was a moron.
Now, the fact that I grew up in small town Iowa might lead you to believe that I was completely ignorant about the Jewish faith. True, I’ve never been in or exactly seen a synagogue. But, you cannot forget that Iowans have TV too. We know all about Adam Sandler and Jerry Seinfeld.
Also? Fiddler On The Roof is one of my favorite musicals of all time.
Oh, yes. I had extensive exposure to Judaism.
In fact, when I befriended my first real live and actual Jewish friend at the age of 25, I think he was quite impressed with my understanding of his faith. He seemed to appreciate that I told him to “Mazel Tov” every morning in lieu of the much more Christian “Hello”. It’s important to make people feel included.
I think it’s also important to pass on our tolerance to future generations. That’s why I eagerly answered my son’s questions about the Jews and why they hated Jesus so much they hung Him on a cross. I explained to him that Jews were pretty much just like Christians – but with a little less faith in the One True Savior.
Man, I bet Shiny is overwhelmed right now with how much knowledge I have about the Jewish Faith.
Well hold on to your yamika Shiny, because I’m about to blow your mind…
I’ve talked to Moses.
No, really. You might not know this, but Moses actually has a website called, appropriately enough, Ask Moses. (Moses actually asked me to link to his web site. Seriously. Hand to God.)
What, you may ask, did Moses and I talk about?
Well, I confess that there was time when I was a little confused about what exactly Jews believed. Specfically, I had recently discovered that I was totally off base about Heaven and Hell and how Jews don’t believe those things even exist.
Moses helped me to understand that Jews believe in reincarnation, Gehenom and a Messiah. Except the Messiah is something totally different than Jesus. The Jewish Messiah is more like a political figure than a saver of souls.
(Write that down – that’s actually a pretty useful fact when trying to understand Judaism and how it differs from Christianity.)
Moses also taught me about a sect of Christianity that is trying to lure Jews away from Judaism. Of course, Moses might be a little biased in his description of the Messianic Jews.
Anyway – that’s just a little bit about what I know about The Jews. I also know that they can’t eat dirty meat and they have a much longer Christmas than us.
You can read more about my encounter with Moses here.
(You thought I was making that up, didn’t you?)