Jesus and Fear

When we spoke about Jesus, Christian Jewish relations were bound to come up in conversation.

I had a basic idea of how the Jewish-Christian relationship was pre-World War II. It was much more tense than it is now. Rabbi Lyle explained to me how there was a great sense of fear for a Jew when he or she saw a cross.


We spoke about a scene in Fiddler on the Roof. I’ve never seen this play, and I’ve never seen the movie. So, I tried to find the scene online, and was unsuccessful. But Rabbi Lyle told me that this movie is a good depiction of the way it used to be. He spoke about a particular scene where one of the daughters walks into a church for the first time. The music becomes very dramatic, and her eyes fill with fear. This is they type of reaction that was typical of the time. A Jewish person walking into a church would have felt fear. We spoke about the medieval thinking that Jews were continually putting Christ to death because of their non-belief in him. We spoke a little bit about Blood Libels, and the inclusion of that in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. 

This part of our conversation was really interesting to me, because we don’t really talk about this stuff in school. Yes, we learned about the holocaust in high school, but we didn’t learn about what led to it. I didn’t learn about that until college, where I took a class on the holocaust. I learned about blood libels because I took a specialized class on The Canterbury Tales. 

Rabbi Lyle gave me a new perspective on Jewish-Christian relations. This is a view that I probably wouldn’t have understood without his help.

In the next post, we’ll talk about Jewish Christian relations in todays world. And then we’ll wrap everything up!

4 Days until Graduation!



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