It was a matter of conscience, after studying the Holocaust, that I change the spiritual path that I was walking. There was too much darkness, too much intolerance, too much artificial triumphalism woven into the fabric of the history of Christianity for it to substantiate, embody, and represent the entire warp and woof of my spiritual journey. So it was that by way of studying the history of Christian anti-Semitism that I began to study the founder of Christianity on his own terms, which happens to be traditionally orthodox Jewish terms, rather than in the manner that the Church Fathers has taught down through the ages. Painful awareness of what is known as the Adversus Judaeous tradition–referred to by French historian Jules Isaac as “the teaching of contempt”–revolutionized my understanding of the entire universe as well as my understanding of Christianity and its contribution of dark energy to the eventual perpetration of the Holocaust.
It occurs to me that if this had been the way from the beginning – if Gentiles would have been taught to learn and adapt more to the Judaism of Jesus of Nazareth from the very start – that Jacob, that is, Israel, would have experienced much relief over the past twenty centuries instead of so much suffering and death.
I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. Christians largely don’t know about the dark underbelly of their own history. Nevertheless, I am convinced that if they did, many would react with the courage and humility demanded of them to begin the work of taking active responsibility for the past. When we become more like the obscure itinerant rabbi from Nazareth, and begin to learn of him according to the thoughts and ways of his own culture, that of his own indigenous people, we also bring relief to Jacob (Israel)… a relief effort which must be done even if it means challenging the way Christianity has perceived itself for the past two thousand years. ~ dah