Arnon Grunberg



Please, read this interview in Der Spiegel with the heads of Germany's Protestant and Jewish communities:

“SPIEGEL: And how do you want to bring your faith closer to people? In the secular German society, interest in Judeo-Christian traditions is often more rhetorical.
Schuster: I would especially like to communicate that there is now once again an energetic Jewish life in Germany. Jewishness isn't restricted to the period between 1933 and 1945. In Cologne, a thousand young people recently took part in Jewrovision, a big, joyous musical competition for the communities' youth centers. Religion is also nourished by joy and confidence, that's important to me. By the way, it shouldn't be lip service when we talk about Judeo-Christian traditions. The values of our society didn't first come into the world with Christianity. Their roots lie in Jewish ethics.
Bedford-Strohm: Yes, Jesus was born Jewish. He prayed to the same God as the Jewish people, and for that reason we Christians are always joined God's biblical covenant with the Israeli people. Unfortunately this was overlooked for centuries, again and again.
Schuster: Was it really just overlooked? My feeling is more that is was very consciously denied.
Bedford-Strohm: It is a burden of Christian theology that people twisted the facts when it comes to this. However, the Christian churches have addressed this failure intensively during the past decades.
Schuster: I also don't want to place all of the blame on the churches. Still, both the Catholic and the Protestant Churches were a decisive source of anti-Semitism in Germany. Jews were sermonized against for a long time. And what came from the pulpit could not have been seen as very wrong.
Bedford-Strohm: That the Jews killed Jesus was of course a devastating phrase, because the Nazis also later made use of it. Today well-meaning people still perpetuate unconscious clichés about Jews, for example by saying that the New Testament, meaning the Christian message, displays the God of Love while the Old Testament, which as the Hebrew Bible is an essential writing for Judaism, shows the God of Wrath. That is of course completely wrong from a theological standpoint. In this area, there is still educational work to be done.”

Read the article here.

That the Jews killed Jesus was a bit more than a devastating phrase, it was the fertilizer of anti-Semitism, and it still is in places like Asia and Latin America, where many believers have never met a Jew but they know one thing: that the Jews killed Jesus.

Nevertheless, to counter this devastating phrase we now have Jewrovision. I guess it’s a kind of Zionism for diasporists.

And now we also know what’s one of the final stages of the modernization of monotheism, whether it’s Christianity, Judaism or the Islam: big, joyous musical competitions.

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