Catriel Lev's Blog: VeHaShalom VeHaEmmet

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Catriel Lev
כתריאל לב

Jun 8, 2010

A Telling Jewish Story, Applicable in Its Way to Our Times

One of the many Rabbi and Priest stories told, portraying the tension between Christianity and Judaism in the Middle Ages and even later on, has great applicability, in my opinion, to religious attitudes in general, and especially to those of the extremist hooligans who sometimes make life miserable for us in Bet Shemesh.

The story is told that the priest once queried the Rabbi about Judaism's attitude toward HaShem's mercy, saying, "I don't understand how you Jews always describe God as hating and vengeful! We Christians have always portrayed Him as loving and merciful."

The Rabbi responded, "Perhaps that explains so many incidents in history where you Christians killed my Jewish brethren. We Jews left hate and vengeance for God to administer, and we practiced loving-kindness and mercy; while you Christians left loving-kindness and mercy for God to administer, and practiced hate and vengeance!"

While that conversation probably never took place, the underlying lesson should be learned by all: It is very easy for human beings to justify their practicing hate and vengeance, they should rather concentrate on finding opportunities to practice loving-kindness and mercy; HaShem will certainly be capable of visiting hate and vengeance upon those who deserve it!

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