Let's deal with the first of our questions today: What is this?
Toward a More Jewish Jesus will be an Audio-Visual weekly Podcast featuring Dr. Dauermann, an animated and opinionated co-host (you will have to wait for this one!), and occasional guests. We are in the final stages of production preparation, and will soon know when our first edition will be made available. Plans are to release the new editions every week at midnight on Sunday to afford all of you the opportunity to be properly informed, amused, and/or outraged as you listen to or watch the Podcast on Mondays, and then again later in the week.
Our plans are to release the new editions every week at midnight on Sunday to afford all of you the opportunity to be properly informed. amused, outraged, or all of the above as you listen to or watch the Podcast on Mondays, sharing them with others and listening again later in the week.
The next blog here at Interfaithfulness will answer our second question: Why are we doing this?
Bet you can't wait. Neither can we!
Well, I'll admit that your title sounds provocative -- but if I were to take it literally, I'm not sure that it is meaningful or even possible. You know as well as do I that the character currently identified by the name "Jesus" is a fictionalized distortion loosely based upon what is recorded about an Israeli rabbi who lived 20 centuries ago. Consequently it could be argued that there is no "Jewish Jesus", hence one could not set a goal to attempt an approach toward a "more Jewish" one. That's just not how the character was defined. That character's nature was defined deliberately to be isolated from or contrary to the Jewishness of the Israeli admor ha-rav Yeshua ben-Yosef. He was defined to replace and supplant the rabbi and his relationship with his people. It seems to me that this character must be discarded entirely if one seeks any hope of discovering the ancient rabbi -- and learning about him and his distinctive teachings is not an incremental process by which one moves "toward" that understanding. It begins by accepting the wrenching disconnect between the anti-Jewish fiction to be discarded and the genuine Jewish man to be discovered -- the man as he was perceived by a number of Jews when he approached them to become his apprentices, his disciples. Of course, once one has recovered from the shock of that disconnect, there is certainly a learning process by which to apprehend the era and cultural context in which he and they lived, and to re-examine the documentation about them in light of that context. But at that point, one is already well-past anything like the implications of a title like the above.
An intelligent comment, as usual, Shannon. However, we also must beware of the quirky kind of cartoon Yahoshooah and other caricatures from the so-called Hebrew roots movement, who make a Jesus of their own devising, a kind of Pentecostal fringe group kind of guy whose spirituality makes him weird to just about everyone, in other words, a Yeshua made over into their own image. I intentionally called this program by its current name so that both Christians and Jews would find it intriguing. The last thing I want is a Yeshua/Jesus who is strange and unapproachable, unattractive because he is just plain weird. Frankly, Yeshua of Nazareth, the Jesus of history, was the most approachable of men. I want to recapture that. So listen to and even watch the podcast as it begins airing at midnight on Monday, June 27!
Your point is well taken that there is more than one fictionalized version of the "Jesus" character, as well as a few that use distorted Hebraic labels. My point is still that an incremental approach is likely to be insufficient, never to arrive at a place that can see past the radical disconnect between the historical Israeli rabbi and later misrepresentations. Can you change perceptions from universal to particular by increments? Or is a cataclysmic leap required at some point? Yeshua ben-Yosef was approachable by Jews within their cultural framework. He was even approachable by the occasional Samaritan, though even there some tension existed. The impetus required to approach him was rather greater for a gentile, such as the Syro-Phoenician woman who requested healing for her daughter only to be rebuffed with the statement that his mission was only to the "lost sheep" of Israel (Mt.15:24). Even a supportive Roman centurion required an intermediary to plead on his behalf that he deserved consideration because of his synagogue contributions (Lk.7:4-5). It seems to me that modern gentile Christians, because they are even farther removed from his environment and mission, cannot be expected to find him any more accessible (and they should be cautioned about it) -- though certainly I applaud your efforts to help them to do so.
I do hope that I may be able to access your podcast from here in Israel, in a timely manner. However, Stu, you really ought to address me as Dror rather than "Shannon", considering that our acquaintance began more than 40 years ago. [:)]