The High Holiday season that gains fast upon traditional Jews is primarily a time of self-examination and repentance. We scrutinize our deeds and misdeeds, attempting a mid-course correction on the long journey of life. We take stock of and express thanks for our blessings, so easily overlooked amid life's daily dramas that leave too little time for quiet reflection. It is a good time, we think, to express our gratitude to our Christian friends and fellow Americans.
With anti-Semitism spinning out of control worldwide, we acknowledge with thanks that, in the United States, Jews no longer have to look at Christians as purveyors of religious hatred. For hundreds of years, this was not the case. But churches across the Christian spectrum changed their attitudes — many in the wake of the Holocaust. They reshaped what they taught children and adults about Jews. They have been among the first to speak out when problems arise.
Spurred by the legacy of Pope John Paul II, our relationship with the Vatican has matured. Jews reacted with disappointment to Pope Benedict XVI's lifting of the excommunication of a schismatic bishop notorious for his Holocaust denial. But the pope's quick and clear response left no room to doubt the Catholic Church's commitment to combating anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.
Globally, many Jews have been noticing the violent targeting of faithful Christians, taking strong public positions against the growing wave of persecution of Christians in too many countries.
The majority of American Jews not only support the state of Israel, but they also see their bond to the land of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as a key part of their identities. American churches run the gamut between politically pro-Israel and ...1
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