Jews and Jesus

March 29, 2009

talking about Jesus with A
asking him what the Jewish tradition says about Jesus
how he has been regarded by the rabbis over the years

A grows quiet
in his quietness I sense immediately a closer,
more vital and painful connection to Jesus than I could ever know

his silence,
and then his remark that commentary and teachings about Jesus
were dropped from Jewish writings
on account of the violence they inflamed in their neighboring Christians

his silence brought forward the deletions and excisions
somehow, behind his eyes, in the inflection of his voice,
I could see and hear the angry Christian priests, rulers, and mobs:

how dare you say anything about Jesus?
you can not have him unless you have him on our terms,
any other way is blasphemy

my loss of the sense of time, that this pressure, this self-censoring is now ingrained into the Jewish identity

A’s quietness, his eyes averting, his reluctance to speak, his knowledge that other Jews who spoke of Jesus were persecuted, even killed for their comments

reverence to their memory?
sorrow?

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