Israel · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · news · religion

Pope-in’ it in Israel

As a former Catholic and now Orthodox Jewish convert, I should have something to say about the Pope visiting Israel. But as I said on Twitter, all I could summon forth was “Yawn.” I’ll go read the more of the news (yeah, I already know he didn’t do so well on the Holocaust portion of this test) and see if I can cajole something more deeper. I’m not making any promises.

14 thoughts on “Pope-in’ it in Israel

  1. I think Pope Benedict was treated very badly by some of the Orthodox religious leaders in Medinat Yisrael this week. It seemed no matter what he did or said, no one was satisfied. Frankly, it was very embarrassing for me as an Orthodox Jew to see our people behaving so rudly. Go check out traditional Catholic blogs such as “Catholic Convert” or “St Louis Catholic.” You will see they are having a field day over there.

    It’s interesting in that last Shabbat I finished reading Avraham Burg’s wonderful and courageous book “The Holocaust is Over, We Must Rise from its Ashes” and all of the ugly attitudes this “Never Again” mindset engenders, something Burg condemns in his work, were evident this week in as to how many Israelis viewed the Pope’s visit to their country. As I see it, a number of well meaning people have facilitated an enormous Chilul Hashem.


  2. Wrpn,
    Ummm, maybe they were a little unfriendly because the pope has been all over the media praying that the Jews convert to Catholicism. Just google: conversion Judaism without quote and look at the recent articles.

    I wouldn’t doubt that he came with ulterior motives along these conversion lines. Also, of course the Catholics will say something, they are breeding more anti-semitic hate.

    Seriously, the Jews don’t try to convert Catholics, maybe the Catholics should leave us alone. Who wants to be Catholic, anyhow? Surely, not me!


  3. Aliza, a while back you posted an article on kibud v’am and abusive parents. I can’t seem to find it, but could really use it for a friend, do you have it handy?


  4. I had the chance to visit Michal’s blog and with great sadness I must confess that I am terribly disappointed in her comments. She takes the old “total onslaught” mindset that the entire non-Jewish world, in this case the Roman Catholic Church is against us while in the same breath we are free to behave as miserably as we claim our advesaries are acting towards us.

    Avraham Burg’s book suggests that this corrupted core value of Israeli society, and I would submit some cohorts of Jewry in chutz l’eretz, is reminiscent of Wilhelmian Germany i.e. the Second Reich that helped plunge Europe into the First World War. One could also suggest it is akin to the “Lost Cause” ideology embraced by southern whites after Reconstruction that gave the American South the worst of Jim Crow or the bitter legacy of the Boer War that engendered Daniel Malan’s Afrikaner Nationalists in South Africa.

    Present day Catholicism has evolved from its pre-Vatican II paradigm. That’s why there is a Pius X Society that rejects the reforms promulgated by Pope John XXIII and his courageous council. It is the Catholicism that gave the world the example of tolerance exemplified by Thomas Merton and John Courtney Murray, the charity of Mother Theresa, the witness of redemptive suffering of the late Pope John Paul II, the kindly ecumenical voice of New York’s own Father Benedict Groeschel, the brilliant intellectual voice of my fellow Chicagoan Father Bob Barron, and an elderly man from Bavaria who only wants the three great faith traditions that inhabit the Holy Land to find a way back to what President Lincoln would have described as the “better angels of our nature.”


  5. I agree with you WRPN-It’s a major chilul Hashem. I believe that Judaism is the only truth and that the other religions have nothing to offer to the world since they were man-made no offense to those who practice other religions. The problem that I have with romam catholics and christians is that because of their stupidity conversion to Judaism was banned back in the days. Hence, Jews nowdays do not trust goyim or gerim. On the other hand, Jews can be extremely rude. Most do not act kindly to others and do the opposite of what the Torah says. Some rebbes even tell their pupils that the most sincere non-jew is worse than the most despicable jew. Granted the Holocaust was the most horrible thing that ever happened in this world. However, we should not live in the past and live in the moment and make the best of it. There’s nothing we can do about it. There should never be forgotten and they wont but we should also live our lives in the most meaningful way. We should always sanctify G-ds name in this world and educate people about our awesome G-d so they stop creating all these meaningless religious cults and preposterous beliefs that lead nowhere. About the holocaust.. Sometimes I could not believe that human beings could be so soulless and heartless. That’s human nature though. Sometimes I wonder if G-d ever cries.


  6. Anon 9:50-I commend you for your rationality and integrity on this sensitive issue. Would that more of our people would be on your madraga!


  7. John Paul II did a lot to heal wounds Catholics have inflicted on Jews, while Herr Ratzinger has jumped on the Palestinian bandwagon and should be focusing on converting Protestants as John Paul II gave the Jewish people a pass.

    Should Orthodox leaders be more tactful? Yes. Does a Bavarian born before 1930 deserve the treatment? Yes.

    Michal> Better Catholic than Protestant, but it's really Mithras worship.


  8. I find this subject really troubling and I'm not sure how to react properly. Yes, it is very embarressing when Jews behave less than perfectly. We're held to a higher standard and the whole world watches our every move (individual Jews and Israel as a whole.) Yes, we do need to be polite, tactful & respectful. But my non-Jewish roots scream hatred against the Catholic church for all the injustice, pain & murder my ancestors endured at their hands. European Protestants who's children were kidnapped, leaders beheaded, whipped, financially persecuted, and of course the slavery & torture used to subjugate my Native ancestors. And who could forget my husband's family who survived decades of inhumane torture in Catholic Spain for being Jewish. So I don't have much sympathy for the Church or the Pope. I've never understood how anyone could associate with such a history of horror. Most Catholics I know just don't know their religion's history. But yeah, we have to be nice to the institution & the Pope nonetheless-even if they never apologize for causing more bloodshed than all the wars in history combined. -L


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