Rabbi Krass Replies to Ex-kaiser Wilhelm

In America Judaism and Christianity Are Being Reconciled Through Cooperation for Humanity, He Says

Replying to ex-Kaiser Wilhelm’s attack on the Jewish religion in “Current History” for August, Rabbi Nathan Krass of New York states in the same issue:

“The devout denizen of Doorn says:’ If any rabbi desires to reconcile his faith and our she must go further and exclaim: ‘Jesus was on earth as the incarnate Son of his Heavenly Father, the Redeemer of our sins.’ How about the millions of Christians to whom Jesus is the ideal personality in whom divinity shines with the largest radiance, who do not believe this dogma? Basing his criticism of the Jews on a newspaper item which recently appeared in which a Jewish teacher spoke highly of the ethics of Jesus, the ex-Kaiser accuses Israel of a desire to impose ‘upon mankind a new Jewish world religion.’ The absurdity of this declaration is too patent to need further comment.

“When the former ruler of Germany enters into an invidious and shallow comparison between ‘the pre-exile Is-raelites and the post-exile Judaism,’ he indicates a lamentable lack of knowledge of the recent literature on this subject. He praises the pre-exile prophets because they taught a terrestrial Messiah. Evidently he is unacquainted with some of the loftiest ethical and spiritual teachings the world has ever received, the contributions of the exilic and the post exilic prophets, notably Jonah.

“The ex-Kaiser’s interpretation of the Chosen People is ludicrous. Throughou the Hebrew Scriptures the discernning student can detect an ever-increasing feeling of humility, not pride, in connection with the doctrine of the Chosen People Israel was chosen not to dominate the world, but to serve it; not to master the Gentiles, but to minister unto them.

“To call the post-exilic God of Israel ‘a purely Jewish tribal deity’ is on a par with his other declaration that in the last war Germany was wholly innocent.

“The ex-Kaiser dictatorially asserts that this element which characterized the post-exilic or Pharisaic Jew characterizes the modern Jew who, he says, is scheming and plotting to establish a world empire on earth. Such startling slander certainly fails to indicate the slightest desire on the part of the ex-Kaiser to carry out a single precept of the Sermon on the Mount. Does he not know that in America there are millions of very fine Christian citizens who have come to the conclusion that it is time to practice the religion of Jesus rather than the religion about Jesus, who lay the greatest emphasis on the supreme spiritual and ethi### leadership of Jesus rather than on ### dogmatic interpretation of his divinit### Why, then, does he seem to be alarm### because some rabbis today speak ### Jesus as a moralist, but reject him ### the Son of God?

“The quotation used by the ex-Kaise### from Moses Mendelssohn, ‘We Jews do not have a religion in the Christian sense, we have only a revealed law,’ as the difference between the Christian and the Jewish religions in a nutshell, shows a malicious misunderstanding o? an epigrammatic statement which by no### means represents the views of all Jews. It must be supplemented by the further declaration that as Christians seek God through Jesus, so Jews seek God through Torah. To the Christians God revealed himself in the personality of Jesus. To the Jews the Torah, which is the spiritual tradition of Israel, contains the light by which Israel can hope to find God.

“In America, let the ‘royal theologian take notice, Judaism and Christianity are being reconciled, not by each faith trying to convert the other, but by co-operation for the common spiritual welfare of humanity,” Rabbi Krass concludes.

Cantor Josef Rosenblatt retired from his post as Cantor of the Ohab Zedek Synagogue 18 West 116th Street, New York City. At the approaching high holidays he will officiate in Chicago, he announced.

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