In the October issue of Scribner’s Magazine, Charles Hall Perry writes a Christian’s appreciation of “The Hebrew Advantage.” In stating that two religions exert an important influence in the Western World, he nevertheless characterizes Christianity as dynamic and Judaism as static.
He explains that the one does and the other is: “The Hebrew advantage or contribution, in its people and its religion, is involved in that for which it stands, that to which it gives unequivocal witness.”
He nevertheless sees Israel, “scattered among the nations, not as a national failure, but as a divine purpose,” and believes that “unborn peoples … will reap where Israel shall be sown,” and in the faith and moral standards accepted by these peoples, Judaism will find its immortality.
The contributor of this article asks “how long our modern civilization will ignore its indebtedness to the Jewish race?” Though he suggests that the Church, as “the heir of the spiritual fortune of Judaism” ought to “originate the approach” of gratitude, he proposes no procedure for achieving it. The article deals essentially with the merits of the Jew and Judaism which he finds in the unique and significant history of Israel; the resolute and dauntless spirit of the Jew through the centuries; the sense that “they were called of God for a great purpose;” their “national celibacy demanded by their ordination;” Israel’s monotheism “unique in deistic concepts”â€”a Jehovah solitary, supreme and absolute, yet imminent and intimate, “revealed in every phase of nature; manifest in the trend of history; associated in all human affairs; exacting for righteousness, yet sympathetic and forgiving.”
In discussing the Jewish attitude toward Jesus, he states his opinion that Jesus does not represent an impassable barrier between Christianity and Judaism, as “the Hebrew rejection of Jesus … has no basis in fact.” Jesus, in his estimation, was crucified by an arrogant and frightened lot of ecclesiastics: “The Jews never rejected the historical Jew, Jesus of Nazareth. Only the human God whom theology has created out of the superlative.” He quotes Rabbi Lazaron in substantiation of his interpretation.
He also finds among the moderns many Jews “who have fed the hungers of the heart, soul and mind of men.”