Over the past couple of years I have read a few things by Jewish authors, both fact and fiction, and have found them fascinating. As Christians, we seem to forget that Jewish theologians and philosophers have something to say about God; after all, they’ve worshipped Him for a few thousand years more than our own traditions have. Certainly we believe they have misinterpreted some things, especially concerning the Messiah. However, they still have some important thoughts about God and how He relates to the world, things that could possibly enhance our own understanding of God. (I particularly find Jewish perspectives on science and God interesting.)
Rabbi Marc Gellman has a lot of things to say, as those of you who are familiar with him know. Yesterday’s article, Remember Amalek – What the Bible says about fighting terrorism, was outstanding (in my not-so-humble opinion). It’s so good, I’ll shut up now and just let you go read it.
The more I understand about the 1st Century Israel, the more I understand that what Jesus had to say was very political, indeed. Of course, politics in a nation under the contol of Rome takes on a very different form than what we have. You could also say that Jesus didn’t involve himself in business, but that doesn’t invalidate business.
The Amalek illustration applies, as it were, “if the shoe fits.” Gellman was not speaking anti-Islam, but anti Islamic fascism; there is a difference. I have never been an “Israel worshipper” as many US Christians seem to be, however, I am aware that the situation in the Middle-East is very complicated, and the entire history of the area needs to be taken into consideration.
First of all, as Christians we should remember that Jesus was not part of the politics and military conflicts of his day; he said that his kingdom was no part of this world. Secondly, I find it interesting that Rabbi Gellman likens Islam to Amalek, cowardly killing innocents, including children, as we witness the slaughter of innocents (especially children) by the Israelis. The Israeli army could have done a “surgical strike” to deal with the current situation; instead they chose to way of Amalek.