Jews for Mel (sorta)
Some sanity comes from a couple of America’s leading rabbis, one of whom who has seen THE PASSION OF CHRIST and expressed reservations over it.
Rabbi James Rudin of the American Jewish Committee, while not backing away from his criticisms, said that Jewish groups should not boycott the film but should take a different tack — try to use the occasion to teach about the history of Christian anti-Semitism.
Another senior rabbi, Yechiel Eckstein, the founder of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, says it is not wise¹ for Jews to be seen as trying to dictate Christian artists’ interpretation to their own religion. Plus Jews have much bigger fish to fry in the world today and he compared focusing on Passion plays as generals still fighting the last war. Amen.
¹ This link goes to a Salt Lake City Deseret News article in February 2004, later than this article’s time-stamp. The Baltimore Sun article I linked to when I first wrote this post in November 2003 was no longer on the Web when I reposted this entry in January 2008, unchanged in its text, except for this footnote and the photo(see the original here). Even though the February 2004 Deseret News article cites a press statement from Rabbi Eckstein from that week (“Tuesday”), you can see that the Rabbi is making essentially the same points I cited him as making the previous fall.
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