Page 67 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 38

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ECKARDT / CHRISTIAN-JEWISH RELATIONS
5 7
morally speaking.) G reenberg here carries forward the exposi­
tion begun in his powerful essay tha t keynotes Fleischner, ed.,
Auschwitz .
. ., “Cloud o f Smoke, Pillar o f Fire: Judaism , Chris­
tianity, and Modernity after the Holocaust.” The leading Israeli
historian and philosopher Uriel Tal catches a sign o f hopefulness
in the new confrontation by Christian thinking with the realm of
earthliness, thus showing the rediscovery of, or at least a parallel
with, the en tire Jewish way o f life. T h e very fu tu re o f the
Christian-Jewish dialogue depends upon the Christian readiness
to understand tha t the faithful Jew can never comprehend the
theological domain as d ifferen t from the realm o f earthliness,
from man and comm un ity (“M og lichke iten e in e r jiid isch -
christlichen Begegnung und Verstandigung, Jiidische Sicht,”
Concilium,
10, 1974, 605-609).
In the view o f the To rah , no aspect o f human life falls outside
the realm o f religion. The true object o f the To rah is not “the
salvation of the soul” bu t the sanctification of all o f life (Tal,
“Structures o f Fellowship and Community in Juda ism ,” rep r in t
from
Conservative Judaism,
28, 1974). More than one Christian
thinker is able to rediscover here the authentic th rust o f a collec­
tive unconscious grounded upon the ancient affirmations o f J u ­
daism. See also Tal, “L’Homme et la Societe: Aspects her-
meneutiques d ’une theologie sociale selon les sources juives,”
Sidic,
12 (1979), 4-15; and “Excursus on the T erm Shoah,”
Shoah,
1 (1979), 10-11, wherein Professor Tal speaks of the symbolic
superiority of the term “
shoah
” to tha t o f “Holocaust.”
3.
The integrity ofJudaism and the Jewish people.
A shift has taken
place in recent years away from Christian triumphalism and
supersessionism, and toward the honoring of Jewry and Jewish
faith, yet without the kind of universalistic indifferentism tha t
characterized an o lder religious liberalism. Paul van Buren refers
to the increasing numbers o f Christians who are trying “to u n d e r ­
stand Judaism on its own terms, for a change, and are struggling
not only to tu rn away from the ‘teaching o f contempt’ . . . bu t to
find ways in which to affirm theologically the existence o f the
Jewish people. Such a s h i f t . . . [is] no small matter, for it must, if
carried through , entail a change in the very self-understanding of
Christians . . . [This] would be a change in the history o f Chris­
tianity o f some importance for Jews as well as Christians” (“Chris­
tian Theology and Jewish Reality: An Essay-Review,”
Journal of