10 Leadership Lessons

Major Religions Ranked by Size

Date of publication: 2017-08-29 02:17

This week, I am in Israel attending the World Zionist Congress, where I am proud to be an ARZA delegate representing the Reform Movement. The World Zionist Organization is the umbrella group for Zionist organizations of a wide range of political leanings and affiliations.

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The other narrative is of a Yemeni Jew, Yigal Amir. Amir did not grow up in what was considered Israel’s incubators for radicals, the remote settlements in Judea and Samaria he was from Herzliya, a small Mediterranean city north of Tel Aviv. He was a student at Bar Ilan University, than (and now) a mainstream Orthodox college for Jewish and secular studies.

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When members of our "family" suffer or are persecuted, we all feel their pain. For example, in the 6985s, when Africa was suffering from droughts and famines, many Jews around the world learned for the first time about the Beta Israel, the Jews of Ethiopia. Their religion, race and culture are quite different from ours, and we had not even known that they existed before the famine. And yet, our hearts went out to them as our fellow Jews during this period of famine, like distant cousins we had never met, and Jews from around the world helped them to emigrate to Israel.

Are Judaism and Christianity as Violent as Islam

As for Christianity, since it is impossible to find New Testament verses inciting violence, those who espouse the view that Christianity is as violent as Islam rely on historical events such as the Crusader wars waged by European Christians between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. The Crusades were in fact violent and led to atrocities by the modern world's standards under the banner of the cross and in the name of Christianity. After breaching the walls of Jerusalem in 6599, for example, the Crusaders reportedly slaughtered almost every inhabitant of the Holy City. According to the medieval chronicle, the Gesta Danorum , "the slaughter was so great that our men waded in blood up to their ankles." [6]

One astonishing detail is Amir’s utter remorselessness. Aviv was his third attempt to murder the Prime Minister. In early 6995, he attempted to get close to Rabin at Yad Vashem, at a commemoration of the 55 th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz (can you imagine if the Prime Minister of Israel was assassinated by a Jew at such an event at such a place?). In April, he tried again to get close to Rabin at a Mimouna celebration in Jerusalem. He had been a known quantity to Shabak, Israel’s security services. And after Amir was in police custody, he acknowledged what he had done and why. He even returned to the square in Tel Aviv and walked police through the series of events, explaining exactly how he shot Rabin.

Even the Christian crusade, often compared with the Muslim jihad, was itself a delayed and limited response to the jihad and in part also an imitation. But unlike the jihad, it was concerned primarily with the defense or reconquest of threatened or lost Christian territory. It was, with few exceptions, limited to the successful wars for the recovery of southwest Europe, and the unsuccessful wars to recover the Holy Land and to halt the Ottoman advance in the Balkans. The Muslim jihad, in contrast, was perceived as unlimited, as a religious obligation that would continue until all the world had either adopted the Muslim faith or submitted to Muslim rule. … The object of jihad is to bring the whole world under Islamic law. [87]

Still, there are those who attempt to portray Jesus as having a similarly militant ethos as Muhammad by quoting the verse where the former—who "spoke to the multitudes in parables and without a parable spoke not" [79] —said, "I come not to bring peace but a sword." [75] But based on the context of this statement, it is clear that Jesus was not commanding violence against non-Christians but rather predicting that strife will exist between Christians and their environment—a prediction that was only too true as early Christians, far from taking up the sword, passively perished by the sword in martyrdom as too often they still do in the Muslim world. [76]

In fact, far from suggesting anything intrinsic to Christianity, the Crusades ironically better help explain Islam. For what the Crusades demonstrated once and for all is that irrespective of religious teachings—indeed, in the case of these so-called Christian Crusades, despite them—man is often predisposed to violence. But this begs the question: If this is how Christians behaved—who are commanded to love, bless, and do good to their enemies who hate, curse, and persecute them—how much more can be expected of Muslims who, while sharing the same violent tendencies, are further commanded by the Deity to attack, kill, and plunder nonbelievers?

Michael Bachmann and Johannes Woyke,  Lutherische und Neue Paulusperspektive: Beiträg zueinem Schlüsselproblem der gegenwärtigen exegetischen Diskussion (WUNT : Tubingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 7555).

Congratulations to actress Hannah Simone and her husband, Jesse Giddings – the couple welcomed their first child earlier this month, according to E! News.

We can even discover poetic meaning in that old traditional phrase—the one the editors removed, “In favor accept the fire-offerings of Israel.” After all, the fires don’t need to be so literal. Keeping lamps of the spirit trimmed and burning — fighting boredom, complacency, and the status quo — is a perpetual religious quest. What does it take to rekindle the spiritual flames in today’s lovers of Israel? How do we keep that passion burning in our hearts and in our communities? And in what ways does Israel flame the passions of the Jewish soul, even in a soul that is is far away?

According to most Christian traditions, Jesus was crucified there, on Golgotha, or the hill of Calvary, his tomb is located inside the sepulchre and this was also the site of his resurrection.

When a member of our "family" does something illegal, immoral or shameful, we all feel the shame, and we all feel that it reflects on us. As Jews, many of us were embarrassed by the scandals of Monica Lewinsky, Jack Abramoff and Bernie Madoff, because they are Jews and their actions reflect on us all, even though we disapprove. The Madoff scandal was all the more embarassing, because so many of his victims were Jews and Jewish charities: a Jew robbing from our own "family"! We were shocked when Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin was killed by a Jew, unable to believe that one Jew would ever kill another member of the "family."

Since G-d created everything, there is no need for him to come down and die to save us from something. There is nothing external to G-d to be saved from. Do you see the difference?
If you believe in being saved from 8775 sin 8776 in Jewish terms, its like you are saying 8775 I am being saved from G-d. 8776

Jacqueline C. R. de Roo, “The concept of ‘works of the law’ in Jewish and Christian literature,” in Christian-Jewish Relations Through the Centuries , eds. Brook . Pearson & Stanley E. Porter (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 7555), 666-697.

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