Leon's No Newsletter 246 Merry Christmas
It gives me great pleasure to wish all Christians a Merry Christmas.
Being a Jew, who feels happiness for Christians celebrating the birth of a saviour, I feel that I owe Christians an explanation, in fact many Christians have asked me to explain why I don’t accept Jesus as my saviour.
The very fact that there are Christians in the world and that I rejoice that they have a belief, which brings them happiness, causes me to face the question of why I am still a Jew, considering all the wonders of Christian belief and my joy that such a belief exists.
I don’t have any intention of trying here to dissuade Christians, or anyone else, from their belief, as I said, I’m happy that they have a belief, but it is not my belief and I want to make that clear.
As a human being, having experienced birth and who will experience death, there are certain concepts held to be true by Christians, which I cannot accept and I feel that I have a right to discuss..
These concepts, which are unacceptable to me, are as follows:
1. I cannot accept that God cohabited with a human being.
2. I cannot accept had a person is born of such a relationship.
3 I cannot accept that such a person is a saviour, or that he is God.
There is only one saviour and that is God, who is from everlasting to everlasting.
He was not born and He will never die. He is, has always been and always will be.
I do accept that a human being, probably a Jew (given the historical circumstances) and probably called Jesus, was crucified and perhaps, even other Jews crucified him. He suffered as a human being and the people who made him suffer were human beings with a desire to be cruel.
It is absolutely imperative that I feel pity for that crucified person and the only way I can do that is by understanding that he was a human being, like myself.
Seeing that suffering human being as God is to turn suffering into an ideal. Suffering then becomes a way of worshipping that person, who we have turned into God. We worship the suffering god on the cross, we walk in his footsteps, we make ourselves and others suffer as a way of worshipping him.
In other words, turning the suffering man into God, results in us doing the exact opposite of what we should do, namely to face out feelings of pity when we see a fellow human being suffer and to realize that suffering is bad. It’s an evil, not something to be worshipped.
Only by understanding that the crucified person was a human being, made to suffer by other human beings, can I eradicate feelings of cruelty, from myself. Only through understanding that he was a human being can I arrive at the conclusion that we all have an inclination towards cruelty, which it is our task to eradicate.
I think that there are concepts in the Jewish Religion that can help me eradicate the desire in my heart to get pleasure from making other human being suffer..
In conclusion, my opinion of Christianity is that it isn’t a religion which can help the world to solve its greatest problem, namely the problem of people desiring to causing other people to suffer.
A religion must show human beings the way to become better, kinder to each other. A religion must not lead human beings away from the reality of suffering into an unreal, idealistic world of paradise, consisting of cute pictures, scenes of a mother and her baby, shepherds and wise men visiting the babe in the manger, songs of the beauty of heaven.
I’m not suggesting that we should stop observing these customs; they have in fact brought to the world beautiful art, architecture, music etc, but we must realize what we are doing when we carry out these customs; we are simply giving ourselves physical and spiritual pleasure.But they have nothing to do with solving the real problems of the world.
Being aware of paltriness of these customs, we will always keep in mind, even while carrying out the pretty customs, that the world is suffering and we are the only creatures who can deal with it and running away into pretty images of paradise is not going to solve the real problems.
All these things are taking us away from our task, which is serious.
Therefore I don’t consider Christianity a serious religion.
I’m happy for Christians because their belief brings them happiness, but it's a kind of happiness that I do not want. I prefer the harsh reality of Judaism, that’s a religion that will help me make myself a better, kinder person..