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January 20, 1989 - Image 17

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-01-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

InteriorDesign

In a time when the Zealots
were advocating guerrilla
warfare against the Romans
to retake Palestine, said Dr.
Zeitlin, "several of his
followers were perceived as
Zealots and the crowds saw
him as a king and tried to
crown him!'
Paul or Saul of Tarsus, a
Jew who did not know Jesus
personally, deified Jesus and
injected — perhaps un-
consciously — Hellenistic
paganism with such tales as
the resurrection and the wine
and bread being the body and
blood of Jesus. Such
paganistic elements "over-
whelmed the Jewish
elements!' Dr. Zeitlin said.
By also rejecting "the
ethical minimum of the
Jewish Law for Gentile con-
verts" — by saying circumci-
sion and keeping the 613
Mitzvot weren't necessary —
Paul "unwittingly laid the
foundation for the separation
of Christianity from the
Jewish people?'
He added that the
Pharisees rejected Jesus
because they wanted to pro-
tect Judaism against another
pagan Hellenistic Syrian in-
vasion such as the Maccabees
had recently overthrown.
The lecture, based on Dr.
Zeitlin's recently published
book,Jesus and the Judaism
of His Time, was presented by
the American Jewish
Committee-Detroit Chapter
and the Ecumenical Institute.
The book is the outgrowth
of Zeitlin's study of the
religious, political and
sociological climate of Jesus's
time, when Palestine was
under Roman occupation.

Zeitlin, who grew up in
Detroit on Seward between
12th and 14th streets, earned
his bachelor's and master's
degrees in sociology at Wayne
State University and his doc-
torate at Princeton. He work-
ed five years on an Israeli kib-
butz (1950-55) and served as
assistant director and prin-
cipal of the Sholem Aleichim
Institute and School
(1958-62).
In a response, Father Alex
Burnett of St. Aidan Church
in Livonia, praised Dr. Zeitlin
for his work but noted he
would "not make Paul quite
as Hellenistic as Dr. Zeitlin
did!'
He called for more study in-
to "how basically Judaic
Jesus was and all Christiani-
ty is" and to see that "We
(Christianity and Judaism)
have so much more in com-
mon than in difference.
"The bottom line," he said,
"is not how do Jews become
Christians, but how do non-
Jews become Christians."

STUDIO

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Interior Design Studio, Lower Level

Northland

Friday, January 27, 12 noon
Interior Design Studio, Lower Level

Eastland

Saturday, January 28, 12 noon
Interior Design Studio, 3rd Level

hudson's

8901

©1989 Dayton Hudson

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

17

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