Sunday, April 04, 2010

A heretical Jewish guy thinking about things on Easter

This Easter Sunday, for reasons I cannot explain, I am reminded of this wonderful episode of Davey & Goliath, a show I loved as a child and still think is worthwhile. My father's mother, my Grandmother Sylvia, died in November 1967, and we were fairly close. The episode, which is about Davey's Grandmother dying the Thursday before Easter, is about Davey learning about the Resurrection of Jesus, and the immortality of a person's soul. He is therefore able to process the idea of Easter beyond the pagan oriented Easter bunny and begin to deal with his grandmother's death. The episode first aired in April 1967 and it was an episode I definitely thought about when my grandmother died later that year, just before or during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Yes, yes, I have always been proud to be Jewish, and have never believed in Jesus' divinity, but I always loved Davey & Goliath, and always will.

Did Jews of the time kill Jesus? Some had conspired with the Romans, with the Romans doing the killing, but let's recall that Jesus was acquitted twice by the Jewish legal authority, the Sanhedrin, according to the amazingly prolific lawyer and writer, Marshall Houts. I read that book (and own what is obviously a rare copy) and found it not only fascinating, but compelling in its analysis.

Still, when asked by friendly Christians, "What do Jews do on Easter?" I do like to jokingly respond, "We hide." After they stop laughing, I will sometimes add: "I can see you all coming out to your cars in the church parking lot, muttering, 'Darn Jews...' So I figure, 'I'm staying home today and watch 'Easter Parade' or 'Harvey' like everyone else!"

I also have another irreverent thing I say, but I think it is too irreverent to be imprinted on the Internet! Better for a stand-up comic to say than me...

And for those who miss the Review of Book Reviews: Here is a review of a new book on the pagan and Jewish origins of Christianity that sounds somewhat intriguing...And here is a review that I found exasperating because I can't tell if the book, "Something Red," is as limiting in its focus on an important sociological subject (what makes activists activists?) as the review...In fact, I wish this reviewer (the musician John Wesley Harding) had reviewed "Something Red" because he is at least funny and sees the intersection between art and philosophy in a way that few seem to do--and that book about Buckminster Fuller and punk rock sounds hilarious...This review provides indirectly more evidence for us to despise the entire enterprise known as World War I. Count me in with Eugene Debs and Randolph Bourne on that war...Finally for the military history buffs, here is a gripping review of what sounds like a gripping novel (too much for my tastes, however) that helps explain the military insanity of the war in Vietnam, but probably not the political insanity of it. That is a topic for another day...

Happy Easter.

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