Judaism finds life and Christianity loses it

 (See follow-on post Chabad and Abraham: humanism in Judaism).

In his Judaism for Everyone: Renewing Your Life Through the Vibrant Lessons of the Jewish Faith (2009, p. 47), Rabbi Shmuley Boteach quotes Samson Raphael Hirsch’s Horeb: A Philosophy of Jewish Laws and Observances:

“Judaism allows man to find God where man finds himself, whereas Christianity allows man to find God where man loses himself. (Original italics).”

So, in Judaism, when man finds himself, he finds God, whereas in Christianity, when man loses himself, he finds God.

Although Judaism (the Oral Torah), on the one hand, may very well teach that when man finds himself, he will find God, the Jewish Bible (the written Torah), on the other hand, says nothing on that score. Jesus in the New Testament, in contrast to both the Written and Oral Torah, is very clear that ‘he who found his life shall lose it, and he who lost his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 10:39). This verse means, of course, that he whose main focus is on preserving and enjoying this temporal life, will lose eternal life.

And that’s the truth of it. So, if the choice is Judaism or Christianity, for a Jew there should be no contest; if he wants eternal life – with God, that is.

I’d like to end on that note, but it would not be proper. There’s another very important truth; it is this:

Man, to gain eternal life, is unable in his radically corrupt natural state to desire to lose his earthly life, to desire to exchange his ashes for God’s beauty. The reason is that he is dead to the things of God. Shattering?

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2 thoughts on “Judaism finds life and Christianity loses it

  1. Does Judaism choose life?

    “choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live that thou mayest love the L-rd thy G-d, and that thou mayest obey His voice”

    Yes, it does. Judaism is a reflection of the word of G-d. In Deuteronomy 30:19-20, for example. Over and over again, Judaism prescribes the avenue to life: obedience to Divine law.

    It follows that disregard of Divine mandates is tantamount to choosing death. And what does Christianity, the word of Paul, prescribe on this matter?

    “we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law”

    Romans 3:28 aptly summarizes that choosing death, converting from Judaism to Christianity, and disregarding the Torah commandments, is indeed a reckless leap of…faith. Choose life.

    • Anon your “choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live that thou mayest love the L-rd thy G-d, and that thou mayest obey His voice.”

      If you are saying that I said that a Christian chooses life and a Jew doesn’t, you have misread me.

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