I am sick unto death of people and their sad attempts to hoist me on my own petard re: the Pope, the Church and the nasty things it has said about Jews. Can I explain to you why a stray line in the Talmud about non Jews being donkeys and the Aleinu prayer are nothing like eg: Cum Nimis Absurdum, Hebraeorum gens, or the Good Friday prayer?
Good. Listen up.
DIFFERENCE #1: Aleinu and the Talmud passages never killed anyone. They have not been the cause of massacres, pogroms, expulsions, ghettos, libels, or any of the other hate crimes perpetrated against us by the Church thanks to the above-mentioned prayers and teachings. No doctrine of blood purity developed from the Talmud passages. Gentiles weren't locked in ghettos, or forced to wear yellow hats, or forbidden from owning property on the basis of the Aleinu prayer. Sure, things might have gone differently had we Jews ever acquired political power over Catholics but if your aunt ran on batteries she'd be a Prius. Meanwhile, Aleinu and the Talmud passages never killed anyone.
DIFFERENCE #2: There is no institution dedicated to spreading the word about Aleinu and the Talmud passages. Lots of Jews grow up without ever hearing about either of them, and you can deny them while remaining a Jew - even an Orthodox Jew - in good standing. Meanwhile, the King of all Catholics told his people as recently as 2009 that they were required by the law of God to pray for us to be converted and the official, central governing body of Catholicism still recognizes antisemitic teachings and considers some of their authors to be saints. And meanwhile there is no central governing body of Judaism dedicated to teaching Jews to hate Catholics.
Please note: We have no issue with those Catholics who ignore the Pope, just as we have no issue with individual Catholics who have personally repudiated the Church's antisemitism. To them we say High Five. However, until such time as the Church repudiates its own behavior and its own teachings we still have a problem with it and with those who represent it. I think that's a fair and meaningful distinction. Don't you?
DIFFERENCE #3 There are no gutless Catholics begging for love, respect and attention from Jews who swear by the Aleinu or the Talmud passages. I am happy to keep this intellectual, meaning I am willing to respect the Catholic's religious right to say and think a lot of nasty stuff about Jews so long as he doesn't act upon them, and so long as I get to tell him off whenever I feel like it. That's a situation I might abide. But what we won't abide are the legions of Jew, eg Shaul Robinson, Abe Foxman, etc, who are behaving like teenage girls at a Beatles concert as depicted on the Ed Sullivan show. Oh, the Pope said Happy Passover to me! Oh the Cardinal is coming to my shul! I think I may faint. Such an honor. Such a privilege.
This pathetic behavior sends the wrong message to both Catholics and Jews. It tells the Church that they have finished their Teshuva process when the reality is it has barely begun, while it tells Jews that we are still second-class citizens beholden to the Church and to its whims.
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