We have all heard the charges. Mel Gibson’s movie is anti-Semitic, as are the Gospels he drew from. Never mind that Gibson specifically showed several Jewish leaders protest Jesus’ unfair trial. Ignore the fact that Mr. Gibson wove together Jesus’ discourse “I lay my life down. No one takes it from me” with clips of the Jewish elders precisely to demonstrate that no one could have harmed Jesus if He had not permitted it. Ignore too, that Mr. Gibson made a point of dressing Joseph of Arimethea as a Jewish leader when he placed him at the foot of the Cross as Jesus body was taken down. Close your eyes to the piercing gaze Mary gave each one of us as we gazed upon what we had done to her Son.
Let us throw all of this to the winds. We will not dwell on the fact that this movie was about the Jew who saved the universe, instead, we will grant every assertion of anti-Semitism without a fight.
There. Don’t you feel better? Now that we know what anti-Semitism is, we must all stand up and condemn anti-Semitism wherever we find it. When we consider anti-Semitism according to these most excellent new rules, horror strikes. A most notorious book, a work of nearly pure anti-Semitism, has not yet been properly exposed for what it is.
This infamous book asserts that Jews are adulterers, thieves, murderers, harlots. Open the book up to any page: here is a story in which virtually an entire Jewish family tries to kill their own blood relative, there, an eyewitness tells us how Jews killed and ate their own children. It goes on in nauseating detail. The pages are filled with anti-Semitic stories of this kind.
But the authors of this book hold Jewish leaders out for special attack. They assert that the leaders of the Jews stole from the poor and the orphan, ground the widow under their heel, took bribes, lied, raped, enslaved: men were callously sold for the price of a pair of sandals. It lists the most horrific crimes, the most perfidious blood sport, and places them all at the feet of the Jews.
Now that we all know what true anti-Semitism is, we should turn with one voice and repudiate this book and its authors. But the situation is actually worse than I painted. You see, this is not just a single book, it is a whole series of books, a virtual travelling library of anti-Semitism. It is read regularly in synagogue every Sabbath. It is the best-selling book in the United States.
An old man named Moses wrote the first five volumes of it. This barbaric Moses person shows that the founder of the Jewish Faith was an adulterer, willing to send his consort and his illegitimate son to certain death just to keep his wife happy. A family with a son named Joseph sold him into slavery after their attempted murder failed. Moses personally saved Joseph’s descendants from slavery and death only to see them mock everything he had worked for when he came down the mountain. Moses is the first, but not the worst. Dare we even read the so-called “prophets”?
Nearly every one of the rabidly anti-Semitic “prophets” in this collection accused the Jews of the things listed above and worse besides. Book after sickening book in the “Bible” lists the crimes of the Israelites. Thank heavens the Mel Gibson controversy opened our eyes! Now we can clearly see that anti-Semitism has a long history. Given the kind of disgusting man Mr. Gibson is, he would probably blush to be compared with the authors of this book. Still, he undeniably has their vision of the world. His movie is the kind of nonsense you can expect from Adonai’s men.
If anyone were to write a book today that contained a tenth of the nasty statements made in the Law and the Prophets, what Christians call the Old Testament, the ACLU lawyers would go into shock while B’nai B’rith would have an epileptic fit. One can only guess what Andy Rooney would say, “I won’t waste nine dollars to get a few laughs out of a lousy book like the Torah,” he might opine, “That kind of violence and bloodshed is just mindless.” B’nai B’rith would immediately agree.
Historically, there has been one major difference between the Jews and all the rest of the nations of mankind. The Irish, the Chinese, the Italians, the Germans, the French, the Americans, the Russians, we work hard to forget the perfidious cruelties, the blood-drenched evils our people have perpetrated on others and on ourselves. We like to believe we are all wonderful people. Inconvenient historical facts are ignored.
The Jews, on the other hand, turn the historical list of their own evils into Sacred Scripture. Why? Because the Jews are wiser than modern secular man. They know Scripture isn’t just about the evils – it is also about the heroic virtue displayed by the people of Israel, the incredible courage, the noble self-sacrifice, the enormous gift and burden of making all of humanity aware of the one God and His love for broken humanity.
Unlike other peoples, the Jews don’t just keep the history they like and throw the rest out. They are honest enough to keep both before their eyes constantly, so that they might do what Adonai commanded: we have before us the path of life and the path of death. He asked them, He asks us through them, to choose life, so that we and our children might live. To do any less is to betray the Faith.
So, let’s stop playing games and state the facts. A small group of evil men, Jews and goyim, killed a noble man, the Jew who saved the world. A small group of heroic men, all Jews, carried the news of this Jewish hero to the goyim. This is the constant story of the Torah: Jewish Joseph was nearly slaughtered but Jewish Joseph brought Adonai to Egypt. The nation of Israel was enslaved, but the Israelites brought Adonai to the desert people and the Promised Land. David committed adultery and murder, but King David brought Adonai to the nations.
The Gospels simply compress the millennia-long story of the Law and the Prophets into three short years, three years in which one man lives all the trials and the prophecies of Israel in His own body. He dies at the hands of his family, just as Joseph nearly did, but He brings Adonai to the world, for He is Adonai.
The New Testament and the Old Testament are both anti-Semitic by today’s standards precisely because they both celebrate the single mystery that only Jews have known and only Jews could bring unto us goyim: Hear O Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is One, and He is to be loved with all our heart, all our soul, all our might. These words we are commanded to place upon our heart, and teach diligently to our children. We are to talk of them when we sit in our house and when we walk by the way, when we lie down, and when we rise up. The Jewish Saviour of the world bound it through His own hands and made it a crowned frontlet to his eyes, and so the Cross has become the doorpost of our house and of our gates.
This is The Passion of the Christ. It captures the whole of Jewish and Christian Scripture at a stroke. The whole world conspired together to kill Him, both goy and Jew, but when it came time to save that same world, only the Jews could manage it. Where sin abounds, grace abounds more. Where pagan goyim and apostate Jews conspire, faithful Jews overcome. As the strains of fascism swept pre-war Europe, Pius XI famously told a group of German Catholics that all Christians are spiritually Semites. He was right, of course, but he left unmentioned the choice that still remains: will we be Joseph? Or will we be his brothers?