Jews and Christian share a lot: holidays, bible, and history. Our histories are intertwined, yet very much diverse - at times in opposition and at worst hostile; fuelling hate and persecution.
In the midst of all that we share and have in common, our differences become obvious. Likeness makes differences appear. This is what we are trying to figure out; to understand, with the help of dialogue and listening to each other’s stories, knowledge and experience.
Easter / Pesach are certainly holidays that both unite and separate Jews and Christians.
For me, it’s impossible to understand Easter without relating to the Exodus from Egypt. Both narratives, the escape from slavery in Egypt and the gospel of Jesus’ death and resurrection, are stories that speak of liberation.
The goal of the Exodus is that the people shall serve their God as a liberated people. The goal of Jesus’ death and resurrection is that the heathens or goyim shall be free to serve the God of Israel although they are not Jews. Out of slavery, away from being bound, out of the grave; this is the gist of these two narratives. Though they differ in content, their themes are the same: liberation, freedom, renewal and transformation. In these themes, likeness appears. Jews and Christians alike share a history of longing for freedom, longing for communion and to know peace.
With this greeting I also want to invite you all to this year’s international conference that takes place in Budapest / Hungary, June 24-27. Our theme is "Towards Reconciliation in a Broken World: Jewish and Christian Contributions to Responsible Citizenship".
The registration is open for you here on our website.
I hope to see many of you in Budapest!
On behalf of the ICCJ Executive Board, ICCJ General Secretary Anette Adelmann and the staff at its headquarters, the Martin Buber House in Heppenheim, I wish you all Chag Pesach Sameach and a Blessed Easter!
May we all know happiness and enjoy freedom in the year ahead.