An Orthodox Catholic Explains Why She Appreciates Orthodox Jews
My friend Michael Rosen posted a lovely article called “An Orthodox Jew Explains Why He Loves Christmas Music,” which I gladly reposted on the Ruth Institute blog. His article inspired me to share these thoughts.
When Jewish families observe the Sabbath, they are giving a tangible sign of faithfulness to God. We have Orthodox Jewish participants at the Ruth Institute. Some of our local Jewish friends came to our Ruth Institute Christmas party, but only after sunset last Saturday. Ari, our volunteer blogger, shuts down at sundown every Friday. So does Dr. Miriam Grossman, whose work we often feature and who has spoken for us. We know that when we want Dr. Grossman at our events, we have to schedule around the Sabbath. It is a pleasure, indeed, an honor, to do so.
And when she comes to our events, she brings her own food. When she eats, she is a visible witness of God’s Covenant with the whole human race. So is every other Jew who keeps kosher. Their fidelity, their witness, graces us all. It would be deeply upsetting to me to see Dr. Grossman eating a ham sandwich. And I think, it would be an objective loss to the cosmos.
We do not know God’s purposes or designs. Catholics and Jews have had their differences and problems over the centuries, and no doubt, will continue to do so. But it seems clear enough now that there is no natural explanation for the fact that the Jews survived the twentieth century. When natural explanations fail, the only reasonable response is to seek a supernatural explanation. Therefore, I conclude that God wills for the Jewish people continue to exist as a people. Their existence is one more sign, one more bit of evidence of His continued love for the human race. God continues in fidelity to the human race, in spite of our unworthiness, in spite of everything we have done.
So, to my Orthodox Jewish friends, I say, thank you for your devotion to God. And please accept my warmest Christmas greetings.