Article Discussion: How to Talk to Your Kids about Jesus

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April 10, 2009 at 4:15 pm #1662

admin

Click here to read the article: How to Talk to Your Kids about Jesus

May 20, 2010 at 5:45 pm #4653

chaya

Great article! Thank you for the tips on talking about such a touchy issue. It’s great that you incorporated so many ways of talking about Jesus with Jewish children. Very helpful!

November 27, 2010 at 6:33 pm #5253

Kay

Jewish parents, rabbis and teachers need to be very careful (much more careful than they realize) about how they talk about Jesus. Because unless you live in a predominantly Jewish community (most people in America do not) Jewish children will be exposed to Jesus and Christianity when they grow up–even if raised exclusively Jewishly. In other words, you may be able to keep Jesus out of your Jewish home, but once your children are on their own chances are pretty good they are going to meet “Jesus.” It is critical that what they’ve been taught does not contradict what they experience when they encounter real Christians in the real world. Or the carefully chosen words used because “we’re afraid that we’ll lose our kids to Christianity” may actually destroy the credibility of parents and rabbis.

Our daughter’s Jewish boyfriend knew we meant it when we said we loved him not in spite of his Judaism but because of it. He seemed completely confused to be so warmly embraced by Christians. The Christianity we live in no way resembled the Christianity he had been taught about in Confirmation and Post-Confirmation classes with his rabbi.

For instance, his rabbi must have quoted Rabbi Wolpe to define the difference between Christians and Jews. “The difference is that Jews believe that when the Messiah comes the world will be different. We believe that if the Messiah had come, the world wouldn’t be as messed up as it in fact is. That is the central difference.” But the problem is that when you say something like this the implication is that the 2+ billion people in the world who believe the world did change after Jesus and that He will come again are either ignorant or just plain wrong. Such a statement leaves very little room for respectful differences of opinion and/or belief.

As a Christian, I find Cohen’s approach to leave much more room for mutual respect despite our differences, “just as some Jews use the phrase HaShem for God’s name, Christians use the name Jesus for God…for Christians, God came in a human form and had a name, but…this is not a Jewish belief.”

“I am loath to say one religion is superior to the other,” Cohen adds. “I do say that Christianity needs to be respected, but it is not our belief. It gets tricky when my daughters want to know which one is right. I say that one is right for Christians and one is right for us.”

April 9, 2013 at 10:49 am #11575

Stephanie

It’s nice that Kay and her family were welcoming and understanding to their daughter’s boyfriend, but because she is not Jewish, she can’t know what other Jews experience. I have been told to my face (in a “joking” way, whatever that means) that I shouldn’t be at my friend’s Easter brunch because my people killed Jesus.
Jewish teachers need to prepare their students for these ignorant comments more than they need to prepare them for nice, welcoming Christians they might encounter.

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