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Elizabeth

Hi Becky,
My rabbi where I used to live once said: "There is a name for Jews for Jesus: Christians." I always thought that sums it up pretty well.

Our comfort level with the co-opting of religious imagery and tradition is, I think, based on power differentials. In a sense, Messainic Jews are co-opting elements of Christianity (okay, in this case, THE fundamental element), and it isn't threatening because they are a small group with little social power. But when Christian groups (part of the dominant culture) co-opt and change elements of Judaism, it makes us feel belittled and threatened. We already feel uneasy and that Jewish culture in America is on shaky ground, and the use of key aspects of our tradition by other groups makes us feel that we are chipping away little by little.

Passover also reminds us to be compassionate, because "we were ourselves strangers in a strange land." Compassion is about empathy, but it is also about respecting other people's traditions and allowing them to thrive.

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