Monday, February 23, 2004

This Haaretz article, Wednesday, the Jews go on trial again, details why I've decided to organize a discussion at my college about Mel Gibson's film, "The Passion of the Christ." While it seems that he has taken out the most inflammatory line (from Matthew: "Then answered all the people, and said, 'His blood be on us, and on our children'"), it seems like the film still places the major blame upon Jews for the death of Jesus (and not the Romans, the ruling colonial authority who had the power of life and death). The film came up in my Judaism class today -- a student asked a question about it, and instead of talking about the meaning of the Sh'ma, which was scheduled for today, we spent 40 minutes talking about the movie, the events leading up to Jesus' death, and the roots of anti-semitism. I was pleased to notice that my Christian students were shocked at the idea that Christians would call Jews "Christkillers" and blame them for the death of Jesus. It seemed apparent from the movie that many students would be seeing the movie, so I think it's important to sponsor an academic discussion of it in addition to all the newspaper articles, television spots, and popular discussion that's going on.

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