Sunday, January 31, 2010

Some links: History, Jacobo Timerman, and Messianic Jews

Defending History by The Plump. A sample:
I am always concerned by historical attempts to make qualitative judgements between unambiguous evils - was Stalin worse than Hitler (thereby implying one was actually better), was Fascism the same as Communism etc. – as they are either a form of sloppy shorthand or an attempt to dissemble. Nor is it enough to quantitatively evaluate regimes by counting the corpses (there are always corpses; many, many corpses).
Jacobo Timerman smeared, at Z-Blog.  A sample:
Many readers will be familiar with the name of the Argentine journalist and publisher Jacobo Timerman. Kidnapped and tortured by agents of the 1976-1983 dictatorship, he was eventually allowed to leave for Israel where he wrote a book, Prisoner Without A Name, Cell Without A Number that was to become a classic account of the horrors of military rule in Argentina.
I remember reading Timerman's book when it was first published - it was profoundly disturbing, a witness to the hellish tortures and murders committed by the Argentinean dictatorship.

Messianic Jewish Musings, by Derek Leman. Before the whole kerfuffle with Seismic Shock (Joseph Weissman) and the Reverend Sizer, I hadn't been very aware of Messianic Jewish groups (Jews who now believe that Jesus is the Messiah yet also hold onto their Jewish identity in various ways). Through my reading about his case, I came across this blog by the leader of a Messianic group in Roswell, Georgia. The blog tackles some weighty theological issues, such as supercessionism in Christianity, which Lerman (and Weissman) are particularly offended by, since it negates the value of any continued connection to Judaism on the part of Messianic Jews. (I personally object to Christian supercessionism, since it negates the continuing value of Judaism after the advent of Jesus as the Messiah).

Calvin L. Smith has also written in an interesting way about Stephen Sizer and Seismic Shock at his blog. He teaches at King's Evangelical Divinity School in England.


  1. Thank you for the kind words. I'd be glad to orient you a little to the variety of streams broadly labeled Messianic and Messianic Jewish. We're a confusing world of hybridizations. The stream I'm part of (the Hashivenu movement) is observant and traditional. I'd be glad to say more via email.

    Derek Leman

  2. I also blog here: