Yom Kippur 5770 (2009)

From my afternoon discussion at Germantown Jewish Centre: So then, one response to the question of the place of the Ten Commandments in contemporary Christian piety and practice is the still-proclaimed Gospel of Rabbi Jesus that they are secondary to the Sh'ma and (and/or tertiary to) a modified Ahavta. That is if Christians are followers of Jesus revealed in the gospels, in this case, in the gospel attributed to Mark. You should know that all of the subsequent canonical gospels remove the Sh'ma from the encounter (Matthew and Luke) or drop the story altogether (John). Jesus modifies the Ahavta, the "you-shall-love," by adding a category for loving God with one's mind, understanding or intellect. This makes sense in a world in which Greek philosophy is being articulated as the highest of intellectual pursuits. In that context it would be unreasonable to proclaim a religion that does not account for the intellectual capacities of human beings. I argue that todayJesus would add "You shall love the Holy One your God with all of yourdeoxyribonucleic acid, your DNA." 

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