Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Many years ago, when I was still a child, my grandmother explained to me in simple words the difference between Jew and Christian.

“You see,” she said, “Christians believe that the Messiah was here once and he will certainly return one day. The Jews maintain that the Messiah is yet to come. Over this,” said my grandmother, “over this, there has been so much anger, persecution, bloodshed, hatred …

“Why?” she said. “Why can’t everyone simply wait and see? If the Messiah comes, saying, ‘Hello, it’s nice to see you again,’ the Jews will have to concede. If, on the other hand, the Messiah comes, saying, ‘How do you do, it is very nice meeting you,’ the entire Christian world will have to apologize to the Jews.

“Between now and then,” said my wise grandmother, “just live and let live.” She was definitely immune to fanaticism. She knew the secret of living with open-ended situations, with unresolved conflicts, with the otherness of other people.

Amos Oz (who speaks to my soul), How To Cure a Fanatic


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