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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 16, 2005 / 5 Adar II, 5765

The case for Judeo-Christian values: Judeo-Christian values are larger than ‘religion’

By Dennis Prager


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Some Jews and Christians object to the term "Judeo-Christian." How can there be Judeo-Christian values, they argue, when Judaism and Christianity differ? In a previous column, I explained that one should not confuse theology with values. Theological differences are not the same as value differences.

Nevertheless, there are some value differences between the religions. But that is precisely the greatness of Judeo-Christian values: They are greater than the sum of their parts. That is why in this series of essays I have been making the case for Judeo-Christian values, not for all Christian values and not for all Jewish values.

The combination of Jewish Scripture and Christian thought and activism — as worked out mostly in America and mostly by Judeo-based Christians — has forged something larger and more universally applicable than either Judaism or Christianity alone.

Let me give two examples of specifically Jewish and Christian values that are not Judeo-Christian values.

As Judaism progressed, it developed a legal system (Halakha) that increasingly aimed to separate Jews from non-Jews. One purpose was to keep Jews from incorporating pagan practices and values into the one monotheistic religion. Over time, however, it was also a result of the constant decimation of the Jewish people by anti-Semites. Jews, for good reason, feared disappearing. Thus survival — in part through avoiding social contact with non-Jews — became the primary concern of Jewish life, not influencing the world. Whatever the reasons, Judaism retreated from the world. Judeo-Christian values bring Jewish values back into the world. An example of a Christian value that is not Judeo-Christian is Christianity's traditional emphasis on faith above works and on an exclusive credo. Many Christians, including those who forcefully advocate Judeo-Christian values, believe that one must profess faith in Christ in order to be saved, that no amount of good deeds a person may perform, even if that person also has a deep belief in G-d (the Father), suffices in G-d's eyes. And though Catholicism has emphasized works along with faith, for most of Church history, the importance of works was restricted to Catholics. Non-Catholics, no matter how good, were often denied salvation and frequently persecuted solely for their different faith (e.g., Huguenots and Jews).

Until the 20th century, European Christianity, as embodied in the Church, de-emphasized its Jewish roots, and it usually persecuted Jews (though never ordered, indeed opposed, their physical annihilation — annihilation required a secular ideology, Nazism). No Christian state referred to itself as "Judeo-Christian." That identity arose with the Christians of America, who from the outset were at least as deeply immersed in the Hebrew Bible as in the Christian. Rather than see themselves as superseding Jews, American Christians identified with them.

These American Christians chose a Torah verse — "Proclaim liberty throughout the land" — for their Liberty Bell; learned and taught Hebrew; adopted the Jewish notion of being chosen to be a light unto the nations; saw their leaving Europe as a second exodus; had every one of its presidents take the oath of office on an Hebrew Bible and Christian Bible — and while every president mentioned G-d in his inaugural address, not one mentioned Jesus.

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Of course, most Protestant Christians who hold Judeo-Christian values continue to believe that there is no salvation outside of faith in Christ. But precisely because they do hold Judeo-Christian values, they work hand in hand with others whose faith they deem insufficient or incorrect (e.g., Jews and Mormons). So while they theologically reject other faiths, evangelical Christians are the single strongest advocates of Judeo-Christian values.

They are what can be called "Judeo-Christians." Since they founded America, such Christians have recognized the critical significance of the Jewish text — the Hebrew Bible — which forms the foundation of Judeo-Christian values. It provided the G-d of Christianity, their supra-natural Creator, the notions of divine moral judgment and divine love, the G-d-based universal morality they advocate and try to live by, the Ten Commandments, the holy, the sanctity of human life, the belief in a G-d of history and that history has meaning, and moral progress. All these and more came from the Jews and their texts.

But while the Protestant Christians believe that Jews provided the text, they feel that the Christians brought the text and its values into the world at large and applied them to a society composed of Jews, Christians, atheists, and members of other religions.

Those Judeo-Christian values have made America the greatest experiment in human progress and liberty and the greatest force for good in history. And they are exportable. In fact, they are humanity's only hope.

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JWR contributor Dennis Prager hosts a national daily radio show based in Los Angeles. He the author of, most recently, "Happiness is a Serious Problem". Click here to comment on this column.



© 2005 Creators Syndicate