Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My quote of the week

From this week's commentary from JTS

The book of Exodus, then, is the story of a transcendent God who deeply yearns to become immanent. Hashem is a being whose very essence goes beyond the world and is completely different from what is in the world, but Hashem nevertheless wants to be near the creatures Hashem created. The liberation from Egypt, then, was part of a much larger plan. It was the key to allowing God to come into the world and to dwell among humanity.
We were freed so that we could make God present in the world by building the Tent of Meeting. This is the story that the book of Exodus wants to tell: not just of liberation, but of liberation that makes God's presence possible.
God wanted human beings to bring God into the world.
So what is different from what Christ Jesus accomplished? Well, this tabernacle is an image of that very body, as is the temple and as are the feasts which Jesus replaces completely with himself. Here Benjamin D. Sommer and I must disagree - much as I enjoy his writing today - when he concludes
The Tabernacle was long ago replaced by the Temple, and the Temple by the synagogue. The task, however, remains unchanged...
What is the task - and how can it be accomplished? It is that the anointed is called out of Egypt not in narrow sectarianism, not by Israel alone, but by all, Jew and Gentile alike working together without a priori privilege or status in order that something more than power be known as right.

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