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Lionel Blue Quotes


A British Reform rabbi, journalist and broadcaster.
(1930 - )

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An aged rabbi, crazed with liberalism, once said to me, We Jews are just ordinary human beings. Only a bit more so!
 

At religious instruction classes, I encountered The Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan, and the sincerity of the traveller in that book was overwhelming.
 

Because of my Marxism, I was not into myths or miracles, whether it was the virgin birth, the physical resurrection or casting out demons from an epileptic.
 

Christianity had two faces which bewildered me - two pictures which didn't fit.
 

Discrimination against Jews can be read in Thomas Aquinas, and insults against Jews in Martin Luther.
 

During the Second World War, evacuated to non-Jewish households, I encountered Christianity at home and in school.
 

Early on I saw the repression and idolatry of Stalinism, and when it cracked, I was open to religion again.
 

For a Christian, Jesus is the unique and only way that God has fully revealed himself. For a Jew this cannot be.
 

For a devotee or lover, the being, worshipped or loved, will always be the only one for her or him.
 

For some years I deserted religion in favour of Marxism. The republic of goodness seemed more attainable than the Kingdom of God.
 

Good things come, and I'm not just referring to riding the buses.
 

I am pleased now that I have lived in a gay as well as a religious ghetto, though it hasn't been very comfortable. Taken together, their limitations cancel each other out and I have seen the world more kindly and more honestly.
 

I began to see that my problems, seen spiritually, were really my soul's plusses.
 

I didn't want to be on the losing side. I was fed up with Jewish weakness, timidity and fear. I didn't want any more Jewish sentimentality and Jewish suffering. I was sickened by our sad songs.
 

I feel that the Christian experience and the Jewish one have much to give each other. If this open society continues and there is no return to political anti-Semitism, then this encounter, deeper than any theology, may happen.
 

I found that when I did something for the sake of heaven, heaven happened. These things changed my life. I owe them to my encounter with Christianity.
 

I have begun to sympathetically understand Paul, though I don't like him much.
 

I have ended as a Reform Rabbi, grateful to Christianity for so many good things.
 

I learnt pity, sympathy, and what it was like to be at the other end of the stick. Such lessons can't be learnt in lecture halls.
 

I literally fell among Quakers when I went up to Oxford.
 


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