Continuing my reading of Chapter 4 of Papa Beni's book. He spends more time discussing Rabbi Neusner. MMajorFan has kindly offered an answer to my concern that the rabbi has 'met' Jesus and yet rejected him.
"The person who met Jesus and then rejected him who would be in the most trouble would be a person who rejects the right of God to challenge him and make demands upon him at all."
Certainly this is true and perhaps as the rabbi does not do this, he has a way to be saved through his love of God revealed in the Old Testament-the 'eternal Israel'.
"The hardest person to save is the one who puts his or her self over God."
The rabbi recognises that Jesus is saying He is God. He sees clearly that Jesus is announcing Himself as greater than the Torah and it is His NEW Israel which is to be the instrument of salvation. In the end the rabbi cannot accept that the eternal Israel he knows and loves can be fulfilled and made new as Jesus announces with the coming of the Kingdom. Is he putting himself over God? It's hard to say-and the pope seems to think not.
Jesus clearly states that He is Lord of the Sabbath and the rabbi sees that statement for what it is. (Bizarrely a lot of Christian's of an Arian bent don't). As the pope writes, "Jesus claim entails that the community of his disciples is the new Israel. How can this not unsettle someone who has the "eternal Israel" at heart? The issue of Jesus' claim to be Temple and Torah in person also has implications for the question of Israel..."
It does indeed. I am interested in the rabbi's view of the eternal Israel now that the Temple has gone. So much of Jewish practice was lost then-but the family and its holiness in practicing the Mitsvahs of the Sabbath remain of course.
But the family and the new Law of the Sabbath are whole in the Church that Jesus established-the new Israel. He is bridegroom-father of the bride-Church-Jerusalem/Israel and therefore head of the family. Perhaps the rabbi could not accept that.
Take a look at what MMajor wrote below. She makes very good points-and yes a HUGE book could be written on this!
I could go on and on....don't worry I wont :)