2004: Joseph the Worker
I hope this letter finds you well and, following a fruitful Lenten season, that you enter the peace and joy of Our Lord's Resurrection. Pope Leo XIII urged Catholics to honor St. Joseph, the Husband of Mary, through the entire month of March. Please help us continue to honor Joseph throughout the year. I am more convinced than ever that Joseph is the â€œbridgeâ€� needed to connect Jews and Catholics, a connection at the heart of the mission of Remnant of Israel: helping Jews and Catholics understand and appreciate the Jewish roots of Jesus and His Church. And, in turn, learning that Joseph of Nazareth is himself that Jewish root.
I am delighted to tell you that there is a great new book which helps fulfill that mission in a special way: it is Salvation Is From the Jews by Roy Schoeman. Please order it; read it; and send us a note with your thoughts about it.
Rarely does a book influence one's deeply held religious and political beliefs in such a strong way. In a sense, this book is more powerful than Mel Gibson's movie, The Passion of the Christ, because the book goes beyond the Gospel.
The blockbuster film has sparked debate over such questions as: Are the Gospels anti-Jewish? Should the Gospels be revised to reflect the worldview of the 21st century? What is the role of the Jewish people today? Can we have an honest and fruitful dialogue with Judaism?
Salvation Is From the Jews couldn't be timelier as a key new component of any fruitful dialogue between Jews and Catholics. For the conversation to continue and thrive, the Church must understand Her own identity and Schoeman presents the questions necessary for putting the Mystery of the Church in proper perspective.
The Second Vatican Council document, Nostra Aetate, states that in pondering Her own Mystery, the Church encounters the Mystery of Israel. Salvation Is From the Jews chronicles the role of the Jews and Judaism in salvation from Abraham to the present day . Schoeman's effort is impressive, presenting a traditional Catholic view of Judaism in clear detail.
Judaism played an essential role in bringing the Jewish Messiah “ Jesus of Nazareth“ to the world. This is a critical point and goes largely unmentioned in the popular discussion about The Passion or most other conversations about religion: Jesus, His mother Mary , and all of his Apostles were Jews who followed the Jewish religion. Peter, Paul, and all the Apostles preached the religion of Israel.
Now Schoeman presents clearly and with strong documentation what Remnant of Israel has always emphasized: every Jew who enters the Catholic Church proclaims that he has entered into the fullness of Judaism. Famous Jewish Catholics such as Edith Stein and Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger and many others proudly proclaimed that they remain Jewish.
The hotly debated document released by the U.S. Bishops' Committee in August 2002, â€œReflections on Covenant and Mission,â€� claimed to be a starting point for dialogue with and about the role of Judaism in salvation. Schoemanâ€™s book serves as a much needed counter to some of the problems of that 2002 document.
Catholics should use Salvation Is From the Jews as the starting place for genuine reflections on the role of Judaism in our salvation. One may disagree with some of Schoeman's opinions but we must focus on his questions. Just to give one example: Are we seeing the mass conversion of Jews that signifies the end times?
Remnant of Israel continues to work with Catholic theologians to explore the theological implications of questions discussed in this book. At the same time, we are greatly expanding our work of education and counseling, particularly about the role of Judaism in the Church and in salvation.
We continue to offer resources and personal discussion to people in interfaith marriages and their friends and relatives. And coming up, we'll be sponsoring seminars, classes, and regional discussion groups on these topics. But we need your support. Join us in this important work.
Please use the enclosed form to order a copy or several copies of this amazing book “ Salvation Is From the Jews. Also available are a few other must-read selections of fered by Remnant of Israel. Y our order will directly support our unique Catholic apostolate founded by Father Arthur Klyber , C.Ss.R.
Contact us anytime with your questions, concerns, and interests by mail, phone, or email.
Thank you for your continued support and may God bless you! Please be assured that you are remembered in the Masses we have offered continually for all our friends.
In this Holy Season, may we all grow closer to Jesus and Mary with Joseph.
Yours in the Holy Jewish Family of Nazareth,
Mark Drogin, Executive Director