My Jesus YearYou know how I love all things Jewish.

There is this cute looking book I want to get my hands on – My Jesus Year by Benyamin Cohen. The son of an orthodox rabbi wanders the Bible belt (52 churches no less!) in search of his own faith and had a taste of what it is like to be a Christian. I’ve read some excerpts from the book on it’s own website and it sure sounds like one hilarious journey!

“Thank you Jesus, for making me less of a cynic. Thank you for teaching me that prayers can be recited in many ways and in many languages and that God listens anyway. Thank you for miracles, even those of the golden dental variety. Thank you for small synagogues. For big churches. For gospel choirs. For holidays. Thank you for gratitude. For sickness and health. For repentance. For the lessons gleaned from death and loss. And, most of all, thank you for rebirth.” – My Jesus Year.

Click here for Christianity Today’s review of My Jesus Year and here for the book’s official website.

There is something about Jews that enables them to have a lighter view of life. It appears to me that humor is built into their DNA. I remember a lengthy exploration of the MiddleEast conflit I read years ago in the book – How Israel Lost by Richard Ben Cramer, also a Jew or course. Not only was it entertaining but some parts were downright funny I had to laugh out loud! And if any of you can remember the Italian film, Life Is Beautiful (1997) starring Roberto Benigni, of how Guido (Benigni) in an attempt to keep up his son, Joshua’s spirit in the concentration camp, convinces him that the camp is just a game. He maintains this story right till the end even as he is taken away to be shot dead by a Nazi guard. He made his son laugh one last time by imitating the Nazi guard as if the two of them are marching around the camp together. That scene made me smile and cry at the same time. The ability to be child like in the face of evil is almost too much to bear. 

That is Jewish spirit for you. Is it any wonder how they survived so many persecutions.

Next on my list, once I am able to afford it, would be Rabbi Daniel Lapin’s Complete Library set. It includes all 11 products from his library, one of them which is the book I recently finished, Thou Shall Prosper. There is so much wisdom we can draw from the Jewish culture, language and faith. The Hebrew language for example is so rich. Understanding their usage helps us understand the Bible and ourselves even better. For example, according to Lapin, the Hebrew language, being the Lord’s language, is considered the most complete of all languages. If a word does not exist in Hebrew, it indicates that the concept that the word represents does not exist in reality. A good example he gave was the word “coincidence”. That was an Aha! moment for me even though as Christians, we believe the same. If you have the time, do check out Lapin’s Ask The Rabbi  and Thought Tools page in his website – Modern Problems, Ancient Solutions. Lots to learn from there and you will find that you don’t have to be a believer to benefit from them.