Ever heard the phrase “Don’t judge me” or “Who are you to judge?” The foundation for these terms were explored in Long Beach, California the other night amongst young adults. The first ever “Gospels & Glidah”event, led by Rabbi Drew Kaplan, explored the origin of these terms in the Gospels and contrasted them with similar ideas in Rabbinic Literature.
“The Gospels and Glidah event, offered a great opportunity to engage with scriptural issues pertinent to both Jewish and Christian traditions,” said Sean Sagan, an attendee. “By focusing on the concept of ‘Judgement’, we were offered an in-depth look at the Rabbinic tradition, which we could compare to Christian accounts of judgement in the Gospels.”
“One of the special opportunities that this event offered was for young Jewish adults to engage with the foundations of the ideas present in our society and societal discourse,” said Rabbi Drew. “Not only did it offer them a way to consider in a deeper way these ideas as they are, but also thinking about Jewish alternatives to them.”
Indeed, “for many of the participants,” said Sagan, “this first encounter with Christian scripture helped illuminate key similarities and differences in our own Jewish tradition.”
“Exploring the similarities between the Christian gospels and several Jewish texts,” said participant Stefany Truesdell, “allowed us to understand each tradition in terms of a conversation between them.”
“I personally think this event and others like it are exceptionally important and beneficial to young Jews, and for that matter, anyone else who might want to attend,” said Sagan. “In our pluralistic, cosmopolitan greater L.A. community, comparative and interfaith work can help build critical bridges between different communities of faith. Such events therefore not only strengthen our own connections to Judaism and the Jewish community, but to our non-Jewish friends, family, neighbors and colleagues as well.”
Produced by Southern California Jewish Young Adult Enrichment and co-produced bySouthern California Jewish Student Services, the event was the first of three monthly “Gospels & Glidah events for the summer.