Jews dwelling in Christendom have always had a complex pull-push relationship with Easter. The pull, as so often is the case with our triumphant daughter, Christianity, is the wonderful music, the serenity, and the grace. Nothing in the musical traditions of Judaism can even come close to Bach’s Passions, or to his blazing “Et Resurrexit” from the Mass in B. Judaism is a faith of smaller charms. The humble tabernacle of David.
The push obviously is certain elements in the Passion story, where we Jews are featured (sometimes more kindly as “the People”) as the brutes demanding the gruesome execution of Christ. Historically, such sentiment would sometimes lead to unpleasant encounters. But that is ancient history now.
As modern people, seeking to salvage civilization’s legacy and traditions from the incessant assault of nihilism, trashy pop culture, and Marxism, we must transcend. 600 years past the close of the Middle Ages, theological differences now seem minor. The transcending unity, however, binding both Christians and Jews, is as immense, noble and deep as Bach’s Gloria from the same Mass. All defenders of civilization are united by piety. A deep sense for the consecrated, for tradition, for things transcending above the generations to define human society and its institutions.
In that sense, Jews and Christians are united. And in that sense Easter serves as a great lesson to all of us: It is a celebration of triumph out of suffering, of the eternal that cannot be vanquished, the eternal that in turn grants grace to all that recognize it through its enduring nature. In fact, Judaism itself has a resurrection myth, in the form of the resurrected Jewish State of Israel: Millenia of exile and weakness are resolved and transcended through the glory of Jewish sovereignty, a glory that now strengthens all of us.
Christians, Jews, and all defenders of the West should apply the same hope of Ressurection to our civilization: We may have been dragged through the Via Dolorosa of the horrors of the French Revolution, of Marxism, of idiotic “woke” culture, and the half-brained banalities of popular entertainment, but through piety we too shall resurrect.