Joseph S. Hersh



As I was thinking about Mel Gibson's "The Passion of Christ," the word "deicide" came to mind. Deicide is the act of killing a god. Many Christians accuse Jews of deicide. Oddly, even the Arabs are getting into the act of accusing the Jews.


I have read the following quotes and cannot comprehend how the deicide of which the Jews are accused ever occurred:


"Our understanding, which is enlightened by the Spirit of truth, should receive with purity and freedom of heart the glory of the cross as it shines in heaven and on earth. It should see with inner vision the meaning of the Lord's words when he spoke of the imminence of his passion: The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Afterward he said: Now my soul is troubled, and what am I to say? Father, save me from this hour. But it was for this I came to this hour. Father, glorify your Son. When the voice of the Father came from heaven, saying, I have glorified him, and will glorify him again, Jesus said in reply to those around him: It was not for me that this voice spoke, but for you. Now is the judgment of the world, now will the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself." - From a sermon by Leo the Great, 5th century 


"For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” - John 3:16


"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing."  - LK 23:34


"Eli, Eli, lama sabackthani?" which means "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"  - Mt 27:46, MK 15:34



Question 1: How can people claim that the father was killed if the son (Jesus) is speaking to his father (God)? How can the term deicide be justified?

Question 2: Assuming that some Jews instigated the Romans to punish Jesus, it was the Romans who crucified Him. Why is it that the Romans and their descendants are not accused, as are the Jews - in fact, even more so? And where is the Christian "forgiveness?" Or is it only the Jews who should forgive the Germans for the Holocaust, as I have personally been told?

Question 3: In the brief glimpses I saw of Gibson's film, Jesus is covered all over with marks from the lashes of the whip. How come none of the pictures or the statues that I have seen shown evidence of these marks? Is Gibson purposely trying to inflame hatred against Jews? Any physical damage caused to the body of Jesus was caused by the Romans. The logic, besides instigating hatred, is beyond me.



Editor’s note:
The very concept of a god subject to death is contrary to greatness assumed of that “god”. The concept of deicide displays the foolishness of those entertaining such an idea. Rational people recognize that there is only One Cause for the universe. All existences require creation. This means that this Cause is the sole Creator of all existences, and all laws that exists. The very laws He willed into existence therefore cannot bind him. Laws of death cannot apply to G-d. He does not beget children, as suggested by Jesus’ status as His child.


G-d did not abrogate the system of Torah He gave in front of millions of witnesses, ironically attested to by Christians and Catholics. G-d knew all future events, and nonetheless, He gave one Torah system, including His commands, “Do not add”, and “Do not subtract” from this Torah. Knowing all future events did not prevent G-d from clearly stating that the Torah is to remain eternally unchanged. Therefore, the argument that Jesus is speaking G-d’s word is fallacy, as he contradicts G-d’s Torah.


G-d is quite capable of creating a mass event that is undeniably true, that event of Sinai. In contrast, Jesus lacks such credibility and validity, and his followers deny G-d’s Torah. Jesus did not fulfill any messianic requirement. The Israelites’ reception of Torah during G-d’s revelation at Sinai was the only event of masses witnessing G-d. All other religions are based solely on the belief in one man’s words. In contrast, that which is proven rationally is bereft of one man’s words, and of belief. Instead, masses and proof are required – both are present at Sinai.


G-d said, “A great voice, not to continue.” This means G-d will never recreate such an event, as Sinai contains absolute proof of which religion G-d truly gave, to the exclusion of all others.  Additionally, no “updating” or alteration of His Torah is tenable, certainly by a mortal.


Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim