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Martin Buber: What do Christians and Jews have in common? *Golden Oldie posted on SocAdmin 5-7-2010*

2013-01-07 8:00 AM | Daniel

Comments made by Martin Buber in 1930 to a conference on Christian missions to the Jews (published as “The Two Foci of the Jewish Soul” in The Writings of Martin Buber):

What have you [Christians] and we [Jews] in common? If we take the question literally, a book and an expectation. To you, the book is a forecourt; to us, it is the sanctuary. But in this place, we can dwell together, and together listen to the voice that speaks here. . . . Your expectation is directed toward a second coming, ours to a coming which has not been anticipated by a first. . . . But we can wait for the advent of the One together, and there are moments when we may prepare the way before him together.

Pre-messianically, our destinies are divided. . . . This is a gulf which no human power can bridge. But it does not prevent the common watch for a unity to come to us from God, which soaring above all of your imaginations and all of ours, affirms and denies, denies and affirms, what you hold and what we hold, and replaces all the creedal truths of earth by the ontological truth of heaven which is one.

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