Just finished this book earlier this evening. As far as I'm concerned it is a must read for both Jews and Christians.
Benyamin decides he has lost the spark of his Judaism and is going through the motions of his faith without the life. And so he begins a year long adventure into the world of Christianity to see how the "other half" live, hoping it will jump start his own path with G~d and back to his life as a Jew. He visits all kinds of churches and events. And through it all he does rekindle the flame of his faith. I won't tell you more - read the book for yourself.
It's easy to not see the forest for the trees. Easy to fall into the rhythm of religion without even stopping to see how it effects others, how it effects oneself.
But as Benyamin steps back he sees the good, the bad and the ugly about Judaism as a religion. And as he examines Christianity, the same can be said.
Both Jews and Christians can do things because they were brought up doing those things. But why?
How many of us have stepped outside for a moment and looked through the window? Watched what takes place from an outsider's point of view? Would someone look at us as we worship and think we had a screw loose? Could we explain why we do what we do? Would they look at us and wonder why we even bother going through the motions because there is no life?
Those who are Jews can spout tractates and laws with gusto. Those who are Christians can tick off scripture verses and cliches without batting an eye. And yet those watching us from the sidelines either walk away in disgust or amusement. Or they are drawn closer.
In reading this book I have come to realize (oh I knew it before really) that the "other side" is indeed watching. Would they want to venture to my side because what they see is genuine? Could they watch me for awhile and see that it's for real, not something that I put on and take off depending on the moment?
As a Christian - would a year with Moses rekindle your love for Jesus?
As a Jew - would a year with Jesus draw you closer to the G~d of your Fathers?