Thursday, March 15, 2007

Old Town: The Jewish Quarter

I decided not to be a cheapskate and paid to go on a guided walking tour of the Jewish Quarter in Old Town. It was good, not merely because it was pretty interesting to actually hear about what it is you're looking at, but also because going with a group is more fun. There was a Canadian college student and his dad, a British couple, and a younger lady and her friend's mother, here to visit her friend. The lady (she was in her lower thirties, I would guess,) had spent ten years in Philly; she went to Penn for her undergraduate, Drexel for her graduate, worked there afterwards deal. It was really great to have someone to talk to about home and what we were seeing and made the whole thing alot more enjoyable than if I had wandered around alone.

Although I have to say I was pretty surprised about how much my fellow members of the group didn't know about Jewish history. They were shocked to learn that Jews had been discriminated against for centuries, restricted to certain parts of the city and routinely massacred whenever a plague/famine/disaster/boredom came along and people needed some handy scapegoats. "But surely," protested the British couple, "All of Europe wasn't like that! Certainly that never happened in Britian!"

Although I'm not entirely sure about Britian...actually, sir...welcome to the nastier side of Church History.

I remember something I read in C.S. Lewis that was very apropo, and it ran something like this: "A majority of people will never listen to the gospel until the Church has publicly renounced much of it's history...why should they? We have shouted the name of Christ and enacted the worship of Moloch"

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