Cross-cultural understanding

For my devil course, we read Trachtenberg’s The Devil and the Jews, which traces the origins of modern anti-Semitism to medieval associations between Jews and demonic forces. Among the many crazy accusations medieval Christians levelled at Jews was that they kidnap Christian children and drink their blood.

Reflecting on this situation, I wondered how things might’ve turned out differently if there had been well-meaning, level-headed liberals back then. They could’ve sat everyone down and said, “Look, I know some people are always going to be uncomfortable with the fact that Jews are stealing Christian babies and drinking their blood. Understandably so! But we can’t let our gut-level reaction keep us from recognizing and respecting the fact that this practice is an important part of Jewish culture.”

5 thoughts on “Cross-cultural understanding

  1. (Just so everyone’s clear — for me the center of this joke is that the liberal doesn’t understand that Jews don’t really kidnap babies, much less drink their blood.)

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