Israelis like to quote Jesus, and next to “Love your neighbor as yourself,” the verse they like to mention more than any other is “turn the other cheek.”
Problem is, his instructions are used to poke fun at those too cowardly to stand up for what is right, and Israelis like to call anyone who turns the other cheek a ”friar”, meaning a “sucker” or someone who is easy to take advantage of.
I have had many conversations with rabbinical students who point to “turn the other cheek” as proof that it is foolish to believe in Jesus. Like Benzi Gopstein, a political activist who had a beef with the IDF for using Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan for teaching Israel soldiers to care for the “other.” Gopstein also quoted “turn the other cheek” and explained that it means “protecting the lives of terrorists” and reflects the “insanity of distorted values in the idolatrous teaching of Jesus” as quoted here. After the Holocaust and the ongoing battle for a Jewish state, it’s clear why Jews would say...
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