I Israel blir det hevda at det dei siste åra har kome fleire og fleire katolske teologistudentar til landet for å læra moderne hebraisk. Frå eit jødisk synspunkt ser ein nok på dette litt blanda følelser, kanskje med ei blanding av uro og interesse?
Caspari Center Media Review gjengir denne veka innhaldet i eit oppslag om temaet i Jerusalem Post. Ein fransk teologistudent legg her ut om ulike grunnar for å læra moderne hebraisk:
He cites three reasons for a priest-in-training to learn modern Hebrew. ‘The first obviously is that it’s easier to learn biblical Hebrew when you know modern Hebrew,’ said Comte, who was officially ordained as deacon – the first degree in the sacrament of orders – a few weeks ago and will officially become a priest in June, after seven years of study. The second motive, he explained, involves understanding all the songs and prayers that embody modern Jewish culture. To stay truly up to date with Catholicism, clerics must also stay aware of current trends in Judaism because ‘there is only one history – there is only the history of Moses, and there is only one Lord,’ he said. ‘When we strive to get to know the Jewish culture better, it’s not to make Jewish people know Jesus Christ – it’s for us,’ he said. ‘We have to do this, to improve our knowledge.’ The third reason, he said, is to become more familiar with the modern history of Israel and the construction of the State of Israel because all that happens in Israel is interesting for all the nations. Comte said that all seminarians in Paris can come here to learn modern Hebrew which, like their studies in France, is free to the students and paid for by church tithes. Aside from markedly improved relations between Catholics and Jews, he also credits the French seminarians’ interest in Hebrew and Judaism with the fact that the former archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, was originally Jewish. … While neither Campomar nor Comte intends to make his permanent home here, each expressed an equally deep connection to the land. ‘At last, in Israel, I was able to experience how faith in God is really a gift,’ Comte said. ‘When I am in France or Europe, the common culture is Christian, so it’s normal to believe in God. But we don’t realize that our beliefs are not simply a European belief. Our beliefs are from Israel, from Judaism. In Jerusalem, everybody is Jewish and the streets are filled with Jewish people. It’s here that we really realize that this is a gift. In theological terms, we realize it’s a grace.'”