A Warning to Ephraimites NOT to Repeat the Mistake of Previous Reformers (September, 2014 , 20 Elul, 5774)
Somewhere in the 744 pages of the "Jewish Influence on Christian Reform Movements" by Louis I. Newman (1925) there is a section comparing the attitude to Jews of new developments with older ones. Going from memory, I recall that Newman says that invariably (or at least often?) Christian Reformers at the beginning of their career are favorable to Jews. They expect Jews to flock to their banner. Their attitude is that:
Of course Jews did not want anything to do with the Old Establishment people.
They were corrupt.
They were pagan.
They did not have the truth.
I, of course, am different.
I am better, purer, and my version is the true one.
When Jews see this they will accept me as a matter of course.
And of course, the Jews think differently.
And then comes disappointment, bitterness, and an angry reaction.
This was the case with Martin Luther and according to Newman, all other Christian Reformers.
This work by Louis I. Newman was written in the days before we had TV. A good long read was valued. As I remember the book indeed is lengthy and detailed but it is worth reading.
Here is how Amazon describes the book:
This work is a study of a few typical “Reform Movements” or heresies in the history of Catholicism during the Middle Ages and of Protestantism during the Reformation era. It has been undertaken with a view to describing and analyzing the contributions by Jews and Judaism to the rise and development of these movements. [The author has] selected for detailed investigation the Iconoclastic Controversy of the ninth century, the Catharist, Waldensian, Passagian and Judaizing heresies of the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth centuries, because they typify “Reform” tendencies within Catholicism. To illustrate similar tendencies in Protestantism, [the author has] chosen the Hussite movement during the fifteenth century, the Pre-Reformation period; the Lutheran movement in Germany and the Swiss revolt led by Zwingli, both during the Reformation period; the Unitarian movement promoted by Michael Servetus during the sixteenth century, and the Puritan movement in England and America, both during the Post-Reformation era. The book aims to answer three main questions: First: Of what nature and how important is the content of the contribution of Judaism to the rise and development of Christianity? [The author has] already begun a study in connection with the preparation of this volume. Second: Have the Reform movements in Christendom arisen through the aid of Jewish literary and personal influence? This present work is an attempt in part to answer this question. Third: Is Christianity “returning to Judaism”? or: Is there a modern rapprochement between the two religions?
Another valuable work by the same author is,
"The Hasidic Anthology. Tales and Teachings of the Hasidim" (1934, softcover 1963).
This book became a Classic whereas his previous work has been forgotten. "The Hasidic Anthology" is recommended for those who have been taught that Judaism lacks spirituality.