Converting the Pope

JewFusionThe Jewschool crew (BZ, Shamir & I) just attended a session with David Solomon, known for his “In One Hour” talks. This particular talk was titled How to Convert the Pope: Successful and Failed Attempts to Bring the Messiah. Both fascinating, and challenging, on a number of levels.
We looked at three figures, Abraham Abulafia (whose take on Kabbalah ultimately inspired the book and subsequent film Bee Season), Solomon Molcho and the Ramchal (R’ Moshe Chaim Luzatto), all of whom at one point or another decided to attempt conversion of the Pope. Needless to say, none of them succeeded, but their little-known stories are certainly food for thought.
During the question and answer period, one of the attendees inquired as to whether or not the presenter thought that Jews should be out actively seeking converts (a question the Reform movement is currently wrestling with, given Rabbi Eric Yoffie’s comments at last year’s Biennial). The response came as a no, but with a special exception for the Pope. Apparently, the first step in such a conversion, according to Mr. Solomon, would be a presentation of “Jewish History in One Hour.” I’d sure love to be a fly on that wall.
Solomon also explained that he views Islam as over-transcendant (represented by the upward pointing triangle), and Christianity as over-immanent (the downward), and only when the two are reunified with their origin (picture a Magen David) will there be Moshiach.
Up next for me (after Lunch) – Unified Denominational TheoryKen Wilber via David Ingber. Should be fascinating. G!d willing, I’ll find time to post again before Shabbos, but if not, Shabbat shalom to you all, and we wish you were here.

4 thoughts on “Converting the Pope

  1. one of the challenges of converting the pope is the question of whether or not he’s actually religious.
    IF HE IS, then it’s just a question of how much he wants to hear. ha ha ha.

  2. Hey Tam,
    This year there wasn’t any official recordings of the sessions. (Jokingly, BZ just mumbled that maybe there are “bootleg recordings” floating around…)
    Maybe next year?

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