Thursday, August 04, 2005

Caveman Tact

Our Swedish friends came by for a visit yesterday. 10 years ago they moved to Israel the same time we did, and ended up in the same absorption center as us, which is how we became friends. They moved back to Sweden after several years of difficult living here, but two of their kids stayed on. I kind of suspected that they weren't your regular run-of-the-mill Swedish Jews and when I was a guest one evening at the Swedish Theological Institute, I met someone who knew them.

"Are you a believer too then?" the elderly lady asked me. She had given piano lessons to their children.

"Sure" I replied. I believe in lots of things, happiness, peace, God, karma, food, money - you name it, I believe it.

Her smile widened.

"All you have to do is follow His word"

"OF course, although it's a bit difficult to follow all 613 commandments - that's a bit much with a family, a full time job, living in this dysfunctional country..."

She stopped me - "I mean, if you believe in Jesus, you will be saved."

"Oh!" I figured she meant that from the beginning, but it's fun to play a little bit.

Turns out our friends were the same kind of believers as she, but never ever said a word about it to any of us. I guess they would have had a difficult time getting accepted into mainstream society here, and might even have been deported if immigration authorities got wind of their beliefs, so they used extreme caution.

I told the kids who remained here that I "knew" and we had fabulous discussions around it.

But I still think that the parents are a bit "shy" about it still. So when they came over last night, in mid- conversation Hubby asked them -

"So what church do you go to?"

While I cringed, they laughed and turned red and said they were part of a Jewish cultural club.

"We learned a whole lot about messianic Jews from your daughter" added Hubby.

Oh, we're doing great in promoting parent/daughter relationships, aren't we? I hope they don't give their daughter an ear-lashing in discussing something they consider taboo to discuss.

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