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December, 1999

Dear Eric,

Thank you for your Christmas Greetings. While the marking of the Incarnation is seminal for Christians, I must admit that the way it is celebrated by most of my co-religionists leaves much to be desired. My wife Bonnie, for example, thinks that mandated giving at Christmas is close to blasphemy. Self-giving is supposed to be a 365-day-per-year activity according to her. And I agree. So we don't put up any special decorations, since we have great art on our walls that celebrate the birth of Jesus, but we do give gifts to our children and close family members.

More importantly, I have been thinking that I am about who to enter a new century gracefully, that I need to examine my past behavior and ask forgiveness to those persons that I have sinned against and try to make amends. The greatest honor I can give to the Creator of the Universe, the Lord, G-d Almighty, blessed be his name, is to live the l;ife that Jesus, his Son lived through word and action. The beauty of his life is that it is so deeply rooted in Torah, and at the same time a midrash on the Torah that updates this great revelation that was given to the World through the Jewish nation.

As a Christian to my Jewish brother, thank you for teaching me the Jewishness of Jesus. I hope that through our friendship that you have experienced the midrashic love and compassion of Jesus through me for the years we have lived and worked together.



PS: I must travel to NYC for three days next week. When I get back, I will call you to have breakfast or lunch. Life has been so very hectic this fall and early winter. I will tell you how when we meet.

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