Finally, the bloody history of Christian-Jewish relations over two millennia does not allow the traditional Jew to identify with a doctrine that is specifically Christian, even if it were otherwise true. Christianity has simply been too cruel to Jews and Judaism, even if, in very recent times, some Christians have taken a different attitude toward us. "How can one sing the songs of the Lord on alien soil?" It would be a betrayal of all our ancestors to do so. It would render the death of thousands of martyrs an act of futility. Rather: "Good fences make good neighbors."
All this having been said, Christians and Jews have much to learn from one another in taking tselem seriously--not only ethically but also spiritually and intellectually. Exploring together the positive and negative attributes of God using all we know of Scripture and of human nature will enrich our knowledge of ourselves and of the God in Whose image we are created.
Vocation, Dignity, and Redemption
In her essay on "The Image," Tikva Frymer-Kensky helpfully isolates features of Jewish and Christian ideas about human existence. She observes that Jews and Christians often discover each other's worship and faith difficult to comprehend. Crosses, icons, and the doctrine of the trinity disorient (maybe offend) Jews; Torah scrolls, the "Western Wall," and legal traditions are difficult (maybe impossible) for Christians to grasp. Of course, as a Christian, I frequently find the piety of fellow Christians confusing. There is little room in my Protestant sensibilities for Roman Catholic veneration of the Virgin Mary or Eastern Orthodox icons. And even within Protestantism, there are