Jews and Pharisees: Reality versus Portrayal in Christian Preaching

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Rabbi Abraham Skorka and Dr. Philip A. Cunningham from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia discuss the facts on the ground during the Second Temple period, which includes the time of Jesus of Nazareth, with regards to the group known as the “Pharisees.”  Skorka and Cunningham detail the Pharisees’ relations with Jesus before the Roman destruction of the Temple in 70 CE, as interpreted in the Gospel of Matthew after that event, and their connection with what would become the rabbinical establishment in post-Temple Judaism.  The two scholars also touch on their meetings with Pope Francis and how contemporary interfaith educational efforts regarding the truth about the Pharisees can help heal the ancient wounds of antisemitism caused by misunderstandings and polemics about the Pharisees’ historical role and their true identity.  A program of AJC Westchester/Fairfield and the “Shared Roots, Divergent Paths” Series at Iona College, this event was recorded at Iona College in New Rochelle, NY on September 18, 2019.