The revised version of the once-every-decade drama in Germany got a thumbs-up from two prominent religious leaders, according to the AP:
The redo of Germany’s famous Oberammergau Passion Play apparently works.
A prominent American rabbi and the archbishop of New York said Friday that this year’s production is more balanced than in the past, after the director removed several stereotypes that had raised concerns of anti-Semitism.
New York’s Roman Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan and Rabbi Gary Greenebaum of the American Jewish Committee watched the play together Thursday in the Bavarian village where it has been performed for more than 400 years. They both told The Associated Press in separate phone interviews they agreed at a joint dinner during the play’s intermission that the show was more sensitive than previous performances.
The two religious leaders lauded the passion play’s director, Christian Stueckl, for his re-enactment of the suffering and last days of Jesus Christ.
“I have always been sensitive to Jewish concerns that the play could perpetuate the ancient and tragically unjust misunderstanding that the Jews are responsible for the killing of Jesus,” Dolan said. “But thanks to the courage of the directors, the villagers and the Jewish leaders, the script has gradually been renewed.”
Greenebaum said the American Jewish Committee and other Jewish groups had worked with the producers of the Oberammergau Passion Play since the 1970s to help them overcome anti-Jewish stereotypes. He said this year’s performance “is more balanced than ever before and we need to appreciate the tremendous efforts that have gone into it.”
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