Book: A Rabbi’s Impressions of the Oberammergau Passion Play
Author: Joseph Krauskopf

A Rabbi’s Impressions of the Oberammergau Passion Play By Joseph Krauskopf

Format: Global Grey free PDF, epub, Kindle ebook
Pages (PDF): 126
Publication Date: 1901

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Four centuries ago a village high in the Bavarian Alps, Oberammergau, promised that, if God interceded against the bubonic plague, they would stage a Passion play every ten years. A Passion play is a medieval dramatic form which depicts the life and (principally) death of Jesus. All of the actors are residents, and the entire community participates in one way or another. The pageant continues in the 21st century. This book is an American Reform Rabbi's encounter with this, at the time, insidiously anti-Semitic, production. He vividly describes his own feelings at each stage of the play. He points out many inconsistencies in the narrative. He describes how bits of folklore became attached to the story, and how the four Gospel accounts don't match up. In particular he illustrates how the legal procedures don't remotely match what was customary at the time, let alone the question of why such a trial would even be conducted during the high holy days.