Many have tried, but no one can break our Law

When something keeps buzzing around in my brain for a long period of time, I like to solicit opinions. So please help me with this one…
Almost three months ago, I attended an event for and about seniors. Like many large public gatherings, it was held in a local church. Many houses of worship offer appropriate venues; this one had a large room where attendees enjoyed early coffee and doughnuts, a foyer big enough for a variety of informational tables displays, and a sanctuary where all could gather at once for speeches and presentations. It was in this sanctuary where my brain started to buzz — and not from anything any speaker said.
Sit with me now in my synagogue where I have a favorite seat, at the end of a row down in front, on the right side facing the bima. There I can contemplate my favorite stained-glass window, one of four installed 14 years ago. Its design — in the modern dalle de verre technique that is much heavier than the traditional, ethereal kind — features the start of a Torah scroll that winds through the quartet, here inscribed with the Shema; directly above this is a bold interpretation of the two Tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments. All of this is positioned low, just about eye level when I’m seated there.
I like stained glass, and in the sanctuary of this particular church there was much of it to look at, all in the older style. I admired its workmanship and beauty as the morning sun streamed directly in, filling the large room with rays of color. But suddenly, I was jarred out of my pleasant reverie. What was I seeing? And then I lost contact with the speaker, because I realized it was a contorted variation of the window I face with joy and appreciation every week.
Yes, it had a scroll, and above it the traditional tablets, yet something was very wrong. These tablets were broken apart! This scroll was torn! A sun and crown hung over them, along with this inscription: “Arise, shine, for your light has come.” So beautifully rendered in glass more delicate than my shul’s version was a perversion of everything we Jews hold most dear!
Of course, that “sun” equals The Son, Jesus, with the crown Christianity has bestowed upon him. I have no problem with those images; I have no problem in any church — and I’ve visited many — with beautiful stained-glass renderings of Saints and even the Stations of the Cross. These belong in their proper surroundings. But we Jews know that Jesus, a Jew himself, did not try to destroy our Law; he was a teacher, trying to make it more accessible to his own people. Most of today’s Christians still revere it as “Old Testament,” although they no longer follow it as we do. This depiction was so blatantly wrong, I felt it deep inside me as a church-approved insult.
I do know this: One small stone, thrown at that window, would shatter its fragility and turn into shards all the beauty of its translucent glass. But I also know this: My shul’s dalle de verre window is made of stuff that’s tougher, in two ways. The first is that this modern technique is more “muscular,” more durable than the traditional glass; its component pieces are thicker and heavier, and set in an epoxy that is hard as concrete. But the second is even more important: Nothing, not even a stone thrown directly at it, can break our Law. It might break out a chip or two, but the substance would stand firm. People have been trying to do away with our Torah and the Tablets of Moses for ages, without success. And no one, no church, can have that success now.
I didn’t mention my feelings to anyone there, but I won’t go into that church again. What do you think?

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