The Biggest Coverup in Human History
not for the Jews)
by Rabbi Benjamin Blech
taken from AISH.COM. all copyrights them
The controversial book highlights
the fundamental differences between Judaism and Roman Catholicism.
It's commonly called "the runaway best seller of the 21st century." The numbers
are staggering. Forty million copies sold round the world. Translated into 44
languages. Now released as a movie starring Tom Hanks. Critics agree: There
hasn't been anything like Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code in publishing history.
And that, truth be told, hasn't made the Catholic Church very happy.
This, after all, isn't just an exciting mystery novel. Woven into a story of the
aftermath of a murder in the Louvre Museum is a tale of Christian conspiracies,
high level cover-ups, and ancient secret societies that the author repeatedly
hints is more fact than fiction. Written in breezy roman-a-clef style, the
reader is introduced to Catholic orders that really exist, prominent holy sites
that can readily be visited, and famous people of past and present -- all of
whom share in what is presented as the greatest theological falsification of
"Almost everything our fathers taught us about Christ is false," laments one of
Brown's characters. "Faith," he has one of his heroes tell us, "is based on
Mingling fact with fiction in a combustible mixture that leaves readers
perplexed by the boundaries between one and the other, Brown leads us to believe
-- with more than an author's wink -- that an incredible hoax has been played on
millions of pious Christians who've never been told the truth about the Holy
For centuries, pious Christians have been taught that the Holy Grail is the cup
from which Jesus drank at the Last Supper. But for Brown's all-knowing art
critic and alter-ego Robert Langdon, that isn't true.
"The Grail," Langdon tells us in a scholarly voice that appears to echo the
author's personal conviction, "is symbolic of the lost goddess. When
Christianity came along, the old pagan religions did not die easily. Legends of
chivalric quests for the Holy Grail were in fact stories of forbidden quests to
find the lost sacred feminine. Knights who claimed to be 'searching for the
chalice' were speaking in code as a way to protect themselves from a Church that
had subjugated women, banished the Goddess, burned non-believers, and forbidden
the pagan reverence for the sacred feminine." (The Da Vinci Code, pages 238-239)
And there is more. A woman's body is symbolically a container, and the most
famous of these has a name every Christian will immediately recognize. Brown
claims that the Holy Grail was actually Mary Magdalene. She was married to Jesus
and was the vessel that bore his children.
The secret that could not be revealed since the birth of Christianity is that
Jesus' bloodline continues to flourish to this day. The Grand Masters of the
Priory of Sion (an actual Christian organization), among whom Brown lists
Leonardo Da Vinci, Isaac Newton and Victor Hugo, have -- according to the book's
premise -- kept to their oath never to reveal any of this to the public and the
Roman Catholic church is committed to suppressing this information. Brown
strongly hints that only the fortunate readers of this "documentary disguised as
fiction" may at last share in this incredible revelation.
Small wonder the Church is profoundly disturbed. Brown's book is for the Vatican
blasphemy masquerading as history. If the Da Vinci Code premise is true -- and
the entire book is replete with suggestions that the reader is permitted entree
to secret truths merely couched in a fictionalized framework -- Rome needs to
revise its faith and its past, its beliefs as well as the story of its
But what strikes me, as a rabbi, is the remarkable irony that the very theories
about Jesus presented by Brown that make the book blasphemous to Christians are
concepts that make Jesus far more comprehensible to Jews.
Jesus was married! Well why shouldn't he have been? Reared as a Jew, celibacy
would have almost certainly been an idea totally foreign to him. "Be fruitful
and multiply" was the biblical creed that all Jews considered sacred. Celibacy
as a Christian ideal wouldn't become law until the Council of Elvira (300-306)
decreed (Canon 33): It is decided that marriage be altogether prohibited to
bishops, priests, and deacons, or to all clerics placed in the ministry, and
that they keep away from their wives and not beget children; whoever does this,
shall be deprived of the honor of the clerical office.
Christian scholars explain the reason: The Church wanted to insure that the
wealth of its leadership would not be dissipated by way of family inheritance. A
non-married clergy would always return their possessions to Rome.
Historians have pointed out the chilling effects of this doctrine. The "best and
the brightest" were invariably encouraged to enter the prestigious life of the
priesthood. That effectively condemned their genes to hereditary oblivion. Jews,
on the other hand, turned those with the greatest intellectual potential to
rabbinic lives of learning and teaching combined with an emphasis on large
families. That, claims Will Durant in his classic The Lessons of History, is
what in all probability accounts for the statistically unbelievable
preponderance of Jewish Nobel Prize winners and achievements.
More troubling for Christians, a married Jesus is far too much a human figure
instead of a god to be worshipped. Christianity can't conceive of their object
of divine reverance as a sexual being -- or even as one conceived by the sexual
act. It is a troublesome relationship with physical pleasure that turned
Christian teachings away from their Jewish biblical source. But Jews have no
problem with a married Moses. It is the Torah that Moses brought to us that not
only commands marriage but calls it Kiddushin -- an ideal state of holiness.
Here is the crux of a crucial concept that has separated Judaism from
Christianity throughout the centuries. Jews spared no effort to insure that
their greatest leader never be confused with God; Moses was always to be viewed
as human, mortal, less than divine, even capable of sin for which he was
punished and denied entry into the Promised Land. His very burial site was to
remain hidden so that it not become revered beyond measure. The greatness of
Moses rests precisely on his human qualities. He represents mankind's potential.
In him we see what we fellow human beings are capable of becoming.
The book is making 40
million people question what Jews have long recognized about
Christianity's founder: Jesus was not God; he was human.
Christians, on the other hand,
insisted that Jesus be viewed not as man but as god; his human form could never
be allowed to overshadow his divinity. Jesus was not elevated man but a god
descended to earth. Physical frailties and human weaknesses couldn't possibly be
part of his makeup.
And that is what Brown has breached in revealing, albeit in an ostensibly
fictionalized account, a "human" truth about Christianity's founder. A married
Jesus with children is, for the Church, nothing less than a diminished god.
That's why Jews shouldn't be upset about the success of The Da Vinci Code.
After all, it's responsible for making more than 40 million people question
what Jews have long recognized about Christianity's founder: Jesus was not
God; he was human.
And perhaps the day will come when the world will acknowledge what Judaism
teaches: It isn't God who became man, but man who must strive to become more
courtesy of Aish.com
Benjamin Blech holds a masters degree in psychology from Columbia University,
and has written nine books on Judaism, including three as part of the highly
popular Idiot's Guide series (one of which was cited by Larry King as "a piece
taught at Yeshiva University since 1966, and has received the American Educator
of the Year award. A tenth-generation rabbi, Blech is a frequent lecturer in
Jewish communities around the world. He has appeared on national television
(including The Oprah Winfrey Show), and writes regularly for major newspapers
and journals. He was recently ranked #16 in a listing of the 50 most influential
Jews in America. Born in Zurich, Rabbi Blech lives in Manhattan with his wife