I have never given much thought to Titus, Roman destroyer of Jerusalem in the year 70, or seen reason to rejoice in the destruction of the Second Temple and the defeat of Israel. Yet once or twice a year I’m celebrating that destruction and what it did to Jews when I sing in sing-along Messiahs, sometimes standing next to Jews who love the music of Handel. We think of them as good neighbors who generously stand up with their Christian and “other” friends during the “Hallelujah Chorus.”
Now I find that I’ve been ignorant: Handel’s Messiah is full of unnecessarily anti-Judaic themes. Since the Advent cycle is a half year away, we can take up the subject with some dispassion.