I was sitting on the balcony of a high-rise hotel in Southern California. The Pacific Ocean sparkled under a smog-free sky. A rabbi we’ll call Sol was enjoying the view with me. I had originally met Sol a few years earlier through a phone call: “I represent a group of several dozen rabbis,” he said, “who have read all of your books. We would like to meet with you sometime.” I wasn’t expecting that! Since that first phone call, we had met a couple of times and a warm friendship had begun. I was in his neighborhood to speak at a local seminary, so he kindly came by to say hello.

“Sol, we’ve become good enough friends now that I can ask you something kind of personal, right?” I asked.

“Sure. Anything.”

“What do you think of Jesus? I’m not asking that as a test question or as a prelude...

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