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Christians who observes Jewish holidays


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We have these great social groups here. You should think about starting a Judaism 101 group...*hint* *hint*;). I live in a rather rural location and drive an hr to the closest Eastern Orthodox church, but I would be very interested in learning the basics. Some of the ladies throw around words I know are very central to the way you converse about your faith and I get very lost. :D

WOW! That is what we call mesiras nefesh (self-sacrifice). I know about driving to get community -- we did that in Indiana for three years...

 

How do I start such a group?? (hint, hint) :D

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Not when you accuse and say Christians worship Jesus as a god. Jesus was the Son of God. But not a god (with a little g). When you say god with a small g you are referring to pagan gods. When referring to God you use a capital G because He has earned that, and I'm imagining that the poster of the post is well aware of that grammatical rule.

 

 

 

 

 

She was grammatically correct. When you say a god or (as she did) your god, it's a small g. If you use it as a name, capital G. In this case she did not use it as a name. Regardless of whether you think he earned it or not, grammatical rules apply to God (see, I'm using it as his name therefore it's capitalized).

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We have these great social groups here. You should think about starting a Judaism 101 group...*hint* *hint*;).

:iagree::)

 

Not when you accuse and say Christians worship Jesus as a god. Jesus was the Son of God. But not a god (with a little g). When you say god with a small g you are referring to pagan gods. When referring to God you use a capital G because He has earned that, and I'm imagining that the poster of the post is well aware of that grammatical rule.

 

She may of had other good posts in this discusion, but this was bitter.

 

Yes, it was poor wording, and, from a Christian perspective, it is offensive, but I did not get the impression that Yael was trying to offend. Tone is so hard to read on the web.

 

Christians do not corrupt Jewish traditions. Many of our traditions came from Jewish traditions. Especially the Catholic religion. We do not celebrate other Jewish holidays but Passover , we observe the Sabbath ( we have Mass on Saturdays and Sundays. Don't know of many or any other protestant churches practice but Catholics do) , and I've taught my daughters about Chanukah because we live in the politically correct world we live in. So either you want others to understand you or you don't. Can't have your cake and eat it too. Even if what that person knows is limited because they do not come from a Jewish background. Its better than not having them understand at all and be filled full of ignorance.

I don't think anyone is saying that Gentiles shouldn't learn about Jewish holidays, simply that they should not co-opt the Jewish holy days and turn them into some sort of let's-get-closer-to-Jesus, wishy-washy non-Jewish celebration. If a non-Catholic started pretending to celebrate Mass, but added elements of his own religion, I would be offended. That's not how you learn about Catholicism.

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This makes it sound as if the very existence of Christianity is offensive. I would guess that the use of The Old Testament is also offensive?

 

Christians do believe that Jesus is the fulfillment of the law, there is no getting around that. So, it sounds like our very existence is offensive.

 

The root of all of the offense is Jesus. He came as a Jewish man who said he was God and was the fulfillment of all of the Law and the Prophets. He also said that through him was the only way to God. All of the offense that is felt (whether it be Christians practicing Jewish holidays or name whatever else there is) really come down to what the Jewish man, Jesus, said. It all boils down to that.

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WOW! That is what we call mesiras nefesh (self-sacrifice). I know about driving to get community -- we did that in Indiana for three years...

 

How do I start such a group?? (hint, hint) :D

 

Please don't be teasing. I don't think I could stand the disappointment.:001_smile:

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I was talking about the sacramental aspect, not just the holiday. When a Christian celebrates __(insert Jewish Holiday)__ they are actually trying to celebrate something sacramental. So, to a Christian, that would be like a cult co-opting communion, no?

 

Well, if someone did that I would think, "Well, that makes them one step closer to doing what God wants us to do." I would think it was a good thing, even if they totally messed it up.

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I don't think anyone is saying that Gentiles shouldn't learn about Jewish holidays, simply that they should not co-opt the Jewish holy days and turn them into some sort of let's-get-closer-to-Jesus, wishy-washy non-Jewish celebration. If a non-Catholic started pretending to celebrate Mass, but added elements of his own religion, I would be offended. That's not how you learn about Catholicism.

 

Are you offended by Anglicans celebrating the same sorts of things that you do? Because the Anglican religion is basically an off-shoot of Catholicism. One that was considered heretical and resulted in a couple hundred years of back-and-forth persecution.

Edited by Mrs Mungo
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Not when you accuse and say Christians worship Jesus as a god. Jesus was the Son of God. But not a god (with a little g). When you say god with a small g you are referring to pagan gods. When referring to God you use a capital G because He has earned that, and I'm imagining that the poster of the post is well aware of that grammatical rule.

 

 

It is bizarre to me that a Trinitarian Christian (as Roman Catholics are) would object to Jesus being called God, as he is, in my understanding, considered to be one part of an indivisible god-head.

 

As to capitalization rules, I follow the dominant conventions, but fully understand why a person who does not believe Jesus was/is God (or one person in the god-head) would not capitalize god, as they would find it heretical to their beliefs. Just as you choose not to capitalize god or gods when referring to the divine beings believed in by other cultures.

 

Bill

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Use Control Panel > Social Groups > Create New Group

 

:001_smile:

 

OK, and if I create such a group, can anyone fill me in on what responsibilities I would be undertaking??? After I get that answered, I can really consider doing it (but probably on Sat night after Shabbos)

Edited by YaelAldrich
dang oopsies again
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It is bizarre to me that a Trinitarian Christian (as Roman Catholics are) would object to Jesus being called God, as he is, in my understanding, considered to be one part of an indivisible god-head.

 

But, Jesus is not God if and of Himself. I know it might not make sense to everyone, but there it is.

 

As to capitalization rules, I follow the dominant conventions, but fully understand why a person who does not believe Jesus was/is God (or one person in the god-head) would not capitalize god, as they would find it heretical to their beliefs. Just as you choose not to capitalize god or gods when referring to the divine beings believed in by other cultures.

 

 

I would capitalize Allah or Buddha, that is what convention mandates. But, one does not generally capitalize something like, "your god."

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Ultimately, I guess there is going to be a divergence that Christians can't help. Christians *do* see Christ as a fulfillment of the law (which does not abolish the law). They *are* an offshoot of Judaism, as far as they are concerned.

:iagree: Moreover, modern Christians and Jews look at Scripture and ancient Jewish civilization through very different lenses. Each of us sees it as pointing toward our own present-day beliefs and practices. Since we've gone in such different directions from one another, this is bound to cause some tension.

 

Jewish people would say that they are the only ones with the authority to say what the Scriptures (and, by extension, the Biblical feasts) are about, because they are its only heirs, according to their own understanding of the Scriptures. But that's circular, and isn't likely to get us far. It also doesn't address the issue of ethnically Jewish people who believe in Christianity.

 

Basically I think that in this day and age we all can ask another group if it is OK to take their "stuff" for our own purposes. If they go bonkers perhaps there is too much baggage around it or that it is very special the group and it's only polite to let it go. There are so many other ways to dress, eat, live to make someone else have pain intentionally.

Hmm. Are you referring only to people who take "stuff" for educational reasons, or would you also include those who are acting on a religious impulse? If the latter, then by those rules, Christianity would never have existed at all. I mean, it caused hard feelings from the beginning. And the Mass could certainly have been seen as a "co-opting" of Jewish rituals. The very first Christianized seder, so to speak.

 

(There have been several books on the Hebrew roots of Christian liturgy in recent decades, e.g. by Sofia Cavalletti and Eugene J. Fisher. Also, I think, Brent Pitre; I haven't read his book yet, but others might have.)

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But, Jesus is not God if and of Himself. I know it might not make sense to everyone, but there it is.

 

 

 

I would capitalize Allah or Buddha, that is what convention mandates. But, one does not generally capitalize something like, "your god."

 

Wait, I capitalized Jesus as it is a proper noun, just like I would with Krishna, Buddha or any other person's name. I didn't capitalize the word god in the phrase "your god" as the word god in this case is not a proper noun. It had nothing to do with whether I think Jesus is my/your/anyone's deity. I did say "your" because I don't believe in Jesus as my "Lord and Savior"; the last time I check Christians believe he is their "Lord and Savior".

 

I knew being a classical homeschooler's mom would come in handy someday. :lol:

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Wait, I capitalized Jesus as it is a proper noun, just like I would with Krishna, Buddha or any other person's name. I didn't capitalize the word god in the phrase "your god" as the word god in this case is not a proper noun. It had nothing to do with whether I think Jesus is my/your/anyone's deity. I did say "your" because I don't believe in Jesus as my "Lord and Savior"; the last time I check Christians believe he is their "Lord and Savior".

 

I knew being a classical homeschooler's mom would come in handy someday. :lol:

 

Right, I was agreeing with you, but clarifying Bill's point. :D

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OK, and if I create such a group, can anyone fill me in on what responsibilities I would be undertaking??? After I get that answered, I can really consider doing it (but probably on Sat night after Shabbos)

 

That would be completely up to you. If you have taught a course before it could be as simple as starting a thread in the group with the basics for that lesson. Then we could ask questions on that thread. You could put up something once a week even instead of a daily thing. Check out this group for an ideas...http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/group.php?groupid=159

 

Hope that helps!

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Can I ask what you/Christians think the Jewish ritual of seder is about? This could be one of the problems here...

 

To remember the enslavement of the Jewish people in Egypt and subsequent liberation from that enslavement.

 

We have that story too, even if it isn't part of our birthright.

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To remember the enslavement of the Jewish people in Egypt and subsequent liberation from that enslavement.

 

We have that story too, even if it isn't part of our birthright.

 

No, that's not what I meant. What about the "this is my body, this is my blood" stuff? How does that fit in then? I know the Last Supper was supposed to be a Seder and that is where the famous lines were uttered. But why do Christians LOVE seders? A do-over of the Last Supper? A love of matzo and sweet red wine? To reconnect with a ceremony Jesus did in his lifetime?

 

It is kind of funny because there is actually a law (that some do not follow) that says a non-Jew is never allowed at a seder because the seder was specifically there to bring the Jew (and only the Jew) through the process of slavery and redemption from G-d. Notice I did not say remember, we need to feel as though we are slaves (hence the language in the Hagadah - narration of the Passover story) and we are brought out by G-d.

Edited by YaelAldrich
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That would be completely up to you. If you have taught a course before it could be as simple as starting a thread in the group with the basics for that lesson. Then we could ask questions on that thread. You could put up something once a week even instead of a daily thing. Check out this group for an ideas...http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/group.php?groupid=159

 

Hope that helps!

 

Thanks! :D

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No, that's not what I meant. What about the "this is my body, this is my blood" stuff? How does that fit in then? I know the Last Supper was supposed to be a Seder and that is where the famous lines were uttered. But why do Christians LOVE seders? A do-over of the Last Supper? A love of matzo and sweet red wine? To reconnect with a ceremony Jesus did in his lifetime?

 

It is kind of funny because there is actually a law (that some do not follow) that says a non-Jew is never allowed at a seder because the seder was specifically there to bring the Jew (and only the Jew) through the process of slavery and redemption from G-d. Notice I did not say remember, we need to feel as though we are slaves (hence the language in the Hagadah - narration of the Passover story) and we are brought out by G-d.

These are big questions, and you're going to get different answers from members of different Christian groups.

 

For a starting point into Catholic beliefs, I'd suggest looking at the section on the Eucharist in our official Catechism. But given what you mentioned, this page (not authoritative teaching -- written by a lay apologist) would likely also be of interest. It talks about similarities between the Catholic term anamnesis and the Hebrew term zecher.

 

Passover in Judaism: Past Events Become Present Today

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Not when you accuse and say Christians worship Jesus as a god. Jesus was the Son of God. But not a god (with a little g). When you say god with a small g you are referring to pagan gods. When referring to God you use a capital G because He has earned that, and I'm imagining that the poster of the post is well aware of that grammatical rule.

 

Pretty sure that "a god" takes a little g and "G-d" takes the big G. That would be, "You shall have no other god but G-d." Or "in Judaism we believe that there is only one god."

 

Christians do not corrupt Jewish traditions. Many of our traditions came from Jewish traditions. Especially the Catholic religion. We do not celebrate other Jewish holidays but Passover , we observe the Sabbath ( we have Mass on Saturdays and Sundays. Don't know of many or any other protestant churches practice but Catholics do) , and I've taught my daughters about Chanukah because we live in the politically correct world we live in.

 

The Christian rituals of "observing" Jewish holidays are not the (we believe) correct observances of those same holidays, and are therefore corruptions. Sabbath is not observed by attendance at a service. Passover was given to Jews by G-d so that Jews would remember what G-d did for _us_ in Egypt. I do not of course know the details of how individual Christians observe Passover, but I strongly doubt it is correct to Jewish standards -- cleaning the chametz out of the house, burning the chametz, etc. One seder does not a Passover make. Furthermore, most "Christian seders" make an effort to point out that this is what Jesus did, is tied to the last supper, and so on. Can we agree that seders in Jewish law are not held to better illuminate the life of Jesus?

 

 

So either you want others to understand you or you don't. Can't have your cake and eat it too. Even if what that person knows is limited because they do not come from a Jewish background. Its better than not having them understand at all and be filled full of ignorance.

 

 

There is a third option: For Christians to make an effort to understand Jewish observance without celebrating Jewish holidays. Part of understanding me is understanding that I'm not you, that my religion exists in its own right and isn't a living museum of Christian origins.

 

I know what transubstantiation is and how a mass goes, but I don't pretend to hold a mass in my home or go receive communion at my local Catholic church. I can learn about something without intruding on it in a way that would be considered disrespectful by the natives.

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I know that JWs have long discouraged Christmas, though they did celebrate it at one point, but like you, I've never heard of it being discouraged elsewhere in the past.

 

IIRC Oliver Cromwell discouraged or forbid Christmas celebrations during his time as Lord Protector in England.

 

I have also read that large parts of the north-eastern United States did not observe Christmas as a major holiday, unlike the south-eastern United States which did.

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IIRC Oliver Cromwell discouraged or forbid Christmas celebrations during his time as Lord Protector in England.

 

I have also read that large parts of the north-eastern United States did not observe Christmas as a major holiday, unlike the south-eastern United States which did.

 

If I recall, what I said was in response to someone saying that early Christians discouraged Christmas, which I am pretty sure is untrue. I don't recall exactly, though, and I'm too tired to go back through the thread.

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Hm. So, say someone was raised Jewish, but become Christians and then they belong to a Messianic-Jewish group. Are they being offensive? Isn't it their heritage too? I'm not sure I'm grasping this point, unless you mean it is offensive to proselytize through such a ceremony.

 

 

Such a person has left Judaism for Christianity. It is offensive to try to form a hybrid of the two. Obviously we would want him to return to Judaism.

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Not when you accuse and say Christians worship Jesus as a god. Jesus was the Son of God. But not a god (with a little g).

 

I don't think you can expect people who aren't Christian to conform to your understanding of the Trinity. She wasn't "accusing" you of anything, but was (I think) trying to refer to the Christian belief that Jesus is part of the Godhead, or however it is properly termed. You can't expect someone who hasn't studied Christianity to understand that, although you say "Jesus is Lord" and "the divine nature of Jesus" and so forth, that you will be offended to hear someone say that you think Jesus is a god.

 

When you say god with a small g you are referring to pagan gods. When referring to God you use a capital G because He has earned that, and I'm imagining that the poster of the post is well aware of that grammatical rule.

 

There's no grammatical rule that privileges the Christian god over other gods, so maybe it's you who needs to brush up on her grammar. A Pagan god, when addressed or referred to by name, is capitalized. So is the Christian god. When you're describing what a divine personage is, you don't capitalize except as a matter of devotion. I wouldn't expect a non-Christian to capitalize "He" when used to mean Jesus, for example, and grammar doesn't require them to do so.

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Just wanted to add another link, from a Franciscan friar: Passover Seder and the Eucharist

 

As he explains, Catholics believe that the Eucharist is "our Passover." IMO, it confuses this when we start holding our own seders (even if this is just done for educational reasons). It was my understanding that some bishops or other leaders had discouraged the practice. I guess that isn't the case in Tracy's area.

 

We do not celebrate other Jewish holidays but Passover , we observe the Sabbath ( we have Mass on Saturdays and Sundays. Don't know of many or any other protestant churches practice but Catholics do)

Sorry to get OT here, but could I ask where you heard that our Saturday mass is a way of observing the Jewish Sabbath? :confused: From what I've always known, in the morning, it's just a regular daily mass as we have on weekdays. In the evening, it's a vigil of the Sunday mass (i.e., our holy day), which has been provided in recent decades for the convenience of people who have to work on Sunday. So your description is puzzling me.

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But would there be Christianity without Judaism? No. Jesus was Jewish. All of the first Christians were Jewish. Christians consider themselves adopted into God's family, while considering the Jews God's family. We understand the meaning of our covenant through your covenant. We consider your forefathers our religious forefathers. We got the first half of our holy book from your holy writings. We study it with all sincerity and a loving heart. We consider your God our God.

 

I get where you are coming from. Can you understand where we are coming from?

 

I've seen this adoption analogy made before, and although I am not Jewish (or Christian), I have to say that I think it must look really, really different from a Jewish perspective.

 

Christians see themselves as being adopted into the family, but with a better, more complete understanding of what the Father wants. Right? Christians very commonly argue that God can never be satisfied by people following the laws and doing good works - you know, what Jewish people strive to do - thus the need for Jesus' sacrifice.

 

So I feel like, from a Jewish point of view, this "family" argument must carry overtones of "We're all part of the same family, of course, and I totally honor your relationship with Dad even though you've never really been able to make him happy. I'm the one who really understands him. Hey, let me interpret your old family stories. And those special occasions that used to just be between you and Dad - I have a right to be in on those too."

 

If you look at it from that perspective, it's not hard to understand why you're being told "Go worship in your own way, but stop harping on what you see as our family relationship."

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So I feel like, from a Jewish point of view, this "family" argument must carry overtones of "We're all part of the same family, of course, and I totally honor your relationship with Dad even though you've never really been able to make him happy. I'm the one who really understands him. Hey, let me interpret your old family stories. And those special occasions that used to just be between you and Dad - I have a right to be in on those too."

That actually sounds to me like the way Protestants (at least, the friendlier, more ecumenical ones) might talk about Catholics. It doesn't bother me much. We are still family. Though maybe in need of a family therapist. ;)

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The relationship between G-d and the Jewish people is often described as a romantic one - some mefarshim (commentators) hold that Shir Hashirim (Song of Songs) is a metaphoric poem about the love between us.

 

In that vein, the Shalosh regalim are sometimes described as stages in our 'relationship'.

 

Pesach commemorates the whirlwind courtship - complete with large, dramatic gestures and an exciting elopement.

 

Shavuous is the wedding - with the Torah as our kesuva (wedding contract)... some Sephardic communities have a wedding-like ceremony on Shavuous each year. Shavuous is when every Jewish neshama - including those not yet born - was present, so to speak, at Har Sinai and said 'naaseh v'nishma' ('we will do and we will hear') - that is when our eternal, undissolvable union was consecrated.

 

..and Sukkos is making it real. The 40 years of things not being as perfect as we'd imagined... the work of relationship... and the security of Divine love and protection that transcends all physical and earthly illusions of security.

 

Our holiday cycle in general is a... well, cycle of time... not a remembering of the past, but, on a very deep level, each year we, spiritually, go through these experiences again... to find new levels of spiritual freedom on Pesach, a renewed revelation of the Torah, and renewed commitment to finding the simcha (joy) and security in our relationship with G-d.

 

Each chag has its own significance and meaning and some of those pieces might be interesting or appealing to non-Jews... but extracting those bits is missing the point... it's about the relationship - and you can't get that without the *commitment*... the covenant between G-d and the Jewish people.

 

That is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing that here. :)

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Eliana, you are awesome! Just pure awesomeness. Really.

 

Ok. I've already shared my views on this thread, but I'll try again. Christians, the Jews here are saying it's offensive to steal Jewish HOLYdays and corrupt them into something Christian. Isn't that enough? If you are white and dropping the n word and some black person informs you that is offensive, are you going to keep dropping the n word just because somewhere way back you may or may not have had a black ancestor?

 

We, as Christians, do not have the right to corrupt everything. We have such a rich history of our own. Can't we just leave the Jewish people alone for once? Christians have historically been pretty nasty towards Jews. Now we throw around the whole "I support Israel" thing like it gives us some excuse to steal Jewish traditions. The Jewish people have survived for so long *despite* the treatment they have received from Christians. And no, we cannot just blame the Catholic church. Luther was a big old anti-Semite.

 

So can't we just learn from one another, get along, and just chill? The Jews are cool enough as they are.

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Jesus was the Son of God. But not a god (with a little g). When you say god with a small g you are referring to pagan gods. When referring to God you use a capital G because He has earned that, and I'm imagining that the poster of the post is well aware of that grammatical rule.

I am probably going to articulate what I am about to say in an extremely inadequate way, so bear with me :), but I wanted to comment on something.

 

We do not have the same concept of God. We may use the same label, but what we mean by it actually differs, so that may explain some of the reason why somebody would not capitalize.

 

The Jewish understanding of God's unity is: God is one - not two or more than two, but one, whose oneness is not of the kind of single units that exist in the world: [1] he is not one as a a species that includes many [such] individuals, [2] and he is not one in a sense of a body which is [=can be] further divided into its parts; but oneness of the kind which does not exist in the world. (Rambam, Hilchot Yesodey HaTorah, Perek Aleph, Hey)

 

Jews and Christians generally agree on what I emphasized as point [1] - they agree about God's UNIQUENESS - the fact that there is no creature like God: we are talking about a kind of existence which has its own category, and does not share that category with any other beings. Quite literally "one of a kind".

An opposite concept would be polytheism in sense of believeing that there are many distinct beings within the same category of existence. So part [1] says that we are operating with a category that includes only one such being, and we agree on that.

 

BUT. It is part [2] which presents HUGE problems, because this is what makes or breaks Christianity as a monotheist religion: part [2] is about God's ABSOLUTE ONENESS as opposed to THE UNITY OF PARTS. According to the Jewish thought as demonstrated above, God cannot be internally divided in any way, shape or form imaginable - God's unity cannot be compared to an organism (Rambam uses the word "body" so I translated it accordingly, but in reality it refers to any system composed out of parts). Everything in the world is comprised out of parts, can be dissected, even if many mechanisms are not fully functional without many parts - but those mechanisms are still unities of parts, not absolute unities. Everything is compromised out of cells, atoms, subatomic particles, etc.

But God escapes any division of ANY level: absolute unity.

 

There ARE Jewish thinkers who believe that Christianity "can pass" as monotheism (in fact, if I am not mistaken, I believe that in his historical context Rambam was an anomaly for not allowing that?), who believe that Trinity, in a sense of one multiforme essence, does not negate the fundamental mechanism of "one", i.e. monotheism. But this is where people part, the [2] is the crucial point.

 

So, to go back to a member which did not capitalize: when Jews capitalize God, they refer to [1] and [2]. If they do not go by an opinion that Christianity can pass as monotheism, they strictly speaking should not capitalize the word because it is a confusion of concepts, they are calling God something which is not God as defined within the Judaic framework.

 

Of course, one can always opt for a role of "cultural translating" - I often take that position - and "speak the common language", but that complicates things, actually. It is typically a lot better to be transparent about what exactly you mean when you use terms you use, rather than switch from framework to framework and attempt to compare and contrast frameworks that way.

Many of our traditions came from Jewish traditions.

This is a problematic thing to claim. VERY problematic.

 

Rabbinical post-diaspora Judaism differs in some very crucial ways from the "Biblical Judaism". Jewish traditions often reflect that: did you know that some holidays are celebrated differently, or with an added day, depending on whether you are in the land of Israel or in exile? You know those dreidels with four letters that kids play with on Chanuka - do you know that letters may even change according to whether you are in Israel or abroad? Because "a big miracle happened there" and "a big miracle happened here" are different statements.

 

Furthermore, the whole "institution" of prayer is rabbinical compensation for Temple sacrifices. Judaism changes A HECK LOT in how it ought to be observed depending on whether there is a Temple or not. Much of what is studied in Jewish legal studies is actually not even applicable in practice - men study theoretical underpinnings of sacrifices which they are not allowed to make at present point in history!

 

Many of the holiday customs, furthermore, add practices of the generations. Some TRADITIONS (non-mandated customs) in Judaism become NORMATIVE - you can even have a tradition which negates halacha! Can you even imagine that in a Christian mindset - a law made or overrun by tradition? Halacha is actually a dynamic system because it always interacts with the time it is in and has to be applied to it (without even entering into meta-halachic problems). Much of what Jews do today as a part of their religion is not Biblical at all, but it is a result of layers of tradition (and different traditions at that!). When you see Jews celebrating holidays and copy and paste what they do into your context, you are probably very FAR AWAY from "what it used to look like in the olden times".

 

So, in that sense, it is exactly like what Eliana said earlier: I do not get WHAT you can possibly gain by an insight into Judaism - another DYNAMIC system which developed in time and has added layers of meaning and practice - to understand early Christianity.

 

You cannot, by looking at Judaism, gain that understanding retrospectively: Judaism is NOT a modern enactment of the olden times, NOT a replica of what it was like back then.

We do not celebrate other Jewish holidays but Passover , we observe the Sabbath

This is another instance of either problematic wording, either very deep misunderstandings. You do NOT "observe" Sabbath. *I* do not observe shabat properly and I theoretically know the rules of the game, let alone you who were never taught those rules in the first place.

 

Shabat is not a day of "rest". It is a day of STRIKE, of actively refraining to work. Quite literally too: the root of the neo-Hebrew word for strike, shvita, is the same root that is in the word shabat (let not B/V confuse you, there is an internal logic of some phonological mutations there - it is very obvious in writing, though).

 

As such, there are 39 actions which are considered proto-actions (in lack of a better expression, in Hebrew they are called "fathers of actions"). THEY are forbidden, and actions which derive from them and in principle boil down to them.

And this is why Christians just. do. not. get. how shabat works. It is not that you should not refrain from using technology because some stupid anti-modernist rabbi decided that technology is bad for the spirit of shabat - it is because starting an electric circuit literally boils down to starting a fire / starting a fundamental change in environment, which is a forbidden action. Nothing is new, it is simply the same principle adapted to modern context: and that is why halacha is a dynamic system. The moment you open fridge and that little light goes on, you have violated shabat.

 

I always giggle a little when Christians start telling me about observing sabbath. You [pl.] have no idea, seriously (and I do mean this gently :)).

And that is what irks us (by the way, I really dislike using the whole you-and-us speech that was created on this thread, but I guess we cannot escape it at some point LOL): you appropriate our term, strip it off the meaning it has for us, and still call it a Jewish concept or practice within Christianity. So, it IS a corruption in our eyes. Want to have a service that happens to be on Saturday? Awesome, but do not call it Jewish sabbath and do not bring it up as an example of something "Jewish" you do, because shabat has NOTHING to do with whether you rest (in the colloqual use of the word) or even attend some service (women are not even obliged) and EVERYTHING to do with respecting principles of whose existence you are probably unaware, and even if you were vaguely aware of them, you would not be able to adapt to the specifics of modern life without very long and careful study.

 

I almost feel like actually keeping this shabat now, LOL. :lol:

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Only in the most pragmatic of senses. Context is relevant when works were being censored at a certain time (either actually censored by authorities or self-censored for fear of reprisals), but otherwise I do not look outside of the realm of Torah for insights into Torah.

<snip>

Maybe we could take this topic up again another time - because I would like to understand this statement, it contradicts my perceptions, but I am, obviously, not qualified to evaluate *your* needs! :)

 

I think maybe the problem is that we are not dealing with two trees. We are dealing with an entire orchard. This orchard was grown from a cutting from a single tree. Catholics, JW, fundamentalists, LDS, Anglicans, Lutherans, Reformed Christians, liberal Christians, we all come from a single cutting of that original tree.

 

So, to better understand our faith, some people find it helpful to go back and take a look at the original tree. What sort of fruit did that tree produce? What sort of nutrients best help sustain it?

 

Some people here have looked at the Jewish understanding of the Garden of Eden or creation to help is on our own journey. Because who better to look to than people who have held on to the language and studied those words for centuries?

 

I think the fundamentalist POV is the one that is most obvious or most available to other faiths, particularly in the homeschool world. Maybe that is why they seem so contradictory? But, not all Christians are fundamentalists. The examples of several people saying they were d@mned, according to Christianity, is a good example of this.

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I won't have to start this Judaism 101 class -- the wonderful women on here have taught Judaism 101, 201, and 301 all wrapped up here in this thread!!

 

Feel free to fire away with more questions to clarify but between Ester Maria and Eliana, there isn't too much else to say from the Jewish side. Besides, those of us who observe the Sabbath have to get our homes and families ready for it!

 

Shabbat Shalom/Good Shabbos to all!

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no, we do not celebrate any jewish holidays. i do celebrate some liturgical calendar holidays, such as advent and lent (we don't attend a liturgical church anymore though).

 

if it's okay to ask though (to those of you that are jewish), i know there are jewish christians and they still celebrate the jewish holidays and embrace their jewish heritage, etc. one man in particular that comes to mind is zola levitt. how do you feel regarding those that call themselves messianic jews? i've always wanted to ask that but have never had an opportunity where it wouldn't be weird!! :)

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So, in that sense, it is exactly like what Eliana said earlier: I do not get WHAT you can possibly gain by an insight into Judaism - another DYNAMIC system which developed in time and has added layers of meaning and practice - to understand early Christianity.

 

You cannot, by looking at Judaism, gain that understanding retrospectively: Judaism is NOT a modern enactment of the olden times, NOT a replica of what it was like back then.

 

 

Okay, this makes sense to me! :D You are right, Christians would not gain anything (in regards to their own faith) by a modern understanding of Judaism.

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no, we do not celebrate any jewish holidays. i do celebrate some liturgical calendar holidays though, such as advent and lent (we don't attend a liturgical church anymore though).

 

if it's okay to ask though (to those of you that are jewish), i know there are jewish christians and they still celebrate the jewish holidays and embrace their jewish heritage, etc. one man in particular that comes to mind is zola levitt. how do you feel regarding those that call themselves messianic jews? i've always wanted to ask that but have never had an opportunity where it wouldn't be weird!! :)

 

They are extremely against it. Read back through the last few pages.

 

That is what I am having the most trouble with, I think.

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no, we do not celebrate any jewish holidays. i do celebrate some liturgical calendar holidays, such as advent and lent (we don't attend a liturgical church anymore though).

 

if it's okay to ask though (to those of you that are jewish), i know there are jewish christians and they still celebrate the jewish holidays and embrace their jewish heritage, etc. one man in particular that comes to mind is zola levitt. how do you feel regarding those that call themselves messianic jews? i've always wanted to ask that but have never had an opportunity where it wouldn't be weird!! :)

True confession: I hosted Zola Levitt at a former church. It is part of what has formed my strong feelings against coopting Jewish Holy days. I did learn a few random facts about bitter herbs, but there was something really weird about sitting at a folding table, in a youth center, with a few hundred people, eating tiny bits of symbolic food. It was so sterile. :001_huh:

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True confession: I hosted Zola Levitt at a former church. It is part of what has formed my strong feelings against coopting Jewish Holy days. I did learn a few random facts about bitter herbs, but there was something really weird about sitting at a folding table, in a youth center, with a few hundred people, eating tiny bits of symbolic food. It was so sterile. :001_huh:

 

lol. yea, that would be weird. i don't know much about him. i've seen his passover video shared many times though & in watching this, i can see why christians want to incorporate these observances. but then i read here and see such contrast. i don't celebrate any of the jewish holidays, but it is definitely a growing trend. each year i see more and more of it.

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how do you feel regarding those that call themselves messianic jews? i've always wanted to ask that but have never had an opportunity where it wouldn't be weird!! :)

Messianic Jews are Christians who happen to be ethnically Jewish.

 

Since Judaism is a two-fold concept - ideally it includes both an ethnic component and a religious affiliation - it is a "national religion". But, there may be members of the nation (ethnically) who have abandoned the fold as regards religious practice.

 

They are still Jews, in an ethnic sense in which you cannot "cease" being Jewish if you are born to a Jewish mother or if you have undergone a valid conversion. However, they do not express their Jewishness in a way that is considered valid according to the Jewish rabbinical tradition, plus there is an added weight of being actively into another religion, plus an added weight of history of a very tense and bloody relationship with that particular religion - so all of these factors combined make people cringe and see it not only as apostasy, but also experience it as a kind of a national betrayal, for lack of a better expression. It is not simply being reluctant to implement Judaism in one's life, or doing it to a less than desired degree, or even being neutral about it - it is actively going against it.

 

Of course, *from those people's perspective*, it does not look that way. They typically see their Christianity as a true fulfillment of their Judaism, as an upgrade, not a negation of what they had.

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Messianic Jews are Christians who happen to be ethnically Jewish.

 

Since Judaism is a two-fold concept - ideally it includes both an ethnic component and a religious affiliation - it is a "national religion". But, there may be members of the nation (ethnically) who have abandoned the fold as regards religious practice.

 

They are still Jews, in an ethnic sense in which you cannot "cease" being Jewish if you are born to a Jewish mother or if you have undergone a valid conversion. However, they do not express their Jewishness in a way that is considered valid according to the Jewish rabbinical tradition, plus there is an added weight of being actively into another religion, plus an added weight of history of a very tense and bloody relationship with that particular religion - so all of these factors combined make people cringe and see it not only as apostasy, but also experience it as a kind of a national betrayal, for lack of a better expression. It is not simply being reluctant to implement Judaism in one's life, or doing it to a less than desired degree, or even being neutral about it - it is actively going against it.

 

Of course, *from those people's perspective*, it does not look that way. They typically see their Christianity as a true fulfillment of their Judaism, as an upgrade, not a negation of what they had.

 

thank you, ester maria! i've always wanted to ask about that, but it just didn't seem appropriate. i appreciate you responding.

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I'll reiterate -- I don't have a problem with Christians. Yes, Jesus was Jewish and many of the first Christians were Jewish too (although not all of them were). But Jesus gave Christians a NEW covenant, discarding the old one. You know, "there is no Jew or Greek..." Judaism is null and void now by that thought. By that thought, Jews are covenantless. Christians are in G-d's family just as every person is. Christians have a second book (the Supplement) because they though Jesus fulfilled the requirements for a Messiah, meaning the first book is obsolete/finito.

 

I understand the sincerity and loving heart and all that. Very nice -- except the Christian religion says Judaism's time in the sun is over. We don't think so (and neither does G-d since we are still here).

 

How about we call it a day? I won't change anyone's mind anyways and I have to check schoolwork and wash dishes.

 

Yael

 

Not that I am saying Christians SHOULD celebrate OT celebrations (I'm not sure what I think about that), but the OT did not become "obsolete/finito". Just wanted to point that out:

 

Christ Fulfills the Law

 

17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

 

If someone has already pointed this out, carry on. :tongue_smilie:

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How is that reconcilable with the tenet I had understood to be central to Xtianity, that Jesus is *the* path to 'salvation'?

 

Or are does it hold that the crucifixion results in universal salvation? What role does that leave for Xtianity itself? I mean, why be Xtian then? ...or, perhaps?, does this tenet of universality mean that salvation is then not the central point? ...since it's already taken care of, so to speak?

 

In that case, Christianity is about spreading the good news that we are redeemed. It's about changing your life for the better. Sin still has negative consequences. "The Feast of the Tabernacles," listed by another poster, is actually a central celebration for *some* Charismatic Universalists (who, I think don't call themselves that, they refer to it as reconciliation?). This is where it gets really sticky. Their important feast is offensive to you. But, I don't think it can be helped. That is their belief, offensive to you or not.

 

The central tenant of Christianity, that Jesus came to fulfill the law, makes all of Christianity an offense to Judaism.

 

Could you unpack that a little for me?

 

That I find the idea of a Xtian seder incredibly distressing and, yes, offensive, means Xtians can't win?

 

This wasn't to me, but yes, this is sort of what I was saying above. Our whole existence is offensive. So, we can't "win" at not being offensive. That is what I'm sort of getting from this.

 

Aren't there some things that fellow Xtians do that you find offensive? That you feel are totally out of keeping with your faith? Aren't you offended even though it is their heritage too?

 

That is just the thing, imo, Christianity does not view itself as a cultural heritage. Judaism does. That is the issue creating all of the conflict. That's why all of the other examples people have given are about race or national heritage.

 

But I do agree with the point you've raised elsewhere that in can be a little fuzzy to define the boundaries of 'learning about' another faith or culture because sometimes trying something out is part of learning.

 

My default position is that the best way to learn about another culture (a living, current one at least!) is to do so from someone within that culture - to share in their food or traditions rather than to try to artificially create that connection on one's own.

 

...but I know that is harder, and, no, I am not trying to say that a family learning about Hannuka is being offensive if they make their own latkes and play with a dreidel (I do think they would be missing the point) but I don't think Xtian seders fall anywhere near a gray area.

 

But, you (and others) are saying more than that. I'm going to try and tackle this by addressing Wendi's post.

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Not that I am saying Christians SHOULD celebrate OT celebrations (I'm not sure what I think about that), but the OT did not become "obsolete/finito". Just wanted to point that out:

 

Christ Fulfills the Law

 

 

 

But to them, it can never be fulfilled? It's apples and oranges. To them, fulfillment would BE the end, thus making it obsolete. They would cease to be Jewish.

 

I think becoming Catholic makes this easier for me to understand now, because Tradition is such a part of Catholicism. You can't have one without the other. Your identity is a part of it. So, when we say it fulfills the law, we're saying they should cease being who they are.

 

What I'm starting to see on this thread is the massive, massive ignorance we have as Christians toward the Jewish religion in everything we do and say.

 

I'm really sorry. I've never quite gotten it before now.

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Ok. I've already shared my views on this thread, but I'll try again. Christians, the Jews here are saying it's offensive to steal Jewish HOLYdays and corrupt them into something Christian. Isn't that enough? If you are white and dropping the n word and some black person informs you that is offensive, are you going to keep dropping the n word just because somewhere way back you may or may not have had a black ancestor?

 

This is exactly where I am having a problem grasping the issue.

 

I think your analogy is poor, but can I try to make my own analogy using the same sort of terms?

 

Take Barack Obama, not in a political sense, but in a cultural sense. There are back and forth arguments about whether he is "black enough." He was not descended from American slavery, his dad was from Africa. He was born of an interracial relationship in a time when things were not as "easy" (if they are ever easy) as they are now. He was raised by his white grandparents in a multicultural (but pretty racist, IMO) state. He married a woman who is descended from American slavery.

 

He can't win. He isn't black enough (or not the right type?) for some people. He is a black American. If he does or does not refer to his heritage, someone is going to get offended.

 

So, someone who was raised Jewish has these celebrations as part of their cultural and familial heritage. If they become a Christian (which, *from a Christian perspective* is never about rejecting Judaism), then they cannot pass that cultural and familial heritage on to their children without being hugely offensive to Judaism?

 

But, someone like Bill, a complete atheist, assures us that he can have small displays of culturally appropriate shows of solidarity and friendship without being offensive?

 

It's a conundrum for me. I'm genuinely trying to see if there is a way for Christians to be unoffensive to Judaism and I'm not seeing it. So, I'm sort of getting the feeling that there is no real point in trying for cultural sensitivity because the very existence of Christianity is an offense.

 

I'm Native American, I don't try to get people to have culturally appropriate food at Thanksgiving. I do draw the line at listening to people repeating William Bradford's Thanksgiving Proclamation or sitting through sermons praising manifest destiny. But, that's because those things are directing denigrating my ancestors. Thanksgiving, itself, is offensive to some Native Americans, but I realize that most people aren't really holding on to the cultural heritage of manifest destiny, but mean something else by holding Thanksgiving dinner.

 

And yes, Christians did plenty of bad things to Native Americans too, even in living memory. That's not ancient history either.

 

I'm not sure if I'm really making my point or not?

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But to them, it can never be fulfilled? It's apples and oranges. To them, fulfillment would BE the end, thus making it obsolete. They would cease to be Jewish.

 

This is what I don't understand. The apostles did not cease to be Jewish. This division didn't really exist until there were so many gentiles involved.

 

What I'm starting to see on this thread is the massive, massive ignorance we have as Christians toward the Jewish religion in everything we do and say.

 

I'm really sorry. I've never quite gotten it before now.

 

I think I got that better before than I do now. I now believe the problem is that there is a lot of ignorance on both sides, and it cannot be reconciled. I guess it makes me equally sad. :(

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I've been following this conversation closely & appreciate your contributions, MM.

 

I'm definitely curious about the bolded. I wasn't raised Jewish, but I am Jewish, ethnically speaking. I am Christian (though not Messianic). I've often wondered about exploring & teaching my children about their Jewish heritage. Would that offend observant Jews?

 

I also wondered this about our family. My husband is a Christian, but his ancestors were Jewish (Christian Jews more recently, and Jewish before that). That means my youngest ds is in the same boat. I've always wondered if we should teach him these things.

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