Archive for the ‘Mishnah’ Category

"Judaism Discovered" ON SALE NOW!

October 21, 2009

“Judaism Discovered” ON SALE NOW!

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"Judaism Discovered" ON SALE NOW!

July 31, 2009

“Judaism Discovered” ON SALE NOW!

"Judaism Discovered" ON SALE NOW!

May 15, 2009

“Judaism Discovered” ON SALE NOW!

"Judaism Discovered" ON SALE NOW!

November 19, 2008

“Judaism Discovered” ON SALE NOW!

"Judaism Discovered" ON SALE NOW!

October 11, 2008

“Judaism Discovered” ON SALE NOW!

Rabbis and Kosher-Catholic Priests in Pilpul

June 20, 2008

Pilpul, simply put, is a rabbinic dialectical process of “debate” or discussion by which a predetermined outcome is arrived at. It’s the Pharisaic tradition which Jesus Christ condemned calling it a “tradition of men” which “makes void the word of God.” Both the Jerusalem and Babylonian Talmuds are filled with pilpul which in most cases is for the purpose of circumventing Biblical law. The article below tells of rabbis and kosher-Catholic priests engaged in pilul for the purpose of circumventing the Gospel which condemns the very act they are engaged in. See Mark 7;13 for Christ’s condemnation and Mishnah tractate Nedarim for the pilpul through which the “corban” that Christ condemned in Mark 7;13 was synthesized. And note that Jesus did not only condemn the Pharisaic “corban” invention and ritual hand washing, but He said, “many other such like things you [Pharisees] do.”

Believe me when I tell you, in this “Judeo-Christian dialogue”–what is in reality pilpul–the rabbis aren’t interested in hearing the Gospel. They’re interested in finding ways around the Gospel, like their Pharisaic ideological forefathers found ways around Old Testament law. They intend to make the Gospel of none effect.

… if there were a transcript of the proceedings it would read very much like a discussion in the Talmud.

Rabbis and Catholic priests in dialogue

By Mark L. Shook – St. Louis Post Dispatch

June 19, 2008

The Vatican has taken great pains to define and structure religious dialogues between faith communities. As recently as June 7, Pope Benedict II spoke to the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue of “the importance of truth being the goal of all dialogue and charity being the motivation behind all dialogue.” The content of the council’s meeting and the Pope’s statement seem to imply that religious dialogue is in need of guidelines to keep Catholic participants true to Church doctrine. But very few inter-faith dialogues deal with matters of deep theological import. Most are simply efforts to establish rapport and understanding.

Religious dialogues succeed or fail because of trust and respect. Achieving trust and respect takes time and dedication. Here is yet another example of a process which does not respond well to our need for instant gratification. Rabbis and priests in St. Louis have been in dialogue with each other for more than ten years. That dialogue would never have gotten off the ground had it not been for the personal bonds of friendship which existed between Father Vincent Heier, former Ecumenical officer of the St. Louis Archdiocese, and the late Rabbi Robert P. Jacobs, in his capacity as Executive Vice-president of the St. Louis Rabbinical Association. The two of them set out to create an atmosphere of dialogue which was faithful to the aspirations of the Vatican II process of reconciliation between Jews and Catholics.

We are still going strong. Every other month, a group of about twelve dialogue participants sit down to a kosher lunch provided by an anonymous donor, and over corned beef and turkey, hold a free-wheeling discussion. Sometimes the topics touch on clergy politics, i.e., “How do rabbis/priests get assigned to congregations? At other sessions, the news of the day may form the subject matter. For the most part the dialogue centers around an agreed upon topic with readings sent out in advance. Several sessions were devoted to a careful reading of Pope Benedict’s book, Jesus of Nazareth. Most recently the group studied fundamental documents of belief of the various expressions of Judaism, from Maimonides Thirteen Principles of Judaism to the latest platform of Reform Judaism. No question or comment is ever treated as off the subject. In fact, if there were a transcript of the proceedings it would read very much like a discussion in the Talmud.

Dialogue participants do not sugar-coat their questions or their responses. With the presence of Reform, Conservative and Orthodox rabbis, there is sometimes more intra-Jewish heat generated than heat between Jews and Catholics. Along the way there is significant learning and teaching which takes place. Our priests come to appreciate the wide range of Jewish responses to religious and moral questions of the day and our rabbis develop a more nuanced understanding of how the Church works in developing its teachings and public positions.

Just for the record, no one in these dialogues has converted anyone. Both sides remain true to their faith. What really takes place is a sorting out of real and imaginary differences. Not all or even most of the real differences can be bridged. The sages of Judaism believed that theological conflicts among rabbis were like sparks striking steel and resulted in illumination. I would include this image as a worthy description of true dialogues between persons of all faiths. For each participant there is a strengthening of faith.

http://www.stltoday.com/blogzone/civil-religion/catholic/2008/06/rabbis-and-catholic-priests-in-dialogue/

Rabbis and Kosher-Catholic Priests in Pilpul

June 20, 2008

Pilpul, simply put, is a rabbinic dialectical process of “debate” or discussion by which a predetermined outcome is arrived at. It’s the Pharisaic tradition which Jesus Christ condemned calling it a “tradition of men” which “makes void the word of God.” Both the Jerusalem and Babylonian Talmuds are filled with pilpul which in most cases is for the purpose of circumventing Biblical law. The article below tells of rabbis and kosher-Catholic priests engaged in pilul for the purpose of circumventing the Gospel which condemns the very act they are engaged in. See Mark 7;13 for Christ’s condemnation and Mishnah tractate Nedarim for the pilpul through which the “corban” that Christ condemned in Mark 7;13 was synthesized. And note that Jesus did not only condemn the Pharisaic “corban” invention and ritual hand washing, but He said, “many other such like things you [Pharisees] do.”

Believe me when I tell you, in this “Judeo-Christian dialogue”–what is in reality pilpul–the rabbis aren’t interested in hearing the Gospel. They’re interested in finding ways around the Gospel, like their Pharisaic ideological forefathers found ways around Old Testament law. They intend to make the Gospel of none effect.

… if there were a transcript of the proceedings it would read very much like a discussion in the Talmud.

Rabbis and Catholic priests in dialogue

By Mark L. Shook – St. Louis Post Dispatch

June 19, 2008

The Vatican has taken great pains to define and structure religious dialogues between faith communities. As recently as June 7, Pope Benedict II spoke to the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue of “the importance of truth being the goal of all dialogue and charity being the motivation behind all dialogue.” The content of the council’s meeting and the Pope’s statement seem to imply that religious dialogue is in need of guidelines to keep Catholic participants true to Church doctrine. But very few inter-faith dialogues deal with matters of deep theological import. Most are simply efforts to establish rapport and understanding.

Religious dialogues succeed or fail because of trust and respect. Achieving trust and respect takes time and dedication. Here is yet another example of a process which does not respond well to our need for instant gratification. Rabbis and priests in St. Louis have been in dialogue with each other for more than ten years. That dialogue would never have gotten off the ground had it not been for the personal bonds of friendship which existed between Father Vincent Heier, former Ecumenical officer of the St. Louis Archdiocese, and the late Rabbi Robert P. Jacobs, in his capacity as Executive Vice-president of the St. Louis Rabbinical Association. The two of them set out to create an atmosphere of dialogue which was faithful to the aspirations of the Vatican II process of reconciliation between Jews and Catholics.

We are still going strong. Every other month, a group of about twelve dialogue participants sit down to a kosher lunch provided by an anonymous donor, and over corned beef and turkey, hold a free-wheeling discussion. Sometimes the topics touch on clergy politics, i.e., “How do rabbis/priests get assigned to congregations? At other sessions, the news of the day may form the subject matter. For the most part the dialogue centers around an agreed upon topic with readings sent out in advance. Several sessions were devoted to a careful reading of Pope Benedict’s book, Jesus of Nazareth. Most recently the group studied fundamental documents of belief of the various expressions of Judaism, from Maimonides Thirteen Principles of Judaism to the latest platform of Reform Judaism. No question or comment is ever treated as off the subject. In fact, if there were a transcript of the proceedings it would read very much like a discussion in the Talmud.

Dialogue participants do not sugar-coat their questions or their responses. With the presence of Reform, Conservative and Orthodox rabbis, there is sometimes more intra-Jewish heat generated than heat between Jews and Catholics. Along the way there is significant learning and teaching which takes place. Our priests come to appreciate the wide range of Jewish responses to religious and moral questions of the day and our rabbis develop a more nuanced understanding of how the Church works in developing its teachings and public positions.

Just for the record, no one in these dialogues has converted anyone. Both sides remain true to their faith. What really takes place is a sorting out of real and imaginary differences. Not all or even most of the real differences can be bridged. The sages of Judaism believed that theological conflicts among rabbis were like sparks striking steel and resulted in illumination. I would include this image as a worthy description of true dialogues between persons of all faiths. For each participant there is a strengthening of faith.

http://www.stltoday.com/blogzone/civil-religion/catholic/2008/06/rabbis-and-catholic-priests-in-dialogue/

Time Magazine: Re-Judaizing Jesus

March 20, 2008

The season of “Catholic” seders and various other mocking abominations unto God is upon us. The following article from Time magazine is an example of such.

Jesus was born to the tribe of Judah. He was not a Khazar and He did not subscribe to Rabbinism/Pharisaism which is exactly the idea that this article is intended to promote. It is intended to make us think that Jesus and St. Paul had a lot in common with the so-called “Jews” of our time who understand Jesus better than Christians ever did: Christians have not understood Jesus for 2000 years and we need the rabbis and their texts rotten with absurd fables, racial supremacism and self-worship in order to finally understand Him correctly. Pure delusion.


Re-Judaizing Jesus

DAVID VAN BIEMA – Time

Recently a popular blogger — let’s call him Rabbi Ben — zinged the scholarship of a man we shall call Rabbi Rob. R. Ben claimed R. Rob did not “understand the difference between Judaism prior to the two Jewish wars in the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. and later Mishnaic and Talmudic Judaism.” He helpfully provided a syllabus.

Actually, neither man is a rabbi. (Sorry.) Ben Witherington is a Methodist New Testament scholar, and Rob Bell a rising Michigan megapastor. Yet each regards sources like the Mishnah and Rabbi Akiva as vital to understanding history’s best-known Jew: Jesus.

This is seismic. For centuries, the discipline of Christian “Hebraics” consisted primarily of Christians cherry-picking Jewish texts to support the traditionally assumed contradiction between the Jews — whose alleged dry legalism contributed to their fumbling their ancient tribal covenant with God — and Jesus, who personally embodied God’s new covenant of love. But today seminaries across the Christian spectrum teach, as Vanderbilt University New Testament scholar Amy-Jill Levine says, that “if you get the [Jewish] context wrong, you will certainly get Jesus wrong.”

The shift came in stages: first a brute acceptance that Jesus was born a Jew and did Jewish things; then admission that he and his interpreter Paul saw themselves as Jews even while founding what became another faith; and today, recognition of what the Rev. Bruce Chilton, author of Rabbi Jesus, calls Jesus’ passionate dedication “to Jewish ideas of his day” on everything from ritual purity to the ideal of the kingdom of God — ideas he rewove but did not abandon.

What does this mean, practically? At times the resulting adjustment seems simple. For example, Bell thinks he knows the mysterious words Jesus wrote in the dust while defending the adulteress (“He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone,” etc.). By Bell’s calculation, that showdown occurred at the same time as religious Jews’ yearly reading of the prophet Jeremiah’s warning that “those who turn from [God] will be written in the dust because they have forsaken [him].” Thus Jesus wrote the crowd’s names to warn that their lack of compassion alienated their (and his) God.

A trickier revision for readers involves Paul’s Letter to the Romans, forever a key Christian text on sin and Christ’s salvific grace. Yet this reading necessitates skipping over what seems like extraneous material in Chapters 9 through 11, which are about the Jews. Increasingly, says Jason Byassee, an editor at the Christian Century,, scholars now read Romans through those chapters, as a musing by a lifelong Jew on how God can fulfill his biblical covenant with Israel even if it does not accept His son. Byassee the theologian agrees. But as a Methodist pastor, he frets that Romans “is no longer really about Gentile Christians. How do you preach it?”

That’s not a frivolous query. Ideally, the reassessment should increase both Jewish-Christian amity and gospel clarity, things that won’t happen if regular Christians feel that in rediscovering Jesus the Jew, they have lost Christ. Yet Bell finds this particular genie so logically powerful that he has no wish to rebottle it. Once in, he says, “you’re in deep. You’re hooked. ‘Cause you can’t ever read it the same way again.”

http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1720049_1720050_1721663,00.html

Time Magazine: Re-Judaizing Jesus

March 20, 2008

The season of “Catholic” seders and various other mocking abominations unto God is upon us. The following article from Time magazine is an example of such.

Jesus was born to the tribe of Judah. He was not a Khazar and He did not subscribe to Rabbinism/Pharisaism which is exactly the idea that this article is intended to promote. It is intended to make us think that Jesus and St. Paul had a lot in common with the so-called “Jews” of our time who understand Jesus better than Christians ever did: Christians have not understood Jesus for 2000 years and we need the rabbis and their texts rotten with absurd fables, racial supremacism and self-worship in order to finally understand Him correctly. Pure delusion.


Re-Judaizing Jesus

DAVID VAN BIEMA – Time

Recently a popular blogger — let’s call him Rabbi Ben — zinged the scholarship of a man we shall call Rabbi Rob. R. Ben claimed R. Rob did not “understand the difference between Judaism prior to the two Jewish wars in the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. and later Mishnaic and Talmudic Judaism.” He helpfully provided a syllabus.

Actually, neither man is a rabbi. (Sorry.) Ben Witherington is a Methodist New Testament scholar, and Rob Bell a rising Michigan megapastor. Yet each regards sources like the Mishnah and Rabbi Akiva as vital to understanding history’s best-known Jew: Jesus.

This is seismic. For centuries, the discipline of Christian “Hebraics” consisted primarily of Christians cherry-picking Jewish texts to support the traditionally assumed contradiction between the Jews — whose alleged dry legalism contributed to their fumbling their ancient tribal covenant with God — and Jesus, who personally embodied God’s new covenant of love. But today seminaries across the Christian spectrum teach, as Vanderbilt University New Testament scholar Amy-Jill Levine says, that “if you get the [Jewish] context wrong, you will certainly get Jesus wrong.”

The shift came in stages: first a brute acceptance that Jesus was born a Jew and did Jewish things; then admission that he and his interpreter Paul saw themselves as Jews even while founding what became another faith; and today, recognition of what the Rev. Bruce Chilton, author of Rabbi Jesus, calls Jesus’ passionate dedication “to Jewish ideas of his day” on everything from ritual purity to the ideal of the kingdom of God — ideas he rewove but did not abandon.

What does this mean, practically? At times the resulting adjustment seems simple. For example, Bell thinks he knows the mysterious words Jesus wrote in the dust while defending the adulteress (“He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone,” etc.). By Bell’s calculation, that showdown occurred at the same time as religious Jews’ yearly reading of the prophet Jeremiah’s warning that “those who turn from [God] will be written in the dust because they have forsaken [him].” Thus Jesus wrote the crowd’s names to warn that their lack of compassion alienated their (and his) God.

A trickier revision for readers involves Paul’s Letter to the Romans, forever a key Christian text on sin and Christ’s salvific grace. Yet this reading necessitates skipping over what seems like extraneous material in Chapters 9 through 11, which are about the Jews. Increasingly, says Jason Byassee, an editor at the Christian Century,, scholars now read Romans through those chapters, as a musing by a lifelong Jew on how God can fulfill his biblical covenant with Israel even if it does not accept His son. Byassee the theologian agrees. But as a Methodist pastor, he frets that Romans “is no longer really about Gentile Christians. How do you preach it?”

That’s not a frivolous query. Ideally, the reassessment should increase both Jewish-Christian amity and gospel clarity, things that won’t happen if regular Christians feel that in rediscovering Jesus the Jew, they have lost Christ. Yet Bell finds this particular genie so logically powerful that he has no wish to rebottle it. Once in, he says, “you’re in deep. You’re hooked. ‘Cause you can’t ever read it the same way again.”

http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1720049_1720050_1721663,00.html

More Signs of What to Expect from the October Synod

January 31, 2008

Background on this HERE and HERE. Apparently Cardinal Martini, who has called for this synod, intends that Christians learn from post-Temple rabbinic teaching. And note that Martini claims that the focus of this synod is to bring all things Catholic more into keeping with scripture–this even as it is reported that the scripture-based language of the Good Friday prayer for the conversion of the Jews from the 1962 Latin missal will be altered to suit modern, non-biblical sensibilities.

Italian cardinal hopes synod helps draw Catholics closer to Scripture

By Cindy Wooden

Catholic News Service–Jan-31-2008

ROME (CNS) — Italian Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, the retired archbishop of Milan and biblical scholar who repeatedly asked for a world Synod of Bishops on the Bible, said he hopes October’s synod on the topic will focus on practical pastoral initiatives to bring Catholics closer to the Scriptures.

The Oct. 5-26 synod should be “a pastoral discernment” aimed at helping the church offer Catholics “authentic itineraries of worship, prayer and service” based on the Bible, he said in an article published in La Civilta Cattolica, a Jesuit journal reviewed by the Vatican prior to publication.

Cardinal Martini said the synod also should be an “examination of conscience” of how well the church has put into practice the teachings of the Second Vatican Council’s document on divine revelation, “Dei Verbum.”

A chapter of the synod outline or “lineamenta,” published last April, focused on how the church nourishes itself with the word of God “in liturgy and in prayer, in evangelization and catechesis, in exegesis and in theology, and in the life of the believer,” he said.

“I think that all of these areas are important and deserve the attention of the synod fathers,” the cardinal said, particularly because too many Catholics still do not read the Bible on their own or in groups and only hear the Scriptures at Mass.

The cardinal said he hoped the synod would avoid “prolonged and abstract” discussions on matters already dealt with by the Second Vatican Council, such as the relationship between Scripture and tradition, or an examination of particular methods of biblical interpretation and scholarship.

Also, he said, focusing on “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church,” the synod’s theme, the gathering should avoid placing an emphasis on “individual revealed truths,” looking instead at the fact that God has revealed himself through the Scriptures.

Cardinal Martini said he hoped the synod would come up with concrete suggestions for bringing the Bible closer to the lives of Catholics.

He said his first suggestion would be that even at a daily Mass, where homilies usually are not given, the celebrant should offer a brief reflection — “no longer than three minutes” — on the day’s Scripture readings.

A more difficult, but essential task, he said, is finding ways to help Catholics learn to pray with the Scriptures during their private prayers.

Cardinal Martini, who taught in Jerusalem and lives there much of the year, said the synod also must remind Catholics how much the Jewish tradition and modern Jewish scholarship have to teach them about the Bible, particularly the Old Testament.

“It is not enough to avoid any anti-Semitic feelings,” he said. “One must reach the point of loving the Jewish people and all the expressions of their life and culture: their literature, art, folklore and religiousness. Only then can we establish those ties that will lead not only to overcoming mistrust and prejudices, but to collaborating for the good of humanity.”

http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0800593.htm