- Thursday, 13 April 2017 14:55
Lazar Berman’s essay published today on The Times of Israel, “‘Trying to undo history”: A Catholic scholar reflects on Christian Seders“.
Berman and Fr. Murray Watson discuss the reality of the Seder and illustrate why it is inappropriate for Christians to do something so out of context from the their religious experience.
I have long been opposed to Christians performing the Jewish Passover Seder. In fact, I have used the words “outrageous” to express my dismay. Christians who do so, in my considered opinion, are very presumptuous and not too educated in the theology undergirding the Seder and the difference Baptism and belief in Jesus makes for the Christian. Recall that Jesus is the NEW Passover, something rejected by Jews.
In faith, we share some important beliefs with Jews; we should respect their developed theology as they should respect ours. Theological and cultural barbarisms avoided.
If a Christian wants to experience a Seder then that person ought to do the study required to understand AND swing an invitation from a Jewish household to participate in a Passover Seder. Set time aside to sit back and thoughtfully consider educative value of the experience and see know your theology! I appreciate what Berman and Watson are saying. We ought to attend.
- Friday, 27 March 2015 08:28
Do you know your Passover music?
- Monday, 25 March 2013 16:40
Tonight, 15th of Nissan, begins the annual days prayer remembering the liberation of the captive Jews in Egypt by God. The theological reality of the Passover is not merely relating to events of 3000 years ago, but an active remembrance (liturgically called anamnesis) that God leads us to freedom today: from slavery of sin to the grace of freedom; from being chained to unfaithfulness to the freedom of love and mercy. Christians will hear echoes in what is believed about Jesus and Holy Week. All leavened foods will be destroyed, needed cleaning done, and time for prayer and fasting. Read the Book of Exodus. The ritual mean of the sedar is a mix of biblical narrative, song and friendship. Passover ends on April 2 (in Israel the observance is 7 days, other places it’s 8).
The Holy Father unites himself, and us, with our Jewish brethren:
A few days on from our meeting, and with renewed gratitude for your having desired to honour the celebration of the beginning of my ministry with your presence and that of other distinguished members of the Jewish community, I take great pleasure in extending my warmest best wishes to you and Rome’s entire Jewish community on the occasion of the Great Feast of Pesach. May the Almighty, who freed His people from slavery in Egypt to guide them to the Promised Land continue to deliver you from all evil and to accompany you with His blessing. I ask you to pray for me, as I assure you of my prayers for you, confident that we can deepen [our] ties of mutual esteem and friendship.
- Wednesday, 03 November 2010 14:04
Not long ago a friend asked me why Catholics don’t celebrate
the Jewish holy days. Good question.
A response to the question as to why we
don’t celebrate the Jewish holy days would be along these lines: the Paschal
Triduum is the Christian Passover, the true Pasch. Even the Greek and Latin
name for Easter tells us that (as also the derivation of the name for Easter in
Spanish, French, Italian from the same root).
In one sense, Jesus’ teaching was
in continuity with Judaism (Mt 5.17: “Think not that I have come to abolish
the Law”); but he also in Matthew 5 puts himself forward as a higher Lawgiver
than Moses (“you have heard it said, but I tell you…”). I suggest
reading Rabbi Jacob Neusner’s book, A Rabbi Talks with Jesus, which makes this
point very clear. The Pope himself said in Jesus of Nazareth that Neusner’s book is
an excellent example of honest and reasoned argument between a believing Jew
and the Jesus of the gospels.
Read more ...