Hi - just wanted to answer the question by Danu regarding the Passover Seder our church recently had that caroladybelle had a hard time with in a way that wouldn't be off-topic again.
I mentioned in that thread that my pastor had a life-changing experience as a teen when his father took him to a concentration camp and talked to him about man's inhumanity to man and then about the fact that we can also be very compassionate and loving and that the world does NOT have to be so bigoted and prejudiced and hateful and evil. I talked to him recently about the concerns of carol and I've included some snippets of that conversation. Hopefully it will be seen that we are trying to educate, not steal.
My pastor always teaches that "the New Testament is Jewish through and through. The vast majority of Jesus' Followers in the 1st century were Jewish and they celebrated the Jewish Holidays in the Jewish Community. It wasn't until later that the Gentile church began consciously separating itself from Jewish tradition - sadly and wrongly so. So now Christian holidays (in the west) are tied to Roman pagan holidays. The Eastern Orthodox traditions are somewhat different. They actually call Easter Pascha which is Greek for Passover."
"I can't change all of western tradition - I just want to remember what Jesus did and celebrate the Resurrection of our Jewish Messiah. I don't worry about getting all the dates just so - because I know God doesn't care. What I want to get is everyone's attention - and on the calendar holiday people are thinking about it. Sometimes Passover coincides with Easter and sometimes not - it is a teaching opportunity for us."
"We aren't trying to be Jewish but are fleshing out what all this means. Many Jewish people appreciate these efforts to learn because for centuries the Catholic and Orthodox churches used Easter as a time to fan into flames the very wrong "christ-killer" charge against the Jews and persecuted them. Our teaching and practice is set up to block and oppose that whole effort and notion. "
"Actually, modern rabbinic Judaism developed at the same time the church was developing - but Christians were initally regarded as a sect of Judaism."
I also spoke with one of our docs yesterday, who is Jewish. I asked him if he was offended about our church including a Passover Seder in our Easter celebration and he said "absolutely not". He went on to explain that our two religions are forever intertwined and mentioned that the New Testament is Jewish too.
I realize I'm new at this but I just want caroladybelle and beachnurse to know that in no way were we trying to offend but just to teach. That Jews and Christians share a heritage. I realize we don't share a Messiah and that is fine. But the Jews and their story is fundamental to Christianity.
I think we should let everyone share their traditions in America - that would be education.
Please take this with my sincere wish that it would foster understanding and openness and education and love among those of us with different religious traditions.
Mar 30, '05
I didn't have a big problem with my mother-in-law (a Christian who is 100% positive that I am going hell) telling me a couple years ago that her church had a Passover seder at Easter, but in my mind, it was not a true Passover seder. I personally believe that Passover holds a completely different meaning to Jews than to Christians. I am not saying we can't share the holidays (LOTS of holiday-sharing in my life), but I agree that a true Passover seder would be held during the calendar holiday and not during Easter. I would rather share in one side of my family's Easter and the other side's Passover in the traditional manner that those holidays were intended. On Passover there are specific prayers and traditions that hold special meaning to Jews. Yes, our histories are intertwined, but I do not believe that you can be both Jewish and Christian at the same time. During the time of Jesus, the people who remained committed to the core beliefs of Judaism are in no way Christian. I have a deep respect for Christians and at the same time I feel that certain Christians feel the need to make non-Christians feel as though they are "missing out" on something, or like they would be happier if they were only Christians themselves. I used to really be offended by people who wanted to convert me, but now I see that they just want us to know the type of happiness/peace/joy that they have in Jesus. Fortunately I am happy with my G-d and it does not sway me from my faith.
This is all ramblings from my own perspective, of course. Thanks Steph..I mean no hositility whatsoever...you know that we agree on a lot of things.
Believe me, it's hard being a Jewish Republican..my family thinks I am nuts.
Last edit by BeachNurse on Mar 30, '05
Mar 30, '05
Dates of Passover:
Pesach will occur on the following days of the Gregorian calendar:
* Jewish Year 5765: sunset April 23, 2005 - nightfall May 1, 2005
* Jewish Year 5766: sunset April 12, 2006 - nightfall April 20, 2006
* Jewish Year 5767: sunset April 2, 2007 - nightfall April 10, 2007
* Jewish Year 5768: sunset April 19, 2008 - nightfall April 27, 2008
Last edit by BeachNurse on Mar 30, '05