The Christian Noob (n00b)

born & raised Catholic, now going to a Presbyterian church & still learning

Category Archives: Judaism

Shana Tova

rants: a life without religion, what a wasteful life

I often wonder how a person could live without God.

I’m not asking which faith system is correct or not.

In other words, how could a person live without a faith system — without God?

  • If you answer, do so politely. I’m not looking for a fight of any kind with any atheist group and/or individual. I’m just curious.

as (pagan) music saved my soul: what I learned from Paganism & Pantheism

Is there anything really sacred? Depending on your religious beliefs, you can choose any of hundreds (perhaps even thousands) of answers. If there’s one thing that I’ve leaned from Paganism and Pantheism is that the earth is sacred as the source of food and shelter for humanity while we (“mutant monkeys”) destroy it. The Dutch neofolk band Omnia said it best in two of their songs — Earth Warrior and I Don’t Speak Human.

It’s almost as a hippie revival taking place in Europe where some of the best music’s coming from. In any case, regardless of religion (or lack of) and/or the music you hold dear, we (“mutant monkeys”) should try to keep the earth’s delicate ecosystem alive and healthy.

Maundy Thursday & the Last Seder — the MATH!

Simon Ushakov, Last Supper, 1685Since I wrote the original post, I’ve thinking about the math, sort of bringing scientific method into religion. The current Jewish year is 5774. The Seder is on the eve of the 15th of the month of Nisan. In other words, it’s on the 14th of that month.

  1. Did this date 2014 years ago (using the birth of Jesus as the starting point of the Gregorian calendar; year 3760 in the Hebrew calendar) fall on a Thursday? According to the calculation in Calendar home, the 14th of Nisan 3760 (5774 – 2014 = 3760) was a Wednesday, which might be taken as a Thursday.
  2. Did this date 1981 years ago (2014 – 33 = 1981; using the death of Jesus as the starting point of the Gregorian calendar; year 3793 in the Hebrew calendar) fall on a Thursday? According to the calculation in Calendar home, the 14th of Nisan 3760 (5774 – 1981 = 3793) was a Friday.

If you want to do the math yourself, you can see the formula at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Determination_of_the_day_of_the_week and try to make sense of it. Personally I’d make a program for it rather than use pen and paper. Said the latter, check out Calendar home. If you find an error on my calculations, please let me know.

Maundy Thursday & the Last Seder

Today’s Maundy Thursday — the second of important day in Holy Week after Holy Friday and the beginning of Paschal Triduum.

Many people tend to forget that Jesus was a Jew, not a Christian.

Simon Ushakov, Last Supper, 1685“13 And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him. 14 And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? 15 And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us. 16 And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.” (Mark 14:13-16, KJV)

As such, Maundy Thursday could be the Christian celebration of Jesus celebrating the Jewish tradition of the Seder, not only the Maundy.

Seder table“The Passover Seder is a Jewish ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover. It is conducted on the evening of the 15th day of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar throughout the world. This corresponds to late March or April in the Gregorian calendar. Passover lasts for 7 days in Israel and 8 days outside of Israel, with Jews outside of Israel holding two Seders (on the evening of the 15th and 16th of Nisan) and Jews in Israel holding one Seder (on the 15th of Nisan).
The Seder is a ritual performed by a community or by multiple generations of a family, involving a retelling of the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. This story is in the Book of Exodus (Shemot) in the Hebrew Bible. The Seder itself is based on the Biblical verse commanding Jews to retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt: ‘You shall tell your child on that day, saying, ‘It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.” (Exodus 13:8) Traditionally, families and friends gather in the evening to read the text of the Haggadah, an ancient work derived from the Mishnah (Pesahim 10). The Haggadah contains the narrative of the Israelite exodus from Egypt, special blessings and rituals, commentaries from the Talmud, and special Passover songs.
Seder customs include telling the story, discussing the story, drinking four cups of wine, eating matza, partaking of symbolic foods placed on the Passover Seder Plate, and reclining in celebration of freedom. The Seder is performed in much the same way by Jews all over the world.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passover_Seder

I’m shocked I’m not the only one who’s thought about this possible relationship. I found several articles on this same topic.

  1. Was Jesus’ Last Supper a Seder? by Jonathan Klawans (10/18/2012)
    http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/people-cultures-in-the-bible/jesus-historical-jesus/was-jesus-last-supper-a-seder/
  2. Was the Last Supper a Passover Seder? (no author name, 01/01/2001)
    http://www.bible.org/question/was-last-supper-passover-seder
  3. Was Jesus’ Last Supper a Passover Seder? by Michael J. Cook (Spring 2013)
    http://www.reformjudaismmag.org/Articles/index.cfm?id=3175

I’m surprised I haven’t really thought about it before.

Lloyd Kaufman

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