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Happy Holidays!

To all Wizbang! readers observing his holy day, Happy Easter!


(Shamelessly stolen from frequent commenter Rightwingsparkle, who's a danged fine blogger as well.)

And to those observing Passover, I offer this gesture towards ecumenicalism, whipped up by Meryl Yourish.

But in a serious vein... I urge any and all devout Christians to at least once attend a public Passover Seder. The Last Supper was a Passover Seder (some say "the last needed Seder"), and to participate in a Seder and to get a feel for the traditions and meanings of that key event. For example, when Christ took the cup of wine and passed it around to His apostles, that was a HUGE thing -- absolutely shocking.

Plus, the food is really, really good. You won't even notice the lack of yeast.


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Comments (17)

Yeah, <a href="http://www.a... (Below threshold)

Yeah, the food is great. Right.

where there any tacos there... (Below threshold)
taco:

where there any tacos there?

Thanks for your comment. I... (Below threshold)
dulce:

Thanks for your comment. I am a Jew, but am also a scholar of Christianity, and always appreciate it when people are reminded of the Jewish roots of the (very) early church.

For example, when Christ... (Below threshold)

For example, when Christ took the cup of wine and passed it around to His apostles, that was a HUGE thing -- absolutely shocking.

Can someone tell me why this would be? I am a Christian and I would like to understand my tradition better. I confess my ignorance here. Thanks.

Well, thank you so much for... (Below threshold)

Well, thank you so much for the compliment Jay!

Oregon, I figured someone e... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Oregon, I figured someone else would jump in right now, but apparently they haven't. I know the perfect way to get someone to speak up, though. I'll give my explanation, and they'll trample over each other to correct me.

During the Passover Seder, the celebrants eat certain foods in remembrance of their ancestors during their flight from slavery in Egypt. They could only bring certain foods with them for their 40-year journey, so on Passover Jews eat those same foods (or as close as they can replicate) while remembering and honoring those first Israelites. Among them is the matzoh, or unleavened bread -- the ancients couldn't bring yeast with them. They eat the wafer and speak in praise of them.

Jesus took that wafer and did NOT look to the past, but to the present and future. That wafer became the Host.

As for the wine... at each and every passover Seder, the prophet Elijah is invited to attend. To prepare for his arrival, a single cup -- the Kiddush Cup -- is set aside and filled with wine. It remains untouched all through the service, and after the observation is concluded, the patriarch of the Seder drinks the wine in Elijah's honor.

At the Last Supper, Jesus broke the tradition and took the wine, then refused to drink it in Elijah's name. Instead, he shared it with all of His disciples. (And yes, that means that The Holy Grail was a Kiddush cup.)

Most of the Apostles were Jewish, and those who weren't were most likely quite familiar with Jewish traditions and beliefs. Jesus was taking one of the most sacred rituals of Judaism and turning it on its ear, creating a whole new ritual out of the old. By turning His Seder into not only The Last Supper, but The Last Seder, he was symbolically demonstrating that the Old Testament was completed, and it was the time of a New Testament.

OK, Oregon, that's an extremely UNqualified description of the elements of Passover that Christ changed at The Last Supper. I trust that folks will rush in and correct my numerous mistakes. But I really, really recommend that you go to a Seder if you can. In most communities with a significant Jewish population, at least one Temple will hold a public one, and invite everybody. As I say repeatedly, I'm no Christian, but I know enough of them to say that most would love to experience the same kind of service that He attended throughout His life, and what He changed the night before His arrest.

J.

Thank you for the explanati... (Below threshold)

Thank you for the explanation, Jay. It helps a lot.

The requirement is to drink... (Below threshold)
Sabba Hilllel:

The requirement is to drink four cups of wine at the seder because of the four words of redemption used in describing the redemption from Egypt. THe fifth word used has not yet occurred an symbolizes the Messiah who is going to be announced by Elijah.

The cup of Elijah is filled just before the fourth cup is filled and it is not drunk at all. Elijah himself takes a sip from every cup filled for him at every seder (you can see the wine move in the cup).

The matzah is part of the commandment of the Passover sacrifice as no sacrifice in the Temple could be brought with leavened bread. It is an explicit commandment for the eating the Passove sacrifice. We are forbidden to eat leaven for the remainder of Passover because our ancestors were chased out of Egypt so fast that the dough could not rise.

My church holds seders ever... (Below threshold)

My church holds seders every year just before Easter. It's a celebration loaded with so much symbolism it's hard to put into words. I agree with Jay Tea, every Christian should celebrate Passover, it gives a better understanding of the Christian faith.

Jay,If I didn't kn... (Below threshold)
Wanderlust:

Jay,

If I didn't know better, you would be perfect for the role of Vertue, in Lewis' Pilgrim's Regress.

If you aren't careful, you are pretty close to meeting Mother Kirk yourself.

Have a read, when you get time, and enjoy...it's a book that you'll have to read a few times, to get the full depth of what is written there.

Happy Easter :)

See, Oregon? Told ya. NOBOD... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

See, Oregon? Told ya. NOBODY said NOTHING until I took a stab at it, then TWO showed up to correct what I said. Quickest way to get folks to respond? Say something WRONG and dare 'em to correct you.

Works every time...

J.

I forgot to mention that if... (Below threshold)

I forgot to mention that if the "Last Supper" was a Passover Seder (on Thursday night), then there could not have been a trial on Friday. Trials in the Jewish courts were forbidden on the Holy days. The earliest the trial could have taken place was after the entire week of Passover was over which would have been the following Friday. It would have been forbidden then as capital crimes coud not be tried on Friday.

Thus the earlest a Jewish court could have met (in order to decide to turn him over to the Romans) would have been the Monday after the end of Passover.

I believe (ICBW) the high p... (Below threshold)

I believe (ICBW) the high priests questioned Jesus Thursday night but didn't actually try him -- they turned him over to the Romans for trial. And I think there was also something about how not all of the high priests were present at the questioning.

And though many people assume it was simply because they didn't want to do their own dirty work, the fact it was a Holy day must certainly have had something to do with it.

This was great. Thank you a... (Below threshold)

This was great. Thank you all. My only question is, do we know for sure that all the Seder customs detailed here in this comment thread were used in Israel during the time of Jesus?

Oregon, ever see Fiddler On... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Oregon, ever see Fiddler On The Roof?

"Tradition!"

All this stuff is written down, and handed down in families. It's all pretty locked up. The Jews are great for writing down and keeping stuff they think is important -- check out the Talmud. Centuries of theological debate.

J.

I'd like to second Jay Tea'... (Below threshold)
ech:

I'd like to second Jay Tea's suggestion that all fo us attend a Passover Seder. I went to two at the homes of friends I had as teenager. One was at an Orthodox home and one a Reform home. They were essentially the same - a little more Hebrew at the Orthodox home, IIRC. In both homes I felt mose welcome and being a Gentile was not a concern.

My Othodox friend had honored me by inviting me to be in his Bar Mitzvah, as part of the procession when he entered. I still have the yarmulke his grandmother made for me, but I had to geive the prayer shawl back. I found out later that there was great debate in the Synagogue leadership about having a Christian in the ceremony. It was held that since I didn't have a speaking role and worshiped the G-d of Abraham it was allowable. Fortunately, there was phonetic spelling under the prayer responses, along with notations on when to genuflect, so I was able to fit in with the men.

Many thank-yous for the exc... (Below threshold)
BigCatGirl:

Many thank-yous for the excellent article. It is great to remind us Christians of our Jewish heritage. This is much needed in the difficult times that we live in. Also shows that the Jews and the Christians need each other.




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