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Author Topic: Hebraic Practices  (Read 954 times) Average Rating: 0
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SoleRedemption
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« on: March 26, 2011, 03:22:27 AM »

I've come upon a number of Christians, both in the Orthodox church and otherwise, who hold to certain Hebraic practices (in particular, the reading of the Midrash as a form of prayer). What are your thoughts on this? I've always favored Christianity's Semitic side, but I've always been wary of emulating our estranged Talmudist brethren too much, as beautiful as some of their rabbinical writings can be.
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2011, 08:55:30 AM »

I've come upon a number of Christians, both in the Orthodox church and otherwise, who hold to certain Hebraic practices (in particular, the reading of the Midrash as a form of prayer). What are your thoughts on this? I've always favored Christianity's Semitic side, but I've always been wary of emulating our estranged Talmudist brethren too much, as beautiful as some of their rabbinical writings can be.

Well here is a bit of a conflict (my pinch of Messianic Jew) that I have.  Usually that stuff is not (from my experience) "Kosher" in Orthodoxy.  Celebrating the feasts of the Jews is forbidden. 

For me (my opinion) it would be more perfect if the church was more "Jewish" friendly.   Now with that said, there is a lot of Judaism in Orthodoxy & in the Liturgy.  But I'd love to see the celebrations and feasts of the Jews implemented into Orthodoxy and be "Orthodox". 

My personal opinion is the Talmud is a complete horror.  Many Jews even see it as this way.  They see the "oral law" as the law that circumvents the law given to Moses.
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2011, 09:14:48 AM »

I've come upon a number of Christians, both in the Orthodox church and otherwise, who hold to certain Hebraic practices (in particular, the reading of the Midrash as a form of prayer). What are your thoughts on this? I've always favored Christianity's Semitic side, but I've always been wary of emulating our estranged Talmudist brethren too much, as beautiful as some of their rabbinical writings can be.

Most of our worship is Hebraic in origin. However, any emulation of rabbinical Judaism is something rejected by the Fathers of the Church.
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2011, 09:35:01 AM »

It seems like it would depend on the Midrash. Some of them might conflict with Christianity. For example, some Protestant hymns probably conflict with Orthodoxy, like if they mention original sin. On the other hand, some Protestant songs are on rare occasion sung in some Orthodox parishes, including mine. So it seems like if there was a short simple midrash, then maybe it wouldn't conflict.

Regarding Jewish feasts, it seems some of them might be ok like Hanukah because Jesus Christ was in the Temple walking at Hanukah, John's gospel says. Plus, Paskha is a Christian Pesakh, or in English "Passover". Others like the Day of Atonement would seem less likely, because its meaning of a guilt-sacrifice has been fulfillied in Christianity at Paskha. It's my opinion.

But I agree with posters above that the Orthodox church simply doesn't do the midrashes or feasts like Hanukah in practice, although there are exceptions among individuals. I think that they don't matter in Christianity, although it may be nice or interesting to have them.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2011, 09:49:09 AM by rakovsky » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2011, 11:19:27 AM »

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...although it may be nice or interesting to have them.
Except they are forbidden by the Fathers of the Church. Even the celebration of the Jewish Sabbath is strictly  forbidden.
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2011, 12:01:30 PM »

I've come upon a number of Christians, both in the Orthodox church and otherwise, who hold to certain Hebraic practices (in particular, the reading of the Midrash as a form of prayer). What are your thoughts on this? I've always favored Christianity's Semitic side, but I've always been wary of emulating our estranged Talmudist brethren too much, as beautiful as some of their rabbinical writings can be.
To read the midrash as a form of prayer is to turn your back on the Apostles to submitt to the Sadducees, Pharisees and Scribes.
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2011, 07:07:05 PM »

Even the celebration of the Jewish Sabbath is strictly  forbidden.
It seems that you may be confusing the old rule against participating in non-Orthodox religious activities, which was written in more detail to specify heretics, apostates, Jews, etc etc etc with the Commandment to Keep the Sabbath Because it is Holy.

The Orthodox schedule of services does have a system so that services can be celebrated on the Sabbath if the church chooses. Also at OCF a friend told me that it is still a custom to keep the sabbath holy, although it's true that Christians focus on Sunday alot more, and many Christians don't think alot about keeping the Sabbath in practice. When I was little, for example, I sometimes thought about the rule about Saturday and concluded that Saturday and Sunday were both religious days. It seems to me this rule was a cause for the fact that Saturday and Sunday are the two days of the weekend.

Regards.
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2011, 07:15:17 PM »

I've come upon a number of Christians, both in the Orthodox church and otherwise, who hold to certain Hebraic practices (in particular, the reading of the Midrash as a form of prayer). What are your thoughts on this? I've always favored Christianity's Semitic side, but I've always been wary of emulating our estranged Talmudist brethren too much, as beautiful as some of their rabbinical writings can be.
To read the midrash as a form of prayer is to turn your back on the Apostles to submitt to the Sadducees, Pharisees and Scribes.

I'm not sure that it means turning one's back on the Apostles: the apostles prayed in synagogues, so it would make sense that they were praying along with the assembly, and some of the prayers made by the leading rabbi.

Take for example the Yiddish saying: "A bad peace is better than a good war / A shlekhter sholem iz beser vi a guter krig."
In passing, I note how Germanic the phrase sounds, which suggests that Yiddish came from Jews living in medieval Germany. The phrase doesn't sound to me particularly bad. Christ for example was the Prince of Peace. On the other hand, maybe I could analyze it to find some problems. And I assume there are some midrashes that contradict Christianity, like I assume there are Protestant prayers that have ideas that contradict Orthodoxy.

Salaam.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2011, 07:17:19 PM by rakovsky » Logged
yeshuaisiam
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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2011, 07:45:39 PM »

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...although it may be nice or interesting to have them.
Except they are forbidden by the Fathers of the Church. Even the celebration of the Jewish Sabbath is strictly  forbidden.

If you could let me know which Fathers of the Church did this I'd appreciate it.  You do mean the early fathers right?  Like Polycarp, Justin Martyr etc. right?  Or do you mean the ones 325+ A.D. ? 

Thanks
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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2011, 09:42:28 PM »

I've come upon a number of Christians, both in the Orthodox church and otherwise, who hold to certain Hebraic practices (in particular, the reading of the Midrash as a form of prayer). What are your thoughts on this? I've always favored Christianity's Semitic side, but I've always been wary of emulating our estranged Talmudist brethren too much, as beautiful as some of their rabbinical writings can be.
To read the midrash as a form of prayer is to turn your back on the Apostles to submitt to the Sadducees, Pharisees and Scribes.

I'd have to agree with this. Why do we need anything from Judaism? All the "good" parts that are needed are kept in the new Israel, the Church. Because Judaism is dead, any tradition not carried over is dead, and why would one want to engage in a hollow tradition? That is exactly what the Pharisees stood for, hollow tradition.
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« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2011, 11:39:04 PM »

I've come upon a number of Christians, both in the Orthodox church and otherwise, who hold to certain Hebraic practices (in particular, the reading of the Midrash as a form of prayer). What are your thoughts on this? I've always favored Christianity's Semitic side, but I've always been wary of emulating our estranged Talmudist brethren too much, as beautiful as some of their rabbinical writings can be.
To read the midrash as a form of prayer is to turn your back on the Apostles to submitt to the Sadducees, Pharisees and Scribes.

I'm not sure that it means turning one's back on the Apostles: the apostles prayed in synagogues, so it would make sense that they were praying along with the assembly, and some of the prayers made by the leading rabbi.

The Apostles also sometimes baptized in the name of Christ, rather than the Trinity, but today such baptism would be considered illegitimate. The praxis of the Church changed a lot in the first decades.

And Judaism has also changed in the interim. After the fall of the Temple, the religion changed substantially and took on a rather anti-Christian bent.

As was said, we have inherited everything good from Judaism. We have no need for anything that is not Orthodox. Some individual Jewish prayers and such may be perfectly fine, but why do we need them? We have a near-infinite supply of our own prayers, hymnody, and reading material. (And really, if you believe a good number of Fathers, the only prayer we actually need is the Jesus Prayer. All the rest is a crutch for our weakness.)

The Saints who reached theosis have handed down to us the prayers and forms we should use. Our job is not to add or subtract, revive first-century forms like Protestants, or lean on our own understanding, but to use what has been proven to work. Why experiment with questionable material when we have "certified" material in spades?
« Last Edit: March 28, 2011, 11:41:50 PM by bogdan » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2011, 08:51:01 AM »

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(And really, if you believe a good number of Fathers, the only prayer we actually need is the Jesus Prayer. All the rest is a crutch for our weakness.)

A small correction, my friend: you left out the Lord's Prayer!  Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2011, 09:37:08 AM »

Even the celebration of the Jewish Sabbath is strictly  forbidden.
It seems that you may be confusing the old rule against participating in non-Orthodox religious activities, which was written in more detail to specify heretics, apostates, Jews, etc etc etc with the Commandment to Keep the Sabbath Because it is Holy.

The Orthodox schedule of services does have a system so that services can be celebrated on the Sabbath if the church chooses. Also at OCF a friend told me that it is still a custom to keep the sabbath holy, although it's true that Christians focus on Sunday alot more, and many Christians don't think alot about keeping the Sabbath in practice. When I was little, for example, I sometimes thought about the rule about Saturday and concluded that Saturday and Sunday were both religious days. It seems to me this rule was a cause for the fact that Saturday and Sunday are the two days of the weekend.

Regards.


The Synaxarion for Holy Saturday says clearly that the Holy Apostles transferred the dignity of the Sabbath to Sundays. Therefore, we do not keep Saturdays as a Sabbath. Work is still done on Saturdays, for example.
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