Mar 29, 2008

Jewish Christians.

I overheard the most absurd thing this evening at Argo Tea, and although there's still a few more minutes of Shabbat, I fell off the wagon sometime last night when I stumbled home after an evening of Karaoke (after shul, of course), and got on the Internet. So I had to share this, because of the level of absurdity.

I'd been at Argo for a while, and this group of folks had settled near me, discussing missionary work and other things, I wasn't paying attention really until I heard them mention the Passover seder. They were conversing about whether their churches did seders for Easter and about the Jews in their congregations. So I put my iPod on pause and listened in, casually, while exploring a cookbook I'd picked up.

"So there's a few Jews at my church, and they keep all the traditions and stuff, and this one guy was telling me that in the seder, when they hide a piece of the matzo, the matzo is supposed to represent Christ, and when they find the matzo, it is like finding salvation through Christ! It's called afikomen or something, and I guess it's really a new thing and is really supposed to be about Christ."
It took everything I had to restrain myself from blurting out "You've got to be kidding me!" Now, I know that the seder is different for everyone, and that people garner all sorts of messages and meanings out of them -- some are feminist, some emphasize vegetarianism, etc. This is why there are a million different haggadot! But this? This, well, absolutely outlandish idea of the afikomen symbolizing Christ and that the whole addition of the afikomen to the seder was actually Christian, is shocking.

Rabbi Shraga Simmons says, "The hiding of Afikomen is a rather recent custom, of a couple of centuries. It is based on Talmud Pesachim 109a which describes a Matzot grabbing, so that the children stay alert and do not fall asleep - (source: 'Ta'amei Minhagim' 529; quoting 'Chok Yaakov' 472:2)."

I guess, I didn't know that the Talmud made revelations and connections to Christian thought.

Seriously. How absurd.


Anonymous said...

That's really upsetting. Jews rendering the afikomen a symbol of Christ are not Jews. A friend and I were discussing this the other day after I stumbled upon a late night religious program. On the program, the Southern Baptist preacher wore a kippah and a tallit and urged other Christians to do the same. You could even send him 50 dollars and get a kippah and tallit set made by "real Israelis." I wonder if these "real Israelis" know who they're making these garments for. I could go on. A few months ago, a friend mentioned that Jews for Jesus were the best Jews since they got the best of both worlds. I was silent. "Except they're Christians, not Jews." Ugh.


Jack Steiner said...

Some people just don't get it.

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