Isn’t It Aaronic? John Keisling Parody Video

From Jewish Passover to Christian Eucharist: The Story of the Todah

From Jewish Passover to Christian Eucharist: The Story of the Todah

TIM GRAY

Scholars have often wondered how the practice of Christian Eucharist could have arisen from the Lord’s Supper, which occurred in the context of the Jewish Passover. Since Passover occurs only once a year, how is it that the Christians got the notion that they could celebrate Jesus’ sacrificial meal weekly, if not daily?

The Last Supper

Gustave Dore

The answer is found in the ancient Israelite sacrifice called the todah.

While most people have heard of Old Testament sacrifices such as the holocaust offering or burnt offering, those who have heard of the todah sacrifice are as rare as lotto winners. Today\’s ignorance concerning the todah, however, should not imply that it was unimportant to the Jews. Far from it. The todah was one of the most significant sacrifices of the Jews.

Indeed, an old Rabbinic teaching says: \"In the coming Messianic age all sacrifices will cease, but the thank offering [todah] will never cease.\"(1) What is it about this sacrifice that makes it stand alone in such a way that it would outlast all other sacrifices after the redemption of the Messiah?

A todah sacrifice would be offered by someone whose life had been delivered from great peril, such as disease or the sword. The redeemed person would show his gratitude to God by gathering his closest friends and family for a todah sacrificial meal. The lamb would be sacrificed in the Temple and the bread for the meal would be consecrated the moment the lamb was sacrificed. The bread and meat, along with wine, would constitute the elements of the sacred todah meal, which would be accompanied by prayers and songs of thanksgiving, such as Psalm 116.

What does the word \"todah\" mean? It is Hebrew for \"thanksgiving,\" although it also connotes a confession of praise in addition to gratitude. For example, Leah gave thanks to God when she bore her fourth son, and so she named him yehudah — or Judah — which is the verbal form of todah — to give thanks.

There are many examples in the Old Testament of people offering todah — thanks — to God. Jonah, while in the belly of the whale, vows to offer up a todah sacrifice in the Temple if he is delivered (cf. Jon. 2:3-10). King Hezekiah offers up a todah hymn upon recovering from a life-threatening illness (cf. Is. 38). However, the best example of todah sacrifice and song is found in the life of King David.

via From Jewish Passover to Christian Eucharist: The Story of the Todah.

Yad Vashem – What’s in a Name?

Yad Vashem Hall of Names

Yad Vashem Hall of Names / Wikipedia

As the New Year begins, the Church reminds us of the importance of a name. We celebrate the Octave Day of Christmas, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, and on the Monday after the Epiphany we celebrate the Most Holy Name of Jesus.

Octave means eight. The Gospel for the day relates:

“When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given Him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”

On this eighth day the infant was circumcised and a name given. The name was so important that it was announced by an angel. So important was the Name to God!

The Old Testament reading from Numbers for this day speaks of another Name:

“The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace! So shall they invoke My Name upon the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

What’s in a name?  Mystery! Holy Mystery!

As we begin our year, and as the liturgical year unfolds, celebrating the History of Salvation, let us remember our inhumane Human History as well. Herod’s holocaust sought to wipe away all hope for humanity, the plan of the Evil One. that might might make right as the world has come to believe.

Yad Vashem, written sometimes as, Yad VaShem, literally “hand and name” means “memorial.”

In the Hall of Names, the victims of the Holocaust of our time are remembered.

“Remember only that I was innocent

and, just like you, mortal on that day,

I, too, had had a face marked by rage, by pity and joy,

quite simply, a human face!”

Benjamin Fondane

Murdered at Auschwitz, 1944

“If we wish to live and to bequeath life to our offspring, if we believe that we are to pave the way to the future, then we must first of all not forget.”

(Prof. Ben Zion Dinur, Yad Vashem, 1956)