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The Didache

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;

The Wise King Solomon described the breath of the soul.

Ecclesiastes 12

12:7 and the dust returns to the earth as it was,

and the life's breath returns to God who gave it.

Isaiah prophesied the coming of Jesus Christ. The Chaldee Paraphrase of Isaiah also explained the concept of second death (spiritual death)

Isaiah 53

53:1 Who would have believed what we just heard?

When was the Lord’s power revealed through him?

53:2 He sprouted up like a twig before God,

like a root out of parched soil;

he had no stately form or majesty that might catch our attention,

no special appearance that we should want to follow him.

53:3 He was despised and rejected by people,

one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness;

people hid their faces from him;

he was despised, and we considered him insignificant.

53:4 But he lifted up our illnesses,

he carried our pain;

even though we thought he was being punished,

attacked by God, and afflicted for something he had done.

53:5 He was wounded because of our rebellious deeds,

crushed because of our sins;

he endured punishment that made us well;

because of his wounds we have been healed.

53:6 All of us had wandered off like sheep;

each of us had strayed off on his own path,

but the Lord caused the sin of all of us to attack him.

53:7 He was treated harshly and afflicted,

but he did not even open his mouth.

Like a lamb led to the slaughtering block,

like a sheep silent before her shearers,

he did not even open his mouth.

53:8 He was led away after an unjust trial

but who even cared?

Indeed, he was cut off from the land of the living;

because of the rebellion of his own people he was wounded.

53:9 They intended to bury him with criminals,

but he ended up in a rich man’s tomb,

because he had committed no violent deeds,

nor had he spoken deceitfully.

53:10 Though the Lord desired to crush him and make him ill,

once restitution is made,

he will see descendants and enjoy long life,

and the Lord’s purpose will be accomplished through him.

53:11 Having suffered, he will reflect on his work,

he will be satisfied when he understands what he has done.

My servant will acquit many,

for he carried their sins.

53:12 So I will assign him a portion with the multitudes,

he will divide the spoils of victory with the powerful,

because he willingly submitted to death

and was numbered with the rebels,

when he lifted up the sin of many

and intervened on behalf of the rebels.”

The targumim (singular: "targum", Hebrew: תרגום‎), were spoken paraphrases, explanations, and expansions of the Jewish scriptures that a Rabbi would give in the common language of the listeners, which during the time of this practice was commonly, but not exclusively, Aramaic. This had become necessary near the end of the last century before the Christian era, as the common language was in transition and Hebrew was used for little more than schooling and worship.

When Hillel the Elder would cease from [teaching] his students, he would walk, and they would walk with him. Said his disciples to him: "Master, where are you going?" Said he to them: "I am going to do a kindness to a guest in my home." Said they to him: "Every day you have a guest?" Said he to them: "Is this poor soul not a guest in the body? Today she is here, tomorrow she is not..." - Midrash Rabbah, Vayikra 34

Jonathan Ben Uziel, the author of the Chaldee Paraphrases on the major and minor Prophets lived thirty years before the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was a disciple of Hillel. He is also the author of Targum Jonathan and a book of kabbalah known as Megadnim.


Chapter XXII.

14 The prophet said, with mine ears I was hearing when this was decreed from before the Lord of hosts, namely, that this your iniquity shall not be forgiven you till you die the second death, said the Lord, the God, the God of hosts.

Chapter LXV

1 I am asked concerning my Word of them that have not asked after me;1 I am inquired of for instruction in my law, of them who have not sought my fear: I will say, Behold, I am inquired after continually, all the day, of a people that hath not prayed in my name.

2 I have sent my prophets every day unto a rebellious people, which walk in a way which was not good, after their own thoughts;

3 A people that provoke my Word to anger continually to my face; that sacrifice in gardens to idols, and offer aromatic spices upon bricks;

4 Who dwell in houses, which are built of the dust of graves, with the dead bodies of the sons of men they dwell, which eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;

5 Who say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; because I am purer than thou. These their provocations are as smoke before me: their recompense shall be in hell, where the fire burns all the day.

6 Behold, it is written before me: I will not give unto them prolongation in this life; but I will recompense unto them the wages for their sins, and deliver their bodies to the second death.

7 Your sins and the sins of your fathers together are revealed before me, saith the Lord, which have offered incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills: therefore will I give the reward of their former works into their bosom.

8 Thus saith the Lord, As Noah was found righteous in the generation of the deluge, and I said that I would not destroy him, for the purpose that I might raise up the world by him; so will I do for my righteous servants' sakes, in order that I may not destroy them all.

9 And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my righteous servants shall dwell there.

10 And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the crouching down of the herds of oxen, for my people which have sought my fear.

11 But ye, O house of Israel, ye have forsaken the worship of the Lord, ye have forgotten the worship of my holy mountain, that prepare tables for the idols, and mix goblets for their gods.

12 Therefore will I deliver them to the sword, yea, all of you shall be delivered to the slaughter; because I sent my prophets, and ye repented not; they prophesied, and ye did not receive them; but did evil before me, and delighted yourselves in that I would not.

13 Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, my righteous servants shall eat, but ye, O wicked, shall be hungry: behold, my righteous servants shall drink, but ye, O wicked, shall be thirsty: behold, my righteous servants shall rejoice, but ye, O wicked, shall be ashamed:

14 Behold, my righteous servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and ye. shall howl for vexation of spirit.

15 And ye shall leave your name for a curse to my chosen: for the Lord God shall slay you with the second death, and call His righteous servants by another name:

16 That he who is blessed in the earth shall bless by the God of the covenant, and he that swears in the earth shall swear by the God of the covenant;" because, the former troubles shall be forgotten, and because they shall be hidden from before me.

17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, neither shall they come into mind.

18 But be ye glad and rejoice in the world of worlds, which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.

19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and my people shall be glad in her: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of those that cry.

20 There shall be no more thence a suckling of days, or an old man that shall not accomplish his days, for even the child that sinneth shall die an hundred years old; but he that is a sinner being an hundred years old shall be thrust out.

21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.

22 They shall not build, and others inhabit; they shall not plant, and others eat: for as the days of the tree of life are the days of my people, and mine elect shall wear1 out the work of their hands.

23 They shall not labor in vain, neither shall they rear up children for death, for they shall be the seed which the Lord has blessed, and the children of their children with them.

24 And it shall come to pass, before they shall pray before me, that I will hear their prayer; and before they supplicate before me, I will grant14 their request.

25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,

By the second death, the Jewish and Christian writers mean an everlasting destruction both of body and soul in hell, a gnawing sense of the wrath of God in everlasting darkness, separated from the all-glorious God, and his saints in light.

Proverbs 24

24:16 Although a righteous person may fall seven times, he gets up again,

but the wicked will be brought down by calamity.

24:17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,

and when he stumbles do not let your heart rejoice,

24:18 lest the Lord see it, and be displeased,

and turn his wrath away from him.

24:19 Do not fret because of evil people

or be envious of wicked people,

24:20 for the evil person has no future,

and the lamp of the wicked will be extinguished.

Ezekiel 18

18:3 "As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, you will not quote this proverb in Israel anymore!

18:4 Indeed! All lives are mine – the life of the father as well as the life of the son is mine. The one who sins will die.

18:5 "Suppose a man is righteous. He practices what is just and right,

18:6 does not eat pagan sacrifices on the mountains or pray to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife, does not have sexual relations with a woman during her period,

18:7 does not oppress anyone, but gives the debtor back whatever was given in pledge, does not commit robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and clothes the unclothed,

18:8 does not engage in usury or charge interest, but refrains from wrongdoing, promotes true justice between men,

18:9 and follows my statutes and observes my regulations by carrying them out. That man is righteous; he will certainly live, declares the sovereign Lord.

18:10 “Suppose such a man has a violent son who sheds blood and does any of these things mentioned previously

18:11 (though the father did not do any of them). He eats pagan sacrifices on the mountains, defiles his neighbor’s wife,

18:12 oppresses the poor and the needy, commits robbery, does not give back what was given in pledge, prays to idols, performs abominable acts,

18:13 engages in usury and charges interest. Will he live? He will not! Because he has done all these abominable deeds he will certainly die. He will bear the responsibility for his own death.

18:14 “But suppose he in turn has a son who notices all the sins his father commits, considers them, and does not follow his father’s example.

18:15 He does not eat pagan sacrifices on the mountains, does not pray to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife,

18:16 does not oppress anyone or keep what has been given in pledge, does not commit robbery, gives his food to the hungry, and clothes the unclothed,

18:17 refrains from wrongdoing, does not engage in usury or charge interest, carries out my regulations and follows my statutes. He will not die for his father’s iniquity; he will surely live.

18:18 As for his father, because he practices extortion, robs his brother, and does what is not good among his people, he will die for his iniquity.

18:19 “Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not suffer for his father’s iniquity?’ When the son does what is just and right, and observes all my statutes and carries them out, he will surely live.

18:20 The person who sins is the one who will die. A son will not suffer for his father’s iniquity, and a father will not suffer for his son’s iniquity; the righteous person will be judged according to his righteousness, and the wicked person according to his wickedness.

18:21 “But if the wicked person turns from all the sin he has committed and observes all my statutes and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die.

18:22 None of the sins he has committed will be held against him; because of the righteousness he has done, he will live.

18:23 Do I actually delight in the death of the wicked, declares the sovereign Lord? Do I not prefer that he turn from his wicked conduct and live?

18:24 “But if a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and practices wrongdoing according to all the abominable practices the wicked carry out, will he live? All his righteous acts will not be remembered; because of the unfaithful acts he has done and the sin he has committed, he will die.

18:25 “Yet you say, ‘The Lord’s conduct is unjust!’ Hear, O house of Israel: Is my conduct unjust? Is it not your conduct that is unjust?

18:26 When a righteous person turns back from his righteousness and practices wrongdoing, he will die for it; because of the wrongdoing he has done, he will die.

18:27 When a wicked person turns from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he will preserve his life.

18:28 Because he considered and turned from all the sins he had done, he will surely live; he will not die. 18:29 Yet the house of Israel says, 'The Lord's conduct is unjust!’ Is my conduct unjust, O house of Israel? Is it not your conduct that is unjust?

18:30 “Therefore I will judge each person according to his conduct, O house of Israel, declares the sovereign Lord. Repent and turn from all your wickedness; then it will not be an obstacle leading to iniquity.

18:31 Throw away all your sins you have committed and fashion yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why should you die, O house of Israel?

18:32 For I take no delight in the death of anyone, declares the sovereign Lord. Repent and live!

This did not mean that doing good works would atone for past sins eternally. It meant that doing good works could preclude God’s judgment of premature physical death, a judgment promised under the Mosaic Law for those who practiced wickedness. This whole chapter deals with the consequences of good and bad conduct in this life under the Mosaic Covenant. It does not deal with the subject of eternal life. Eternal life has always come to a person by faith alone.

As Christians we are personally responsible for our actions, just as the Israelites were. Our personal actions will affect our lives just as was true in Israel. For Christians, who live under the New Covenant, premature death may be God’s judgment for sin. However, under the New Covenant what we do in this life also has eternal consequences, not that we will lose our salvation, but we will suffer the loss of some eternal rewards. The Lord normally gave Old Testament saints the hope that their reward would come before they died, but He has given Christians the hope that our reward will come mainly after we die. God has always justified people for their trust in Him, and He has always rewarded them for their works.

The Prophet Daniel speaks more clearly of life after death and the World to Come.

Daniel 12

12:2 Many of those who sleep

in the dusty ground will awake –

some to everlasting life,

and others to shame and everlasting abhorrence.

12:3 But the wise will shine

like the brightness of the heavenly expanse.

And those bringing many to righteousness

will be like the stars forever and ever.

Matthew 10

10:26 “Do not be afraid of them, for nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing is secret that will not be made known.

10:27 What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light, and what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the housetops.

10:28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

10:29 Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.

10:30 Even all the hairs on your head are numbered.

10:31 So do not be afraid; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

10:32 “Whoever, then, acknowledges me before people, I will acknowledge before my Father in heaven.

10:33 But whoever denies me before people, I will deny him also before my Father in heaven.

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The Didache


Chapter 5


5:1 But the way of death is this.

5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;

Before the Covenant God made through Jesus Christ both Jews and Gentiles were rewarded with long life and prosperity by following Mosaic and Noahide laws. Some of those that openly followed and preached God's Covenant were given supernatural gifts (i.e. resurrection, ascension, healing, prophecy, etc..)As time progressed God has revealed to his sages understanding of original sin, hell, and spiritual death.


Enoch reveals that we all have free will one whether we want to follow God's commands or not. After death judgement will be on our decision. The good will be separated from the bad. Enoch further revealed that good would be given dwelling places were they can petition and intercede and pray for the living on Earth.


The Book of Enoch


Chapter 38


1 The first Parable.


When the congregation of the righteous shall appear,


And sinners shall be judged for their sins,


And shall be driven from the face of the earth:


2 And when the Righteous One shall appear before the eyes of the righteous,


Whose elect works hang upon the Lord of Spirits,


And light shall appear to the righteous and the elect who dwell on the earth,


Where then will be the dwelling of the sinners,


And where the resting-place of those who have denied the Lord of Spirits?


It had been good for them if they had not been born.


3 When the secrets of the righteous shall be revealed and the sinners judged,


And the godless driven from the presence of the righteous and elect,


4 From that time those that possess the earth shall no longer be powerful and




And they shall not be able to behold the face of the holy,


For the Lord of Spirits has caused His light to appear


On the face of the holy, righteous, and elect.


5 Then shall the kings and the mighty perish


And be given into the hands of the righteous and holy.


6 And thenceforward none shall seek for themselves mercy from the Lord of




For their life is at an end.

Chapter 39


1 [And it shall come to pass in those days that elect and holy children will descend from the


2 high heaven, and their seed will become one with the children of men. And in those days Enoch received books of zeal and wrath, and books of disquiet and expulsion.]


And mercy shall not be accorded to them, saith the Lord of Spirits.


3 And in those days a whirlwind carried me off from the earth,


And set me down at the end of the heavens.


4 And there I saw another vision, the dwelling-places of the holy,


And the resting-places of the righteous.


5 Here mine eyes saw their dwellings with His righteous angels,


And their resting-places with the holy.


And they petitioned and interceded and prayed for the children of men,


And righteousness flowed before them as water,


And mercy like dew upon the earth:


Thus it is amongst them for ever and ever.


6a And in that place mine eyes saw the Elect One of righteousness and of faith,


7a And I saw his dwelling-place under the wings of the Lord of Spirits.


6b And righteousness shall prevail in his days,


And the righteous and elect shall be without number before Him for ever and ever.


7b And all the righteous and elect before Him shall be strong as fiery lights,


And their mouth shall be full of blessing,


And their lips extol the name of the Lord of Spirits,


And righteousness before Him shall never fail,


[And uprightness shall never fail before Him.]


8 There I wished to dwell,


And my spirit longed for that dwelling-place:


And there heretofore hath been my portion,


For so has it been established concerning me before the Lord of Spirits.

Chapter 40


And after that I saw thousands of thousands and ten thousand times ten thousand, I saw a multitude beyond number and reckoning, who stood before the Lord of Spirits. And on the four sides of the Lord of Spirits I saw four presences, different from those that sleep not, and I learned their names: for the angel that went with me made known to me their names, and showed me all the hidden things. And I heard the voices of those four presences as they uttered praises before the Lord of glory.


The first voice blesses the Lord of Spirits for ever and ever. And the second voice I heard blessing the Elect One and the elect ones who hang upon the Lord of Spirits. And the third voice I heard pray and intercede for those who dwell on the earth and supplicate in the name of the Lord of Spirits. And I heard the fourth voice fending off the Satans and forbidding them to come before the Lord of Spirits to accuse them who dwell on the earth. After that I asked the angel of peace who went with me, who showed me everything that is hidden:


'Who are these four presences which I have seen and whose words I have heard and written down?'


And he said to me:


'This first is Michael, the merciful and long-suffering:


and the second, who is set over all the diseases and all the wounds of the children of men, is Raphael:


and the third, who is set over all the powers, is Gabriel:


and the fourth, who is set over the repentance unto hope of those who inherit eternal life, is named Phanuel.'


And these are the four angels of the Lord of Spirits and the four voices heard in those days.

Chapter 41


And after that I saw all the secrets of the heavens, and how the kingdom is divided, and how the actions of men are weighed in the balance. And there I saw the mansions of the elect and the mansions of the holy, and mine eyes saw there all the sinners being driven from thence which deny the name of the Lord of Spirits, and being dragged off: and they could not abide because of the punishment which proceeds from the Lord of Spirits.


And there mine eyes saw the secrets of the lightning and of the thunder, and the secrets of the winds, how they are divided to blow over the earth, and the secrets of the clouds and dew, and there I saw from whence they proceed in that place and from whence they saturate the dusty earth.


And there I saw closed chambers out of which the winds are divided, the chamber of the hail and winds, the chamber of the mist, and of the clouds, and the cloud thereof hovers over the earth from the beginning of the world.


And I saw the chambers of the sun and moon, whence they proceed and whither they come again, and their glorious return, and how one is superior to the other, and their stately orbit, and how they do not leave their orbit, and they add nothing to their orbit and they take nothing from it, and they keep faith with each other, in accordance with the oath by which they are bound together. And first the sun goes forth and traverses his path according to the commandment of the Lord of Spirits, and mighty is His name for ever and ever.


And after that I saw the hidden and the visible path of the moon, and she accomplishes the course of her path in that place by day and by night-the one holding a position opposite to the other before the Lord of Spirits.


And they give thanks and praise and rest not;


For unto them is their thanksgiving rest.


For the sun changes oft for a blessing or a curse,


And the course of the path of the moon is light to the righteous


And darkness to the sinners in the name of the Lord,


Who made a separation between the light and the darkness,


And divided the spirits of men,


And strengthened the spirits of the righteous,


In the name of His righteousness.


For no angel hinders and no power is able to hinder; for He appoints a judge for them all and He judges them all before Him.


Tophet or Topheth ("roasting place") where worshipers influenced by the Canaanite Pantheon sacrificed children to the gods Moloch and Baal by burning them alive.




2 Kings 23


23:1 The king summoned all the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem.


23:2 The king went up to the Lords temple, accompanied by all the people of Judah, all the residents of Jerusalem, the priests, and the prophets. All the people were there, from the youngest to the oldest. He read aloud all the words of the scroll of the covenant that had been discovered in the Lords temple.


23:3 The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant before the Lord, agreeing to follow the Lord and to obey his commandments, laws, and rules with all his heart and being, by carrying out the terms of this covenant recorded on this scroll. All the people agreed to keep the covenant.


23:4 The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the high-ranking priests, and the guards to bring out of the Lords temple all the items that were used in the worship of Baal, Asherah, and all the stars of the sky. The king burned them outside of Jerusalem in the terraces of Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel.


23:5 He eliminated the pagan priests whom the kings of Judah had appointed to offer sacrifices on the high places in the cities of Judah and in the area right around Jerusalem. (They offered sacrifices to Baal, the sun god, the moon god, the constellations, and all the stars in the sky.)


23:6 He removed the Asherah pole from the Lords temple and took it outside Jerusalem to the Kidron Valley, where he burned it. He smashed it to dust and then threw the dust in the public graveyard.


23:7 He tore down the quarters of the male cultic prostitutes in the Lords temple, where women were weaving shrines for Asherah.


23:8 He brought all the priests from the cities of Judah and ruined the high places where the priests had offered sacrifices, from Geba to Beer Sheba. He tore down the high place of the goat idols situated at the entrance of the gate of Joshua, the city official, on the left side of the city gate.


23:9 (Now the priests of the high places did not go up to the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem, but they did eat unleavened cakes among their fellow priests.)


23:10 The king ruined Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom so that no one could pass his son or his daughter through the fire to Molech.


23:11 He removed from the entrance to the Lords temple the statues of horses that the kings of Judah had placed there in honor of the sun god. (They were kept near the room of Nathan Melech the eunuch, which was situated among the courtyards.) He burned up the chariots devoted to the sun god.


23:12 The king tore down the altars the kings of Judah had set up on the roof of Ahazs upper room, as well as the altars Manasseh had set up in the two courtyards of the Lords temple. He crushed them up and threw the dust in the Kidron Valley.


23:13 The king ruined the high places east of Jerusalem, south of the Mount of Destruction, that King Solomon of Israel had built for the detestable Sidonian goddess Astarte, the detestable Moabite god Chemosh, and the horrible Ammonite god Milcom.


23:14 He smashed the sacred pillars to bits, cut down the Asherah pole, and filled those shrines with human bones.


23:15 He also tore down the altar in Bethel at the high place made by Jeroboam son of Nebat, who encouraged Israel to sin. He burned all the combustible items at that high place and crushed them to dust; including the Asherah pole.


23:16 When Josiah turned around, he saw the tombs there on the hill. So he ordered the bones from the tombs to be brought; he burned them on the altar and defiled it. This fulfilled the Lords announcement made by the prophet while Jeroboam stood by the altar during a festival. King Josiah turned and saw the grave of the prophet who had foretold this.


23:17 He asked, What is this grave marker I see? The men from the city replied, Its the grave of the prophet who came from Judah and foretold these very things you have done to the altar of Bethel."


23:18 The king said, Leave it alone! No one must touch his bones. So they left his bones undisturbed, as well as the bones of the Israelite prophet buried beside him.


23:19 Josiah also removed all the shrines on the high places in the cities of Samaria. The kings of Israel had made them and angered the Lord. He did to them what he had done to the high place in Bethel.


23:20 He sacrificed all the priests of the high places on the altars located there, and burned human bones on them. Then he returned to Jerusalem.


23:21 The king ordered all the people, Observe the Passover of the Lord your God, as prescribed in this scroll of the covenant.


23:22 He issued this edict because a Passover like this had not been observed since the days of the judges; it was neglected for the entire period of the kings of Israel and Judah.


23:23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiahs reign, such a Passover of the Lord was observed in Jerusalem.


23:24 Josiah also got rid of the ritual pits used to conjure up spirits, the magicians, personal idols, disgusting images, and all the detestable idols that had appeared in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem. In this way he carried out the terms of the law 50 recorded on the scroll that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the Lords temple.


23:25 No king before or after repented before the Lord as he did, with his whole heart, soul, and being in accordance with the whole law of Moses.

Here is a Google map of the location and tour of Valley of Ben Hinnom.





Gehenna expressed in Modern Black Metal Music. Slipknot performs to a crowd.



Babylonian Talmud


Tractate Nedarim


Nedarim 39b


Seven things were created before the world, viz., The Torah, repentance, the Garden of Eden, Gehenna, the Throne of Glory, the Temple, and the name of the Messiah. The Torah, for it is written, The Lord possessed me [sc. the Torah] in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. Repentance, for it is written, Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world … Thou turns man to destruction, and sayes, Repent, ye sons of men. The Garden of Eden, as it is written, And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden from aforetime. Gehenna, as it is written, For Tophet is ordained of old. The Throne of Glory, as it is written, Thy Throne is established from of old. The Temple, as it is written, A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. The name of the Messiah, as it is written, His name [sc. of Messiah] shall endure for ever, and [has existed] before the sun! — But Moses said thus: If a mouth has already been created for it [sc. Gehenna], 'tis well; if not, let the Lord create one.

Tractate ‘Abodah Zarah


Abodah Zarah 18b


R. Simeon b. Lakish said:


He who scoffs will fall into Gehenna, as it is said, A proud and haughty man, scoffer is his name, works for arrogant wrath. And by 'wrath' nought but Gehenna is meant; as it is said, That day is a day of wrath.


R. Oshaia said:


He who is haughty falls into Gehenna, as it is said, A proud and haughty man, scoffer is his name, works for arrogant wrath. And by 'wrath' naught but Gehenna is meant; as it is said, That day is a day of wrath. Said R. Hanilai:


He who scoffs brings destruction upon the world, as it is said, Now therefore be ye not scoffers, lest your affliction be made severe, for an extermination wholly determined have I heard. Said R. Eleazar:


It is indeed a grievous sin, since it incurs 'affliction' at first and 'extermination' at last.

Tractate Shabbath


Folio 33a


Rabbah b. Shila said in R. Hisda's name:


He who puts his mouth to folly, Gehenna is made deep for him, as it is said, A deep pit is for the mouth [that speaks] perversity.

Tractate Shabbath


Shabbath 33b


R. Eleazar b. R. Jose said:


On account of slander. Said Raba-others maintain, R. Joshua b. Levi-what verse [teaches this]? But the king shall rejoice in God:


Everyone that sweareth by him shall glory; For the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped [yissaker].


The scholars propounded:


Does R. Eleazar son of R. Jose say, [Only] on account of slander, or perhaps on account of slander too? — Come and hear:


For when our Rabbis entered the 'vineyard' in Yabneh, R. Judah, R. Eleazar son of R. Jose and R. Simeon were present, and this question was raised before them: why does this affliction commence in the bowels and end in the throat?


Thereupon R. Judah son of R. Ila'i, the first speaker on all occasions answered and said:


Though the kidneys counsel, the heart gives understanding, and the tongue gives form, yet the mouth completes it.


R. Eleazar son of R. Jose answered:


Because they eat unclean food therewith. 'Unclean food!' can you think so?7 Rather [say] because they eat unfit food.


R. Simeon answered and said, As a punishment for the neglect of study.Said they to him. Let women prove it! — That is because they restrain their husbands [from study]. Let Gentiles prove it!11 — That is because they restrain Israel. Let children prove it! — That is because they make their fathers to neglect [study]. Then let school-children prove it!-There it is as


R. Gorion. For R. Gorion-others state, R. Joseph son of R. Shemaiah-said:


When there are righteous men in the generation, the righteous are seized [by death] for the [sins of the] generation; when there are no righteous in a generation, school-children are seized for the generation.


R. Isaac b. Ze'iri others state, R. Simeon b. Neizra-said:


Which verse [teaches this]? If thou know not, O thou, fairest among women, Go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, etc., and we interpret this as [referring to] the goats which are taken in pledge for the [debts of the] shepherds. Thus this proves that he said on account of slander too. This proves it.


Now, why is he [R. Judah son of R. Ila'i] called the first speaker on all occasions? — For R. Judah, R. Jose, and R. Simeon were sitting, and Judah, a son of proselytes, was sitting near them.


R. Judah commenced [the discussion] by observing, 'How fine are the works of this people! They have made streets, they have built bridges, they have erected baths.' R. Jose was silent.


R. Simeon b. Yohai answered and said, 'All that they made they made for themselves; they built market-places, to set harlots in them; baths, to rejuvenate themselves; bridges, to levy tolls for them.' Now, Judah the son of proselytes went and related their talk, which reached the government. They decreed: Judah, who exalted [us], shall be exalted, Jose, who was silent, shall be exiled to Sepphoris; Simeon, who censured, let him be executed.


He and his son went and hid themselves in the Beth Hamidrash, [and] his wife brought him bread and a mug of water and they dined. [but] when the decree became more severe he said to his son, Women are of unstable temperament:


she may be put to the torture and expose us.'So they went and hid in a cave. A miracle occurred and a carob-tree and a water well were created for them. They would strip their garments and sit up to their necks in sand. The whole day they studied; when it was time for prayers they robed, covered themselves, prayed, and then put off their garments again, so that they should not wear out. Thus they dwelt twelve years in the cave. Then Elijah came and stood at the entrance to the cave and exclaimed, Who will inform the son of Yohai that the emperor is dead and his decree annulled? So they emerged. Seeing a man ploughing and sowing, they exclaimed,


'They forsake life eternal and engage in life temporal!' Whatever they cast their eyes upon was immediately burnt up. Thereupon a Heavenly Echo came forth and cried out,


'Have ye emerged to destroy My world:


Return to your cave!' So they returned and dwelt there twelve months, saying, 'The punishment of the wicked in Gehenna is [limited to] twelve months.' A Heavenly Echo then came forth and said,


'Go forth from your cave!' Thus.'; they issued: wherever R. Eleazar wounded,R. Simeon healed. Said he to him,


'My son! You and I are sufficient for the world.' On the eve of the Sabbath before sunset they saw an old man holding two bundles of myrtle and running at twilight. What are these for?' they asked him. 'They are in honour of the Sabbath,' he replied. 'But one should suffice you'? — One is for 'Remember-' and one for 'Observe.' Said he to his son,


'See how precious are the commandments to Israel.' Thereat their minds were tranquilized.

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The Didache


Chapter 5


5:1 But the way of death is this.

5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;

Babylonian Talmud


Tractate Shabbath


Folio 104a


The Rabbis told R. Joshua b. Levi: Children have come to the Beth Hamidrash and said things the like of which was not said even in the days of Joshua the son of Nun. [Thus:]


alef Beth [means] 'learn wisdom [alef Binah]; Gimmel Daleth, show kindness to the Poor [Gemol Dallim]. Why is the foot of the Gimmel stretched toward the Daleth? Because it is fitting for the benevolent to run after [seek out] the poor. And why is the roof11 of the Daleth stretched out toward the Gimmel? Because he [the poor] must make himself available to him. And why is the face of the Daleth turned away from the Gimmel? Because he must give him [help] in secret, lest he be ashamed of him. He, Waw, that is the Name of the Holy One, blessed be He; Zayyin, Heth, Teth, Yod, Kaf, Lamed:


[this sequence teaches,] and if thou doest thus, the Holy One, blessed be He, will sustain [Zan] thee, be gracious [Hen] unto thee, show goodness [meTib] to thee, give thee a heritage [Yerushah], and bind a crown [Kether] on thee in the world to come. The open Mem and the closed Mem [denote] open teaching [Ma'amar] and closed [esoteric] teaching. The bent Nun and the straight Nun:


the faithful [Ne'eman] if bent [humble], [will ultimately be] the faithful, straightened. Samek, 'ayyin:


support [semak] the poor ['aniyyim]. Another interpretation:


devise ['aseh] mnemonics [simanin] in the Torah and [thus] acquire [memorize] it. The bent pe and the straight pe [intimate] an open mouth [peh], a closed mouth. A bent zadde and a straight zadde:


the righteous [zaddik] is bent [in this world]; the righteous is straightened [in the next world]. But that is identical with the faithful bent [and] the faithful straightened? The Writ added humility to his humility; hence [we learn that] the Torah was given under great submissiveness. Kuf [stands for] Kadosh [holy]; Resh [for] Rasha' [wicked]: why is the face of the Kuf averted from, the Resh? The Holy One, blessed be He, said: I cannot look at the wicked. And why is the crown of the Kuf turned toward the Resh? The Holy One, blessed be He, saith:


If he repents, I will bind a crown on him like Mine. And why is the foot of the Kuf suspended? [To show] that if he repents, he can enter and be brought in [to God's favour] through this [opening]. This supports Resh Lakish, for Resh Lakish said:


What is meant by, Surely he scorneth the scorners, But he giveth grace unto the lowly? If one comes to defile himself, he is given an opening; if one comes to cleanse himself, he is helped. SHin [stands for] SHeker [falsehood]; Taw [for] emeTH [truth]: why are the letters of SheKeR close together, whilst those of 'eMeTH are far apart? Falsehood is frequent, truth is rare. And why does falsehood [stand] on one foot, whilst truth has a brick-like foundation? Truth can stand, falsehood cannot stand.


AT BaSh:


he that rejects Me [othi Ti'ew], shall I desire [eTh'aweh] him? BaSH:


he that delighteth not in Me [bi lo haSHak], shall My Name [sHemi] rest upon him?




he has defiled his body [Gufo] shall I have mercy [arahem] upon him?




he has closed My doors [Dalthothay] shall I not cut off his horns [Karnaw]? Thus far is the exegesis for the wicked, but the interpretation for the righteous is:




If thou are ashamed [to sin] [aTTah BoSh], then GaR DaK [i.e.,] dwell [GuR] in heaven [DoK].


HaZ WaF:


there will be a barrier [HaZiZah] between thee and wrath [aF].


Za' HaS TaN:


nor wilt thou tremble [miZda' aZe'a] before Satan [saTaN].


YaM KoL:


the prince of Gehenna said to the Holy One, blessed be He, Sovereign of the Universe! To the sea [YaM] let all [KoL] be consigned. But the Holy One, blessed be He, replieth, AHaS, BeTa, GiF. I [ani] spare [HaS] them, because they have spurned [ba'aTu] sensual pleasures [GiF].




they are contrite [Dakkim]; they are true [Kenim]; they are righteous [Zaddikim].




thou hast [LaK] no portion [HeLeK] in them.




the Gehenna cried out before Him, Sovereign of the Universe! My Lord [MaRi]! Satiate me [ZeNini] with the seed of SHeTH. [but] He retorted, aL BaM [thou hast nought in them];


GaN DaS:


Whither shall I lead them? to the Garden [GaN] of myrtles [haDaS]. Ha! WaF:


the Gehenna cried out before the Holy One, blessed be He, Sovereign of the Universe! I am faint ['ayeF] [with hunger].


[To which He replied,]


ZaZ HaK:


these are the seed [Zar'o] of Isaac [YiZHaK]. TaR YeSH KaT: Wait [TaR]! I have [YeSH] whole companies [KiToth] of heathens whom I will give thee.

Tractate Shabbath


Folio 104a


Resh Lakish said:


What is meant by, Surely he scorneth the scorners, But he giveth grace unto the lowly?25 If one comes to defile himself, he is given an opening; if one comes to cleanse himself, he is helped. SHin [stands for] SHeker [falsehood]; Taw [for] emeTH [truth]:


why are the letters of SheKeR close together, whilst those of 'eMeTH are far apart? Falsehood is frequent, truth is rare. And why does falsehood [stand] on one foot, whilst truth has a brick-like foundation? Truth can stand, falsehood cannot stand. AT BaSh:


he that rejects Me [othi Ti'ew], shall I desire [eTh'aweh] him?




he that delighteth not in Me [bi lo haSHak], shall My Name [sHemi] rest upon him?




he has defiled his body [Gufo] shall I have mercy [arahem] upon him?




he has closed My doors [Dalthothay] shall I not cut off his horns [Karnaw]? Thus far is the exegesis for the wicked, but the interpretation for the righteous is:




If thou are ashamed [to sin] [aTTah BoSh], then GaR DaK [i.e.,] dwell [GuR] in heaven [DoK].


HaZ WaF:


there will be a barrier [HaZiZah] between thee and wrath [aF].




HaS TaN:


nor wilt thou tremble [miZda' aZe'a] before Satan [saTaN].


YaM KoL:


the prince of Gehenna said to the Holy One, blessed be He, Sovereign of the Universe! To the sea [YaM] let all [KoL] be consigned. But the Holy One, blessed be He, replieth, AHaS, BeTa, GiF. I [ani] spare [HaS] them, because they have spurned [ba'aTu] sensual pleasures [GiF].




they are contrite [Dakkim]; they are true [Kenim]; they are righteous [Zaddikim].




thou hast [LaK] no portion [HeLeK] in them.




the Gehenna cried out before Him, Sovereign of the Universe! My Lord [MaRi]! Satiate me [ZeNini] with the seed of SHeTH.34 [but] He retorted, aL BaM [thou hast nought in them]; GaN DaS: Whither shall I lead them? to the Garden [GaN] of myrtles [haDaS]. Ha! WaF: the Gehenna cried out before the Holy One, blessed be He, Sovereign of the Universe! I am faint ['ayeF] [with hunger]. [To which He replied,]


ZaZ HaK:


these are the seed [Zar'o] of Isaac [YiZHaK]. TaR YeSH KaT: Wait [TaR]! I have [YeSH] whole companies [KiToth] of heathens whom I will give thee.

Tractate Sanhedrin


Folio 110a


Raba gave the following exposition:


What is meant by the verse, But if the Lord make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth? — Moses said to the Holy One, blessed be He, 'If the Gehenna has already been created, 'tis well; if not, let the Lord create it.' Now, in respect of what? If actually to create it, but there is no new thing under the sun! But [he prayed] that its mouth might be brought up [to the spot where they were standing].


Notwithstanding the children of Korah died not.


A Tanna taught:


It has been said on the authority of Moses our Master:


A place was set apart for them in the Gehenna, where they sat and sang praises [to God].

Tractate Baba Mezi'a


Baba Mezi'a 58b


A tanna recited before R. Nahman b. Isaac:


He who publicly shames his neighbour is as though he shed blood. Whereupon he remarked to him, 'You say well, because I have seen it [sc. such shaming], the ruddiness departing and paleness supervening.'


Abaye asked R. Dimi:


What do people [most] carefully avoid in the West [sc. palestine]? — He replied:


putting others to shame. For R. Hanina said:


All descend into Gehenna, excepting three. 'All' — can you really think so! But say thus:


All who descend into Gehenna [subsequently] reascend, excepting three, who descend but do not reascend, viz., He who commits adultery with a married woman, publicly shames his neighbour, or fastens an evil epithet [nickname] upon his neighbour. 'Fastens an epithet' — but that is putting to shame! — [it means], Even when he is accustomed to the name.

At sunrise, when the sun is in the East, it is red because of the reflection of the fire of Gehenna on the opposite side (West). At sunset, when the sun is in the West, the redness is the result of the reflection of the roses of the Garden of Eden thrown from the East.


Tractate Baba Bathra


Folio 84a


IF ONE HAS SOLD WHEAT AS] DARK-COLOURED AND IT TURNED OUT TO BE WHITE, etc. R. Papa said: Since white is given [as the contrast of the other colour] it may be inferred that the sun is dark-red. This can be proved [from the fact] that the sun is red at sunrise and at sunset. The reason why we do not see it [red] all day, is [because] our eyesight is not strong [enough]. An objection was raised: And the appearance thereof be deeper than the skin, [that means], like the appearance of sunlight [which is] deeper than the shadow. Surely there [the appearance] was white, [how, then, could the sun be said to be red]? — Like the appearance of the sun [in one respect], and not like the appearance of the sun [in another respect]. Like the appearance of the sun, [in] that it is deeper than the shadow; and not like the appearance of the sun [in another respect], for there, it is white and here it is red. But according to our previous assumption, is not the sun red at sunrise and at sunset? — [it is red] at sunrise, because it passes by the roses of the Garden of Eden; at sunset, because it passes the gate of Gehenna. Others reverse [the answer]

At sunrise, when the sun is in the East, it is red because of the reflection of the fire of Gehenna on the opposite side (West).


Tractate Nedarim


Folio 40a


R. Helbo is sick. But none visited him. He rebuked them [sc. the scholars], saying, 'Did it not once happen that one of R. Akiba's disciples fell sick, and the Sages did not visit him? So R. Akiba himself entered [his house] to visit him, and because they swept and sprinkled the ground before him, he recovered. 'My master,' said he, 'you have revived me!' [straightway] R. Akiba went forth and lectured:


He who does not visit the sick is like a shedder of blood.


When R. Dimi came, he said:


He who visits the sick causes him to live, whilst he who does not causes him to die. How does he cause [this]? Shall we say that he who visits the sick prays that he may live, whilst he who does not prays that he should die, — 'that he should die!' can you really think so? But [say thus:]


He who does not visit the sick prays neither that he may live nor die.


Whenever Raba fell sick, on the first day he would ask that his sickness should not be made known to any one lest his fortune be impaired. But after that, he said to them [his servants], 'Go, proclaim my illness in the market place, so that whoever is my enemy may rejoice, and it is written, Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth … Lest the Lord see it, and it displeases him, and he turn away his wrath from him. whilst he who loves me will pray for me.


Rab said:


He who visits the sick will be delivered from the punishments of Gehenna, for it is written, Blessed is he that considereth the poor:


the Lord will deliver him in the day of evil. 'The poor' [dal] means none but the sick, as it is written, He will cut me off from pining sickness [mi-dalah]; or from this verse:


Why art thou so poorly [dal], thou son of the King? Whilst 'evil' refers to Gehenna, for it is written, The Lord hath made all things for himself' Yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. Now, if one does visit, what is his reward? [You ask,] 'what is his reward?' Even as hath been said; 'he will be delivered from the punishment of Gehenna!' — But what is his reward in this world? — The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive, and he shall be blessed upon the earth; and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. 'The Lord will preserve him'. — from the Evil Urge, 'and keep him alive' — [saving him] from sufferings; 'and he shall be blessed upon the' earth,' — that all will take pride in him; 'and the wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies', — that he may procure friends like Naaman's, who healed his leprosy; and not chance upon friends like Rehoboam's, who divided his kingdom.


It was taught: R. Simeon b. Eleazar said:


If the young tell you to build, and the old to destroy, hearken to the elders, but hearken not to the young, for the building of youth is destruction, whilst the destruction of the old is building. And a sign for the matter is Rehoboam the son of Solomon.


R. Shisha son of R. Idi said: One should not visit the sick during the first three or the last three hours [of the day], lest he thereby omit to pray for him. During the first three hours of the day his [the invalid's] illness is alleviated; in the last three hours his sickness is most virulent.


Rabin said in Rab's name: Whence do we know that the Almighty sustains the sick? From the verse, The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing.1 Rabin also said in Rab's name:


Whence do we know that the Divine Presence rests above an invalid's bed? From the verse, The Lord doth set himself upon the bed of languishing. It was taught likewise: He who visits the sick must not sit upon the bed, or on a stool or a chair, but must [reverently] robe himself and sit upon the ground, because the Divine Presence rests above an invalid's bed, as it is written, The Lord doth set himself upon the bed of languishing.

Proverbs 21


21:16 The one who wanders from the way of wisdom


will rest among the Shades.

Rephaim are residents of the Netherworld (Sheol in the Hebrew Bible). Possible examples of this usage appear as "shades", "spirits" or "dead" in various translations of the Bible.


Isaiah 14


14:4 you will taunt the king of Babylon with these words:


"Look how the oppressor has met his end!


Hostility has ceased!


14:5 The Lord has broken the club of the wicked,


the scepter of rulers.


14:6 It furiously struck down nations


with unceasing blows.


It angrily ruled over nations,


oppressing them without restraint.


14:7 The whole earth rests and is quiet;


they break into song.


14:8 The evergreens also rejoice over your demise,


as do the cedars of Lebanon, singing,


‘Since you fell asleep,


no woodsman comes up to chop us down!'


14:9 Sheol below is stirred up about you,


ready to meet you when you arrive.


It rouses the spirits of the dead for you,


all the former leaders of the earth;


it makes all the former kings of the nations


rise from their thrones.


14:10 All of them respond to you, saying:


‘You too have become weak like us!


You have become just like us!


14:11 Your splendor has been brought down to Sheol,


as well as the sound of your stringed instruments.


You lie on a bed of maggots,


with a blanket of worms over you.


14:12 Look how you have fallen from the sky,


O shining one, son of the dawn!


You have been cut down to the ground,


O conqueror of the nations!


14:13 You said to yourself,


“I will climb up to the sky.


Above the stars of El


I will set up my throne.


I will rule on the mountain of assembly


on the remote slopes of Zaphon.


14:14 I will climb up to the tops of the clouds;


I will make myself like the Most High!"


14:15 But you were brought down to Sheol,


to the remote slopes of the pit.


14:16 Those who see you stare at you,


they look at you carefully, thinking:


“Is this the man who shook the earth,


the one who made kingdoms tremble?


14:17 Is this the one who made the world like a desert,


who ruined its cities,


and refused to free his prisoners so they could return home?”’


14:18 As for all the kings of the nations,


all of them lie down in splendor,


each in his own tomb.


14:19 But you have been thrown out of your grave


like a shoot that is thrown away.


You lie among the slain,


among those who have been slashed by the sword,


among those headed for the stones of the pit,


as if you were a mangled corpse.


14:20 You will not be buried with them,


because you destroyed your land


and killed your people.


The offspring of the wicked


will never be mentioned again.

Isaiah 26


26:14 The dead do not come back to life,


the spirits of the dead do not rise.


That is because you came in judgment and destroyed them,


you wiped out all memory of them.

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The Didache

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;

Isaiah 26

26:19 Your dead will come back to life;

your corpses will rise up.

Wake up and shout joyfully, you who live in the ground!

For you will grow like plants drenched with the morning dew,

and the earth will bring forth its dead spirits.

26:20 Go, my people! Enter your inner rooms!

Close your doors behind you!

Hide for a little while,

until his angry judgment is over!

26:21 For look, the Lord is coming out of the place where he lives,

to punish the sin of those who live on the earth.

The earth will display the blood shed on it;

it will no longer cover up its slain.

Ezekiel 37

37:1 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and placed me in the midst of the valley, and it was full of bones.

37:2 He made me walk all around among them. I realized there were a great many bones in the valley and they were very dry.

37:3 He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said to him, “Sovereign Lord, you know.”

37:4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and tell them: ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.

37:5 This is what the sovereign Lord says to these bones:

Look, I am about to infuse breath into you and you will live.

37:6 I will put tendons on you and muscles over you and will cover you with skin; I will put breath in you and you will live. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’

37:7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. There was a sound when I prophesied – I heard a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to bone.

37:8 As I watched, I saw tendons on them, then muscles appeared, and skin covered over them from above, but there was no breath in them.

37:9 He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, – prophesy, son of man – and say to the breath:

‘This is what the sovereign Lord says:

Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these corpses so that they may live.’

37:10 So I prophesied as I was commanded, and the breath came into them; they lived and stood on their feet, an extremely great army.

37:11 Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are all the house of Israel. Look, they are saying, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope has perished; we are cut off.’

37:12 Therefore prophesy, and tell them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says:

Look, I am about to open your graves and will raise you from your graves, my people. I will bring you to the land of Israel.

37:13 Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people.

37:14 I will place my breath in you and you will live; I will give you rest in your own land. Then you will know that I am the Lord – I have spoken and I will act, declares the Lord.’

Ephesians 1

2:1 And although you were dead in your transgressions and sins,

2:2 in which you formerly lived according to this world’s present path, according to the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the ruler of the spirit that is now energizing the sons of disobedience,

2:3 among whom all of us also formerly lived out our lives in the cravings of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath even as the rest…

2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us,

2:5 even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you are saved!

2:6 and he raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,

2:7 to demonstrate in the coming ages the surpassing wealth of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

2:8 For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God;

2:9 it is not from works, so that no one can boast.

2:10 For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them.

1 John 5

5:18 We know that everyone fathered by God does not sin, but God protects the one he has fathered, and the evil one cannot touch him.

5:19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us insight to know him who is true, and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This one is the true God and eternal life.

5:21 Little children, guard yourselves from idols.

Psalms 88

88:9 My eyes grow weak because of oppression.

I call out to you, O Lord, all day long;

I spread out my hands in prayer to you.

88:10 Do you accomplish amazing things for the dead?

Do the departed spirits rise up and give you thanks? (Selah)

88:11 Is your loyal love proclaimed in the grave,

or your faithfulness in the place of the dead?

88:12 Are your amazing deeds experienced in the dark region,

or your deliverance in the land of oblivion?

Proverbs 9

9:13 The woman called Folly is brash,

she is naive and does not know anything.

9:14 So she sits at the door of her house,

on a seat at the highest point of the city,

9:15 calling out to those who are passing by her in the way,

who go straight on their way.

9:16 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here,”

she says to those who lack understanding.

9:17 “Stolen waters are sweet,

and food obtained in secret is pleasant!”

9:18 But they do not realize that the dead are there,

that her guests are in the depths of the grave.



Tractate Shabbath

Folio 39a

Come and hear: IT ONCE HAPPENED THAT THE PEOPLE OF TIBERIAS DID THUS: THEY CONDUCTED A PIPE OF COLD WATER THROUGH AN ARM OF THE HOT SPRINGS etc. On the view that it is forbidden lest he hide it in hot ashes, it is well:

hence this is similar to hiding. But on the view that it is because he may move earth from its place, what can be said — Do you think that the incident of Tiberias refers to the second clause? It refers to he first clause:

ONE MUST NOT BREAK IT INTO A [HOT] CLOTH; BUT R. JOSE PERMITS IT; and the Rabbis argued thus with R. Jose:

but in the incident of the people of Tiberias, it was a sun-heated object, yet the Rabbis forbade it? That was a product of fire, he retorted, because the springs pass over the entrance to Gehenna.

Sanhedrin 109b





Our Rabbis taught:

THE ASSEMBLY OF KORAH HAVE NO PORTION IN THE WORLD TO COME, for it is said, And the earth closed upon them; and they perished from among the congregation: this is R. Akiba's view. R. Judah b. Bathyra said:

They are as a lost article, which is sought, for it is said, I have gone astray like a lost sheep: seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.

Now Korah took … Resh Lakish said:

He took a bad bargain for himself, being plucked out of Israel. The son of Izhar: a son who incensed the whole world with himself as the [heat of] noon. The son of Kohath, a son who set the teeth of his progenitors on edge.

The son of Levi:

a son who became an inmate of Gehenna. Then why not state too 'the son of Jacob', [implying] a son who marched himself into Gehenna? —

R. Samuel b. R. Isaac answered:

Jacob supplicated for himself [not to be enumerated amongst Korah's ancestors], as it is written, O my son, come not into their secret:

unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united:

'O my soul, come not unto their secret' — this refers to the spies; 'unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united' — to the Assembly of Korah.

Dathan [denotes] that he violated God's law; Abiram — that he stoutly refused to repent; On — that he sat in lamentations; Peleth — that wonders were wrought for him; the son of Reuben — a son who saw and understood.

Rab said:

On, the son of Peleth, was saved by his wife. Said she to him, 'What matters it to thee? Whether the one [Moses] remains master or the other [Korah] becomes master, thou art but a disciple.' He replied, 'But what can I do? I have taken part in their counsel, and they have sworn me [to be] with them.' She said, 'I know that they are all a holy community, as it is written, seeing all the congregation are holy, everyone of them. [so,]' she proceeded, 'Sit here, and I will save thee.' She gave him wine to drink, intoxicated him and laid him down within [the tent].

Korah rebelled against Moses, and was punished for his rebellion when God sent fire from heaven that consumed him and 249 of his fellow coconspirators. His two Reubenite accomplices, Dathan and Abiram, also perished when God caused the ground to split open beneath their feet and swallow them up with their families and everything they owned.

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The Didache

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;

The question I now have was whether the Assembly of Korah were the first humans to enter Gehenna. What I understand is that many in the Jewish faith believed in a conscious life after death before the earthly life of Jesus.

Numbers 16

16:23 So the Lord spoke to Moses:

16:24 “Tell the community: ‘Get away from around the homes of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.’”

16:25 Then Moses got up and went to Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel went after him.

16:26 And he said to the community, “Move away from the tents of these wicked men, and do not touch anything they have, lest you be destroyed because of all their sins.”

16:27 So they got away from the homes of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram on every side, and Dathan and Abiram came out and stationed themselves in the entrances of their tents with their wives, their children, and their toddlers.

16:28 Then Moses said, “This is how you will know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works, for I have not done them of my own will.

16:29 If these men die a natural death, or if they share the fate of all men, then the Lord has not sent me.

16:30 But if the Lord does something entirely new, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them up along with all that they have, and they go down alive to the grave, then you will know that these men have despised the Lord!”

16:31 When he had finished speaking all these words, the ground that was under them split open,

16:32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, along with their households, and all Korah’s men, and all their goods.

16:33 They and all that they had went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed over them. So they perished from among the community.

16:34 All the Israelites who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “What if the earth swallows us too?

16:35 Then a fire went out from the Lord and devoured the 250 men who offered incense.

The Hebrew term shakhat "pit" is often used as a title for Sheol.

Psalms 103

103:2 Praise the Lord, O my soul!

Do not forget all his kind deeds!

103:3 He is the one who forgives all your sins,

who heals all your diseases,

103:4 who delivers your life from the Pit,

who crowns you with his loyal love and compassion,

103:5 who satisfies your life with good things,

so your youth is renewed like an eagle’s.

103:6 The Lord does what is fair,

and executes justice for all the oppressed.

103:7 The Lord revealed his faithful acts to Moses,

his deeds to the Israelites.

103:8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful;

he is patient and demonstrates great loyal love.

103:9 He does not always accuse,

and does not stay angry.

103:10 He does not deal with us as our sins deserve;

he does not repay us as our misdeeds deserve.

103:11 For as the skies are high above the earth,

so his loyal love towers over his faithful followers.

103:12 As far as the eastern horizon is from the west,

so he removes the guilt of our rebellious actions from us.

103:13 As a father has compassion on his children,

so the Lord has compassion on his faithful followers.

103:14 For he knows what we are made of;

he realizes we are made of clay.

103:15 A person’s life is like grass.

Like a flower in the field it flourishes,

103:16 but when the hot wind blows by, it disappears,

and one can no longer even spot the place where it once grew.

103:17 But the Lord continually shows loyal love to his faithful followers,

and is faithful to their descendants,

103:18 to those who keep his covenant,

who are careful to obey his commands.

103:19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven;

his kingdom extends over everything.

103:20 Praise the Lord, you angels of his,

you powerful warriors who carry out his decrees

and obey his orders!

103:21 Praise the Lord, all you warriors of his,

you servants of his who carry out his desires!

103:22 Praise the Lord, all that he has made,

in all the regions of his kingdom!

Praise the Lord, O my soul!

Here we find a reference of Sheol where Jacob thinks his son, Joesph body has been devoured and says he will mourn for him Sheol. This confirms Sheol is not a resting place for the physical body, but for the spirit.

Genesis 37

37:29 Later Reuben returned to the cistern to find that Joseph was not in it! He tore his clothes,

37:30 returned to his brothers, and said, “The boy isn’t there! And I, where can I go?”

37:31 So they took Joseph’s tunic, killed a young goat, and dipped the tunic in the blood.

37:32 Then they brought the special tunic to their father and said, “We found this. Determine now whether it is your son’s tunic or not.”

37:33 He recognized it and exclaimed, “It is my son’s tunic! A wild animal has eaten him! Joseph has surely been torn to pieces!”

37:34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and mourned for his son many days.

37:35 All his sons and daughters stood by him to console him, but he refused to be consoled. “No,” he said, "I will go down to my son mourning to Sheol." So Joseph’s father wept for him.

Is South of Sheol Gehenna? Like a moth to a flame, dark metal captures those governed by their primal instincts.

I have mentioned several times that it appears the Zoroastrians influenced the concept of 'hell' to the Jewish pharisees held in captivity, then on to Christians and Jannah Muslims.

Gehenna” is sometimes translated as "hell," but the Christian view of hell differs from the Jewish view of Gehenna. Most sinners are said to suffer in Gehenna no longer than twelve months, but those who commit certain sins are punished forever.

Pope John Paul wrote about Christ and Gehenna much more profoundly than I can write.

Here is an excerpt of



The cross of Christ on Calvary stands beside the path of that admirable commercium, of that wonderful self-communication of God to man, which also includes the call to man to share in the divine life by giving himself, and with himself the whole visible world, to God, and like an adopted son to become a sharer in the truth and love which is in God and proceeds from God. It is precisely beside the path of man's eternal election to the dignity of being an adopted child of God that there stands in history the cross of Christ, the only - begotten Son, who, as "light from light, true God from true God," came to give the final witness to the wonderful covenant of God with humanity, of God with man - every human being This covenant, as old as man - it goes back to the very mystery of creation - and afterwards many times renewed with one single chosen people, is equally the new and definitive covenant, which was established there on Calvary, and is not limited to a single people, to Israel, but is open to each and every individual.

What else, then, does the cross of Christ say to us, the cross that in a sense is the final word of His messianic message and mission? And yet this is not yet the word of the God of the covenant: that will be pronounced at the dawn when first the women and then the Apostles come to the tomb of the crucified Christ, see the tomb empty and for the first time hear the message: "He is risen." They will repeat this message to the others and will be witnesses to the risen Christ. Yet, even in this glorification of the Son of God, the cross remains, that cross which-through all the messianic testimony of the Man the Son, who suffered death upon it - speaks and never ceases to speak of God the Father, who is absolutely faithful to His eternal love for man, since He "so loved the world" - therefore man in the world-that "he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." Believing in the crucified Son means "seeing the Father," means believing that love is present in the world and that this love is more powerful than any kind of evil in which individuals, humanity, or the world are involved. Believing in this love means believing in mercy. For mercy is an indispensable dimension of love; it is as it were love's second name and, at the same time, the specific manner in which love is revealed and effected vis-a-vis the reality of the evil that is in the world, affecting and besieging man, insinuating itself even into his heart and capable of causing him to "perish in Gehenna."

Love More Powerful Than Death, More Powerful Than Sin

The cross of Christ on Calvary is also a witness to the strength of evil against the very Son of God, against the one who, alone among all the sons of men, was by His nature absolutely innocent and free from sin, and whose coming into the world was untainted by the disobedience of Adam and the inheritance of original sin. And here, precisely in Him, in Christ, justice is done to sin at the price of His sacrifice, of His obedience "even to death."81 He who was without sin, "God made him sin for our sake." Justice is also brought to bear upon death, which from the beginning of man's history had been allied to sin. Death has justice done to it at the price of the death of the one who was without sin and who alone was able-by means of his own death-to inflict death upon death. In this way the cross of Christ, on which the Son, consubstantial with the Father, renders full justice to God, is also a radical revelation of mercy, or rather of the love that goes against what constitutes the very root of evil in the history of man: against sin and death.

The cross is the most profound condescension of God to man and to what man-especially in difficult and painful moments-looks on as his unhappy destiny. The cross is like a touch of eternal love upon the most painful wounds of man's earthly existence; it is the total fulfillment of the messianic program that Christ once formulated in the synagogue at Nazareth and then repeated to the messengers sent by John the Baptist. According to the words once written in the prophecy of Isaiah, this program consisted in the revelation of merciful love for the poor, the suffering and prisoners, for the blind, the oppressed and sinners. In the paschal mystery the limits of the many sided evil in which man becomes a sharer during his earthly existence are surpassed: the cross of Christ, in fact, makes us understand the deepest roots of evil, which are fixed in sin and death; thus the cross becomes an eschatological sign. Only in the eschatological fulfillment and definitive renewal of the world will love conquer, in all the elect, the deepest sources of evil, bringing as its fully mature fruit the kingdom of life and holiness and glorious immortality. The foundation of this eschatological fulfillment is already contained in the cross of Christ and in His death. The fact that Christ "was raised the third day" constitutes the final sign of the messianic mission, a sign that perfects the entire revelation of merciful love in a world that is subject to evil. At the same time it constitutes the sign that foretells "a new heaven and a new earth," when God "will wipe away every tear from their eyes, there will be no more death, or mourning no crying, nor pain, for the former things have passed away."

In the eschatological fulfillment mercy will be revealed as love, while in the temporal phase, in human history, which is at the same time the history of sin and death, love must be revealed above all as mercy and must also be actualized as mercy. Christ's messianic program, the program of mercy, becomes the program of His people, the program of the Church. At its very center there is always the cross, for it is in the cross that the revelation of merciful love attains its culmination. Until "the former things pass away," the cross will remain the point of reference for other words too of the Revelation of John: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me." In a special way, God also reveals His mercy when He invites man to have "mercy" on His only Son, the crucified one.

Christ, precisely as the crucified one, is the Word that does not pass away, and He is the one who stands at the door and knocks at the heart of every man, without restricting his freedom, but instead seeking to draw from this very freedom love, which is not only an act of solidarity with the suffering Son of man, but also a kind of "mercy" shown by each one of us to the Son of the eternal Father. In the whole of this messianic program of Christ, in the whole revelation of mercy through the cross, could man's dignity be more highly respected and ennobled, for, in obtaining mercy, He is in a sense the one who at the same time "shows mercy"? In a word, is not this the position of Christ with regard to man when He says: "As you did it to one of the least of these...you did it to me"? Do not the words of the Sermon on the Mount: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy," constitute, in a certain sense, a synthesis of the whole of the Good News, of the whole of the "wonderful exchange" (admirable commercium) contained therein? This exchange is a law of the very plan of salvation, a law which is simple, strong and at the same time "easy." Demonstrating from the very start what the "human heart" is capable of ("to be merciful"), do not these words from the Sermon on the Mount reveal in the same perspective the deep mystery of God: that inscrutable unity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in which love, containing justice, sets in motion mercy, which in its turn reveals the perfection of justice?

The Paschal Mystery is Christ at the summit of the revelation of the inscrutable mystery of God. It is precisely then that the words pronounced in the Upper Room are completely fulfilled: "He who has seen me has seen the Father." In fact, Christ, whom the Father "did not spare" for the sake of man and who in His passion and in the torment of the cross did not obtain human mercy, has revealed in His resurrection the fullness of the love that the Father has for Him and, in Him, for all people. "He is not God of the dead, but of the living." In His resurrection Christ has revealed the God of merciful love, precisely because He accepted the cross as the way to the resurrection. And it is for this reason that-when we recall the cross of Christ, His passion and death-our faith and hope are centered on the Risen One: on that Christ who "on the evening of that day, the first day of the week, . . .stood among them" in the upper Room, "where the disciples were, ...breathed on them, and said to them: 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.'"

Here is the Son of God, who in His resurrection experienced in a radical way mercy shown to Himself, that is to say the love of the Father which is more powerful than death. And it is also the same Christ, the Son of God, who at the end of His messianic mission - and, in a certain sense, even beyond the end - reveals Himself as the inexhaustible source of mercy, of the same love that, in a subsequent perspective of the history of salvation in the Church, is to be everlastingly confirmed as more powerful than sin. The paschal Christ is the definitive incarnation of mercy, its living sign in salvation history and in eschatology. In the same spirit, the liturgy of Eastertide places on our lips the words of the Psalm: Misericordias Domini in aeternum cantabo.


22 Ego autem dico vobis: Omnis, qui irascitur fratri suo, reus erit iudicio; qui autem dixerit fratri suo: “Racha”, reus erit concilio; qui autem dixerit: “Fatue”, reus erit gehennae ignis.

Latin Translation

22 But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, "Raca", shall be in danger of the Sanhedrin (council): but whosoever shall say, "Thou fool", shall be in danger of hell fire.

The Gospel rendering of the word "Raca" or the latin "Racha" is an Aramaic transliteration for 'rekais' based on Aramaic 'reka', with the change in the first vowel possibly indicating a Syrian influence. Many bible commentators believe "Raca" is an Aramaic transliteration of 'reyqa' or 'reyqah.'

Reka means "imbecile," "numbskull," or "blockhead" and those ignorant of God's laws.

Some worry that this means God has no place for the mentally disabled. Isaiah answers this question.

Isaiah 35

35:4 Tell those who panic,

“Be strong! Do not fear!

Look, your God comes to avenge!

With divine retribution he comes to deliver you."

35:5 Then blind eyes will open,

deaf ears will hear.

35:6 Then the lame will leap like a deer,

the mute tongue will shout for joy;

for water will flow in the desert,

streams in the wilderness.

People have argued the true meaning of God's laws. But, it does not mean that we need to insult the belief of another.

Barclay, in his Daily Study Bible Series on Matthew (5:22) writes:

Raca is an almost untranslatable word, because it describes a tone of voice more than anything else. Its whole accent is the accent of contempt…It is the word of one who despises another with an arrogant contempt…The sin of contempt is liable to an even severer judgment. It is liable to the judgment of the Sanhedrin, the supreme court of the Jews…It is as if Jesus said, “The sin of inveterate anger is bad; the sin of contempt is worse”…We should never look with contempt on anyone for whom Christ died.

Fatue is the vocative for fatuus, which means foolish.

Psalm 14

Fools say to themselves, "There is no God."

They sin and commit evil deeds;

none of them does what is right.

Only God has the ability to peer inside a person. So in calling a person a fool in an unrighteous manner is in danger of invoking the wrath of God.

Reyqa or Reyqah means “empty one."

Both the Sadducees (Manasseh) and the Pharisees (Ephraim) are in contempt of each other. Both groups think the other is ignorant and in violation of the Torah.

Mishnah Yadayim 4

תרגום שבעזרא ושבדניאל, מטמא את הידים.תרגום שכתבו עברית ועברית שכתבו תרגום, וכתב עברי, אינו מטמא את הידים.לעולם אינו מטמא, עד שיכתבנו אשורית על העור ובדיו. אומרים צדוקים, קובלין אנו עליכם פרושים, שאתם אומרים, כתבי הקדש מטמאין את הידים, וספרי המירם אינם מטמאין את הידים.אמר רבן יוחנן בן זכאי, וכי אין לנו על הפרושים אלא זו בלבד, הרי הם אומרים, עצמות חמור טהורים, ועצמות יוחנן כהן גדול טמאים.אמרו לו, לפי חבתן היא טמאתן, שלא יעשה אדם עצמות אביו ואמו תרודות.אמר להם, אף כתבי הקדש לפי חבתן היא טמאתן, וספרי המירם שאינן חביבין אינן מטמאין את הידים.

4:5 The Targum [Chaldee passages] in Ezra and Daniel makes the hands unclean. Targum written in Hebrew characters, and Hebrew written in Targum [syriac] characters or in Hebrew characters, do not make the hands unclean. In no case do [sacred Scriptures] make [the hands] unclean, unless the writing be Assyrian [square] characters on parchment with ink. The Sadducees said, "We blame [object to] you Pharisees, because you say, 'Sacred Scriptures make the hands unclean, but the books Hameram do not make the hands unclean.'" Rabbon Jochanan ben Zachai replied [ironically], "And have we nothing else to object to the Pharisees but this? They also assert that the bones of an ass are clean, but the bones of Jochanan the high priest are unclean." They [the Sadducees] replied, "According to their love [the estimation in which the bones are held] is their uncleanness, so that no one may turn the bones of his father and mother into spoons." He answered them, "In like manner [are] the sacred Scriptures; according to their love [the high estimation in which they are held] is their uncleanness; whereas the books Hameram, which are not beloved [held in no esteem], do not make the hands unclean."

אומרים צדוקים, קובלין אנו עליכם פרושים, שאתם אומרים, כתבי הקדש מטמאין את הידים, וספרי המירם אינם מטמאין את הידים.אמר רבן יוחנן בן זכאי, וכי אין לנו על הפרושים אלא זו בלבד, הרי הם אומרים, עצמות חמור טהורים, ועצמות יוחנן כהן גדול טמאים.אמרו לו, לפי חבתן היא טמאתן, שלא יעשה אדם עצמות אביו ואמו תרודות.אמר להם, אף כתבי הקדש לפי חבתן היא טמאתן, וספרי המירם שאינן חביבין אינן מטמאין את הידים.

4:6 The Sadducees said, "We blame [object to] you Pharisees, because you say, 'Sacred Scriptures make the hands unclean, but the books Hameram do not make the hands unclean.'" Rabbon Jochanan ben Zachai replied [ironically], "And have we nothing else to object to the Pharisees but this? They also assert that the bones of an ass are clean, but the bones of Jochanan the high priest are unclean." They [the Sadducees] replied, "According to their love [the estimation in which the bones are held] is their uncleanness, so that no one may turn the bones of his father and mother into spoons." He answered them, "In like manner [are] the sacred Scriptures; according to their love [the high estimation in which they are held] is their uncleanness; whereas the books Hameram, which are not beloved [held in no esteem], do not make the hands unclean."

אומרים צדוקין, קובלין אנו עליכם פרושים, שאתם מטהרים את הנצוק.אומרים הפרושים, קובלין אנו עליכם צדוקים, שאתם מטהרים את אמת המים הבאה מבית הקברות.אומרים צדוקין, קובלין אנו עליכם פרושים, [ שאתם אומרים, שורי וחמורי שהזיקו, חיבין.ועבדי ואמתי שהזיקו, פטורין ].מה אם שורי וחמורי שאיני חיב בהם מצות, הרי אני חיב בנזקן.עבדי ואמתי שאני חיב בהן מצות, אינו דין שאהא חיב בנזקן.אמרו להם, לא.אם אמרתם בשורי וחמורי, שאין בהם דעת, תאמרו בעבדי ובאמתי, שיש בהם דעת, שאם אקניטם, ילך וידליק גדישו של אחר ואהא חיב לשלם.

4:7 The Sadducees said, "We blame [object to] you Pharisees, that ye declare the stream [which flows when water is poured from a clean vessel into an unclean one] to be clean." The Pharisees replied [with much better right], "We [may] blame [object to] you Sadducees, that ye declare a streamlet of water which flows from a burial ground to be clean." The Sadducees [further] said, "We blame [object to] you Pharisees, because ye say, 'If mine ox or mine ass cause any damage, I am bound [to make compensation], but should my bondman or bondwoman cause any damage, I am absolved [from making compensation];' if I am bound for mine ox and mine ass, respecting which there are no duties enjoined on me, [does it not follow that] for my bondman or bondwoman, respecting whom there are duties enjoined on me, it is just that I should [also] be bound [to compensate] for the damage he [or she] occasions?" [but] they [the Pharisees] replied, "Not the same rule which applies to mine ox or mine ass, that are not possessed of reason, can apply to my bondman or bondwoman, who are possessed of reason; for, should I offend them, they may [maliciously] set fire to the growing corn of another person, in order that I might be bound to pay for it."

אמר צדוקי גלילי, קובל אני עליכם פרושים, שאתם כותבין את המושל עם משה בגט.אומרים פרושים, קובלין אנו עליך צדוקי גלילי, שאתם כותבים את המושל עם השם בדף, ולא עוד אלא שאתם כותבין את המושל מלמעלן ואת השם מלמטן, שנאמר (שמות ה), ויאמר פרעה מי ה' אשר אשמע בקלו לשלח את ישראל .וכשלקה מהו אומר (שם ט), ה' הצדיק.

4:8 A Galilean Sadducee said, "I blame [object to] you Pharisees, that you insert the name of the sovereign in the same document [letter of divorce] with Moses." The Pharisees replied [with much better reason], "We [might] blame [object to] thee, Galilean Sadducee, that ye inscribe the [name of the] sovereign with the Holy Name on the same page: and not only that, but ye inscribe the sovereign first, as it is said, 'And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord that I should hearken to his voice to let Israel go?'" [but when he was punished, he exclaimed, "The Lord is righteous."]

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On this Feast Day of the Baptism of our Lord Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit my family is now all Catholic. I am so happy that they also my brothers and sisters of God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth. The Sun was shining and everyone was smiling. The gift of eternal life is even greater. My next mission is clear. I must teach my family that love and mercy are more powerful than sin and death.


Special thanks to my aunt and uncle. They agreed to be God parents to my children and Joe.

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The Didache

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;


According to the Talmud the Jewish Sages understood the concept of Resurrection before the time of Jesus Christ. Christians believe there exist references to resurrection and the New Kingdom throughout Isaiah.




Isaiah 60

60:18 Sounds of violence will no longer be heard in your land,

or the sounds of destruction and devastation within your borders.

You will name your walls, ‘Deliverance,’

and your gates, ‘Praise.’

60:1 The sun will no longer supply light for you by day,

nor will the moon’s brightness shine on you;

the Lord will be your permanent source of light –

the splendor of your God will shine upon you.

60:20 Your sun will no longer set;

your moon will not disappear;

the Lord will be your permanent source of light;

your time of sorrow will be over.

60:21 All of your people will be godly;

they will possess the land permanently.

I will plant them like a shoot;

they will be the product of my labor,

through whom I reveal my splendor.

60:22 The least of you will multiply into a thousand;

the smallest of you will become a large nation.

When the right time comes, I the Lord will quickly do this!”

Revelation 21

21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth had ceased to exist, and the sea existed no more.

21:2 And I saw the holy city – the new Jerusalem – descending out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband.

21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Look! The residence of God is among human beings. He will live among them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them.

21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any more – or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former things have ceased to exist.”

21:5 And the one seated on the throne said:

Look! I am making all things new!” Then he said to me, “Write it down, because these words are reliable and true.

21:6 He also said to me,It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the one who is thirsty I will give water free of charge from the spring of the water of life.

21:7 The one who conquers will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be my son.

21:8 But to the cowards, unbelievers, detestable persons, murderers, the sexually immoral, and those who practice magic spells, idol worshipers, and all those who lie, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. That is the second death."

Still people embrace second death with no fear of God.

Like Christians, Pharisee Jews in Babylon had similar views about the resurrection of the dead. Those that do not believe who do not believe and follow God's law will not receive His eternal reward. Here we read that all the Sadducee and the Samaritan Jews that denied doctrine of resurrection have been denied a place in the world to come.

Terumah, Terumoh, Terimuh, or Trumah is Hebrew for "gift" or “offering.

Haberim is Hebrew for temple priests or members of the Jewish community that cultivated the practice of ritual purity.

The is a passage in the Talmud states that the origin of resurrection comes from the gift offerings that are made to Moses brother Aaron. Some Tannaim Rabbis in the Gemara considered Aaron an eternal priest similar to Jesus Christ.

The Gemara (also transliterated Gemora, Gemarah or, less commonly, Gimarah is the component of the Talmud comprising rabbinical analysis of and commentary on the Mishnah. After the Mishnah was published by Judah HaNasi (c. 200 CE).

Judah the Prince, (Yehudah HaNasi) or Judah I, also known as Rabbi or Rabbenu HaQadosh was a 2nd-century rabbi and chief redactor and editor of the Mishnah. He was a key leader of the Jewish community during the Roman occupation of Judea According to the Talmud he was of the Davidic line, the royal line of King David, hence the title nasi, meaning prince.The title nasi was also used for presidents of the Sanhedrin.


Babylonian Talmud:

Tractate Sanhedrin

Chapter 10 (Some have it at 11)

[Great Isaiah Scroll Chapter 60 : Verse 21Then your people will all be righteous; they will possess the land forever. They are the shoot that the LORD planted, the works of his hands, so that I might be glorified.]



[Exodus 15:24 So the people murmured against Moses, saying, “What can we drink?” 15:25 He cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When Moses threw it into the water, the water became safe to drink. There the Lord made for them a binding ordinance, and there he tested them. 15:26 He said, “If you will diligently obey the Lord your God, and do what is right in his sight, and pay attention to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, then all the diseases that I brought on the Egyptians I will not bring on you, for I, the Lord, am your healer.]


[ Septuagint Leuitikon (Leviticus) Chapter 24:13 And the Lord said to Moyses, saying: 14 Take the one who called down the curse outside the camp, and all who heard shall lay their hands on his head, and the whole congregation shall stone him. 15 And speak to the sons of Israel, and you shall say to them: If a person, a person should curse God, he shall assume guilt. 16 Whoever names the name of the Lord—by death let him be put to death; let the whole congregation of Israel stone him with stones. Whether a guest or a native, when he names the name, let him die.]



[2 Chronicles 33:10 The Lord confronted Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. 33:11 So the Lord brought against them the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria. They seized Manasseh, put hooks in his nose, bound him with bronze chains, and carried him away to Babylon. 33:12 In his pain Manasseh asked the Lord his God for mercy and truly humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. 33:13 When he prayed to the Lord, the Lord responded to him and answered favorably his cry for mercy. The Lord brought him back to Jerusalem to his kingdom. Then Manasseh realized that the Lord is the true God.]



GEMARA. And why such [severity]?

A Tanna taught:

Since he denied the resurrection of the dead, therefore he shall not share in that resurrection, for in all the measures [of punishment or reward] taken by the Holy One, blessed be He, the Divine act befits the [human] deed. As it is written, Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord, Tomorrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gates of Samaria.
[2 King 7:1 Elisha replied, “Hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Lord says, ‘About this time tomorrow a seah 1 of finely milled flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.’” ]
And it is written, Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, and said, Behold, if the Lord made windows in heaven, might this thing be? And he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.
[2 Kings 7:2 An officer who was the king’s right-hand man responded to the prophet, “Look, even if the Lord made it rain by opening holes in the sky, could this happen so soon?” Elisha said, “Look, you will see it happen with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of the food!”]

And it is [further] written, And so it fell unto him:

for the people trod upon him in the gate, and he died.
But perhaps this was the result of Elisha's curse, for Rab Judah said in Rab's name:

The curse of a Sage, even if unmerited, is fulfilled? If so, Scripture should have written, they trod upon him and he died. Why, trod upon him in the gate? [To show that it was] on account of matters pertaining to the gate.

How is resurrection derived from the Torah? As it is written, And ye shall give thereof the Lord's heave offering to Aaron the priest. But would Aaron live forever; he did not even enter Palestine, that terumah should be given him? But it teaches that he would be resurrected, and Israel give him terumah. Thus resurrection is derived from the Torah.

The school of R. Ishmael taught:

To Aaron [means to one] like Aaron:

just as Aaron was a haber, so his sons must be haberim.

R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in R. Jonathan's name:

Whence do we know that terumah must not be given to a priest and 'am ha-arez? From the verse, Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the Levites, that they might hold fast to the law of the Lord:

[thus,] whoever holds fast to the law of the Lord, has a portion; whoever does not, has no portion.

R. Aha b. Adda said in Rab Judah's name:

One who gives terumah to an ignorant priest is as though he had placed it before a lion: just as a lion may possibly tear his prey and eat it and possibly not, so is an ignorant priest — he may possibly eat it undefiled and possibly defiled.

R. Johanan said:

He even causes his [sc. the ignorant priest's] death, for it is written, and die therefore, if they profane it.

The School of R. Eliezer b. Jacob taught:

He also embroils him in a sin of general trespass, for it is written, Or suffer them to bear the iniquity of trespass when they eat their holy things.

It has been taught:

R. Simai said:

Whence do we learn resurrection from the Torah? — From the verse, And I also have established my covenant with them, [sc. the Patriarchs] to give them the land of Canaan: '[to give] you' is not said, but 'to give them' [personally]; thus resurrection is proved from the Torah.

In my opinion, it is important to interject Exodus 29 within the Rabbis' debate on Aaron being an eternal priest or Aaron priesthood bloodline.

Exodus 29

29:4 “You are to present Aaron and his sons at the entrance of the tent of meeting. You are to wash them with water

29:5 and take the garments and clothe Aaron with the tunic, the robe of the ephod, the ephod, and the breastpiece; you are to fasten the ephod on him by using the skillfully woven waistband.

29:6 You are to put the turban on his head and put the holy diadem on the turban.

29:7 You are to take the anointing oil and pour it on his head and anoint him.

29:8 You are to present his sons and clothe them with tunics

29:9 and wrap the sashes around Aaron and his sons and put headbands on them, and so the ministry of priesthood will belong to them by a perpetual ordinance. Thus you are to consecrate Aaron and his sons.

God made a covenant that Aaron and his sons were granted now the privilege of being a special mediating instrument between Jewish people and Yahweh, their Lord. According to Jewish tradition, only males from the direct line of Aaron could serve as priests in the holy temple of God. There is a
"Y-chromosomal Aaron" theory that shows patrilineal Jewish priestly caste known as Kohanim (singular "Kohen", "Cohen", or Kohane). In the Torah, this ancestor is identified as Aaron, the brother of Moses. Click on the link Cohen Modal Haplotype








Nephrologist Dr. Karl Skorecki decided to analyze the Cohanim to see if they were the descendants of one man, in which case they should have a set of common genetic markers.


To test this hypothesis, he contacted Dr. Michael Hammer of the University of Arizona, a researcher in molecular genetics and a pioneer in research on chromosome. Their article, published in Nature in 1997, has had some impact. A set of special markers (called Cohen Modal Haplotype or CMH) was defined as one which is more likely to be present in the Cohanim, defined as contemporary Jews named Cohen or a derivative, and it was proposed that this results from a common descent from the ancient priestly lineage than from the Jewish population in general.


But, subsequent studies showed that the number of genetic markers used and the number of samples (of people saying Cohen) were not big enough. The last study, conducted in 2009 by Hammer and Behar et al., says 20 of the 21 Cohen haplogroups have no single common haplogroup; five haplogroups comprise 79.5% of all haplogroups of Cohen. Among these first 5 haplogroups, J-P58 * (or J1E) accounts for 46.1% of Cohen and the second major haplogroup, J-M410 or J2am accounts for 14.4%. Hammer and Behar have redefined an extended MHC haplotype as determined by a set of 12 markers and having as "background" haplogroup determining the most important lines J1E (46.1%). This haplotype is absent among non-Jews in 2099 analyzed in the study. It appeared there would be a 3000 ± 1000 years. This study nevertheless confirms that the current Cohen descended from a small number of paternal ancestors. In the summary of their findings the authors concluded that " Our estimates of the coalescence time also lend support to the hypothesis that the extended CMH represents a unique founding lineage of the ancient Hebrews that has been paternally inherited along with the Jewish priesthood.


I wonder if HaShem will gather the tribe of Cohen (descendants of Aaron) when the Temple is rebuilt and reinstate their position? My neighbor told me that Cohen may be the oldest name in the world.


Babylonian Talmud

Sanhedrin 90b

(Mnemonic: ZeDeK, GaM, GeSHeM, KaM.) Sectarians [minim] asked Rabban Gamaliel:

Whence do we know that the Holy One, blessed be He, will resurrect the dead?

He answered them from the Torah, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa, yet they did not accept it [as conclusive proof].

'From the Torah':

for it is written, And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers and rise up [again].'But perhaps,' said they to him, '[the verse reads], and the people will rise up?' 'From the prophets':

as it is written, Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust:

for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out its dead. But perhaps this refers to the dead whom Ezekiel resurrected?

'From the Hagiographa':

as it is written, And the roof of thy mouth, like the best wine of my beloved, that goes down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak. But perhaps it means merely that their lips will move, even as R. Johanan said:

If a halachah is said in any person's name in this world, his lips speak in the grave, as it is written, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak? [Thus he did not satisfy them] until he quoted this verse, which the Lord swore unto your fathers to give to them; not to you, but to them is said; hence resurrection is derived from the Torah. Others say that he proved it from this verse, But ye that did cleave unto the Lord your God are alive every one of you this day; just as you are all alive today, so shall you all live again in the world to come.

The Romans asked R. Joshua b. Hananiah:

Whence do we know that the the Holy One, blessed he He, will resurrect the dead and knows the future? — He replied:

Both are deduced from this verse, And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, and rise up again; and this people shall go a whoring etc. But perhaps 'will rise up, and go a whoring'?

He replied:

Then at least you have the answer to half, viz., that He knows the future. It has been stated likewise:

R. Johanan said on the authority of R. Simeon b. Yohai:

Whence do we know that the Holy One, blessed be He, will resurrect the dead and know the future? From, Behold, Thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, and … rise again etc.

It has been taught:

R. Eliezer, son of R. Jose, said:

In this matter I refuted the books of the sectarians, who maintained that resurrection is not deducible from the Torah. I said to them:

You have falsified your Torah, yet it has availed you nothing. For ye maintain that resurrection is not a Biblical doctrine, but it is written, [Because he hath despised the word of the Lord, and hath broken his commandment], that soul shall utterly be cut off [Heb. hikkareth tikkareth]; his iniquity shall be upon him. Now, [seeing that] he shall utterly be cut off in this world, when shall his iniquity be upon him? surely in the next world.

R. Papa said to Abaye:

Could he not have deduced both [this world, and the next] from he shall be utterly cut off? — They would have replied:

The Torah employed human phraseology.

This is disputed by Tannaim:

That soul shall utterly be cut off [hikkareth] he shall be cut off in this world and [tikkareth] in the next:

this is R. Akiba's view. R. Ishmael said:

But the verse has previously stated, he reproaches the Lord, and that soul shall be cut off are there then three worlds? But [interpret thus]:

and [that soul] shall be cut off — in this world:

hikkareth, he is to be cut off — in the next; whilst as for [the repetition] tikkareth, that is because the Torah employs human phraseology.

How do both R. Ishmael and R. Akiba utilize his iniquity shall be upon him? — For that which has been taught:

I might think that [this is so] even if he repented: therefore Scripture saith, his iniquity is upon him:

I decreed [that he shall be cut off] only if his iniquity is still in him.

Queen Cleopatraasked R. Meir, 'I know that the dead will revive, for it is written, And they [sc. the righteous] shall [in the distant future] blossom forth out of the city [Jerusalem] like the grass of the earth. But when they arise, shall they arise unclothed or in their garments?' — He replied, 'Thou mayest deduce by an a fortiori argument [the answer] from a wheat grain:

if a grain of wheat, which is buried unclothed, sprouts forth in many robes, how much more so the righteous, who are buried in their raiment!'

An emperor said to Rabban Gamaliel:

'Ye maintain that the dead will revive; but they turn to dust, and can dust come to life?

Folio 91a

Thereupon his [the emperor's] daughter said to him [the Rabbi]:

'Let me answer him:

In our town there are two potters; one fashions [his products] from water, and the other from clay: who is the more praiseworthy?' 'He who fashions them from water, he replied. 'If he can fashion [man] from water, surely he can do so from clay!'

The School of R. Ishmael taught:

It can be deduced from glassware: if glassware, which, though made by the breath of human beings, can yet be repaired when broken; then how much more so man, created by the breath of the Holy One, blessed be He.

A sectarian [min] said to R. Ammi:

'Ye maintain that the dead will revive; but they turn to dust, and can dust come to life?' — He replied:

I will tell thee a parable. This may be compared to a human king who commanded his servants to build him a great palace in a place where there was no water or earth [for making bricks]. So they went and built it. But after some time it collapsed, so he commanded them to rebuild it in a place where water and earth was to be found; but they replied, 'We cannot'. Thereupon he became angry with them and said, 'If ye could build in a place containing no water or earth, surely ye can where there is!' 'Yet,' [continued R. Ammi], 'If thou dost not believe, go forth in to the field and see a mouse, which today is but part flesh and part dust, and yet by tomorrow has developed and become all flesh. And should thou say, 'That takes a long time,' go up to the mountains, where thou wilt see but one snail, whilst by to-morrow the rain has descended and it is covered with snails.'

A sectarian [min] said to Gebiha b. Pesisa, 'Woe to you, ye wicked, who maintain that the dead will revive; if even the living die, shall the dead live!' He replied, 'Woe to you, ye wicked, who maintain that the dead will not revive:

if what was not,[now] lives, — surely what has lived, will live again!' 'Thou hast called me wicked,' said he, 'If I stood up I could kick thee and strip thee of thy hump! 'If thou could do that,' he retorted, 'thou wouldst be called a great doctor, and command large fees.'

Our Rabbis taught:

On the twenty-fourth of Nisan the revenue farmers were removed from Judah and Jerusalem. For when the Africans came to plead against the Jews before Alexander of Macedon, they said, 'Canaan belongs to us, as it is written, The land of Canaan with the coasts thereof; and Canaan was the ancestor of these people [i.e., ourselves].' Thereupon Gebiha b. Pesisa said to the Sages, 'Authorize me to go and plead against them before Alexander of Macedon:

should they defeat me, then say, "ye have defeated but an ignorant man of us;" whilst if I defeat them, then say to them thus:

"The Law of Moses has defeated you." 'So they authorized him, and he went and pleaded against them. 'Whence do ye adduce your proof?' asked he. 'From the Torah,' they replied. 'I too,' said he, 'will bring you proof only from the Torah, for it is written, And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. Now if a slave acquires property, to whom does he belong, and whose is the property? Moreover, it is now many years that ye have not served us.' Then Alexander said to them, 'Answer him!' 'Give us three days' time,' they pleaded. So he gave them a respite; they sought but found no answer. Immediately thereon they fled, leaving behind their sown fields and their planted vineyards. And that year was a Sabbatical year.

On another occasion the Egyptians came in a lawsuit against the Jews before Alexander of Macedon. They pleaded thus:

'Is it not written, And the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, and they lent them [gold and precious stones, etc.] Then return us the gold and silver which ye took!' Thereupon Gebiha b. Pesisa said to the Sages, 'Give me permission to go and plead against them before Alexander of Macedon:

should they defeat me, then say, "Ye have merely defeated an ignorant man amongst us;" whilst if I defeat them then say, "The Law of Moses has defeated you."' So they gave him permission, and he went and pleaded against them. 'Whence do ye adduce your proof?' asked he, 'From the Torah,' they replied. 'Then I too,' said he, 'will bring you proof only from the Torah, for it is written, Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. Pay us for the toil of six hundred thousand men whom ye enslaved for four hundred thirty years.' Then King Alexander said to them, 'Answer him!' 'Give us three days' time,' they begged. So he gave them a respite; they sought but found no answer. Straightway they fled, leaving behind their sown fields and planted vineyards. And that year was a Sabbatical year.

On another occasion the Ishmaelites and the Ketureans came for a lawsuit against the Jews before Alexander of Macedon. They pleaded thus: 'Canaan belongs jointly to all of us, for it is written, Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son; and it is [further] written, And these are the generations of Isaac,' Abraham's son.' Thereupon Gebiha b. Pesisa said to the Sages:

'Give me permission to go and plead against them before Alexander of Macedon. Should they defeat me then say, "Ye have defeated one of our ignorant men;" whilst if I defeat them, say, "The Law of Moses has defeated you."' So they gave him permission, and he went and pleaded against them. 'Whence do ye adduce your proof?' asked he. 'From the Torah,' they replied. 'Then I too,' said he, 'will bring you proof only from the Torah, for it is written, And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. But unto the sons of the concubines which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts:

if a father made a bequest to his children in his lifetime and sent them away from each other, has one any claim upon the other? [Obviously not.]'

What gifts [did he give them]? — R. Jeremiah b. Abba said:

This teaches that he imparted to them [the secrets of] the unhallowed arts.

Antoninus said to Rabbi:

'The body and the soul can both free themselves from judgment. Thus, the body can plead:

The soul has sinned, [the proof being] that from the day it left me I lie like a dumb stone in the grave [powerless to do aught].

Whilst the soul can say:

The body has sinned, [the proof being] that from the day I departed from it I fly about in the air like a bird [and commit no sin].' He replied, 'I will tell thee a parable. To what may this be compared? To a human king who owned a beautiful orchard which contained

Sanhedrin 91b

splendid figs. Now, he appointed two watchmen therein, one lame and the other blind. [One day] the lame man said to the blind, "I see beautiful figs in the orchard. Come and take me upon thy shoulder, that we may procure and eat them." So the lame bestrode the blind, procured and ate them. Some time after, the owner of the orchard came and inquired of them, "Where are those beautiful figs?" The lame man replied, "Have I then feet to walk with?" The blind man replied, "Have I then eyes to see with?" What did he do? He placed the lame upon the blind and judged them together. So will the Holy One, blessed be He, bring the soul, [re]place it in the body, and judge them together, as it is written, He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people:

He shall call to the heavens from above-this refers to the soul; and to the earth, that he may judge his people-to the body.'

Antoninus said to Rabbi, 'Why does the sun rise in the east and set in the west?' He replied, 'Were it reversed, thou wouldst ask the same question.' 'This is my question,' said he, 'why set in the west?' He answered, 'In order to salute its Maker, as it is written, And the host of the heavens make obeisance to thee.' 'Then,' said he to him, 'it should go only as far as mid-heaven, pay homage, and then re-ascend?' — 'On account of the workers and wayfarers.'

Antoninus also said to Rabbi, 'When is the soul placed in man; as soon as it is decreed [that the sperm shall be male or female, etc.], or when [the embryo] is actually formed?' He replied, 'From the moment of formation.' He objected: 'Can a piece of meat be unsalted for three days without becoming putrid? But it must be from the moment that [God] decrees [its destiny].'

Rabbi said:

This thing Antoninus taught me, and Scripture supports him, for it is written, And thy decree hath preserved my spirit [i.e., my soul].

Antoninus also enquired of Rabbi, 'From what time does the Evil Tempter hold sway over man; from the formation [of the embryo], or from [its] issuing forth [into the light of the world]?! — 'From the formation,' he replied. 'If so,' he objected, 'it would rebel in its mother's womb and go forth. But it is from when it issues.'

Rabbi said:

This thing Antoninus taught me, and Scripture supports him, for it is said, At the door [i.e.,where the babe emerges] sin lies in wait.

Resh Lakish opposed [two verses to each other]. It is written, [i will gather them …] with the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together; whilst it is also written, Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing, for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. How so? — They shall rise with their defects and then be healed.

'Ulla opposed [two verses]. It is written, He will destroy death for ever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; whilst elsewhere it is written, For the child shall die an hundred years old … there shall be no more thence an infant of days! — It is no difficulty:

the one refers to Jews, the other to heathens. But what business have heathens there? — [The reference is to] those of whom it is written, and strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.

R. Hisda opposed [two verses]. It is written, Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of Hosts shall reign; whilst [elsewhere] it is written, Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days. — It is no difficulty:

the latter refers to the Messianic era, the former to the world to come. And according to Samuel, who maintained, This world differs from the Messianic era only in respect of the servitude of the Diaspora, it is still no difficulty:

the latter refers to the camp of the righteous, the former to the camp of the Divine Presence.

Raba opposed [two verses]:

It is written, I kill, and I make alive; whilst it is also written, I wound, and I heal! — The Holy One, blessed be He, said, What I slay, I resurrect [i.e.,in the same state], and then, what I wound, I heal [after their revival].

Our Rabbis taught:

I kill, and I make alive. I might interpret, I kill one person and give life to another, as the world goes on:

therefore the Writ states, I wound, and I heal. Just as the wounding and healing [obviously] refer to the same person, so putting to death and bringing to life refer to the same person. This refutes those who maintain that resurrection is not intimated in the Torah.

It has been taught:

R. Meir said, Whence do we know resurrection from the Torah? From the verse, Then shall Moses and the children of Israel sing this song unto the Lord:

not sang but shall sing is written:

thus resurrection is taught in the Torah. Likewise thou reads, Then shall Joshua build an altar unto the Lord God of Israel:

not 'built', but shall build is written:

thus resurrection is intimated in the Torah. If so, Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab:

does that too mean that he shall build? But [there] the Writ regards him as though he had built.

R. Joshua b. Levi said:

Whence is resurrection derived from the Torah? From the verse, Blessed are they that dwell in thy house:

they shall ever praise thee.
Selah. Not 'praised thee,' but they shall praise thee is stated:

thus resurrection is taught in the Torah.

R. Joshua b. Levi also said:

Whoever uttereth song [of praise to God] in this world shall be privileged to do so in the next world too, as it is written, Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they shall ever praise thee. Selah.

R. Hiyya b. Abba said in R. Johanan's name:

Whence do we learn resurrection from the Torah? — From the verse, Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing. Not 'sang,' but shall sing is written:

thus resurrection is derived from the Torah.

Rab Judah said in Rab's name:

Whoever withholds a halachah from his disciple is as though he had robbed him of his ancestral heritage, as it is written, Moses commanded us a law, even the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob:

it is an inheritance destined for all Israel from the six days of Creation.

R. Hanah b. Bizna said in the name of R. Simeon the Pious:

Whoever withholds a halachah from a disciple, even the embryo in its mother's womb curses him, as it is written, He that withholds bar [corn] yikkebuhu le'om:

Folio 92a

le'om' can only mean 'embryo,' as it is written, And one le'om shall be stronger than the other people; and 'yikkebuhu' can only denote cursing, as it is written, how shall I curse [ekkob] whom God hath not cursed? and 'bar' can refer to nothing but the Torah, as it is written, Nourish yourselves bar [on the Torah] lest he be angry.

'Ulla b. Ishmael said:

He is riddled with holes like a sieve: here is written, 'the people yikkebuhu;' whilst elsewhere is written, wa-yikkob [and he bored] a hole in the lid of it.'

Abaye said:

Like a fuller's trough. But if he teaches him, what is his reward? — Raba said in the name of R. Shesheth:

He will receive blessings like Joseph's, as it is written, but blessing shall be upon the head of mashbir [him who selleth it]:

'mashbir' can only refer to Joseph, as it is said, And Joseph was the Governor over the land, and it was he ha-mashbir [that sold] to all the people of the land.

R. Shesheth said:

Whoever teaches the Torah in this world will be privileged to teach it in the next, as it is written, And he that waters shall water again too.

Raba said:

Whence is resurrection derived from the Torah? From the verse, Let Reuben live, and not die:

meaning, let Reuben live, in this world, and not die, in the next. Rabina said, [it is derived] from this verse, And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

R. Ashi said:

From this verse, But go thou thy way till the end be; for thou shalt rest and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.

R. Eleazar said:

Every leader who leads the community with mildness will be privileged to lead them in the next world [too], as it is written, for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them; even by the springs of water shall he guide them.

R. Eleazar also said:

Great is knowledge, since it was placed between two Letters, as it is written, For a God of knowledge is the Lord.

R. Eleazar also said:

Great is the Sanctuary, since it was placed between two Letters, as it is written, Thou hast made for thee, O Lord, a Sanctuary:

O Lord, thy hands have established it.

R. Adda Karhina demurred:

If so, then great is vengeance, since it was placed between two Letters, as it is written, O God of vengeance, O Lord:

O God of vengeance, manifest thyself! — He replied:

For its purposes it is so indeed. Even as 'Ulla said:

Why these two manifestations? One as a measure of reward [for the righteous] and the other as a measure of punishment [for the wicked].

R. Eleazar also said:

Whenever one has knowledge, it is as though the Temple was built in his days, since each [sc. knowledge and the Temple] was placed between two letters.

R. Eleazar also said:

Whoever has knowledge will eventually be wealthy, as it is written, And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

R. Eleazar also said:

Whosoever lacks knowledge, one may have no mercy upon him, as it is written, For it is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy upon them, and he that formed them will show them no favor.

R. Eleazar also said:

Whoever gives of his bread to one who lacks knowledge will be assailed by suffering, as it is written, They that eat thy bread have laid mazor [a wound] under thee: there is no understanding in him; 'mazor' can refer only to suffering, as it is written, When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah his mezoro [suffering].

R. Eleazar also said:

Whoever lacks knowledge will ultimately be exiled, for it is written, Therefore my people are gone into exile, because they have no knowledge.

R. Eleazar also said:

The house in which the words of the Torah are not heard at night shall be consumed by fire, as it is written, All darkness is hid in his secret places:

a fire not blown shall consume him; he grudgeth [sarid] him that is left in his tabernacle:

now, 'sarid' can refer only to the scholar, as it is written, And in those left [u-base-ridim] whom the Lord shall call.

R. Eleazar also said:

Whoever does not benefit a scholar with his goods will never see a sign of blessing, as it is written, There be none ['sarid'] that remaineth to eat it; therefore shall he not hope for prosperity. now 'sarid' refers to none but the scholar, as it is written, And in those left whom the Lord shall call.

R. Eleazar also said:

He who leaves no bread on the table [at the end of his meal] will never see a sign of blessing, as it is written, There be none of his meat left; therefore shall he not hope for his prosperity. But did not R. Eleazar say:

He who leaves crumbs on his table is as though he engaged in idol worship, for it is written, That prepare a table for Gad, and that furnish the drink offering unto Meni? — It is no difficulty: in the latter case a whole loaf is left therewith [i.e., with the pieces], but in the former there is no whole loaf left therewith.

R. Eleazar also said:

Whoever dissembles in his speech is as though he had engaged in idolatry: here it is written, And I shall seem to him as a deceiver, and elsewhere it is said, They are vanity, and the work of deceivers.

R. Eleazar also said: Whoever gazes upon one's shame, his virility shall be emptied, for it is written, Shame shall empty thy bow [i.e., strength].

R. Eleazar also said:

Be always humble:

so shalt thou endure.

R. Zera said:

We have learned likewise. The windows of a dark house may not be opened to examine its leprosy. This proves it.

R. Tabi said in R. Josia's name:

What is meant by, The grave; and the barren womb; and the earth that is not filled by water: now, what connection has the grave with the womb? But it is to teach thee:

just as the womb receives and brings forth, so does the grave too receive and bring forth. Now, does this not furnish us with an a fortiori argument? If the womb, which receives in silence, yet brings forth amid great cries [of jubilation]; then the grave, which receives the dead amid cries [of grief], will much more so bring them forth amid great cries [of joy]! This refutes those who maintain that resurrection is not intimated in the Torah.

[The] Tanna debe Eliyyahu [states]:

The righteous, whom the Holy One, blessed be He, will resurrect, will not revert to dust, for it is said, And it shall come to pass. that he that is left in Zion and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:

just as the Holy One endures for ever, so shall they endure for ever.

Sanhedrin 92b

And should you ask, in those years during which the Almighty will renew his world, as it is written, And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day, what will the righteous do? — The Lord will make them wings like eagles', and they will fly above the water, as it is written, Therefore we will not fear when the earth be removed and the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. And should you imagine that they will suffer pain — therefore Scripture saith, But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. But should we not deduce [the reverse] from the dead whom Ezekiel resurrected? — He accepts the view that in the truth [the story of the resurrection of the dry bones] was [but] a parable. For it was taught:

R. Eliezer said:

The dead whom Ezekiel resurrected stood up, uttered song, and [immediately] died. What song did they utter? — The Lord slays in righteousness and revives in mercy.

R. Joshua said:

They sang thus, The Lord kills and makes alive: he brings down to the grave, and brings up.

R. Judah said:

It was truth; it was a parable.

R. Nehemiah said to him:

If truth, why a parable; and if a parable, why truth? — But [say thus]:

In the truth there was but a parable.

R. Eliezer the son of R. Jose the Galilean said:

The dead whom Ezekiel revived went up to Palestine, married wives and begat sons and daughters.

R. Judah b. Bathyra rose up and said:

I am one of their descendants, and these are the tefillin which my grandfather left me [as an heirloom] from them.

Now, who were they whom Ezekiel revived? — Rab said:

They were the Ephraimites, who counted [the years] to the end [of the Egyptian bondage], but erred therein, as it is written, And the sons of Ephraim; Shuthelah, and Bared his son, and Tahath his son, and Eladah his son, and Tahath his son. And Zabad his son, and Shuthelah his son, and Ezzer, and Elead, whom the men of Gath that were born in that land slew. And it is written, And Ephraim their father mourned many days, and his brethren came to comfort him.

Samuel said:

They were those who denied resurrection, as it is written, Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.

R. Jeremiah b. Abba said:

They were the men who lacked the [vitalizing] sap of good deeds, as it is written, O ye dry bones, head the word of the Lord.

R. Isaac Nappaha said:

They were the men who covered the whole Temple with abominations and creeping things, as it is written, So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about:

whilst there [in the case of the dry bones] it is written, And caused me to pass by them round about.

R. Johanan said:

They were the dead of the plain of Dura.

R. Johanan also said:

The plain of Dura extends from the river Eshel to Rabbath. Amongst the Israelites whom Nebuchadnezzar drove into exile there were young men who shamed the sun by their beauty. The Chaldean women, looking upon them, were inflamed with passion. Their husbands, being informed thereof, reported it to the king, who ordered the execution of these exiles; yet they still burned with desire: so by royal command they were trampled [out of recognition].

Our Rabbis taught:

When the wicked Nebuchadnezzar threw Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah into the fiery furnace, the Holy One, blessed be He, said to Ezekiel:

'Go and resurrect the dead in the plain of Dura.' This being done, the bones came and smote the wicked man upon his face. 'What kind of bones are these!' he exclaimed. They [his courtiers] answered him, 'Their companion is resurrecting the dead in the plain of Dura.' Thereupon he broke into utterance, How great are His signs, and how mighty are His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation!

R. Isaac said:

May molten gold be poured into the mouth of that wicked man [sc. Nebuchadnezzar]! Had not an angel come and struck him upon his mouth he would have eclipsed all the songs and praises uttered by David in the Book of Psalms.

Our Rabbis taught:

Six miracles were wrought on that day, viz.:

The furnace floated upward;

[ii] its walls [partly] fell in;

[iii] its foundations crumbled [with the heat];

[iv] the image [which Nebuchadnezzar had set up to be worshipped] was overthrown upon its face;

[v] four royal suites were burned;

[vi] Ezekiel resurrected the dead in the valley of Dura.

All these are [known by] tradition, but [that pertaining to] the four royal suites is Scriptural, for it is written, Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counselors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, [to come to the dedication of the image etc.]; and it is further written, There are certain Jews […serve not thy god etc.]; also, And the princes, governors and captains, and the king's counselors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whom the fire had no power.

The School of R. Eliezer b. Jacob taught:

Even in times of danger one should not lay aside his insignia of office, for it is written, Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments etc.

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The Didache


Chapter 5


5:1 But the way of death is this.

5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;

I have distilled the Rabbinical remarks of the Talmud that support the idea of resurrection and judgement of the dead.


Rabban Gamaliel I, lived during the time of Jesus. Gamaliel proved the resurrection of the dead through the Torah, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa and quoted:


Lord said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers and rise up [again]

I have not found a passage that matches the Gamaliel's Talmud translation in all current translations of Deuteronomy 31. Here is the Hebrew - English Bible - Mechon-Mamre.


Deuteronomy 31


16 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Behold, thou art about to sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go astray after the foreign gods of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake Me, and break My covenant which I have made with them.



From what I read Moses [again] is not rising from the dead, but concerning Israel’s future apostasy. So I decided to contact the the Chabad-Lubavitch Media Center. I was amazed and grateful to get such a prompt response.


Hi Luke,


If I understood correctly you are referring to the story mentioned in the Talmud, on Sanhedrin 90a. The Talmud relates that certain heretics asked of Rabban Gamiel for a source for the resurrection of the dead in the Torah, and they continued to refute the three sources that he brought. The first of his sources was the verse you quoted, from Deuteronomy 31:16. I don't know how familiar you are with the Hebrew language, but I will try my best to explain the debate they had.


The verse in Deuteronomy says, וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה, הִנְּךָ שֹׁכֵב עִם-אֲבֹתֶיךָ; וְקָם הָעָם הַזֶּה וְזָנָה אַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהֵי נֵכַר-הָאָרֶץ . The interpretation of this verse is very much dependent on its punctuation. It can be read, “Behold you are about to sleep with your fathers, and this nation will rise”, as you quoted in your letter. Alternatively it can be read, “Behold you are about to sleep with your fathers and rise, and this nation will etc”. The two interpretations are dependent upon where the comma is place in the Hebrew text, before the word “וקם" , “and he shall rise”, or after it. Rabban Gamliel offered the latter interpretation, while the heretics refuted him with the former.


It is interesting to note, that elsewhere, in Yoma 42b, the Talmud states that this is one of five verses that the Rabbis themselves did not now how to read, as there are two options how to punctuate the verse.


The Talmud there in Sanhedrin brings many other sages that quoted numerous sources for the resurrection of the dead, and I would advise you to look over there for further study on the subject.


Wishing you all the best, and please feel free to ask any questions you may have,


Shaul Wolf

Shaul Wolf was referencing at the end of Yoma 52a and the beginning of 52b in the "The Soncino Babylonian Talmud."




Yoma 52a


Issi b. Judah said: There are five verses in the Torah [the grammatical construction of which is undecided:


lifted up’,'like almond-blossoms’;,'tomorrow’,'cursed’ and ‘rise up’.


It was also taught:


Joseph of Huzal is the same as Joseph the Babylonian, and is identical with

Issi b. Judah, also with Issi b. Gur Aryeh, also with Issi b. Gamliel, also with Issi b. Mahalalel. What was his real name?




Issi as an abbreviation of Joseph is perfectly possible. Tosaf.


Tosaf. s.v.endeavors to account for the curious order of the sentences quoted.


Behold thou art about to sleep with thy fathers; and (this people) will rise up. Or:


Behold thou art about to sleep with thy fathers and (wilt in future) rise up. This people will go astray after the foreign gods. —

Issi ben Judah (Hebrew: איסי בן יהודה‎, "Issi ben Yehuda", also known as Issi Ha-babli, lit. "Babylonian Issi"), was a Tanna of the latter part of the 2nd century and the beginning of the 3rd century. He made Aliyah from Hutzal, Babylon, to the Land of Israel, and thus was also nicknamed "Issi Ha-Babli" or "Jose the man of Hutzal". It was Issi ben Judah who mentioned in the Talmud that the Jewish scholars did not know how to read Deuteronomy 31. He was a disciple of Eleazar ben Shammua. I would assume that since Eleazer ben Shammua was a master of the law he would taught to Issi ben Judah the difficulty of interpreting Deuteronomy 31.


Eleazer ben Shammua or Eleazar I lived around the year 160 A.D. (90 years after the destruction of the Second Temple). It is known that Eleazer was of priestly descent (Meg. 27b; Soṭah 39a) and rich (Eccl. R. xi. 1), and acquired great fame as a teacher of traditional law.




Akiva ben Joseph lived around 40 – ca. 137 AD. He was widely known as Rabbi Akiva (Hebrew: רבי עקיבא‎), was a tanna of the latter part of the 1st century and the beginning of the 2nd century (3rd tannaitic generation). Rabbi Akiva was a leading contributor to the Mishnah and Midrash Halakha. He is referred to in the Talmud as "Rosh la-Chachamim" (Head of all the Sages). Akiva was a devoted friend of Gamaliel, So he would have discussed Deuteronomy 31.



It is well known that Rabbi Akiva mistakenly believed that a Jewish leader by the name of Simon bar Kokhba was the Messiah. It is important to note that Judaism does not consider it a transgression to identify oneself or anyone else as the messiah. He called him the name Simon ben Kosiba (Aramaic for "Son of a Star"), referring to the Star Prophecy of Numbers 24:17, "there shall step forth a star out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite through the corners of Moab"). Later rabbinical writers referred to bar Kokhba as "Simon bar Kozeba" (meaning "Son of lies" or "Son of deception"). For more information on Simon bar Kokhba use the keyword phrase "The Bar Kokhba revolt."


Simon ben Kosiba minted coins for three years. Here is a coin located at the British Museum.




Eliezer ben Hurcanus or Eliezer ben Hyrcanus was one of the most prominent tannaim of the 1st and 2nd centuries, disciple of R. Johanan ben Zakkai and colleague of Gamaliel II.


Babylonian Talmud: Tractate ‘Abodah Zarah


Abodah Zarah 16b




Said Rabbah b. Bar-Hana in the name of R. Johanan: There are three kinds of basilica-buildings: those attached to royal palaces, baths, or store-houses. Said Raba:


Two of these are permitted and one is forbidden; as a reminder [take the phrase], To bind their Kings with chains.


Some report, Raba said:


All [basilicae] are permitted. But have we not learned, ONE SHOULD NOT JOIN THEM IN BUILDING A BASILICA, AN EXECUTIONER'S SCAFFOLD, A STADIUM OR A TRIBUNE? — This should be taken to mean a basilica attached to an executioner's scaffold, a stadium or a tribune.


Our Rabbis taught:


When R. Eliezer was arrested because of Minuth they brought him up to the tribune to be judged. Said the governor to him, 'How can a sage man like you occupy himself with those idle things?' He replied, 'I acknowledge the Judge as right.' The governor thought that he referred to him — though he really referred to his Father in Heaven — and said, 'Because thou hast acknowledged me as right, I pardon; thou art acquitted.'


When he came home, his disciples called on him to console him, but he would accept no consolation. Said R. Akiba to him, 'Master, wilt thou permit me to say one thing of what thou hast taught me?' He replied, 'Say it.' 'Master,' said he, 'perhaps some of the teaching of the Minim had been transmitted to thee

Here is some background about the Talmud.


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The Didache

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;

According to Jewish tradition, the Tannaim (Sages or Scholars) were the last generation in a long sequence of oral teachers of the Torah that began with Moses. The Tannaim belonged to schools (sometimes called academies) that were more formalized than those of their earlier Pharisee predecessors. The following were Nesi'im, that is to say presidents of the Sanhedrin.

1. Hillel


2. Rabban Shimon ben Hillel, about whom very little is known


3. Rabban Gamaliel Hazaken (Gamaliel the Elder)


4. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel


5. Rabban Yochanan ben Zakai

6. Rabban Gamaliel of Yavne (Rabban Gamaliel II)was on friendly terms with many who were not Jews, and was so warmly devoted to his slave Tavi that when the latter died he mourned for him as for a beloved member of his own family. He put an end to the division which had arisen between the spiritual leaders of Judaism by the separation of the scribes into the two schools called respectively after Hillel and Shammai, and took care to enforce his own authority as the president of the chief legal assembly of Judaism with energy and often with severity. He did this, as he himself said, not for his own honor nor for that of his family, but in order that disunion should not prevail in Israel.

7. Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah, who was Nasi for a short time after Rabban Gamliel was removed from his position other Rabbis of Yavneh after he embarrassed Rabbi Joshua ben Hananiah three times.

8. Joshua ben Hananiah was a leading tanna of the first half-century following the destruction of the Temple. He was of Levitical descent (Ma'as. Sh. v. 9), and served in the sanctuary as a member of the class of singers (Arakhin 11b). His mother intended him for a life of study, and, as an older contemporary, Dosa b. Harkinas, relates (Yer. Yeb. 3a), she carried the child in his cradle into the synagogue, so that his ears might become accustomed to the sounds of the words of the Torah. It was probably with reference to his pious mother that Johanan b. Zakkai thus expressed himself concerning Joshua ben Hananiah: "Hail to thee who gave him birth" (Pirkei Avot ii. 8). According to another tradition (Ab. R. N. xiv.) Johanan b. Zakkai praised him in the words from Eccl. iv. 12: "And a threefold cord is not quickly broken." Perhaps he meant that in Joshua the three branches of traditional learning, Midrash, Halakah, and Aggadah, were united in a firm whole; or possibly he used the passage in the sense in which it was employed later (Eccl. R. iv. 14; B. B. 59a), to show that Joshua belonged to a family of scholars even to the third generation. He is the seventh most frequently mentioned sage in the Mishnah.

Like Rabban Gamaliel Hazaken, Joshua ben Hananiah proved the resurrection through the following verse:

And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, and rise up again; and this people shall go a whoring etc.

9. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel of Yavne




10. Rabbi Judah haNasi (Judah the Nasi), known simply as "Rabbi", who compiled the Mishnah, the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions called the "Oral Torah" dating from the Pharisaic Second Temple Hasmonean dynasty established under the leadership of Simon Maccabaeus. This is similar to the redaction Luke did 100 to 150 years prior with the early oral accounts about Jesus.


Luke 1



1:1 Now many have undertaken to compile an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us,

1:2 like the accounts passed on to us by those who were eyewitnesses and servants of the word from the beginning.

1:3 So it seemed good to me as well, because I have followed all things carefully from the beginning, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,

1:4 so that you may know for certain the things you were taught.



The Talmud gives more insight into the Jewish concept of repentance and the gift of immortality through redemption.

Here are some keywords to understand before reading below. Minim is plural of Hebrew minuth, in Talmudic terminology, outsiders within the Jewish community.

Tractate ‘Abodah Zarah

Folio 17a

and thou didst approve of it and because of that thou wast arrested?'

He exclaimed:

'Akiba thou hast reminded me.' I was once walking in the upper-market of Sepphoris when I came across one [of the disciples of Jesus the Nazarene] Jacob of Kefar-Sekaniah by name, who said to me:

It is written in your Torah, Thou shalt not bring the hire of a harlot … into the house of the Lord thy God. May such money be applied to the erection of a retiring place for the High Priest? To which I made no reply.

Said he to me:

Thus was I taught [by Jesus the Nazarene], For of the hire of a harlot hath she gathered them and unto the hire of a harlot shall they return.' they came from a place of filth, let them go to a place of filth.

Those words pleased me very much, and that is why I was arrested for apostasy; for thereby I transgressed the scriptural words, Remove thy way far from her — which refers to minuth — and come not nigh to the door of her house, — which refers to the ruling power.

There are some who apply, 'Remove thy way from her' to minuth as well as to the ruling power, and, 'and come not nigh to the door of her house' to a harlot. And how far is one to keep away?

Said R. Hisda:

Four cubits. And to what do the Rabbis apply, of the hire of a harlot? — To the saying of R. Hisda.

For R. Hisda said:

Every harlot who allows herself to be hired will at the end have to hire, even as it is said, And in that thou gives hire, and no hire is given to thee, thus hou art reversed. This is contrary to what R. Pedath said;

for R. Pedath said:

Only in the case of incest did the Torah forbid close approach, as it is said, None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him to uncover their nakedness.

'Ulla on returning from college used to kiss his sisters on the hand; some say, on the breast. He, then, contradicts himself.

For 'Ulla said:

Even mere approach is forbidden because we say to a Nazarite, 'Go, go — round about; but do not approach 'the vineyard.'

The horse-leech hath two daughters:

Give, give.

What is meant by 'Give, give'? Said Mar 'Ukba:

It is the voice of the two daughters who cry from Gehenna calling to this world:

Bring, bring! And who are they? Minuth and the Government.

Some report:

Said R. Hisda in the name of Mar 'Ukba:

It is the voice of Hell crying and calling:

Bring me the two daughters who cry and call in this world, 'Bring, bring.'

Scripture says, None that go unto her return neither do they attain the paths of life. But if they do not return, how can they attain [the paths of life]?

What it means is that even if they do turn away from it they will not attain the paths of life.' Does it mean then that those who repent from minuth die?

Was there not that woman who came before R. Hisda confessing to him that the lightest sin that she committed was that her younger son is the issue of her older son?

Whereupon R. Hisda said:

Get busy in preparing her shrouds — but she did not die. Now, since she refers to her [immoral] act as the lightest sin, it may be assumed that she had also adopted minuth [and yet she did not die]! — That one did not altogether renounce her evil-doing, that is why she did not die.

Some have this version:

[is it only] from minuth that one dies if one repents, but not from other sins? Was there not that woman who came before R. Hisda who said, Prepare her shrouds and she died? — Since she said [of her guilt] that it is one of the lightest, it may be assumed that she was guilty of idolatry also.

And does not one die on renouncing sins other [than idolatry]? Surely it has been taught:

It was said of R. Eleazar b. Dordia that he did not leave out any harlot in the world without coming to her. Once, on hearing that there was a certain harlot in one of the towns by the sea who accepted a purse of denarii for her hire, he took a purse of denarii and crossed seven rivers for her sake. As he was with her, she blew forth breath and said:

As this blown breath will not return to its place, so will Eleazar b. Dordia never be received in repentance. He thereupon went, sat between two hills and mountains and exclaimed:

O, ye hills and mountains, plead for mercy for me! They replied:

How shall we pray for thee? We stand in need of it ourselves, for it is said, For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed! So he exclaimed:

Heaven and earth, plead ye for mercy for me! They, too, replied:

How shall we pray for thee? We stand in need of it ourselves, for it is said, For the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment. He then exclaimed:

Sun and moon, plead ye for mercy for me! But they also replied:

How shall we pray for thee? We stand in need of it ourselves, for it is said, Then the moon shall be confounded and the sun ashamed. He exclaimed:

Ye stars and constellations, plead ye for mercy for me! Said they:

How shall we pray for thee? We stand in need of it ourselves, for it is said, And all the hosts of heaven shall moulder away. Said he:

The matter then depends upon me alone! Having placed his head between his knees, he wept aloud until his soul departed. Then a bath-kol was heard proclaiming:

'Rabbi Eleazar b. Dordai is destined for the life of the world to come!' Now, here was a case of a sin [other than minuth] and yet he did die! — In that case, too, since he was so much addicted to immorality it is as [if he had been guilty of] minuth. Rabbi [on hearing of it] wept and said:

One may acquire eternal life after many years, another in one hour!

Rabbi also said:

Repentants are not alone accepted, they are even called 'Rabbi'!

R. Hanina and R. Jonathan were walking on the road and came to a parting of ways, one of which led by the door of a place of idol-worship and the other led by a harlots' place.

Said the one to the other:

Let us go [through the one leading] by the place of idolatry

Abodah Zarah 17b

the inclination for which has been abolished. The other however said: Let us go [through that leading] by the harlots' place and defy our inclination and have our reward. As they approached the place they saw the harlots withdraw at their presence. Said the one to the other:

Whence didst thou know this? The other, in reply, quoted, She shall watch over thee, mezimmah [against lewdness], discernment shall guard thee.

Said the Rabbis to Raba:

How is this word mezimmah to be understood? Shall it be rendered 'The Torah' since the word zimmah in Scripture is rendered in the Targum, 'It is a counsel of the wicked'; and Scripture has the phrase, wonderful is His counsel and great His wisdom? But in that case the word should have been zimmah. This, then, is how it is to be understood, Against things of lewdness — zimmah — she [Discernment, i.e., the Torah] shall watch over thee.

It was during Tannaim period of Roman occupation that Jesus demonstrated to the Sadducees his complete understanding of the Haggadic Midrash.

Mark 12

12:18 Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) also came to him and asked him,

12:19 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us: ‘If a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, that man must marry the widow and father children for his brother.’

12:20 There were seven brothers. The first one married, and when he died he had no children.

12:21 The second married her and died without any children, and likewise the third.

12:22 None of the seven had children. Finally, the woman died too.

12:23 In the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be? For all seven had married her.”

12:24 Jesus said to them, “Aren’t you deceived for this reason, because you don’t know the scriptures or the power of God?

12:25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

12:26 Now as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?

12:27 He is not the God of the dead but of the living. You are badly mistaken!”

Exodus 3 Hebrew - English Bible - Mechon-Mamre

6 Moreover He said: 'I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.

I continue to be impressed with Rabbi Wolf. I asked him whether Rabban Gamliel was the first to discuss the concept of the resurrection in the Jewish community.

Hi Luke,

Your question is indeed an interesting one, as it can be asked in regards to many details found in the Talmud. Let me explain:

The Torah is very concise and at times cryptic. For example, when it comes to the Mitzvah of Tefillin, all the Torah tells is, “And you shall bind them upon your arms as a sign, and they shall be as a remembrance between your eyes”, that's it. There is no mention of how the Tefillin are supposed to look, what materials they are to be made from, what size and shape they should be etc. It is only later, in the Mishnah and the Talmud, that these details are discussed, and at length.

If someone was to read the Torah, and then jump from there to the Talmud, he might be under the impression that most of the details were first invented in the Talmud times, as that seems to be the first time that they are mentioned.

The truth is however, that these details were known to the Jewish people throughout history, it is only that they were first recorded in the Talmud. The plan originally was to have two components of the Torah, the Written Torah, and the Oral Torah. The Written Torah was comprised of the five books of Moses and the Prophets, and all the rest was to remain with the Jewish people as an oral tradition, passed on from generation to generation. However, when the Torah was slowly being forgotten, some Rabbis saw it necessary to write everything down, so it would remain with us forever.

So , in regards to your question, although Rabban Gamlier may be the earliest reference we have to the idea of the resurrection, it does not mean he was the one to invent it. It was passed down as a tradition from generation to generation, and was based on the verses quote from the Written Torah. It is only that later, when all the teachings were recorded in the Talmud, it was Rabban Gamliel who is quoted as having taught that specific teaching.

I hope that all makes some sense, and I have attached a link to an article that further elaborates on the topic.

All the best,

Shaul Wolf


Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Sotah

Folio 49a


I wonder if Jesus discussed the concept of resurrection with Rabban Gamliel. In any case Christians believe that Rabban Gamliel was witness to Christ's resurrection. It was also this time that the Apostle Paul, then named Saul was a student of Gamliel.

The movie, "The Apostle Paul" presents a Hollywood view of Paul and Gamliel.


One can only imagine the grassroots news of Jesus rising from the dead spreading in Jerusalem and throughout Israel. The Sadducees were enraged with the Apostles. But, the Pharisees of the House of Hillel supported the idea of resurrection. Their action most likely saved Christianity. I very much want to attend a service at the House of Hillel.

Acts 5

5:17 Now the high priest rose up, and all those with him (that is, the religious party of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy.

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The Didache

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;

In Galatians and Romans, the Apostle Paul echoes the words of Hillel. Sometimes I think of the redaction of Paul as the Mishnah to the Christians. The difference from Luke and Prince Judah was his redaction came both from witnesses and his encounter with Jesus.

Galatians 5

5:14 For the whole law can be summed up in a single commandment, namely, "You must love your neighbor as yourself."

Romans 13

13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.

13:9 For the commandments, "Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not covet," (and if there is any other commandment) are summed up in this, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

13:10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Although, Jesus clearly stated love God first and your fellow man second. Paul appears to have spoken from a Jewish point of view on this subject. Being a former student of Gamaliel he would have full knowledge of Hillel's teachings of the Golden rule of brotherly love. It is interesting to note that Pharisee Hillel life is runs parallel to those in the life of Moses. Both lived 120 years (Deut. 34:7), and at the age of forty Hillel went to the Land of Israel; forty years he spent in study; and the last third of his life he was the spiritual head of the Jewish people.


When Hillel died in 10 A.D., the Shammites took over the Pharisee role within the Sanhedrin and became the primary religious influence in Judea, whereas in the Galilee region, where Jesus lived and was raised, the teachings of Hillel held sway.

Here we see Hillel's famous Golden Rule.

Babylonian Talmud:

Tractate Shabbath

Folio 31a

Our Rabbis taught:

A certain heathen once came before Shammai and asked him, 'How many Toroth have you?' 'Two,' he replied: 'the Written Torah and the Oral Torah.' 'I believe you with respect to the Written, but not with respect to the Oral Torah; make me a proselyte on condition that you teach me the Written Torah [only]. [but] he scolded and repulsed him in anger. When he went before Hillel, he accepted him as a proselyte. On the first day, he taught him, Alef, beth, gimmel, daleth; the following day he reversed [them] to him. 'But yesterday you did not teach them to me thus,' he protested. 'Must you then not rely upon me? Then rely upon me with respect to the Oral [Torah] too.'

On another occasion it happened that a certain heathen came before Shammai and said to him, 'Make me a proselyte, on condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot.' Thereupon he repulsed him with the builder's cubit which was in his hand. When he went before Hillel, he said to him, 'What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbor:

that is the whole Torah, while the rest is the commentary thereof; go and learn it.'

The Shema or Great Commandment, as it has also come to be known

Deuteronomy 6

6:4 Listen, Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!

6:5 You must love the Lord your God with your whole mind, your whole being, and all your strength.

6:6 These words I am commanding you today must be kept in mind,

6:7 and you must teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road, as you lie down, and as you get up.

6:8 You should tie them as a reminder on your forearm and fasten them as symbols on your forehead.

6:9 Inscribe them on the door frames of your houses and gates.

Babylonian Talmud : Tractate Berakoth

Berakoth 10b

[similarly] R. Hanan said:

Even if the master of dreams says to a man that on the morrow he will die, he should not desist from prayer, for so it says, For in the multitude of dreams are vanities and also many words, but fear thou God. Thereupon straightway, Hezekiah turned his face to the kir [wall] and prayed unto the Lord. What is the meaning of 'kir'? —

R. Simeon b. Lakish said:

[He prayed] from the innermost cham bers [kiroth] of his heart, as it says, My bowels, my bowels, I writhe in pain! Kiroth [The chambers] of my heart etc.

R. Levi said:

[He prayed] with reference to [another] 'kir'. He said before Him: Sovereign of the Universe! The Shunammite woman made only one little chamber [on the roof] and Thou didst restore her son to life. How much more so then me whose ancestor overlaid the Temple with silver and gold! Remember now, O Lord, I beseech Thee, how I have walked before Thee in truth and with a whole heart, and have done that which is good in Thy sight. What means, 'I have done that which is good in Thy sight'?

Rab Judah says in the name of Rab:

He joined the ge'ullah with the tefillah.

R. Levi said: He hid away the Book of Cures.

Our Rabbis taught:

King Hezekiah did six things; of three of them they [the Rabbis] approved and of three they did not approve. Of three they approved: he hid away the Book of Cures; and they approved of it; he broke into pieces the brazen serpent, and they approved of it; and he dragged the bones of his father [to the grave] on a bed of ropes, and they approved of it. Of three they did not approve:

He stopped up the waters of Gihon, and they did not approve of it; he cut off [the gold] from the doors of the Temple and sent it to the King of Assyria, and they did not approve of it; and he intercalated the month of Nisan during Nisan, and they did not approve of it. But did not Hezekiah accept the teaching:

This month shall be unto you the beginning of months:

[this means] that this is Nisan and no other month shall be Nisan? — He went wrong over the teaching enunciated by Samuel.

For Samuel said:

The year must not be declared a prolonged year on the thirtieth of Adar, since this day may possibly belong to Nisan; and he thought:

We do not pay heed to this possibility.

R. Johanan said in the name of R. Jose b. Zimra:

If a man makes his petition depend on his own merit, heaven makes it depend on the merit of others; and if he makes it depend on the merit of others, heaven makes it depend on his own merit. Moses made his petition depend on the merit of others, as it says, Remember Abraham, Isaac and Israel Thy servants! and Scripture made it depend on his own merit, as it says, Therefore He said that He would destroy them, had not Moses His chosen stood before Him in the breach to turn back His wrath, lest He should destroy them. Hezekiah made his petition depend on his own merit, as it is written:

Remember now, O Lord, I beseech Thee, how I have walked before Thee, and God made it depend on the merit of others, as it says, For I will defend this city to save it, for Mine own sake and for My servant David's sake. And this agrees with R. Joshua b. Levi.

For R. Joshua b. Levi said:

What is the meaning of the verse, Behold for my peace I had great bitterness? Even when the Holy One, blessed be He, sent him [the message of] peace it was bitter for him.

Let us make, I pray thee, a little chamber on the roof.

Rab and Samuel differ. One says:

It was an open upper chamber, and they put a roof on it.

The other says:

It was a large verandah, and they divided it into two. For him who says that it was a verandah, there is a good reason why the text says kir [wall]. But how does he who says that it was an upper chamber account for the word kir? — [it is used] because they put a roof on it [kiruah]. For him who says it was an upper chamber there is a good reason why the text uses the word 'aliyath [upper chamber]. But how does he who says it was a verandah account for the word 'aliyath? — It was the best [me'ulla] of the rooms.

And let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool and a candlestick. Abaye (or as some say, R. Isaac) said:

If one wants to benefit from the hospitality of another, he may benefit, as Elisha did; and if he does not desire to benefit, he may refuse to do so, as Samuel the Ramathite did, of whom we read, And his return was to Ramah, for there was his house;

and R. Johanan said:

[This teaches that] wherever he travelled, his house was with him.

And she said unto her husband: Behold now, I perceive that he is a holy man of God.

R. Jose b. Hanina said:

You learn from this that a woman recognizes the character of a guest better than a man. 'A holy man'. How did she know this? Rab and Samuel gave different answers.

One said:

Because she never saw a fly pass by his table.

The other said:

She spread a sheet of linen over his bed, and she never saw a nocturnal pollution on it. He is a holy [man].

R. Jose son of R. Hanina said:

He is holy, but his attendant is not holy. For so it says: And Gehazi came near to thrust her away;

R. Jose son of Hanina said:

He seized her by the breast.

That passeth by us continually.

R. Jose son of R. Hanina said in the name of R. Eliezer b. Jacob:

If a man entertains a scholar in his house and lets him enjoy his possessions, Scripture accounts it to him as if he had sacrificed the daily burnt-offering.

R. Jose son of Hanina further said in the name of R. Eliezer b. Jacob:

A man should not stand on a high place when he prays, but he should pray in a lowly place, as it says; Out of the depths have I called Thee, O Lord. It has been taught to the same effect: A man should not stand on a chair or on a footstool or on a high place to pray, but he should pray in a lowly place, since there is no elevation before God, and so it says, 'Out of the depths have I called Thee, O Lord', and it also says, A prayer of the afflicted, when he fainteth.

R. Jose son of R. Hanina also said in the name of R. Eliezer b. Jacob:

When one prays, he should place his feet in proper position, as it says, And their feet were straight feet.

R. Jose son of R. Hanina also said in the name of R. Eliezer b. Jacob:

What is the meaning of the verse, Ye shall not eat with the blood? Do not eat before ye have prayed for your blood.

R. Isaac said in the name of R. Johanan, who had it from R. Jose son of R. Hanina in the name of R. Eliezer b. Jacob:

If one eats and drinks and then says his prayers, of him the Scripture says, And hast cast Me behind thy back. Read not gaweka [thy back], but geeka [thy pride]. Says the Holy One, blessed be He:

After this one has exalted himself, he comes and accepts the kingdom of heaven!



Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel:

The halachah is as stated by R. Joshua.


R. Hisda said in the name of Mar 'Ukba:

Provided he does not say the benediction of 'Who formest the light'. An objection was raised from the statement: He who recites the Shema' later loses nothing; he is like one reading in the Torah, but he says two blessings before it and one after. Is not this a refutation of R. Hisda? It is [indeed] a refutation. Some there are who say:

R. Hisda said in the name of Mar 'Ukba: What is the meaning of HE LOSES NOTHING? He does not lose the benedictions. It has been taught to the same effect:

He who says the Shema' later loses nothing, being like one who reads from the Torah, but he says two blessings before and one after.

R. Mani said:

He who recites the Shema' in its proper time is greater than he who studies the Torah. For since it says, HE WHO SAYS LATER LOSES NOTHING, BEING LIKE A MAN WHO READS IN THE TORAH, we may conclude that one who recites the Shema' at its proper time is superior.








Tractate Berakoth

Folio 11a

GEMARA. Beth Hillel cause no difficulty; they explain their own reason and the reason [why they reject the opinion] of Beth Shammai. But why do not Beth Shammai accept the view of Beth Hillel? — Beth Shammai can reply:

If this is so, let the text say, 'In the morning and in the evening'. Why does it say, 'When thou liest down and when thou risest up'? To show that in the time of lying down there must be actual lying down, and in the time of rising up there must be actual rising up. And how do Beth Shammai explain the words 'And when thou walkest by the way'? — They need it for the following, as has been taught: 'When thou sittest in thy house': this excludes a bridegroom. 'And when thou walkest by the way': this excludes one who is occupied with the performance of a religious duty. Hence they laid down that one who marries a virgin is free [from the obligation to say the Shema' in the evening] while one who marries a widow is bound. How is the lesson5 derived? —

R. Papa said:

[The circumstances must be] like a 'way'. As a 'way' [journey] is optional, so whatever is optional [does not exempt from the obligation]. But does not the text treat [also] of one who is going to perform a religious duty, and even so the All Merciful said that he should recite? — If that were so, the All Merciful should have written [simply], 'While sitting and while walking'. What is the implication of when you sits and when you walks? — In the case of thy sitting and thy walking thou art under the obligation, but in the case of performing a religious duty thou art exempt. If that is so, one who marries a widow should also be exempt? — The one is agitated, the other not. If a state of agitation is the ground, it would apply also the the case of his ship sinking at sea! And should you say, Quite so, why did R. Abba b. Zabda say in the name of Rab:

A mourner is under obligation to perform all the precepts laid down in the Torah except that of the tefillin, because the term 'headtire' is applied to them, as it says, Bind thy headtire upon thee? — In that case the agitation is over a religious duty, here it is over an optional matter.

And Beth Shammai? — They require it to exclude persons on a religious mission. And Beth Hillel?

They reply:

Incidentally it tells you that one recites also by the way.

Our Rabbis taught:

Beth Hillel say that one may recite the Shema' standing, one may recite it sitting, one may recite it reclining, one may recite it walking on the road, one may recite it at one's work. Once R. Ishmael and R. Eleazar b. Azariah were dining at the same place, and R. Ishmael was reclining while R. Eleazar was standing upright. When the time came for reciting the Shema', R. Eleazar reclined and R. Ishmael stood upright.

Said R. Eleazar b. Azariah to R. Ishmael:

Brother Ishmael, I will tell you a parable. To what is this [our conduct] like? It is like that of a man to whom people say, You have a fine beard, and he replies, Let this go to meet the destroyers. So now, with you: as long as I was upright you were reclining, and now that I recline you stand upright!

He replied:

I have acted according to the rule of Beth Hillel and you have acted according to the rule of Beth Shammai. And what Is more, [i had to act thus], lest the disciples should see and fix the halachah so for future generations. What did he mean by 'what is more'? He meant:

Should you argue that Beth Hillel also allow reclining, [i reply that] this is the case only where one was reclining from the first. Here, however, since at first you were upright and now you recline, they may say, This shows that they [both] are of the opinion of Beth Shammai, and perhaps the disciples will see and fix the halachah so for future generations.

R. Ezekiel learnt:

If one follows the rule of Beth Shammai he does right, if one follows the rule of Beth Hillel he does right.

R. Joseph said:

If he follows the rule of Beth Shammai, his action is worthless, as we have learnt:

If a man has his head and the greater part of his body in the sukkah while the table is in the house, Beth Shammai declare his action void, while Beth Hillel declare it valid.

Said Beth Hillel to Beth Shammai:

Once the Elders of Beth Shammai and the Elders of Beth Hillel went to visit R. Johanan b. Ha-horanith, and they found him with his head and the greater part of his body in the sukkah while the table was in the house, and they made no objection.

They replied:

Do you bring a proof from this?

[The fact is that] they also said to him:

If such has been your regular custom, you have never performed the precept of the sukkah in your lifetime.

R. Nahman b. Isaac said:

One who follows the rule of Beth Shammai makes his life forfeit, as we have learnt:





GEMARA. What benedictions does one say [in the morning]?

R. Jacob said in the name of R. Oshaia:

Righteous (Perfect) HaShem (Father) = Faithful (Obedient) Jesus (Son)

Here we see Saint Paul acknowledge the Shema by stating God is One.

Romans 3

3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world may be held accountable to God.

3:20 For no one is declared righteous before him by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.

3:21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God (which is attested by the law and the prophets) has been disclosed

3:22 namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction,

3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

3:24 But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

3:25 God publicly displayed him at his death as the mercy seat accessible through faith. This was to demonstrate his righteousness, because God in his forbearance had passed over the sins previously committed.

3:26 This was also to demonstrate his righteousness in the present time, so that he would be just and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus’ faithfulness.

3:27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded! By what principle? Of works? No, but by the principle of faith!

3:28 For we consider that a person is declared righteous by faith apart from the works of the law.

3:29 Or is God the God of the Jews only? Is he not the God of the Gentiles too? Yes, of the Gentiles too!

3:30 Since God is one, he will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.

3:31 Do we then nullify the law through faith? Absolutely not! Instead we uphold the law.

1 Corinthians 8

8:2 If someone thinks he knows something, he does not yet know to the degree that he needs to know.

8:3 But if someone loves God, he is known by God.

8:4 With regard then to eating food sacrificed to idols, we know that “an idol in this world is nothing,” and that “there is no God but one.”

8:5 If after all there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords),

8:6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we live, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we live.

This is verse that brings diverges Catholics from Jews and Muslims. Through Jesus Christ one encounters the one and only God.

Romans 9

9:1 I speak the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience bearing me testimony in the Holy Spirit,

9:2 that I have great grief and unceasing sorrow in my heart

9:3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,

9:4 who are Israelites, to whom belong the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the religious service, and the promises;

9:5 whose are the fathers, and from whom is Christ according to the flesh: who is over all, God blessed for ever, Amen.


Hashem gives Moses the title of being God when being addressed to Ramses the Pharaoh (name the son of Egyptian God Ra) and his brother Aaron to be his disciple. Paul relates how Hashem gave the title of God to Jesus to mankind and the Apostles to be his disciples.




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The Didache

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;

Here Adonai gives Moses the title of God to Pharoah

Exodus 7

7:1 So the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet.

7:2 You are to speak everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh that he must release the Israelites from his land.

I contacted the the Chabad-Lubavitch Media Center to find out whether the Jewish faith considers Hillel's Golden Rule is equal to the Shema?

Mitzvot are commandments from God and to be intended for the Jewish people to observe.

Hi Luke,

Good to hear from you again!

I believe you are referring to the golden rule of, "that which is hateful to yourself do not do to others", regarding which Hillel said, "This is the entire Torah".

In order to weigh up this statement against the Shema, I think it's necessary first to explain the statement itself, namely, what is so important about love of a fellow Jew, and why is the entire Torah contingent upon that?

One of the explanations is as follows:

A Jew is made up of both body and soul. On the one hand we need to eat, sleep, exercise, and take care of all our bodily needs. In this regard a Jew is human, equal to every other living being.

Together with this however, we possess a second soul, one which is entirely Godly, and whose sole desire is to cleave to God. It is this soul that makes a Jew unique, being that as a result of this soul he has the ability to raise above his bodily needs and desires, and connect himself to something entirely Divine.

Unfortunately, the majority of our day is spent feeding and cultivating the bodily side of us, and the Godly soul gets little attention. It is for this reason that God gave us the Torah with all its Mitzvot, to give us the opportunity to experience our Godly side, and to feel what it means to act Godly. Thus, the entire point of all the Mitzvot is to put aside our bodily needs and to temporarily experience something beyond ourselves, to feel God.

The Mitzvah of loving your fellow as yourself, is an extremely difficult thing to attempt to do. Naturally a person loves himself, and puts his own needs in front of anyone elses. Even if he is to genuinely care for his friend, it is difficult to say that he should love him as himself.

The only way to do so is through experiencing your Godly soul.

Being that all souls are the same, they all come from the same God, all Jewish people are like brothers of the one father. Only when someone manages to put aside all his bodily needs, and no longer judges his fellow based on his external appearance, but rather accesses his soul, and likewise see the soul of his fellow, can he come to truly love him, as himself.

This is what Hillel meant when he said that the entire Torah is merely a commentary on the Mitzvah of loving your fellow.

He didn't mean to weigh up this Mitzvah against all others and see which is more important. Rather he meant, that this Mitzvah achieves exactly what all Mitzvot are here to achieve, namely, the experience of one's Godly soul over his body. If a Jew has true love of his fellow, to the extent that he no longer views him as a body but rather as a soul, he has in effect achieved exactly what the entire Torah was given to achieve.

All the best,

Shaul Wolf


Gilgulei Ha Neshamot describes a Kabbalistic concept of reincarnation. In Hebrew, the word gilgul means "cycle" and neshamot is the plural for "souls." Souls are seen to "cycle" through "lives" or "incarnations", being attached to different human bodies over time. The notion of reincarnation, while held as a mystical belief by some, is not an essential tenet of traditional Judaism. It is not mentioned in traditional classical sources such as the Tanakh ("Hebrew Bible"), the classical rabbinic works (Mishnah and Talmud), or Maimonides' 13 Principles of Faith.


The Tanya is the main work of the Chabad approach to Hasidic mysticism. The Tanya notes that this soul is unique to Jews alone. He cites various verses (Exodus 4:22: "My firstborn son, Israel", Deuteronomy 14:1: "You are children to the LORD your God") showing that Jews are considered God's children, and then links it to a mystical statement that "a child is derived from the brain of his father." It then cites Maimonides (Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah 2:10) who says, "He is the Knowledge, and He is the Knower," thus proving that the Jewish Divine soul is derived from the Divine Thought, which is the same as God Himself.


In Hasidic thought, divine sparks are revealed through the performance of commandments or "mitzvot," (literally, the obligations and prohibitions described in the Torah). One Jewish explanation for the existence of malevolence in the world is that such terrible things are possible with the divine sparks being hidden. Thus there is some urgency to performing mitzvot in order to liberate the hidden sparks and perform a "tikkun olam" (literally, healing of the world). Until then, the world is presided over by the immanent aspect of God, often referred to as the Shekhinah or divine spirit, and in feminine terms. Immanence is a term to explain how the spiritual world permeates our material plane of existence.

Is the "Shekhinah" the "Holy Spirit" in my Christian belief?

Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Sanhedrin

Folio 39a

The Emperor once said to Rabban Gamaliel:

Your God is a thief, for it is written, And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man [Adam] and he slept [and He took one of his ribs etc.] Thereupon his [the Emperor's] daughter said to him:

Leave him to me and I will answer him, and [turning to the Emperor] said: '

Give me a commander.' 'Why do you need him?' asked he. — 'Thieves visited us last night and robbed us of a silver pitcher, leaving a golden one in its place.' 'Would that such visited us every day!' he exclaimed. 'Ah!' she retorted, 'was it not to Adam's gain that he was deprived of a rib and a wife presented to him in its stead to serve him?' He replied: '

This is what I mean:

he should have taken it from him openly.'

Said she to him:

'Let me have a piece of raw meat.' It was given to her. She placed it under her armpit,11 then took it out and offered it to him to eat. 'I find it loathsome,' he exclaimed. 'Even so would she [Eve] have been to Adam had she been taken from him openly,' she retorted.

The Emperor also said to Rabban Gamaliel:

I know what your God is doing, and where He is seated. Rabban Gamaliel became, [as it were] overcome and sighed, and on being asked the reason, answered. 'I have a son in one of the cities of the sea, and I yearn for him. Pray tell me about him.' 'Do I then know where he is,' he replied. 'You do not know what is on earth, and yet [claim to] know what is in heaven!' he retorted.

Again the Emperor said to Rabban Gamaliel:

'It is written, He counteth the number of the stars etc. In what way is that remarkable; I too can count them!' Rabban Gamaliel brought some quinces, put them into a sieve, whirled them around, and said:

'Count them.' 'Keep them still,' he requested. Thereupon Rabban Gamaliel observed, 'But the Heavens revolve so.' Some say that the Emperor spoke thus to him: 'The number of the stars is known to me.' Thereupon Rabban Gamaliel asked him, 'How many molars and [other] teeth have you' Putting his hand to his mouth, he began to count them. Said he to him, 'You know not what is in your mouth and yet wouldst know what is in Heaven!'

Again the Emperor said to Rabban Gamaliel, 'He who created the mountains did not create the wind, for it is written, For lo, there is a former of mountains and creator of wind.' — According to this reasoning, when we find it written of Adam, And He created… and, And he formed:

would you also say that He who created this [one limb] did not create that [another limb]? Further there is a part of the human body just a handbreadth square, which contains two holes, and because it is written, He that planteth ear, shall he not hear; he that formeth the eye, shall he not see? would you maintain there too that He who created the one did not create the other? 'Even so,' he answered. 'Yet,' he [Rabban Gamaliel] rejoined, 'at death both are brought to agree!

A magi once said to Amemar:

From the middle of thy [body] upwards thou belongest to Ormuzd; from the middle downwards, to Ahriman. The latter asked:

Why then does Ahriman permit Ormuzd to send water through his territory?

The Emperor proposed to R. Tanhum, 'Come, let us all be one people.' 'Very Well,' he answered, 'but we who are circumcised cannot possibly become like you; do ye become circumcised and like us.' The Emperor replied:

'You have spoken well; nevertheless, anyone who gets the better of the king [in debate] must be thrown into the vivarium, So they threw him in, but he was not eaten. Thereupon a heretic remarked: 'The reason they did not eat him is that they are not hungry.' They threw him [the heretic] in, and he was eaten.

The Emperor said to Rabban Gamaliel:

'Ye maintain that upon every gathering of ten [Jews] the Shechinah rests:

how many Shechinahs are there then?' Rabban Gamaliel called [Caesar's] servant, and tapped him on the neck, saying, 'Why does the sun enter into Caesar's house?' 'But,' he exclaimed, 'the sun shines upon the whole world!' 'Then if the sun, which is but one of the countless myriads of the servants of the Holy One, blessed be He, shines on the whole world, how much more the Shechinah of the Holy One, blessed be He, Himself!'

A certain Min said to R. Abbahu:

'Your God is a jester, for He said to Ezekiel. Lie down on thy left side, and it is also written, Lie on thy right side.' [Just then] a disciple came and asked him:

'What is the reason for the Sabbatical year?' 'Now,' said R. Abbahu, 'I shall give you an answer which will suit you both equally. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Israel, Sow your seed six years but omit the seventh, that ye may know that the earth is mine. They, however, did not do so, but sinned and were exiled. Now, it is the universal practice that a king of flesh and blood against whom his subjects have rebelled, if he be cruel, kills them all; if merciful, he slays half of them; but if he is exceptionally merciful,37 he only chastises the great ones. So also, the Holy One, blessed be He, afflicted Ezekiel in order to cleanse Israel from their iniquities.'

A certain Min said to R. Abbahu:

Your God is a priest, since it is written, That they take for me Terumah [wave offering]. Now, when He had buried Moses, wherein did He bathe [after contact with the corpse]? Should you reply, 'In water:

is it not written, Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand? — 'He bathed in fire,' he answered, 'for it is written, Behold the Lord will come in fire.' 'Is then purification by fire effective?' 'On the contrary,' he replied, 'bathing [for purposes of purification] should essentially be in fire, for it is written, And all that abideth not the fire ye shall make to go through the water.'

A Min once said to R. Abina:

It is written, And what one nation in the earth is like Thy people, [like] Israel. Wherein lies their superiority: ye too are combined with us, for it is written, All the nations are as nothing before Him?

He answered:

One of yourselves [balaam] has already testified for us, as it is written,

Talmud - Mas. Megilah 29a

It has been taught:

R. Simon b. Yohai said:

Come and see how beloved are Israel in the sight of God, in that to every place to which they were exiled the Shechinah went with them. They were exiled to Egypt and the Shechinah was with them, as it says, Did I reveal myself unto the house of thy father when they were in Egypt. They were exiled to Babylon, and the Shechinah was with them, as it says, for your sake I was sent to Babylon. And when they will be redeemed in the future, the Shechinah will be with them, as it says, Then the Lord thy God will return [with] thy captivity. It does not say here we-heshib [and he shall bring back] but we-shab [and he shall return]. This teaches us that the Holy One, blessed be He, will return with them from the places of exile.

Where [is the Shechinah] in Babylon?-Abaye said:

In the synagogue of Huzal and in the synagogue of Shaf-weyathib in Nehardea. Do not, however, imagine that it is in both places, but it is sometimes in one and sometimes in the other.

Said Abaye:

May I be rewarded because whenever I am within a parasang I go in and pray there.

The father of Samuel and Levi were sitting in the synagogue which ‘moved and settled’ in Nehardea. The Shechinah came and they heard a sound of tumult and rose and went out. R. Shesheth was once sitting in the synagogue which ‘moved and settled’ in Nehardea, when the Shechinah came. He did not go out, and the ministering angels came and threatened him. He turned to him and said:

Sovereign of the Universe, if one is afflicted and one is not afflicted, who gives way to whom? God thereupon said to them:

Leave him

Genesis 1:26 states that God made humans in God's image and after God's likeness. Kabbalists understood this verse literally. If human beings are in the form of an anthropos (human body), and if human beings were made in the image and likeness of God, then God must be an anthropos too.

Exodus 19

19:16 On the third day in the morning there was thunder and lightning and a dense cloud on the mountain, and the sound of a very loud horn; all the people who were in the camp trembled.

19:17 Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their place at the foot of the mountain.

19:18 Now Mount Sinai was completely covered with smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire, and its smoke went up like the smoke of a great furnace, and the whole mountain shook violently.

1 Kings 8

8:10 Once the priests left the holy place, a cloud filled the Lord’s temple.

8:11 The priests could not carry out their duties because of the cloud; the Lord’s glory filled his temple.

Ezekiel 8

8:1 In the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth of the month, as I was sitting in my house with the elders of Judah sitting in front of me, the hand of the sovereign Lord seized me.

8:2 As I watched, I noticed a form that appeared to be a man. From his waist downward was something like fire, and from his waist upward something like a brightness, like an amber glow.

8:3 He stretched out the form of a hand and grabbed me by a lock of hair on my head. Then a wind lifted me up between the earth and sky and brought me to Jerusalem by means of divine visions, to the door of the inner gate which faces north where the statue which provokes to jealousy was located.

8:4 Then I perceived that the glory of the God of Israel was there, as in the vision I had seen earlier in the valley.

8:5 He said to me, “Son of man, look up toward the north.” So I looked up toward the north, and I noticed to the north of the altar gate was this statue of jealousy at the entrance.

8:6 He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing – the great abominations that the people of Israel are practicing here, to drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see greater abominations than these!”

8:7 He brought me to the entrance of the court, and as I watched, I noticed a hole in the wall.

8:8 He said to me, “Son of man, dig into the wall.” So I dug into the wall and discovered a doorway.

8:9 He said to me, “Go in and see the evil abominations they are practicing here.

8:10 So I went in and looked. I noticed every figure of creeping thing and beast – detestable images – and every idol of the house of Israel, engraved on the wall all around.

8:11 Seventy men from the elders of the house of Israel (with Jaazaniah son of Shaphan standing among them) were standing in front of them, each with a censer in his hand, and fragrant vapors from a cloud of incense were swirling upward.

8:12 He said to me, “Do you see, son of man, what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in the chamber of his idolatrous images? For they think, ‘The Lord does not see us! The Lord has abandoned the land!’”

8:13 He said to me, “You will see them practicing even greater abominations!”

8:14 Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the Lord’s house. I noticed women sitting there weeping for Tammuz.

8:15 He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? You will see even greater abominations than these!”

8:16 Then he brought me to the inner court of the Lord’s house. Right there at the entrance to the Lord’s temple, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs to the Lord’s temple, facing east – they were worshiping the sun toward the east!

8:17 He said to me, “Do you see, son of man? Is it a trivial thing that the house of Judah commits these abominations they are practicing here? For they have filled the land with violence and provoked me to anger still further. Look, they are putting the branch to their nose!

8:18 Therefore I will act with fury! My eye will not pity them nor will I spare them. When they have shouted in my ears, I will not listen to them.

9:1 Then he shouted in my ears, “Approach, you who are to visit destruction on the city, each with his destructive weapon in his hand!”

9:2 Next, I noticed six men coming from the direction of the upper gate which faces north, each with his war club in his hand. Among them was a man dressed in linen with a writing kit at his side. They came and stood beside the bronze altar.

9:3 Then the glory of the God of Israel went up from the cherub where it had rested to the threshold of the temple. He called to the man dressed in linen who had the writing kit at his side.

9:4 The Lord said to him, “Go through the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of the people who moan and groan over all the abominations practiced in it.”

9:5 While I listened, he said to the others, “Go through the city after him and strike people down; do no let your eye pity nor spare anyone!

9:6 Old men, young men, young women, little children, and women – wipe them out! But do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary!” So they began with the elders who were at the front of the temple.

9:7 He said to them, “Defile the temple and fill the courtyards with corpses. Go!” So they went out and struck people down throughout the city.

9:8 While they were striking them down, I was left alone, and I threw myself face down and cried out, “Ah, sovereign Lord! Will you destroy the entire remnant of Israel when you pour out your fury on Jerusalem?”

9:9 He said to me, “The sin of the house of Israel and Judah is extremely great; the land is full of murder, and the city is full of corruption, for they say, ‘The Lord has abandoned the land, and the Lord does not see!’

9:10 But as for me, my eye will not pity them nor will I spare them; I hereby repay them for what they have done."

9:11 Next I noticed the man dressed in linen with the writing kit at his side bringing back word: “I have done just as you commanded me."

10:1 As I watched, I saw on the platform above the top of the cherubim something like a sapphire, resembling the shape of a throne, appearing above them.

10:2 The Lord said to the man dressed in linen, “Go between the wheelwork 4 underneath the cherubim. Fill your hands with burning coals from among the cherubim and scatter them over the city.” He went as I watched.

10:3 (The cherubim were standing on the south side of the temple when the man went in, and a cloud filled the inner court.)

10:4 Then the glory of the Lord arose from the cherub and moved to the threshold of the temple. The temple was filled with the cloud while the court was filled with the brightness of the Lord’s glory.

10:5 The sound of the wings of the cherubim could be heard from the outer court, like the sound of the sovereign God when he speaks.

10:6 When the Lord commanded the man dressed in linen, “Take fire from within the wheelwork, from among the cherubim,” the man went in and stood by one of the wheels.

10:7 Then one of the cherubim stretched out his hand toward the fire which was among the cherubim. He took some and put it into the hands of the man dressed in linen, who took it and left.

10:8 (The cherubim appeared to have the form of human hands under their wings.)

10:9 As I watched, I noticed four wheels by the cherubim, one wheel beside each cherub; the wheels gleamed like jasper.

10:10 As for their appearance, all four of them looked the same, something like a wheel within a wheel.

10:11 When they moved, they would go in any of the four directions they faced without turning as they moved; in the direction the head would turn they would follow without turning as they moved,

10:12 along with their entire bodies, their backs, their hands, and their wings. The wheels of the four of them were full of eyes all around.

10:13 As for their wheels, they were called “the wheelwork” as I listened.

10:14 Each of the cherubim had four faces: The first was the face of a cherub, the second that of a man, the third that of a lion, and the fourth that of an eagle.

10:15 The cherubim rose up; these were the living beings I saw at the Kebar River.

10:16 When the cherubim moved, the wheels moved beside them; when the cherubim spread their wings to rise from the ground, the wheels did not move from their side.

10:17 When the cherubim stood still, the wheels stood still, and when they rose up, the wheels rose up with them, for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels.

10:18 Then the glory of the Lord moved away from the threshold of the temple and stopped above the cherubim.

10:19 The cherubim spread their wings, and they rose up from the earth 33 while I watched (when they went the wheels went alongside them). They stopped at the entrance to the east gate of the Lord’s temple as the glory of the God of Israel hovered above them.

10:20 These were the living creatures which I saw at the Kebar River underneath the God of Israel; I knew that they were cherubim.

10:21 Each had four faces; each had four wings and the form of human hands under the wings.

10:22 As for the form of their faces, they were the faces whose appearance I had seen at the Kebar River. Each one moved straight ahead.

Is Jesus is the Shechinah or the Holy Spirit? In the Bible, the Shechinah is the visible manifestation of the glory of God in which He descends to dwell among us. Jesus would fit that description, but not in the feminine Jewish use of the word.

Talmud - Masilah Yoma 56b

Our Rabbis taught:

And so shall he do for the tent of meeting.

What does that come to teach? That as he sprinkles in the Holy of Holies, thus must he sprinkle in the Hekal, i.e., just as in the Holy of Holies he sprinkles once upward and seven times downward, from the blood of the bullock, thus shall he sprinkle in the Hekal. That dwelleth with them in the midst of their uncleanness i.e., even when they are unclean, the Divine Presence (Shechinah) is among them.

It appears like the Holy Spirit, Shechinah is not clearly defined in the Jewish community. Jweekly.com has a good article on the subject.

Traditionalists mostly interpret the Shechinah, which is derived from the Hebrew word meaning "to dwell," as a term that means God's presence or omnipresence.

Daniel Matt, a scholar in Jewish mysticism who has spent years translating the Zohar, the major kabbalistic work, observes that the Shechinah is one of the three themes of that biblical commentary dating from the second century.

"All names for God are inadequate," says Matt, a Berkeley resident who for 20 years was a professor at Graduate Theological Union, "but if you're going to describe the Divine, then the masculine depiction must be balanced by the feminine."

Biblically, the Shechinah does not incorporate gender, but according to Biale, author of "Eros and the Jews," the Kabbalah gives it a gender and makes it the "part of God that mediates between God and the world."

There are "a number of scholars that believe that the development of this feminine aspect of God in the 13th century was a response to the cult of the Virgin Mary in medieval Europe," he says. "But the Shechinah is not a virgin. In the Kabbalistic mythology, the Shechinah is represented as being in the form of sexual intercourse with the male God. It's extremely erotic in its treatment of spherot, different aspects or emanations of God."

Rabbi Leah Novick, a traveling spiritual adviser on the West Coast who lives in Carmel, differs.

That representation, she maintains, depicts the "fear of the female asserting itself and vetoing both spirituality and logic. [The] Shekhinah's penetration by the forces of evil makes her the equivalent of the raped woman who is now defiled and unable to continue in her legitimate role."

Novick adds that this demonization of the Shechinah shows itself in negative human psychological states such as rage and violence, and stems from being "cut off from the feminine, both Divine and human."

It is not unusual that interpretations of the Shechinah be rife with sexuality. Take Leonard Nimoy's published book of photographs, "Shekhina," depicting scantily clad women using Jewish ritual objects. Some find the volume offensive, but Nimoy, most famous for his portrayal of Mr. Spock on "Star Trek," says he used the book as a "quest for insight, the exploration of my own spirituality."

Shekhina by Leonard Nimoy


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The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;

A young priest took the time to reacquaint me with today's modern catechism for Catholics. With the grace of our Lord, I will do my best to contrast with the Didache.





I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them.

It is written: "You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve."


2084 God makes himself known by recalling his all-powerful loving, and liberating action in the history of the one he addresses: "I brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." The first word contains the first commandment of the Law: "You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve him. . . . You shall not go after other gods." God's first call and just demand is that man accept him and worship him.

2085 The one and true God first reveals his glory to Israel. The revelation of the vocation and truth of man is linked to the revelation of God. Man's vocation is to make God manifest by acting in conformity with his creation "in the image and likeness of God":

There will never be another God, Trypho, and there has been no other since the world began . . . than he who made and ordered the universe. We do not think that our God is different from yours. He is the same who brought your fathers out of Egypt "by his powerful hand and his outstretched arm." We do not place our hope in some other god, for there is none, but in the same God as you do: the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

2086 "The first commandment embraces faith, hope, and charity. When we say 'God' we confess a constant, unchangeable being, always the same, faithful and just, without any evil. It follows that we must necessarily accept his words and have complete faith in him and acknowledge his authority. He is almighty, merciful, and infinitely beneficent. Who could not place all hope in him? Who could not love him when contemplating the treasures of goodness and love he has poured out on us? Hence the formula God employs in the Scripture at the beginning and end of his commandments: 'I am the LORD.'"


2087 Our moral life has its source in faith in God who reveals his love to us. St. Paul speaks of the "obedience of faith" as our first obligation. He shows that "ignorance of God" is the principle and explanation of all moral deviations. Our duty toward God is to believe in him and to bear witness to him.

2088 The first commandment requires us to nourish and protect our faith with prudence and vigilance, and to reject everything that is opposed to it. There are various ways of sinning against faith:

Voluntary doubt about the faith disregards or refuses to hold as true what God has revealed and the Church proposes for belief. Involuntary doubt refers to hesitation in believing, difficulty in overcoming objections connected with the faith, or also anxiety aroused by its obscurity. If deliberately cultivated doubt can lead to spiritual blindness.

2089 Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. "Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him."

* Hope

2090 When God reveals Himself and calls him, man cannot fully respond to the divine love by his own powers. He must hope that God will give him the capacity to love Him in return and to act in conformity with the commandments of charity. Hope is the confident expectation of divine blessing and the beatific vision of God; it is also the fear of offending God's love and of incurring punishment.

2091 The first commandment is also concerned with sins against hope, namely, despair and presumption:

By despair, man ceases to hope for his personal salvation from God, for help in attaining it or for the forgiveness of his sins. Despair is contrary to God's goodness, to his justice - for the Lord is faithful to his promises - and to his mercy.

2092 There are two kinds of presumption. Either man presumes upon his own capacities, (hoping to be able to save himself without help from on high), or he presumes upon God's almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit).

* Charity

2093 Faith in God's love encompasses the call and the obligation to respond with sincere love to divine charity. The first commandment enjoins us to love God above everything and all creatures for him and because of him.

2094 One can sin against God's love in various ways:

- indifference neglects or refuses to reflect on divine charity; it fails to consider its prevenient goodness and denies its power.

- ingratitude fails or refuses to acknowledge divine charity and to return him love for love.

- lukewarmness is hesitation or negligence in responding to divine love; it can imply refusal to give oneself over to the prompting of charity.

- acedia or spiritual sloth goes so far as to refuse the joy that comes from God and to be repelled by divine goodness.

- hatred of God comes from pride. It is contrary to love of God, whose goodness it denies, and whom it presumes to curse as the one who forbids sins and inflicts punishments.


2095 The theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity inform and give life to the moral virtues. Thus charity leads us to render to God what we as creatures owe him in all justice. The virtue of religion disposes us to have this attitude.

* Adoration

2096 Adoration is the first act of the virtue of religion. To adore God is to acknowledge him as God, as the Creator and Savior, the Lord and Master of everything that exists, as infinite and merciful Love. "You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve," says Jesus, citing Deuteronomy.

2097 To adore God is to acknowledge, in respect and absolute submission, the "nothingness of the creature" who would not exist but for God. To adore God is to praise and exalt him and to humble oneself, as Mary did in the Magnificat, confessing with gratitude that he has done great things and holy is his name. The worship of the one God sets man free from turning in on himself, from the slavery of sin and the idolatry of the world.

* Prayer

2098 The acts of faith, hope, and charity enjoined by the first commandment are accomplished in prayer. Lifting up the mind toward God is an expression of our adoration of God: prayer of praise and thanksgiving, intercession and petition. Prayer is an indispensable condition for being able to obey God's commandments. "[We] ought always to pray and not lose heart."


2099 It is right to offer sacrifice to God as a sign of adoration and gratitude, supplication and communion: "Every action done so as to cling to God in communion of holiness, and thus achieve blessedness, is a true sacrifice."

2100 Outward sacrifice, to be genuine, must be the expression of spiritual sacrifice: "The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit. . . . " The prophets of the Old Covenant often denounced sacrifices that were not from the heart or not coupled with love of neighbor. Jesus recalls the words of the prophet Hosea: "I desire mercy, and not sacrifice." The only perfect sacrifice is the one that Christ offered on the cross as a total offering to the Father's love and for our salvation. By uniting ourselves with his sacrifice we can make our lives a sacrifice to God.

Promises and vows

2101 In many circumstances, the Christian is called to make promises to God. Baptism and Confirmation, Matrimony and Holy Orders always entail promises. Out of personal devotion, the Christian may also promise to God this action, that prayer, this alms-giving, that pilgrimage, and so forth. Fidelity to promises made to God is a sign of the respect owed to the divine majesty and of love for a faithful God.

2102 "A vow is a deliberate and free promise made to God concerning a possible and better good which must be fulfilled by reason of the virtue of religion," A vow is an act of devotion in which the Christian dedicates himself to God or promises him some good work. By fulfilling his vows he renders to God what has been promised and consecrated to Him. The Acts of the Apostles shows us St. Paul concerned to fulfill the vows he had made.

2103 The Church recognizes an exemplary value in the vows to practice the evangelical counsels:

Mother Church rejoices that she has within herself many men and women who pursue the Savior's self-emptying more closely and show it forth more clearly, by undertaking poverty with the freedom of the children of God, and renouncing their own will: they submit themselves to man for the sake of God, thus going beyond what is of precept in the matter of perfection, so as to conform themselves more fully to the obedient Christ.

The Church can, in certain cases and for proportionate reasons, dispense from vows and promises25

The social duty of religion and the right to religious freedom

2104 "All men are bound to seek the truth, especially in what concerns God and his Church, and to embrace it and hold on to it as they come to know it." This duty derives from "the very dignity of the human person." It does not contradict a "sincere respect" for different religions which frequently "reflect a ray of that truth which enlightens all men," nor the requirement of charity, which urges Christians "to treat with love, prudence and patience those who are in error or ignorance with regard to the faith."

2105 The duty of offering God genuine worship concerns man both individually and socially. This is "the traditional Catholic teaching on the moral duty of individuals and societies toward the true religion and the one Church of Christ." By constantly evangelizing men, the Church works toward enabling them "to infuse the Christian spirit into the mentality and mores, laws and structures of the communities in which [they] live." The social duty of Christians is to respect and awaken in each man the love of the true and the good. It requires them to make known the worship of the one true religion which subsists in the Catholic and apostolic Church. Christians are called to be the light of the world. Thus, the Church shows forth the kingship of Christ over all creation and in particular over human societies.

2106 "Nobody may be forced to act against his convictions, nor is anyone to be restrained from acting in accordance with his conscience in religious matters in private or in public, alone or in association with others, within due limits." This right is based on the very nature of the human person, whose dignity enables him freely to assent to the divine truth which transcends the temporal order. For this reason it "continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it."

2107 "If because of the circumstances of a particular people special civil recognition is given to one religious community in the constitutional organization of a state, the right of all citizens and religious communities to religious freedom must be recognized and respected as well."

2108 The right to religious liberty is neither a moral license to adhere to error, nor a supposed right to error, but rather a natural right of the human person to civil liberty, i.e., immunity, within just limits, from external constraint in religious matters by political authorities. This natural right ought to be acknowledged in the juridical order of society in such a way that it constitutes a civil right.

2109 The right to religious liberty can of itself be neither unlimited nor limited only by a "public order" conceived in a positivist or naturalist manner. The "due limits" which are inherent in it must be determined for each social situation by political prudence, according to the requirements of the common good, and ratified by the civil authority in accordance with "legal principles which are in conformity with the objective moral order."


2110 The first commandment forbids honoring gods other than the one Lord who has revealed himself to his people. It proscribes superstition and irreligion. Superstition in some sense represents a perverse excess of religion; irreligion is the vice contrary by defect to the virtue of religion.


2111 Superstition is the deviation of religious feeling and of the practices this feeling imposes. It can even affect the worship we offer the true God, e.g., when one attributes an importance in some way magical to certain practices otherwise lawful or necessary. To attribute the efficacy of prayers or of sacramental signs to their mere external performance, apart from the interior dispositions that they demand, is to fall into superstition.41


2112 The first commandment condemns polytheism. It requires man neither to believe in, nor to venerate, other divinities than the one true God. Scripture constantly recalls this rejection of "idols, [of] silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see." These empty idols make their worshippers empty:

"Those who make them are like them; so are all who trust in them." God, however, is the "living God" who gives life and intervenes in history.

2113 Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, "You cannot serve God and mammon." Many martyrs died for not adoring "the Beast" refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God.

2114 Human life finds its unity in the adoration of the one God. The commandment to worship the Lord alone integrates man and saves him from an endless disintegration. Idolatry is a perversion of man's innate religious sense. An idolater is someone who "transfers his indestructible notion of God to anything other than God."

Divination and magic

2115 God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints. Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future, and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvidence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility.

2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.

2117 All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one's service and have a supernatural power over others - even if this were for the sake of restoring their health - are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another's credulity.


2118 God's first commandment condemns the main sins of irreligion: tempting God, in words or deeds, sacrilege, and simony.

2119 Tempting God consists in putting his goodness and almighty power to the test by word or deed. Thus Satan tried to induce Jesus to throw himself down from the Temple and, by this gesture, force God to act. Jesus opposed Satan with the word of God: "You shall not put the LORD your God to the test." The challenge contained in such tempting of God wounds the respect and trust we owe our Creator and Lord. It always harbors doubt about his love, his providence, and his power.

2120 Sacrilege consists in profaning or treating unworthily the sacraments and other liturgical actions, as well as persons, things, or places consecrated to God. Sacrilege is a grave sin especially when committed against the Eucharist, for in this sacrament the true Body of Christ is made substantially present for us.

2121 Simony is defined as the buying or selling of spiritual things. To Simon the magician, who wanted to buy the spiritual power he saw at work in the apostles, St. Peter responded: "Your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain God's gift with money!" Peter thus held to the words of Jesus: "You received without pay, give without pay." It is impossible to appropriate to oneself spiritual goods and behave toward them as their owner or master, for they have their source in God. One can receive them only from him, without payment.

2122 The minister should ask nothing for the administration of the sacraments beyond the offerings defined by the competent authority, always being careful that the needy are not deprived of the help of the sacraments because of their poverty." The competent authority determines these "offerings" in accordance with the principle that the Christian people ought to contribute to the support of the Church's ministers. "The laborer deserves his food."


2123 "Many . . . of our contemporaries either do not at all perceive, or explicitly reject, this intimate and vital bond of man to God. Atheism must therefore be regarded as one of the most serious problems of our time."

2124 The name "atheism" covers many very different phenomena. One common form is the practical materialism which restricts its needs and aspirations to space and time. Atheistic humanism falsely considers man to be "an end to himself, and the sole maker, with supreme control, of his own history." Another form of contemporary atheism looks for the liberation of man through economic and social liberation. "It holds that religion, of its very nature, thwarts such emancipation by raising man's hopes in a future life, thus both deceiving him and discouraging him from working for a better form of life on earth."

2125 Since it rejects or denies the existence of God, atheism is a sin against the virtue of religion. The imputability of this offense can be significantly diminished in virtue of the intentions and the circumstances. "Believers can have more than a little to do with the rise of atheism. To the extent that they are careless about their instruction in the faith, or present its teaching falsely, or even fail in their religious, moral, or social life, they must be said to conceal rather than to reveal the true nature of God and of religion."

2126 Atheism is often based on a false conception of human autonomy, exaggerated to the point of refusing any dependence on God. Yet, "to acknowledge God is in no way to oppose the dignity of man, since such dignity is grounded and brought to perfection in God. . . . " "For the Church knows full well that her message is in harmony with the most secret desires of the human heart."


2127 Agnosticism assumes a number of forms. In certain cases the agnostic refrains from denying God; instead he postulates the existence of a transcendent being which is incapable of revealing itself, and about which nothing can be said. In other cases, the agnostic makes no judgment about God's existence, declaring it impossible to prove, or even to affirm or deny.

2128 Agnosticism can sometimes include a certain search for God, but it can equally express indifferentism, a flight from the ultimate question of existence, and a sluggish moral conscience. Agnosticism is all too often equivalent to practical atheism.


2129 The divine injunction included the prohibition of every representation of God by the hand of man. Deuteronomy explains: "Since you saw no form on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, beware lest you act corruptly by making a graven image for yourselves, in the form of any figure. . . . "It is the absolutely transcendent God who revealed himself to Israel. "He is the all," but at the same time "he is greater than all his works." He is "the author of beauty."

2130 Nevertheless, already in the Old Testament, God ordained or permitted the making of images that pointed symbolically toward salvation by the incarnate Word: so it was with the bronze serpent, the ark of the covenant, and the cherubim.

2131 Basing itself on the mystery of the incarnate Word, the seventh ecumenical council at Nicaea justified against the iconoclasts the veneration of icons - of Christ, but also of the Mother of God, the angels, and all the saints. By becoming incarnate, the Son of God introduced a new "economy" of images.

2132 The Christian veneration of images is not contrary to the first commandment which proscribes idols. Indeed, "the honor rendered to an image passes to its prototype," and "whoever venerates an image venerates the person portrayed in it." The honor paid to sacred images is a "respectful veneration," not the adoration due to God alone:

Religious worship is not directed to images in themselves, considered as mere things, but under their distinctive aspect as images leading us on to God incarnate. The movement toward the image does not terminate in it as image, but tends toward that whose image it is.


2133 "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your strength" (Deut 6:5).

2134 The first commandment summons man to believe in God, to hope in him, and to love him above all else.

2135 "You shall worship the Lord your God" (Mt 4:10). Adoring God, praying to him, offering him the worship that belongs to him, fulfilling the promises and vows made to him are acts of the virtue of religion which fall under obedience to the first commandment.

2136 The duty to offer God authentic worship concerns man both as an individual and as a social being.

2137 "Men of the present day want to profess their religion freely in private and in public" (DH 15).

2138 Superstition is a departure from the worship that we give to the true God. It is manifested in idolatry, as well as in various forms of divination and magic.

2139 Tempting God in words or deeds, sacrilege, and simony are sins of irreligion forbidden by the first commandment.

2140 Since it rejects or denies the existence of God, atheism is a sin against the first commandment.

2141 The veneration of sacred images is based on the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word of God. It is not contrary to the first commandment.

Through prayer I am searching for Saint Paul's views on the Shema and obedience of faith. People of the Jewish and Islamic faith have the hardest time with his comments.

Romans 1

1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

1:17 For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live."

1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness,

1:19 because what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.

1:20 For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse.

1:21 For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened.

1:22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools

1:23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.

1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor their bodies among themselves.

1:25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

1:26 For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones,

1:27 and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed in their passions for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

1:28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done.

1:29 They are filled with every kind of unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, malice. They are rife with envy, murder, strife, deceit, hostility. They are gossips,

1:30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, contrivers of all sorts of evil, disobedient to parents,

1:31 senseless, covenant-breakers, heartless, ruthless.

1:32 Although they fully know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but also approve of those who practice them.

Could Paul have gotten his idea of faith from Habakkuk?

Habakkuk 2

2:4 Look, the one whose desires are not upright will faint from exhaustion,

but the person of integrity will live because of his faithfulness.

2:5 Indeed, wine will betray the proud, restless man!

His appetite is as big as Sheol’s;

like death, he is never satisfied.

He gathers all the nations;

he seizes all peoples.

Hebrew Midrash - Exodus Rabba

How beautiful were the simple life and faith of the Patriarchs and their submission to the Divine will. To Abraham God said, "Lift up thine eyes and look from the place where thou art, northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which thou sees, to thee will I give it and to thy seed forever." Yet when he needed a sepulcher for his beloved Sarah he could get none until he bought it from Ephron; but he murmured not. Isaac, too, was told, "Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee, and unto thy seed I will give all these countries." But when he dug for water the herdsmen of Gerar disputed with his herdsmen for the water which they found, and he was obliged to seek another place, and do over again the work which had been expended in vain in Gerar. Then again Jacob was told the land upon which he lay should be given to him and to his seed forever, etc. When, however, he wanted to pitch his tent in the city of Shechem in the land of Canaan he had to purchase a "parcel of the field" upon which his tent was spread for a hundred pieces of money. There was no murmuring on the part of these simple and holy men, who knew well that God would carry out his promises to them in his own good time.

There is not a word in Holy Writ without its purpose. In the statement that "Aaron took him Elishaba, the daughter of Aminadab, sister of Nachshon, to wife," the addition of the brother's name is apparently superfluous. But in truth its purpose is to caution the would-be Benedick to inquire of the character and disposition of the brothers of her whom he intends to marry, since most sons take after the character and disposition of their mother's brothers.

When Moses was performing the miracles in Egypt to convince the Egyptians that he was the messenger of God, Pharaoh simply ridiculed him and asked him ironically, "Art thou bringing straw to Eprayne (where there was plenty)? Art thou not aware that the Egyptians are past masters in magic? People usually take their wares to places where they are scarce. Here children of four or five years of age can work this sort of conjuring." And he actually had some children brought out of school, and they and Pharaoh's wife performed similar works to those of Moses. "Is he a wise man," continued Pharaoh, "who carries muria (a sort of salt) to Spain or fish to Acco?" Moses refrained from controversy, but merely replied, "Where there is the market of greenstuff there I take my greenstuff."

When praying on behalf of Pharaoh to remove the plague of hail from him, Moses went out of the town to do so (Exod. ix; 20), because he would not pray in the midst of the idols and abominations that polluted the place and rendered it unfit for prayer to the throne of mercy. He went into the open, pure air of God to pray to God.

Even from such hardened sinners as Pharaoh and the Egyptians God did not withhold the opportunity of mending their ways. Before a plague visited them Moses was charged to warn them of its coming, to-morrow, if they remained obdurate.

Behold God as a pleader as well as an accuser. Whilst he complains of a sinful nation (Isa. i. 4) he pleads "Open ye the gates that a righteous nation may enter" (Isa. xxvi. 2). Again, designating Israel as a people laden with iniquity, he yet condescends to say, "Thy people are all righteous" (Isa. lx. 21). Though declaring them to be children that are corrupted, he calls them "children taught of the Lord" (Isa. liv. 13). Whilst they are "a seed of evil-doers," he says, "their seed shall be known amongst the heathen" (Isa. lxi. 9). Again they are told, "When you make many prayers I will not hear." Yet he assures us (Isa. lxv. 24) "Before they call I will answer." Whilst declaring that our new moons and our feasts his soul hates, he invites us to come and prostrate ourselves before him on new moons and Sabbaths.

The rite of proclaiming and sanctifying the month at the appearance of the new moon is traced back to the time of the Exodus, when Nisson was placed at the head of the months. The ceremony was of the same importance as are dates in legal documents and in evidence, and the month only began when it had been proclaimed by the representative of the community.

Water, air, and fire were created before the world; the water begat darkness, the fire begat light, the spirit or air begat wisdom, and with these the world is always governed, viz., wind, fire, wisdom, light, darkness, and water.

For the purpose of effecting Israel's redemption God did not disdain to appear in a place where there were images of idols or other impurities.

The kingdom of Greece was a terror to the world, but Mattathias the priest, with faith and not with weapons, boldly met the terror and defeated it.

"Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the woman?" (Song, vi. 10). She is no other than Esther, who, like the morning star, was the light brought to Israel in the dark days of Media. "Clear as the sun and terrible as an army with banners" (Song, vi. 10): these were no other than Mattathias the high priest and his sons, who like an army with their banners stood up against the evil power of Greece, from which every power fled as one flees from the strength of the mid-day sun. Their army and their banners were faith in their God; they were stimulated by the words of the prophet (Joel iv. 6-10), "The children of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians . . . Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning-hooks into spears; let the weak say, I am strong."

Certain commandments were given to Israelites exclusively; and these are mostly known by the word likom (to you). The observance of the Passover in the mouth of Nisson (Exod. xii.): Not to make graven images (Lev. xxvi.): To be just in judgment (Hosea v.): Righteousness and charity (Deut. xxiv.): To be merciful and compassionate (Deut. xiii.): Sabbatical years and Jubilees (Lev. xxv.): and various others (Deut. xi.), tithes, concerning the First-born (Deut. xiv.), Sacrifices (Exod. xx.), Fringes (Numb. xv.), Festivals (Lev. xxiii.), Atonement Day, etc. On the other hand there are special gifts, viz.: God's blessings (Lev. xxv. and Numb. vi.), Palestine (Lev. xxv.), the Torah (Prov. iii.), and Light (Isa. Ix.).

The reconstruction of the calendar, as far as the months are concerned, Nisson having taken the place of Tishri, as the head of the months, at the Exodus, was but in proper keeping with things. A king proclaimed the day of the birth of his son as a holiday; the son was taken captive and enslaved, but eventually set free. The day of his freedom was henceforth ordered to be observed as the holiday, instead of the day of his birth. Thus God distinguished the month when. his son, Israel, was set free from thraldom, and crowned it as henceforth the first or head of the months.

There is a remedy for every sin, viz., prayer and repentance; but there are three grievous sins for which there seems to be no expiation, and these are murder, idolatry, and adultery. If therefore one says to you, "Let us go and murder, and we shall escape punishment," beware of what was said even in the early days of the world's existence, before the Torah was given: "He that sheds man's blood, through man his blood shall be shed." If you are enticed to commit adultery and are perhaps persuaded that you can atone for it, flee from the very thought. The two laws, the one appertaining to the Nazirite and the one concerning a woman suspected of misconduct, are advisedly placed side by side because of their affinity to each other. The Nazirite, for instance, who takes upon himself to abstain from wine, is told that he is not permitted to partake of the very fruit that produces intoxicants, so that the good resolution may not be frustrated, which would probably be the case were he to indulge in the tasting of the grape. Remember that a woman also is mentioned as a fruitful vine, so that a woman's and your own conduct should be like that prescribed for the Nazirite. Do not say, I will guard myself against so great an offense as actual adultery, but there can be no harm in say, kissing, embracing, or caressing and fondling my neighbor's wife. Bear in mind that the Nazirite's resolution not to partake of wine was supplemented by the prohibition of partaking of the fruit that produces wine. "Can a man take fire in his bosom," says the wise king, "and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals and his feet not be scorched? So he that goeth to his neighbor's wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent" (Prov. vi.). If again you are persuaded to commit the very grievous sin of idolatry, let these serious words ever be before you: "He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the Eternal only, he shall be utterly destroyed" (Exod. xxii. 20). And not only are we prohibited the worship of a strange god, but all accessories of such worship are forbidden, even for the purpose of medicine, such as using some of the incense for a medicine, or any of the groves for any purpose whatsoever. We are told, "And there shall cleave naught of the cursed thing to thine hand" (Deut. xiii. 17); "Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it" (Deut. vii. 26).

There is in heaven an accuser and a defender of man; the name of the former is Semoel and that of the latter Michael.

Onkeles, who became a convert to Judaism, complained to the Rabbis that God's love for converts only went to the extent of giving them bread and raiment (Deut. x. 18): "You have now joined the house of Israel," replied one rabbi, "and you should bear in mind that Israel (Jacob) asked the lord only to give him bread to eat and raiment to put on, and therefore you might be contented with the promise to give you spontaneously what Israel had to petition for." "More than this," added another of the wise men, "the bread and raiment mentioned are not to be taken in their literal sense only, for since you have entered the folds of God's people you are not precluded from eating the showbread and having for your raiment the, priestly garments."

God may be regarded as saying to would-be proselytes: "Perhaps you may hesitate to come within my fold because I have put a stigma on you by enacting, in connection with the Passover lamb, 'No stranger shall eat thereof.' Inquire, then, of the Gibeonites who were received within the pale of the Israelites by practicing fraud and because they feared earthly evil; yet I punished Saul and his household because they did not deal kindly with the Gibeonites (2 Sam. xxi.). If I valued the Gibeonites' conversion, how much more will I be pleased with those who seek to come under the banner of my law, not out of bodily fear but from motives of the higher life."

When, at the Exodus, Moses was anxious to take up Joseph's bones for interment in Palestine, Serach the daughter of Asher was still living, and she pointed out the spot of Joseph's sepulcher.

Honor the physician so long as you do not require his skill.

David advisedly calls one of his Psalms (Psalm xc.) "A prayer of Moses, the man of God," and another Psalm (Psalm cii.) he names "A prayer of the afflicted," to convey to us the truth that the prayer of the greatest and of the most humble of men, that of the richest and that of the poorest, of the slave and of the master, are equal before God.

Prayers should be said in common, master and man, mistress and maid, rich and poor together, for all are equal before God.

By Isaac's blessings Esau became the possessor of the power of the hand, and he made good use of it. When the Israelites intended passing his country he warned them of his handy sword (Numb. xx.). Not less does Jacob (i.e., Israel) appreciate his power of the voice, i.e., prayer. There will come a time when each will take the full benefit of the power possessed by him. Esau's is predicted in the thirty-fourth chapter of Isaiah, and that of Israel in the thirty-third chapter of Jeremiah.

The approach of Pharaoh on the shores of the Red Sea was worth a hundred fast days and a hundred formal or ordinary prayers. It caused the Israelites to lift up their hearts and eyes in trust and sincerity to their heavenly Father, to whom they prayed and to whom they looked for help.

If your hands are stained by dishonesty, your prayers will be polluted and impure, and an offense to him to whom you direct them. Do not pray at all before you have your hands purified from every dishonest act.

With all their professed faith, in Egypt, there was no real faith in the Israelites until they saw God's wonders on the Red Sea. Prompted by that faith they were enabled to compose and sing the exquisite song of praise.

The song of praise that Israel offered on the Red Sea was pleasing to God as an outburst of real gratitude. There had, indeed, been no such praise offered to God since creation. Adam, formed out of dust and put above all creation, omitted to praise the Creator for the dignity conferred on him. Even Abraham, rescued from the fiery furnace and made conqueror of the kings he pursued, or Isaac when delivered by the message of God from the knife, or Jacob when he resisted the attacking angel, withstood the enmity of Esau and the men of Shechem, not one was prompted to offer hymns to God for his protecting power and deliverance. It was left to the poor enslaved and oppressed Israelites, rescued from thraldom, to sing that exquisite hymn to the glory of their God.

Through their faith the Israelites on the Red Sea became possessed of the Holy Spirit.

Man is the proudest of God's creatures, the eagle is the haughtiest amongst the birds, the ox amongst the cattle, and the lion amongst the beasts of the field. Hence it was the image of these four which Ezekiel saw in his vision on the throne of God.

So persistent were the Israelites in their desire to return to Egypt, that Moses had to use force, after persuasive language had failed, to make them continue their journey. Their arguments were that God's object in bringing them out of Egypt was fivefold: (1) to give them the Egyptians' goods, to which they were entitled as wages for their work; (2) to lead them through the Red Sea; (3) to shelter them with his cloud of glory; (4) to avenge them on the Egyptians; (5) to enable them to sing hymns of praise to him. Now that all of these things were accomplished, the Egyptians drowned, and not sufficient left in Egypt to force them again to slavery, their best step would be, they thought, to return to a country where, free from slavery, they could enjoy life infinitely better than in the wilderness that faced them, where there was no bread and no water, not to mention the fish and the onions of Egypt. But Moses pointed out to them that there was a great debt which they had not yet discharged. "Ye shall serve God upon this mountain" (Exod. iii. 12), which was, in fact, the token beforehand of God's being with Moses and his mission to Pharaoh.

"He made his people go forth like sheep and guided them in the wilderness like a flock" (Ps. lxxviii. 52).--"Like sheep like the sheep of Jethro which Moses led to the wilderness; so he led the Israelites through the wilderness, for as sheep are not brought into the dwelling-house, and there is no fixed fund out of which to maintain them, so was it with Israel; they had no buildings wherein to dwell, they had to pick up their food in the open. Not, however, like sheep destined for slaughter, for they are God's holy flock; he who touches that which is holy unto the Lord incurs guilt, and he who touches Israel, God's first-born, shall offend; evil shall come upon them, says the prophet (Jer. ii.).

That Saturday is the Sabbath proclaimed on Sinai was fully demonstrated to the Israelites in the wilderness. When, contrary to God's ordinance, they went out on that day to gather manna and found none, Moses told them "See,"--he did not say "Know," but See--that God has given you the Sabbath, pointing out to them visibly the Sabbath day.

The observance of the Sabbath proclaimed on Sinai by an Israelite outweighs all other commandments. And from the point of view that the Sabbath was established as a token between God and his people (Exod. xxxi. 13) one is justified in saying that it is not right and proper for a non-Jew to observe that Sabbath; it is the expression of a relation so intimate that the intrusion of a stranger would be resented.

The ways of the Lord are inscrutable; it is vain for mortal man to define bow his work is done. If you wish to find out whence punishments or blessings come, you will be confounded in the attempt. The fire and brimstone brought upon Sodom and Gomorrah came from heaven (Gen. xix.). You may perhaps conclude that punishment only comes thence, but you will then find the beneficial dew coming from heaven (Micah v.). The Egyptians received their plagues from heaven, and the retribution of the Ammonites came down from heaven (Joshua x.); Sisera was fought against from heaven (Judg. v.). On the other hand, goodness and blessings came from heaven (Deut. xxviii.). Bread seems to come from earth only (Ps. civ.), but it comes from heaven also (Exod. xvi.). Water came from earth (Numb. xxi.), and you will find water from heaven (Deut.. xi.).

The same confusion will meet you if you try to find the position or attitude of angels. You may conclude that they fly (Isa. vi. 6), but behold they stand (Isa. vi. 2). You find them sitting (Judg. vi.), and you find them walking, too (Zech. iii.). You conclude, in one instance, that they appear in the figure of a woman (Zech. v.), but they are men (Gen. xviii.), and they are also wind and fire (Ps. civ.).

Because of his love, God did not disdain to do the work proper to a servant for the Israelites in the wilderness. He held a light for them through their wanderings there. He washed them, clothed them, and shod them (Ezek. xvi.). He carried them and watched over them when asleep (Ps. cxxi.).

Every prophecy, afterward uttered by various prophets, was handed over on Sinai at the time of the giving of the Decalogue, but was to be kept unproclaimed until each prophet had received the charge of proclaiming his respective prophecy.

"I am the first and I am the last, and beside me there is no God" (Isa. xliii. 6). I am the first, I have no father; I am the last, I have no brother. Beside me there is no God; I have no son.

Nature was silent and at rest when the Decalogue was proclaimed on Sinai. No animal made a sound, no fowl flew, the very angels kept silent, and desisted from praises before God. The billows of the sea became calm and at rest, and no creature uttered a sound whilst the words were uttered by the living God, saying, "I am the Lord thy God."

When Onkeles intimated to his uncle Hadrian his intention of becoming a convert to Judaism, the uncle ridiculed his nephew's taste for attaching himself to a people of such low estate and so despised. He asked Onkeles to tell him what prompted him in such a folly. Onkeles's reply was, "The Jew, the most insignificant, and may be the most despised amongst men as he now is, knows more about God and the creation than any man amongst the other peoples, and the Torah contains nothing but Truth." The uncle then permitted his nephew to dive into the study of the Torah, but forbade him circumcision, which, however, Onkeles underwent.

Poverty is man's greatest affliction.

Moses offered his life for Israel and for the Torah, therefore these were designated as his. In Isaiah (lxiii. 11) we are told, "Moses and his people," and in Malachi (iii. 4) "Remember the law of Moses my servant."

Rabbis Gamaliel, Joshua, Eleazar ben Azaria, and Akiba were preachers in Rome.

Repentance makes virtues almost of the very vices of the penitent sinner.

Riches, might, and worldly wisdom are not only not always a blessing to their possessors, but may be the very causes of their destruction. Korah and Haman had their fall brought about by their riches. Goliath paid with his life the penalty of his might, and Balaam's wisdom was his destruction.

The poor are styled "God's own."

He who lives by usury in this world shall not live in the world to come.

"Behold I send an angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared," etc. (Exod. xxiii. 20-22). "Up to the time of the grievous sin of the people," says God to Moses, "I myself was leading them (Exod. xii.). By their making and worshiping the golden calf they have forfeited that high privilege and tender care. I will now send you an angel--or messenger--to lead you in the way. Beware not to rebel against him, for my name is in him; he comes by my authority; what he tells you he says in my name." A similar expression is used in connection with Moses himself, when God says (Exod. xix. 9), "Behold, I come unto thee in a thick cloud that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and may believe in thee forever," which obviously does not mean that they should believe in Moses as a deity, but they should believe that he (Moses) speaks as God's messenger.

Further, regarding the words that the angel shall not forgive their sins if they rebel against him, the meaning is that he has no such power as forgiving sin. Moreover, the words may mean, "Thou shalt not change him: not change him for God because he has taken up the leadership in the wilderness, instead of God who led you hitherto, and therefore worship him and pray to him for the forgiveness of sin. I alone forgive iniquity and pass away sin."

When Moses was charged with the erection of the Mishkan he inwardly wondered that God who filleth the worlds above and below should require a residence made for him. But the Lord said to him, "Israel is my flock" (Ezek. xxxiv.), "and I am their shepherd" (Ps. lxxx.): make a hut for the shepherd whither he shall come to tend them.

In giving his Torah to Israel, God is like a king who gives his only daughter in marriage, and makes it a condition with her husband that there shall always be a room kept for him in their house. If we wish to have the Torah, we must have God also. This is the meaning of the words, "Make me a sanctuary that I may dwell therein."

My light, the Torah, says God to man, is in thy hand; but thy light, the soul, is in my hand. Take care of my light, so that I may take care of thy light.

Gold is one of the things for the non-existence of which man would probably be all the better. It was originally called into existence for the service of the Mishkan and of the temple.

God requires but earnest prayer and a penitent heart. Israel was redeemed from Egypt in answer to prayer. Joshua became a conqueror because of his prayer; in the days of the judges help was obtained by prayer; Samuel's help for his people was granted in reply to prayer.

It was but proper that Aaron the holy (Ps. cvi.) should enter the holy place (Exod. xv.) to make atonement before the Most Holy (Lev. xix.) for a holy people (Lev. xix.).

The poor amongst Israel plead before the Lord, saying, "If one of our rich transgresses, he can bring a sacrifice for his accidental sin and it is atoned (Lev. iv. 22); but what are we, who have no means to purchase sacrifices, to do in order to expiate our sins?" In reply they are told to have regard to the words of the Psalmist and the prophets.

The Psalmist says (Ps. xxvi. 6, 7), "I wash my hands in innocency," and lest you should think that he alludes to the bringing of bullocks and goats he hastens to add, "So will I encompass thine altar, that I may cause to be heard the voice of thanksgiving and tell all thy wondrous work."

And the prophet Hosea tells you (Hosea xiv. 3), "Take with you words and return to the Lord." Words, words of earnest prayer, and not sacrifice, do I require.

The tribe of Judah was the élite of the Israelites, that of Dan the plebeian. For the erection of the Mishkan God called for Bezaleel from the tribe of Judah, and commanded that Aholiab, from the tribe of Dan, should be placed with him; they jointly should do the work (Exod. xxxi. 1-6), to demonstrate that all, the one of high estate and the one of low estate, are alike before God.

The tablets of the commandments were called Tablets of Stones, because the punishment for violating the commandments was death by stoning.

Israel is the most arrogant among nations, like the dog amongst the beasts and the rooster amongst fowls.

Moses, in pleading for the Israelites against their projected destruction for making the golden calf, had recourse to all sorts of excuses in order to avert the threatened punishment. "When appearing on Mount Sinai and proclaiming thyself as the only God," he pleaded, thou didst say, "I am the Lord thy God," not in the plural, "Your God," so that this ignorant people, just set free from slavery, may perchance have taken this proclamation as strictly applying to me only." The using of this argument seems to have been a fact because, while at the giving of the commandments the singular "thy God," is used, thereafter the words, "Your God," are used. "Moreover," Moses said, "this golden calf may be thy coadjutor, O God. Thou causes the sun to shine:

the golden calf will take over some of the workings of nature, and may cause the rain to descend. Thou wilt send down the dew, and the golden calf will cause the herb to grow." Moses received the merited rebuke from God, who said, "Thou also hast become an idolater; is there any power in that idol which the people have made themselves as a god? is it anything but inanimate matter?"

"Why then," Moses said, "should thou be angry with thy people who have made this worthless, powerless thing?" Further Moses argued and pleaded, "Why does thine anger grow against the people whom thou hast brought out from Egypt? They have been slaves of the Egyptians, a people who worshiped animals as their gods; and can it be wondered at that they imitated their masters? A man once got for his son a trade which brought him into contact with a set of men of questionable repute, whose habits he soon adopted. The father became incensed to such an extent that he threatened his son's destruction; but a friend pleaded for the son by pointing out to the father that he, by the force of circumstances, had somewhat contributed to the evil habits of his son, by having put him into a trade which brought him into the company of evil-doers. The Israelites are but like children, prone to adopt the ways and manners of their elders, and if they are now destroyed there will be no chance for them to develop the better and higher life, to redeem the evil they have done, and to live by the law which thou hast proclaimed." Moses prevailed with his prayer. And yet we see distinctly that not until Moses made mention of the Patriarchs was the reply, "And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do to his people," given. Just as a vine, to which Israel is likened (Ps. lxxx. 9), requires dead branches to support and prop the living ones, so Israel requires his departed ancestors' merits for his support. Thus Solomon says (Eccl. ix.), "And I praise the dead which died long ago"; and so Moses, perceiving that his pleadings and prayers of forty days' duration (Deut. ix. 18-25) were left unanswered, made mention of the Patriarchs, and then his prayer was answered. There was yet another reason for Moses's mention of the three Patriarchs in his intercession for the Israelites. "If death," he said, "is total annihilation, and there is now nothing of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, I have no plea for the sinning people; but if they--the Patriarchs--live in another, better and higher sphere, what of the promise made to them to multiply their offspring like the stars of the heavens?" Finally, Moses mentioned that God was prepared to spare Sodom and Gomorrah if there could be found ten righteous men; and he agreed to produce the number demanded to save a sinning community, i.e., Aaron, Eliezer, Ithamar, Phineas, Joshua, Caleb, and himself, but there were still three lacking to make up the Ten. Then Moses inquired of God again whether the righteous who depart from this world live in another world, and he received a reply in the affirmative. "Remember, then," he prayed, "the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who with the seven names mentioned will make up the ten righteous; for whose sake vouchsafe to save thy people."

If thou hast done any meritorious act, do not ask at once for the reward thereof; if yon receive it not, your offspring after you will receive it. What would have become of us if our Patriarchs had asked for and received the reward of their merits whilst they lived?

Moses considered the breaking of the Tablets preferable to delivering them to the people, after they had made the golden calf. He was like a man commissioned by a king to convey the marriage-contract to his future bride, who learns on his way that the would-be bride has rendered herself guilty of a serious indiscretion. He decides--in the woman's own interest--not to proceed further with the nuptial contract, but to tear it up, as she will thus still be unmarried and her guilt less serious than if she were guilty of her misdeed after she had received her marriage-lines.

When God first called Moses, not being then an expert prophet, he was addressed in a voice similar to that of his own father, and he thought that his father had come to him from Egypt. God then told him that it was not his earthly father who called him, but the God of his father Then, we find, Moses hid his face, which he did not do when first called by his name; not, in fact, until he heard the words, "I am the God of thy fathers."

It is prohibited to preach out of manuscript. Sermons are to be delivered without the help of any writing before the preacher.

If you want a vine to flourish it should be replanted on another soil. God replanted his vine--Israel--from Egypt to Palestine, and it became famous.

There were two ships: the one left the harbor, and the other entered it. The spectators expressed their joy over the ship that was leaving, but took hardly any notice of the incoming one. Amongst the spectators was a man of sound sense, who pointed out to the crowd that their joy was misplaced, inasmuch as there should be more joy at a ship safely returned from its voyage than for the ship whose fate no one could foretell. This is what King Solomon meant when he said that the day of death is better than the day of one's birth, since no one can foretell the career of the newly born child, whilst if a man goes hence with a good record behind him such death is better than a new birth.

"And they brought earrings, rings, tablets and jewels of gold" (Exod. xxxv. 22). We have here five different articles of gold, in accordance with the law laid down (Exod. xxi.): if one defrauds with a bullock, he shall pay fivefold. They had committed a sin with the gold in making the golden calf, and they brought to the sanctuary the fivefold penalty.

Why was the Mishkan called "the Tabernacle of Testimony" (Exod. xxxviii. 23)? Because it testified to the fact that Israel gained forgiveness and was received again into God's favor. A king had a beloved wife, but she had forfeited his love by her conduct and was sent away; and the public concluded that the couple had parted forever. After a lapse of time the king reinstated his first love, but the populace were still dubious about the reconciliation. When, however, she was seen in the king's palace adorned with all the charms befitting a queen, the happy relations between the king and his consort could no longer be doubted.

So when the Shechinah vouchsafed to dwell in the Mishkan, it was a glorious demonstration that the Lord was reconciled with his people.

A pupil of Rabbi Simeon ben Joshua went abroad and returned with wealth. When the other pupils came to know of it, they too clamored to go abroad. The Rabbi bade them follow him, and he brought them to a valley where he pulled out a quantity of gold coins, saying, "If it is gold you want, here it is; take it. Remember, however, that not every one can have a double reward. Perchance if you have this gold, which may procure you pleasures on earth, you are likely to have no reward hereafter, where the righteous can rely on receiving it."

I note a difference in metaphors of God's relationship with the Jewish and Christian faiths. Israel is HaShem's bride and Christians are His Children, Brothers and Sister of His eternal priest, our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, The Great Isaiah Scroll does not concur the Exodus Rabba commentary:

"I have no father"
"I have no brother"
"I have no son"


Translation: Professor Peter Flint (Western Trinity University, Canada) and Professor Eugene Ulrich (University of Notre Dame)

Chapter 43 : Verse 10

You are my witnesses, says the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you might know and trust me and understand that I am the one; before me no God was formed nor will there be after me.

Chapter 43 : Verse 11

I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior.

Chapter 43 : Verse 12

I declared, I saved, I made it known. There was no strange god among you. You are my witnesses, says the LORD: I am God.

Chapter 43 : Verse 13

From this day forth, I am the one, and no one can deliver out of my hand. I work, and who can undo it?

From the Greek Septuagint text as was used by First Century Christians

Isaiah 43


10 'Be a witness for Me,' says Jehovah,
'And I'll serve as a witness [for you]…
That you are the servant I've chosen.
Know, trust, and perceive that I am!

11 'Before Me, there were no other gods
And none will there be after Me!
For, I'm God, and other than Me, there are none,
So, I'm the only One who can save!

12 I've announced, delivered, and berated,
When no alien God was among you.
So, you are those who must witness for Me,
And I [alone] am your God!

13 'Even in the most ancient times,
No one could wrest you out of My hands.
For, who can change the things that I do?'

1611 King James Version

Isaiah 43


10 Yee are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my seruant whom I haue chosen: that ye may know and beleeue me, and vnderstand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

11 I, euen I am the Lord, and beside me there is no Sauiour.

12 I haue declared, and haue saued, and I haue shewed, when there was no strange God among you: therefore yee are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God.

13 Yea before the day was, I am hee; and there is none that can deliuer out of my hand: I will worke, and who shall let it?

The Jewish Encyclopedia has great information on the Midrash Haggadah that gives a brief background on Jewish interpretation of scripture in the Rabba Exodus.

The entire wealth of the haggadic Midrash has been preserved in a series of very different works, which, like all the works of traditional literature, are the resultant of various collections and revisions, and the contents of all of which originated a long time before they were reduced to writing. The first traces of the midrashic exegesis are found in the Bible itself (see Midrash); while in the time of the Soferim the development of the Midrash Haggadah received a mighty impetus, and the foundations were laid for public services which were soon to offer the chief medium for the cultivation of Bible exegesis. Much Midrash Haggadah, often mixed with foreign elements, is found in the Apocrypha, the Pseudepigrapha, the works of Josephus and Philo, and the remaining Judæo-Hellenistic literature; but haggadic exegesis reached its highest development in the great epoch of the Mishnaic-Talmudic period, between 100 and 500 C.E., when all its different branches were fully worked out. The Haggadah of the Amoraim is the continuation of that of the Tannaim; and, according to Bacher, there really is no difference between the Amoraim and the Tannaim with reference to the Haggadah. The final edition of the Mishnah, which was of such signal importance for the Halakah, is of less significance for the Haggadah, which, in form as well as in content, shows the same characteristics in both periods. It may be said in particular, that in the field of the Haggadah the century after the completion of the Mishnah may be fairly compared with the century before its completion, as regards not only the wealth of the extant material and the number of the authors to be considered, but also the independence and originality of the subject-matter treated (comp. Bacher, "Ag. Pal. Amor." vol. i., pp. viii. et seq.).

Thus the Venice edition of 1545, in which the midrashim to the Pentateuch and to the Five Rolls were for the first time printed together, has on the title-page of the first part the words "Midrash Rabbot 'al Ḥamishshah Ḥumshe Torah" (Midrash Rabbah to the Five Books of the Torah), and on that of the second part "Midrash Ḥamesh Megillot Rabbeta" (Midrash Rabbah of the Five Megillot).

At this point I am getting a sense that much of the Jewish and Christian exegesis (written commentary on scripture) occurred after the death of Jesus to the age of Mohammed.

Since reading that Hashem (God) gave the title of God to Moses when addressed to Moses it makes me wonder if the same title could be applied to Jesus when he said I AM.

I am going to need to better understand the meaning of the word "begotten."

According to Thayer begotten is defined as single of its kind, only used of only sons or daughters (viewed in relation to their parents).

According to Strong the Hebrew equivalent is יָחִיד (yaw‑kheed')


Babylonian Talmud


Sanhedrin 19b


Now as to R. Joshua b. Korha, surely it is written, And the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul whom she bore to Adriel. — R. Joshua [b. Korha] answers thee: Was it then Michal who bore them? Surely it was rather Merab who bore them! But Merab bore and Michal brought them up; therefore they were called by her name. This teaches thee that whoever brings up an orphan in his home, Scripture ascribes it to him as though he had begotten him.


(Mnemonic: Hanina — he called,' Johanan — and his wife,' Eleazar — and Redemption; and Samuel among his Disciples.)


R. Hanina says this is derived from the following: And the women her neighbours, gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi. Was it then Naomi who bore him? Surely it was Ruth who bore him! But Ruth bore and Naomi brought him up; hence he was called after her [Naomi's] name.


R. Johanan says it is derived from the following: And his wife Ha-Jehudiah bore Yered the father of Gedor [and Heber the father of Soco, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah] and these are the sons of Bithia the daughter of Pharaoh, whom Mered took. Now, 'Mered' was Caleb; and why was he called Mered? — Because he opposed the counsel of the other spies. But was he [Moses] indeed born of Bithia and not rather of Jochebed? — But Jochebed bore and Bithia reared him; therefore he was called after her.


R. Eleazar says: It is inferred from the following: Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph, Selah. Did then Joseph beget them; surely it was rather Jacob? — But Jacob begot and Joseph sustained them; therefore they are called by his name.


R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in R. Jonathan's name: He who teaches the son of his neighbor the Torah, Scripture ascribes it to him as if he had begotten him, as it says, Now, these are the generations of Aaron and Moses; whilst further on it is written, These are the names of the sons of Aaron: thus teaching thee that Aaron begot and Moses taught them; hence they are called by his name


Jesus was born of Mary and begotten of Hashem, who taught and commanded Him to teach those that would listen to Love God and Love Your Neighbor.


What I know is true is that God and His righteous creation have many titles that are both understood and disputed. These titles have created wars and bloodshed defined as holy.

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The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;

I thought it important to include Chapter 4 in the discussion of idolatry. Jews and Arabs consider it blasphemy to consider Jesus Christ divine. They consider it a sin that Christians honor and revere Jesus Christ as a god.

The Teaching of the Apostles

Chapter 4

4:1 My child, {thou shalt remember him that speaks unto thee the word of God} night and day, and shalt honor him as the Lord;
4:2 for whensoever the Lordship speaks, there is the Lord.

Exodus 3

:13 Moses said to God, “If I go to the Israelites and tell them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ – what should I say to them?”

3:14 God said to Moses, I am that I am.” And he said, “You must say this to the Israelites, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

3:15 God also said to Moses, “You must say this to the Israelites, ‘The Lord – the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob – has sent me to you. This is my name forever, and this is my memorial from generation to generation.’

God; gods. The plural form of El, meaning “Strong One.” The Name Elohim occurs 2,570 times in the Tanakh. See Isa. 54:5; Jer. 32:27; Gen. 1:1; Isa. 45:18; Deut. 5:23; etc.

Exodus 7 - KJV

1 The Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made thee a god אֶלהִים, (Elohim) to Pharaoh, and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.”

Exodus 7 - Interlinear Pentateuch

And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.


Just as Hashem made Moses a god to pharoah, Hashem made Jesus a god among men.

2 Peter 1

1:16 For we did not follow cleverly concocted fables when we made known to you the power and return of our Lord Jesus Christ; no, we were eyewitnesses of his grandeur.

1:17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father, when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory: “This is my dear Son, in whom I am delighted.

1:18 When this voice was conveyed from heaven, we ourselves heard it, for we were with him on the holy mountain.

1:19 Moreover, we possess the prophetic word as an altogether reliable thing. You do well if you pay attention to this as you would to a light shining in a murky place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

1:20 Above all, you do well if you recognize this:

No prophecy of scripture ever comes about by the prophet’s own imagination,

1:21 for no prophecy was ever borne of human impulse; rather, men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.


Matthew 16

16:13 When Jesus came to the area of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

16:14 They answered, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, 1and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

16:15 He said to them, But who do you say that I am?

16:16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

16:17 And Jesus answered him, “You are blessed, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven!

16:18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven.

16:20 Then he instructed his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

Matthew 17

17:1 Six days later Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John the brother of James, and led them privately up a high mountain.

17:2 And he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light.

17:3 Then Moses and Elijah also appeared before them, talking with him.

17:4 So 7 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you want, I will make three shelters – one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

17:5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my one dear Son, in whom I take great delight. Listen to him!

17:6 When the disciples heard this, they were overwhelmed with fear and threw themselves down with their faces to the ground.

17:7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Do not be afraid.”

17:8 When they looked up, all they saw was Jesus alone.

17:9 As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Do not tell anyone about the vision until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.

17:10 The disciples asked him, “Why then do the experts in the law say that Elijah must come first?

17:11 He answered, “Elijah does indeed come first and will restore all things.

17:12 And I tell you that Elijah has already come. Yet they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wanted. In the same way, the Son of Man will suffer at their hands.

17:13 Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them about John the Baptist.

I AM is what bothered the Sanhedrin

Matthew 26

53 Do you think that I cannot now call upon my Father, and he would cause more than twelve legions of angels to stand by me?
54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?

55 At the same time Jesus said to the multitudes:

Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs, to take me? I sat daily with you in the temple and taught, and you did not take me.

56 All this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples left him and fled.

57 And those who took Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the chief priest, where the scribes and elders had come together.

58 But Peter followed him, at a distance, to the palace of the chief priest, and went in and sat with the attendants, to see the end.

59 And the chief priests and the elders, and the whole Sanhedrim, sought false testimony against Jesus, that they might put him to death,

60 and found none. Though many false witnesses came, yet they found none. At last two false witnesses came,

61 and said: This man said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.

62 And the chief priest arose, and said to him: Do you make no answer? What do these testify against you?

63 But Jesus remained silent. And the chief priest answered and said to him:

I adjure you, by the living God, that you tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God?

64 Jesus said to him:

You have said. Moreover, I say to you, Here after you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of the Almighty, and coming upon the clouds of heaven.

65 Then the chief priest rent his clothes, and said: He has spoken impiously; what further need have we of witnesses? See now, you have heard his impious words:

66 What think you? They answered and said:

He is a subject for death.

67 Then did they spit in his face, and strike him with their fists; some struck him with the open hand,

68 and said: Give an answer to us, Christ: Who is he that struck you?


Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Sanhedrin


Sanhedrin 93b


Our Rabbis taught:

Three were involved in that conspiracy [to keep Daniel out of the furnace]:

The Holy One, blessed be He, Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar. The Holy One, blessed be He, said:

'Let Daniel depart hence, lest it be said that they were delivered through his merit.'

Daniel said:

'Let me go from here, that I be not a fulfilment of, the graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire.'

Whilst Nebuchadnezzar said:

'Let Daniel depart, lest people say he has burnt his god in fire.' And whence do we know that he worshipped him? — From the verse, Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel etc.

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The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;

Daniel 2

2:3 The king told them, “I have had a dream, and I am anxious to understand the dream.

2:4 The wise men replied to the king: [What follows is in Aramaic ]

“O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will disclose its interpretation.

2:5 The king replied to the wise men, “My decision is firm. If you do not inform me of both the dream and its interpretation, you will be dismembered and your homes reduced to rubble!

2:6 But if you can disclose the dream and its interpretation, you will receive from me gifts, a reward, and considerable honor. So disclose to me the dream and its interpretation!”

2:7 They again replied, “Let the king inform us of the dream; then we will disclose its interpretation.

2:8 The king replied, “I know for sure that you are attempting to gain time, because you see that my decision is firm.

2:9 If you don’t inform me of the dream, there is only one thing that is going to happen to you. For you have agreed among yourselves to report to me something false and deceitful until such time as things might change. So tell me the dream, and I will have confidence that you can disclose its interpretation.

2:10 The wise men replied to the king, “There is no man on earth who is able to disclose the king’s secret, for no king, regardless of his position and power, has ever requested such a thing from any magician, astrologer, or wise man.

2:11 What the king is asking is too difficult, and no one exists who can disclose it to the king, except for the gods – but they don’t live among mortals!"

2:12 Because of this the king got furiously angry and gave orders to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.

2:13 So a decree went out, and the wise men were about to be executed. They also sought Daniel and his friends so that they could be executed.

2:14 Then Daniel spoke with prudent counsel to Arioch, who was in charge of the king’s executioners and who had gone out to execute the wise men of Babylon.

2:15 He inquired of Arioch the king’s deputy, “Why is the decree from the king so urgent?” Then Arioch informed Daniel about the matter.

2:16 So Daniel went in and requested the king to grant him time, that he might disclose the interpretation to the king.

2:17 Then Daniel went to his home and informed his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah of the matter.

2:18 He asked them to pray for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery so that he and his friends would not be destroyed along with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

2:19 Then in a night vision the mystery was revealed to Daniel. So Daniel praised the God of heaven,

2:20 saying,

Let the name of God be praised forever and ever,

for wisdom and power belong to him.

2:21 He changes times and seasons,

deposing some kings

and establishing others.

He gives wisdom to the wise;

he imparts knowledge to those with understanding;

2:22 he reveals deep and hidden things.

He knows what is in the darkness,

and light resides with him.

2:23 O God of my fathers, I acknowledge and glorify you,

for you have bestowed wisdom and power on me.

Now you have enabled me to understand what I requested from you.

For you have enabled me to understand the king’s dilemma."

2:24 Then Daniel went in to see Arioch (whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon). He came and said to him, “Don’t destroy the wise men of Babylon! Escort me to the king, and I will disclose the interpretation to him!"

2:25 So Arioch quickly ushered Daniel into the king’s presence, saying to him, “I have found a man from the captives of Judah who can make known the interpretation to the king.”

2:26 The king then asked Daniel (whose name was also Belteshazzar), “Are you able to make known to me the dream that I saw, as well as its interpretation?"

2:27 Daniel replied to the king, “The mystery that the king is asking about is such that no wise men, astrologers, magicians, or diviners can possibly disclose it to the king.

2:28 However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the times to come. The dream and the visions you had while lying on your bed are as follows.

2:29 “As for you, O king, while you were in your bed your thoughts turned to future things. The revealer of mysteries has made known to you what will take place.

2:30 As for me, this mystery was revealed to me not because I possess more wisdom than any other living person, but so that the king may understand the interpretation and comprehend the thoughts of your mind.

2:31 “You, O king, were watching as a great statue – one of impressive size and extraordinary brightness – was standing before you. Its appearance caused alarm.

2:32 As for that statue, its head was of fine gold, its chest and arms were of silver, its belly and thighs were of bronze.

2:33 Its legs were of iron; its feet were partly of iron and partly of clay.

2:34 You were watching as a stone was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its iron and clay feet, breaking them in pieces.

2:35 Then the iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold were broken in pieces without distinction and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors that the wind carries away. Not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the statue became a large mountain that filled the entire earth.

2:36 This was the dream. Now we will set forth before the king its interpretation.

2:37 “You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has granted you sovereignty, power, strength, and honor.

2:38 Wherever human beings, wild animals, and birds of the sky live – he has given them into your power. He has given you authority over them all. You are the head of gold.

2:39 Now after you another kingdom will arise, one inferior to yours. Then a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule in all the earth.

2:40 Then there will be a fourth kingdom, one strong like iron. Just like iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything, and as iron breaks in pieces all of these metals, so it will break in pieces and crush the others.

2:41 In that you were seeing feet and toes partly of wet clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom. Some of the strength of iron will be in it, for you saw iron mixed with wet clay.

2:42 In that the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, the latter stages of this kingdom will be partly strong and partly fragile.

2:43 And in that you saw iron mixed with wet clay, so people will be mixed with one another without adhering to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.

2:44 In the days of those kings the God of heaven will raise up an everlasting kingdom that will not be destroyed and a kingdom that will not be left to another people. It will break in pieces and bring about the demise of all these kingdoms. But it will stand forever.

2:45 You saw that a stone was cut from a mountain, but not by human hands; it smashed the iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold into pieces. The great God has made known to the king what will occur in the future. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is reliable.”

2:46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar bowed down with his face to the ground and paid homage to Daniel. He gave orders to offer sacrifice and incense to him.

2:47 The king replied to Daniel, “Certainly your God is a God of gods and Lord of kings and revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery!”

2:48 Then the king elevated Daniel to high position and bestowed on him many marvelous gifts. He granted him authority over the entire province of Babylon and made him the main prefect over all the wise men of Babylon.

2:49 And at Daniel’s request, the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the administration of the province of Babylon. Daniel himself served in the king’s court.

Was it right or wrong for King Nebuchadnezzar to bow down with his face to the ground and pay homage to Daniel? Was it right or wrong for King Nebuchadnezzar to give orders to offer sacrifice and incense to Daniel? Should a man who speaks the word of the God be honored as the Lord?

Judaism strongly prohibits any form of idolatry, and holds that idolatry is not limited to the worship of a statue or picture itself, but also includes worship of the Almighty Himself with the use of mediators and/or any artistic representations of God such as "Jesus on the Cross". According to this understanding, even if one directs his worship to the Almighty Himself and not to a statue, picture, or some other created thing, but yet he uses a created thing as a representation of the Almighty in order to assist in his worship of the Almighty, this is also considered a form of idolatry.

There was Hillel and Shammai, then there was Rashi and the Ravad. I will investigate these schools and their beliefs in Jesus and idolatry.

The Torah states that there is only one Hashem that cannot die. Both Christians and the Jews believe in the Torah.

Deuteronomy 32

32:39 “See now that I, indeed I, am he!” says the Lord,

“and there is no other god besides me.

I kill and give life,

I smash and I heal,

and none can resist my power.

32:40 For I raise up my hand to heaven,

and say, ‘As surely as I live forever,

32:41 I will sharpen my lightning-like sword,

and my hand will grasp hold of the weapon of judgment;

I will execute vengeance on my foes,

and repay those who hate me!

32:42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood,

and my sword will devour flesh –

the blood of the slaughtered and captured,

the chief 65 of the enemy’s leaders!’”

32:43 Cry out, O nations, with his people,

for he will avenge his servants’ blood;

he will take vengeance against his enemies,

and make atonement for his land and people.

The Teaching of the Apostles

Christians believe Jesus is Hashem. Jews do not believe Jesus is Hashem. Christians believe Jesus died for our sins. Jews believe that Jesus was guilty of idolatry stating he is Hashem. Jews believe that Christians are in great sin believing that Jesus Christ is Hashem.

Galatians 3

3:5 Does God then give you the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law or by your believing what you heard?

3:6 Just as Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,

3:7 so then, understand that those who believe are the sons of Abraham.

3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, proclaimed the gospel to Abraham ahead of time, saying, “All the nations will be blessed in you.”

3:9 So then those who believe are blessed along with Abraham the believer.

3:10 For all who rely on doing the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not keep on doing everything written in the book of the law.”

3:11 Now it is clear no one is justified before God by the law, because the righteous one will live by faith.

3:12 But the law is not based on faith, but the one who does the works of the law will live by them.

3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us (because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”)

3:14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles, so that we could receive the promise of the Spirit by faith.

Jesus took Hashem's curse of sin upon himself by being hung on a cross, so that we have the opportunity to redeem ourselves and share Hashem's blessing on Abraham's descendants and the promise of the Holy Spirit.


Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Sanhedrin

Folio 45b




GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught:

[scripture states,] And if he be put to death, then thou shalt hang him on a tree:

I might think that all who are put to death are to be hanged: therefore Scripture states, For he is hanged [because of] a curse against God. Just as the blasphemer in question is executed by stoning, so all who are stoned [must be subsequently hanged]:

this is R. Eliezer's view.

But the Sages say:

Just as the blasphemer in question denied the fundamental principle [of faith]. So all who deny the fundamental principle [of faith]. Wherein do they differ? — The Rabbis employ [the rule of] the general and the particular; whilst R. Eliezer employs [the rule of] extension and limitation. 'The Rabbis employ [the rule of] the general and the particular.' [Thus:]

And if he be put to death then thou shalt hang him, is a general proposition; for he is hanged [because of] a curse against God is the particular. Now, had these two clauses been placed beside each other, we should have said, the general includes nothing [but] the particular, i.e., only this man and no one else.

Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Sanhedrin

Folio 46a

Since, however, they are separated from each other, it has the effect of including an idolater, who is like him, [the blasphemer] in every respect. 'Whilst R. Eliezer employs [the rule of] extension and limitation.' [Thus:]

And if he be put to death then thou shalt hang him is an [indefinite] extension; for he is hanged because of a curse … is a limitation. Now, had these two clauses been placed beside each other, we should have extended the law only to an idolater, who is similar to him in every respect. Since, however, they are separated from each other, it has the effect of extending [the law] to all who are stoned.

A MAN IS HANGED etc. What is the Rabbis' reason? — Scripture states, then the shalt hang him — 'him', but not her. And R. Eliezer? — 'Him' implies without his clothes. And the Rabbis? — [They admit that] that indeed is so; but Scripture says, And if a man have committed a sin, implying, a man, but not a woman. And R. Eliezer, — how does he interpret the words, And if a man have committed? — Resh Lakish answered:

As excluding a stubborn and rebellious son [from that mode of execution]. But has it not been taught: A stubborn and rebellious son is stoned and [afterwards] hanged: so says R. Eliezer? — But, said R. Nahman b. Isaac:

[He interprets it] as including a stubborn and rebellious son. How so? — Scripture says, As if a man has committed a sin — 'a man,' but not a son; 'a sin' implies one who is executed for his [present] sin, thus excluding a stubborn and rebellious son, who is executed on account of his ultimate destiny. So we have one exclusion following another, and such always indicates inclusion.


They taught this only of two different death penalties, but if a single mode of execution is involved, they [two charges] may be tried [on the same day]. But in the instance of Simeon b. Shetah, only one mode of execution was involved, and yet [the Sages] said to him that the cases should not [legally] have been tried! — But if a statement was made, it was made thus:

They taught this only of a single death penalty appearing as two. And how can that be? E.g., [when one is accused of] two different transgressions. But cases dealing with the same transgression and the same mode of execution may be tried.

R. Adda b. Ahabah raised an objection:

'Two [capital] cases may not be tried in one day; not even that of an adulterer and his paramour'? R. Hisda explained this as referring to the daughter of a priest and her paramour; or to the daughter of a priest and the refuters of the refuting witnesses.

It has been taught: R. Eliezer b. Jacob said:

I have heard that the Beth din may, [when necessary,] impose flagellation and pronounce [capital] sentences even where not [warranted] by the Torah; yet not with the intention of disregarding the Torah but [on the contrary] in order to safeguard it. It once happened that a man rode a horse on the Sabbath in the Greek period and he was brought before the Court and stoned, not because he was liable thereto, but because it was [practically] required by the times. Again it happened that a man once had intercourse with his wife under a fig tree. He was brought before the Beth din and flogged, not because he merited it,but because the times required it.








Deuteronomy 21

21:22 If a person commits a sin punishable by death and is executed, and you hang the corpse on a tree,

21:23 his body must not remain all night on the tree; instead you must make certain you bury him that same day, for the one who is left exposed on a tree is cursed by God. You must not defile your land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.

Acts 5

5:26 Then the commander of the temple guard went with the officers and brought the apostles without the use of force (for they were afraid of being stoned by the people).

5:27 When they had brought them, they stood them before the council, and the high priest questioned them,

5:28 saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name. Look, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood on us!

5:29 But Peter and the apostles replied, "We must obey God rather than people.

5:30 The God of our forefathers raised up Jesus, whom you seized and killed by hanging him on a tree.

5:31 God exalted him to his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.

5:32 And we are witnesses of these events, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.

Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Sanhedrin

Folio 59a

a positive one, yet it is reckoned? — It is both positive and negative.

R. Johanan said:

A heathen who studies the Torah deserves death, for it is written, Moses commanded us a law for an inheritance; it is our inheritance, not theirs.

Then why is this not included in the Noachian laws? — On the reading morasha [an inheritance] he steals it; on the reading me'orasah [betrothed], he is guilty as one who violates a betrothed maiden, who is stoned.

An objection is raised:

R. Meir used to say. Whence do we know that even a heathen who studies the Torah is as a High Priest? From the verse, [Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments:] which, if man do, he shall live in them. Priests, Levites, and Israelites are not mentioned, but men:

hence thou mayest learn that even a heathen who studies the Torah is as a High Priest! — That refers to their own seven laws.

'R Hanania b. Gamaliel said:

[They were also commanded] not to partake of the blood drawn from a living animal.'

Our Rabbis taught: But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat, this prohibits flesh cut from the living animal.

R. Hanina b. Gamaliel said:

It also prohibits blood drawn from a living animal. What is his reason? — He reads the verse thus:

flesh with the life thereof [shall ye not eat]:

blood with the life thereof shall ye not eat. But the Rabbis maintain that this reading teaches that flesh cut from live reptiles is permitted. Similarly it is said, Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life,' and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh.But the Rabbis maintain that the verse teaches that the blood of arteries, with which life goes out, [is also forbidden as blood].

Why was it first enjoined upon the sons of Noah, and then repeated at Sinai? — As the dictum, of R. Jose b. Hanina.

For R. Jose b. Hanina said:

Every precept which was given to the sons of Noah and repeated at Sinai was meant for both [heathens and Israelites]; that which was given to the sons of Noah but not repeated at Sinai was meant for the Israelites, but not for the heathens. Now, the only law thus commanded to the children of Noah and not repeated at Sinai was the prohibition of the sinew that shrank [nervous ischiadicus], and in accordance with R. Judah's view.

The Master said:

'Every precept which was given to the sons of Noah and repeated at Sinai was meant for both [Noachides and Israelites]'. On the contrary, since it was repeated at Sinai, should we not assume it to be meant for Israel only? — Since idolatry was repeated as Sinai, and we find that the Noachides were punished for practicing it, we must conclude that it was meant for both.

'That which was given to the sons of Noah but not repeated at Sinai was meant for the Israelites, but not for the heathens.' On the contrary, since it was not repeated at Sinai, should we not assume that it was meant for the Noachides and not for Israel? — There is nothing permitted to an Israelite yet forbidden to a heathen. Is there not? But what of a beautiful woman? — There it is because the heathens were not authorized to conquer. But what of a thing worth less than a Perutah? — There it is because the heathens do not forgive.

'Every precept which was given to the sons of Noah and repeated at Sinai was meant for both [Noachides and Israelites]'.




The Didache

Chapter 4

4:1 My child, {thou shalt remember him that speaks unto thee the word of God} night and day, and shalt honor him as the Lord;
4:2 for whensoever the Lordship speaks, there is the Lord.

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The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles


Chapter 5


5:1 But the way of death is this.

5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;

Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath


Folio 33a


For the crime of vain oaths, false oaths, profanation of the Divine Name, and the desecration of the Sabbath, wild beasts multiply, [domestic] animals cease, the population decreases, and the roads become desolate, for it is said, And if by these things [be-eleh] ye will not be reformed unto me; read not be-eleh but be-alah; and it is written, and I will send the beast of the field among you, etc. Now, in respect to false oaths it is written, And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, so that you profane [we-hillalta] the name of thy God; and of the profanation of the Name it is written, and that they profane not [ye-hallelu] my holy name; and of the profanation of the Sabbath it is written, every one that profaneth it [mehallelehah] shall surely be put to death:


and [the punishment for] profanation is learnt from a false oath.


Through the crime of bloodshed the Temple was destroyed and the Shechinah departed from Israel, as it is written, So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are; for blood, it pollutes the land … And thou shalt not defile the land which ye inhabit, in the midst of which I dwell.- hence, if ye do defile it, ye will not inhabit it and I will not dwell in its midst.

I asked Shaul Wolf why is the Shechinah considered female? When I read the Torah and Talmud the Shechinah seems very male. Here is his response:


Hashem is neither male nor female. Likewise, Hashem is not a warrior carrying a sword, neither is he like a king siting on a throne. These are all physical descriptions, and are obviously not applicable when talking about Hashem.


Whenever we use such descriptions, they are to be understood as mere metaphors. Being that we have no tools to grasp purely spiritual things, we therefore use physical phenomena and descriptions to depict a spiritual idea. The same is true when discussing God's gender, that these terms are purely metaphorical, and are used to bring out certain descriptions in regards to Hashem.


Men are often defined as "givers", and women as "receivers". This is true on a biological level, as a man provides the semen necessary to impregnate a woman, who in turn "receives" the semen and processes it to create a child. It is also true on an emotional level, where the man is considered the emotional provider, securing the emotional stability of his wife and household.


This capacity of a woman, both to "receive" the semen from her husband, as well as to produce a child as a result, expresses (in kabbalistic terms) her relationship with the world outside of her. The man is seen as aloof, and removed from his surroundings, and therefore cannot directly impact the creation of a new being. It is specifically through his sharing of himself with his wife, where his influence is filtered and becomes capable of influencing the world outside of him, resulting in the birth of a child.


These two elements, the removed aloof existence, and the involved and interactive one are metaphors for two ways God relates to the worlds.


God on his own is understandably "removed" from the world. Him being infinite, and us being finite, creates a divide between God and his creations, and God remains transcendent from the world He created. There is, however, the element of God the way he involves himself in the worlds. This is the Kabbalistic concept of Tzimtzum, divine contraction, where God "limits" himself, and makes it capable for the world to experience and capacitate Him.


These two elements of God's relationship with the world, the removed, transcendent relationship, and the involved, contracted relationship, can be categorized as God's "man" side and His "woman" side. The "man" element, who's nature is to remain aloof from his surroundings, represents God's inherent transcendence, where His infinite existence sets him apart from all else. Whereas the "woman" element, who processes the influence of the man and uses it to relate to the world, represents God's limiting of himself and his involvement in the world He created.


This "woman" element is referred to as the Shechinah. The word Shechinah literally means to rest, a reference to the way God descends and rests amongst us in this finite world. It is the Shechinah that is responsible for the creation of the worlds, as well as for the constant flow of energy that sustains them and gives them life.


All the best,


Shaul Wolf

The Tzimtzum is a term used in the Lurianic Kabbalah teaching of Isaac Luria, to explain his new doctrine that God began the process of creation by "contracting" his infinite light in order to allow for a "conceptual space" in which finite and seemingly independent realms could exist. In Chabad Hassidism, on the other hand, the concept of Tzimtzum is understood as not meant to be interpreted literally, but rather to refer to the manner in which God impresses His presence upon the consciousness of finite reality:


thus tzimtzum is not only seen as being a real process but is also seen as a doctrine that every person is able, and indeed required, to understand and meditate upon.


Mark Siet wrote an article, "Shechinah - the connecting link" on the pathway God connects to His creation.


Shechinah is there to orient that which is being permeated i.e. Consciousness so that there will always be a point of reference that relates back to Ha Kodesh Barachu. This is a system of unification that is everywhere linked together from its inception through to its revelation via emanation. It therefore reflects that about which it is said…


Bereshis 1:6 And God said: 'Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.'


What is it that stands between? What is the connecting link forever? It is the Shechinah. B”H.

Mark Siet wrote another article, "Shechinah the unity above" that further defines the Hasidic view of the Holy Spirit.


There are three daily prayers including the additional Musaf prayers all meant to have but one purpose and that is the unification of the Shechinah with Hakodesh Barachu. This unification may only take place within since it is the direct result of concentrating our thoughts upon holiness to the point where we gain a natural entry point along the pathways of the Shechinah.


Every time therefore that we have an insight about Torah or perform a mitzvah we experience the awakening of the Shechinah which in turn reinforces that unity above. In this way the flow of holiness is awakened and we may experience it consciously as a direct result of continuing holy attention.


Now we should explain that in Atziluth mentioned above the Shechinah is never apart from HaKodesh Barachu since Atziluth is the ideal world where the Shechinah resides in eternity.


One more reference here from the Zohar to clarify the unity of HaKodesh Barachu with his Shechinah.


Zohar Behar 34: "She is called 'body,' only when she manifests Herself in a throne and in the angels of Briyah, she is to them like a soul clothed in a humble body. And therefore, when the Shechinah is outside of the chamber of the Temple and outside of Her Thrones, She is, so to speak, as if She is not One with Him."


You see that it says the "she is called body." This happens when She is revealed in a throne. This throne is the sum total of your focus upon holiness in effect raising your thoughts on high and then recognizing their ongoing presence within you. The last part speaks to what happens when we ignore the holy Throne that we have created, or we simply do not make the effort to bring about this holy throne.

Beri'ah, Briyah, or Briah (also known as Olam Briah, עולם בריאה in Hebrew, literally World of Creation), is the second of the four celestial worlds in the Tree of Life of the Kabbalah, intermediate between the World of Emanation (Atziluth) and the World of Formation (Yetzirah), the third world, that of the angels. It is known as the World of Creation, or Korsia (from Heb. כּוּרסָה - "seat, chair", the Throne).




Rabbi Nehunya ben HaKanah was a tanna (rabbinic sage) of the 1st and 2nd centuries. It appears from Bava Batra 10b that Neḥunya was a contemporary, but not a pupil, of Johanan ben Zakai. He was the teacher of Ishmael ben Elisha. Neḥunya was rich and had a large retinue of servants; but he was distinguished for his meekness and forgiving nature, to which he attributed his attainment of great age (Megillah 28a); two short prayers composed by him exhibit the same qualities (Berakhot iv. 2; Jerusalem Talmud Berakhot iv. 2).


Sefer ha-Bahir - "The Book of Illumination"

The Seven Voices and the Sephiroth


75. Why does the Torah say "righteousness, righteousness" twice? He said: Because the scripture continues (Psalm 18:13) , "At the glow opposite Him." The first "righteousness" is literal righteousness (Tzedek). This is the Divine Presence [i.e Shekinah] . It is thus written (Isaiah 1:21), "Righteousness dwells in it."


What is the second "righteousness"? This is the righteousness that frightens the righteous. Is this righteousness charity (Tzadakah) or not? He said that it is not. Why? Because it is written (Isaiah 59:17), "He put on righteousness like a coat of mail, and [a helmet of salvation on His head]." His head is nothing other than Truth. It is thus written (Psalm 119L160), "The head of Your word is truth." Truth is nothing other than peace. It is thus written [that King Hezekiah said] (Isaiah 39:8), "There shall be peace and truth in my days." Is it possible for a man to say this? But this is what Hezekiah said:


The attribute that You gave to David my ancestor is half of my days, and peace and truth are half of my days. It is for this reason that he mentioned "my days." He mentioned both "peace and truth" and "in my days," since it is all one. It is thus written (Genesis 1:5), "And it was evening, and it was morning, one day." [The day reconciles morning and evening, and is therefore peace.] Just as the day is peace, so he chose peace. It is therefore written (2 Kings 20:19), "Peace and truth shall be in my days." This shall be through the attribute that You gave to David. Regarding this, it is written (Psalm 89:37), "His throne shall be like the sun before Me."

Neḥunya was credited for the mystic writing "Book of Illumination (Book of Brightness)", because it begins with the words, "R. Nehunya ben HaKanah said". The Book of Illumination is also known as Midrash of Rabbi Nehunya ben HaKanah. The "Book of Illumination later became known as the Kabbalah. The diagram is the Jewish Kabbalist Sephirot, in simplistic terms is similar to the Christian to the three aspects of God in the Trinity. The Sephirot has ten aspects of God. Notice the Shekinah is at the base of the Sephirot.






Joshua ben Hananiah was a leading Jewish Rabbi of the first half-century following the destruction of the Temple. He proved the resurrection through the following verse:


And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, and rise up again; and this people shall go a whoring etc.

Rabban Shimon bar Yochai (Rashbi) was a famous 1st-century tannaic sage in ancient Israel, active after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. He is attributed with the authorship of the Zohar, the chief work of Kabbalah. He also was quoted on the Deuteronomy 31:16 passage.


Behold, Thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, and rise again etc.

Afterlife and the World to Come


Zohar I, 205b-206a


Come and see. When the Holy One, blessed be HASHEM, created man, God gathered dust for him from the four corners of the world, and God made his body in the place of the sanctuary below. And God bestowed upon him the breath of life from the Temple above. There are three levels that comprise the soul, and therefore the soul has three names, on the pattern of the mystery above: nefesh, ruach, and neshamah. Nefesh, they have already explained, is the lowest of all. Ruach is the (power of) sustenance, which rules over the nefesh and is a higher level than (the nefesh), sustaining it throughout as is fitting. Neshamah is the highest (power of) sustenance, and rules over all, a holy level, exalted above all.


These three levels are contained within man, in those who are deserving because of their devotion to their Creator. At first he has a nefesh, which is a holy restorer, by which man can be restored. When man begins to purify himself he is restored at this level so that he may adorn himself with the ruach, which is a holy level, dwelling above the nefesh, and which stimulates the man who is deserving. Once he has ascended through them, through the nefesh and the ruach, and he has begun the process of restoration through the correct worship of his Creator, the neshamah rests upon him, the highest holy level, which rules over all, so that he may adorn himself with this highest holy level. Then he is the most perfect of all, perfect in every respect, worthy of the world to come, and he is one who loves the Holy One, blessed be HASHEM, as it is said, “That I may cause those that love Me to inherit substance” (Proverbs 8:21). Who are “those that love Me”? It is they who possess the holy neshamah.


The Garden of Eden: A Jewish Heaven


What the next world is, however, is far from clear. The rabbis use the term Olam Ha-Ba to refer to a heaven-like afterlife as well as to the messianic era or the age of resurrection, and it is often difficult to know which one is being referred to. When the Talmud does speak of Olam Ha-Ba in connection to the afterlife, it often uses it interchangeably with the term Gan Eden ("the Garden of Eden"), referring to a heavenly realm where souls reside after physical death.


The use of the term Gan Eden to describe "heaven" suggests that the rabbis conceived of the afterlife as a return to the blissful existence of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden before the "fall." It is generally believed that in Gan Eden the human soul exists in a disembodied state until the time of bodily resurrection in the days of the Messiah.

R. Ishmael


It can be deduced from glassware: if glassware, which, though made by the breath of human beings, can yet be repaired when broken; then how much more so man, created by the breath of the Holy One, blessed be He.

When I was young I had several death and resurrection dreams. One that stands out was my car slipping on ice over the Cabin John bridge into the Potomac River. Then somehow I ended up in my parents front door soaked. I knocked on the door and remember the shock they both had seeing me. My mother told me I was dead. My father asked me why I was pretending to be their son. Then I told them stories that they only would know. The oddest part of the dream was the feeling that I did not feel welcome at my parent's house anymore. That was never the case. My parents loved me unconditionally. I do not know why the dream transpired. But, maybe it was anxiety I was having knowing I was leaving to travel around the world. The reason why I bring this up is wondering if many of us have been sharing similar dreams of dying and resurrection since the beginning of man.

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The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles

Chapter 5


5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;


Romans 9

I am telling the truth in Christ (I am not lying!), for my conscience assures me in the Holy Spirit

9:2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.

9:3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed – cut off from Christ – for the sake of my people, my fellow countrymen,

9:4 who are Israelites. To them belong the adoption as sons, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the temple worship, and the promises.

9:5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from them, by human descent, came the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever! Amen.

The Spirit of Glory is the Spirit of God.

Romans 6

6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to remain in sin so that grace may increase?

6:2 Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

6:3 Or do you not know that as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

6:4 Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life.

6:5 For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be united in the likeness of his resurrection.

6:6 We know that our old man was crucified with him so that the body of sin would no longer dominate us, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.

6:7 (For someone who has died has been freed from sin.)

6:8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.

6:9 We know that since Christ has been raised from the dead, he is never going to die again; death no longer has mastery over him.

6:10 For the death he died, he died to sin once for all, but the life he lives, he lives to God.

6:11 So you too consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its desires,

6:13 and do not present your members to sin as instruments to be used for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead and your members to God as instruments to be used for righteousness.

6:14 For sin will have no mastery over you, because you are not under law but under grace.

Is Jesus the Spirit of Glory manifested through the Spirit of God?

James 2

2:1 My brothers and sisters, do not show prejudice if you possess faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.

1:14 Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory – the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father.

1:15 John testified about him and shouted out, “This one was the one about whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is greater than I am, because he existed before me.’”

1:16 For we have all received from his fullness one gracious gift after another.

1:17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came about through Jesus Christ.

1:18 No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God, who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has made God known.

John 17

17:1 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he looked upward to heaven and said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that your Son may glorify you

17:2 just as you have given him authority over all humanity, so that he may give eternal life to everyone you have given him.

17:3 Now this is eternal life – that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent.

17:4 I glorified you on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.

17:5 And now, Father, glorify me at your side with the glory I had with you before the world was created.


17:10 Everything I have belongs to you, and everything you have belongs to me, and I have been glorified by them.

17:11 I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them safe in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one.


17:24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they can see my glory that you gave me because you loved me before the creation of the world .

17:25 Righteous Father, even if the world does not know you, I know you, and these men know that you sent me.

17:26 I made known your name to them, and I will continue to make it known, so that the love you have loved me with may be in them, and I may be in them.”

Leviticus 11

11:44 for I am the Lord your God and you are to sanctify yourselves and be holy because I am holy. You must not defile yourselves by any of the swarming things that creep on the ground,

11:45 for I am the Lord who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God, and you are to be holy because I am holy.

Listen to Sanctify Yourselves by Simple Minds

I love their lyrics.

You can't stop the world for a boy or a girl
Sweet victims of poor circumstances
But you can pour back the love, sweeping down from above
Giving hope and making more chances
Well, I hope and I pray that maybe someday
You'll come back down here and show me the way
Control yourself, love is all you need
Control yourself, open up your heart
Open up your heart
Sanctify yourself, sanctify
Sanctify yourself, sanctify

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The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;

The Shekinah enters Solomon's Temple to Hashem.

2 Chronicles 6

6:40 “Now, my God, may you be attentive and responsive to the prayers offered in this place.

6:41 Now ascend, O Lord God, to your resting place, you and the ark of your strength! May your priests, O Lord God, experience your deliverance! May your loyal followers rejoice in the prosperity you give!

6:42 O Lord God, do not reject your chosen ones! Remember the faithful promises you made to your servant David!”

7:1 When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the Lord’s splendor filled the temple.

7:2 The priests were unable to enter the Lord’s temple because the Lord’s splendor filled the Lord’s temple.

7:3 When all the Israelites saw the fire come down and the Lord’s splendor over the temple, they got on their knees with their faces downward toward the pavement. They worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, “Certainly he is good; certainly his loyal love endures!


Here Josephus states when the Shekinah left the Temple.

Flavius Josephus: The Wars Of The Jews Or The History Of The Destruction Of Jerusalem

Book VI




3. Thus were the miserable people persuaded by these deceivers, and such as belied God himself; while they did not attend nor give credit to the signs that were so evident, and did so plainly foretell their future desolation, but, like men infatuated, without either eyes to see or minds to consider, did not regard the denunciations that God made to them. Thus there was a star resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and a comet, that continued a whole year. Thus also before the Jews' rebellion, and before those commotions which preceded the war, when the people were come in great crowds to the feast of unleavened bread, on the eighth day of the month Xanthicus, [Nisan,] and at the ninth hour of the night, so great a light shone round the altar and the holy house, that it appeared to be bright day time; which lasted for half an hour. This light seemed to be a good sign to the unskillful, but was so interpreted by the sacred scribes, as to portend those events that followed immediately upon it. At the same festival also, a heifer, as she was led by the high priest to be sacrificed, brought forth a lamb in the midst of the temple. Moreover, the eastern gate of the inner [court of the] temple, which was of brass, and vastly heavy, and had been with difficulty shut by twenty men, and rested upon a basis armed with iron, and had bolts fastened very deep into the firm floor, which was there made of one entire stone, was seen to be opened of its own accord about the sixth hour of the night. Now those that kept watch in the temple came hereupon running to the captain of the temple, and told him of it; who then came up thither, and not without great difficulty was able to shut the gate again. This also appeared to the vulgar to be a very happy prodigy, as if God did thereby open them the gate of happiness. But the men of learning understood it, that the security of their holy house was dissolved of its own accord, and that the gate was opened for the advantage of their enemies. So these publicly declared that the signal foreshowed the desolation that was coming upon them. Besides these, a few days after that feast, on the one and twentieth day of the month Artemisius, [Jyar,] a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared: I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities. Moreover, at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner [court of the temple,] as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, "Let us remove hence." But, what is still more terrible, there was one Jesus, the son of Ananus, a plebeian and a husbandman, who, four years before the war began, and at a time when the city was in very great peace and prosperity, came to that feast whereon it is our custom for every one to make tabernacles to God in the temple, (23) began on a sudden to cry aloud, "A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against this whole people!" This was his cry, as he went about by day and by night, in all the lanes of the city. However, certain of the most eminent among the populace had great indignation at this dire cry of his, and took up the man, and gave him a great number of severe stripes; yet did not he either say any thing for himself, or any thing peculiar to those that chastised him, but still went on with the same words which he cried before. Hereupon our rulers, supposing, as the case proved to be, that this was a sort of divine fury in the man, brought him to the Roman procurator, where he was whipped till his bones were laid bare; yet he did not make any supplication for himself, nor shed any tears, but turning his voice to the most lamentable tone possible, at every stroke of the whip his answer was, "Woe, woe to Jerusalem!" And when Albinus (for he was then our procurator) asked him, Who he was? and whence he came? and why he uttered such words? he made no manner of reply to what he said, but still did not leave off his melancholy ditty, till Albinus took him to be a madman, and dismissed him. Now, during all the time that passed before the war began, this man did not go near any of the citizens, nor was seen by them while he said so; but he every day uttered these lamentable words, as if it were his premeditated vow, "Woe, woe to Jerusalem!" Nor did he give ill words to any of those that beat him every day, nor good words to those that gave him food; but this was his reply to all men, and indeed no other than a melancholy presage of what was to come. This cry of his was the loudest at the festivals; and he continued this ditty for seven years and five months, without growing hoarse, or being tired therewith, until the very time that he saw his presage in earnest fulfilled in our siege, when it ceased; for as he was going round upon the wall, he cried out with his utmost force, "Woe, woe to the city again, and to the people, and to the holy house!" And just as he added at the last, "Woe, woe to myself also!" there came a stone out of one of the engines, and smote him, and killed him immediately; and as he was uttering the very same presages he gave up the ghost.


Where did the Shekinah go when it left Hashem's temple before its destruction? Saint Paul clearly explains the Holy Spirit's new ministry..

2 Corinthians 2

3:2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone,

3:3 revealing that you are a letter of Christ, delivered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on stone tablets but on tablets of human hearts.

3:4 Now we have such confidence in God through Christ.

3:5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as if it were coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,

3:6 who made us adequate to be servants of a new covenant not based on the letter but on the Spirit, for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

3:7 But if the ministry that produced death – carved in letters on stone tablets – came with glory, so that the Israelites could not keep their eyes fixed on the face of Moses because of the glory of his face (a glory which was made ineffective),

3:8 how much more glorious will the ministry of the Spirit be?

3:9 For if there was glory in the ministry that produced condemnation, how much more does the ministry that produces righteousness excel in glory!

3:10 For indeed, what had been glorious now has no glory because of the tremendously greater glory of what replaced it.

3:11 For if what was made ineffective came with glory, how much more has what remains come in glory!

3:12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we behave with great boldness,

3:13 and not like Moses who used to put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from staring at the result of the glory that was made ineffective.

3:14 But their minds were closed. For to this very day, the same veil remains when they hear the old covenant read. It has not been removed because only in Christ is it taken away.

3:15 But until this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds,

3:16 but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.

3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is present, there is freedom.

3:18 And we all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit.


Acts 13

13:1 Now there were these prophets and teachers in the church at Antioch: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius the Cyrenian, Manaen (a close friend of Herod the tetrarch from childhood ) and Saul.

13:2 While they were serving the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.

13:3 Then, after they had fasted and prayed and placed their hands on them, they sent them off.

13:4 So Barnabas and Saul, sent out by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.

13:5 When they arrived in Salamis, they began to proclaim the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. (Now they also had John as their assistant.)

13:6 When they had crossed over the whole island as far as Paphos, they found a magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus,

13:7 who was with the proconsul Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. The proconsul summoned Barnabas and Saul and wanted to hear the word of God.

13:8 But the magician Elymas (for that is the way his name is translated) opposed them, trying to turn the proconsul away from the faith.

13:9 But Saul (also known as Paul), filled with the Holy Spirit, stared straight at him

13:10 and said, “You who are full of all deceit and all wrongdoing, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness – will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord?

13:11 Now look, the hand of the Lord is against you, and you will be blind, unable to see the sun for a time!” Immediately mistiness and darkness came over him, and he went around seeking people to lead him by the hand.

13:12 Then when the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, because he was greatly astounded at the teaching about the Lord.







687 "No one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God." Now God's Spirit, who reveals God, makes known to us Christ, his Word, his living Utterance, but the Spirit does not speak of himself. The Spirit who "has spoken through the prophets" makes us hear the Father's Word, but we do not hear the Spirit himself. We know him only in the movement by which he reveals the Word to us and disposes us to welcome him in faith. The Spirit of truth who "unveils" Christ to us "will not speak on his own." Such properly divine self-effacement explains why "the world cannot receive [him], because it neither sees him nor knows him," while those who believe in Christ know the Spirit because he dwells with them.

688 The Church, a communion living in the faith of the apostles which she transmits, is the place where we know the Holy Spirit:

- in the Scriptures he inspired;

- in the Tradition, to which the Church Fathers are always timely witnesses;

- in the Church's Magisterium, which he assists;

- in the sacramental liturgy, through its words and symbols, in which the Holy Spirit puts us into communion with Christ;

- in prayer, wherein he intercedes for us;

- in the charisms and ministries by which the Church is built up;

- in the signs of apostolic and missionary life;

- in the witness of saints through whom he manifests his holiness and continues the work of salvation.


689 The One whom the Father has sent into our hearts, the Spirit of his Son, is truly God. Consubstantial with the Father and the Son, the Spirit is inseparable from them, in both the inner life of the Trinity and his gift of love for the world. In adoring the Holy Trinity, life-giving, consubstantial, and indivisible, the Church's faith also professes the distinction of persons. When the Father sends his Word, he always sends his Breath. In their joint mission, the Son and the Holy Spirit are distinct but inseparable. To be sure, it is Christ who is seen, the visible image of the invisible God, but it is the Spirit who reveals him.

690 Jesus is Christ, "anointed," because the Spirit is his anointing, and everything that occurs from the Incarnation on derives from this fullness. When Christ is finally glorified, he can in turn send the Spirit from his place with the Father to those who believe in him: he communicates to them his glory, that is, the Holy Spirit who glorifies him. From that time on, this joint mission will be manifested in the children adopted by the Father in the Body of his Son:

the mission of the Spirit of adoption is to unite them to Christ and make them live in him:

The notion of anointing suggests . . . that there is no distance between the Son and the Spirit. Indeed, just as between the surface of the body and the anointing with oil neither reason nor sensation recognizes any intermediary, so the contact of the Son with the Spirit is immediate, so that anyone who would make contact with the Son by faith must first encounter the oil by contact. In fact there is no part that is not covered by the Holy Spirit. That is why the confession of the Son's Lordship is made in the Holy Spirit by those who receive him, the Spirit coming from all sides to those who approach the Son in faith.

I am still trying to sort out the view of the Holy Spirit. I now understand that Kabbalistic Jews and Gnostics believe that the Holy Spirit is a distinct element of God. This is similar to the Christian beliefs. But, where the paths diverge is the concept of the Holy Spirit being a female consort of God. Therefore, say the Kabbalists, "the Christian Trinity properly translated should be Father, Son and Mother." According to Reverend Mark Raines Shekhina is Mary.

Shekinah: The Presence of Divinity
by Rev. Mark Raines

Shekinah - also spelled Shekhina, Shekhinah, Shekina, and Shechina - is known in the Qabalah, an ancient form of Jewish mysticism, as one of the emanations of God and the actual Presence of God. The belief was that one could not see God in Its fullness, but could see the emanation of God, Shekinah. When Moses asked to see God, it was Shekinah that he saw. Shekinah is also the consort, or Bride, of God. As such, she is Mother to us all, just as God is our Father.

In earlier times, God was seen as either dwelling in the clouds or in high places like mountains or very high hills. With the construction of the Ark of the Covenant, and then the construction of the Temple, a part of the Godhead came to dwell in the Ark and then in the Temple. This could not be the male God, the God of the Sky and of High Places. So Shekinah, formerly known as Asherah, a Goddess of Earth and Sea, came to dwell in the Ark of the Covenant and then in the Temple.

Originally it was Asherah who dwelled in the Temple as the Bride of God, His representative there. But after the "reforms" of King Josiah, Asherah worship was forbidden in the Temple. Still, the Jews knew that their Lady was still living there as their Queen and the representative of El, their God. So Asherah evolved. She began to be seen as the presence of God, and less as a separate entity. She became Shekinah, which means something like She who dwells (from the Hebrew shakhan, which means the act of dwelling). However, Asherah did not really change. She was always the representative of Her Husband, just as He was always HER representative. She, an Earth Goddess, was also Queen of Heaven. He, as Sky God, was also Ruler of Earth. This occurred only through Their marriage. So, it was not really that Asherah worship ever changed much within Judaism, or that Asherah Herself changed; only, it was made to look like it had changed to fool the patriarchal priests.

Unfortunately, Shekinah has been all but lost to Christianity. Elements of Her remain in Mother Mary, who was perhaps Shekinah's incarnation. Mary Theotokos, as She is called, actually held the presence of God (Yeshua) within Her. She is known as the Queen of Heaven, but she is the representative of God to us and delivers our prayers to Him, according to Catholic tradition. Her apparitions are much more frequent than the apparitions of Yeshua, and the Father never appears. It seems that She is truly His representative to us, because (as we know) She is His Bride.

The union of Shekinah and El was never more evident than in the Sabbath. She is known as the Sabbath Bride, or the Sabbath Queen. Each week on the Sabbath, God and Goddess, El and Shekinah, act out the Song of Songs. One rabbi called that holy book the "Holy of Holies" of the Bible! Now take a look at this passage from the Zohar (the holy book of the Qabalah), called the Secret of the Sabbath, which tells us all about the Sabbath Queen:

The Secret of Sabbath:

She is Sabbath!
United in the secret of One
to draw down upon Her
the secret of One.

The prayer for the entrance of Sabbath:
The holy Throne of Glory is united in the secret of One,
prepared for the High Holy King to rest upon Her.

When Sabbath enters She is alone,
separated from the Other Side,
all judgments removed from Her.

Basking in the oneness of holy light,
She is crowned over and over to face the Holy King.
All powers of wrath and masters of judgment flee from Her.

Her face shines with a light from beyond;
She is crowned below by the holy people,
and all of them are crowned with new souls.

Then the beginning of prayer to bless Her with joy and beaming faces:

Barekbu ET YHVH ha-Mevorakh,
"Bless ET YHVH, the-Blessed One,"
ET YHVH, blessing Her first.

(*ET-YHVH is another name for 'Shekinah' (the feminine Divine Presence). In the Kabbalah, ET stands for Aleph to Tav, like our Alpha to Omega, or A to Z. Here ET refers to the song itself as the ultimate speech, hymn or prayer. According to the notes of Daniel Chanan Matt's translation, this passage from the ZOHAR is recited in the Sephardic liturgy on Sabbath Eve.)

Here is the Catholic Church's view on Mary and the Holy Spirit.

Marialis Cultus

Apostolic Exhortation
Venerable Brethren
Health and Apostolic Benediction

26.At this mention of the Christological orientation of devotion to the Virgin, it seems useful to follow a call to the opportunity that it has given adequate prominence to one of the essential contents of the faith: the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Theological reflection and the liturgy have, in fact, how the sanctifying intervention of the Spirit in the Virgin of Nazareth was a culminating moment of his action in the history of salvation. Thus, for example, some of the Fathers and ecclesiastical writers attributed to the work of the Spirit the original holiness of Mary, from him and formed as a new creature; by reflecting on the Gospel texts - the Holy Spirit will come upon you , and the power of 'Most High will cover you ( Luke 1:35) and Mary (...) it was found with child through the Holy Spirit , (...) is the work of the Holy Spirit, in what she has been generated ( Mt 1,18. 20) - saw action in the intervention of the Spirit who consecrated and made ​​fruitful virginity of Mary and she turned into King's Palace or the Word Talamo , Temple or Tabernacle of the Lord , Ark of the Covenant or Sanctification , titles rich in biblical echoes. Deepening still the mystery of the Incarnation, they saw in the relationship between the Holy Spirit and Mary an aspect redolent of marriage, poetically portrayed by Prudentius: The Virgin unmarried bride Spirit and called the Sanctuary of the Holy Spirit expression that emphasizes the Holy Virgin, which has become a permanent abode of the Spirit of God Deeper in the doctrine of the Paraclete, he warned that, as from a fountain, had been a result the fullness of grace (cf. Lk 1:28), and the abundance of gifts that adorned: the Spirit, therefore, attributed the faith, hope and charity that animated the heart of the Virgin, the force that supported the adherence to the will of God, the force that held her in his "compassion" at the foot of the Cross; signaled in the prophetic canticle of Mary (cf. Lk 1:46-55) a special influence of the Spirit who spoke through the prophets. Finally, considering the presence of the Mother of Jesus in the Upper Room, where the Spirit descended upon the nascent Church (cf. Acts 1:12-14, 2:1-4), enriched with new developments the ancient theme of Mary Church, and, more importantly, they resorted to the intercession of the Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit to get the ability to generate Christ in their soul, as evidenced by St Ildefonso in a plea, surprising for doctrine and force of prayer: Please, I beg you, holy Virgin, I have Jesus than the one Spirit, as you yourself have generated Receive Jesus my soul Jesus by the power of the Spirit, for whom your flesh conceived Jesus himself . (...) What I love Jesus in that same Spirit in whom you adore as Lord and gaze upon Him as the Son .

27.It is sometimes said that many spiritual writings today do not sufficiently reflect the whole doctrine of the Holy Spirit. It is up to the scholars verify this statement and to assess the scope, our job is to encourage everyone, especially pastors and theologians to deepen their reflection on the action of the Spirit in salvation history, and to ensure that the texts of Christian piety in the pose light due to its life-giving action. Such a study will bring out in particular the hidden relationship between the Spirit of God and the Virgin of Nazareth and their action on the Church and the content of the faith more deeply meditated result will be a more vital piety.

28. It is necessary, then, that the exercises of piety with which the faithful express their devotion to the Mother of the Lord, should clearly show the place it occupies in the Church after Christ the highest and closest to us, a place that in the places of worship of the Byzantine Rite is plastically expressed in the same format of the members of the architectural and iconographic elements - the central door of the iconostasis depicting the Annunciation to Mary, the Theotokos in the apse representation glorious - yes that one perceives as from the consent of the Lord dell'Ancella humanity begins its return to God and the glory of the All-Holy see destination of his journey. The symbolism with which the building of the Church expresses the place of Mary in the mystery of the Church of significance and gives grounds for hoping that throughout the various forms of devotion to the Blessed Virgin is open to ecclesial perspectives.

In fact, the reference to the fundamental concepts exposed by the Second Vatican Council about the nature of the Church as Family of God, the People of God, Kingdom of God, the Mystical Body of Christ, allow the faithful to recognize more readily the mission of Mary in the mystery of the Church and its prominent place in the communion of saints, to feel more intensely the fraternal bond that unites all believers, because they are children of the Virgin at whose birth and development she cooperates with a maternal love spiritual and also children of the Church, because we from His birth we are born, we are nourished by her milk and we are made ​​alive by the Spirit , who both combine to create the mystical body of Christ: The one and the other is the mother of Christ, but none of them generates all (the body) without the other ; faithful will appreciate more clearly that the action of the Church in the world is like an extension of Mary's concern. In fact, the active love of the Virgin in Nazareth, the home of Elizabeth, at Cana and on Golgotha ​​- all salvific reaching ecclesial - finds its extension in the mother of the Church, so that all men come to the knowledge of the truth ( cf 1 Tim 2:4), His care for the humble, the poor, the weak, in its ongoing commitment to peace and social harmony, in her untiring efforts that all men share in the salvation merited for them by the death of Christ. In this way the love of the Church will become love for Mary, and vice versa, since the one can not exist without the other, as acutely observed Cromatius saint of Aquileia: The Church was united in the upper part (the Last Supper) with Mary, who was the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. It can not, therefore, speak of the Church if there is Mary, the mother of the Lord, with his brothers . In conclusion, we reiterate the need for the veneration to the Blessed Virgin makes explicit its intrinsic and ecclesiological content: this will take say use of a force capable of renewing its forms and texts.

B. Four guidelines for the cult of the Virgin: the biblical, liturgical, ecumenical and anthropological

29.To the above, that emerge from the consideration of the reports of the Virgin Mary with God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - and with the Church, we are continuing to add the second line of the conciliar teaching, guidelines - biblical, liturgical, ecumenical and anthropological - to take into account when revising or creating exercises and practices of piety, to make it more alive and felt the bond that unites us to the Mother of Christ and our Mother in the Communion of Saints.

30.The need for a biblical forms of worship is now perceived as a postulate of Christian piety. The progress of biblical studies, the increasing diffusion of the Holy Scriptures, and especially the example of the tradition and the inner promptings of the Spirit, guiding the Christians of our time to use more and more of the Bible as the basic prayer, and draw from it genuine inspiration and unsurpassed models. Devotion to the Blessed Virgin can not be subtracted from this general orientation of Christian piety indeed it should particularly be inspired to buy new vigor and sure help. The Bible, offering a wonderful design of God for the salvation of men, is replete with the mystery of the Savior and also contains, from Genesis to Revelation, clear references to her who was the Mother of the Saviour and cooperator. We would not, however, the impression that the Bible is merely a diligent use of texts and symbols skillfully from the Holy Scriptures and entails more: it requires, in fact, that to take from the Bible terms and inspiration, prayer formulas and compositions intended for singing, and requires, above all, that the cult of the Virgin is permeated of the great themes of the Christian message, so that, while the faithful venerate the woman who is the Seat of Wisdom, are themselves illuminated by the light of God's word and induced to act according to the dictates of the Incarnate Wisdom.

31.Veneration of the Church to the Mother of God in the celebration of the sacred liturgy we have already spoken. But now, speaking of the other forms of worship and the criteria on which they should inspire, we can not forget the rule of the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, which, while strongly recommends the pious exercises of the Christian people, he adds: ... that we must not these exercises, taking into account the liturgical seasons should be so arranged as to be in harmony with the sacred liturgy, it should somehow derive inspiration, and with it, due to its very nature is far superior, lead the people . Norma wise, clear rule, the application of which has not yet easy, especially in the field of devotion to the Virgin, so varied in their formal expressions it requires, in fact, by the managers of the local community effort, pastoral sensitivity, perseverance and, by the faithful, willingness to accept guidelines and ideas drawn from the true nature of Christian worship, sometimes involving the change of use inveterate in which that nature was somewhat obscured.

In this regard, we would like to mention two attitudes that could nullify the norm in the pastoral practice of the Second Vatican Council: first, the attitude of some that deal with the care of souls, who scorn a priori the pious exercises, which also , in due form, are recommended by the Magisterium, who leave them aside and create a vacuum that they do not fill, they forget that the council said the pious exercises to harmonize with the liturgy, not to suppress them.

Secondly, the attitude of others, outside of a healthy liturgical and pastoral criteria, mix practices of piety and liturgical acts in celebrations hybrid . It happens sometimes that in the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice of its elements are inserted novenas or other pious practices, with the danger that the memorial of the Lord does not represent the culmination of the meeting of the Christian community, but almost any occasion for devotional practice. For those who act so we would like to recall the rule prescribes to reconcile the pious exercises harmonize with the liturgy, not merged with it. A pastoral action must be illuminated from one side to distinguish and emphasize the proper nature of the liturgical acts, on the other hand enhance the pious exercises, to suit the needs of each ecclesial community and make them valuable auxiliaries of the Liturgy.

32. For its ecclesial character, devotion to the Blessed Virgin reflects the concerns of the Church, including in our day is her anxiety for the restoration of Christian unity. Devotion to the Mother of God thus becomes sensitive to the deep desires and aims of the ecumenical movement, that is, it acquires an ecumenical character. And this for various reasons.

33.We are aware that there exist important differences between the thinking of many brothers and sisters of other Churches and ecclesial communities and Catholic doctrine around (...) the role of Mary in the work of salvation and then around the cult to make them. However, because the same power of the Most High overshadowed the Virgin of Nazareth (cf. Lk 1:35) and which in today's ecumenical movement and fruitful, we wish to express our confidence that the devotion to the humble handmaid of the Lord, in which the Almighty has done great things (cf. Lk 1:49), become, even if slowly, not an obstacle, but by and meeting point for the unity of all believers in Christ. We welcome, in fact, to see that a better understanding of the place of Mary in the mystery of Christ and of the Church, even by our separated brethren is smoothing the way to the meeting. How to Cana the Blessed Virgin's intervention resulted in Christ's performing the first of his miracles (cf. Jn 2:1-12), so today she can, through her ​​intercession, bring to realization the time when the disciples of Christ gather full communion in faith. And this hope of ours is the observation of Our predecessor Leo XIII, the cause of Christian unity properly pertains to the spiritual motherhood of Mary. In fact, those who belong to Christ, Mary gave birth to them and could not create them except in one faith and one love: for 'Is Christ divided? " ( 1 Cor 1:13) We must, however, all set to live the life of Christ, so that in one and the same body bear fruit for God ( Rom. 7:4).

34.In the cult of the Virgin must be taken into careful consideration the certain findings of the human sciences, as this will help to eliminate one of the causes of the discomfort that is felt in the field of devotion to the Mother of the Lord: the gap, that is, among some of his content and modern anthropological and psycho-sociological reality, profoundly changed, in which the men of our time live and work. It should be noted, in fact, that it is difficult to frame the image of the Virgin, as revealed by some devotional literature, in the living conditions of contemporary society and, in particular, those of women, whether in the home, where the laws and the 'evolution of the costume are being justly recognized the equality and shared responsibility with the man in the direction of family life and in the political arena, where it has won in many countries a power of intervention in public life equal to that of man; In the social field, where it carries out its activities in several operational areas, leaving every day of the restricted surroundings of the hearth, and in the cultural field, where they are offered new possibilities for scientific research and intellectual activities.

It follows from certain a certain disaffection towards the cult of the Virgin and a certain difficulty to take Mary of Nazareth as a model, because the horizons of his life - he says - are restricted in comparison to the vast areas of activity in which contemporary man is called to act. In this regard, we exhort theologians, the leaders of the Christian communities and the faithful themselves to devote due attention to these problems, there seems useful to offer, We, too, a part of the solution by making a few observations.

35.First of all, the Virgin Mary has always been proposed by the Church to the faithful imitation, not precisely the kind of life she led, much less for the socio-cultural environment in which she lived and which today scarcely exists anywhere but because, in his concrete circumstances of life, she fully and responsibly adhered to the will of God (cf. Lk 1:38), because they received the word and put it into practice, because his action was motivated by charity and a spirit of service, because, in short, , was the first and most perfect disciple of Christ, which has an exemplary value, universal and permanent.

36. Secondly, we would like to note that the difficulties mentioned above are closely related to certain aspects of the popular image of Mary and literary, not with his evangelical image, nor with the doctrinal data specified in the slow and serious work of explanation of the revealed word .It must be assumed, in fact, normal Christian generations, have occurred in different socio-cultural frameworks, to contemplate the figure and mission of Mary-as a new and perfect Christian woman who embodies the characteristics of female life situations because the Virgin, Bride, Mother -, deemed the Mother of Jesus eminent type of Women and a shining example of evangelical life, and have expressed their feelings according to these categories and their representations of their time. The Church, when considering the long history of Marian devotion she rejoices at the fact of the continuity of worship, but does not bind to the diagrams representing various eras nor to the particular cultural anthropological concepts that lie at their base, and understands that certain expressions of worship perfectly valid in themselves, they are less suited to men who belong to different ages and cultures.

37.Finally, we wish to point out that in our time, not unlike the previous ones, is called to verify its knowledge of reality with the word of God, and to limit ourselves to our subject, to compare its anthropological ideas and problems that arise with the figure of the Virgin Mary, which is given by the Gospel. The reading of the divine Scriptures, made ​​under the influence of the Holy Spirit and with the discoveries of the human sciences and the various situations in the contemporary world, take you to discover how Mary can be considered a mirror of reality that make up the expectation of the people of our time. So, to give some examples, the contemporary woman, eager to get involved with decision-making power of the community, contemplate with intimate joy Mary who, taken into dialogue with God, gives her active and responsible consent is not the solution to a problem contingent but at that 'the work of centuries , as has been rightly called the Incarnation of the Word will realize that the choice of virginity by Mary, who in God's possession at the mystery of the Incarnation was not act of closure to some of the values ​​of the married state, but constituted a bold choice, carried to devote himself totally to God's love So constaterà with pleased surprise that Mary of Nazareth, while completely devoted to the Lord's will, was anything but timidly submissive woman or one whose piety was repellent, but women who did not hesitate to proclaim that God vindicates the humble and the oppressed, and the mighty from their thrones of the world (cf. Lk 1.51 to 53), and recognize in Mary, who stands out among the poor and humble of the Lord , 104 a strong woman, who experienced poverty and suffering, flight and exile (cf. Mt 2:13-23): situations that can not escape the attention of those who want to indulge in an evangelical spirit energies liberating man and society, and not the jealously mother Mary will appear as a folded own divine Son, but that woman with his action encouraged the faith of the apostolic community in Christ (cf. Jn 2:1-12) and whose maternal role was extended, assuming universal on Calvary. These are but examples, from which it is clear that the figure of the Virgin does not disillusion any of the profound expectations of the men of our time and offers them the perfect model of the disciple of the Lord, maker of earthly and temporal city, but diligent pilgrim towards the heavenly and eternal; promoter of justice which sets free the oppressed and charity that assists the needy, but especially active witness of love that builds up Christ in their hearts.

38.Having offered these directives, in order to promote the harmonious development of devotion to the Mother of the Lord, we should draw attention to some erroneous attitudes of devotion. The Second Vatican Council has already authoritatively denounced both the exaggeration of content and form that comes to distort the doctrine and the small-mindedness which obscures the figure and mission of Mary, as well as some deviations worship as vain credulity, which serious commitment substitutes reliance on merely external practices as sterile and ephemeral sentimentality, so alien to the spirit of the Gospel, which requires persevering and practical. We reaffirm the disapproval: They are not in harmony with the Catholic faith and Therefore, there should be no place in Catholic worship. Careful defense against these errors and deviations will make the cult to the Virgin most powerful and genuine: solid in its foundation, so that study of the revealed sources and attention to the documents of the Magisterium will prevail over exaggerated search for novelties or extraordinary , objective in its historical, to which must be eliminated everything that is obviously legendary or false adequate to the doctrinal content, hence the need to avoid one-sided presentation of the figure of Mary, which, more than they should insist on an element compromises the overall picture of the Gospel; clear in its motivation, so with diligent care will be kept away from the shrine every petty interest.

39.Finally, if one were needed, we would like to reiterate that the ultimate purpose of devotion to the Blessed Virgin is to glorify God and to bind Christians to a life entirely according to his will. The children of the Church, in fact, when, joining their voices with the voice of the anonymous woman of the Gospel, glorify the Mother of Jesus, saying to Jesus: Blessed is the womb that formed thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked! ( Lk 11:27), will be led to consider the serious response of the Divine Master: Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it ( Luke 11:28). And this answer, if it is itself alive praise for the Virgin Mary, as interpreted some Fathers and the Second Vatican Council has confirmed, 108 warning sounds well for us to live according to the commandments of God and as an echo of the other references same divine Saviour: Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord! will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven ( Matt. 7:21), and: You are my friends if you do what I command you ( Jn 15:14).


40.We have shown some of the principles, designed to give new vigor to the cult of the Mother of the Lord, and now it is the task of the Episcopal Conferences of the leaders of local communities, the various religious congregations prudently practices and exercises of devotion to the Blessed Virgin, the second ' creative impulse of those who through genuine religious inspiration or pastoral sensitivity wish to create new forms. However, It seems appropriate, albeit for different reasons, to treat two practices are widespread in the West, of which this Apostolic See has been active in various occasions: the ' Angelus and the Rosary or the Crown of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Angelus

41.Our word on ' Angelus wants to be just a simple but earnest exhortation to maintain traditional recitation wherever and whenever possible. This prayer does not need to restore its simple structure, the biblical character, its historical origin, which connects to the prayer for peace, the quasi liturgical rhythm which sanctifies different moments of the day, the opening to the mystery Easter, for which recalling the Incarnation of the Son of God, to be led by his passion and his cross to the glory of the Resurrection , make it so that, after centuries, retains its value unaltered and intact its freshness. It is true that some customs traditionally associated with the recitation of the ' Angelus Domini , have disappeared or are unlikely to continue in modern life, but it is marginal elements. Remain unchanged the value of the contemplation of the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word, and the greeting to the Virgin of recourse to her merciful intercession and despite the changed conditions of the times, remain unchanged for the majority of men these moments characteristic of the day - morning , noon and evening - which mark the times of their activities and constitute an invitation to pause for prayer.

Directions to the "Rosary"

42.We wish now, venerable Brothers, to dwell for a moment on the renewal of the pious exercise, which has been called the compendium of the entire Gospel : the Crown of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Rosary. To this our predecessors have devoted close attention and care concern: I have repeatedly recommended frequent recitation, favored its diffusion, explained its nature, recognized the ability to develop a contemplative prayer, which is both praise and supplication, remembered the intrinsic effectiveness for promoting Christian life and apostolic commitment. We, too, since the first general audience of our pontificate (13 July 1963), we showed our great esteem for the pious practice of the Rosary , and as a result we have emphasized the value in a variety of circumstances, some ordinary, some more serious, such as when, in a moment of anguish and uncertainty, we published the Encyclical Epistle Christi Matri (15 September 1966), because they were prayers to the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary, to implore from God the supreme good of peace; call that we renewed in our Apostolic Exhortation Recurrens mensis October (October 1, 1969), in which commemorate the fourth centenary of the Apostolic Letter Consueverunt Romans Pontifices of our predecessor St. Pius V, in which it explained and in some ways, established the traditional form of the Rosary.

43.Our assiduous interest so dear to the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary has pushed us to follow closely the numerous conferences dedicated in recent years to the pastoral care of the Rosary in the contemporary world: conferences promoted by associations and individuals who care deeply about the devotion of the Rosary , and which were attended by bishops, priests, religious and lay people of proven experience and recognized ecclesial sense. Among them is fair to mention the Sons of St. Dominic, by tradition the guardians and promoters of this very worthy devotion. The work of the meetings has been the research of historians, aimed not at defining a sort of archaeological primitive form of the Rosary , but to capture its original inspiration and driving force behind it, the essential structure. From these conferences and research have emerged more clearly the fundamental characteristics of the Rosary , its essential elements and their mutual relationship.

44.So, for example, appeared more light on the nature of the Gospel Rosary , as it draws from the Gospel the presentation of the mysteries and its main formulas in the gospel is inspired to suggest, moving from the joyful greeting of the angel and the religious assent of the Virgin, the attitude with which the faithful should recite it and the Gospel proposes, in harmonious succession of Hail Mary, a fundamental mystery - the Incarnation of the Word - contemplated at the decisive moment of the Annunciation to Mary. Gospel prayer, then, is the Rosary , like today perhaps more than ever like to define pastors and scholars.

45.It was also the most easily understood as the gradual and orderly conduct of the Rosary reflects the very way in which the Word of God, mercifully entering into human affairs, brought about the redemption of The Rosary considers, in fact, in succession the principal salvific events accomplished in Christ: the virginal conception and the mysteries of childhood to the culminating moments of Easter - the blessed Passion and glorious Resurrection - and the effects it has had on the nascent Church on the day of Pentecost, and on the Virgin Mary in the day when, after her earthly life she was assumed body and soul into heavenly homeland. And it was still viewed as the triple partition of the mysteries of the Rosary not only adheres strictly to the chronological order of events, but above all reflects the pattern of the original proclamation of the faith and reclaim the mystery of Christ in the same manner in which it is seen by Saint Paul in the famous hymn of the Letter to the Philippians, humiliation, death and exaltation ( Phil. 2:6-11).

46.Gospel prayer, centered on the mystery of the redemptive Incarnation, the Rosary is therefore a prayer with a clearly Christological orientation. In fact, its characteristic feature - the litany of Hail, Mary - becomes in itself an unceasing praise of Christ, the deadline of the announcement and of the greeting of the Angel of the mother of John the Baptist: Blessed is the fruit of thy womb ( Luke 1, 42). We will say more: the repetition of the ' Hail Mary constitutes the warp on which is the contemplation of the mysteries: the Jesus that each Hail Mary recalls is the same one that the succession of mysteries proposes to us, from time to time, Son of God and the Virgin, born in a manger in Bethlehem, presented by the mother to the temple, as a youth full of zeal for the things of his Father, Redeemer agony in the garden, scourged and crowned with thorns, carrying the cross and dying on Calvary , risen from the dead and ascended to the Father's glory, to bestow the gift of the Spirit. It is known that, precisely to encourage contemplation and mind to match the voice, they used to - and the custom has been preserved in various regions - add the name of Jesus, every "Hail Mary," a term that recalls the mystery utterance.

47.It has also been felt with greater urgency the need to reiterate, next to the value of the element of praise and petition, the importance of another essential element of the Rosary : contemplation. Without it, the Rosary is a body without a soul, and its recitation runs the risk of becoming a mechanical repetition of formulas and contradict the admonition of Jesus: When you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles who believe that they will be heard for their many words ( Mt 6:7). By its nature the recitation of the Rosary calls for a quiet rhythm and a lingering pace, helping the individual to meditate on the mysteries of the Lord's life as seen through the eyes of her who was closest to the Lord, and he unfolded the unsearchable riches .

48.From contemporary reflection were finally included more precisely the relationship between the liturgy and the Rosary . On the one hand, it was pointed out that the Rosary is almost a branch sprung from the ancient trunk of the Christian liturgy, the "Psalter of the Virgin," for which the humble were associated with the song of praise and universal intercession of the Church, on the other , it was noted that this has occurred at a time - the decline of the Middle Ages - in which the liturgical spirit was in decline and occurred a certain distancing from the Liturgy of the Faithful in favor of a sensible devotion to the humanity of Christ and to the Blessed Virgin Mary. If not long ago some people began to desire to see counted the rosary between the liturgy and in others, to the pastoral concern to avoid mistakes of the past, an unjustified inattention to the same rosary, today the problem can easily solved in the light of the principles of the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium : liturgical celebrations and the pious practice of the Rosary should not be neither oppose nor equate. an expression of prayer succeeds much more fruitful, as it retains its true nature and characteristics the is proper. Then reaffirmed the pre-eminent value of liturgical actions, it will not be difficult to recognize as the Rosary is a devotion that easily harmonizes with the liturgy. How the Liturgy, in fact, it is of a community, nourished by Scripture and revolves around the mystery of Christ. Albeit on essentially different planes of reality, the history of the liturgy and the contemplative remembrance of the Rosary have as their object the same salvific events wrought by Christ. The former presents, under the veil of signs and operative in a hidden way, the greatest mysteries of our redemption, and the second, with the devout contemplation, recalls these same mysteries to the mind of the person praying and stimulates the will because they draws standards of living. Once this substantial difference, it is not difficult to understand how the Rosary is an exercise that has drawn the Liturgy reason, and if practiced according to the original inspiration, of course it does not, however cross the threshold. In fact, the meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary, making it familiar to the minds and hearts of the faithful the mysteries of Christ, can be an excellent preparation for the celebration of the liturgical action, and they become a continuing echo. It is, however, a mistake that unfortunately still somewhere, pray the Rosary during the liturgical action.

49.The Crown of the Blessed Virgin Mary, according to the tradition accepted by our predecessor St. Pius V and authoritatively taught by him, consists of various elements disposed in an organic:

a ) Contemplation in communion with Mary in a series of mysteries of salvation, wisely distributed into three cycles, which express the joy of the messianic times, the salvific suffering of Christ, the glory of the Risen Lord which fills the Church; contemplation which, by its nature, practical reflection and provides stimulating norms of life;

b ) the Lord's Prayer, or Our Father , which for its immense value is the basis of Christian prayer and ennobles in its various forms;

c ) the litany-like succession of ' Ave Maria , which is composed of the angel's greeting to the Virgin Mary (cf. Lk 1:28) and of Elizabeth's greeting (cf. Lk 1:42), followed by the prayer of the Church Santa Maria . The series continued the Ave Maria is the special characteristic of the Rosary , and their number, in the full and typical of a hundred and fifty, presents a certain analogy with the Psalter and is an element that goes back to the very origin of the pious exercise. But that number, according to a proven custom, divided into decades attached to the individual mysteries, is distributed in the three cycles already mentioned, giving rise to the Crown of fifty Hail Mary , which came into use as the normal measure of the financial year and, as This was adopted by popular piety and approved by papal authority, which also enriched with numerous indulgences;

d ) the doxology Glory to the Father who, in accordance with a common approach to Christian piety, prayer closes with the glorification of God, One and Triune God, from whom, for whom and in whom are all things (cf. Rom 11.36 ).

50. These are the elements of the Holy Rosary. Each of them has its own particular character which, wisely understood and appreciated, must be reflected in the play, because the Rosary may express all its richness and variety. Thus the recitation will be grave and suppliant during the Lord's lyrical and praise during the calm flow of the Hail Mary , contemplative in the meditation on the mysteries of adoration during the doxology. And this must be done in the various forms in which it is customary to recite the Rosary : privately, in the intimate recollection with the Lord; community, in the family or among the faithful gathered in groups, to create the conditions a special presence of the Lord (cf. Mt 18:20), or publicly, in assemblies which is called the ecclesial community.

51.In recent times they were created some pious exercises, which are inspired by Rosario . Among them, we want to indicate and recommend those that insert into the ordinary celebration of the word of God, some elements of the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin, such as the meditation of the mysteries and the litany of the Angelic Salutation. These elements gain in importance, being classified in the reading of biblical texts, illustrated with a homily, surrounded by silent pauses and emphasized with singing. We are happy to know that such practices have contributed to more fully understand the spiritual riches of the Rosary itself and to reassess the practice in youth associations and movements.

52.Now we want to, as a continuation of our predecessors, to recommend strongly the recitation of the Rosary in the family. The Second Vatican Council has highlighted how the family, first and vital cell of society, through the mutual affection of its members and to pray to God high in common, it proves as the domestic sanctuary of the Church . The Christian Family therefore, appears as a domestic Church, if its members, each within the scope and tasks that are proper, all together promote justice, practice works of mercy, dedicated to the service of others, to take part ' apostolate of the wider local community and their part in its liturgical worship; , and again, if you raise in common suppliant prayers to God that, if it were not for this item, would be missing the very nature of the Christian family. Therefore, the recovery of the theological notion of the family as the domestic Church, must logically be followed by a concrete effort to establish family life, prayer in common.

53.In accordance with the directives of the Council, the General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours rightly include the household between the groups, which befits the celebration of the Divine Office in common: It's commendable thing (...) that the family, the domestic church of the Church, in addition to the common prayers also noted, as appropriate, any part of the Liturgy of the Hours so closer to the Church. Nothing should be left unturned, because this clear and practical indication in Christian families are growing and joyful .

54.But, after the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours - the height to which prayer can come home - there is no doubt that the Crown of the Blessed Virgin Mary is to be considered as one of the most excellent and effective "common prayer," that the Christian family is invited to recite. We like to think, and sincerely hope, that when the family gathering becomes a time of prayer, the rosary is a frequent and welcome. We are well aware that the changed conditions of human life are not conducive, to the present day, a chance meeting between family members and that, even when this happens, not many circumstances make it difficult to turn the family meeting on the occasion of prayer. It is tough thing, no doubt. But it is characteristic of Christian does not give in to circumstances, but to overcome them not to succumb, but rise. Therefore, the families who want to live in fullness the vocation and spirituality of the Christian family, must devote all their energies to eliminate everything that hinders family gatherings and prayers in common.

55.In concluding these observations, evidence of concern and esteem of this Apostolic See to the Rosary of Mary, we want to recommend, however, that in spreading devotion not so healthy proportions are altered, nor is it presented with inappropriate exclusivism, the Rosary is an excellent prayer in respect of which, however, the faithful should feel serenely free urged to recite it, consists in tranquility, its intrinsic beauty.



56. Venerable Brethren, at the end of this our Apostolic Exhortation wish to point out briefly the theological value of devotion to the Virgin and to recall briefly its pastoral effectiveness for the renewal of Christian.
The Church's devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship. The veneration that the Church has made ​​to the Mother of God in every place and at every time - from the greeting of Elizabeth blessing (cf. Lk 1:42-45) expressions of praise and supplication of our time - is a very strong testimony that the accordance with the prayer of the Church is an invitation to become more deeply conscious of her norm of faith. And, vice versa, the rule of faith of the Church requires that, everywhere, luxuriant develop his rule of prayer towards the Mother of Christ. This cult of the Virgin has deep roots in the revealed word and set a solid foundation on the singular dignity of Mary, Mother of the Son of God and, therefore, beloved daughter of the Father and the temple of the Holy Spirit for the gift of extraordinary grace which precedes far surpasses all creatures, both in heaven and earth ; 119 its cooperation in the decisive moments of the work of salvation accomplished by the Son, his holiness, already full in the immaculate conception and increasing gradually while she clung to the will of the Father and walked the path of suffering (cf. Lk 2:34-35, 2:41-52, Jn 19.25-21), progressing steadily in faith, hope and charity, its mission and unique status in the People of God, which is the preeminent member, a shining example and loving Mother, and his unceasing and efficacious intercession which, although assumed into heaven, is very close to the faithful who ask her help, even to those who are unaware of being children, his glory, that ennobles the whole human race, as is wonderfully expressed the poet Dante: Thou ', whom the human nature / such nobility yes, reunites his farmer / not disdain to make himself its creature . Mary, in fact, is one of our race, the true daughter of Eve, though free from the guilt of this mother, and truly our sister, who fully shared, poor and humble woman, our condition.

We add that the devotion to the Blessed Virgin finds its ultimate justification in the unfathomable and free will of God, who, being the eternal and divine love (cf. 1 Jn 4:7-8. 16), accomplishes all things according to a plan of love: he loved her and she did great things (cf. Lk 1:49); loved him for himself and loved for us; gave it to himself and gave it to us.

57. Christ is the only way to the Father (cf. Jn 14.4 to 11).Christ is the supreme model on which the disciple must conform his conduct (cf. Jn 13:15), until you have the same feelings (cf. Phil 2:5), to live his own life and his Spirit (cf. Gal 2 , 20; Rom 8:10-11), the Church has always taught this and nothing in pastoral activity should obscure this doctrine. But the Church, instructed by the Spirit and trained by centuries of experience, recognizes that devotion to the Blessed Virgin, subordinated to worship the Divine Savior and in connection with it, has a great pastoral effectiveness and constitutes a force for renewing Christian . The reason for this effect is easily understood. In fact, the multiple mission of Mary to the People of God is supernatural reality operates and bears fruit in the body of the Church. It rejoices considering the different aspects of this mission and see how they are oriented, each with its effectiveness toward the same goal: to play in the children the spirit of the firstborn Son. We mean that the maternal intercession of the Virgin, her exemplary holiness, divine grace, which is in her become for mankind topic of divine hope.

The mission of the Virgin mother pushes the people of God to turn with filial confidence to her, which is always ready to listen with a mother's affection and efficacious assistance. It is, therefore, usually invoke it as a comforter of the afflicted, Health Sick, Refuge of Sinners, for comfort in tribulation, relief in sickness, in the liberating power of guilt, because she, who is free from sin, this leads her children to combat with energetic resolution sin. This liberation from sin and evil (cf. Mt 6:13) - must be repeated - a prerequisite for any renewal of Christian.

Seal of Our Exhortation and a further argument of the pastoral value of devotion to the Virgin in lead men to Christ, are the very words that she spoke to the servants at the wedding at Cana: Do whatever he tells you ( Jn 2:5) words, in appearance, limited to a desire to remedy a convivial discomfort, but, in view of the fourth gospel, I have a voice in which seems to echo the formula used by the people of Israel to ratify the covenant Sinai (cf. Ex 19:8; 24,3,7; Deut. 5:27), or to renew commitments (cf. Josh 24:24; Ezr 10:12; Ne 5:12), and are also a voice admirably accords with that of the Father in the theophany of Mount Tabor: Listen to him ( Matt. 17:5).

58.We have discussed at length, Venerable Brethren, an element that is an integral part of Christian worship: the veneration of the Mother of the Lord. This has been called the nature of matter, which has been the subject of study, revision and, at times, of some concern in recent years. We are consoled by the thought that the work done in fulfillment of the rules of the Council, by this Apostolic See and by yourself - especially the liturgical reform - is a valid premise to worship God, Father, Son and Spirit, more and more lively and adoring, and the growth of the Christian life of the faithful. There is no reason to trust the finding that the renewed Roman liturgy, also taken as a whole, shining witness of the Church's devotion to the Virgin. It sustains the hope that the directives issued to make such a pity more and more clear and forceful, will be sincerely implemented. We rejoice, the opportunity that the Lord has allowed us to offer some food for thought to renew and confirm esteem for the practice of the Rosary of Mary. Comfort, confidence, hope and joy are the feelings that we unite our voice with that of the Virgin - how begs the Roman Liturgy -, we want to transform into fervent praise and thanksgiving to the Lord.

While we hope, therefore, that thanks to your generous commitment, Dear Brothers, we both among the clergy and the people entrusted to your care, a healthy increase of devotion to Mary with undoubted benefit to the Church and to human society, we cordially impart to you and to all the faithful, to whom you devote your pastoral zeal, a special Apostolic Blessing.

Given in Rome, at Saint Peter's, February 2, 1974, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the eleventh year of Our Pontificate.

Understanding that the Shekinah is the Glory and creative force of our Father Hashem. And understanding that the Shekinah is a distinct element of our Father Hashem. I can conclude the Shekinah is the Christian Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost).

Further understanding the Shekinah Glory dwells within Mary, a humble devout disciple of Hashem and her son our Lord. This dwelling would be similar to Shekinah dwelling in the Ark of the Covenant. And further that the Shekinah is attached to and Glorifies the First Son, our Lord Jesus Christ who sits at the Right Hand of our Father Hashem. Further understanding the mission of the Holy Spirit is to Glorify Hashem and the Word Made Flesh. And understanding the Living Word is Hashem's New Covenant to mankind.

I can deduce that Mary is Hashem's eternal living Ark. And Jesus is Hashem's eternal living Covenant. Both are glorified by Hashem's Shekinah and shared by grace to all people living on earth.

A verbal one command covenant given to Adam and Eve by Hashem. Our Father's condemned angel convinced the two to put our Father to the test and disobey his one command. Adam and Eve were cast out of Paradise and for their sin they were cursed with mortality, but given the gift understanding of right and wrong from the tree of knowledge.

A verbal seven command covenant given to Noah by Hashem. The covenant was witnessed by Noah's family and is eternally binding by a rainbow that can be seen by all People of the World.

A verbal covenant given to Abraham by Hashem. The covenant was witnessed by Abraham's family and is eternally binding to all His circumcised descendants.

The covenant given to Moses was written in stone by the Hand of Hashem and housed in the Ark at the command of Hashem and glorified by His Shekinah. This covenant given to Moses was witnessed by the Israelite community and is eternally binding. The new living covenant was conceived through Mary at the command of Hashem and glorified by His Shekinah. This covenant conceived through Mary was witnessed by both the Israelite and Gentile community and is eternally binding.

The covenant given to Moses promises a long prosperous life to those that followed the commands of Hashem. The Living Covenant conceived through Mary promises eternal life if you follow the commands of Hashem given to His Word made flesh, which is our Lord Jesus Christ.

Mary's sinless devotion to our Father Hashem, made her worth of being a Holy Sanctuary of the Shekinah to conceive Living Word into mortal flesh. The sinless devotion of the Living Word, our Lord Jesus Christ not only gave testimony to the Commands by our Father Hashem, He practiced what He preached to all that would listen. The Living Word was put to the test by Hashem's once glorious angel corrupted by the Sin of Pride to follow his craft. The Living Word was conceived and baptized through the power of Hashem's Shekinah, thus like Hashem, our Righteous Lord Jesus could not be put to the test and rebuked the evil one to leave him. Thus by using the Shekinah we can ask Jesus to help us rebuke the power of sin within our lives. For the Living Word and the Shekinah are gifts from Hashem and worthy of our Praise.

If we understand that intercession is a pleading Mercy of one before Hashem and His visible Living Word, then through the Glory of the Holy Spirit one may request Mary to intercede on their behalf. This does not mean that Mary should replace or come before Jesus in your request. For we can communicate our message through the Shekinah straight to Jesus alone to intercede for Mercy before Hashem. For our Father knows all. I believe that my reasoning is not idolatry. I am open to anyone that finds error in it.

I am still not sure about the idea of the Holy Spirit being a feminine aspect of God. I do understand how people can believe the Shekinah is female. But, I worry this way of thinking is not only idolatry, but is the unforgivable blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. I understand that Asherah is identified with the dove and Tree of Life. But, is forbidden by Hashem to worship.
It appears that archeologist and historians are taking the Gnostic belief of the connection the Canaanite Goddess Asherah as the female consort of Hashem. Further, the name Asherah is replaced with the Virgin Mary. I am beginning to understand how the Koran took a harsh stance on Mary being part of the Trinity. At some point in history the Blessed Mother Mary became confused as being the Shekinah (Holy Spirit, Holy Ghost). Further she became connected with Asherah and Sophia as well.


See the full episode at http://video.pbs.org/video/1051895565

In this excerpt from NOVAs two-hour special, The Bible's Buried Secrets, archeologist William Dever describes evidence that the ancient Israelite God, YHWH, had a female counterpart.

Kuntillet Ajrud is a late 9th/early 8th centuries BC archeological site in the northeast part of the Sinai peninsula. The building on this site is considered to be a possible shrine. An image on the piece of pottery (belonging to a pithos vase) found at Kuntillet Ajrud is adjacent to a Hebrew inscription "Berakhti etkhem l’YHVH Shomron ul’Asherato" ("I have blessed you by Yahweh of Samaria and [his] Asherah").


A dove and two bird-like female figures perch atop this Iron Age house shrine to symbolize Asherah and her counterparts Astarte and Tanit.


There is a difference between the Holy Spirit that I know and Asherah. I understand that the Holy Spirit is associated with Wisdom. Does proverbs justify the thinking that the Holy Spirit (Shekinah or Sophia) is female? Or is the idea of Wisdom being a female really a metaphor like affectionately referring a to ship as a lady.

Proverbs 3

3:13 Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,

and the one who obtains understanding.

3:14 For her benefit is more profitable than silver,

and her gain is better than gold.

3:15 She is more precious than rubies,

and none of the things you desire can compare with her.

3:16 Long life is in her right hand;

in her left hand are riches and honor.

3:17 Her ways are very pleasant,

and all her paths are peaceful.

3:18 She is like a tree of life to those who obtain her,

and everyone who grasps hold of her will be blessed.

3:19 By wisdom the Lord laid the foundation of the earth;

he established the heavens by understanding.

3:20 By his knowledge the primordial sea was broken open,

and the clouds drip down dew.


Is the Kabbalistic and Gnostic Shekinah the Goddess Asherah? Or is she the Babylon, Great Prostitute referred to in the Book of Revelation.

Revelation 17

17:1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke to me. “Come,” he said, “I will show you the condemnation and punishment of the great prostitute who sits on many waters,

17:2 with whom the kings of the earth committed sexual immorality and the earth’s inhabitants got drunk with the wine of her immorality.”

17:3 So 5 he carried me away in the Spirit to a wilderness, and there I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns.

17:4 Now the woman was dressed in purple and scarlet clothing, and adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls. She held in her hand a golden cup filled with detestable things and unclean things from her sexual immorality.

17:5 On her forehead was written a name, a mystery:

“Babylon the Great, the Mother of prostitutes and of the detestable things of the earth.”

17:6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of those who testified to Jesus. I was greatly astounded when I saw her.

17:7 But the angel said to me, “Why are you astounded? I will interpret for you the mystery of the woman and of the beast with the seven heads and ten horns that carries her.

17:8 The beast you saw was, and is not, but is about to come up from the abyss and then go to destruction. The inhabitants of the earth – all those whose names have not been written in the book of life since the foundation of the world – will be astounded when they see that the beast was, and is not, but is to come.

17:9 (This requires a mind that has wisdom.) The seven heads are seven mountains the woman sits on. They are also seven kings:

17:10 five have fallen; one is, and the other has not yet come, but whenever he does come, he must remain for only a brief time.

17:11 The beast that was, and is not, is himself an eighth king and yet is one of the seven, and is going to destruction.

17:12 The ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but will receive ruling authority as kings with the beast for one hour.

17:13 These kings have a single intent, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.

17:14 They will make war with the Lamb, but the Lamb will conquer them, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those accompanying the Lamb are the called, chosen, and faithful.”

17:15 Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw (where the prostitute is seated) are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages.

17:16 The ten horns that you saw, and the beast – these will hate the prostitute and make her desolate and unclothed. They will consume her flesh and burn her up with fire.

17:17 For God has put into their minds to carry out his purpose by making a decision to give their royal power to the beast until the words of God are fulfilled.

17:18 As for the woman you saw, she is the great city that has sovereignty over the kings of the earth.”

There is the difference between the Holy Spirit and Inanna

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The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;

Idolatry should be an easy subject to cover. But, it is not. I pray to Hashem to Will all His children to forgive, love, and learn from each other. We are nothing without His Mercy. I also pray for guidance on the truth of His Holy Spirit.


Here we see that Wisdom and Understanding comes from a female voice.

Proverbs 8

8:1 Does not wisdom call out?

Does not understanding raise her voice?

8:2 At the top of the elevated places along the way,

at the intersection of the paths she takes her stand;

8:3 beside the gates opening into the city,

at the entrance of the doorways she cries out.

8:4 “To you, O people, I call out,

and my voice calls to all mankind.

8:5 You who are naive, discern wisdom!

And you fools, understand discernment!

8:6 Listen, for I will speak excellent things,

and my lips will utter what is right.

8:7 For my mouth speaks truth,

and my lips hate wickedness.

8:8 All the words of my mouth are righteous;

there is nothing in them twisted or crooked.

8:9 All of them are clear to the discerning

and upright to those who find knowledge.

8:10 Receive my instruction rather than silver,

and knowledge rather than choice gold.

8:11 For wisdom is better than rubies,

and desirable things cannot be compared to her.

8:12 “I, wisdom, live with prudence,

and I find knowledge and discretion.

8:13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;

I hate arrogant pride and the evil way

and perverse utterances.

8:14 Counsel and sound wisdom belong to me;

I possess understanding and might.

8:15 Kings reign by means of me,

and potentates decree righteousness;

8:16 by me princes rule,

as well as nobles and all righteous judges.

8:17 I love those who love me,

and those who seek me find me.

8:18 Riches and honor are with me,

long-lasting wealth and righteousness.

8:19 My fruit is better than the purest gold,

and what I produce is better than choice silver.

8:20 I walk in the path of righteousness,

in the pathway of justice,

8:21 that I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth,

and that I may fill their treasuries.

8:22 The Lord created me as the beginning of his works,

before his deeds of long ago.

8:23 From eternity I was appointed,

from the beginning, from before the world existed.

8:24 When there were no deep oceans I was born,

when there were no springs overflowing with water;

8:25 before the mountains were set in place –

before the hills – I was born,

8:26 before he made the earth and its fields,

or the beginning of the dust of the world.

8:27 When he established the heavens, I was there;

when he marked out the horizon over the face of the deep,

8:28 when he established the clouds above,

when the fountains of the deep grew strong,

8:29 when he gave the sea his decree

that the waters should not pass over his command,

when he marked out the foundations of the earth,

8:30 then I was beside him as a master craftsman,

and I was his delight day by day,

rejoicing before him at all times,

8:31 rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth,

and delighting in its people.

8:32 “So now, children, listen to me;

blessed are those who keep my ways.

8:33 Listen to my instruction so that you may be wise,

and do not neglect it.

8:34 Blessed is the one who listens to me,

watching at my doors day by day,

waiting beside my doorway.

8:35 For the one who finds me finds life

and receives favor from the Lord.

8:36 But the one who does not find me brings harm to himself;

all who hate me love death.”

Here Solomon juxtaposes Wisdom with Folly.

7:4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”

and call understanding a close relative,

7:5 so that they may keep you from the adulterous woman,

from the loose woman who flatters you with her words.

7:6 For at the window of my house

through my window lattice I looked out

7:7 and I saw among the naive –

I discerned among the youths –

a young man who lacked wisdom.

7:8 He was passing by the street near her corner,

making his way along the road to her house

7:9 in the twilight, the evening,

in the dark of the night.

7:10 Suddenly a woman came out to meet him!

She was dressed like a prostitute and with secret intent.

7:11 (She is loud and rebellious,

she does not remain at home –

7:12 at one time outside, at another in the wide plazas,

and by every corner she lies in wait.)

7:13 So she grabbed him and kissed him,

and with a bold expression she said to him,

7:14 “I have fresh meat at home;

today I have fulfilled my vows!

7:15 That is why I came out to meet you,

to look for you, and I found you!

7:16 I have spread my bed with elegant coverings,

with richly colored fabric from Egypt.

7:17 I have perfumed my bed

with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.

7:18 Come, let’s drink deeply of lovemaking until morning,

let’s delight ourselves with sexual intercourse.

7:19 For my husband is not at home;

he has gone on a journey of some distance.

7:20 He has taken a bag of money with him;

he will not return until the end of the month.”

7:21 She persuaded him with persuasive words;

with her smooth talk she compelled him.

7:22 Suddenly he went after her

like an ox that goes to the slaughter,

like a stag prancing into a trapper’s snare

7:23 till an arrow pierces his liver

like a bird hurrying into a trap,

and he does not know that it will cost him his life.

7:24 So now, sons, listen to me,

and pay attention to the words I speak.

7:25 Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways

do not wander into her pathways;

7:26 for she has brought down many fatally wounded,

and all those she has slain are many.

7:27 Her house is the way to the grave,

going down to the chambers of death.


Indeed Solomon was a wise king.

Proverbs 9

9:1 Wisdom has built her house;

she has carved out its seven pillars.

9:2 She has prepared her meat, she has mixed her wine;

she also has arranged her table.

9:3 She has sent out her female servants;

she calls out on the highest places of the city.

9:4 “Whoever is naive, let him turn in here,”

she says to those who lack understanding.

9:5 “Come, eat some of my food,

and drink some of the wine I have mixed.

9:6 Abandon your foolish ways so that you may live,

and proceed in the way of understanding.”

9:7 Whoever corrects a mocker is asking for insult;

whoever reproves a wicked person receives abuse.

9:8 Do not reprove a mocker or he will hate you;

reprove a wise person and he will love you.

9:9 Give instruction to a wise person, and he will become wiser still;

teach a righteous person and he will add to his learning.

9:10 The beginning of wisdom is to fear the Lord,

and acknowledging the Holy One is understanding.

9:11 For because of me your days will be many,

and years will be added to your life.

9:12 If you are wise, you are wise to your own advantage,

but if you are a mocker, you alone must bear it.

9:13 The woman called Folly is brash,

she is naive and does not know anything.

9:14 So she sits at the door of her house,

on a seat at the highest point of the city,

9:15 calling out to those who are passing by her 40 in the way,

who go straight on their way.

9:16 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here,”

she says to those who lack understanding.

9:17 “Stolen waters are sweet,

and food obtained in secret is pleasant!”

9:18 But they do not realize that the dead are there,

that her guests are in the depths of the grave.

1 Corinthians 2

2:6 Now we do speak wisdom among the mature, but not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are perishing.

2:7 Instead we speak the wisdom of God, hidden in a mystery, that God determined before the ages for our glory.

2:8 None of the rulers of this age understood it. If they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

2:9 But just as it is written, “Things that no eye has seen, or ear heard, or mind imagined, are the things God has prepared for those who love him.”

2:10 God has revealed these to us by the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.

2:11 For who among men knows the things of a man except the man’s spirit within him? So too, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.

2:12 Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things that are freely given to us by God.

2:13 And we speak about these things, not with words taught us by human wisdom, but with those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people.

2:14 The unbeliever does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. And he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

2:15 The one who is spiritual discerns all things, yet he himself is understood by no one.

2:16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to advise him? But we have the mind of Christ.


I like to think of the Holy Spirit as a conduit to God. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we are able to know Jesus, the Living Word, and obtain Righteous Wisdom on how to glimpse of Hashem's grand design.Love God and His Creation, by following his commands of Mercy, Forgiveness and helping those in need without anyone knowing of your actions. The profane person cannot understand the Wisdom of being holy, but the holy person can understand the the dark depths of the profane. Even a regular church or temple goer cannot fully understand the spiritually Righteous without gaining the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit. And believe me that takes work. I am still struggling against the need of earthly desires.

John 14

14:15 "If you love me, you will obey my commandments.

14:16 Then I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever

14:17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he resides with you and will be in you.

14:18 “I will not abandon you as orphans, I will come to you.

14:19 In a little while the world will not see me any longer, but you will see me; because I live, you will live too.

14:20 You will know at that time that I am in my Father and you are in me and I am in you.

14:21 The person who has my commandments and obeys them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and will reveal myself to him.”

14:22 “Lord,” Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, "what has happened that you are going to reveal yourself to us and not to the world?”

14:23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and take up residence with him.

14:24 The person who does not love me does not obey my words. And the word you hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me.

14:25 “I have spoken these things while staying with you.

14:26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and will cause you to remember everything I said to you.

John 15

15:26 When the Advocate comes, whom I will send you from the Father – the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father – he will testify about me,

15:27 and you also will testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.

16:1 “I have told you all these things so that you will not fall away.

16:2 They will put you out of the synagogue, yet a time is coming when the one who kills you will think he is offering service to God.

16:3 They will do these things because they have not known the Father or me.

16:4 But I have told you these things so that when their time comes, you will remember that I told you about them.

"I did not tell you these things from the beginning because I was with you.

16:5 But now I am going to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking me, ‘Where are you going?’

16:6 Instead your hearts are filled with sadness because I have said these things to you.

16:7 But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I am going away. For if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you.

16:8 And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong concerning sin and righteousness and judgment –

16:9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;

16:10 concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer;

16:11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.

16:12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

16:13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on his own authority, but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you what is to come.

16:14 He will glorify me, because he will receive from me what is mine and will tell it to you.

16:15 Everything that the Father has is mine; that is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what is mine and will tell it to you.

Unless the translation above is bad, Jesus clearly states the Holy Spirit comes from Hashem and is masculine, not feminine. Further Hashem gave Jesus, His Living word, everything that He created. Therefore the Holy Spirit is from Jesus as well as Hashem. But, make no misunderstanding that Holy Spirit and Jesus are generated through the power of our Father Hashem as a way of communicating to His Creation. And that the Holy Spirit does not have the authority to communicate to the world on His own. Those that live in Sin will not understand those that receive the Holy Spirit and doubt the that our world is condemned to final judgement.



James 1

1:9 Now the believer of humble means should take pride in his high position.

1:10 But the rich person’s pride should be in his humiliation, because he will pass away like a wildflower in the meadow.

1:11 For the sun rises with its heat and dries up the meadow; the petal of the flower falls off and its beauty is lost forever. So also the rich person in the midst of his pursuits will wither away.

1:12 Happy is the one who endures testing, because when he has proven to be genuine, he will receive the crown of life that God promised to those who love him.

1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one.

1:14 But each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires.

1:15 Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death.

1:16 Do not be led astray, my dear brothers and sisters.

1:17 All generous giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or the slightest hint of change.

1:18 By his sovereign plan he gave us birth through the message of truth, that we would be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

Take a break and listen to "Holy Spirit You Are Welcome Here," by Kim Walker Smith


He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people:

He shall call to the heavens from above-this refers to the soul; and to the earth, that he may judge his people-to the body.'

And thy decree hath preserved my spirit [i.e., my soul].

At the door [i.e.,where the babe emerges] sin lies in wait.

He will destroy death for ever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; whilst elsewhere it is written, For the child shall die an hundred years old there shall be no more thence an infant of days!

Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of Hosts shall reign; whilst [elsewhere] it is written, Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days.

Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of Hosts shall reign; whilst [elsewhere] it is written, Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days.

the latter refers to the Messianic era, the former to the world to come. And according to Samuel, who maintained, This world differs from the Messianic era only in respect of the servitude of the Diaspora, it is still no difficulty:

the latter refers to the camp of the righteous, the former to the camp of the Divine Presence.

I kill, and I make alive; whilst it is also written, I wound, and I heal! The Holy One, blessed be He, said, What I slay, I resurrect [i.e.,in the same state], and then, what I wound, I heal [after their revival].


The newly reformed Sanhedrin in Israel states that it was most likely the Sadducee part of the Sanhedrin that illegally put Jesus to death. They also state that Jesus half-brother James was put to death by the Sadducees as well. The newly reformed Sanhedrin quotes Josephus statement that James is the half brother of Jesus. I can conclude that Mary's husband Joseph was a widower with at least one child from his prior marriage. And have more confidence that Jesus was the only son of Mary.


The New Testament, according to gospel accounts, says that Jesus was brought before the Jerusalem Sanhedrin, presided over by high priest Joseph Caiaphas (a Sadducee). There is no record of such a trial in the Talmud and it is unknown in contemporary Rabbinic Literature. This 'trial' has not only been the source of unmeasurable trouble and persecution of the Jewish people, but it is also not logical from a Jewish point of view as there are many disagreements between the New Testament account and Rabbinic procedure.

Rabbinic Judaism rejects any connection with the trial of Jesus with or without a "sanhedrin". Modern Judaism is called Rabbinic Judaism and claims descent from the Pharisees, a group at odds with the Sadducees. It is possible that the trial was as a Sadducean illegal court, or perhaps the details as we know them today are incomplete or inaccurate. Josephus (Ant. 20:9, etc) generally portrays the Sadducees as antagonistic to early Christianity, while the New Testament (John 3:2, Acts 5:34, etc) portrays Pharisees as being tolerant. The role of the Sadducees in trying and executing early Christians is explicitly referenced in Josephus. In 62 CE the Jewish priest and Sadducee, Ananus, convened the Sanhedrin in his house and condemned Yaakov [James], half-brother of Yeshua, who is then summarily executed.[Josephus, ibid]

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The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;

After the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple, Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai and his students founded a new religious center in Yavne on Israel's southern Mediterranean coast, about 15 km south of Tel Aviv.

Other places of Judaic learning were founded by Rabbi Yohanan's students in Lod 15 kilometers (9.3 mi) southeast of Tel Aviv in the Center District of Israel; and in Bnei Brak located on Israel's central Mediterranean coastal plain, just east of Tel Aviv, in the Dan metropolitan region and Tel Aviv District. Bnei Brak is a center of Ultra Orthodox Judaism.

Once again Shaul Wolf was very kind to answer my question. From what I get is the Torah and the books of the Prophets are filled with personifications and metaphors to help us grasp Holy Scripture. So the idea of the Shekinah being of feminine nature to those of the Jewish Faith would be strictly metaphorical personification of an element of Hashem.

Hi Luke,

Wow, that was quite a read!

Before getting into any discussion on the topic, I think it's important to mention a warning the Baal Shem Tov issued to all those who study Kabbalah. He said, that one has to always make sure that he is capable of stripping physical descriptions from their limiting definitions. In other words, God is not a physical being, and therefore any physical description of God are not to be taken literally. I think I mentioned the idea in a previous email, that all descriptions given of God are merely metaphoric, and are intended on providing us with some insight into the way God functions, but not to be used as direct analogies.

One of the principles of Jewish faith, is that God does not have a body. He is not a physical entity. It thus follows, that he is not divisible, and not made up of parts. This is one of the meanings of the verse, "God is one", meaning that he represents the ultimate form of unity and oneness, one that is not made up of parts and one that is not divisible.

The article you sent me touches on some true Kabbalistic concepts, yet they have a fundamental context issue. The author is treating God as if he was a person, who can be involved in a relationship, separate himself from that relationship, and can be divided into parts. Such a fundamental misunderstanding will lead to a flawed interpretation of any mystical or Kabbalistic texts. Like the Baal Shem Tov foresaw, this author treats God as a human, and struggles to strip the physical descriptions given from their limiting and defining context.

It is very important, that when studying Kaballah and the like, it should be done from the right sources. The very word Kaballah means transmitting, symbolizing that Kaballah is not available for interpretation for whoever wishes to do so. The teachings of Kaballah are transmitted from teacher to student, and only few are deemed to be worthy teachers of Kaballah.

I encourage you to begin studying Kaballah from Jewish sources, many of which can be found in Chabad texts, and on the Chabad website. If you would like suggestions as to which books to study, I'd be more than happy to assist you.

All the best,

Shaul Wolf

It almost seems necessary to have constructs to begin to understand Hashem. I love the idea of Jews looking at other members of their faith has kindred souls generating from Hashem. I believe that all people that share the same values are kindred souls.

The material world is based on ethics and sensory appeal. Friendships and physical relationships can be based on life experiences, ethics, and physical appeal. But, when experience becomes routine, ethics of what is right and wrong change, and physical attraction diminishes, then friendships and relationships deteriorate. Now the spiritual world is based on morals and guidelines on how one is to live. If another shares the same belief, then there is still something to share if when there is change. And there is greater tolerance, because deep down both are taught the same principles of what is right and what is wrong.

I believe that if your spirit shares similar morals of loving God and your fellow neighbor as mine, then regardless of circumstance we are a true match made in Heaven.

I may be wrong, but I think that some members Jewish faith get offended and resent members of the Christian faith (including myself) that have created constructs and metaphors different from their own Jewish teachings. Further some members of Jewish faith may have overheard Christians stating that their own God, Hashem has condemned them to Hell for not believing in Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Son of God. I say to my Jewish brothers that it is blasphemy to judge any soul. Blasphemy is for Hashem alone to decide. I also say to my Christian brothers that may have overheard a member of the Jewish faith state that is idolatry to believe Jesus Christ is the Messiah or Son of God. I say to my Christian brothers it is blasphemy to judge any soul. Jesus was a Jew and That is for God alone to decide.

I will next study the Jewish word "Tzimtzum", divine contraction, where Hashem "limits" himself, and makes it capable for the world to experience and understand Him.


We must respect our Creator's gift of individual choice to decide on what is right and wrong. We must further distill common morals that our two great faiths believe in.

I have come to learn about the Noahide laws that those of the Jewish Faith believe we all should follow. This is why I am am so interested in Chabad.org.

I would say that the Noahide laws are a good starting point, but I consider the Golden Rule and the Shema the next logical step to balance understanding. So far in my research I have found the tenants in the Didache, excluding Jesus, are in harmony with both the Jewish and Christian belief systems.

Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC of RCSpirituality.org answered my question on whether Hillel's Golden Rule is equal to the Shema.

The Shema seems “more important” because it is focused explicitly on God. Hillel’s golden rule touches on our dealings with other people. One could say that the golden rule flows from the Shema, since God commands us to love one another.

Jesus himself links the two ideas but gives priority to love of God: “’Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments’” (Matthew 22:36-40 http://www.usccb.org/bible/matthew/22).

So there you have it: God is first, neighbor is second. Love of the second is closely related to love of the First. I hope this helps. God bless!

For those of you that do not know the Shema. This passage teaches our acceptance of Divine rule.

Deuteronomy Chapter 6

4 Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one.

5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be upon thy heart;

7 and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be for frontlets between thine eyes.

9 And thou shalt write them upon the door-posts of thy house, and upon thy gates.

Messianic Jews incorporate Jesus second greatest commandment into the Shema.

Leviticus Chapter 19

18 Thou shalt not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the LORD.

Love God first and Your neighbor second is the same for Catholics and Jews. I imagine how much stronger our two faiths would become if there is better understanding between us. I pray to Hashem in my way that this may be possible.

Here is another bridge between our faiths. One of Judaism most influential Torah scholars Moses Maimonides had a similar concept as the mission of the Holy Spirit.


Nature of the Shekinah.

Maimonides ("Moreh," i. 28 [Munk's translation, "Guide des Egarés," i. 58, 73, 88, 286, 288; iii. 43, 93]; Maybaum, l.c. pp. 5, 34) regarded the Shekinah, like the Memra, the Yeḳara, and the Logos, as a distinct entity, and as a light created to be an intermediary between God and the world

Take a break and listen to a BBC documentary on the famous Jewish philospher Moses Maimondies.



I asked RCSpirituality.org is the Christian Holy Spirit the same as the Shekinah?

Dear Luke,

Your "Ask a Priest" Question has been answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC.

God bless,

Debbie Graspointner

A: Thanks for your question. Shekhinah, I think, is a Hebrew word that is used to describe the dwelling or presence of God, for instance, in the Temple. Judaism had a notion of ruah – breath or spirit of God – but it wasn’t the Holy Spirit as Christians understand. Shekhinah, of course, would not signify the Holy Spirit for Jews since in Judaism there was no theology of a Trinitarian God.

Part of God’s revelation in the New Testament is that he is a Trinity – one God but three Divine Persons. “Person” in this context means a subsistent relationship within the Godhead. It’s a mystery beyond our human comprehension. Christians believe because Jesus revealed it. I hope this helps. Shalom!

At this point I gather that both Jews and Chrisitans believe the Shekinah is a distinct element of Hashem. The difference is that the Christians believe that the Shekinah does not have a distinct character in its relationship to Hashem, as Christians view the Holy Spirit unique relationship to God. The female aspect of the Shekinah is merely a personification to greater understand Hashem.

I asked Father Edward if the serpent of the creation story was a construct to help us better understand what is evil.

Dear Luke,

Your "Ask a Priest" Question has been answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC.

God bless,

Debbie Graspointner

A: Thanks for your question. The serpent has triggered various interpretations over the centuries, in both Judaism and Christianity. Rabbinic interpretations alternately say the serpent represents sexual desire or rationalization (the latter prompting the tension between Adam, symbolizing intellect, and the Eve, symbolizing will).

The great medieval scholar Moses Maimonides, in The Guide for the Perplexed, wrote, In the history of the first sin of man, Adam, Eve, and the serpent represent the intellect, the body, and the imagination”

The serpent seems to be an image borrowed from ancient pagan myths and is used here to help explain deep truths about the dawn of man.

In Christianity the serpent is sometimes interpreted as a symbol of the devil. The Book of Revelation uses the word “serpent” in relation to the Evil One: “The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan” It is doubtful that the authors of the Book of Genesis meant the serpent to represent Satan as such.

The story of the Fall was written as a kind of parable to express deep truths about human nature and the presence of evil and suffering in the world. For the writers, the serpent was a symbol, a tool.

As mentioned above, people have read various meanings into what the serpent represented. That is part of the richness of Sacred Scripture for Jews and Christians alike.

To say that the serpent personifies evil wouldn’t be wrong, but it would going too far to say that is what the original writers had in mind. That’s OK, though; the word of God is something living and it speaks to people of all generations. I hope this helps. God bless!

Father Edward cites Maimonides view that Adam, Eve, and the serpent represent the intellect, the body, and the imagination. I will have to read, "The Guide for the Perplexed."


I had to ask the question on whether the Catholic church concurs with the Jewish position of the serpent is a construct?


Dear Luke,

Your "Ask a Priest" Question has been answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC.

God bless,

Debbie Graspointner

A: Thanks for your question. If a Jewish interpretation sees the serpent as a construct, the Church would certainly give credence to that view.

The Church, in fact, very much respects Jewish readings of the Hebrew Scriptures. The Pontifical Biblical Commission affirmed this in its 2002 document The Jewish People and Their Scriptures in the Christian Bible.

In No. 22 of that document< http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/pcb_documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20020212_popolo-ebraico_en.html > it says, “Christians can and ought to admit that the Jewish reading of the Bible is a possible one, in continuity with the Jewish Sacred Scriptures from the Second Temple period, a reading analogous to the Christian reading which developed in parallel fashion. Both readings are bound up with the vision of their respective faiths, of which the readings are the result and expression. Consequently, both are irreducible.”

The document cautions Christians about imposing their interpretations onto the Jewish Sacred Scriptures to the exclusion of other interpretations that are legitimate and proper to the Jewish tradition. In turn, this doesn’t exclude Christians from reading these same Scriptures in the light of the life and teaching of Jesus.

An analogy might help. Scriptures can be like museum paintings: People see and read different things into them, depending on their upbringing and personal histories. All views have a value, all views can be respected. And everyone can learn something from the views of other people. This is one way the Scriptures continue to form us in our faith. I hope this helps. God bless!



How do you interpret this painting? Does this story originate from imagination? Or did Adam, Eve, the serpent, and the angel really exist?



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The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles


Chapter 5


5:1 But the way of death is this.

5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;

After the Jewish people returned from exile Aramaic gradually replaced Hebrew as the language of choice. Translations had to be made from Hebrew to Aramaic for Jews read and understand the Torah and books of the Prophets. These translations were called Targums. The earliest known Targums are texts found among the Dead Sea Scrolls.One of the striking things these Targums show is that first century Jews had come to understand the phrase "the Word of God" as referring to a divine entity within God Himself, yet distinguishable at times from God.


I can imagine Jesus, the "Living Word of God," reading the Torah in Hebrew and giving a precise oral Targum of the meaning of the words He had spoken to the congregation who only understood Aramaic. As a Catholic my parents told me that when they were young the entire Mass was done in Latin except the Homily. I have participated in Byzantine Catholic services where the priest is speaking Greek and the Homily discussing the readings are in English. The only difference is the Targum would not be a service, rather a translation of the Torah.


The actual teaching would come at a different time, which at this point I do not know.



I like this video, but I disagree that the person giving the Targum would stumble upon his words. That would be an embarrassment. In my opinion, the person giving the Targum would have rehearsed what he was saying many times before speaking it to the congregation. The fact that Targum documents found reveals that people who were to speak them were reciting written words in private before speaking to the congregation.


I will start with the Targum Onkelos Targum Onkelos (or Unkelus), which is the official eastern (Babylonian) targum (Aramaic translation) to the Torah. However, its early origins may have been western, in Israel. Its authorship is attributed to Onkelos, written near the time of the fall of the second temple.


















I. At the beginning (min avella) the Lord created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was vacancy and desolation, solitary of the sons of men, and void of every animal; and darkness was upon the face of the abyss, and the Spirit of mercies from before the Lord breathed upon the face of the waters.


[JERUSALEM TARGUM. In wisdom (be-hukema) the Lord created. And the earth was vacancy and desolation, and solitary of the sons of men, and void of every animal; and the Spirit of mercies from before the Lord breathed upon the face of the waters.]

Here we see the word "Wisdom." Remember Proverbs Chapter 3 Verse 19.


3:19 By wisdom the Lord laid the foundation of the earth;

Jonathan ben Uzziel, one of the 80 tannaim who studied under Hillel the Elder, and author of Megadnim (book of kabbalah) wrote that in "Wisdom the Lord Created." From his Targum Genesis and Proverbs now match. Was this learned through Hillel?


Here is another passage in Genesis that shows an additional understanding of Hagar's interaction with an angel of God.


Genesis 16


16:3 So after Abram had lived in Canaan for ten years, Sarai, Abram’s wife, gave Hagar, her Egyptian servant, to her husband to be his wife.


16:4 He had sexual relations with Hagar, and she became pregnant. Once Hagar realized she was pregnant, she despised Sarai.


16:5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You have brought this wrong on me! I allowed my servant to have sexual relations with you, but when she realized that she was pregnant, she despised me. May the Lord judge between you and me!"


16:6 Abram said to Sarai, "Since your servant is under your authority, do to her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai treated Hagar harshly, so she ran away from Sarai.


16:7 The Lord’s angel found Hagar near a spring of water in the desert – the spring that is along the road to Shur.


16:8 He said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” She replied, “I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai.”


16:9 Then the Lord’s angel said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her authority.


16:10 I will greatly multiply your descendants,” the Lord’s angel added, "so that they will be too numerous to count."


16:11 Then the Lord’s angel said to her,


“You are now pregnant


and are about to give birth to a son.


You are to name him Ishmael,


for the Lord has heard your painful groans.


16:12 He will be a wild donkey of a man.


He will be hostile to everyone,


and everyone will be hostile to him.


He will live away from his brothers."


16:13 So Hagar named the Lord who spoke to her, "You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “Here I have seen one who sees me!”


16:14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi. (It is located between Kadesh and Bered.)


16:15 So Hagar gave birth to Abram’s son, whom Abram named Ishmael.


16:16 (Now Abram was 86 years old when Hagar gave birth to Ishmael.)

When we read the Hebrew and Targum we get introduced for the first time to the Word and Shekinah of Hashem.












XVI. But Sara, the wife of Abram, had not borne to him. But he had a handmaid, a Mizreitha, and her name was Hagar, a daughter of Pharoh, whom he gave to him as a handmaid at the time that he received her, being struck by the word from before the Lord. And Sara said to Abram, Behold, now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing, go to my handmaid and set her free; perhaps I may be builded by her. And Abram hearkened to the word of Sara. And Sara the wife of Abram took Hagar the Mizreitha handmaid, when Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Kenaan, and set her free, and gave her to Abram her husband to wife. And he went unto Hagar, and she conceived; and she saw that she had conceived, and the honor of her mistress was despised in her eyes.


And Sara said to Abram, All my affliction is from thee. Being secure that thou wouldst do me justice, I left the land and house of my father, and came up with thee to a foreign land; and forasmuch as I was not able to become a mother, I set free my handmaid, and gave her to lie in thy bosom; and she seeth that she had conceived, and mine honour is despised before her. But now is my affliction manifest before the Lord, who will spread peace between me and thee, and the land shall be replenished from us, nor shall we need the help of the progeny of Hagar the daughter of Pharoh bar Nimrod, who threw thee into the furnace of fire.


[JERUSALEM. And Sara said, My judgment and my affliction are delivered into thine hand. I left the house of my birth, and the house of my father, and came with thee in the faith of the Heavens. I have gone in with thee before kings; before Pharoh King of Mizraim, and before Avimelek king of the Philistaee; and I have said of thee, he is my brother, so that they might not kill thee. And when I saw that I was not made fruitful, I took Hagar the Mizreitha, my handmaid, and gave her to thee to wife, and said, She shall bring forth, and I will bring up whom she may bear, that I may be builded, be it only from her. But now seeing that she hath conceived, my honor is contemned and despised in her sight. Now may the Lord appear, and judge between me and thee, and fulfil mercies upon me and thee, and spread His peace between me and thee, and replenish the world from me and from thee, that we may not heed the son of Hagar the Mizreitha handmaid, who is of the children of the people who cast thee into the burning furnace of the Kasdin.]


And Abram said to Sara, Behold, thy handmaid is under thy authority: do to her what is right in thine eyes. And Sara afflicted her, and she escaped from before her. And the Angel of the Lord found her at the fountain of waters in the desert; at the fountain of waters which is in the way to Chagra.


[JERUSALEM. Chalitza.] And He said, Hagar, handmaid of Sara, whence comest thou, and whither does thou go? And she said, From before Sara my mistress I have escaped. And the Angel of the Lord said to her, Return to thy mistress, and be subject under her hand. And the Angel of the Lord said to her, Multiplying I will multiply thy sons, and they shall not be numbered for multitude. And the Angel of the Lord said to her, Behold, thou art with child, and thou wilt bear a son, and thou shalt call his name Ishmael, because thy affliction is revealed before the Lord. And he shall be like the wild ass among men: his hands shall take vengeance of his adversaries, and the hands of his adversaries be put forth to do him evil; and in the presence of all his brethren shall he be commingled, (yitharbeb, Arabized,) and shall dwell. And she gave thanks before the Lord whose Word spake to her, and thus said, Thou art He who livest and art eternal; who seest, but art not seen! · for she said, For, behold, here is revealed the glory of the Shekina of the Lord after a vision.


(JERUSALEM. And Hagar gave thanks, and prayed in the Name of the Word of the Lord, who had been manifested to her, saying, Blessed be Thou, Eloha, the Living One of all Ages, who hast looked upon my affliction. For she said, Behold, Thou art manifested also unto me, even as Thou wast manifested to Sara my mistress.] Wherefore she called the well, The Well at which the Living and Eternal One was revealed; and, behold, it is situate between Rekam and Chalutsa. And Hagar bare Abram a son, and Abram called the name of his son whom Hagar bare, Ishmael. And Abram was the son of eighty-six years when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.



Did Uzziel know of Jesus teachings on the "Word of God?" The English word "God" is broken down into three parts; G is the masculine, O the feminine, D the neuter. The Letter O, (ovule, ovum) is egg-shaped and corresponds to Beth in Hebrew.


At this point, the Hebrew version of Genesis gives a better connection to Jesus as the Living Word of God that existed before Man. In addition, Uzziel's Jerusalem Targum creates the foundation on how the Gnostics can believe that Sophia (Wisdom) was generated before God's Creation. Further, the Jerusalem Targum could shed some light on why Muslims believe that Gabriel is the Christian Holy Spirit that comes over Mary. Finally, we see the first mention of the Shekinah which would be Hashem's glory that dwelled with Hagar.


What do you see in this picture?




Or is this a better depiction of Hagar in the presence of the Shekinah?




Abraham and Sarah = Israel = Jesus = Christianity


Abraham and Hagar = Ishmael = Mohammed = Islam


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The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles


Chapter 5


5:1 But the way of death is this.

5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;

Ezra 4


4:6 At the beginning of the reign of Ahasuerus they filed an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.


4:7 And during the reign of Artaxerxes, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of their colleagues wrote to King Artaxerxes of Persia. This letter was first written in Aramaic but then translated.


The Aramaic Targums often substituted the sacred name of God with "the Word."


In 1949, Professor Alejandro Diez Macho of the University of Barcelona and a colleague were researching manuscripts of Targum Onqelos in the Vatican Library. When Codex Neophyti 1 was delivered to them, they immediately recognized it was not a text of Onqelos. It was not until 1956, however, that Diez Macho publically announced the discovery of a complete manuscript of a Palestinian Targum. Diez Macho later published an edition of the text, with translations into Spanish, English (by M. McNamara), and French (by R. Le Deaut). This text is now known as Targum Neofiti.


Neofiti comprises a complete text of a Palestinian Targum to the Pentateuch. It is composed in Jewish Targumic Aramaic, a sub-dialect of Jewish Palestinian Aramaic and a sister sub-dialect of Galilean Aramaic. It contains a complete text of the five books of the Pentateuch. As a PT, it shares much in common with the other PTs, namely, the Fragment Targums and the fragments of complete targums from the Cairo Geniza. They share the same translation, and evidence, where extant, the same non-translational additions. These common additions are known as the Proto-PT source. This source has undergone important analysis by Paul V. M. Flesher and Beverly P. Mortensen. The translation differs in significant ways from the other Pentateuchal Targums of Targum Onqelos and Targum Pseudo-Jonathan.


After the Destruction of the second temple two main Targum traditions developed in Palestine, namely Targum Onqelos, which is a dry, mostly literal translation, and Targum Neofiti, which is, by comparison,

more fluid and popular by nature.


The fact that both N and TO show links to a common older Targum tradition, supports the theory of theexistence of an earlier Targum rendition. It is feasible that an older version would haveserved as point of reference in the compilation of a standardized Targum for thecontext of the Synagogue liturgy in the post-Destruction period.


Neofiti is written in three hands, one scribe identifying himself as Menachem ben Mordechai, physician in Rome. The colophon reads Rome, 1504. We know it was property of Egedio Antonini, of Viterbo (1459-1532), among other things, a cardinal, diplomat for the Vatican, father-general of the Augustinian Order, and Christian Cabalist. He studied with Elias Levita (1469-1549), a major Hebraist and Masoretic scholar of the Renaissance. Levita lived for more than ten years in the cardinal’s palace, teaching him Hebrew and copying Cabalistic mss. for the cardinal’s library. How Egedio Antonini acquired the ms. is not known, but he was an extremely important collector of Hebrew mss.



The Targum Neofiti calls God "Firstborn God." Firstborn is Jesus (preeminence, authority), God is Father. Elohim is plural.


Genesis 1


Targum Neofiti


1:1 In the beginning, with wisdom, the Son of Yahweh created the heavens and the earth.



That soul shall utterly be cut off [hikkareth] he shall be cut off in this world and [tikkareth] in the next:

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The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;



I received a well thought out response from John Marie about his thoughts on the Shekinah.

I am a Traditional Catholic. To be honest with you I am not familiar with the word Shekinah as it is a Jewish term. I took it to mean God's glory, divine presence or manifestation. The Holy Spirit I know is God, the third person of the Holy Trinity. The awe we may feel or experience with God in the Holy Spirit is not God but rather a manifestation of God to the created soul. It is God in the sense that he is revealing Himself. If you think the Shekinah to be a feminine manifestation of God, then link this with the virgin Mary then I would have to disagree with you. The virgin Mary is the handmaid of the Lord. She is not a goddess or similar to the idea of mother earth. Mary is a faithful creature of God who placed her whole life in service to Him. God thus for this great faith of hers keeps his promise to all those who believe in Him and glorifies his faithful in the fullest sense in supernatural glory which cannot be understood by created reason.

This type of glory I understand to be Shekinah glory in the fullest sense. Now God in Himself is infinite glory which cannot be understood by created reason. So in the sense that the shekinah glory of God the Holy Spirit is one in Himself yes he is one in this: "Distinct from the world, supremely happy in himself and from Himself and inexpressibly loftier than anything besides Himself which either exists or can be imagined" (Vatican Council I sess. 3, Chap. 1 #2). In the sense that he is one in his faithful creatures yes. He is one but his creatures do not become God as he is. For he alone is the almighty and eternal being.

I do not think the Virgin Mary is the Shekinah. But, I can understand how people without the power of modern communication or the Grace of Hashem could come to a misunderstanding of the Blessed Mother's place with God.

I can conceive the Shekinah glory dwelled in the Blessed Mother. Further I can conceive for a time the Blessed Mother was the new Ark that the Shekinah glory of God dwelled with the new Living Covenant, which was our Lord Jesus Christ. The great Rabbi Moses Mosheh ben Maimon taught the Shekinah was a distinct intermediary of God's glory and light to His Creation.

I was told by a Catholic priest that we should not discount the Jewish interpretation of the Torah and the books of the Prophets. But, I am not yet in a place to fully accept the Targums as divinely inspired at this point. The Targums were not supposed to be copied, but were anyway. For this reason alone I consider them more Midrash, than God inspired translation. There are also mentions in the Talmud and Kabbalah that personify the Shekinah similar to the Holy Spirit. Some which consider the Shekinah to be the female Wisdom of the Old Testament. And others to be a construct to better understanding our Creator.

I asked Chaudhry Rajinder Nijjhar Jatt, a retired University Lecturer who preaches Christianity, Sikhism and Islam on whether the Shekinah and the Holy Spirit are the same? If one can answer that question, how did they deduce it? First, watch his video.

This is the response I received from Chaudhry Rajinder Nijjhar Jatt.

I looked into it briefly and it is the Shakti of Elohim, who is greater than Yahweh, the creator.

I then asked Chaudhry Rajinder Nijjhar Jatt whether he believed that it would be correct to state that the divine feminine is more powerful than the divine masculine?

This is the response I received from Chaudhry Rajinder Nijjhar Jatt.

The Divine Feminine Feeds you with wisdom whilst Masculine Protects you from enemies.

Both have a role to play

God does not speak but his Shakti Holy Spirit, our Mother in wisdom. God protects.

Chaudhry Rajinder Nijjhar Jatt does not think of Mary as the mother of Jesus. Rather, he considers Mary as a caretaker for Shakti, the personification, of divine feminine creative power, sometimes referred to as 'The Great Divine Mother' in Hinduism. On the earthly plane, Shakti most actively manifests through female embodiment and creativity/fertility, though it is also present in males in its potential, unmanifest form. It appears that The Devi Bhagwata Mahapurana suggests that Adi Parashakti is the original creator, observer and destroyer of whole universe. I will have to review the Devi Bhagavata Purana ("the old book of the Goddess"), also known as the Shrimad Devi Bhagvatam, the Devi Bhagavatam, is one of the most important works in Shaktism,

Now what I have told you about Adam and Eve, we have found out, said by also John in his Gnostics book. It's very surprising. They always told you that Christ must have told you many things, but they are not in the Bible. So if you understand that this Adi Shakti came as a serpent — the Adi Kundalini part of Her — and told the Adam and Eve, especially Eve, that she should ask for the fruit of knowledge to be eaten. The reason I gave you is exactly written there, that the Mother power, the feminine power, didn't want Her children to live like animals without understanding what is the knowledge of the higher realms, not giving them chance to rise higher through their freedom and then to higher and higher awareness. It was the concern of the Mother."

Shri Adi Shakti Puja Talk
Cabella, Italy, June 26, 1994

What are called spirit and matter in English correspond in some respects to what are called Shiva and Shakti in Sanskrit. The body, being the temple of the Holy Spirit, has accommodation for both Shiva and Shakti.


Can one be living in the sin of idolatry if one does not know what it is? Is it unforgivable blasphemy for the Gnostic to believe that Sophia is the Holy Spirit. Is it unforgivable blasphemy to believe the Holy Spirit is female? Is it unforgivable blasphemy to consider the Shekinah a consort to God? Is it unforgivable to consider an angel the Holy Spirit?

If we consider Sophia, Shakti, and the Shekinah to be female constructs of understanding the righteous Wisdom of our Eternal Father, would that be blasphemy to His Holy Spirit?

Tractate Sanhedrin:

Chapter 6

MISHNA VI.: How was one hanged? The beam was put in the earth, and it was fastened at the top, and he tied the hands of the culprit one upon the other, and hung him up. R. Jose said:

The beam was not put in the earth, but the top of it was supported by the wall, and he hung him up as the butchers do, and he took him off immediately. And should he leave him over night, he transgressed a negative commandment, as it reads [Deut. xxi. 23]: "Thou shalt not leave his corpse on the tree over night, but thou shalt surely bury him on that day (for he that is hanged) is a dishonor of God," etc. How so? "Why is this man hanged?" "He is a blasphemer." Hence the name of Heaven is violated.

[said R. Mair: When a man is in trouble, in what language does the Shekinah lament over him?

Qalleni meiraushi, qalleni miz'raay.

Now, if the Omnipotent grieves over the blood of the wicked which was shed, so much the more about the blood of the upright!] And not only of him who was executed it was said that he should not remain over night? But even every one who leaves unburied his corpse over night transgresses the negative commandment. However, if he left it over night for the sake of its honor, as for instance to prepare for it a coffin or shroud, he does not transgress.

Qalleni meiraushi, qalleni miz'raay

141:1 We cannot find in the English idiom any equivalent for this. In the German translation of the Mishna (Berlin, 1823) it is translated in accordance with Rashi. "Wie lässt sich gleichsam die Gottheit bei solcher Gelegenheit aus? Mein Kopf ist mir zu schwer! Meine Arme sind mir zu schwer!" notwithstanding that such is objected to by Rabha in the Gemara farther on, and his explanation is:

As one who is in trouble says, "The world is ignominous to me." And all this is taken from the term "qillelath elohim" [Deut. xx. 23], (translated by Leeser "dishonor of God"), which one reads, "qal leth," literally, "not easy," and the other "qollal-eth," literally, "an ignominy" (according to Thosphath and Hananel). And therefore it seems to us better to give the original expression of the Mishna, without any explanation, leaving the matter to the reader, as we could not omit it, according to our method.

Rabbi Meir or Rabbi Meir Baal HaNes (Rabbi Meir the miracle maker) was a Jewish sage who lived in the time of the Mishna. He was considered one of the greatest of the Tannaim of the third generation (139-163). According to the Talmud, his father was a descendant of the Roman Emperor Nero who had converted to Judaism.

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The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;


Atbash is a simple substitution cipher for the Hebrew alphabet. It consists in substituting aleph (the first letter) for tav (the last), beth (the second) for shin (one before last), and so on, reversing the alphabet. Dr. Hugh J. Schonfield, one of the biblical scholars who worked on the Dead Sea Scrolls, believed the word Baphomet was applied with the Knowledge of the Atbash Cipher. Baphomet is the name of the idol the Knights Templar were accused of worshiping, and subsequently incorporated into disparate occult and mystical traditions. Schonfield was convinced that the Templars were actually worshiping Sophia.


In Roman Catholic mysticism, the Doctor of the Church St. Hildegard of Bingen celebrated Sophia as a cosmic figure in both her writing and her art. Sophia, in Catholic theology, is the Wisdom of God, and is thus eternal. On 7 October 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named Hildegard of Bingen a Doctor of the Church. Artwork from a medieval codex depicting Hildegard of Bingen's vision of Ecclesia and Sophia.


Hildegardis-Codex, sogenannter Scivias-Codex, Szene: Der mystische Leib
Plate 14, Matthew Fox, Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen

SCIVIAS, Bk. 2, vision 5
in the CHURCH

After this I saw that a splendor white as snow and translucent as crystal had shone around the image of that woman from the top of her head to her throat. And from her throat to her navel another splendor, red in color, had encircled her, glowing like the dawn from her throat to her breasts and shining from her breasts to her navel mixed with purple and blue. And where it glowed like the dawn, its brightness shone forth as high as the secret places of Heaven; and in this brightness appeared a most beautiful image of a maiden, with bare head and black hair, wearing a red tunic, which flowed down about her feet.

And I heard the voice from Heaven saying, “This is the blossom of the celestial Zion, the mother and flower of roses and lilies of the valley. O blossom, when in your time you are strengthened, you shall bring forth a most renowned posterity.”

And around that maiden I saw standing a great crowd of people, brighter than the sun, all wonderfully adorned with gold and gems. Some of these had their heads veiled in white, adorned with a gold circlet; and above them, as if sculpted on the veils, was the likeness of the glorious and ineffable Trinity as it was represented to me earlier, and on their foreheads the Lamb of God, and on their necks a human figure, and on the right ear cherubim, and on the left ear the other kinds of angels; and from the likeness of the glorious and supernal Trinity golden rays extended to these other images. And among these people there were some who had miters on their heads and pallia of the episcopal office around their shoulders.

And again I heard the voice from on high, saying, “These are the daughters of Zion, and with them the harps of the harpers and all sorts of musical instruments, and the voice of all gladness, and the joy of joys.”

But beneath that splendor, which glowed like the dawn, I saw between Heaven and earth a thick darkness appear, the horror of which exceeded what human tongue can utter.

And again I heard the voice from Heaven saying, “If the Son of God had not suffered on the cross, this darkness would mean that no person could attain celestial glory.

And where the splendor shone, which was mixed with purple and blue, it encircled the woman’s image with strong ardor. But another splendor, like a white cloud, decently enveloped that image from the navel down, to the point at which it had not yet grown further. And these three splendors around that image shone afar, showing that within her many steps and ladders were well and properly placed.

And when I saw these things, I was seized with extreme trembling; my strength failed me, and I fell to the ground, unable to speak. And behold! A great splendor touched me like a hand, and I recovered my strength and voice. And from that splendor again I heard a voice, saying;

“These are great mysteries. For consider the sun and the moon and the stars. I formed the sun to give light by day, and the moon and stars to give light by night. The sun symbolizes My Son, Who went forth from My heart and illuminated the world when in the latest times He was born of the Virgin, as the sun goes forth and lights the world when it rises at the end of the night. And the moon symbolizes the Church, betrothed to My Son in true and celestial betrothal. And as the moon is so made that it always increases and decreases, but does not burn of itself unless it is kindled by the light of the sun, so too the Church has a cycle of movement: her children sometimes rise in increase of virtues and sometimes decline by inconstant behavior or harm by outside forces. For she is often assailed in her mysteries by ravening wolves, that is to say malicious people, whether bad Christians or Jews or pagans; and she is not fired to endurance by herself, but lit up by Me through My Son to persevere in good. But the stars, which differ from each other in the brightness of their glory, symbolize the people in the differing religious orders of the Church.”

I just watched a wonderful movie about the life of St. Hildegard of Bingen. Here is the official trailer, Vision - From the Life of Hildegard Von Bingen

Hildegard corresponded with Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, who approved and advanced her work, at the behest of her abbot, Kuno, at the Synod of Trier in 1147 and 1148.

It has been held by many that the Templars were followers of the goddess or at very least in reestablishing the feminine aspect of divinity that had been excised by the church. It should be remembered that their patron, St. Bernard of Clairvaux had an absolute obsession with Mary and was responsible for her being named the queen of Heaven and the Mother of God.


Bernard of Clairvaux, O.Cist was a French abbot whose parents were Tescelin, Lord of Fontaines, and Aleth of Montbard, both belonging to the highest nobility of Burgundy. Following the Christian defeat at the Siege of Edessa, the pope commissioned Bernard to preach the Second Crusade. Here is one of Saint Bernard's speeches to motivate the crusaders.

"O ye who listen to me! Hasten to appease the anger of heaven, but no longer implore its goodness by vain complaints. Clothe yourselves in sackcloth, but also cover yourselves with your impenetrable bucklers. The din of arms, the danger, the labors, the fatigues of war, are the penances that God now imposes upon you. Hasten then to expiate your sins by victories over the Infidels, and let the deliverance of the holy places be the reward of your repentance." As in the olden scene, the cry "Deus vult! Deus vult!" rolled over the fields, and was echoed by the voice of the orator: "Cursed be he who does not stain his sword with blood."


Saint Bernard was devoted to the Virgin Mary. In their written charter, the Templars dedicate themselves not to Jesus, but to Mary.

Let us not imagine that we obscure the glory of the Son by the great praise we lavish on the Mother; for the more she is honored, the greater is the glory of her Son. There can be no doubt that whatever we say in praise of the Mother of God, gives equal praise to the Son.

Bernard of Clairvaux, spoke of both monks and Jesus in terms of the feminine. Bynum, Jesus as Mother: Studies in the Spirituality of the High Middle Ages, pp. 115, 128.

At this time period orthodox Christianity discouraged feminine symbolism for expressing the essence of the divine. It was heresy that women played leading roles in Gnostic Christian groups, which sometimes described God in feminine language. This all stemmed from Orthodox Christian tradition banned female leadership and description of the divine as female in the second century after the death of Jesus.

I wonder if the execution of Jacques de Molay was based on the threat bringing feminism back into the Church.

The pope reserved to his own judgment the cause of the grand master and his three first dignitaries. They had confessed their guilt; it remained to reconcile them with the Church, after they had testified to their repentance with the customary solemnity. To give this solemnity more publicity, a platform was erected in front of the Notre-Dame for the reading of the sentence. But at the supreme moment the grand master recovered his courage and proclaimed the innocence of the Templars and the falsity of his own alleged confessions. To atone for this deplorable moment of weakness, he declared himself ready to sacrifice his life. He knew the fate that awaited him. Immediately after this unexpected coup-de-théâtre he was arrested as a relapsed heretic with another dignitary who chose to share his fate, and by order of Philip they were burned at the stake before the gates of the palace. This brave death deeply impressed the people, and, as it happened that the pope and the king died shortly afterwards, the legend spread that the grand master in the midst of the flames had summoned them both to appear in the course of the year before the tribunal of God.



Schonfield became very interested in the charges of heresy leveled against the Knights Templar and the etymology of the word Baphomet. Schonfield decided to apply the Atbash cipher, which he was convinced the Templars were aware of, to the word Baphomet.

If one writes the word Baphomet in Hebrew and remember Hebrew letters read from right to left, the result is shown here with our letters shown left to right. Applying the Atbash cipher, Schonfield revealed the following:

The word Baphomet: Bet Pe Vav Mem Taf spells BAPHOMET

With the Atbash Cipher: Shin Vav Pe Yud Alef spells SOPHIA

Although written in Hebrew it reads as the Greek word Sophia that translates into "Wisdom" in English. No matter what you use, Wisdom is always coming up with regards to this word Baphomet, whether you use Sophia, Bahu Mid, or Baphemetis.

Schonfield's Atbash cipher theory and what it showed when he applied it, is just one more excellent explanation of what "Baphomet" means - and we note that all the explanations yield the same meaning in the inner sense. In other words, Schonfield did not get a word that meant "love" or "war" when he applied it. He got SOPHIA!

What does all of this show? Sophia is Upper Shekina! Sophia is also Wisdom. Baphe Metis means Initiation into Wisdom. The word Baphe is some kind of lingo jargon made from the either the word baptismo or Bahu. Water and Spirit (kundalini) are Bahu and Shekina! Most notable of all: Jesus said,"ean me tis gennese ex hydratos chai pneumatos, ou dynatai basileian tou theou." Literally: if anyone be not generated out of water and spirit, he is not able to enter into the kingdom of the god. Gospel of St. John, 3:5. (Note that the majority of English translations mistranslate this to read "unless you are born again." The original Greek says no such thing. The original Greek is specific and clear. The words "born again" do not exist in the actual Greek. The verses further explain, in literal English from Greek: "If any one be not generated out of Water and Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of the God. That which has been born of the flesh, is Flesh; and that which has been born of the spirit, is Spirit. Do not wonder, because I said to you, you must be born from above. The Spirit breaths where it will, and you hear its Voice, but you know not whence it comes, or where it goes; thus it is with every one who has been born of the Spirit." Note especially that when referring to The Spirit, the pronoun "it" is used. Nowhere does this call for a second Baptism.)

The Hebrew Scribes or Tanaim actually used to write manuscripts like this, and they called it "plowing the field" (a Hebrew name that means that) because when you read it you are supposed to read right to left on top line, left to right on second, right to left in third... etc. Like back and forth Reading like this is also called the SERPENT way.

Sofia is upper Wisdom. Sofia Achamoth is Lower Wisdom or the "waters." The Waters (or Bahu, Baphe) is the root of the Christos (also called Logos). In a sense, it is the Mother of Christos, where this force in people springs out and up from. Who is the Mother of Christ? Mary. What does Mary mean? Sea. Hence, the waters. Layers of code are here. The Templars were Catholics - but they were HERETICS at that time for believing this. They were branded heretics. The name for this symbol was BAHU MID or Baphe Metis. The goat in the star is not the devil or satan. (Even the Wiccans know that.) It is simply the androgyne goat and might have been less goatish at the time. Ram heads were also used. In the Bible, satan, or Ha-stn, is not a goat or a horned headed being. In the Hebrew ha-stn is an adversary - any adversary or, at best, something God uses to test the faithful. In Catholicism and other forms of Christianity, Satan is a liar, a deceiver - but still a spirit - not an animal or man or animal-headed man. Satan is not a victorious rebel figure except in English literature, which is purely fictional.

I should point out that Baphe is not a Greek word, ancient or Biblical, that means Wisdom, Initiation, Holy Spirit, Cleansing, or anything normally related to Baptism in everyday speech. Baphe is a noun in Attic Greek that means "dye" as in coloring. However, Baptein means the verb "to dye" as in to color something by dipping it. Baphe, as a word used to mean "Baptism" or Initiation" came after the word Baptismo, a word perculiar to these cults that practiced immersion into water, and it meant what we understand it to mean by Baptism - always by water. It is related to Bahu, but not linguistically as far as anyone knows. The Templars may have originated the use of the word Baphe and stuck it on the word Met after they encoded Sophia with the Atbash Cipher. Not the other way around! If you know that they meant Sophia, you can figure out how they came up with the word Baphomet by using what Schonfield used. (If you are familiar with esoteric meanings: A word that means Dye = color, is being used to mean Bahu. Orphic Doctrines about Demiurge and six colors come to mind. You either know what this means, or you don't. It's more or less using a word that literally means one thing in "the below," to figuratively or metaphorically stand for something else in "the above.")


In the mystical theology of the Orthodox Church wisdom is understood as the Divine Logos who became incarnate as Jesus Christ. In the Holy Family, Sophia is often seen as being represented by the Theotokos (Greek title of Mary). Sophia is expressed as the Holy Wisdom of God and the saints, obtained through humility, and in Mary, the Theotokos, the first and greatest of all saints.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople

Q. What is the Ecumenical Patriarchate?

A. The Ecumenical Patriarchate is the honorary and spiritual centre of the Orthodox Church throughout the world, tracing its history to the Day of Pentecost and the earliest Christian communities founded by the Apostles of Jesus Christ.

Q. What is the origin of the title "Ecumenical Patriarch?"

A. The title "Ecumenical Patriarch" dates from the sixth century and belongs exclusively to the Archbishop of Constantinople. But his role was defined as early as the 4th century. At the 4th Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon (451), the Archbishop of Constantinople was given "equal privileges" to the Bishop of Rome.

Q. Why is the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul?

A. In 330, the Roman Emperor Constantine transferred the imperial capital to the small city of Byzantium, renaming it Constantinople or "New Rome." Due to its political and historical importance, the city quickly assumed political and ecclesiastical prominence, with all of the (seven) Great Councils of the early Church held either in or near Constantinople.

Q. What is the role of the Ecumenical Patriarch among Orthodox Churches?

A. The Ecumenical Patriarch presides in historical honor among all Orthodox Primates, as "first among equals." He also traditionally serves as the focal point and spokesman for Orthodox Church unity, convening inter-Orthodox councils, as well as inter-Church and inter-faith dialogues.

Q. What is the order of the Orthodox Patriarchates?

A. The most ancient Patriarchates, in an order of seniority already established by the 5th century, comprise Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem. In the 16th century, the Ecumenical Patriarch raised the Church of Moscow to the rank of Patriarchate, as occurred earlier with the Church of Serbia in the 14th century as well as later with the Churches of Romania in the 19th century and Bulgaria in the 20th century.

Q. What is the relationship of the Hagia Sophia (or the Holy Wisdom) to the Ecumenical Patriarchate?

A. Hagia Sophia is one of the architectural wonders of the early Church. It housed some of the most magnificent mosaics, some of which survive to this day, and was the center of impressive liturgical worship. It was here that Prince Vladimir in the 10th century sent his envoys to witness the liturgy, as a result of which all of Russia was Christianized. Converted to a mosque in 1453, today it is a museum.

Hagia Sophia is the former Greek Orthodox patriarchal basilica (church) similar to Saint Peter's basilica located in the Vatican city.


Both Eastern Orthodox and Western Catholic are in communion with most doctrine beliefs. It appears that the Mystical part of the Catholic Church may be even closer with the concept of Sophia.


I believe there are natural, logical, moral, and spiritual consequences to our actions. A natural consequence example would be if we too close to the fire we may get burned. A logical consequence example would be if we both agreed prior to getting burned that if you did not stay away from the fire it would be put out. A moral consequence is when you know it is wrong to get near the fire, but rebel against your promise, so everyone does not get to enjoy the fire. A spiritual consequence is when you know it is wrong to go near the fire of the Hashem's Holy Spirit, but rebel against your promise. I am reminded of the Israelites that got burned when they got too close to the Ark of the Covenant. Hashem gave permission for only a few to come close to His Shekinah.

For those that believe in Jesus like myself this condition has changed. Jesus gave Man the possibility to personally receive the fire of the Holy Spirit by accepting Him as the Messiah and obeying his teachings on Hashem's commands. The Spiritual consequence now is that if you ask to receive fire of the Holy Spirit to enter you and then rebel against Hashem's commands, those with Him will turn from sin and light will go black.

Mystics believe that one can rearrange the many names of Hashem, with a pure heart you will gain insight to the true nature of the Torah. It separates the intellect from the animal.

I believe Spiritual Wisdom enters the ignorant sinners like myself when our intentions are completely pure selfless devotion to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Hallowed be His name. I know that I am just an animal without the Wisdom of our Lord.

I ask for the intercession of the Handmaid Mary, to receive the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus Christ for Mercy and Grace for sinners like myself to overcome the temptation of nature and gain true devotion to Our Almighty Father. I also pray that my Jewish brothers are enlightened with the holy Shekinah from following your perfect Torah.


I also pray for guidance on understanding mystic and Gnostic beliefs about Sophia and Shekinah.

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The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;

Psalm 33 - Hebrew Bible

6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.

The Aramaic word 'Memra', which means the ‘Word’ or ‘The Word of the Lord’, is used when physical manifestations of God appear or when God is mentioned more than once in the same verse.

Memra has different meaning to different beliefs. Memra is the personifcation of Logos meaning Jesus or a variance of the name of G-d to to reflect wisdom to Western Christians; Memra means Sophia meaning Wisdom without female personification and Logos meaning Jesus to Eastern Christians; Memra has a duel meaning with personification for both Sophia and Jesus meaning the twin powers of Wisdom under G-d to the Gnostics; A variance of the name of G-d meaning wisdom Traditional and Orthodox Jews, Shekinah, Metatron, Yahoel to Kabbalists and Pagan Mystery Schools.


Does Proverbs 8 reveal Jesus, Sophia, Shekinah? Or is this passage a personification of Solomon to better understand G-d's Wisdom?

Proverbs 8 - Hebrew Masoretic Bible


22 The LORD made me as the beginning of His way, the first of His works of old.

23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.

24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.

25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth;

26 While as yet He had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the beginning of the dust of the world.

27 When He established the heavens, I was there; when He set a circle upon the face of the deep,

28 When He made firm the skies above, when the fountains of the deep showed their might,

29 When He gave to the sea His decree, that the waters should not transgress His commandment, when He appointed the foundations of the earth;

30 Then I was by Him, as a nursling; and I was daily all delight, playing always before Him,

31 Playing in His habitable earth, and my delights are with the sons of men. {P}

32 Now therefore, ye children, hearken unto me; for happy are they that keep my ways.

33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.

34 Happy is the man that hearkens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.

35 For whoso finds me finds life, and obtains favor of the LORD.

36 But he that misses me wrongs his own soul; all they that hate me love death.'


Proverbs 9 - Hebrew Masoretic

1 Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn out her seven pillars;

2 She hath prepared her meat, she has mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table.

3 She hath sent forth her maidens, she calls, upon the highest places of the city:

4 'Whoso is thoughtless, let him turn in hither'; as for him that lacks understanding, she saith to him:

5 'Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.


The Gnostic Catechism



94. Who is our Lady Sophia?

She is a high Aeon of the Fullness (PLEROMA), whose name means Wisdom and who is of a feminine character.

95. Is Sophia only known to Gnostics?

Although She is known to Gnostics in a special way, Sophia was known to certain Biblical authors who wrote the Wisdom literature (Book of the Wisdom, Ecclesiastes, Ecclesiasticus and Proverbs, and also the Song of Songs), to ancient philosophers such as Philo, and to certain theologians known as Sophiologists.

96. How is Sophia related to Christ?

She is His close associate (Sister Aeon or Twin Aeon) in the Fullness (PLEROMA).

97. Is Sophia "the Goddess" as some modern opinions imply?

No. Sophia is not a female counterpart to God, but rather She is a great and holy emanated aspect (HYPOSTASIS) of God.

98. Is Sophia then a goddess?

If by "a goddess" is meant a deity, or one among numerous deific beings then She may be called one.

99. Has Sophia ever been incarnate in human form?

None of the scriptures have intimated that She has.

100. Is there a narrative concerning the events in the story of Sophia after the fashion of the gospel narratives concerning Christ?

Yes. It is the book "Faithful Sophia" (PISTIS SOPHIA), although elements of Her story appear in other scriptures also.

101. What is the beginning of the story of Sophia?

Sophia's tale begins with Her going forth from Her Aeonial habitat in search of the Light. This going forth results in Her catastrophic fall from on high and into the torment of the lower Chaos.

102. How does the story of Sophia continue?

In Her state of anguish and affliction, Sophia gives birth to a hybrid being who becomes the Demiurge. She also exudes the elements from which the Demiurge subsequently fashions the world.

103. What does Sophia do after that?

She continues to call out to the Light for help in Her affliction. The Light hears Her and sends forth the Aeon Christ to console Her and to rescue Her. After many efforts, the work of rescue is accomplished and Sophia is restored to Her original dwelling place.

104. Has Sophia then totally departed from the manifest realm?

No. Her involvement in creation, especially of humans, and Her other deeds, indicate Her continuing care for Her children who are trapped in the world and in the bodies created by the Demiurge.

105. What are some of Her actions which indicate Her involvement with creation and with humanity?

There are many. One is Her rebuking of the Demiurge when he declares that he is the only God and there are no other gods before him. Another is Her gift of the spirit of the higher life to Adam, who was created as a witless cripple by the Demiurge. She also inspired Eve and the serpent in order to facilitate the exit of the first human pair from the fool's paradise where they were confined.

106. Has Sophia continued to aid humanity?

Yes. Scripture declares that She "enters holy souls and makes them friends of God". There is much evidence of Her helpful presence among us to this very day.

107. Is Sophia identical with the Virgin Mary?

No. Mary "the mother of the Lord according to matter" is an honored figure of the Gnosis, but she is a human woman, while Sophia is celestial.

108. Has Sophia overshadowed any human beings?

There are indications that such may have been the case. One example may be Helen in the story of Simon Magus, and another, Mary Magdalene, the chief disciple of Jesus.

109. Does Sophia appear to and communicate with humans?

Yes. She has done so to the Russian philosopher Solovyev (late 19th Century) and Her manifestations are not unknown today.

110. Do the contemporary teachings about the Virgin Mary (Mariology) have a relation to Sophia?

Yes. Such teachings as those about Mary's Assumption, and her role as joint redeemer (CO-REDEMPTRIX) and mediator between God and humans (MEDIATRIX) can easily be applied to Sophia.

111. Why are the actions and roles of Sophia seemingly confounded with those of the Virgin Mary?

Because the Western exoteric church has suppressed and forgotten the figure of Sophia and was left thus with the lone figure of Mary to whom all feminine holiness and mysteries are now ascribed.

112. What is the duty of Gnostics toward Sophia today?

To render Her due reverence in prayer, liturgy, meditation, study, thought and action, and also to guard Her true identity in the confusion of tongues wherein She is confused with goddesses, earth mothers, Madonnas black and otherwise, and the politically motivated mythologizing of our era.

The Deuterocanon





Wisdom 1



[1] Love righteousness, ye that be judges of the earth: think of the Lord with a good (heart,) and in simplicity of heart seek him.


[2] For he will be found of them that tempt him not; and show himself unto such as do not distrust him.


[3] For froward thoughts separate from God: and his power, when it is tried, reproveth the unwise.


[4] For into a malicious soul wisdom shall not enter; nor dwell in the body that is subject unto sin.


[5] For the holy spirit of discipline will flee deceit, and remove from thoughts that are without understanding, and will not abide when unrighteousness cometh in.


[6] For wisdom is a loving spirit; and will not acquit a blasphemer of his words: for God is witness of his reins, and a true beholder of his heart, and a hearer of his tongue.


[7] For the Spirit of the Lord filleth the world: and that which containeth all things hath knowledge of the voice.



I am sure many readers of Wisdom can see the direct parallels with Jesus Christ.


Wisdom 2



[11] Let our strength be the law of justice: for that which is feeble is found to be nothing worth.


[12] Therefore let us lie in wait for the righteous; because he is not for our turn, and he is clean contrary to our doings: he upbraids us with our offending the law, and objects to our infamy the transgressings of our education.


[13] He professes to have the knowledge of God: and he calls himself the child of the Lord.


[14] He was made to reprove our thoughts.


[15] He is grievous unto us even to behold: for his life is not like other men, his ways are of another fashion.


[16] We are esteemed of him as counterfeits: he abstains from our ways as from filthiness: he pronounces the end of the just to be blessed, and makes his boast that God is his father.


[17] Let us see if his words be true: and let us prove what shall happen in the end of him.


[18] For if the just man be the son of God, he will help him, and deliver him from the hand of his enemies.


[19] Let us examine him with despitefulness and torture, that we may know his meekness, and prove his patience.


[20] Let us condemn him with a shameful death: for by his own saying he shall be respected.


[21] Such things they did imagine, and were deceived: for their own wickedness hath blinded them.


[22] As for the mysteries of God, they knew them not: neither hoped they for the wages of righteousness, nor discerned a reward for blameless souls.


[23] For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity.


[24] Nevertheless through envy of the devil came death into the world: and they that do hold of his side do find it.


Wisdom 5



[12] Wisdom is glorious, and never fades away: yea, she is easily seen of them that love her, and found of such as seek her.


[13] She prevents them that desire her, in making herself first known unto them.


[14] Whoso seeks her early shall have no great travail: for he shall find her sitting at his doors.


[15] To think therefore upon her is perfection of wisdom: and whoso looks for her shall quickly be without care.


[16] For she goes about seeking such as are worthy of her, shows herself favourably unto them in the ways, and meeteth them in every thought.


[17] For the very true beginning of her is the desire of discipline; and the care of discipline is love;


[18] And love is the keeping of her laws; and the giving heed unto her laws is the assurance of incorruption;


Robert Palmer sings the "Discipline of Love" beats down the foolishness of Pride



Scholars believe that the Wisdom of Solomon represents the most literary post-classical Greek language found in the Septuagint, having been written during the Jewish Hellenistic period somewhere between fifty and two hundred years before Jesus Christ. The author(s) of the text appears were well versed in the popular philosophical, religious, and ethical writings adopted by Hellenistic Alexandria. Could these be Jewish Gnostics?


Interesting note is the Wisdom of Solomon is found in Codex Sinictus, the oldest known bible on the planet.





Apocryphal book written in Alexandria about the middle of the first century B.C. That it was composed in Greek by an Alexandrian Jew has been conclusively shown by Freudenthal ("J. Q. R." iii. 722-753).


It is evident that these three parts, or at least the first two (i.-ix., x.-xix.), can not have emanated from the same author, for neither the style nor the views can be ascribed to one and the same person. This leads to the supposition that the original Wisdom of Solomon and the Passover-Haggadah fragment were probably joined together and then treated as one book. Grätz ("Gesch." 4th ed., iii. 382-385, 611-613) finds in the work allusions to the apotheosis of Caligula (38-40 C.E.), but the deification of the Ptolemies goes back to Egyptian custom.





The Book of Wisdom was written about fifty years before the coming of Christ. Its author, whose name is not known to us, was probably a member of the Jewish community at Alexandria, in Egypt. He wrote in Greek, in a style patterned on that of Hebrew verse. At times he speaks in the person of Solomon, placing his teachings on the lips of the wise king of Hebrew tradition in order to emphasize their value. His profound knowledge of the earlier Old Testament writings is reflected in almost every line of the book, and marks him, like Ben Sira, as an outstanding representative of religious devotion and learning among the sages of postexilic Judaism.



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The Didache

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;


The term "philosophy" is a compound word, composed of two parts: philos (love) and sophia (wisdom), so that literally it means love of wisdom. To be a philosopher is to love wisdom.


But, defining what the term sophia (wisdom) meant to the ancient Greeks.


This part I dedicate to my daughter Lyra.


The latitudinal planetary coordinates for the Imperial Entrance to the Hagai Sophia is 3.141592, which is Pi to 6 decimal places. The constellation Lyra and the star Vega (α Lyr, α Lyrae, Alpha Lyrae) star co-ordinates is 3.1415 present, which is Pi to 4 decimal places, 3.1415.



Right now Polaris is within one degree of true north, but the North Star axial precession was fixed on Vega around 12,000 BC. In 14000 AD Polaris will again be pointing to Vega. This procession is caused by the slow rotation of Earth's axis completing a rotation every 26,000 years. Ancient Astronomers believed that the Earth was stable and the Heavens above were moving through the Zodiac.



For agnostics the entrance to the Hagai Sophia begs the question whether man shapes science, or does science shape man? I look for the Wisdom of Hashem to reveal the true science and purpose of His Creation.






Wisdom 7

[7] Wherefore I prayed, and understanding was given me: I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.

[8] I preferred her before scepters and thrones, and esteemed riches nothing in comparison of her.

[9] Neither compared I unto her any precious stone, because all gold in respect of her is as a little sand, and silver shall be counted as clay before her.

[10] I loved her above health and beauty, and chose to have her instead of light: for the light that cometh from her never goeth out.

[11] All good things together came to me with her, and innumerable riches in her hands.

[12] And I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom goes before them: and I knew not that she was the mother of them.

[13] I learned diligently, and do communicate her liberally: I do not hide her riches.

[14] For she is a treasure unto men that never fails: which they that use become the friends of God, being commended for the gifts that come from learning.

[15] God hath granted me to speak as I would, and to conceive as is meet for the things that are given me: because it is he that leads unto wisdom, and directs the wise.

[16] For in his hand are both we and our words; all wisdom also, and knowledge of workmanship.

[17] For he hath given me certain knowledge of the things that are, namely, to know how the world was made, and the operation of the elements:

[18] The beginning, ending, and midst of the times: the alterations of the turning of the sun, and the change of seasons:

[19] The circuits of years, and the positions of stars:

[20] The natures of living creatures, and the furies of wild beasts: the violence of winds, and the reasonings of men: the diversities of plants and the virtues of roots:

[21] And all such things as are either secret or manifest, them I know.

[22] For wisdom, which is the worker of all things, taught me: for in her is an understanding spirit holy, one only, manifold, subtil, lively, clear, undefiled, plain, not subject to hurt, loving the thing that is good quick, which cannot be letted, ready to do good,

[23] Kind to man, steadfast, sure, free from care, having all power, overseeing all things, and going through all understanding, pure, and most subtle, spirits.

[24] For wisdom is more moving than any motion: she passes and goes through all things by reason of her pureness.

[25] For she is the breath of the power of God, and a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty: therefore can no defiled thing fall into her.

[26] For she is the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of his goodness.

[27] And being but one, she can do all things: and remaining in herself, she makes all things new: and in all ages entering into holy souls, she makes them friends of God, and prophets.

[28] For God loveth none but him that dwelleth with wisdom.

[29] For she is more beautiful than the sun, and above all the order of stars: being compared with the light, she is found before it.

[30] For after this cometh night: but vice shall not prevail against wisdom.


Did Solomon personify wisdom as a woman merely because the Hebrew word for 'wisdom,' 'hokmah,' is grammatically feminine? Israel is often referred to as the wife of YHWH.




fem. proper name, from Greek sophia "skill, knowledge of, acquaintance with; sound judgement, practical wisdom; cunning, shrewdness; philosophy," also "wisdom personified," abstract noun from sophos "wise" (see sophist). Saint Sophia in ancient church names and place names in the East is not necessarily a reference to a person; the phrase also is the English translation of the Greek for "divine wisdom, holy wisdom," to which churches were dedicated.



Wisdom 8

[1] Wisdom reaches from one end to another mightily: and sweetly doth she order all things.

[2] I loved her, and sought her out from my youth, I desired to make her my spouse, and I was a lover of her beauty.

[3] In that she is conversant with God, she magnified her nobility: yea, the Lord of all things himself loved her.

[4] For she is privy to the mysteries of the knowledge of God, and a lover of his works.

[5] If riches be a possession to be desired in this life; what is richer than wisdom, that worketh all things?

[6] And if prudence work; who of all that are is a more cunning workman than she?

[7] And if a man love righteousness her labors are virtues: for she teaches temperance and prudence, justice and fortitude: which are such things, as en can have nothing more profitable in their life.

[8] If a man desire much experience, she knoweth things of old, and conjectureth aright what is to come: she knoweth the subtilties of speeches, and can expound dark sentences: she foreseeth signs and wonders, and the events of seasons and times.

[9] Therefore I purposed to take her to me to live with me, knowing that she would be a counselor of good things, and a comfort in cares and grief.

[10] For her sake I shall have estimation among the multitude, and honor with the elders, though I be young.

[11] I shall be found of a quick conceit in judgment, and shall be admired in the sight of great men.

[12] When I hold my tongue, they shall bide my leisure, and when I speak, they shall give good ear unto me: if I talk much, they shall lay their hands upon their mouth.

[13] Moreover by the means of her I shall obtain immortality, and leave behind me an everlasting memorial to them that come after me.

[14] I shall set the people in order, and the nations shall be subject unto me.

[15] Horrible tyrants shall be afraid, when they do but hear of me; I shall be found good among the multitude, and valiant in war.

[16] After I am come into mine house, I will repose myself with her: for her conversation hath no bitterness; and to live with her hath no sorrow, but mirth and joy.

[17] Now when I considered these things in myself, and pondered them in my heart, how that to be allied unto wisdom is immortality;

[18] And great pleasure it is to have her friendship; and in the works of her hands are infinite riches; and in the exercise of conference with her, prudence; and in talking with her, a good report; I went about seeking how to take her to me.

[19] For I was a witty child, and had a good spirit.

[20] Yea rather, being good, I came into a body undefiled.

[21] Nevertheless, when I perceived that I could not otherwise obtain her, except God gave her me; and that was a point of wisdom also to know whose gift she was; I prayed unto the Lord, and besought him, and with my whole heart I said,

Wisdom 9

[1] O God of my fathers, and Lord of mercy, who hast made all things with thy word,

[2] And ordained man through thy wisdom, that he should have dominion over the creatures which thou hast made,

[3] And order the world according to equity and righteousness, and execute judgment with an upright heart:

[4] Give me wisdom, that sits by thy throne; and reject me not from among thy children:

[5] For I thy servant and son of thine handmaid am a feeble person, and of a short time, and too young for the understanding of judgment and laws.

[6] For though a man be never so perfect among the children of men, yet if thy wisdom be not with him, he shall be nothing regarded.

[7] Thou hast chosen me to be a king of thy people, and a judge of thy sons and daughters:

[8] Thou hast commanded me to build a temple upon thy holy mount, and an altar in the city wherein thou dwellest, a resemblance of the holy tabernacle, which thou hast prepared from the beginning.

[9] And wisdom was with thee: which knows thy works, and was present when thou made the world, and knew what was acceptable in thy sight, and right in thy commandments.

[10] O send her out of thy holy heavens, and from the throne of thy glory, that being present she may labor with me, that I may know what is pleasing unto thee.

[11] For she knows and understands all things, and she shall lead me soberly in my doings, and preserve me in her power.

[12] So shall my works be acceptable, and then shall I judge thy people righteously, and be worthy to sit in my father's seat.

[13] For what man is he that can know the counsel of God? or who can think what the will of the Lord is?

[14] For the thoughts of mortal men are miserable, and our devices are but uncertain.

[15] For the corruptible body presses down the soul, and the earthy tabernacle weighs down the mind that museth upon many things.

[16] And hardly do we guess aright at things that are upon earth, and with labour do we find the things that are before us: but the things that are in heaven who hath searched out?

[17] And thy counsel who hath known, except thou give wisdom, and send thy Holy Spirit from above?

[18] For so the ways of them which lived on the earth were reformed, and men were taught the things that are pleasing unto thee, and were saved through wisdom.

Wisdom 10

[1] She preserved the first formed father of the world, that was created alone, and brought him out of his fall,

[2] And gave him power to rule all things.

[3] But when the unrighteous went away from her in his anger, he perished also in the fury wherewith he murdered his brother.

[4] For whose cause the earth being drowned with the flood, wisdom again preserved it, and directed the course of the righteous in a piece of wood of small value.

[5] Moreover, the nations in their wicked conspiracy being confounded, she found out the righteous, and preserved him blameless unto God, and kept him strong against his tender compassion toward his son.

[6] When the ungodly perished, she delivered the righteous man, who fled from the fire which fell down upon the five cities.

[7] Of whose wickedness even to this day the waste land that smokes is a testimony, and plants bearing fruit that never come to ripeness: and a standing pillar of salt is a monument of an unbelieving soul.

[8] For regarding not wisdom, they gat not only this hurt, that they knew not the things which were good; but also left behind them to the world a memorial of their foolishness: so that in the things wherein they offended they could not so much as be hid.

[9] Rut wisdom delivered from pain those that attended upon her.

[10] When the righteous fled from his brother's wrath she guided him in right paths, shewed him the kingdom of God, and gave him knowledge of holy things, made him rich in his travels, and multiplied the fruit of his labors.

[11] In the covetousness of such as oppressed him she stood by him, and made him rich.

[12] She defended him from his enemies, and kept him safe from those that lay in wait, and in a sore conflict she gave him the victory; that he might know that goodness is stronger than all.

[13] When the righteous was sold, she forsook him not, but delivered him from sin: she went down with him into the pit,

[14] And left him not in bonds, till she brought him the scepter of the kingdom, and power against those that oppressed him: as for them that had accused him, she shewed them to be liars, and gave him perpetual glory.

[15] She delivered the righteous people and blameless seed from the nation that oppressed them.

[16] She entered into the soul of the servant of the Lord, and withstood dreadful kings in wonders and signs;

[17] Rendered to the righteous a reward of their labors, guided them in a marvelous way, and was unto them for a cover by day, and a light of stars in the night season;

[18] Brought them through the Red sea, and led them through much water:

[19] But she drowned their enemies, and cast them up out of the bottom of the deep.

[20] Therefore the righteous spoiled the ungodly, and praised thy holy name, O Lord, and magnified with one accord thine hand, that fought for them.

[21] For wisdom opened the mouth of the dumb, and made the tongues of them that cannot speak eloquent.


Matthew 11

11:2 Now when John heard in prison about the deeds Christ had done, he sent his disciples to ask a question:


11:3 “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”


11:4 Jesus answered them, “Go tell John what you hear and see:


11:5 The blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news proclaimed to them.


11:6 Blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.

11:7 While they were going away, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John:


“What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?


11:8 What did you go out to see? A man dressed in fancy clothes? Look, those who wear fancy clothes are in the homes of kings!


11:9 What did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.


11:10 This is the one about whom it is written:

‘Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,

who will prepare your way before you.’

11:11 “I tell you the truth, among those born of women, no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is.


11:12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and forceful people lay hold of it.


11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John appeared.


11:14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah, who is to come.


11:15 The one who has ears had better listen!

11:16 “To what should I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces who call out to one another,

11:17 ‘We played the flute for you, yet you did not dance;

we wailed in mourning, yet you did not weep.’

11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’


11:19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him, a glutton and a drunk, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But Wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”



Jesus Christ personified Wisdom as a female as did Solomon, Beruch, and Jewish Targums. So we would it be idolatry to believe Wisdom is a female Holy Spirit?


Shiva is breath-energy and Shakti is body material. In Jewish mysticism they are called Mi(meaning who) and Ma (meaning what). It is the interaction between Shiva and Shakti, between Mi and Ma, which accounts for all of life.

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