Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Jewish roots, Anti-semitism, Nostra Aetate, blah, blah, blah

Several notes to the readers, keep these in consideration as you read Francis' words.

There are two types of Torah in Talmudic Rabbinical Judaism.

  • Torah Shebeal peh - Oral Torah or The Talmud
  • Torah SheBiehtav - Written Torah or The Five Books of Moses

How did the Rabbinical Jews come by the Torah Shebeal peh?

Steinsaltz Talmud on types of study

The Steinsaltz Talmud says of religious study there are three types:

  • Bible - the lowest form
  • Mishnah - the next best form 
  • The Talmud (Gemara) - the highest form

Torah Shebeal peh or the Talmud nullifies The First Five Books of Moses.

The Tradition of the Elders or what became the Torah Shebeal peh is referred to by Christ in the New Testament several times.  One example from the Gospel According to Saint Matthew 15, 1-10:
Then came to him from Jerusalem scribes and Pharisees, saying: Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the ancients? For they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answering, said to them: Why do you also transgress the commandment of God for your tradition? For God said:  Honour thy father and mother: And: He that shall curse father or mother, let him die the death.  But you say: Whosoever shall say to father or mother, The gift whatsoever proceedeth from me, shall profit thee.
The gift: That is, the offering that I shall make to God, shall be instead of that which should be expended for thy profit. This tradition of the Pharisees was calculated to enrich themselves; by exempting children from giving any further assistance to their parents, if they once offered to the temple and the priests, that which should have been the support of their parents. But this was a violation of the law of God, and of nature, which our Saviour here condemns.
  And he shall not honour his father or his mother: and you have made void the commandment of God for your tradition.  Hypocrites, well hath Isaias prophesied of you, saying:  This people honoureth me with their lips: but their heart is far from me.  And in vain do they worship me, teaching doctrines and commandments of men.  And having called together the multitudes unto him, he said to them: Hear ye and understand.
Commandments of men: The doctrines and commandments here reprehended are such as are either contrary to the law of God, (as that of neglecting parents, under pretence of giving to God,) or at least are frivolous, unprofitable, and no ways conducing to true piety, as that of often washing hands, etc., without regard to the purity of the heart. But as to the rules and ordinances of the holy church, touching fasts, festivals, etc., these are no ways repugnant to, but highly agreeable to God's holy word, and all Christian piety: neither are they to be counted among the doctrines and commandments of men; because they proceed not from mere human authority; but from that which Christ has established in his church; whose pastors he has commanded us to hear and obey, even as himself. St. Luke 10. 16; St. Matt. 18. 17.

The Torah Shebeal peh or the Talmud also mocks Jesus the Christ, blasphemes Him, says He was crucified by the Rabbinical Jews, is in hell, and has been set up as an idol by His followers and worshiped ever since by them.

With these points in mind read Francis' speech.  Underlines are ours for emphasis.

Clementine Hall
Tuesday, 30 June 2015
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am pleased that your meeting is taking place this year in Rome, the city where the Apostles Peter and Paul are buried. For all Christians, both Apostles are an important point of reference: they are like “pillars” of the Church. Here in Rome, we also find the most ancient Jewish community in Western Europe, whose origins can be traced to the time of the Maccabees. Christians and Jews therefore have lived together in Rome for almost two thousand years, even though their relations in the course of history have not been without difficulty.
The development of an authentic fraternal dialogue has been made possible since the Second Vatican Council, following the promulgation of the Declaration Nostra Aetate. This document represents a definitive “yes” to the Jewish roots of Christianity and an irrevocable “no” to anti-Semitism. In celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Nostra Aetate, we are able to see the rich fruits which it has brought about and to gratefully appraise Jewish-Catholic dialogue. In this way, we can express our thanks to God for all the good which has been realized in terms of friendship and mutual understanding these past fifty years, as his Holy Spirit has accompanied our efforts in dialogue. Our fragmented humanity, mistrust and pride have been overcome thanks to the Spirit of Almighty God, in such a way that trust and fraternity between us have continued to grow. We are strangers no more, but friends, and brothers and sisters. Even with our different perspectives, we confess one God, Creator of the Universe and Lord of history. And he, in his infinite goodness and wisdom, always blesses our commitment to dialogue.
Christians, all Christians, have Jewish roots. Because of this, since its inception, the International Council of Christians and Jews has welcomed the various Christian confessions. Each of them, in its own way, has drawn near to Judaism, which in its time, has been distinguished by diverse trends and sensibilities. The Christian confessions find their unity in Christ; Judaism finds its unity in the Torah. Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Word of God made flesh in the world; for Jews the Word of God is present above all in the Torah. Both faith traditions find their foundation in the One God, the God of the Covenant, who reveals himself through his Word. In seeking a right attitude towards God, Christians turn to Christ as the fount of new life, and Jews to the teaching of the Torah. This pattern of theological reflection on the relationship between Judaism and Christianity arises precisely from Nostra Aetate (cf. no. 4), and upon this solid basis can be developed yet further.
In its reflection on Judaism, the Second Vatican Council took account of the ten theses of Seelisberg, formulated in that Swiss town in 1947. These theses are closely linked to the founding of the International Council of Christians and Jews. We can say that there was already in embryonic form an initial concept of cooperation between your organization and the Catholic Church. This cooperation was officially inaugurated after the Council, and especially after the establishment of our Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews in 1947. This Commission of the Holy See always follows your organization’s activities with great interest, in particular the annual international meetings, which offer a notable contribution to Jewish-Christian dialogue.
Dear friends, I thank all of you for this visit and I wish you well for your meeting. May the Lord bless you and keep you in his peace. I ask you please to pray for me. Thank you.

Jewish roots, Anti-semitism, Nostra Aetate, blah, blah, blah


  1. Which "Torah"?


  2. Mark, Thanks for the link. The material there seems to support this post. (Judaism 101 is written by practicing Catholics.) Someone who was an "honorary Jew" recalls the following "joke": If there are two Jews in the room, they have six opinions. The post you refer to seems to confirm this.