I feel I deserve a reward after agonizing in the dentist’s chair, so I arrange to meet my friend Ragna, to celebrate her birthday with a cup of tea. Anyway, it has been ages since I’ve been to the midrahov, the pedestrian mall on Ben Yehudah Street in downtown Jerusalem, with its outdoor cafes and restaurants.
The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah (literally, “the head of the year”), is the first of three major biblical holidays that are rapidly approaching. This year Rosh Hashanah falls on September 11; Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, on September 20; and Sukkot, the week-long Feast of Tabernacles, is from the 25th of September to the 1st of October.
Reading a passage from the New Testament against the backdrop of ancient Jewish tradition can sometimes add to the its significance. Romans 11:30-36 is one such passage, where without knowing the Jewish tradition to which Paul alluded, we run the risk of not hearing his emphasis clearly: God is merciful and his ways, incomprehensible.
Sermon preached on July 18, 1998.
When I came to Israel in 1963 to begin graduate studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Dr. Lindsey was 45 years old. He and his family had moved recently from Tiberias to Jerusalem. It had been in Tiberias, beside the Sea of Galilee, just 18 months before, that he had stumbled upon the key to the synoptic problem’s solution: Luke’s Gospel was written before Mark’s.
Safrai has produced a detailed description of the Hasidim, and identified from among rabbinic literary works those that originated in Hasidic circles. His research enabled him gradually to sketch a composite portrait of the Hasidim. When he was finished, he discovered that this portrait was very much like the portrait of Jesus in the Gospels.