Questions about the Jews


#1

i am redoing this because when i last posted the CA system logged me out without me knowing and i lost everything.
here are some questions…

1)When I read in places like Leviticus that a person should be put to death for all these crimes/sins i dont understand how half the Jews didnt get put to death.

  1. I have heard that the Jews dont stone people anymore and that punishments like these are “outdated”. do they follow the Law or not?

3)Why was the Ark lost and never found?

4)Who leads the Jews now? Who is the High Priest? I have been told that there is nobody, how can they go on?

5)With the temple gone, no new prophecy/writings, no kingdom, kings, or chronincles for the last centuries what do the Jews say about this. This seems significant to me, like that things have changed forever, yet they go on.


#2

Hi Catholic Dude (glad to make your cyberacquaintance)!

As CAF’s resident orthodox Jew, I’ll take a go at your questions. Lessee here…

1)When I read in places like Leviticus that a person should be put to death for all these crimes/sins i dont understand how half the Jews didnt get put to death.

Under Jewish law (which is not the same thing as Israeli civil law; although we do have the death penalty on the books here, the only person Israel has ever executed was the infamous Nazi Adolf Eichman), a duly constituted & recognized rabbinical court could only apply the death penalty if all of the following conditions were met: a) The offending party was mentally competent, b) The offending party had been warned by qualified authorities, prior to the commission of said act, about the specific law & the penalties for violating it, c) There were 2 eyewitnesses to the offending act, d) The offending party was of legal age & did not act under conpulsion or durress. Moreover, under Jewish law, hearsay, circumstantial evidence & confessions (in capital cases) were absolutely inadmissible. See tinyurl.com/4qdkz (the Jewish Encyclopedia entry on “Capital Punishment”). I’ll cite the following passage:

As to the spirit of later rabbinic legislation, it clearly appears that there was a tendency to reduce capital punishment to a minimum, if not to abolish it altogether. That capital punishment was a rare occurrence in the latter days of the Jewish commonwealth is patent from the statement in the Mishnah that a court was stigmatized as “murderous” if it condemned to death more than one human being in the course of seven years. Indeed, Eleazar b. Azariah applied the same epithet to a court that executed more than one man in every seventy years; and his famous colleagues, Tryphon and Akiba, openly avowed their opposition to capital punishment, saying, “Had we belonged to the Sanhedrin [during Judea’s independence], no man would ever have been executed,” as they would always have found some legal informalities by which to make a sentence of death impossible (Mak. i. 7a).

Your second question was:

  1. I have heard that the Jews dont stone people anymore and that punishments like these are “outdated”. do they follow the Law or not?

No rabbinical court has had the civil authority to apply the death penalty according to Jewish law for a very long time. No such court has sat in the holy Land since the 4th-5th century CE (what we say instead of “AD”). There were Jewish courts in parts of medieval Europe & in various Islamic countries that, having been given communal autonomy by the civil authorities, did so. It is a principle of normative, traditional (i.e. orthodox) Judaism that certain Torah laws have been temporarily suspended since the destruction of the Temple :crying:; but, it is also a principle of normative, traditional (i.e. orthodox) Judaism that all of these Torah laws will be reinstated in full when the Messiah comes.

3)Why was the Ark lost and never found?

We believe that King Josiah hid it prior to the destruction of the First Temple & that it will be recovered/rediscovered when the Messiah comes. See tinyurl.com/4vll4.

(cont.)


#3

(cont.)

Who leads the Jews now? Who is the High Priest? I have been told that there is nobody, how can they go on?

Because we (temporarily!) lack both a Temple & a functioning Aaronic priesthood, many of the Torah’s precepts are (temporarily!) suspended. Until the Temple is rebuilt (soon!) and the order of offerings (I do not like the mistranslation “sacrifice” for the Hebrew word korban, which actually is a cognate of a root meaning “to approach” or “to draw near/close to”) is reestablished, the other functions of the Aaronic priesthood (accepting tithes, administering the bitter waters to a suspected adultress, etc. etc.) are also temporarily suspended, as are most of us Levites’ functions.

Priests are direct male descendants of Aaron, via his two sons Elazar and Ithamar (Nadav and Avihu died before they could have children). See jewfaq.org/rabbi.htm#Kohein . Priest in Hebrew is cohein. Jews with the surnames Cohen, Cohn, Cahn, Kahn, Kahan, Kahane or Katz are probably cohanim (plural).

Levites are direct male descendants of Jacob’s son Levi (with priests being a group apart). See jewfaq.org/rabbi.htm#Levi . I’m a Levite (but our adopted sons are not).

Anyone who is of priestly stock (those Cohens, Katzes, etc.) or Levitical are priests-in-waiting/Levites-in-waiting. In Temple times, the priests & Levites were organized into rotations, arranged by family groups, so that everyone had equal time officiating in the Temples & an equal share of the various tithes. Up until the destruction of the 2nd Temple (and for a while afterwards), strict geneological lists were kept of priests & Levites. All those have long since been lost. Nowadays, many people with one of the priestly/Levitical surnames may not be actual priests (i.e. direct descendants of Aaron & his sons Elazar & Ithamar, in an unbroken male line) or Levites & many people without the priestly/Levitical surnames are probably priests/Levites. When the Messiah comes & active prophecy is reestablished, there will presumably be some way of figuring out who’s who for certain (it has to be certain; even “pretty close” is not good enough).

In the temporary absence of both a functioning priesthood & the Davidic monarchy, we are spiritually led by our Sages & great rabbis. They derive their authority from Deuteronomy 17:8-11.

5)With the temple gone, no new prophecy/writings, no kingdom, kings, or chronincles for the last centuries what do the Jews say about this. This seems significant to me, like that things have changed forever, yet they go on.

Hmm…

Please let me say the following:

We believe that God gave both a Written and an Oral Torah to Moses. The Talmud is a major codification of the Oral Torah. Through these (now written down) oral traditions, we understand how to understand the text of the Written Torah. (Ferinstance, the Oral Torah tells us that the adage “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, etc.,” was never meant to be taken literally but instead means that someone who gouges out another’s eye must compensate him monetarily for the loss of his eye. The Oral Torah tells us about the kosher method of slaughtering animals, referred to in passing in Deuteronomy 12:21. Etc. etc. See tinyurl.com/2ffy8 and tinyurl.com/2uyfp for a good intro on this very key Jewish concept.) Our Sages, i.e. those who are steeped in tradition and who have studied & delved into the text in great depth, are the bearers & keepers of these oral traditions & thus they are uniquely qualified to authoritatively interpret the Tanakh (what we call what you call the “Old Testament”) and offer continuing spiritual leadership & guidance to our people until such time (i.e. when the messiah comes) as prophecy, an active priesthood & the Davidic monarchy are all re-established.

(cont.)


#4

(cont.)

Mark Twain wrote about us in Concerning the Jews:

“To conclude. – If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of; but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”

Be well & ask any follow-up questions that you’d like!

ssv :wave:


#5

Stillsmallvoice,

Thanks for that information, it’s really very interesting.

God bless.


#6

[quote=CatholicDude]Who leads the Jews now? Who is the High Priest? I have been told that there is nobody, how can they go on?
[/quote]

[quote=Stillsmallvoice]Because we (temporarily!) lack both a Temple & a functioning Aaronic priesthood, many of the Torah’s precepts are (temporarily!) suspended. Until the Temple is rebuilt (soon!) and the order of offerings… is reestablished, the other functions of the Aaronic priesthood… are also temporarily suspended, as are most of us Levites’ functions.
[/quote]

Stillsmallvoice,

In AD70 the Jewish temple was completely destroyed. The records of the priesthood (lineage) no longer exist, and there has been no Jewish religion (according to the law of Moses) for over 1900 years.

Why do you think God has so punished the Jewish people? Just look what He has allowed to happen. They no longer are able to practice the law; they no longer have a Temple; they no longer even have a priesthood. And this has not been a temporary thing, but has lasted for over 1900 years. Why has God punished the Jewish people to severerly? What did they do to deserve such a punishment?

From my point of view the answer is very obvious. The Messiah did come; but, as was predicted, he was rejected and killed by “his own” (John 1).

Stillsmallvoice, the Messiah comes, not once, but twice: The first coming was as a “suffering servant” to satisfy the justice of God; the second as the just judge, to “judge the living and the dead”.

The Messiah, who you are waiting for has already come, and is now waiting for you - to accept Him. Your hope is not in the Jewish law, which has “passed away”. The Temple and the priesthood are no more. Your hope is in Him who redeemed you; not in that which has ceased to be.
Do not turn a deaf ear to Him who calls out to you as so many of your forefathers did. Be like those faithful Jews of Old who heard the voice of their God and responded. Then you will have that which you desire.


#7

597 The historical complexity of Jesus’ trial is apparent in the Gospel accounts. The personal sin of the participants (Judas, the Sanhedrin, Pilate) is known to God alone. Hence we cannot lay responsibility for the trial on the Jews in Jerusalem as a whole, despite the outcry of a manipulated crowd and the global reproaches contained in the apostles’ calls to conversion after Pentecost. Jesus himself, in forgiving them on the cross, and Peter in following suit, both accept “the ignorance” of the Jews of Jerusalem and even of their leaders. Still less can we extend responsibility to other Jews of different times and places, based merely on the crowd’s cry: “His blood be on us and on our children!”, a formula for ratifying a judicial sentence.**As the Church declared at the Second Vatican Council:

. . . [N]either all Jews indiscriminately at that time, nor Jews today, can be charged with the crimes committed during his Passion. . . [T]he Jews should not be spoken of as rejected or accursed as if this followed from holy Scripture.

**

839 “Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways.”

The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People, “the first to hear the Word of God.” The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God’s revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews “belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ”, “for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.”


#8

[quote=JGC]597 The historical complexity of Jesus’ trial is apparent in the Gospel accounts. The personal sin of the participants (Judas, the Sanhedrin, Pilate) is known to God alone. Hence we cannot lay responsibility for the trial on the Jews in Jerusalem as a whole, despite the outcry of a manipulated crowd and the global reproaches contained in the apostles’ calls to conversion after Pentecost. Jesus himself, in forgiving them on the cross, and Peter in following suit, both accept “the ignorance” of the Jews of Jerusalem and even of their leaders. Still less can we extend responsibility to other Jews of different times and places, based merely on the crowd’s cry: “His blood be on us and on our children!”, a formula for ratifying a judicial sentence.As the Church declared at the Second Vatican Council:

. . . [N]either all Jews indiscriminately at that time, nor Jews today, can be charged with the crimes committed during his Passion. . . [T]he Jews should not be spoken of as rejected or accursed as if this followed from holy Scripture.

839 “Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways.”

The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People, “the first to hear the Word of God.” The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God’s revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews “belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ”, “for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.”
[/quote]

Jews are not individually guilty of the death of Jesus, but collectively. The Jewish race as a whole is guilty. Just as the human race suffers from the sin of Adam, so too the Jews as a whole suffer from the death their ancestors inflicted upon Jesus - “His blood be upon us and upon our children”: that prayer of the Jews was answered. Thus, collectively, they have been blinded to the truth.

However, individual Jews often do convert to the truth. When they do, they make some of the best Catholics. Gentiles are the “wild branches” that have been grafted onto spiritual Israel; but the Jews are the “natural branches” (Romans 11). The most natural thing for a Jew to do is become Catholic. When they resist the truth they are acting contrary to their nature and to God. Therefore, we should encourage them to embrace the truth; we should not lead them to believe that the Jewish religion, which no longer exists, is “salvific” for them.


#9

St. Padre Pio: “Jews are enemies of God and foes of our holy Religion.”


#10

[quote=CatholicCrusade]St. Padre Pio: “Jews are enemies of God and foes of our holy Religion.”
[/quote]

http://www.scriptours.com/images/spacer.gif
God: "The Jews who both killed the Lord Jesus, and the prophets, and have persecuted us, and please not God, and are adversaries to all men" (1 Thes 2:14-15).

Is God an Antisemite? Or is the truth a little too hard for many to accept?


#11

[quote=CatholicCrusade]St. Padre Pio: “Jews are enemies of God and foes of our holy Religion.”
[/quote]

i don’t believe that is the current position of the church. :smiley:

[quote=RSiscoe]…Your hope is not in the Jewish law, which has “passed away”.
[/quote]

the law has not passed away, even Jesus said that (i.e. “not one letter of the law shall pass away…”). it has been fulfilled.


#12

Hey Rsiscoe, before you go picking on Jews, I hope you realize that because of your sins, you are just as guilty as any Jew living today for the death of Jesus.


#13

[quote=RSiscoe]http://www.scriptours.com/images/spacer.gif
God: "The Jews who both killed the Lord Jesus, and the prophets, and have persecuted us, and please not God, and are adversaries to all men" (1 Thes 2:14-15).

Is God an Antisemite? Or is the truth a little too hard for many to accept?
[/quote]

He died a sacrifice for us all. Where would we be if He hadn’t?!?!? And the Romans (Gentiles) were just as materially guilty of His Death.


#14

[quote=bengal_fan]i don’t believe that is the current position of the church. :smiley:

the law has not passed away, even Jesus said that (i.e. “not one letter of the law shall pass away…”). it has been fulfilled.
[/quote]

Not one letter of the law shall “pass away” until when? Until it has been fulfilled, you say? What did Jesus do?


#15

[quote=Gracehawk]Hey Rsiscoe, before you go picking on Jews, I hope you realize that because of your sins, you are just as guilty as any Jew living today for the death of Jesus.
[/quote]

Why get mad at me for telling the truth and quoting the Bible?

Are you just as angry at St. Padre Pio for what he said?


#16

Jkirk, I don’t deny that God is saying that. But God is saying that, through the apostle Paul, who was a Jew. Yes, the Jewis leadership killed Jesus, but the Bible also says that Gentiles participated in the death of the savior as well.

Thre reason I responded to siscoe’s post the way I did is because Isaiah clearly says it was our sins that caused Jesus to go to the cross. Does siscoe deny that he has sin in him? If he does, he’s lost. Also, The cross would not have happened without God’s hand. He was the one who ultimately arranged it, although that does not negate the responsibility of the ones who put Jesus to death, both Jews and Gentiles.

One last thing. Do you guys not remember when Jesus says “no one takes my life from me…”


#17

[quote=JKirkLVNV]He died a sacrifice for us all. Where would we be if He hadn’t?!?!? And the Romans (Gentiles) were just as materially guilty of His Death.
[/quote]

Of course He died for all; but unfortunately not all will be saved. If we really loved and cared for the Jews, we would do our best to convert them, rather than confirming them in the error by claiming their covenant is “salvific” for them, as many today do. Those who lead the Jews to believe that they do not need to accept their Messiah arethe real antisemites.

I have a question for you. Your post to me was in response to my post in which I quoted 1 Thes 2:14-15. I am curious as to whether or not you believe that part of the Bible? I am also curious to know if you believe that God inspired the Bible - that it is the Word of God?

If you do believe that God inspired the Bible, I would remind you that “God is charity” (1st John) and therefore it is not uncharitable to say what God did in that verse I quoted. It is never uncharitable to speak the truth, but it can be very uncharitable to withhold the truth.

That is why Padre Pio could say what he did without committing any sin.


#18

Siscoe:

Oy! Certain aspects of Traditionalism we can live without, no? Jews didn’t crucify Jesus, WE ALL DID. That’s the point. Took the better part of 2,000 years, but the Church proclaims this rather clearly these days. Don’t kid yourself. Had you been there in that crowd, you’d have done the same (as would we all). And I have no doubt what your decision would have been had you been a Pharisee of the day (judging from your tone).

Stillsmallvoice:

Thanks for the truly valuable input. I had no idea there were still Jews who believe in the coming of a literal Messiah. Growing up in an American town that was about 40% catholic and 40% Jewish all the Jews I knew were taught the Messiah was to be understood as meaning some kind of messianic age or some such thing (My memory of having theological discussions at age 10 is a bit dim). Would you describe briefly the various kinds of Jewish faith groups out there for us poor ignorant gentiles? It almost seems as fractured as Christianity. Thanks.


#19

At the risk of impairing my soul (I would not willingly do that. I submit to what the Church teaches and believe the Bible means what She says it means), I would refer you to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, our “sure norm,” according to Pope John Paul.


#20

[quote=RSiscoe]Jews are not individually guilty of the death of Jesus, but collectively. The Jewish race as a whole is guilty. Just as the human race suffers from the sin of Adam, so too the Jews as a whole suffer from the death their ancestors inflicted upon Jesus - “His blood be upon us and upon our children”: that prayer of the Jews was answered. Thus, collectively, they have been blinded to the truth.

However, individual Jews often do convert to the truth. When they do, they make some of the best Catholics. Gentiles are the “wild branches” that have been grafted onto spiritual Israel; but the Jews are the “natural branches” (Romans 11). The most natural thing for a Jew to do is become Catholic. When they resist the truth they are acting contrary to their nature and to God. Therefore, we should encourage them to embrace the truth; we should not lead them to believe that the Jewish religion, which no longer exists, is “salvific” for them.
[/quote]

No wonder many Jews were freaking out about Mel Gibson’s movie. What is the next logical step to this philosophy? If they deserve the punishment, why shouldn’t we be the ones to give it to them?

The Jews’ suffering have been at the hands of men. The temple was destroyed by the Romans, the pogroms were performed by Poles and Russians, the Crusades and the Inquisition–who did those? Hitlers’ final solution–all of these are punisment from God in world and not sins of men. Is that right?


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