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Triumph of Spirit: A faith based approach to Holocaust education
Contents:


  1. Jesus the Jewish Rabbi
  2. The Jewish Tradition Unfolds in Fire. Here's How, and Why
  3. Site Index

For us as Jews, it felt a little sacrilegious. But then again, was it really so different from praying at the tomb of a rabbi? The Reeboked Californians declared that they were late for dinner it was nearing 5 p. We sat down with them in the courtyard behind the Voodoo Museum. Almost immediately, we bonded over Kabbalah.

After explaining our interest in the Judaism-Voodoo connection, we asked if the monotheism of one contradicts the many spirits of the other. Sigal, whose father is a former professor of Jewish mysticism, nodded vigorously.


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One of the central features of medieval Kabbalah is the Tree of Life, a group of 10 attributes that God used to create the universe — half of which are male and half of which are female. This dual-gendered idea of divinity is as fundamental to mystical Judaism as the hermaphrodite Mawu-Lisa is to Voodoo. Both faiths share a tradition of multiplicity within unity. She said Muslims and Jews frequently attend her Voodoo ceremonies in Chicago. Black, whose grandfather was a Baptist minister, used her own religious background to prove the point about Voodoo.

And, lo and behold, a Tree of Life T-shirt. A petite woman dressed in all black, save for the neon skulls dotting her socks, Glassman sat down with us to answer our question: How does a nice Jewish girl become a Haitian Vodou priestess? Her parents, she said, were committed atheists, but from a young age she was concerned with the spiritual. Later, when she moved to Louisiana to be close to her brother, she discovered Voodoo. A trip to Haiti introduced her to Vodou, which has its own distinct set of practices.

Of course there was. Grand Bois, Glassman explained, is a loa closely associated with trees. Glassman drew our attention to Vodou mourning practices, in which a spirit is said to rest in water for a year before it can be called upon by the living. In Judaism, one waits a year between the time of burial and the unveiling of a tombstone. Even the idea of possession, central to both Voodoo and Vodou, is not foreign to Judaism.

In the middle ages, hasidic masters rose to prominence by promising to exorcise evil spirits from Jews who had become possessed. In Voodoo, possession is not seen as negative. In fact, it is the ultimate goal. Other Jews have availed themselves of her services. Our four worlds holistic mentoring curriculum is guided toward nourishing the body, mind, heart, and spirit of each child. Approach admin T We believe humans learn best when learning happens on all of these levels and strive to create a learning environment that honors this.

Assiyah Physical Adventuring into the wilderness Connecting to nature through games and other activities Learning about the body and changes youth experience at this life stage Learning hand crafts such as cordage, carving, basketry, and more Making hand-crafted Judaica such as mezzuzot, shofarot, matzah and more Developing survival skills such as fire and shelter building Identifying, harvesting, and preparing wild, edible, and medicinal plants for food and medicine.

In Nostra Aetate 4, the Council speaks of the "spiritual bonds linking" Jews and Christians and of the "great spiritual patrimony" common to both and it further asserts that "the Church of Christ acknowledges that, according to the mystery of God's saving design, the beginning of her faith and her election are already found among the patriarchs, Moses and the prophets".

Because of the unique relations that exist between Christianity and Judaism - "linked together at the very level of their identity" John Paul II, 6th March, - relations "founded on the design of the God of the Covenant" ibid. This concern for Judaism in Catholic teaching has not merely a historical or archeological foundation.

As the Holy Father said in the speech already quoted, after he had again mentioned the "common patrimony" of the Church and Judaism as "considerable": "To assess it carefully in itself and with due awareness of the faith and religious life of the Jewish people as they are professed and practised still today, can greatly help us to understand better certain aspects of the life of the Church" underlining added.


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It is a question then of pastoral concern for a still living reality closely related to the Church. The Holy Father has stated this permanent reality of the Jewish people in a remarkable theological formula, in his allocution to the Jewish community of West Germany at Mainz, on November 17th, "the people of God of the Old Covenant, which has never been revoked".

Here we should recall the passage in which the Guidelines and Suggestions I tried to define the fundamental condition of dialogue: "respect for the other as he is", knowledge of the "basic components of the religious traditions of Judaism" and again learning "by what essential trait the Jews define themselves in the light of their own religious experience" Introd.

The singular character and the difficulty of Christian teaching about Jews and Judaism lies in this, that it needs to balance a number of pairs of ideas which express the relation between the two economies of the Old and New Testament:. This means that the theologian and the catechist who deals with the subject needs to show in his practice of teaching that:. Finally, "work that is of poor quality and lacking in precision would be extremely detrimental" to Judaeo-Christian dialogue John Paul II, speech of March 6th, But it would be above all detrimental - since we are talking of teaching and education - to Christian identity ibid.

Guidelines and Suggestions , I. Indeed we believe that is is through him that we go to the Father cf. Jesus affirms ibid. Church and Judaism cannot then be seen as two parallel ways of salvation and the Church must witness to Christ as the Redeemer for all, "while maintaining the strictest respect for religious liberty in line with the teaching of the Second Vatican Council Declaration Dignitatis Humanae " Guidelines and Suggestions , I. The urgency and importance of precise, objective and rigorously accurate teaching on Judaism for our faithful follows too from the danger of anti-Semitism which is always ready to reappear under different guises.

The question is not merely to uproot from among the faithful the remains of anti-Semitism still to be found here and there, but much rather to arouse in them, through educational work, an exact knowledge of the wholly unique "bond". Nostra Aetate , 4 which joins us as a Church to the Jews and to Judaism. In this way, they would learn to appreciate and love the latter, who have been chosen by God to prepare the coming of Christ and have preserved everything that was progressively revealed and given in the course of that preparation, notwithstanding their difficulty in recognising in Him their Messiah.

Our aim should be to show the unity of biblical Revelation O. This history concerns the whole human race and especially believers. Thus the definitive meaning of the election of Israel does not become clear except in the light of the complete fulfilment Rom and election in Jesus Christ is still better understood with reference to the announcement and the promise cf.

Heb We are dealing with singular happenings which concern a singular nation but are destined, in the sight of God who reveals his purpose, to take on universal and exemplary significance. The aim is moreover to present the events of the Old Testament not as concerning only the Jews but also as touching us personally.

Abraham is truly the father of our faith cf.

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Jesus the Jewish Rabbi

Rom ; Roman Canon: patriarchae nostri Abrahae. And it is said 1 Cor : " Our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea". The patriarchs, prophets and other personalities of the Old Testament have been venerated and always will be venerated as saints in the liturgical tradition of the Oriental Church as also of the Latin Church.

From the unity of the divine plan derives the problem of the relation between the Old and New Testaments. The Church already from apostolic times cf. Typology however makes many people uneasy and is perhaps the sign of a problem unresolved. Hence in using typology, the teaching and practice of which we have received from the Liturgy and from the Fathers of the Church, we should be careful to avoid any transition from the Old to the New Testament which might seem merely a rupture.

It should also be emphasised that typological interpretation consists in reading the Old Testament as preparation and, in certain aspects, outline and foreshadowing of the New cf. It is true then, and should be stressed, that the Church and Christians read the Old Testament in the light of the event of the dead and risen Christ and that on these grounds there is a Christian reading of the Old Testament which does not necessarily coincide with the Jewish reading. Thus Christian identity and Jewish identity should be carefully distinguished in their respective reading of the Bible.

But this detracts nothing from the value of the Old Testament in the Church and does nothing to hinder Christians from profiting discerningly from the traditions of Jewish reading. Typological reading only manifests the unfathomable riches of the Old Testament, its inexhaustible content and the mystery of which it is full, and should not lead us to forget that is retains its own value as Revelation that the New Testament often does no more than raume cf.

Mk Moreover, the New Testament itself demands to be read in the light of the Old. Primitive Christian catechesis constantly had recourse to this cf. Typology further signifies reaching towards the accomplishment of the divine plan, when "God will be all in all" 1 Cor This holds true also for the Church which, realised already in Christ, yet awaits its definitive perfecting as the Body of Christ.

The fact that the Body of Christ is still tending towards its full stature cf. Eph takes nothing from the value of being a Christian. So also the calling of the patriarchs and the Exodus from Egypt do not lose their importance and value in God's design from being at the same time intermediate stages cf. The Exodus, for example, represents an experience of salvation and liberation that is not complete in itself, but has in it, over and above its own meaning, the capacity to be developed further.

Salvation and liberation are already accomplished in Christ and gradually realised by the sacraments in the Church.

The Jewish Tradition Unfolds in Fire. Here's How, and Why

This makes way for the fulfilment of God's design, which awaits its final consummation with the return of Jesus as Messiah, for which we pray each day. The Kingdom, for the coming of which we also pray each day, will be finally established. With salvation and liberation the elect and the whole of creation will be transformed in Christ Rom Furthermore, in underlining the eschatological dimension of Christianity we shall reach a greater awareness that the people of God of the Old and the New Testament are tending towards a like end in the future: the coming or return of the Messiah - even if they start from two different points of view.

It is more clearly understood that the person of the Messiah is not only a point of division for the people of God but also a point of convergence cf. Sussidi per l'ecumenismo of the diocese of Rome, n. Thus is can be said that Jews and Christians meet in a comparable hope, founded on the same promise made to Abraham cf. Gen ; Heb Attentive to the same God who has spoken, hanging on the same word, we have to witness to one same memory and one common hope in Him who is the master of history.

Site Index

We must also accept our responsibility to prepare the world for the coming of the Messiah by working together for social justice, respect for the rights of persons and nations and for social and international reconciliation. To this we are driven, Jews and Christians, by the command to love our neighbour, by a common hope for the kingdom of God and by the great heritage of the Prophets.

Jewish - Spirit

Transmitted soon enough by catechesis, such a conception would teach young Christians in a practical to way cooperate with Jews, going beyond simple dialogue cf. Guidelines , IV.