A Catholic Jew Pontificates

I love opinionated non-PC people. This blog is to vent my opinions on life, the universe and everything. Which is 42 which in gematria is "My Heart" (LBY) according to Rabbi Abulafia. The Divine Heart is the centre of everything.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Dark Tower: Childe Gilbert's Lament


What is that Dark tower?
Is it false or true path?
Is it the four grey walls and towers 
of a dystopian Lady of Shalott?
Or does it hide the mystery of the Grail
woven into that Dark Mirror beholding...
Childe Harold and Childe Roland,
Childe Gilbert of Narbonne,
by Saracens crucified but surviving,
Lancelot and Song of Roland,
blowing of horn?
-all is pilgrimage into Dark Night
Is it path to meet Joe Black,
or misty dark road to Avalon,
where singing of Jerusalem,
echoes over murky black waters through the ages,
 to that "Countenance Divine",
 among those "Dark Satanic Mills"?
Or is the Beast skulking once more to be born,
 as in a Yeatesque apocalyptic vision,
 in a  technological Ragnarok,
stealing all the human children,
in a matrix-like web of deception?
Come away, genderless fairy child,
before the false light,
of newspeak political correctness,
of the Dark doubleplusgood,
comes to take you to an Orwellian room,
and beastly farmer kingdom.

Where is the Luddite when we need him,
in this twilight of the gods?
A Great romantic Monarch, Duke and Red-Cross Knight,
-who will free the digitalised and burdened Earth,
panting in end-time pangs and wails,
- in that image of Him that was nailed.
Beyond the Tower-is the Chalice and the Lattice glimpsed,
Hidden in the darkness of the Womb,
the Womb that encloses and encompasses All
 - waiting for the final push,
That will bring All to new birth,
Beyond the shades of Night's Dark Light,
walking in her Black Madonna Beauty,
from Dark Radiance into the Brilliant Brightness,
of She more radiant than the Noon-day Sun,
Czestochowa's God-like icon.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Jewish Thought: Talmud Torah, Musar, Kabbalah and Hasidut.



by Brother Gilbert Joseph of the Divine Presence (Athol Bloomer)

Hilary Putnam a Jewish writer has written about Rosenzweig, Buber and Levinas as some of the foremost influences on modern Jewish thought as a guide to life.[1] The ideas of these Jewish thinkers also influence many Christian writers, thinkers, philosophers and theologians. These Jewish writers and many others draw on Jewish sources for the genesis of their thought. The ideas of Buber and Levinas provide a good contrast to how these Jewish sources are used.

            I would divide Jewish thought into four main areas of Talmud Torah, Musar, Kabbalah and Hasidut. Levinas draws extensively on the teachings of Talmud Torah and Musar. Buber draws extensively on the teachings of Kabbalah and Hasidut. In differing ways Levinas and Buber bring Jewish thought to a wider and universal non-Jewish audience. These insights influence both Western philosophy and Christian theology. The Mitnagdim or Litvak tradition is mostly concerned with Talmud Torah which is the intensive and often legalistic study of the Talmud’s teachings on the Torah.

            The Musar movement under the leadership of Rabbi Salanter and Rabbi Broida[2] remedied the tendency for the study of the Talmud to become more of a legal and intellectual endeavour than an encounter with God. Musar stressed the inner light of the laws and ethical living.[3] It was a move from head to heart.  The writings on Musar by the Chofetz Chaim is today one of the greatest influences in the Litvisher world.[4]  Kabbalah is the name given to the Jewish mystical tradition but many Kabbalists started to intellectualise Kabbalah[5] so that it became another purely intellectual pursuit rather than a heart encounter.[6]  In order to remedy this, Hasidism arose as a movement that used the insights of Kabbalah as praxis to daily living from the heart perspective.

            Levinas belonged to the Jewish world of Modern Orthodoxy which is in the Mitnagdim or Litvak stream of Judaism. Levinas states that being Orthodox Jewish is the study of Talmud and mitzvot. [7] Levinas emphasis on ethical transcendence is drawn from the tradition of Musar which also focuses on the priority of the ethical. Buber on the other hand has been influenced by Hasidism in his youth and shares the delightful and insightful stories of the Hasidic Rebbes with the academic world. He especially was drawn to the tales of the Baal Shem Tov who founded modern Hasidism and those of his great grandson Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.

            All four strands of Jewish thought are needed to give fullness to Judaism. Talmud Torah and Musar are at the level of Peshat (simple literal meaning) and Drash (homeletical and ethical meaning) while Kabbalah and Hasidut are at the levels of Remez (allegory/ Aggadah) and Sod (Mystery/ Secret). These four strands have always been a part of Judaism and the modern movements of Musar and Hasidut are revivals of this at a time when they had been hidden from view. Head and heart, faith and reason, orthodoxy and orthopraxy, male and female must always go together in harmony.

            The study of the Talmud and Kabbalah without Musar and Hasidut soon leads to spiritual dryness and sterility (the waters of Miriam’s well dries up). The study of Talmud then becomes an activity of intellectual pride and Kabbalah descends to the manipulation of powers focused on the ‘self’. Musar and Hasidut leads to humility and littleness and a focus on the other. The Rabbis of Judaism associate Miriam’s well (beer) with Torah insights and understandings (biur). When Miriam dies (when we lose the feminine heart dimension of interpreting Scripture) then the spiritual waters of the well (rock struck by Moses) dries up and we are only left with a dry and sterile intellectualism. Rabbi Yaacov Haber  of the Litvak tradition writes:
...Miriam brought the well, the Be’er. And this is the Biur, the deeper understanding of life. She brought the insight that emerges from low and dark places, and from which perspective you can suddenly see how things fit together. The sweetening of bitter waters is the achievement of a new, deeper and broader perspective...[8]

            Hasidism itself has many different groups called dynasties. Some writers divide them into two groups Chabad and Chagas.[9]  Chabad is the Hasidim of the Divine Head (Chokmah/ Binah/ Daat) and Chagas is Hasdim of the divine Heart (Chesed/ Gevurah/ Tiferet). Lubavitch Hasidism is the only survivor of the Chabad school and most other forms of Hasidism are classified under Chagas. However there are major differences between the Hasidic dynasties within the Chagas grouping. Lubavitch and Breslov are the most open to outsiders and are the fastest growing movements of Hasidism.

            Kabbalah in the last 30 years has seen an incredible revival as a living prayer and meditation tradition of Judaism. Even among many Hasidic groups the meditation side of Kabbalah had been obscured or forgotten. Pearl Besserman a descendant of the Baal Shem Tov writes:
            ...it appears that Jewish mysticism is enjoying a renewal. Thanks to a scholarly revival, lucid translations of the ancient texts have made the practice accessible to a new generation of students...Ancient rituals will be charged with new life, as old cultural norms are expanded to embrace new ones. The practice of Hitbodedut will be open to anyone who aspires to become one with No-thing... [10]
The wonderful translations and books on Jewish mysticism and the Jewish practices of meditation and contemplation by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan have paved the way for this renewed interest in Jewish mysticism. This has drawn Jews and Judaism even closer towards Catholicism which is also experiencing a renewed interest in mysticism and meditative and contemplative prayer. Rebbe Nachman’s mystical teachings on Hitbodedut (the Jewish Holy Hour of Prayer) are finding resonance outside the bounds of the Breslov movement.

                Orthodox Judaism is not uniform and monolithic but has a rich diversity of groups and organisations which combine the different strands of Jewish thought in interesting mixes. When I lived in Israel I studied at Aish ha Torah Yeshivah (which faces the Western or Wailing Wall (the Kotel)), that mixes aspects of the Litvisher world with aspects of Hasidism. Rabbi Noah Weinberg the founder of Aish ha Torah (Fire of Torah) was himself the product of the Lithuanian academies (Litvak Yeshivot) and a grandson of the Black Slonimer Hasidic Rebbe Avraham Weinberg. Here and elsewhere I studied Kabbalah with Rabbi Yom Tov Glaser an Aish ha Torah trained Rabbi who became a Karliner Hasid.  Rabbi Glaser is also into extreme sports and surfing.[11] Recently Menachem Herman a Breslov Hasid who is a famous Jewish rock musician joined the seminarians from Aish ha Torah to produce a song for Rosh ha Shana.[12]

            Many people side-line Haredi and Hasidic forms of Judaism by dismissing them as ultra-orthodox. However, these groups are growing and they are reaching out to the younger generations in a way that Catholics could learn much from them. Their use of contemporary music forms and dancing united to Hasidic style music and dancing is attractive to many. The simplicity and joy of the Breslov Hasidim as shown in the Israeli movie “Ushpizin” was also attractive to many people both Jewish and non-Jewish.  The mixture of learning and life is intoxicating to many of the young today.

            Among the younger generations the differences are becoming less between the Haredi and the Modern Orthodox as the younger Modern Orthodox are becoming more stringent in observances and dress.[13] Michael Kress in an article titled “Orthodox Judaism Today” comments:
             ...But in recent years, the line between haredi and Orthodox has blurred. Many Modern Orthodox Jews are increasingly stringent in their adherence to Jewish law and express a growing sense of alienation from the larger, secular culture. Some scholars have even referred to the trend as the "haredization" of Orthodoxy, and some believe that Modern Orthodoxy is essentially dead...[14]
Even among the Messianic Jewish groups there is a move towards more Torah and Jewish observance in the younger generation of Messianic Jews and Hebrew Catholics. Among the practicing and devout younger gentile Catholics there is also a move to more traditional customs, practices and morality.

            It is from these communities of spiritual life that Jewish thought will continue to develop rather than in academic elites who are mere voyeurs of the faith of others. Today we need theologians and philosophers who are themselves people of vibrant faith who confront the secular culture as a sign of contradiction. Liberal Judaism and Liberal Christianity are very old and tired and dying a slow death as it compromises with the ‘Culture of Death’. It is from the living tradition of the four strands of Orthodox Judaism that further authentic Jewish thought will develop, which will in turn fertilise Christian thought and theology as well as Western philosophy.

            The future generations of believers may find certain aspects of  Levinas and Buber’s thought useful in the new age of Faith that is coming, beyond the nightmare of our rationalistic and secular technological age. If they do, it will be because of their drawing on the wellsprings of truth[15] found in the ancient but ever renewing traditions of Judaism. Over two millennium Jews and Christians have influenced each other knowingly and unknowingly with their spiritual movements and insights. In the third millennium, which Pope John Paul II foresaw as a ‘millennium of unifications’[16], will we see the rise of a new mystical and humble Catholic Church with Judaism at its heart as the Mother form[17] of the church and its two lungs of East and West breathing in perfect union[18]?  Soloviev a famous Russian Orthodox mystic and writer believed that it would be the mystically awakened Jews in the Eastern and Western Churches that would bring about the reunion of the Eastern Orthodox and Western Catholic churches.[19] Will this be the fulfilment of the Election of Israel as a light to the Gentiles? Will Jewish thought reach its greatest ‘fullness’ when it is reunited and restored to the very heart of the Church in the service of the Messiah and His kingdom?



[1] Hilary Putnam Jewish Philosophy as a Guide to Life: Rosenzweig, Buber, Levinas, Wittgenstein (USA; Indiana University Press, 2008).
[2]  The New Encyclopedia of Judaism “Musar”  (Jerusalem: NYU Press, 1989)
[3] Eugene B Borowitz & Frances Weinman Schwartz, The Jewish Moral Virtues (USA: Jewish Publications Society, 1999).
[4] Rabbi Shimon Finkelman and Rabbi Yitzchak Berkowitz Chofetz Chaim: A Lesson a Day (Brooklyn NY: Mesorah Publications, 2006).
[5] Marco Pasi (editor) Kabbalah and Modernity : Interpretations, Transformations, Adaptations (Boston: Brill Academic Publishers, 2010), 2.
[6] Pearl Besserman, Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism (Boston: Shambala, 1997).
[7] Salomon Malka, Emmauel Levinas: His Life and Legacy (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 2006), 212.
[8] Rabbi Yaacov Haber, Paths to Spiritual Growth: Torah Insights
[9] DaniĆ«l Meijers, Ascetic Hasidism in Jerusalem: The Guardian-Of-The-Faithful Community of Mea Shearim (Netherlands:Brill,1992) 30-37.

[10] Pearl Besserman, Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism, 139, 144-145.
[11] Rabbi Shraga Simmons, Surfboard Spirituality
[12] Get Clarity
[13] Samuel C. Heilman, Sliding to the Right: The Contest for the Future of American Jewish Orthodoxy (USA: University of California Press, 2006), 9-14.
[14] Michael Kress, Orthodox Judaism Today <http://www.myjewishlearning.com/history/Jewish_World_Today/Denominations/Orthodox.shtml>
[15] Baal Shem Tov, A letter from Rabbi Yisrael Ba'al Shem Tov to his brother in-law, Rebbe Gershon of Kitov,
[16] Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Salt of the Earth, An Interview With Peter Seewald, (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1997), 237.
[17] Louis Bouyer, The Church of God: Body of Christ and Temple of the Spirit (USA: Fransican Herald Press, 1982), 568.
[18] Ut Unam Sint 54
[19] Judith Deutsch Kornblatt, Doubly Chosen: Jewish Identity, the Soviet Intelligentsia, and the Russian Orthodox Church (USA: University of Wisconsin Press,2004) 19-22.


Bibliography
Get Clarity

The New Encyclopedia of Judaism “Musar” Jerusalem: NYU Press, 1989.

Ut Unam Sint   

Baal Shem Tov, Yisrael (Rabbi). A letter from Rabbi Yisrael Ba'al Shem Tov to his brother in-law, Rebbe Gershon of Kitov,

Besserman, Pearl. Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism Boston: Shambala, 1997.

Borowitz, Eugene B and Schwartz, Frances Weinman.  The Jewish Moral Virtues USA: Jewish Publications Society, 1999.

Bouyer, Louis.  The Church of God: Body of Christ and Temple of the Spirit USA: Franciscan Herald Press, 1982.

Finkelman, Shimon (Rabbi) and Berkowitz, Yitzchak (Rabbi). Chofetz Chaim: A Lesson a Day Brooklyn NY: Mesorah Publications, 2006.

Haber, Yaacov (Rabbi),  Paths to Spiritual Growth: Torah Insights             

Heilman, Samuel C. Sliding to the Right: The Contest for the Future of American Jewish Orthodoxy USA: University of California Press, 2006.

Kornblatt, Judith Deutsch.  Doubly Chosen: Jewish Identity, the Soviet Intelligentsia, and the Russian Orthodox Church USA: University of Wisconsin Press.

Kress, Michael. Orthodox Judaism Today             <http://www.myjewishlearning.com/history/Jewish_World_Today/Denominations/Orthodox.shtml>

Malka, Salomon.  Emmauel Levinas: His Life and Legacy Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 2006.

Meijers, Daniel. Ascetic Hasidism in Jerusalem: The Guardian-Of-The-Faithful Community  of Mea Shearim Netherlands:Brill,1992.

Pasi, Marco (editor). Kabbalah and Modernity : Interpretations, Transformations, Adaptations Boston: Brill Academic Publishers, 2010.

Putnam, Hilary.  Jewish Philosophy as a Guide to Life: Rosenzweig, Buber, Levinas,Wittgenstein USA; Indiana University Press, 2008.

Ratzinger, Joseph (Cardinal), Salt of the Earth, An Interview With Peter Seewald, (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1997), 237.

Simmons, Shraga (Rabbi).  Surfboard Spirituality 



Catholicity of the Church: A Hebrew Catholic Reflection



The main theme underlying all of the readings I have chosen is the catholicity of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ which manifests as the universal sacrament of salvation. The first reading I have chosen is Reading 15 “Many Models, One Church” by Joseph A. Komonchak. Komonchak discusses the concepts of “diversity in unity”[1] and “fullness in unity”[2]. He refers to Cardinal Avery Dulles five models of the church.[3] He then discusses Yves Congar’s approach to Catholicity.[4]

            Central to the understanding of the Catholicity of the Church in this article is the quote in Lumen Gentium (#13) “In virtue of this catholicity, the individual parts and to the whole church so that the whole and its individual parts are enriched because all are communicating with one another and working to achieve a fullness in unity”.[5] Komonchak believes that true Catholicity means to be committed to ‘diversity in unity’ which he sees is an expression of the Vatican II concept of ‘fullness of unity’.[6]

            Komonchak also refers to the teaching of Pope John Paul II, in regards to Lumen Gentium #13, that the Catholic Church is a communion of diverse local churches with one another. These diverse local churches enrich and challenge one another. John Paul saw his own role as the successor of Peter as a ministry to serve this enriching ‘diversity in unity’.[7]

            Pope John Paul II perceived that this restoration of the ‘fullness of unity’ could not be complete without the contribution, reunion and spirituality of the Eastern Orthodox churches.  In 'Orientale Lumen' he expresses his ardent desire for a "full manifestation of the Church's catholicity to be restored to the world" in the context of the reunion of the Eastern Orthodox Churches.[8] In his encyclical ‘Ut Unam Sint’ he writes:
 “In this perspective an expression which I have frequently employed finds its deepest meaning: the Church must breathe with her two lungs! In the first millennium of the history of Christianity, this expression refers primarily to the relationship between Byzantium and Rome…the vision of the full communion to be sought is that of unity in legitimate diversity.”[9]
The Second Vatican II was also concerned with this ‘fullness of unity’ in regards to reconciliation of the Eastern and Western Churches. In ‘Unitatis Redintegratio’ it states,
“The very rich liturgical and spiritual heritage of the Eastern Churches should be known, venerated, preserved and cherished by all. They must recognize that this is of supreme importance for the faithful preservation of the fullness of Christian tradition, and for bringing about reconciliation between Eastern and Western Christians.”[10]

            The Russian theologian, philosopher and writer Vladimir Soloviev also wrote of the importance of the reconciliation of the Eastern and Western Church especially in regards to his own faith tradition, the Russian Orthodox Church. He also stressed the need for the Petrine Ministry for the full functioning of the Church.[11] Soloviev also stresses that this full reunion of East and West can only come about through the ethno-religious community of the Jews or Judaism.   He believes that it is the Jews in both the Western and Eastern Churches that will bring about this fullness.[12] If the Eastern and Western Churches are the lungs of the Mystical Body of Christ then Judaism is the heart that pumps blood to the lungs. Besides the lungs and heart there are many other diverse but important parts of this Mystical Body.

             The understanding that the church is not uniform but has ‘diversity through unity’ is very important. Too many Western Catholics whether liberal, modernist, neo-orthodox, orthodox, traditional, conservative, Latin traditionalists etc. see the Church and it’s spirituality as uniform or they desire the Church to be uniform and are displeased with its rich diversity. I like the image of the Church as a rich and tasty banquet made up of different dishes from which one can partake and enjoy. However if we take all these dishes and put them in one giant bowl, one ends up with a horrid and tasteless mess which we call uniformity.  

            The unity of the church is preserved through the Petrine Ministry and the infallible magisterial teachings of faith and morals. However while remaining within the bounds of these teachings (always interpreted with the priority of love and mercy) and in loving union with Peter’s successor there is immense room for great diversity in customs, rituals, spiritualities, philosophical approaches, charisms, devotions, dress, music, dance, artistic representations, institutions, evangelistic methodologies and theologies.  Uniformities whether to the right or the left in my opinion deform the mystical Body of Christ and its witness in the world.

            The second reading I have chosen is reading 6 “Redefining the term Sacrament” by George S. Worgul in his book “From Magic to Metaphor: A Validation of Christian Sacraments”. Worgul mentions that in the traditional Baltimore Catechism a sacrament is described as “an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace”. He then proposed his own definition of Sacraments as “symbols arising from the ministry of Christ and continued in and through the Church; which when received in faith, are encounters with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.[13] He notes that the Baltimore Catechism uses the term sign while he prefers symbol.[14] Worgul notes that all symbols are signs but that symbol in his opinion is more potent than other signs.[15]  I would agree that the almost judicial understanding of sacrament in the Western Church needs further development and theological reflection more in accord with the Eastern Church’s understanding of ‘mysterion’ (mysteries). However, Worgul’s suggestions, for symbols and a changed meaning of ‘instituted’, seem to me to be heading in a direction outside the parameters allowed for Catholic theological development. His changes would turn sacraments into sacramentals. Sacraments are instituted by Christ, sacramentals (such as the Rosary) are instituted by the Church.[16]

            The Catholic Church has never taught that the sacraments are symbols and for a very good reason. The sacraments are signs (not symbols) that have an outer face which may involve certain symbols being used in its celebration. For example in the celebration of the sacrament of baptism the water, candles, white clothing, oil etc have symbolic meanings but the sacrament itself is not a symbol. The inner face of the sacrament is divine Grace.

            The church itself is considered as the universal sacrament of salvation.[17] This also is not a symbol but a sign which is accompanied by many symbols. The church however is only this universal Sacrament of salvation because she is the Mystical Body of Christ[18] which contains the seven sacraments. Without the sacraments the church becomes merely another human institution not the Mystical Body of Christ. This does not mean that divine grace is limited to the outward face of the seven sacraments or indeed the human and legal boundaries of the Catholic Church as an institution.  Potentially, the Catholic Church as the Mystical Body of Christ encompasses all humanity as this universal sacrament of salvation.

            The third reading I have chosen is reading 16 is from “Sign and Promise: A Theology of the Church for a Changing World” by John Thornhill. This is a rather interesting article that emphasises the importance of understanding the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ and the Universal Sacrament of Salvation rather than a judicial and administrative society or organisation. Thornhill surveys the understanding of the Church by theologians, throughout the centuries of the Church’s history.

            For me the most interesting part of the article is the mention of Christ as the primordial sacrament. The French Jewish philosopher Levinas refers to primordial as immemorial past. This leads one back to the ‘beginning’ (bereshit) in Genesis. In a sense the written story of Genesis One is a kind of primordial sacramental sign that points to the mystery of the concept of the Hidden Primordial Messiah and his Kneset (Assembly/ Gathering)[19]. This “Gathering of waters” in Genesis 1 is pointing to the Church as the Mystical Body of the Messiah. The hidden Terumah (priestly lifted offering of first (reshit) tithes[20]) of Genesis 1,[21] points to the sacrificial offering (Terumah and Korban) of the Messiah, which is the New Covenant Sacrifice.

            Another emphasis that I found fascinating was Thornhill’s stress on ‘the others’[22] which would resonate well with the ideas of Emmanuel Levinas on ‘alterity’.[23] Thornhill while appreciating a lot of the modern rethinking feels that it may have become too in-ward looking. This new orientation is often missing a concern for mission and evangelisation which is focused on the other.[24] Christian theology using certain elements of Levinas’ post–modernist philosophy on ‘alterity’ (otherness) as a paradigm may be helpful in balancing this focus.[25]
The obsession of some rigidly ‘orthodox’ Catholics with the judicial, institutional and administrative aspects of Catholicism almost deifies the Code of Canon Law into a Biblical text. They forget that the last canon states that the salvation of souls is the supreme law of the church and thus all the preceding church laws should be interpreted in the light of this supreme law.[26] Thornhill’s writings encourage us to refocus on Christ and the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ rather than an over-emphasis on the judicial, institutional and administrative aspect of its organisation.  

            The fourth reading I have chosen is reading 11 “An Ecclesiological Presupposition” which is from “Priesthood: A History of Ordained Ministry in the Roman Catholic Church” by Kenan B. Osborne.  Osborne’s main argument or point is that one’s ecclesiological presuppositions affect how one’s views the development of ministry in the Church. He lists two main groupings of Catholic theologians. Firstly there are those who believe that Jesus established the Church and its ministries and structures in detail during his life and secondly those who believe that the Church and its ministries and structures arose after the Resurrection under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.[27]

            The point he makes about one presuppositions is very important. However, it is not only one’s ecclesiological presuppositions that influence one’s understanding of the ministries and structures of the Church but also one’s Christological and Biblical presuppositions.  Edward Schillebeeckx, for example, doesn’t believe in the historical reality of the Resurrection or the resurrection experiences of the apostles or of Paul[28] and as a result would not fit in either of Osborne’s two groupings.

            There is a need for a grouping between the two groups that believes that Jesus in seed form (the mustard seed of the parable) did establish his Church (Messianic Community) with its new sacrifice and new priesthood within the People of Israel. After the Resurrection, guided by the Holy Spirit and this new priesthood, these seedlings developed and grew into the more fully fledged structures and ministries of the Church. These structures and ministries, while maintaining their original purpose, changed and developed exteriorly and culturally depending on the historical and cultural developments of the times. Our understanding through the centuries grew deeper and richer so that today we understand the mystery of the Church in a deeper way that does not deny the understandings of the past but enriches them.

            At times unfortunately people in the Church lose the insights and riches of the past and the believers of the new generations need to renew these riches before they can enrich them further with deeper and new insights. The Church especially needs to renew itself regularly in its Jewish and Biblical roots as well as in the teachings of the apostolic fathers, the great mystics, doctors and saints of both the Western and Eastern Churches.  
        



[1] Joseph A Komonchak, “Many Models, One Church”, Church (Spring 1993), 201.
[2] Joseph A Komonchak, “Many Models, One Church”, 204.
[3] Joseph A Komonchak, “Many Models, One Church”, 201.
[4] Joseph A Komonchak, “Many Models, One Church”, 203.
[5] Joseph A Komonchak, “Many Models, One Church”, 204.
[6] Joseph A Komonchak, “Many Models, One Church”, 204.
[7] Joseph A Komonchak, “Many Models, One Church”, 204.
[8] Orientale Lumen 1
[9] Ut Unam Sint 54
[10] Unitatis Redintegratio 15
[11] Father Ray Ryland, “A Russian Who Challenged Orthodoxy to Reconcile With Rome”,
[12] Judith Deutsch Kornblatt, Doubly Chosen: Jewish Identity, the Soviet Intelligentsia, and the Russian Orthodox Church (USA: University of Wisconsin Press,2004).
[13] George A Worgul, From Magic to Metaphor: A Validation of Christian Sacraments (USA, Paulist Press, 1980), 123.
[14] George A Worgul, From Magic to Metaphor: A Validation of Christian Sacraments, 123.
[15] George A Worgul, From Magic to Metaphor: A Validation of Christian Sacraments, 123.
[16] Baltimore Catechism 1061 and Catechism of the Catholic Church 1677 
[17]  Lumen Gentium 48.
[18] Lumen Gentium 8. .
[19] Kneset in Aramaic, Mikveh in Hebrew and congregationesque in Latin.
[20] See Nachmanides (Ramban)’s commentary on the Torah.
[21] Hidden in the first ‘well’ of the text by counting from the tav of Be-reshit, 26 letters 4 times.
[22] John Thornhill,  Sign and Promise: A Theology of the Church for a Changing World (Australia: Harpers Collins, 1988), 48.
[23] Emmanuel Levinas, Alterity and Transcendence (USA: Columbia University Press, 1999).
[24] John Thornhill  Sign and Promise: A Theology of the Church for a Changing World, 67-68.
[25] See Glenn Morrison, Theology of Alterity: Levinas, von Balthasar & Trinitarian Praxis (USA; Duquesne University Press, 2013).
[26] Code of Canon Law 1752
[27] Kenan B Osborne, Priesthood: A History of Ordained Ministry in the Roman Catholic Church, (New York: Paulist Press, 1988), 123-124.
[28] Edward Schillebeeckx, Jesus: An Experiment in Christology (London: Collins, 1979), 378-379.

Bibliography
Baltimore Catechism  
Catechism of the Catholic Church                
Code of Canon Law 
Lumen Gentium.   
Orientale Lumen 
Unitatis Redintegratio 
Ut Unam Sint   
Komonchak, Joseph A. “Many Models, One Church”, Church (Spring1993), 201-204.
Kornblatt, Judith Deutsch. Doubly Chosen: Jewish Identity, the Soviet Intelligentsia, and the Russian Orthodox Church USA: University of Wisconsin Press, 2004.
Levinas, Emmanuel. Alterity and Transcendence USA: Columbia University Press, 1999.
Morrison, Glenn. Theology of Alterity: Levinas, von Balthasar & Trinitarian Praxis USA; Duquesne University Press, 2013.
Osborne, Kenan B. Priesthood: A History of Ordained Ministry in the Roman Catholic Church, New York: Paulist Press, 1988.
Ryland, Ray. “A Russian Who Challenged Orthodoxy to Reconcile With Rome”
Schillebeeckx, Edward. Jesus: An Experiment in Christology London: Collins, 1979.
Thornhill, John.  Sign and Promise: A Theology of the Church for a Changing World (Australia: Harpers Collins, 1988).
Worgul, George A. From Magic to Metaphor: A Validation of Christian Sacraments USA, Paulist Press, 1980.