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, September 29, 2014

St Bernard on Church and Synagogue


A few years ago in an interview for the Association of Hebrew Catholics, Father Donald Arsenault he told me about St Bernard of Clairvaux's view of Judaism.


Q. In that same line, St. Bernard says that the Church is the daughter of the synagogue, and that the Church wishes with all her soul to bring her mother into the chamber where she was conceived and wants to give to her mother the bridegroom.

A. I like that because the way many people think, they want to make the mother wear a mini-skirt and hot boots and dress like the daughter. They don’t actually want her to come as a mother with all her dignity and richness. They want her to come stripped and enter the Church. I want to see her come into the Church, Judaism coming into the Church, as a mother. We don’t need her to come in as a daughter, like two sisters. If she comes in as mother, she has her role, her dignity, in the body of Christ.

Q. I believe that St. Bernard keeps saying that the mother and the Church form the bride for the bridegroom … Who is seen as the bridegroom in Israel?

A. God.

Q. In the Church there is no divorce. So there can’t be any divorce between God and Israel when the Church comes into being …

A. Israel is the bride of God but then enters into the Church which is the universal bride. They live together.

Today I found the reference in St Bernards Sermon 79:


"...`I have hold of him and will not let him go until I bring him to my mother's house, into the bedchamber of her who bore me.' Great is the charity of the Church, who does not grudge her delights even to her rival, the Synagogue. What could be kinder than to be willing to share with her enemy him whom her soul loves? But it is not surprising, because `salvation is from the Jews.’ The Saviour returned to the place from which he had come, so that the remnant of Israel might be saved. Let not the branches be ungrateful to the root, nor sons to their mother; let not the branches grudge the roots the sap they took from it, nor the sons grudge their mother the milk they sucked from her breast. Let the Church hold fast the salvation which the Jews lost; she holds it until the fulness of the Gentiles comes, and so all Israel may be saved. Let her wish that the universal salvation come to all, for it can be possessed by everyone without anyone having less. This she does, and more, for she desires for the Jews the name and grace of a Bride. This is more than salvation.

This charity would be unbelievable, but that the words of the Bride herself compel belief. For you will observe that she said she wished to bring him whom she held not only to her mother's house but into her bedchamber, which is a mark of singular privilege. For him to enter the house would be enough for salvation; but the privacy of her bedchamber betokens grace, `This day has salvation come to this house,’ said our Lord. Salvation must necessarily come to a house once the Savior has entered it. But she who is found worthy to receive him in the bedchamber has a secret for herself alone. Salvation is for the house; the bridal chamber has its own secret delights. `I will bring him to my mother's house,’ she says. What house is this, unless it is the one foreshadowed to the Jews. `Behold, your house shall be left for you desolate.' He has done what he said, and you have his words in the writings of the prophet: `I have left my house and my inheritance,' and now she promises to bring him back and restore its lost salvation to her mother's house. And if this is not enough, hear the promise of good things which she adds: `and into the bedchamber of her who bore me.' He who enters the bridal chamber is the bridegroom. How great is the power of love! The Saviour had left his house and his inheritance in anger; now he has relented and inclined towards her in love, and thus returns not only as Saviour but as Bridegroom. You are blessed by the Lord, O daughter, for you have softened his anger and restored the inheritance! You are blessed by your mother, for it is through your blessing that his anger is turned away and salvation restored with him who says `I am your salvation.’ Nor is this enough. He goes on to say, `I will betrothe you to myself in justice and righteousness; I will betrothe you to myself in mercy and pity.' But remember that it is the Bride who has brought about this reconciliation. How can she give up her Bridegroom to another, and choose to do it willingly? But it is not so. She is a good daughter, and desires to share him with her mother, not to give him up. The one is enough for both, for they are one in him. He is our peace, he who made both one, that there might be one Bride and one Bridegroom, Jesus Christ our Lord, who is God above all, blessed for ever. Amen"
St Bernard's understanding owes much to his mystical Marian devotional reading and contemplation of Scripture. He also was a defender of the Jews of his time.

Also Brian Patrick McGuire discusses this in his book "A Companion to Bernard of Clairvaux".

There is a new discussion group on facebook called Messianic Jewish Catholics.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Binah, Emunah and Lev: Our Lady Zohar


Rebbe Nachman of Breslov often spoke about the importance of spiritually awakening people by the means of song and storytelling. His Hasidic way was the way of the Heart (Lev) and his teachings draw their main source from the Zohar which is itself a book of the Heart of the Mother crying out to waken up the sleeping minds, hearts and souls of her children through the stories of the Bible, Talmud and Zohar. The Zoharists of the 18th century would sing the Zohar in honour of the Shekhinah. This motherly Heart is called Binah (Understanding) and Imma (Mama).


Zohar Parashat Kedoshim links the terms of Binah (understanding or sense) with the Heart (Lev). This concept of the loving maternal and holy Heart that awakens sleeping souls is discussed by linking Parashat Kedoshim (Leviticus 19:1-20:27) with Psalm 32 and Proverbs 9. Zohar is the maternal Dark Light that is called the feminine Oral Torah. She cries and sings forth to awaken.

Rabbi Eleazar opened with: "Be not like a horse, like a mule, without sense (havin)...(Psalm 32:9). How often does Torah awaken man, how often does she raise her voice in every situation to arouse them! Yet they all sleep, with a slumber in their eyes, not seeing or discerning...For they are all completely flawed, having no knowledge of faith (emunah) in the Divine King... For Torah cries out to them saying: "Whoever is simple, let him turn aside here, he who lacks sense (Lev / Heart)-she says to him..". (Proverbs 9:4). [Zohar Kedoshim 3:80 a]

Just as a mule is the infertile offspring of an act of unnatural lust between a horse and a donkey, so those who do actions that are not in union with the Holy Heart who is Our Lady Torah, lacks faith (emunah) and understanding (Binah) and are spiritually unfruitful and sterile. The Zohar sees our actions as our offspring or children. 

When we do our acts in her acts we live in Divine Will as all her acts dwell in Divine Will. She is the Torah in action, she is the personification of the mitzvot (commandments) done from the heart (symbolised by the lower heart tefillin). She is the sign and vessel for the One Act or Command that encompasses all acts in her mystical heart and womb.

 When our acts are done from the heart (lev) and with deep spiritual understanding (Binah/ havin) and complete faith (emunah) in the Divine King we become saints (tzaddikim) and we draw down the Holy Spirit into our acts, thus united in virginal nuptial union with the Lady Torah who is also the Lady Wisdom (Hokhmah/ Sophia) who focuses all on the Divine King. The bread and wine she offers us is the Divine King himself.  

"Whoever is simple, let him turn aside here, he who lacks sense (Lev / Heart)-she says to him: Come eat of my bread, and drink of the wine I have mixed.." (Proverbs 9:4-5). 

This is both Marian and Eucharistic mystery that is only understood and believed by faith by those who eat the Heavenly Manna discerning the mystery of the Heart.

Happy are the righteous (tzaddikim), who engage in Torah, know the ways of the Blessed Holy One, and sanctify themselves with the holiness of the King, becoming completely holy. Thus they draw down the Holy Spirit from on high, and all their sons are truly virtuous and called 'sons of the King', 'holy sons'. [Zohar 3:80b]

These sons do not refer to biological offspring but to one's acts or actions. Thus holy sons are one's acts done in accord with the Divine Will and wicked and impure sons are those acts done contrary to the Divine Will. Our holy acts open them to being divinised or filled with the Holy Spirit, our impure acts open us to the 'other side' (demonic side) which invest those impure and wicked acts with evil. When Jewish tradition states that Lilith is the mother of the demons who are the offspring of Adam, it is referring to these acts done contrary to the Divine Will by Adam and his sons.

When the Blessed Holy One unveiled the world and sought to reveal the deep from within the hidden and light from within darkness, they were intermingled - for out of darkness issued light, and out of the hidden was revealed the deep, one issuing from the other. Out of good issues evil, out of compassion issues Judgment. All is interwoven - the good impulse and the evil impulse...The world appears as a single clustered garland interlaced; and when the world is tried, it is judged with mingled Judgment... [Zohar 3:80b]

Most of our acts as fallen sons of Adam are a mixture of good and bad. However goodness has priority as first Adam lived in Divine Will and his acts were pure and holy- but from this came his fallen act. However the motives or impulses that led to this act were a mixture of good and bad but resulted in an act contrary to the Divine Will. By engaging with the acts of the Lady Wisdom our acts can be turned back to the Divine Will and be purified and divinised in her Heart by faith (emunah). Thus the lost princess called Emunah is restored to her Father's Kingdom, where the Divine Will is in all acts on earth as it is in heaven.


see Divine Melody: A Theology of the Body

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Dating of the Council of Jerusalem and the Zohar

St Peter's Cave near Antioch

The dating of the of Acts and the lives of St Peter and Paul is of debate among scholars. The dating of the Council of Jerusalem is usually given as 49 or 50 AD. I would date it to 55 AD. St Peter left Rome in 43 AD with St Mark after Peter was accused of anti-Roman speech. St Mark went to Alexandria and Peter to Jerusalem in 43 AD. St Peter (Shimon bar Yochanan of Beit Yonah) then went into hiding with his son Eleazer ben Shimon (St Mark) in a cave near Antioch for the next 13 years until after the death of the Emperor Claudius. After the death of Claudius, St Peter came out of his cave and was in Jerusalem in 55 AD for the Council of Jerusalem (Idra Rabba) and St Mark returned to Alexandria after the Council. St Peter writes: "She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark. (1 Peter 5:13)"

St John the Apostle (not to be confused with St John the Beloved (Yochanan) of Ephesus) the son of Zebedee was martyred before 49 AD and at the time of the Council of Jerusalem in 55 AD the Apostle John is not mentioned. Galatians mentions that Peter, James and John are the three pillars of the Church. However we see that at the time of the Council of Jerusalem the leaders are St Peter and St James the Just "the Lord's Brother". At this time it is possible that Peter as Kepha (died 67 AD) declared the replacement pillars as St Mark (Eleazar) leader of the Church in Alexandria (died 68 AD) and St Joseph of Arimathea (died 82 AD) the Abba Abbot of Sumer (Somerset/ Glastonbury). 

St Joseph was the Rosh Golus (Glas) of Britain. He or his son Josephes (Gilead bar Joseph) was the originator of R1b-M222 ydna which passed to their descendants in England, Scotland and Ireland. Arimathea was Aram-Tehama which was the capital city of the now sunken land in the Indian Ocean near the Seychelles and Madagascar (Mauritia). His brother Nathan (Tenaufen/ Tasciovanius/ Nascien) was a Romano-British Jewish Prince in charge of the Tin Mines of south-west Britain (Cassi). Nathan did not carry the M222 ydna but was R1b-L21 ancestor of the Davidic House of Nathan in Britain, Europe and the Babylonian Exilarchs. 

St Joseph of Arimathea's daughter Chana (Anna) married St Mark (Eleazar bar Shimon) and their son Petrus was a companion of St Joseph in Britain. St Mark (Marcus) had a sister (Osnat/ Aurelia) known after her baptism as Petronilla. She married Titus Flavius Sabinus a friend of General Aulus Plautius and brother to the Roman Emperor Vespasian. St Peter opposed her marriage to the Roman and locked her in her room. She went on a hunger strike until her father relented and allowed the marriage. She was the mother of Pope St Clement I (Titus Flavius Clemens). She was most likely martyred in 95 AD with her son Pope Clement I and other members of her relatives by their cousin the Emperor Domitian. 

Rabbi Gamaliel and Rabbi Akiba with other leading Jews and Jewish Christians went to Rome in 95 AD to seek to undo a decree by Domitian against the Jews. They met with Pope Clement I whose mother was a Jewish Christian to beg his help. He was encouraged by his mother and wife Flavia Domitilla (St Domitilla) [who was a granddaughter of the Emperor Vespasian] to defend the Jews. They spoke up on behalf of the Jewish community and in a fury the Emperor unleashed a persecution of his Christian relatives and their followers as well as the Jews. Pope Clement was martyred and his wife sent into exile.

The Zohar was originally a Jewish-Christian (Nazarean/ Chaverim/ Galileans) text of Marian and Eucharistic mystical reflection on the Torah. The original Rabbis were St Peter and some of the other early Jewish Christian leaders who were later disguised by Rabbi Moses de Leon by 2nd century Jewish figures. These zoharic traditions were preserved by the simple black-clad "Mourners of Zion" who were devoted to their Lady (Dame/ Matronita) in the Southern lands of the Indian Ocean as mentioned by Benjamin of Tudela in the 12th century. They were known as the Achim (brothers) who dwell in the South and as the holy Bond of the South. The Zohar was bought to Spain in the 13th century.

St Peter is disguised as Shimon bar Yochai of the 2nd century who was also a follower of this Jewish Christian mystical tradition. Rabbi Akiva was a son or grandson of St Joseph of Arimathea who was a Jewish Christian bishop or shepherd who apostatized and left Britain (London/ Lud) for Palestine. He rejected his upbringing and opposed the Jewish Christians in the Jewish community. He proclaimed Bar Kokba (Koziba) as the Messiah. After Bar Kokba's defeat and the death of his disciples Rabbi Akiba fled to the south in 135 to Aram-Tehama taking with him the original copy of the Zohar which he had been given by his grandfather St Joseph of Arimathea in Britain. He re-embraced his Jewish Christian faith and taught it to Shimon bar Yochai of Aram-Tehama. 

The Zohar was seen as a literary Holy Grail that contained the mysteries of the mystical and Eucharistic Cup of Blessing. The Cup representing Our Lady and the blessing representing the Eucharistic Messiah. Thus the first layer of the Zohar was written by Joseph of Arimathea (Rabbi Abba) about the mystical teachings of St Peter, himself and the other early Jewish Christian leaders. This collection was then edited and enriched by Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai of the 2nd century and his school of mystics in the South. The two Shimons were later confused into one as were other Rabbis in the Zohar. They were two different generations of Rabbis- one group who lived and taught in Galilee in Second Temple times and the others in post-Temple times before the Bar Kokhba Revolt.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Father Michel-Marie Sorkine-Zanotti moves to Paris


I have written in the past about the wonderful French Hebrew-Catholic priest Father Michel-Marie Sorkine-Zanotti of Marseille. He has announced on June 8 that he will step down as the parish priest of his St Vincent de Paul parish after 10 years. In September he will move to the Rue de Bac in Paris. His parish in Marseille will receive three new young priests in their 30's from the charismatic Emmanuel Community to build on the wonderful foundations established by Father Michel-Marie. 

The Rue de Bac is the famous pilgrimage site of St Catherine Laboure and the Miraculous Medal. This is good news for international pilgrims who will be able to take advantage of the gifts of this holy priest. Let us keep Father Michel-Marie in our prayers for the suceess of his move and for the work of the three new priests in Marseille.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Cardinal O'Connor Jewish?

Cardinal O'Connor with Pope John Paul II both with unknown Jewish mothers.

Recently the sister of Cardinal O'Connor discovered that their mother Dorothy was Jewish. Dorothy who was born as Deborah Gumple or D'vora Gumpel was the daughter of an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi and Shokhet (Kosher butcher). She left her family and became a Catholic in 1908 when she was 19 and she married the Catholic Thomas O'Connor in 1909. She never spoke of her Jewish background to her children, they had assumed she had been of Lutheran heritage. The New York times has a great article about it here. The Jewish Week also gives an account. 



Eduard Gumpel the grandfather of Rabbi Gustav Gumpel

The Cardinal's grandfather Rabbi Gustav Gumpel (b.1840 or 42) is a descendant of Rabbi Ephraim Gumpel of Hamburg (son of Rabbi David ben Nathan Granhut of Frankfurt) of the early 18th century whose original surname was Granhut. Rabbi Gustav Gumpel is a descendant of Rabbi Ephraim Gumpel's son Nathan of Moravia. Gustav is usually used for the Hebrew name Gidon or Gideon. Rabbi Gustav Gumpel was named for his uncle Gustav Gumpel who was born in Berlin, Prussia in 1825. It seems that Rabbi Gustav's family came from a fairly assimilated prosperous Jewish branch of the Gumpel family but Rabbi Gustav's father broke with this background and married into the more devoutly orthodox (frum) branch of the family in Lubeck. They became great supporters of Rabbi Jacob Ettingler in advocating orthodox Judaism against Reform Judaism.
Gustav Gumpel of Berlin (b.1825) uncle of Rabbi Gustav Gumpel

Gustav of Berlin was the son of Eduard (Efraim) Gumpel who was born in Hildesheim in 1794 and died in Hamburg in 1839. Eduard was the son of Lazarus Gumpel (1770-1843) of Hildesheim.  Eduard also had a brother Jacob Gumpel (b.1791) who was a Rabbi in Lubeck. Lazarus was the son of Rabbi Efraim Gumpel whose father was Rabbi Lazar Gumpel was a son of Rabbi Nathan Gumpel of Moravia. Rabbi Nathan was the son of Rabbi Ephraim Gumpel (Granhut) and his wife Gitel Fulda a sister of Rabbi Isaac Fulda of Hamburg.
Lazarus Gumpel (1770-1843) of Hamburg an ancestor of Cardinal O'Connor

Many Irish O'Connor's were of Frankist Jewish ancestry (originally called Kinnor and Konarski) who came to Ireland after 1760 and settled in Cork. Cardinal O'Connor's father belonged to these Frankist O'Connors. His father was Thomas O'Connor a goldleafer who was born in Philadelphia in 1883. 

Thomas O'Connor's parents were John Francis O'Connor (b.1846) and Mary Marony (Maroney/ Maroni) of Cork Ireland. The father of Mary was Bart (Bartholomew) Marony (baptised 1834) of Tipperary son of Martin Maroney and Mary Hannon (Hannan/ Chanani/ Gracian) of Sephardi Jewish ancestry. His mother was Ellen Buckley whose surname was originally Buchel or Buchalski.

The Maroni family were of Italian Jewish ancestry. John Francis O'Connor was the son of John O'Connor (of the Frankist family of O'Connors) and his wife Cathleen Herlihy (Herlitz) of Boherbue, Cork. This John was a grandson of David Kinnor (Konarski) who took the name David Connor in Ireland after 1760. This John was a brother of Bishop Michael O'Connor (b.1829) of  Ballarat in Victoria Australia.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Prophecy of Vilna Gaon about Russia


On March 17th 2014 a leading Jewish Kabbalist Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch of Jerusalem revealed a secret about the Geulah (the time leading up to the Messianic redemption of the Jews). He revealed a prophecy of his ancestor the Vilna Gaon. 

 “When you hear that the Russians have invaded Crimea, you will know that the bells of geulah have begun to ring. When you hear that the Russians have reached Constantinople, you can already don Shabbos clothes and await Moshiach’s appearance.  When Russia captures the city of Crimea than you will start to hear the footsteps of the Messiah are near.” 

Many Catholic prophecies also mention the rise of Russia and their conquest of Constantinople (Istanbul) from the Turks. One prophecy states that it is after Russia attacks Turkey that the terrible revolution and civil war will break out in England.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pope Francis the Worthy Shepherd



"By about twelve years shall the millennium have passed when the resplendent mantle of legitimate power shall emerge from the shadows where it was being kept by the schism. And beyond harm from the one who is blocking the door of salvation, for his deceitful schism shall have come to an end. And the mass of the faithful shall attach itself to the worthy Shepherd, who shall extricate each one from error and restore to the Church its beauty. He shall renew it." 
Blessed Tomasuccio de Foligno


...Forty years ago it was prophesied, and there have been many visions to the same effect, that there will be a pope in these times who will purify Canon Law and the Church of God from the sophistries and deceits of the jurists so that justice will reign over all without the rumbling of lawsuits. Because of the goodness, truth, and justice of this pope the Greeks will return to the obedience of the Roman Church, the greater part of the Tartars will be converted to the faith, and the Saracens will be destroyed. There will be one flock and one shepherd, as the prophet heard (John 10:16)...
(Taken from Roger Bacon's The Third Work. Trans. by B McGinn Visions of the End (New York, Columbia, 1998) p190)


It would seem that the first prophecy definitely refers to Pope Francis as the Pope elected 12 years after the Millenium year. He is the Worthy Shepherd.

It would seem that Pope Francis is also stressing the spirit of the law rather than a legalistic interpretation of Canon Law and may be the Pope referred to by Roger Bacon or he may be preparing the Church for the Pope who will ultimately fulfill this prophecy.