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.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Haredi Jews in Israel

I just watched this really interesting documentary on the Haredi Jews in Israel. It is titled "Haredi: The Ultra Orthodox Society in Israel". One of the women in it was a daughter of Rav Ovadia Yosef who was responsible for starting a college to give Haredi University level education. It also brings out the problem of Haredi men who don't work or have a trade except for studying Torah. This has created real problems for Haredi and Jewish society. I noticed the last time when I was living in Israel in 2008 that many Haredi had taken up handy man jobs etc on the advice of their Rabbi which seems a good step in the right direction.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Apostles of Perpetual Adoration

Father Douglas William Harris: Founder and Moderator of the Apostles of Perpetual Adoration

The Apostles of Perpetual Adoration is an Association of Christ's Faithful that was founded by the Archbishop of Perth and Father Douglas Harris in 2006. I am involved with this apostolate. They have a blog for more information which is linked at the bottom of this post.

The Apostles of Perpetual Adoration believe that the new evangelisation must be Eucharistic Evangelisation. The Hebrew word for good news is biser (bet,shin, resh) and the word for flesh is basar (bet,shin, resh) (used for the sacrifical lambs and for the Eucharistic flesh of John 6). Thus even in the beginning of the Church evangelisation was linked to the Eucharistic mystery. According to St Peter Julian Eymard Our Lady was the first one with her ladies to practice Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. This practice was one of the most mysterious secrets practiced by the early Jewish Catholics- Adoration of the Divine Presence.

Brother Gilbert of the Divine Presence in the APA habit

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Special Sabbath within Passover: A Hebrew Catholic Insight

There are many opinions about which day Jesus celebrated his Last Supper. I personally believe it was on the second night of Passover (16th Nisan) and it was a Passover Havurah Meal.  I have previously written about it on this blog in an article titled 'Is the 16th of Nisan the Day of the Crucifixion'.  Much discussion is made by theologians and scholars about the differences between the Synoptics and John. This confusion is due to people not understanding that the Sabbath within Passover was an especially holy day. Recently I wrote on the Hebrew Catholic Discussion Board about this Sabbath Within Passover (Shabbat Chol Moed Pesach).

"...At the time of Jesus people came for a whole week of festivities (unlike today) and each day would have had special events and traditions associated with them and the great Sabbath within Passover would be especially holy. Once the Jews were in the Diaspora and couldn't have a whole week off for celebrations the feast was truncated into events on the first two days, the Passover within Shabbat and the last two days.  Of course the Sabbath could overlap with the first two days and the last two days. I also think people forget that there was a lamb sacrificed every day at 3 in the Temple (as well as 9 in the morning). There would also be Passover lamb sacrifices every day of Passover as well as the sacrifice of the Passover Seder lambs (Pesach Korban) on the 14 Nisan from about 1.30-5. The daily sacrifices were called the Korban Tamid which can be translated as Perpetual Sacrifice which I think fits very nicely with the Sacrifice of the Mass and Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. With the Korban Tamid lambs was also offered bread cakes made of flour and oil and also a wine libation was offered..."

John 19 states that Jesus was crucified on Preparation Day of the Passover. Preparation Day is always on the Friday before the Sabbath. The day before Passover (Pesach) is not Preparation Day. A better translation would be the Preparation Day for the Sabbath within Passover. On this special Sabbath the Song of Songs is chanted with a special cantillation just for this day. It is a High Mystical Day in which one focuses on the mysteries of forgiveness and communion with God through a meditated reading of Parashat Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11-34:35) and later with the Divine Nuptial Mysteries of the Song of Songs and the mysteries of the Resurrection in the Haftarah reading (Ezekiel 37).

I was pleased to see my point demonstrated by Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer in his article titled "Shabbat Chol HaMoed Pesach." He writes:

"....The morning Torah reading of Shabbos Chol Ha-moed (Sabbath of the Intermediary Days of Passover) consists of selected portions from Parshas Ki Sisa (Parashat Ki Tisa or Portion beginning "when you take" in Exodus 30). The conclusion of the kriah summarily addresses the Shalosh Regalim (Three Pilgrimage Feasts), and this would seem to be the relevance of the reading to the day. However, the first six aliyos (aliyot or readings) have nothing to do with Yom Tov (High Holy Day); rather, they deal with Moshe's (Moses') supplication to Hashem (God) to forgive the Jews for the Chet Ha-egel (sin of the Golden Calf) and the grand rapprochement between God and His people. Is there thus any other connection between the Torah reading and the Moed (Intermediate Days)?

Shabbos Chol Ha-moed (as well as Shabbos which coincides with Yom Tov) is unique, for the character of the day is not just that of Shabbos
(Sabbath) as its own day alongside that of Moed (Intermediary Days), in which the two days and their respective themes exist on their own. On the contrary, when Shabbos and Moed are joined, they fuse to create a new, unparalleled kedushah (holiness or sanctity) and status. Please allow me to explain.

Shabbos is symbolized by its coming to the Jews. We go out to greet the Shabbos Queen, who is already on her way to us, and we welcome malachim to our homes on Friday night. Yom Tov is quite the opposite, for it requires that we ascend to Yerushalayim and enter the realm of the Shechinah. Rather than God sending his kedusha our way, we must go up to it and greet Hashem at His place.

Thus, when Shabbos and Yom Tov coincide, we rise and approach God (in the kedusha
(holiness) of Yom Tov), and He also comes to us (Shabbos). The closeness between Hashem and the Jew which is precipitated is qualitatively different than that which is created by the separate kedushos (holinesses) of Shabbos or Yom Tov on their own. It is, rather, a new closeness, and this closeness is mirrored precisely by the grand rapprochement between God and the Jews in Parshas Ki Sisa, when Hashem agrees to forgive His people and share with them a relationship heretofore unheard of.

It is based on the above that we reserve the public reading of Shir Ha-Shirim
(Song of Songs) for Shabbos-Pesach (Sabbath within Passover) and Koheles (Kohelet or Ecclesiastes) for Shabbos-Sukkos/Shmini Atzeres (Sabbath within the Feast of Tabernacles), for these megillos (texts or books) reflect on our relationship with Hashem and provide deep insight into His avodah (divine service or work) as depicted by each Yom Tov. Thus, it is specifically on these Shabbos/Yom Tov days of special closeness between Hashem and Bnei Yisroel (children of Israel) that we are able to have a greater understanding of our relationship with Hashem and immerse ourselves in the deeper avodah message of the Yom Tov...".

Shabbat Col Ha Moed Pesach (the Sabbath of the Intermediate Days) means the 5 days (or 4 days in the Diaspora) between the two Yom Tov's (literally good day but meaning high holy day) of the first and the last days of Passover. Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer states that whether the Sabbath occurs on one of the High Holidays or on the intermediate days of Passover it is a special day of Sanctity (kedusha). Thus it is no wonder that the Pharisees wanted to avoid ritually becoming impure and wanted to have time to prepare for this Sabbath of Devekut (Cleaving/Nearness/ Closeness to the Divine). On this Sabbath within Passover the Haftarah reading is Ezekiel 37 speaking of the resurrection of the dry bones of Israel. So while the body of Jesus was still in the tomb and about to rise from the dead, his Jewish people are reflecting on the resurrection of Israel in the haftarah reading.

That Jesus' Last Supper or Pesach Havurah (Fellowship/Communion) Meal with his friends (Haverim) comes between the two days of the strict Passover Seder and this Sabbath of  Special Holiness is very appropriate and fitting. It is fascinating that the Holy Spirit guided the Prophet Isaiah in 53:5 to write "with his wound (u-ba-haburah-to) we are healed". The hebrew haburah is in the singular so it should be translated wound or stripe not wounds or stripes. That wound is the one that pierced his Sacred Heart and out flowed his Divine Mercy and Healing in the form of blood and water. The word Havurah for a fellowship group or gathering of friends (haverim) is written the same as haburah for wound in the Hebrew. Jesus' Passover Havurah was the first Sacrifice of the Mass which was mystically united to the sacrifice of his wounded Heart (haburah) on Golgotha. Thus each Mass is a Havurah at which we receive the merits and graces of his Haburah (wound) for our healing and sanctification. Each Eucharistic Holy Hour furthers this communion or fellowship (havurah) allowing his wound (haburah) to remain open flowing forth with Divine Mercy.

The synoptic gospels tell us that on the First day of the Unleavened (bread/matzot) Jesus disciples were preparing for a special Passover celebration (Pascha) .The First day of Unleavened Bread is the 15th of Nisan so it is obvious to me at least that the disciples of Jesus on the afternoon of the 15th of Nisan were about to prepare for a special Passover Havurah meal. The strict Passover Seder of the first night would be prepared by Jesus relatives not his disciples. Many quote Mark 14:12 to conclude that somehow the First Day of Unleavened was on the 14th of Nisan when the Korban Pesach lambs were being sacrificed in the Temple for the first night. However the Greek text of Mark doesn't mention lambs but just one singular Pascha (Passover Lamb). They also assumed that the "they sacrificed" refers to the priests in the Temple when the text mentions nothing about the priests. The only "theys' are Jesus and his disciples. Blessed Anne Emmerich may help us here. In her mystic visions she relates that the lamb used at the Last Supper was not one of the ritual lambs from the Temple but one that Jesus had sacrificed as they did in the first Passover of the Exodus. 

Jesus is about to begin his new Exodus (see the Greek of  Luke 9:31) with its New Passover which doesn't change or alter the traditional Passover but makes it now even more relevant in order to understand its fulfilment in the Eucharist. Thus the "they sacrificed" refers to Jesus and the disciples who are preparing a special Passover Havurah meal which would include a less strict Passover Seder, followed by a washing of feet ritual and then the Eucharistic Liturgy using the Messianic cup of Blessing (later known as the Cup of Elijah that is poured at the time of the third cup) and the Afikomen. One element all these more free Havurot [celebrated on the intermediary days with friends (Haverim)] have in common is they retain the eating of matzah and the drinking of the 4 cups until this day. Jesus and the disciples may have sacrificed this lamb for the Last Supper at three o'clock at the same time that the daily or perpetual lamb sacrifice was occurring in the Temple or they may have waited time after sunset. As the priests of Aaron sacrificed the lambs for the traditional Jewish Passover so Jesus and his disciples who are the priests of the New Covenant sacrifice the lamb used for this New Passover celebrated with his friends(Haverim). This second night became so holy to the early Jewish Christians that when they rejoined Judaism in the 4th century in Babylonia they brought the extra sanctity of this day with them into Judaism.

The word Pascha (Passover in Greek) seems to mean the Passover Day and Week, the Passover lamb, the Passover Seder and the other Passover Meals. This makes sense to me as my Russian Orthodox step-grandmother referred to Easter as Pascha and she also called a special delicious manna-like food that she prepared from a secret family recipe as Pascha as it was made and eaten only in the Easter (or Pascha) season. So my  Russian grandmother ate Pascha (the delicious treat) on Pascha (Easter Sunday) and also during Pascha (the Easter Season).  Also in some countries an Easter bread is also called Pascha. We also know that the Passover Lamb and the Afikomen (Passover Matzah bread) represented the incorrupt manna kept in a golden vessel in the Ark of the Covenant.

Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich's Account.

"...Jesus and His followers ate the Paschal lamb in the Coenaculum in three separate groups...In one of the side buildings near the entrance into the court of the Coenaculum, the holy women took their meal. Three lambs had been immolated and sprinkled for them in the Temple..." [This was the first Night and now we move on to the Second Night of the Last Supper Havurah with his 12 Apostles] "...But the fourth was slaughtered and sprinkled in the Coenaculum, and it was this that Jesus ate with The Twelve.... The slaughter of the lamb for Jesus and the Apostles presented a scene most touching. It took place in the anteroom of the Coenaculum, Simeon's son, the Levite, assisting at it. The Apostles and disciples were present chanting the 118th Psalm. Jesus spoke of a new period then beginning, and said that the sacrifice of Moses and the signification of the Paschal lamb were about to be fulfilled, that on this account the lamb was to be immolated as formerly in Egypt, and that now in reality were they to go forth from the house of bondage.

All the necessary vessels and instruments were now prepared. Then a beautiful little lamb was brought in, around its neck a garland which was taken off and sent to the Blessed Virgin, who was at some distance with the other women. The lamb was then bound, its back to a little board, with a cord passed around the body. It reminded me of Jesus bound to the pillar. Simeon's son held the lambs head up, and Jesus stuck it in the neck with a knife, which He then handed to Simeon's son that he might complete the slaughter. Jesus appeared timid in wounding the lamb, as if it cost Him pain. His movement was quick, His manner grave. The blood was caught in a basin, and the attendants brought a branch of hyssop, which Jesus dipped into it. Then stepping to the door of the hall, He signed the two posts and the lock with the blood, and stuck the bloody branch above the lintel. He then uttered some solemn words, saying among other things: "The destroying angel shall pass by here. Without fear or anxiety, ye shall adore in this place when I, the true Paschal Lamb, shall have been immolated. A new era, a new sacrifice are now about to begin, and they shall last till the end of the world."

They then proceeded to the Paschal hearth at the end of the hall where formerly the Ark of the Covenant reposed. There they found a fire already lighted. Jesus sprinkled the hearth with blood, and consecrated it as an altar. The rest of the blood, along with the fat, was thrown into the fire under the altar, after which, followed by the Apostles, Jesus walked around the Coenaculum singing Psalms, and consecrated it as a new Temple. During this ceremony, the doors were closed.
Meanwhile Simeon's son had prepared the lamb. It was fixed upon a spit, the forelegs fastened to a crosspiece, and the hind ones to the spit. Ah! It looked so much like Jesus on the Cross! .." ( One can read Anne Catherine Emmerich with profit but must keep in mind that Clemens Brentano who transcribed these messages was a famous poet himself and may have reworked the material to reflect some of his own ideas and perspectives. )

Monday, August 06, 2012

Gezerot and anti-Jewish Translations: A Hebrew Catholic Comment

Recently I did the readings at Mass and I had to control myself from stopping and re-translating the version used in our missals from the New Revised Standard Version. If I could I would burn all these missals and all copies of the New Revised Standard Version. Fancy getting a Jew to read "He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances"   in Ephesians 2:15. This is a totally incorrect and anti-Jewish interpretation. The Douay-Rheims  Bible translate this as "Making void the law of commandments contained in decrees".  

These same decrees are mentioned in Colossians 2:14 where St Paul refers to "the handwritings in decrees". Paul uses the Greek word dogmasin to translate the Hebrew gezerot . The average Catholic reads this and gets the impression that the Torah (Law) is abolished by Jesus on the Cross in direct contradiction to the words of Jesus who said "I came not to abolish but to establish the Law". These gezerot are nothing to do with the Biblical Commandments of the Torah but are the Rabbinic 18 gezerot enacted by the House of Shammai to ensure a stricter separation between Jews and Gentiles. It is these man-made decrees of the Sanhedrin by a faction of the Pharisees (they were opposed by the House of Hillel) that Heaven revealed to St Peter had been made void or annulled by the death of Jesus on the Cross (see Acts 10).  St Paul is not making some radical antinomian statements but is following the ruling of St Peter who holds the Keys of the Kingdom. The orthodox Jews themselves annulled these stringent decrees of separation when Heaven spoke to the Sanhedrin that was gathered at Yavneh after the destruction of the Temple which now contained a majority of those from the House of Hillel.

When will our Bishops get rid of these frightful modern translations (which are full of anti-Jewish and incorrect translations), out of the Mass, out of our missals and Breviaries. Give us back the Douay -Rheims or even let us use the King James Version which is much better than most of these modern versions.

The Encyclopaedia of Judaism discusses these gezerot in an article about the House of Shammai and the House of Hillel.  "...For all their differences, the two schools did not hesitate to intermarry, even though they disagreed about several of the marriage laws. This amicable relationship gave way, through external pressures, to acrimonious debate and even physical violence. Such pressures may well have stemmed from the increasingly oppressive Roman rule (c. 65 CE). Among the Shammaites, this evoked a sharp reaction and galvanized their wish to enact 18 prohibitive measures (gezerot) severely limiting contact between Jews and Gentiles. Outnumbering the School of Hillel, Shammai's followers triumphed and the measures were enacted. Some 40 years later, at Jabneh (Yavneh), it was finally resolved that the halakhah should always follow the opinion of Bet Hillel. The Talmud (Er. 13b) expresses the decision in this way: "For three years, the schools of Shammai and Hillel contended, each insisting that its opinion constituted the halakhah. Thereupon, a heavenly voice [Bat Kol] proclaimed: 'Both of them are the words of the living God, but the halakhah is according to Bet Hillel.' Why, then, should the Hillelites have been granted the decision?---Because they were pleasant and humble, teaching the opinion of both sides, and always stated Bet Shammai's view before their own.".." 

This Bat Kol is the feminine voice and is Our Lady in Eternity who hates all harshness and severity and always comes with a message of Divine Mercy and Love. She is the Heavenly voice or Bat Kol mentioned in the Talmud and in Acts 10. Bat Kol is translated into Greek as phone.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Karrakatta Cemetery Deception

Many Western Australians are upset with the authorities who are deceiving the people about their relatives graves. They are planning to redevelop areas of the cemetery by removing the grave stones over people's loved ones. This is of great offense to people in general and to religious people in particular who believe it is a biblical commandment to mark the graves of the dead. People spend years trying to find the bodies of their lost loved one from wars etc in order to at last bury them and mark their graves.

When I today found out that the grave containing my brother Dean who died in 1972, my father (a Korean War veteran) who died in 1994 and my mother who died in 2005 have expired this month I rang the Karrakatta Cemetery. [By the way I was not contacted nor was anyone contacted that the grant was about to expire.] At first I was encouraged to not bother renewing the grant as the grave was not going to be used for any more burials. After getting upset and asking more questions I found out that while the section of my family's graves is not part of the present development, it was alongside the present development (whatever that means) and would probably be included in the next development in a few years time. This section also includes two of my maternal great grandparents and other relatives whose grants have also expired. My cousin asked about her sister and father's grave whose grant expired last year and was talked out of renewing the grant saying that it wasn't necessary because it is not scheduled as part of the present development. She was not told that their grave was most likely part of the next redevelopment.

These people are using deceptive language so that they will control most of the graves and the families will have no say when their loved ones gravestones will be removed and they will lie in unmarked graves.  They state after getting some very bad PR :  "Statements made within the public arena that remains will be disturbed and bodies will be dug-up are after July 2 2012 are incorrect, completely misleading and have caused undue distress to families across the state".  This they state without going on to say that they will be removing the tombstones (which we have paid thousands of dollars erecting) and leaving them without markings.

Those politicians who have let this happen should be ashamed of themselves that they are causing such distress to people. On top of this one has to then pay 1900 odd dollars to renew the grant. Many people can't afford this and so they have to let their family graves fall into the hands of these deceptive people who run our cemeteries. Many others are being assured that it won't affect them at the present time. Ah but in a few years time when you no longer own the plot then watch out. Most people have always believed that the graves of the dead are sacred and should never be disturbed and now all in the name of money and development our government is ready to defile the graves of the dead. Shame on Karrakatta and Shame on our politicians who have allowed this to happen against the wishes of most of the people whose loved ones are buried at Karrakatta.

Note: After checking on the graves of my four great -grandparents (and other relatives) who were buried at Karrakatta on my father's side of the family I find that their graves have already been "renewed" (removed and open for business for new people). It makes me so sad and sick at heart. We are too late to save their graves. I also learnt that the grave that my nephew Zade who tragically died at 24 years of age is also approaching renewal which means ready to be defiled and removed.  All this without anyone in the family being informed. We always imagined that these graves would be there for future generations to visit and pray at just as we do. My paternal grandfather who was a veteran of World War One (and mustard gassed in the trenches of France) with my paternal grandmother is also buried at Karakatta. I just thank God that my maternal grandparents and other relatives are buried at Dumbleyung at the Nippering Cemetery. For those of us from the older families of Western Australia this is a sad day to see our loved ones graves being destroyed to make way for people who most likely have no real attachment to Karrakatta and could have just as easily been buried in a new cemetery.