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.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

St Joseph and the Law: A Hebrew Catholic Insight


In the famous heavenly apparitions to Sister Mildred Neuzil, St Joseph said to her: " ...Mine was perfect obedience to the Divine Will and it was shown and made known to me by the Jewish law and religion. To be careless in this is most displeasing to God and will be severely punished in the next world...". St Joseph lived perfectly according to the Torah and the Jewish customs which revealed God's Divine Will for him. The New Testament calls Joseph a Tzadik which means that he lived out the torah and mitzvot in a manner that allowed him to gain merit for others. All Christians are called to live according to the Divine Will as revealed in the Torah. Gentiles and Jews live out this obedience to the Divine Will as expressed in the Law at the level appropriate to their calling.

Jews who are Christians or Catholics are still called to live out their vocation in obedience to the Jewish religious practices as did Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Those Catholic authorities who have hindered the Jews in the Church from living out their Jewish vocation and identity in the Church as individuals and as a collective community of Jews will have to answer for it in the next world. The Austrian mystic, Maria Simma who spoke with the holy souls in purgatory stated that Pope Paul IV spent over 400 years in purgatory because of his anti-Jewish policies such as placing the Jews in the Roman ghetto.

Those of us Catholic Jews who make excuses for our lack of living out our Jewish vocation will also have to answer for that. Many of us cling to the idea that Jews in the Church need only live as Gentile Catholics do because to observe the Torah Jewishly is too much of a bother or will make us look eccentric or we will be persecuted by our fellow Catholics. Many of us who were secular or reform were already disobedient to the Jewish law and religion, and we bring that with us into the Church. Of course only God knows who is making excuses and those who sincerely believe they are doing the right thing by living as a Gentile Catholic. Others of course due to their life situation may have to live out their vocation as a Jew in the church in a modified way at this stage of salvation history.

The grace of the Messiah allows us to live not at the level of the letter of the Law but at the level of the spirit of law based on love. This does not mean that we are free to abandon the outward observances of the Law and mitzvot but that we through the grace and love of our Jewish Messiah access the spirit of the Law and observe it as the manifestation of God's Divine Will just as St Joseph did. The Torah obedient life of the Holy Family in the House of Nazareth is a wonderful model of Torah observance for all Catholic Jews. After the resurrection and foundation of the Church Our Lady continued this Torah observant lifestyle in the Holy House of Ephesus- now focused on adoration of her Son in the Eucharist.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov proclaims Joseph as the Hidden Tzadik who is the Master of the House (Home)in Likutey Moharan 67. "And all this is an aspect of "The Concealment", when the beauty and splendour of the whole world becomes concealed. However there is a Tzaddik who is beauty, splendour and grace of the entire world, and who is symbolised by Joseph, who was "beautiful in form and handsome" (Genesis 39:6), "a beautiful sight, the joy of the entire land" (Psalm 48:3). When the beauty and splendour of this genuine Tzaddik, who is symbolised by Joseph, is revealed in the world by becoming renowned and esteemed, then the eyes of mankind will be opened. And whoever is included in the genuine grace of this Tzaddik, the world's grace and beauty, by following him and surrending his self to become part of this Tzaddik's soul, will have his eyes opened, and he will be able to see."

Rebbe Nachman concludes: "And with this we return to BeREShYT, the beginning, the RoeSh BaYiT, the head and master of the house of the world, namely, the genuine Tzaddik, who is beauty and glory of the world, represented by Joseph, alluded to in the verse, "Joseph is the ruler...he supplies food..." (Genesis 42:6), because he is the RoeSh BaYiT, the master of the house of the world. For he is the one who maintains the Temple and every Jewish house and home...And when the name of this Tzadik, who represents the head of the house, becomes esteemed, the eyes of the Jewish people are opened, as above. So this is the connection of "bereshit' to "l'einei kol Yisrael". Bereshit- this is the master of the house, the Tzaddik, who is the glory of the world, through whom are opened "einei kol Yisael", the eyes of all the Jewish people." The glories of St Joseph are reserved to the latter days according to St Isidore of Seville. These glories are connected with the living out of the Divine Will at the highest levels of sanctity which is the deepest penetration of Torah. In fact it would seem to hint that the ingrafting of the Jews mentioned by St Paul in Romans 11 will be connected with Joseph.