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The chapters are short, the characters and the situations are largely credible, and there are good insights into the politics of the contemporary congregational rabbinate. Women have been ordained as rabbis in the United States for over forty years since , and since then in Europe and Israel.
There are now probably close to a thousand women rabbis serving in a variety of positions: congregational, administration, education, chaplaincy, organizational, and in the military. Within a couple of decades of their ordination, it was patently clear that women approached the rabbinate in a different way than did their male colleagues. Women have changed how the community thinks of rabbis and how it thinks of Judaism. Women rabbis often focus on matters that include sexual harassment, abortion, and childcare. Through their presence, women have changed the expectations of spirituality for women and for men alike.
Women do continue to face gender issues that men do not, and this is noted in passing in the novel when a group of rabbis meet at a conference. Novels about women rabbis are far and few between. Women, much less women rabbis, writing novels about women rabbis is a rare phenomenon. The advantage of being an author is that one has control over the actions of the characters. Consequently, there are competent and caring rabbis, and there are those who are self-centered, ineffectual, or meddlesome.
Now for those that argue that keeping the Days of Unleavened Bread is just a physical thing, there are two points to consider: the point of purging leaven out is to have sin out of our life which is spiritual and consuming the "Lamb of God" is also physical with spiritual implications.
Doing one without the other reminds me of certain Asiatic religions which feel that spinning a prayer wheel is equivalent to spending hours in prayer. Those followers probably at least think about some deity before they spin the wheel, but is that how God really wants to be worshiped? Does He approve of other "traditions of men" over His word? Now it is true that leaven is not always shown to be bad. Jesus even stated, "the kingdom of God This parable seems to illustrate that, even though the leaven was at first hidden, in the future all will know the true religion.
Which is consistent with Habakkuk , "For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. Jesus kept the Days of Unleavened Bread. And while He often did that in Jerusalem cf. Some may wonder if early Christians kept the Days of Unleavened Bread. Well, as shown before, Paul taught that they should. But what about others? To the first Christians the yearly recurrence of the Passover must have brought vivid memories of all that had happened at the Passover of A.
These associations soon gave a Christian meaning to the very word Pascha. Paul; and the Sacrifice and Resurrection, remembered at first, perhaps, together with the night of the Exodus, soon became the chief and only reason for observing the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Gorham ES. History of the church to A. Original from Columbia University, Digitized Aug 14, , pp.
And while Jesus apparently was crucified a year or two later and there are multiple reasons to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, it is true that the faithful have kept it from the earliest times and that they have understood that Paul's writings also support this. A very old document, that was probably altered in the 4th century cf. Monroy MS. Peter Lang edition, , p.
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Notice that it shows that the Apostle Paul endorsed keeping them:. In the days of unleavened bread Paul , coming down from Galatia, arrived in Asia, considering the repose among the faithful in Smyrna to be a great refreshment in Christ Jesus after his severe toil, and intending afterwards to depart to Jerusalem. So in Smyrna he went to visit Strataeas, who had been his hearer in Pamphylia, being a son of Eunice the daughter of Lois. These are they of whom he makes mention when writing to Timothy, saying; Of the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois and in thy mother Eunice; whence we find that Strataeas was a brother of Timothy.
Paul then, entering his house and gathering together the faithful there, speaks to them concerning the Passover and the Pentecost, reminding them of the New Covenant of the offering of bread and the cup; how that they ought most assuredly to celebrate it during the days of unleavened bread, but to hold fast the new mystery of the Passion and Resurrection. For here the Apostle plainly teaches that we ought neither to keep it outside the season of unleavened bread, as the heretics do, especially the Phrygians Life of Polycarp, Chapter 2.
Lightfoot, The Apostolic Fathers, vol. Notice that the Apostle Paul was teaching Gentiles to keep these days. Strataeas per Monroy, Mauricio Saavedra.
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Thraseas is mentioned by Polycrates as another faithful leader who kept Passover on the 14th of Nisan. Furthermore, Polycarp kept the Days of Unleavened Bread, various "Jewish holidays", and even went to Rome and told the bishop there to keep Passover on the correct day this is documented in the article Polycarp of Smyrna: The Heretic Fighter.
Polycarp is considered to be a saint by Catholics , Orthodox , many Protestants , and those in the Church of God. Yet of those groups, only the real Church of God continues his practices as far as the Holy Days are concerned. VII His pursuers then, along with horsemen, and taking the youth with them, went forth at supper-time on the day of the preparation with their usual weapons, as if going out against a robber.
XXII Now, the blessed Polycarp suffered martyrdom on the second day of the month Xanthicus just begun, the seventh day before the Kalends of May, on the great Sabbath, at the eighth hour. Martyrdom of Polycarp. The use of these two expressions "day of the preparation" and "the great Sabbath" strongly indicates that those in Polycarp's area were still keeping the Sabbath and Holy Days in the latter portion of the 2nd century.
Otherwise, since Asia Minor including Smyrna was a Gentile area, the terms preparation and great Sabbath would not have been relevant. It was used to describe the Church of God in Smyrna, not only in this document, but also in Ignatius' Letter to the Smyrnaeans decades earlier. The Church of Rome later took that title, as through a decree related to the Council of Constantinople in from Emperor Theodosius, those who held Church of God beliefs on the Godhead were no longer allowed to use it.
Although many claim that Polycarp was killed in February, the idea of a great Sabbath would be a reference to a Holy Day, which may or may not have fallen on the day we commonly call Saturday. Yet, because the the preparation day being associated with it, the martyrdom likely was on a Saturday. Lightfoot JB. Macmillan, Original from the University of California Digitized Feb 1, , p. In like manner, Ussher Ibid, p.
There is also further confirmation about the fact that those in Smyrna kept the same holy days in the third century. Notice something related to the elder and claimed Roman Catholic saint Pionius in the mid-third century:. On the second day of the sixth month, on the occasion of a great Sabbath, and on the anniversary of the blessed martyr Polycarp, while the persecution of Decius was still on, there were arrested the presbyter Pionius It was Saturday and after they had prayed and taken the sacred bread with water, Polemon the temple verger came in on them with his men in order to seek out the Christians and drag them off to offer sacrifice and to taste forbidden meats.
Polemon said: "Come then to the market-place; there you will change your minds. Sabina and Asclepiades said: "We obey the living God.
As they came into the forum, by the eastern Stoa and the double gate, all the forum and the upper storeys of the porches were crowded with Greeks, Jews, and women. They were on holiday because it was a great Sabbath. They drew near, looking towards the tribunal steps and the voting urns. The Martyrdom of Pionius and his Companions, Chapters 2,3. Text from H. Thus, the Days of Unleavened Bread were being kept in the second and third centuries by those trying to be faithful in Asia Minor. We observe the exact day; neither adding, nor taking away.
For in Asia also great lights have fallen asleep, which shall rise again on the day of the Lord's coming, when he shall come with glory from heaven, and shall seek out all the saints.
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Among these are Philip, one of the twelve apostles, who fell asleep in Hierapolis; and his two aged virgin daughters, and another daughter, who lived in the Holy Spirit and now rests at Ephesus; and, moreover, John, who was both a witness and a teacher, who reclined upon the bosom of the Lord, and, being a priest, wore the sacerdotal plate. He fell asleep at Ephesus. And Polycarp in Smyrna, who was a bishop and martyr; and Thraseas, bishop and martyr from Eumenia, who fell asleep in Smyrna.
Why need I mention the bishop and martyr Sagaris who fell asleep in Laodicea, or the blessed Papirius, or Melito, the Eunuch who lived altogether in the Holy Spirit, and who lies in Sardis, awaiting the episcopate from heaven, when he shall rise from the dead? All these observed the fourteenth day of the passover according to the Gospel, deviating in no respect, but following the rule of faith. And I also, Polycrates, the least of you all, do according to the tradition of my relatives, some of whom I have closely followed. For seven of my relatives were bishops; and I am the eighth.
And my relatives always observed the day when the people put away the leaven. I, therefore, brethren, who have lived sixty-five years in the Lord, and have met with the brethren throughout the world, and have gone through every Holy Scripture, am not affrighted by terrifying words. For those greater than I have said ' We ought to obey God rather than man' Eusebius. Church History, Book V, Chapter Translated by Arthur Cushman McGiffert. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace.
American Edition, Notice that Polycrates said that he and the other early church leaders like the Apostles Philip and John, and their successors like Polycarp, Thraseas, Eumenia, Sagaris, Papirius, Melito would not deviate from the Bible, and that they knew the Bible taught them to k eep the Passover on the correct date, and not on a Sunday. Also notice that they always observed the day when the people put away the leaven.
Polycrates also reminded the Roman bishop that true followers of Christ "obey God rather than men. Jude wrote Christians "to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" Jude 3. And faithful Church of God Christians were recorded as doing so. A Text-book of Church History. There is a spurious document, probably from the third century, that mentioned the Days of Unleavened Bread:. He said unto us: When the hundredth part and the twentieth part is fulfilled, between the Pentecost and the feast of unleavened bread, then shall the coming of my Father be so Copt.
We said to him, "Lord, the things which you revealed to us at the beginning are great things. In what sort of great power will you come? Or what sort of perceptible state? The wings of clouds carrying me in glory and the sign of the cross before me, I will come upon the earth and give justice to the living and the dead. The Epistula Apostolorum. English translation of the Coptic text Anthony Alcock. Presumably this means that some were keeping the Days of Unleavened Bread and felt it had some type of future applicability.
But some who claimed Christianity started to wonder about it. Notably Origen of Alexandria wrote:. A few points may be added in connection with the doctrines now under consideration, though it would require a special discussion in many volumes to treat of all the mystical statements about the law, and specially of those connected with the festivals, and more particularly still with the passover. The passover of the Jews consists of a sheep which is sacrificed, each taking a sheep according to his father's house; and the passover is accompanied by the slaughter of thousands of rams and goats, in proportion to the number of the houses of the people.
But our Passover is sacrificed for us, namely, Christ. Another feature of the Jewish festival is unleavened bread; all leaven is made to disappear out of their houses; but "we keep the feast not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. In the first place, when the Apostle says, "Our passover is sacrificed, Christ," one may feel with regard to this such doubts as these.
I am led to this observation by John's saying, "And the bread which I will give is My flesh, for the life of the world. But when the night is passed, and the day which succeeds it is at hand, then we shall have bread to eat which has nothing to do with the leavened bread of the older and lower state of things, but is unleavened, and that will serve our turn until that which comes after the unleavened bread is given us, the manna, which is food for angels rather than men.
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Every one of us, then, may sacrifice his lamb in every house of our fathers; and while one breaks the law, not sacrificing the lamb at all, another may keep the commandment entirely, offering his sacrifice, and cooking it aright, and not breaking a bone of it. This, then, in brief, is the interpretation of the Passover sacrificed for us, which is Christ, in accordance with the view taken of it by the Apostles, and with the Lamb in the Gospel.
Commentary on the Book of John X , chapter Translated by Allan Menzies. From Ante-Nicene Fathers , Vol. Edited by Allan Menzies. Basically, Origen admits we are to learn from the Days of Unleavened Bread and he seems to hint that just eating it at Passover is enough. Around the mid-third century, one of his pupils, Gregory Thaumaturgus wrote against them:. All who worthily observe the festival of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, the mother of God, acquire as their meet recompense the fuller interest in the message, Hail, thou that art highly favoured!
It is our duty, therefore, to keep this feast, seeing that it has tilled the whole world with joy and gladness.
And let us keep it with psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs. Of old did Israel also keep their festival, but then it was with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, of which the prophet says: I will turn their feasts into afflictions and lamentation, and their joy into shame. But our afflictions our Lord has assured us He will turn into joy by the fruits of penitence.
Gregory Thaumaturgus. Translated by S. Cleveland Coxe. Gregory see Gregory the Wonder Worker who claimed to be the first to see an apparition of Mary see Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions wanted to promote Marian veneration and talked against the biblical Holy Days. But not all the Greco-Romans went along with this then. In the late third century, the Greco-Roman Anatolius of Alexandria, when he was their Bishop of Laodicea, wrote the following:.
I am aware that very many other matters were discussed by them, some of them with considerable probability, and others of them as matters of the clearest demonstration, by which they endeavour to prove that the festival of the Passover and unleavened bread ought by all means to be kept after the equinox But nothing was difficult to them with whom it was lawful to celebrate the Passover on any day when the fourteenth of the moon happened after the equinox.
Chapters V,X, p. This should be proof to any with "eyes to see and ears to hear" that some who professed Christ were keeping the Days of Unleavened Bread centuries after Jesus died. And did so after Passover of the 14th. Yet, could this have ended up being changed and called Lent?
It may be so, even though Lent did not come from the Bible nor the actual practices of the early Christians see Is Lent a Christian Holiday? Anyway, there was an anti-Holy Day pronouncement in Laodicea nearly a century after Anatolius' death c. It is not lawful to receive portions sent from the feasts of Jews or heretics, nor to feast together with them. It is not lawful to receive unleavened bread from the Jews, nor to be partakers of their impiety. The Apostolic Canons, which are a Syrian compilation of the mid-fourth century, strengthen this impression.
They deal in still further detail with religious fellowship between the clergy and the Jews in that very place where the violence of the monks was fiercest against the Jews, Alexandria. Canon 69 repeats the prohibition against feasting or fasting with the Jews: "If any" bishop or other cleric fasts with the Jews or celebrates festal days with them or accepts gifts from their festivals, such as unleavened bread or anything else similar, he shall be excluded from the Clergy; and if a layman does these things, he shall be segregated from the flock.
University of Kansas Publications, Original from the University of Virginia, Digitized Apr 29, , pp.
If any bishop, or any other of the clergy, fasts with the Jews, or keeps the festivals with them, or accepts of the presents from their festivals, as unleavened bread or some such thing, let him be deprived; but if he be one of the laity, let him be suspended. Translated by James Donaldson. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. Hence this practice of Christians keeping the Days of Unleavened Bread also must have been going on then in Asia Minor and elsewhere--others scholars share that opinion Seaver, p.
The Church from the Circumcision, pp. And so with regard to unleavened bread and all such things, in which the apostle says there was a shadow of future things, neglect of their observance under the old dispensation, when this observance was enjoined, and was employed to prefigure what was afterwards to be revealed, would have been as criminal, as it would now be foolish in us, after the light of the New Testament has arisen, to think that these predictive observances could be of any use to us.
On the other hand, since the Old Testament teaches us that the things now revealed were so long ago prefigured, that we may be firm and faithful in our adherence to them, it would be blasphemy and impiety to discard these books, Not to eat unleavened bread in the appointed seven days was a sin in the time of the Old Testament; in the time of the New Testament it is not a sin. Contra Faustum, Book VI. But, the treacherous cf. Malachi Augustine who betrayed his common-law life and child , essentially provided no proof, other than he did not see how keeping them was helpful.
Panarion 29, 9,3 as cited in Pritz. Nazarene Jewish Christianity. Magnas, Jerusalem, , p. Epiphanius considered those Nazarenes who kept who kept the Holy Days heretical Ephiphanius. Frank Williams, editor. Despite the fact that many later chose to observe Lent, the faithful continued to observe the Days of Unleavened Bread throughout history. Adventist researcher Daniel Liechty reported Sabbath-keepers in Transylvania in the s and later kept the biblical Holy Days such as the Feast of Trumpets called Day of Remembrance below and those are days his church does not observe :.
The Sabbatarians viewed themselves as converted Gentiles.. They held to the biblical holidays. Passover they celebrated with unleavened bread…The first and last seventh day of Passover were full holidays Liechty D. Sabbatarianism in the Sixteenth Century. Noti ce that in the s, those who kept the days of unleavened bread were persecuted for their beliefs:. Note that the "Judaizers" are separate from "those who rejected and cursed Jesus.
Falconer John. Good News magazine, April We in the Continuing Church of God still do so today. The last day of Unleavened Bread is a Holy Day and, like the first day, is a time for a holy convocation:. The seventh day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it. We in the Continuing Church of God follow the biblical admonitions and keep the days of unleavened bread.
As a time of a holy convocation, we abstain from carnal activities such as working for a living, going to carnal school classes, etc. Those who can, meet together with like-minded, abstain from leaven, etc. And those who cannot meet together, still abstain from leaven, pray, and normally will watch an online sermon, such as Christians and the Days of Unleavened Bread , as part of their observance and of course, eat some amount of unleavened bread.
By that, I mean, that it was a pilgrimage festival where church services were held every day, and in that way, we offer ourselves as a living sacrifice Romans during the Feast of Tabernacles. Deuteronomy Like the Day of Pentecost , which is also mentioned in Deuteronomy 16 and Numbers 28, the Bible does not mandate that we stay in temporary dwellings during them.
This is NOT the same as the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles , for which temporary dwellings are mandated for Leviticus In Ezra 6, it teaches that those who were no longer captives kept the Days of Unleavened Bread, but that passage does not indicate at all that they made a separate pilgrimage to do so, only that they were in Israel, and being free from their captors, they were able to. Nor is a pilgrimage mentioned in Ezekiel 45 where the Days of Unleavened Bread are also mentioned.
It should be pointed out that the "three times a year" to appear before God actually means to attend church services on the days He designated during those three seasons. It also should be pointed out that the Feast of Trumpets was considered to be under the rubric of the "Feast of Tabernacles" in the Bible, which can be shown below:. Also, notice that it was not a pilgrimage time that early for most of the children of Israel as Nehemiah later points out related to another year:. Nehemiah Despite the Feast of Trumpets, which comes the first day of the seventh month, being considered as part of the Feast of Tabernacles' season, the children of Israel were in their cities and were not then traveling to observe the Feast of Tabernacles.
One should attend services on the Holy Days, but extensive travel to do so is not taught as necessary in the Bible. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.