• A Short Meditation on Kashrut

    KiddushAre the laws of kashrut (the Jewish dietary laws) just empty, outdated rules, or do they serve a purpose in glorifying God for the Catholic Jew?

  • Are Judaism and Christianity as Violent as Islam?

    The CrusadesBased on countless Qur'anic verses and oral traditions attributed to Muhammad, Islam's learned officials, sheikhs, muftis, and imams throughout the ages have all reached consensus—binding on the entire Muslim community—that Islam is to be at perpetual war with the non-Muslim world until the former subsumes the latter.

  • Catholic Documents on Jews and Judaism

    AEmblem of the Papacy compilation of authoritative Church documents pertaining to Jews and Judaism, from the 1965 Declaration Nostra Aetate to the 2015 The Gifts and the Calling of God are Irrevocable.

  • Elul: The Penitential Season

    Jews blowing the shofar in the synagogue on the month of ElulAccording to an ancient collection of legends (Pirkei d'Rabbi Eliezer-The Teachings of Rabbi Eliezer), the beginning of the Hebrew month of Elul marks the beginning of an especially solemn period of forty days that concludes with Yom Kippur.

  • For a More Profound Knowledge of the Mystery of Israel, of the Church, of the World

    Jews at the Wailing WallAriel Ben Ami's and Mark Kinzer's reactions to my study regarding the different ways of understanding Israel have been important and I have appreciated the richness of their contents, albeit correcting some opinions I had expressed.

  • Israel between Past, Present and Future

    The Face of IsraelIn this article, I examine three questions: First, the question "who is Israel?" - using as point of reference Fr. Carlo Colonna's five ways of understanding the term "Israel." Second, I discuss the idea of God's blessing that comes "from" Israel and is intended "for" Israel.  Third, I attempt to clarify our own identity and mission as Catholics for Israel in light of Fr. Carlo's five ways of understanding Israel.

  • Judaism & Catholicism: The Essential Difference

    The Torah and the CrossThere are no disagreements between Judaism and Catholicism. Where their teachings diverge, it is because they apply to two different, well, let’s call them universes, two ways that human experience is unified (uni-verse, “turned into one”) in relation to G-d according to their respective covenants.

  • On Love and Authority

    At the foot of the crossNo one could stand beneath the Cross there who wasn't willing to join Jesus on the Cross, to suffer with him. But only those who truly loved Jesus could do that, so only those who truly loved Jesus were worthy to stand with him beneath the Cross--and who truly loved him? Only those whose love the Gospel declares: The Blessed Virgin, Mary Magdalene, and the disciple whom he loved.

  • On the Diverse Realities that go under the name "Israel"

    Fr. Carlo Colonna, sjIf we wish to grasp the meaning of God's Plan in history with regard to Israel, we must go far beyond the issues relating to the present political Israel or any other temporal  vision regarding Israel. We must grasp the role Israel has in God's Plan in the last days of history, wherein we have entered with the end of the time of the nations and the beginning of the time of Israel as God’s nation called in the end times to accept Messiah.

  • Remembering Saint Paul

    Saint PaulFor most Jews, Saint Paul was a renegade Jew remembered with bitterness for the criticism he aimed at the Jewish religion after he became an ardent follower of Jesus of Nazareth. Perhaps it is time for this negative view of Paul to be balanced by the solid defence of the Jewish people that he wrote in the mid 50’s of the first century C.E., in a letter to the Roman church.

  • Rome’s Chief Rabbi Commends Pope Francis on Judaism Comments

    Pope FrancisGod has never stopped believing in the alliance made with Israel and that, through the terrible trials of these past centuries, the Jews have kept their faith in God. And for this, we will never be grateful enough to them, as the Church, but also as humanity at large.

  • Rosh Hashanah and the New Year Feasts of Israel

    Apples and honey are traditionally eaten for Rosh HashanahThe period preceding the Jewish New Year is marked by special penitential prayers, recited before the regular morning prayers, and the blowing of the ram's horn (shofar in Hebrew) after the morning prayer service...

  • Sabbath

    Shabbat Table

    There is a stillness where perspective lies, where life and love are tapped, and ancient scrolls unrolled. See, the herald flame proclaims anew the healing safety of this day, and bids the Chosen learn.

  • St. Paul on Jewish Law and Catholic Jews

    Saint Paul the apostleIs the baptized Jew still a Jew? Is he still obligated to keep the Law? Didn't St. Paul say that he's not? The purpose of this article is to address these questions by examining some of the most relevant passages from the epistles of St. Paul. We will see that a careful reading of his epistles suggests that the very reason St. Paul gives for exempting the Gentile from the observance of the Law deepened the meaning of the Law and value of observance for the Christian Jew.

  • The Ceremonial Law as Acquired Virtue

    Chagall - The Praying JewThe commandments of the Law of Moses require both interior and exterior acts. There are commandments which pertain to the heart (love of G-d, to love of neighbor, fear of G-d etc.) and commandments which pertain to the body (resting on the Sabbath, eating kosher food, etc.). Virtually all the commandments of Jesus relate to interior acts. True, he requires acts of charity. He requires us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick etc. but that is because those acts bear witness to love. It is the love that he requires, and it has been said by Catholic saints that, without love, even such acts are meaningless.

  • The Ceremonial Law Sanctifies the Body

    PassoverThe sanctification of the body is important because, as St. Paul points out in Romans 7, the law of sin, i.e., the impulse to sin, resides in the body.  The sanctification of the body through the repeated acts of obedience to the ceremonial law is directed to uprooting that impulse to sin.

  • The Difficult Path of Unity between Jews & Christians

    Pope Benedict and chief Rabbi of Rome Riccardo di SegniThe purpose of my speech is to point out what the change in the relationship between Jews and Christians is about, and especially to show that in this change and in some prophetic events taking place in the world today between Christians and Jews, the heavenly Father is carrying out His plan in history looking more and more towards the day when Christ will return in glory to fulfill the Father's plan upon the world.

  • The Feast of Hanukkah

    HanukkahHanukkah commemorates the 164 BCE rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem after its desecration by the Seleucid Kingdom, under Antiochus IV - and the re-establishment of religious freedom for the Jewish people after a period of harsh repression.

  • The Feasts of Israel

    Jewish FeastsMany Christians do not realize that the seven feasts which God commanded in Leviticus 23 are still observed by their Jewish neighbors. The feasts, as given to Israel, have a multi-faceted significance. First, there was the seasonal aspect of each holiday, involving agricultural activities in the land; then the feasts were to be a memorial of God's dealings with the people of Israel; and, finally, there may be prophetic symbolism. Many Christians see parallel in God's dealings with Israel and with the Church.

  • The Feasts of Israel: Foreshadowing the Messiah

    The Jewish FeastsThe Feasts of Israel commemorate God's deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt and his care for them during the Exodus. Yet the feasts also foreshadow God's salvation plan for humanity in Christ. This essay examines the significance of these feasts for the Jewish people as well as their messianic and typological fulfillment in Christ.

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