Saturday, May 01, 2010

1 MAY 10: Back for Seconds

(BLOGGER'S NOTE: You may find the following item humorous, serious, or a little of both - but we offer these thoughts from time to time, as we keep a seventh-day Sabbath.)

People find our blog from all parts of the world, and from all walks of life. This past week an e-mail came from Arizona. No, we have NOT been invited to spend a free weekend in Phoenix refereeing a debate about immigration law.

This e-mail takes us back to 27 March - when we noted how a Passover booklet distributed by Publix can be examined a couple of ways:


I saw your blog and thought I'd comment. The three letters in the middle of the Passover Seder plate are Pay-Samech-Chet. Together they spell the word "Pesach" which is the Hebrew word for "Passover". It really does look like it is invoking the English word for the deity, but G-O-D is, of course, and English word in letters that are much newer than the Hebrew Alphabet.

Incidentally, the particular stock photo that was used is a commonly-used image in the Jewish Community, and I have used it myself without ever noticing your discovery.

Thought you'd enjoy the feedback,



Marty Johnston

Communication Specialist

Tucson Jewish Community Center

We appreciate a Jewish perspective on this -- especially since some Jews and observant Christians kept the "second Passover" this past week. It comes from the Biblical book of Numbers, where people could not keep the first Passover because they were ceremonially unclean. Based on that passage, I'm not sure how funeral home employees ever could take it.

This reply reminded us of a sermon we heard in Columbus last weekend. The topic was, "Who is Jesus To You?" -- and the pastor claimed Jews believe Jesus was crucified for being a sorcerer. I never would have connected Mickey Mouse in the "Sorcerer's Apprentice" with the apostle Peter....

But then the pastor went farther. He said according to the Sanhedrin and Talmud, Jews believe Jesus was NOT resurrected to heaven - but is in, well, that other place. And (ahem) He's supposedly boiling in human excrement. I don't think rural Southerners would get this desperate, even cooking catfish.

This claim was admittedly new to us, so we asked Marty Johnston about it. She replied Friday:

I'm no expert, but I think that what the pastor said is pretty silly, and probably stems from one or more anti-Semitic books that rely on equally silly sources from Jews who don't represent the mainstream view. I'm sure that you can find one the 13 million currently living Jews who believes that, but you can also probably find more Jews who believe that the moon is made out of cheese.

Again, I'm no expert, but I think that most Jews probably believe that history tells us that Jesus was crucified by Rome for political reasons, and with little reason or care. History tells us that as many as 100,000 Jews were crucified in the First Century. Remember, there are only about 36,500 days in a century, so excluding days such as Saturnlia, when executions would be postponed, that's about an average of 3 Jews per day. Pretty indiscriminate. Historians also tell us that Pilate was removed from office for his rampant and indiscriminate killing.

Here's a great article on the Jewish perspective of Jesus....

Thanks for your interest,


Sadly, this link did not work for me. Was I considered unclean because I typed the word "excrement?"

We found another online resource about Judaism, which offers other surprising explanations for what happened to Jesus. One historical work claims He was crucified on a large stalk of cabbage. If this story gets around, summer church picnics will have a lot more potato salad than cole slaw.

While Marty Johnston might consider the Talmud outside the mainstream, the Jewish Encyclopedia says it's "the most important production" of Jewish tradition. But the key word here is "tradition" -- as the disgusting-sounding claim about Jesus is NOT in any religious text. So it's a bit like claiming President Obama is the Messiah....

Believers of all faiths would do well to set oral traditions aside, and stick with what the Scripture says. Many Christians believe Jesus is coming not once, but twice. And Matthew 25 indicates instead of boiling, He'll be into grilling. May you step away from the "eternal fire," accept the Passover meal He offered - and let Jesus be your sacrificial lamb.

SCHEDULED SUNDAY. Have we been on a road trip or something?....

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