Passover

The Gentiles and Passover Dilemma Redux

Question: “Is it permissible for a Gentile to eat a Passover Seder meal?”

Answer: Gosh, I hope so, because I eat at my family’s Passover Seder every year.

That question was recently asked in a closed Facebook group for “Messianic Gentiles” and the moderator’s short answer was “yes”. The only prohibition would be if the Temple existed in Jerusalem, the Levitical priesthood was re-established, and the sacrifices, including those for Pesach, were resumed…and even then, that would only be a problem if the non-Jew in question were in Jerusalem for Passover.

LambThis was discussed somewhere on this blogspot in years past, and reader ProclaimLiberty (PL) basically said that if an intermarried Gentile, such as me, (or any Gentile, I suppose) were in Jerusalem with his Jewish family, he (or she) could eat of the meal except for the Pascal lamb which is reserved for the Jewish people.

For any male to eat of it, he must be circumcised, which is shorthand for “covert to Judaism”.

However, not everyone sees it that way. Here’s a comment from the aforementioned closed Facebook group discussing the topic:

OK but if Gentiles are grafted in and there is one new man and all true believers become the Israel of God…(and, no, I do not adhere to replacement theology, neither am I a two house/stick guy) doesn’t that give us a different outlook on this subject?

I say this speaking from the notion that the Passover is ultimately pointing to Christ and not simply a cultural festival for only one group of people.

If the Passover is strictly about the Exodus and God showing Himself mighty to a certain group of people then yes, I agree.

But if the Passover ultimately points to Christ then you are saying that only one group of people (culturally Jewish people) are allowed to celebrate it and not the totality of God’s people (i.e. the Israel of God).

I don’t say this to be divisive.

I am asking a serious question.

One person answered this query by stating that non-Jewish (uncircumcised) Yeshua-believers are welcome to attend the seder in Jerusalem, even once the sacrifices have been restored, and he/she could “partake of the matzah, bitter herbs, the four cups, and the whole seven-day festival…there is no prohibition except in regard to the sacrificed lamb.”

PassoverPretty much my opinion as well.

In the back-and-forth in the discussion thread, it is generally (but not universally) agreed that Gentiles can partake of the modern Passover seder, since we are without the Temple and the sacrifices, but are not to eat of the sacrificed lamb in Jerusalem in the days of the Temple (and there’s no other place to perform the sacrifices except in the Jerusalem Temple, so arguably, even in the Messianic Age, Gentiles in the diaspora can partake of the seder fully, since no lamb would be present).

The original asker cited Ephesians 2:14-19 in an attempt to invoke traditional Christian teaching to sustain a more egalitarian view of the Messiah’s work, diluting or obliterating the distinctions between Israel and the nations defined in the Torah relative to the requirement that only a circumcised (Jewish) male can eat of the lamb (and in case anyone asks, women, who can’t be circumcised as defined in Torah, must be Jewish in order to eat of the lamb as well).

The questioner lamented:

So we’re one…but not really?
We’re fellow citizens…except we’re still strangers and aliens?

This is a common complaint of some Gentiles in Messianic Jewish space, and in days gone by, I’ve made that complaint myself. But being “one” does not mean being “uniform”. It does mean that the ekklesia of Messiah is a single container that nurtures both Israel and the “people of the nations who are called by His Name” (Amos 9:12).

Then this came up:

But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy.

Galatians 2:11-13 (NASB)

shabbosExcept, of course, the above passage of scripture isn’t describing a Passover meal in Jerusalem, but (probably) an “ordinary” meal in which Peter felt inhibited sharing with Gentiles in the presence of (it is assumed) high-ranking Jewish members of the Messianic Council in Jerusalem who were apparently applying “peer pressure”. It’s been suggested that Paul and James (Ya’akov) disagreed about the cultural barriers (which are not found in Torah) between Jews and Gentiles, and whether or not just eating in the presence of a Gentile rendered a Jew ritualistically “unclean.”

Frankly, non-Jews are usually welcome (if invited) at most Jewish functions, including worshiping in the synagogue on Shabbat, attending an Erev Shabbat meal, attending a bar or bat mitzvah, and so on. Before my wife and I became religious, Jewish friends invited us to their Passover seders on numerous occasions. Granted, some of our friends weren’t Orthodox, but others were, so I can see a case being made for Gentiles in the current age being able to participate in many Jewish ritual activities, extending into the Messianic Age.

There are distinctions between Jews and Gentiles in the current age (including Jewish and Gentile Yeshua-believers) and I think those distinctions will continue in the Messianic Age. If there are to be any sort of “adjustments” in halachah to be made, Messiah will have to inform us of what they will be.

But even in the current age, it really depends on how closely you adhere to the halachah:

98:35 All the activities that are permitted on yom tov are only permitted for the sake of people, not for animals. The Torah tells us (Exodus 12:16), “do for yourselves” – for yourselves but not for animals. Therefore, we may not cook or carry outside for the sake of an animal just like on Shabbos. (We may add to a pot of human food for animals – Rema 412:3.) 98:36 We may not cook or bake for a non-Jew on yom tov. One who has a non-Jewish servant may add food and cook it all in one pot so that there will also be enough for the servant. (He must not specify that he is adding for the servant – Mishnah Brurah 512:11.) For an honored non-Jew, however, one may not even add. (We are concerned that one will do extra for an honored guest – see MB 512:10.) Not only that, even if the Jew cooked or baked for himself, he may not invite a non-Jew to eat with him on yom tov. One may give a non-Jew who isn’t particularly distinguished something that he cooked or baked but he may not bake a loaf even for his non-Jewish servant. (For the purposes of this halacha, an apostate Jew is the same as a non-Jew – MB 512:2.)

-Rabbi Jack Abramowitz
“Cooking for a Non-Jew on Yom Tov”
OU.org

shabbat meal
Shabbat meal, Photo: shelanu.cz

But it was also pointed out that Gentiles regularly attend Yom Tov events at Chabad and are welcome to do so.

The response was:

Sometimes there are halchot that people are much more lenient on these days, especially when kiruv is involved. I also read that in this particular halacha the concern is alleviated if the person shows up without an explicit invite. I think the underlying reason might be that Jews can cook on Yom Tov, but they can only cook for what is needed. Since a non-Jew can cook for themselves regardless of Yom Tov then a Jew should not cook for a non-Jew, but may serve them food if there are leftovers.

But the question is how or if this particular standard will be adhered to in the Messianic Age. Will this be one of the “adjustments” Messiah will make, or will he honor all halachah as it currently exists? Interesting question.

As of this writing, there’s no consensus in the closed Facebook group discussion on the matter of how restrictive or permissive Jews are or should be regarding a non-Jewish presence at a Passover seder. The most restrictive seems to be:

Another perspective that I have read about, is that since parts of the seder are done as a remembrance of the Korban Pesach some Jews will not invite gentiles to their seder or ask gentiles to not participate those parts. Just thinking off the top of my head this might include Korech and Afikomen. I am sure many people are not that strict, but it is an interesting thought.

I’ve written about Gentiles and Passover many times before, including in Passover, Messianic Judaism, and Mutual Inclusiveness and Passover for Gentiles in the Diaspora, Not in Jerusalem (the latter specifically addressing the topic of discussion going on in Facebook). And in spite of all that, I once even reblogged something about No Christian Seders, Please, but that was more specifically aimed at churches that conduct their own Passover seders rather than Christians who are guests at a Jewish seder (but of course, even President Obama conducts a Seder at the White House each year rather than being a guest of Jewish hosts).

Since my wife and kids are Jewish, I’ve got an automatic “in” at our family seder (though if my wife chooses to attend the Chabad seder, I’m definitely not invited). However, if a non-Jewish believer is to attend a seder, it should be at the invitation of Jewish hosts, and the expectation of a Gentile guest should be spelled out ahead of time relative to halachah.

Traffic ConesIt’s problematic in Messianic space to the degree that Gentile expectations can lead us down the “one new man” path a bit too far, but again, local customs should be understood ahead of time so there won’t be any surprises.

I don’t observe Easter in any sense and basically, I even shun it, so Passover is the Yom Tov in which I (silently within myself) honor Rav Yeshua’s symbolic sacrificial death and resurrection which gives us all the hope that in our Rav’s merit, we too shall share a place at the banquet of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Matthew 8:11) in the world to come.

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36 thoughts on “The Gentiles and Passover Dilemma Redux”

  1. It is my own personal conviction but I recently started to believe I should not eat lamb during Pesach, based on Deuteronomy 16:5-7. So, since I don’t think it’s a requirement to eat lamb during Pesach in today’s times, I think anybody should be able to commemorate it in any way that God puts on their hearts.

    Hoping that you and your family have a nice Pesach celebration.

  2. Generally, although a meat entree is usually served at the Passover meal, it’s not lamb. That’s more of a tradition, since, as I’ve said, the lamb wouldn’t be formally sacrificed in the Temple. Still, lamb isn’t served in anticipation of Messiah’s return when he will rebuild the Temple, re-establish the Levitical priesthood, and, among other things, restore the Passover observance as dictated in the Torah.

  3. They do serve lamb at some congregations during Pesach. I have attended at least one that did. They might have at some other congregations I attended in which I didn’t attend the meal.

  4. The lamb must be sacrifice at the temple Jill! So you can eat whatever you want until they rebuild the temple, then the sacrificed lamb will be only available the the circumcised males in the household. The grafted in the vine theory from Paul is just a big non-sense… I think Moses knew what circumcision meant, I had one when he was old enough to remember, he did not immersed himself in water of got a heart circumcision only.

  5. @The Real Messianic: Gene and I have an understanding about the limits of divisiveness I will tolerate on my blogspot. Unlike Peter’s blog, I prefer a more “civilized” conversation rather than the “wild, wild west.” I don’t say that because anything in your current comment “triggered” a response, but just to make sure we are on the same page. I have and will edit or delete comments I deem over the top, and I have closed comments to specific blog posts before, just so you know.

    Thanks.

  6. Hopefully you won’t find anything over the top on what I say. I must admit it might have happened on Peter’s blog a few times. Do I already have a bad reputation? Noted anyway 🙂

  7. Did anyone clarify for the facebook questioner what it is that gentile disciples are grafted into, namely a community of faith-filled people, and that the “one new man” is not an individual but a reference to the whole of a renewed humanity that still reflects a full range of ethnic diversity along with its spiritual unity, and that the “Israel of G-d” is the Jewish members of the ecclesia and is not defined as a collective of “all true believers”? Did anyone respond to distinguish in what metaphorical manner the Pesa’h reflects the Jewish messiah (specifically the ben-Yosef role), without diminishing its primary particularistic meaning as the redemption of Jews from Egyptian slavery and their establishment as a nation under a covenant with their rescuer HaShem? Did anyone explain that former foreigners can be accepted as citizens who participate in the unity of citizenship without losing their ethnic distinctiveness? Did anyone note that there might be a few limited cases where a “natural born” citizen might have a privilege that a “naturalized” citizen could not claim (e.g., being eligible to become President of the USA comes to mind as an example enshrined in the US Constitution)?

  8. Oh, ye-ah-h. Your talking my language, PL.

    Not that I know where you’re headed.

    [I had a differ e t (like completely differ e t) response earlier today, before anyone had responded yet. But I wasn’t at home or connected to wi-fi; thought I chose “select all” to save/copy… only selected “save” (one single word I had typed up). Will do over. Good night.]

  9. @TRM — I think you’re on the right track legally, with respect to the lamb that is reserved for Jews only if it is the one sacrificed at a working Temple — hence at present anyone could legally eat lamb at a seder. However, I think Jill’s question was recognizing that the seder foods all carry symbolic and metaphorical meanings, hence the question arises whether partaking of lamb at a seder even now should be reserved for Jews, so as not to diminish the symbol or the distinction.

    But, of course, for disciples of Rav Yeshua there is another symbol in referring to him as a lamb and a symbolic sacrifice; and yet another symbol of a circumcised heart that is used, among gentile disciples in particular, to evoke a sense of dedication to the Jewish messiah and the gift that he has provided to enlighten them about HaShem and His principles for spiritually-enriched and morally-enriched living. Hence the notion of consuming lamb at the time when his martyrdom enacted a symbolic sacrifice on their behalf becomes a fitting one, though perhaps it should not be done in the context of a seder where there is good reason to wish to preserve the biblical distinction between those who are merely circumcised metaphorically and those who are circumcised physically.

    This need for distinction suggests that a separate meal may offer a solution. For example, Rav Yeshua’s final meal with his disciples actually occurred the night before the seder, and he used the opportunity to discuss and teach about the specific symbols of the Pesa’h seder in which his actions would become part of the symbol. Perhaps gentile disciples should commemorate these things similarly in a pre-seder seder, in which the symbols and metaphors could flow freely, so that the Pesa’h seder itself could remain a pristine Jewish celebration of Jewish liberation leading to the giving of the covenant of Torah that establishes Jewish “national” identity.

    Of course, that would mean that Rav Yeshua’s Jewish disciples would be attending at least two “seders” (and probably three, with one a family seder and one a community seder with their shul, in addition to the pre-seder they might attend with gentile disciples). But, hey, it would provide an appropriate distinctiveness in praxis.

    On another note, TRM — You referenced a “grafted in the vine theory from Paul”. I believe you were mistakenly mis-referencing a metaphor that Rav Shaul presented in his letter to the Roman assemblies. Perhaps if you understood his metaphor you would be less inclined to dismiss it as “just a big non-sense”. The metaphor envisioned an ancient cultivated olive tree as representing the community of those who faithfully trust in HaShem and who are nourished by the sap of Torah-teaching. One characteristic of olive trees is that wild olive shoots spring up around the base of the tree. These wild shoots are routinely uprooted and gathered for firewood because the oily sap in olive wood burns really well. If left at the base of the olive tree they would not have enough strength individually to produce usable fruit, and they could even sap the strength of the cultivated tree by leaching needed nutrients from the soil. However, some of these wild branches can be grafted onto the cultivated tree, and flourish there to produce good fruit. Rav Shaul used the simile of this grafting technique to envision gentiles as wild branches learning to trust in HaShem similarly to the Jews in whom the Torah had naturally inculcated such faith; and similarly they were to be nourished by Torah teaching. He also admonished his gentile readers that lack of faith could be likened to being broken off this tree, though returning to faith could be likened to being re-grafted back onto it — and he invoked a warning that arrogance by wild branches toward the native ones was unwarranted because their presence on the tree at all was not guaranteed nor was it something they deserved or had any right to claim. This admonishment was particularly appropriate because of an attitude prevalent in Roman society, of condescension or disdain toward Jews (which may well explain how later Roman Imperial Christianity became so inimical to Jews and Judaism).

    I hope the metaphor now makes sense to you, TRM. It is, nonetheless, only an image for envisioning how gentiles who trust HaShem may fit into a prior existing relationship between Jews and HaShem. If the analogy is stretched to try to say anything more or different, it could very well be reduced to nonsense. Metaphors have their limits as well as their proper uses.

  10. Hi, Ro — There actually are halakhic discussions in Talmud regarding the status of gentiles who happen to be circumcised for medical or prophylactic reasons, but I’m not about to summarize them here. Suffice it to say that it doesn’t grant them Jewish privileges, just as Ishmael’s circumcision did not make him eligible to inherit the covenantal promises and heritage; which takes us to the question of the purpose of the Pesa’h commemoration. Jews were commanded to observe it throughout their generations, referring to it as a commemoration of the liberation from Egyptian bondage as a precursor to receiving the Torah covenant, including the recitation of such statements as: “my (prototypical) ancestor was a nomad from Aram”. This makes it a quintessentially Jewish commemoration that would not be share-able with even incidentally-circumcised gentiles, because they had no basis to join the shared vicarious experience of the liberation and the passage through the sea. The requirement in Torah for uncircumcised members of the household, if they wished to eat of the Paschal lamb, was that they become circumcised, which, as James cited in his essay, meant that they must join the Jewish people so that the commemoration of the prototypical ancestor, and all that followed, could apply to them as well.

    But then we have the question about those non-Jews who *do* wish to envision themselves as analogously entering into a similar experience of liberation, from a different sort of bondage, a metaphorical one, to the relentless taskmaster that drives them to sin. If these are like the foreigners and eunuchs in Is.56 who embrace the covenant voluntarily, despite not being members of it under its stipulations, and if they can honor the Shabbat by not profaning it even if not halakhically sanctifying it, can they not honor the Pesa’h commemoration comparably if not identically? While this question applies to all of Rav Yeshua’s non-Jewish disciples, it might seem especially poignant and pertinent to incidentally-circumcised non-Jewish males.

    The best halakhically-acceptable (or so it seems to me) solution that I seem to be able to envision is the pre-seder messianic-studies seudah. Its liturgy would be different from the traditional seder, though it would include summaries and explanations of all that occurs in the traditional seder, as well as practical demonstrations of its procedures such as dipping foods, and four cups of wine, and singing the Hallel psalms before departing, along with explaining Rav Yeshua’s commentary, or other apostolic commentary, about them.

  11. Quickly, to note an area of agreement (it may appear) but of which I pondered where it is “headed” (from yesterday), I don’t know why “Constitutionalists” (so they may call themselves) are going for Cruz. He wasn’t born here (required). Probably shouldn’t have said anything, but I hope Republicans pull a Kasich out of a hat at the convention.

  12. … fearing the party of the circumcision. The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy.

    –Galatians 2:11-13 (NASB)

    Except, of course, the above passage of scripture isn’t describing a Passover meal in Jerusalem, but (probably) an “ordinary” meal in which Peter felt inhibited sharing with Gentiles in the presence of (it is assumed) high-ranking Jewish members of the Messianic Council in Jerusalem who were apparently applying “peer pressure”. It’s been suggested that Paul and James (Ya’akov) disagreed about the cultural barriers (which are not found in Torah) ….

    I don’t think the people applying “peer pressure” were of a Messianic Council. I think they were general conformity police. And it was potentially more than peer pressure — the weight of the law.

    While the men came from Jerusalem, I think they had harassed James and the Messianists there before they came and harassed the people in Antioch. Conformity isn’t bad, police aren’t necessarily bad, but if there is corruption or misapplication of supposed law/Law, and a general lack of good will and identification as fellows, trouble can ensue.

  13. While I don’t wish to go off topic, perhaps a momentary diversion may be permitted to note that a “natural-born” citizen in US law is not solely determined by place of birth, though that is one legal means of defining it. US citizen parents may confer the status on a child born abroad under certain defined conditions. My own children who were born in Israel are cases in point, though somehow I’m doubtful that any of them have presidential political ambitions. I’m not pulling for Cruz, but neither am I dismissing him as ineligible, because he does have the necessary legal status. Obama’s citizenship status seems to be more questionable, but no one has been able to disqualify him either. I’m not sure what sort of political horse-trading would have to occur in the back rooms of the Republican convention to release the delegates from their commitment to vote for the candidates selected in the primary election process, in order to put forward a candidate who did *not* win the support of the electorate.

    Shabbat Shalom

  14. One last quick note before Shabbat — Something just jumped out at me from that passage about fearing “the party of the circumcision”. I’ve never looked into any evidences that these folks may have been the ones forcefully advocating the doctrine that appears in Acts 15:1, that gentiles were required to become circumcised in order to be “saved”. If so, that could have given more impetus to Kefa’s withdrawal from fellowship with the gentile disciples, both to avoid calling attention to them and to avoid opprobrium on ritual purity grounds because of them.

  15. To commemorate Yeshua, near Passover, I don’t see a problem with remembering what he did near Passover with his last meal.

    I mean, I think that’s a very clear “solution” — although I don’t exactly think of it as a solution, just clear. I don’t think there’s a problem.

    That’s not to ignore the “problem” of people being confused, worried or worked up, but really, “this in remembrance of me” was when?

  16. @The Real Messianic (TRM): I’ve noticed some of the conversations on Peter’s blog and the Rosh Pina Project turn combative. I just wanted to give you a heads up that I have a different standard of behavior here. I don’t discourage spirited debates as long as conflict isn’t personalized, but I stop short at allowing verbal “knife fights”.

    @PL. No, there wasn’t further clarification regarding “one new man”. The Facebook discussion hasn’t continued since I authored this blog post, so I think it’s done.

    PL said:

    This need for distinction suggests that a separate meal may offer a solution. For example, Rav Yeshua’s final meal with his disciples actually occurred the night before the seder, and he used the opportunity to discuss and teach about the specific symbols of the Pesa’h seder in which his actions would become part of the symbol. Perhaps gentile disciples should commemorate these things similarly in a pre-seder seder, in which the symbols and metaphors could flow freely, so that the Pesa’h seder itself could remain a pristine Jewish celebration of Jewish liberation leading to the giving of the covenant of Torah that establishes Jewish “national” identity.

    Of course, that would mean that Rav Yeshua’s Jewish disciples would be attending at least two “seders” (and probably three, with one a family seder and one a community seder with their shul, in addition to the pre-seder they might attend with gentile disciples). But, hey, it would provide an appropriate distinctiveness in praxis.

    This will probably make some people feel uncomfortable, but another way to interpret what you said would be to have the non-Jewish disciples have the pre-seder seder and the Jewish disciples (as well as all other Jews) have the actual seder, both family and community.

    The logic behind this is distinguishing the actual seder as being specific to the Jewish people, and the pre-seder as being more specific to the wider body of the Messianic ekklesia. Of course, it’s somewhat problematic not having Jews at the pre-seder seder, especially since, as disciples of Rav Yeshua, it would have similar meaning to them as it does to their Gentile counterparts, but the actual seder could have an identical meaning to Messianic Jews as well, so it wouldn’t be like they’d be missing out.

    @Ro: Circumcision in and of itself doesn’t automatically make a person Jewish or have anything to do with the Abrahamic covenant. Conversion is a multi-layered process and is only the last step in the entire process (for males).

    @Marleen: The exact identity of the “men from Jerusalem” mentioned in Galatians 2 is up for debate, but, having looked at the matter in different sources, I tend to believe it’s quite likely that even within the ancient “Messianic” movement known as “the Way,” there may have been some disagreement, even after the Acts 15 legal ruling, as to just how non-Jews could possibly benefit from the New Covenant blessings when they weren’t named participants.

    For some Jews, it must have been a real puzzle, even as it is for many of us in the modern era. From a exclusively legal standpoint, there’s only one way for a Gentile to become a covenant member and thus benefit from the covenant blessings; convert to Judaism. Hence the name “party of the circumcision.” These weren’t evil, sinful Jewish people as Christianity likes to paint them. They just couldn’t see the extent of Hashem’s grace toward the Gentiles that He would allow the mediator of the New Covenant to bestow such blessings even upon devoted Gentiles without requiring a legally binding covenant relationship.

  17. Backtracking: It’s possible Cruz is rightly a citizen, but I don’t think he’s natural-born. It’s been suggested by scholars that it could be, for the sake of him being a citizen, argued he was a naturalized citizen at birth. Someone like McCain would be definitely a citizen as well as natural-born because his parents were serving the country (United States) in official capacity (the reason for being out of the continental country) — rather different from simply leaving Texas for Canada after a divorce. [That after having moved to Texas for college from Cuba.]

    Ted’s mother seems to have taken steps (even if unwittingly) not only to move out of the country (in no official capacity on behalf of the United States) but also to vote as a Canadian. There’s nothing bad about all that, it just is counter to what a natural-born citizen is.

  18. @PL, @James, @Marlene,
    Yep, I already knew this does not join my sons (or anyone) to Israel, but I thought there might be some wondering about it, so brought it up more tongue-in-cheek.

    I think you guys know where I stand on some of these issues, but as it is nearing Shabbat, I am going to hold my tongue and simply wish all of you a good Sabbath.

    BTW PL – I am bringing a group to Israel in November and will be seeing you then. We will actually be in Jerusalem the same time as FFOZ’s tour. I saw that they are heading to your synagogue on Shabbat and thought about rearranging our schedule to get to meet up with them, but not sure it will work.

    Have a wonderful day, everyone!

  19. @James: These weren’t evil, sinful Jewish people as Christianity likes to paint them. They just couldn’t see the extent of Hashem’s grace toward the Gentiles that He would allow the mediator of the New Covenant to bestow such blessings even upon devoted Gentiles…

    I agree with you that if I’m incorrect about who this group of people were, the other possibilities of who they were don’t mean they were evil or sinful. It’s just that we do have precedent to know there was meddling upon the Jewish community as a whole from the government.

    [And that is not to say government is evil. But, clearly, I wouldn’t think of Rome in neutrality. There were real problems.]

  20. I understand, Ro. I myself was commenting mainly as to the reporting from the other conversation — as I take it most of us were (certainly PL and James as well, and James more since he saw it).

  21. “And then what about the gentiles who were circumsized at birth? (Thinking of my four sons)”

    Still not Jew, no wondering, but again for now, anybody can eat, as long as there is no temple.

  22. PL “I hope the metaphor now makes sense to you, TRM. It is, nonetheless, only an image for envisioning how gentiles who trust HaShem may fit into a prior existing relationship between Jews and HaShem.”

    I have no problems with types and shadows, as long as they are not used as “Proofs”… So your explanation could be considered acceptable from a new-testament believer

  23. Isn’t it ironic that Jews who don’t believe in Yeshua are allowed to eat the Passover lamb, but not Messianic Gentiles who don’t believe? I smell a rotten fish here…

  24. Shavua Tov, one and all!

    @Marleen — As you may note in other responses of mine here, particularly one that James quoted in one of *his* responses, Rav Yeshua’s “last supper”, during which he taught his disciples to eat the matza (i.e., the piece is now recognized as the afikomen) and drink the wine (i.e., the third cup that symbolizes personal redemption in the Pesa’h haggadah) in remembrance of him, was eaten the night before the Passover seder would be held. That is why we see his introductory comment to the meal in Lk.22:15 about wishing he would be able to eat the Passover with them, but that he had already an inkling that his impending suffering would prevent that. Numerous passages in Yohanan’s besorah show that the arrest, trial, and crucifixion all occurred before the holy day actually began, and that the reason the soldiers did not break his legs to hasten his death before sundown was because he was already dead by the time they would have done so. Thus all they did was to verify his death by stabbing him with a spear, and then they released his body to those who would hasten to entomb him before the festival would begin at sundown. So he died about the same time as Paschal lambs were being slaughtered at the Temple.

    So the key bit of info here is that his last meal occurred the night before the Passover seder, therefore those who wish to commemorate that event would do well to do so on that night rather than on the night of the seder. Thus the seder symbolism of liberation on the next night need not be overwhelmed with the extra layer of symbolism from a much later era.

    Note also for James: Since Galatians is deemed to be one of the earliest of Rav Shaul’s letters (if not actually *the* very earliest), the Acts 15 proclamation was not issued for as much as 15 years later, during which time I presume the Acts 15:1 controversy continued to simmer. But if that controversy was behind Kefa’s actions or fears in Antioch, it would explain a lot and would fit perfectly with Rav Shaul’s emphases throughout the rest of the letter.

    James also wrote a phrase in one of his responses about a problem of not having Jews at the pre-seder I proposed. That was not what I was proposing, which is why I cited the possibility of Jewish disciples attending as many as three seders, including the pre-seder seder. However, it is true, and not unlikely, that not everybody would want to attend all three, so the Jewish participation in the pre-seder might be lighter than otherwise expected, because they would have ample opportunity in the regular seder(s) to remember Rav Yeshua in the symbols that he highlighted.

    Returning now for a moment to the natural-born citizenship issue let me reiterate my clarification that US-citizen parents are not required to have any official justification for giving birth outside of US territory (such as working for the US government) in order to be permitted to register their child as a legally recognized “natural-born” citizen. They could be missionaries in the Congo and still do so. My wife and I as Jews living indefinitely in Israel did so. One could view the mother’s body as effectively a bit of US territory from which the child is naturally born as a citizen. Consequently, if Ted Cruz’s parents registered their child properly at a US consulate or embassy in Canada (or during a visit to the USA), their status was transferred to him to render him as a naturally born citizen in the eyes of US law. As long as they had not at that time renounced their US citizenship, even if they were also Canadian citizens or about to become so, then their child’s status and rights were unaffected and undiminished. Thus, he would be not merely a citizen, but actually, legally, a “natural born” citizen.

    @TRM — I don’t see anything ironic about Jews being allowed to eat the Paschal lamb while it is forbidden to Rav Yeshua’s gentile disciples. If these gentiles are following his teachings, then they would not expect to do so because they would know that the Torah’s requirements regarding it are still valid and binding. Jews were not required to believe anything particular in order to participate in the seder. In fact, those who don’t believe get to play the part of “the wicked son” in the Haggadah recitation [:)].

    You are correct though, that the only lamb forbidden to the gentiles would be one sacrificed at the Temple in accordance with halakhah — and currently that potential problem is entirely moot. As for your reference to rotten fish, that can be avoided simply by careful attention to the expiration date on the gefilte fish jar [:)]. However, if we consider symbols and shadows and types, then we needn’t bother about letting any physical bit of lamb meat become confused with the *metaphor* of Rav Yeshua as a sacrificial lamb.

    And while I appreciate your almost-positive response to my explanation of Rav Shaul’s olive tree metaphor, perhaps I should offer yet another explanation that the apostolic writings do not constitute a “testament”, nor a “covenant”, new or otherwise. They comprise historical narrative, responsa, and a tad of apocalyptic vision, all inspired by the experience of a precursor or “down-payment” of a type of interaction with HaShem that reflects Yirmiyahu’s description of a renewal of the Torah covenant that metaphorically writes Torah onto human hearts, internalizing its precepts into normative behavior. Rav Shaul’s efforts were, of course, directed toward finding ways of enabling gentiles also to pursue such interaction with HaShem, toward a goal of re-aligning all of humanity to fit the behavioral patterns outlined in Torah.

  25. Certainly, leaving the country to serve in government capacity isn’t the only reason citizens can leave and so on. But that is what was specifically going on with McCain’s parents, so it would be pretty stupid to say McCain wasn’t a natural-born citizen (as if officers should be worried when at war overseas, punished in a sense for serving — although there are other neglects to soldiers). I know you didn’t say that (the stupid thing), I’m just tracking back over my illustration.

    And, while that isn’t the only reason as per what we have been discussing, I’ll go ahead and say — as sometimes people come into conversations late and infer something very far from that said or meant — citizens can leave for any reason they want [obviously excluding reasons of treason and violence and travel to forbidden places] if they have a visa or permission for where they want to go — that is, if proper processes are followed. (And might not come back.)

  26. @PL @Marleen — As you may note in other responses of mine here, particularly one that James quoted in one of *his* responses, Rav Yeshua’s “last supper”, during which he taught his disciples to eat the matza (i.e., the piece is now recognized as the afikomen) and drink the wine (i.e., the third cup that symbolizes personal redemption in the Pesa’h haggadah) in remembrance of him, was eaten the night before the Passover seder would be held. That is why we see his introductory comment to the meal in Lk.22:15 about wishing he would be able to eat the Passover with them, but that he had already an inkling that his impending suffering would prevent that. Numerous passages in Yohanan’s besorah show that the arrest, trial, and crucifixion all occurred before the holy day actually began, and that the reason the soldiers did not break his legs to hasten his death before sundown was because he was already dead by the time they would have done so. Thus all they did was to verify his death by stabbing him with a spear, and then they released his body to those who would hasten to entomb him before the festival would begin at sundown. So he died about the same time as Paschal lambs were being slaughtered at the Temple.

    So the key bit of info here is that his last meal occurred the night before the Passover seder, therefore those who wish to commemorate that event would do well to do so on that night rather than on the night of the seder. Thus the seder symbolism of liberation on the next night need not be overwhelmed with the extra layer of symbolism from a much later era.

    Note also for James: Since Galatians is deemed to be one of the earliest of Rav Shaul’s letters (if not actually *the* very earliest), the Acts 15 proclamation was not issued for as much as 15 years later, during which time I presume the Acts 15:1 controversy continued to simmer. But if that controversy was behind Kefa’s actions or fears in Antioch, it would explain a lot and would fit perfectly with Rav Shaul’s emphases throughout the rest of the letter.

    James also wrote a phrase in one of his responses about a problem of not having Jews at the pre-seder I proposed. That was not what I was proposing, which is why I cited the possibility of Jewish disciples attending as many as three seders, including the pre-seder seder. However, it is true, and not unlikely, that not everybody would want…

    I agree. And the “key” piece is what I was saying… or prompting (for people in their minds if not for someone out loud).

    {There’s another key bit that I need to revisit in a different thread. I’ll thank you for that. Thank you again.}

  27. Passover is the original all out rescue of Israelites and Sojourners among them from death in the Tenth plague, long before the Covenant was cut. I imagine many a Sojourner among the Israelites in Egypt took advantage of the protection of the lamb’s blood to stay alive, and followed the Israelites into Midianite territory, becoming circumcised after they had already participated in the original Passover, I fail to see the difficulty in celebrating Passover, even in Israel, without a nice bit of lamb…if you like lamb, of course, as I do.

    Even in Temple days I daresay there were many a Sojourner that ate lamb not sacrificed…simply because they liked lamb, and there were a lot of lambs for sale at that time…they might even get one cheap that had a flaw preventing it being used as a sacrifice, and so long as they were not following a Seder, or impinging on the Jews nearby, I doubt anyone would have noticed.

    Still, for honoring the Covenant, one might just as well have a nice beef rib roast instead of a rack of lamb…it too goes well with horseradish, and one avoids the possibility of being cut off for the eating of lamb at such a time.

    We can thus leave the idea of lamb for Sojourners in Israel when the Temple is rebuilt up to Yeshua.

    But with Yeshua as King, would we still be sacrificing lambs…when the Lamb in Chief is running the world? After all, in the Kingdom, the only required pilgrimage is at the Feast of Tabernacles.

  28. Well, “Q”, we know that the Temple operation and its sacrifices will be restored, and the Feast of Tabernacles requirement is specified under threat of sanction only for gentiles. For Jews, it and all the other Torah requirements are still common responsibilities under the covenant that remains valid until the renewal of heaven and earth after a thousand years of messianic rule are completed. So the answer to your question about “still … sacrificing lambs” while Rav Yeshua is king is an unequivocal affirmative. The commemorative symbolisms inherent in the Passover sacrifice will only be strengthened in that period. And, hey, after two millennia during which we couldn’t hold even *one* of these lamb barbecues, I think they will be much appreciated. [:)]

  29. {To the question of someone other than the “winner” winning (delegates won): My understanding is that the Republican delegates are obligated to the candidate they represent (from the caucus and primary season) for the first vote at the convention. If no candidate reached majority (not just most compared to others but over fifty percent — which makes sense but which Trump calls arbitrary), then the delegates can vote (in a second round) for whoever qualifies (any in the race now or potentially even none of the three still actively campaigning, maybe even someone who didn’t campaign the whole time).

    Currently, there’s a rule about winning with the electorate in at least eight states. That can be changed when it’s time for the convention; think that particular rule was put in place to keep Ron Paul from being the pick last time. He [or his people] had figured out a way to get specific delegates chosen to travel to the convention who’d vote for him (so… more than it appeared he had [or more than he’d really] won from the votes in each state). Cruz is doing something similar now (but I think in an even more robust manner). So, he could out maneuver Trump. But we don’t know if either will get a majority anyway.}

  30. Marleen, I’m at a loss to understand what Trump, Cruz or anyone else in the political arena have to do with this conversation.

  31. @James & @Marleen — I believe the political thread began with a passing comment I made about a unity of citizenship that included the diversity of former foreigners, yet that there could be a difference of certain responsibilities or privileges between natural-born and naturalized citizens as in the US Constitutional limitation of the Presidency to natural-born citizens. Marleen then opined that Ted Cruz was not a natural-born US citizen, to which I replied with a clarification of the US definition of a natural-born citizen that could include him as one, just as my own children born in Israel are so classified. So while it began with a consideration of an example that could be germane to the topic of gentiles as constrained from certain aspects of Pesa’h, it has been shifted to issues of eligibility for presidential candidacy rather than for Pesa’h participation. I did express my concern that this aspect of discussion should not take us off-topic, but it has continued nonetheless farther afield with a bit of political axe-grinding, and I would agree that this is farther out of bounds than I expected.

  32. My last post on the aside topic was not about eligibility as per natural-born citizenship; thus the “{[answer, to a posed question, within brackets]}” — I don’t think clear rules are political axe-grinding. We have had intimations of riots. Being clear matters.

    It did start with the matter of being natural-born (reminder, not started by me). To return to that, I suppose natural Jews in Israel during the Millennium will eat the sacrificed lamb. And maybe others can eat rib roast barbecued outside the Temple. No one will riot.

    At least not if everyone gets horseradish.

  33. Shalom, good that you “don’t observe Easter in any sense and basically”, you “even shun it”, because every believer in the One God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Jeshua should keep to the commands of God and abstain from any heathen feast and pagan activities. Real Christians should worship only one God and celebrate the holy days God has given us. As such Pesach should be the most important holiday for real Christians.

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