Why His Shabbat also became my “Schabbes”

Why His Shabbat also became my “Schabbes”
testimony and teaching in nine paragraphs, by Marita Sara Meyer

I. The Establishing of Christianity did lead to the first schisms [1]
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II. God refunds
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III. Shabbat vis-a-vis Sunday
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IV. My personal “Schabbes-revelation”
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V. Vivid representation of the grafting in – an example from the flora
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VI. Significance for the spiritual sphere

VII. Thesis from Luchterhandt‘s “The Jews – The chosen people of God”
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VIII. Closing thoughts and summary
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IX. Sabbath impressions according to Abraham Joshua Heschel
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Originally the following was planned only to be a testimonial of my very personal Shabbat impressions. But than I included all those views, insights and historic developments about this divinely ordered day of rest, that excited me personally. I will begin with a little detour in the early church history. This is important to me, as the early church consisted out of Jews believing in Jesus and later as the mission under the Gentiles (non-Jews) had started, more and more believers from the nations joined. Unfortunately this symbiosis lasted only a few centuries. Human arbitrariness destroyed it and false, fatal arbitrariness of the church cleric lead finally to the theological dispossession of the Jews. But despite this grievances caused by arrogance, has God everything under control. HE levels the way for the restoration of spiritual truth taking place over several centuries, that finally again bring together what belongs together. A large portion of the treatise occupies itself therefore with the vision, that the Shabbat could become a link between Jews and Christians. Quotations about the spirit of the Shabbat, each of it is a declaration of love, revealed by one of the greatest Jewish philosophers of the last century, rounds up this attempt to present my personal mental priorities with regard to the Shabbat.

VI. Significance for the spiritual sphere

To bring Jews and Christians together, one must find a reasonable level, a wave length, – botanically spoken – an intersection of same size, so that they may fit to each other and can be connected with each other. This intersection must also be clean and smooth, so that infections may not hinder the growing together. This intersection must be something that God Himself has instituted, something, that from the beginning of time, was meant not only for Jews alone, but for all mankind. Thus something that was created for mankind as a whole: the Sabbath (Genesis 2). HE gives the sap, the strength, to match the two of them.
Why this is necessary, tells us the prophet Isaiah in a passage, that describes the future return of the dispersed: (Isa 66:23 KJV)

And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. “All flesh” means all mankind. Does anyone want to interpret this to mean, that Christians will come one day later on a Sunday, while the Arabs believers in Isa (Arabic for Jesus) coming from an Islamic background already come one day earlier, on Friday, the holy day of the Moslems, to Jerusalem to the mountain of the LORD? No, according to Ephesians 2:14 Jesus has made from the two of them – Jews like Gentiles – one and broke down the middle wall of partition [12], a concept, that was designed already 2.000 years ago, but only now follows in God‘s time table the phase of implementation. We live in the truth of Isa 40:1-2.The slavery time of Israel is removed. In front of the nation‘s eyes God turns again to His people. He brings them home and gives Himself to become recognized by them. The so-called end-time missionaries will come out from the Jewish people and that is absolutely in the will of God: „I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;“ (Isa 42:6 KJV)

“A light for the nations” – with other words: The best of His teaching God has kept to the very end. It is His people, that will proclaim to us the pure genuine gospel deeply rooted in the origin, the source of God´s way with mankind, i.e. Judaism Romans 11, 18b) and this has already started. It is the teaching of saintliness and the character of God, the depth of the Good News, and others, by the teaching about the biblical feasts, one of whom and the most outstanding one is the Sabbath.

Jews and Christians will, as the Holy Scripture teaches us, be sanctified by keeping the Sabbath. The Sabbath is the fundament, on that both parts are being kept together by faith in the Messiah or Mashiach. This refinement cut is a task for professionals. Important with all this is, to wait for the right timing. The nature of both parts requires a certain maturity, so that the matter functions. Romans 11:25 teaches us ”…until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.” Then also the Jews will see the Messiah. From the beginning on everything was in God‘s plan. It holds „As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.“ (Rom 11:28 KJV) If one would have eradicated the historic roses on behalf of their smaller blossoms and in relation to the great, cup shaped precious roses lesser flowering time as inferior – never would this wonderful new kind have been originated. I will not overemphasize the example with the roses. What I want to point out is, that God went with Jews and Christians separated ways. Ways to which Paul gives us hints in the letter to the Romans.

(Compare also Rom 11, 30-32!) As I assume God knows what He is doing, I presume that both ways, the one of the Jews as well as the one of the Christians were in His plan. The deviations from basic Christianity arose through complications in the inter-religious and cultural areas; human weaknesses lead into a cul-de-sac. It did not carry on straight, so only through swerving on detours to the left or to the right one could move on. For this reason developed a Christian momentum, that amongst many other things instituted the Sunday. Whilst the Christians in ignorance all too often in their dogmatic, in unkindness almost unbeatable manner defaced the countenance of their Messiah, so it was almost impossible for the Jews to recognize the Messiah. Elie Wiesel drew from the failure of Christian charity the cynical remark:

The inquisition has drawn my imagination irresistibly. I was fascinated from these mysterious priests, who in the name of love and for the holy glory of a young Jew from the Galil, tortured all, who preferred God Father to the Son, and submitted them to a slow death.“ [13]

So through their faith to God the Jews kept their old laws and traditions. Had they instead given in to the massive conversion zeal of the Christians, they would have perished as assimilated mass under the nations. At the end of the 19th / beginning of the 20th century the German Jews stood shortly before it. Who would teach Christians then the Jewish element of the Bible? That they could not accept Jesus as the “Son” of God has spiritual reasons, which are responsible for the development of the different leading of the ways of Jews and Gentiles. In the following they are shown by the Munich lawyer and Bible expert Luchterhandt.

[1] Church separation

[2] Cod. Theod. 16,8,1 taken out from the TRE (Theological Real Encyclopaedia), keyword „Anti-Semitism“.

[3] Converts; the church wanted to prevent, that Christians turn to Judaism. This ban changed the character of Judaism, because it was not allowed to be any longer a Mission religion. To maintain themselves, they were dependent on their own offspring. Even today Judaism has not regained its missionary character. An exception are the Lubavitcher Jews – a mystical variant of Judaism, that moved in the 19th century from East – Galizia (today in the Ukraine) to New York and comes nowadays back in this area, but is also active in Germany.

[4] Ecclesia denotes the Christian church. In creative arts it was personified from the church in the shape of a woman, that turns away from the, equally as woman represented blind Synagoga.

[5] compare Eph 2:11.

[6] Rabbi Donin, Chajm Halevy: Jewish life – an introduction to Jewish walks in the modern world, p. 67.

[7] Same place, Page 75.

[8] Achad Ha´am is a pseudonym and means „one from the people“. His Common name is Ascher Ginzberg (1856 Ukraine – 1927 Tel Aviv). Ginzberg was a Zionist philosopher and one of the most prolific Hebrew writers at the turn of the century in the Russian-Jewish culture area. The quotation is perhaps better known to the reader in another form: „More than the Jews kept the Shabbat, the Shabbat kept the Jews.“

[9] Rabbi Donin, Chajm Halevy: Jewish Life, page 69.

[10] Elberfelder Bible

[11] Roses have only according to vernacular thorns, botanically one speaks about prickles. The latter one can be separated from the upper cell layer and are not like thorns fused with the marrow, the inner part of the stem.

[12] In Jewish comprehension the verbal Torah, that Moses is supposed to have received also at Mt. Sinai by God and from where the rabbinic wells like the Talmud are fed, understands itself as a fence, that surrounds and protects the written law, the Torah. Through the death of Jesus on the cross the curtain – tore actually from the top downward – only God could have done so, for men would have torn the curtain from the opposite direction – from the bottom to the top. Thus the entrance to the Holy of Holies, to God‘s presence, the Shekina, became free for Jews and Gentiles alike.

[13] Wiesel, Elie: Song of the Dead, 1987, page 70.

[14] Compare Luchterhandt, Hans-Friedrich: The Jews – God‘s chosen people, Munich 1988, page 34-49.
The book can be ordered free of charge under the following address: Dr. Hans-Friedrich Luchterhandt, Egenhofenstr. 37e, 8033 Planegg -Munich. The author of the book is a lawyer, calls himself a bible reader, without a formal theological education.

[15] Compare here also Ez. 36: 21-28. A New Testament parallel would be the revelation of Jesus to Saul on his way to Damascus. (Acts 9)

[16] Rabbiner Donin, page 69.

[17] Compare Rendtorff, Rolf: Christians and Jews today – New insights and new tasks, Neukirchener Verlag, 1998, page 86.

[18] Abraham Joshua Heschel was born 1907 in Warsaw and died 1972 in New York. He comes from a lineage of famous Chassidic leaders. He studied in Berlin, was expelled 1938 by the Nazis to Poland, escaped 1939 via England to the USA, where he taught on several universities. The excerpts are taken from the following book: „The Sabbath – His importance for mankind today“ (Neukirchener Verlag).