Thursday, April 16, 2009

Jewish Catholics in Israel

For Jerusalem's Hebrew-speaking Catholics, Jewish identity is cardinal - Haaretz - Israel News

The traditional Jewish blessings over wine and bread, the Kiddush and the Motzi, echoed through the sanctuary at 10 HaRav Kook Street in Jerusalem. It was a room of striking simplicity - with just one small cross in brown wood.

Four Catholic priests wearing white robes and green stoles stood at the altar, as one of them recited these blessings. But unlike the blessings at a festive Jewish meal, these were blessings of consecration, transforming the bread and the wine into the body and blood of Christ. Just before taking Communion, church members exchanged the greetings of Pax Christi, Peace of Christ, saying to one another, 'Shalom HaMashiach.'

I sometimes wonder what I would do if I had been born Jewish. Probably I would have tried to be a good Jew and (I hope) think Jesus of Nazareth said some good things.

It is interesting to note that the Hebrew Catholics in Israel do not try to portray themselves as completed Jews, the awful term used by some Evangelical Christians, but simply as products of their own biographies.

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