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What happened to Jesus' haftarah?

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posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 07:05 AM
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I've stumbled on an interesting article today that shows certain Jewish Torah portions are omitted from public reading in the synagogue on the Sabbath. Interestingly enough, these scriptures all deal with prophecy that New Testament scriptures use to reference the foreknowledge of Jesus' appearance.

One good example is the famous reading of Isaiah 61:1 by Jesus. This verse is excluded from public reading, but all the surrounding chapters are not. Also the Zechariah 12:13 that tells us of the 30 pieces of silver, excluded from public reading. Many more examples such as this are brought out in this excellent article.

A good question would be, why are these scriptures omitted from public reading? Were Jewish leaders afraid of the implications? If they didn't believe that Jesus was the Messiah, then why exclude these passages. A false Messiah wouldn't negate the Torah simply by reading and commenting on it. After all no rabbi would argue that every word didn't come from God.


What happened to Jesus' haftarah?
A perusal of the list of haftarot read today reveals that the chapter that Jesus recited in the synagogue in Nazareth is not read on any of the days in the Jewish calendar on which a haftarah follows the Torah reading that is, on none of the Sabbaths nor on any of the major holidays or fast days.

Apparently, Isaiah 61:1 is deliberately not read in the synagogue, but it is difficult to determine when and where the decision was made to exclude it. This point is especially noteworthy given the fact that the chapters preceding and following that problematic passage chapter 60, and the end of chapter 61 and chapters 62 and 63, respectively are read each year in public as haftarot.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.




posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 07:09 AM
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Hey ... this should be in ATS! This deserves further investigation.
Is there a conspiracy or a cover up that removed parts of the
Jewish readings that clearly show Jesus fulfilled their messiah
prophecies? hmmmmm??

Excellent and interesting post!



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 07:27 AM
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This article just dealt with prophetic scriptures being omitted. If you dug into what is read, and what is skipped over you might find even more occurrences of this type of thing going on. While it's obvious to me that Jewish leaders didn't like Jesus, I wouldn't expect them to exclude passages from the Torah from public reading to skip over the possibility that He might have been right. Epically when they hold prophets like Isaiah in such high regard.

Though not Jewish, my mother seems to follow the daily Jewish Torah readings. I'll have to ask her if she's noticed this happening. Probably not. Since they tend to jump around on what passage they pick, it may not be obvious to someone following the daily recommended reading that certain passages were being excluded.



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 08:58 AM
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Groupies:

Normally HAFTAROT (plural of "haftarah") are "Torah portions" i.e. sections of the first five books of "Moses" (i.e. the pentateuch or "Torah") which bar-mitzvah boys (and bath-mitvah girls these days!) recited when they came of age around the age of 13 or so.

The section in the 3rd gospel of R. Yehoshua bar Yosef the Galilean reading a section of the Prophets would not actually be a HAFTARAH (if it ever took place at all !) but merely a "reading" of the prophets which apparently was fairly customary in the 1st century in Palestinian synagogues, especially in the Galilee, althogh the Jerusalemite/Judean synagogues preferred not to read from the prophets (influenced perhaps by the benei-zadok or zadokkim or "saduccees" who were the priestly families running the Jerusalem temple establishment (BC 165 through AD 70 when Rome killed off most of them during the failed 1st Jewish War against Rome).

These "zadokkim" did not hold any text except their version of the Hebrew Torah (first five books of the Tanak) as "able to defile the hands" i.e. sacred scripture: they rejected the "prophets" (like deutero-Isaiah) and the "writings" (like Ecclesiastes etc.) .

There is an old oral tradition (unsourced) which states that R. Yehoshua at the age of 13 entered the temple of Jerusalem during the first feast following his own bar-mitsvah (when he became a "son of the Commandment") type ceremony (the Galilean first century AD bar-mitzvot ceremonies were not quite the same as they became in the middle ages) where he was quizzed by the "professors of the Torah"...and his own torah portion for study involved the story of Moses father in law Jethro having devised some of the laws in the Torah itself...

"and Yeshua asked the doctors, "how is it that Jethro, the father in law of Moses, gave him the edict to choose 70 elders to help him judge the 12 tribes of Israel? If Moses took orders from Jethro, then, which is what it says in the book, and scripture cannot be broken, then Jethro must have been greater than Moses..." and the professors of the Torah were all stumped at his comments..."

This seems to be an apocryphal addition to a very similar story to Luke's cute little adaptation from the so-called Infancy Gospel of James (last pericope) of the 2nd century AD with "the 12 year old Iesous in the Temple of Jerusalem" where apparently he became so engrossed with his "discussions with the doctors of the law" that he forgot all about joining his family when they went home back up to the Galilee after one of the 3 yearly feasts of the Jews...much to his parent's dismay !

I don't know how "historically true" this whole story is about "Iesous" arguing at his post-Bar Mitzvah exam in Jerusalem that "Jethro was greater than Moses", but it seems strange that it would have just been made up from scratch...



[edit on 17-8-2005 by NEOAMADEUS]



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 02:20 PM
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I think that one needs to look at the complete set of passages not read after these "haftarah" days before one can make any speculation about why.

Also, the issue seems to be that the passage that isn't read is a passage that states, amoujng other things:
"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me"

Why would anyone want to read something like that? The article states that the implication of jesus reading it was him saying that he is the "annointed" one refered to, the messiah. So why wouldn't the jews make a habit of not reading someting that is rather incidiary and revolutionary??


the article also notes:

Generally speaking, Jews excluded from the haftarot those verses on which Christians based the principles of their religious faith. Thus, all of the customs related to the haftarah readings omit the passage in Isaiah whose focus is the well-known verse, Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son" (7:14), because it is the foundation of the Christian belief in the concept of the Virgin Mary and the virgin birth of Jesus.

It seems like this would be a sensible thing for them to not read during their big holy readings, especially since they lived in communities of christians (in europe anyway). And the article notes that in egypt and the balkans, where the rulers were muslim, that the jews there did read these exerpts, because it didn't cause problems with the rulers.

An organized conspiracy is ruled out, because the verses are selected by each community, not be a central source. It seems that, simply, jews in christian dominated lands tended to not read these controversial texts, which seems rather reasonable. A jew in a muslim country probably wouldn't want to run around calling the muslim rulers 'ishmaelite bastards' either.

Most of the concern also seems to be other not talking about the messiah. Which would be sensible, considering that the last time the jews were concerened about the messiah their entire country was destroyed and they were dispersed across the known world as quasi-exiles. And the article also notes that these passages were all part of the religious discussions, they simply tended to not be read at these holy communal readings.




 
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