Tuesday, May 31, 2016

ABS considers the question of summer

Have a great summer but even this season will come to an end and so we must remember the words of Honest * Abe Lincoln; Embrace Labor Day at your own risk for that is one national holiday that does not hug back.

* He got the nickname for the same reason a 
 400 lb mobster gets the nickname, Tiny

G.L. (10) Authoritarian Religion


Judaism, the Judaism of the time of Our Lord's sojourn in Palestine; the Judaism recorded in the Old Testament, authoritative, God-revealed Judaism, has long been a thing of the historic past. It fulfilled its glorious mission, which ended when the expected Messiah, Jesus, came and fulfilled Old Testament principles and predictions, by the institution of anew, a more perfect priesthood, sacrifice, etc. 

The failure of Jews to realize this, caused an expression of surprise, considering that Jews claim to be "a people of the Book" (the Old Testament) which sets forth Judaism as an authoritative, priestly religion; as a religion of God's making must be, which it ceased to be. This was dealt with in my "News and Views of Jews" column, published in the A.P.I. Bulletin of the Archconfraternity of Prayer for the Conversion of Israel, conducted by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Sion. It was noticed in that column, that the latest evidence of lack of proper understanding of the Judaism of the great past in Holy Israel was the declaration of Dr. David de Sola Pool, one of America's foremost Rabbis, that "A PRIESTLY AUTOCRACY HAS NO PLACE IN RELIGION. RELIGION MUST BE GIVEN AUTHORITARIAN VOICE BY THE GREAT DEMOCRACY OF MANKIND." 

I proceeded to say, that one need but read the third Book of the Torah (Pentateuch), the Book of Leviticus, to realize that the Judaism of Moses, through whom God revealed His will, was a priestly, authoritative Kingdom of God's making, and not of man's making. Its supreme authority was Moses and his brother Aaron, whom Moses anointed as the first authoritative High Priest, the first Pope, so to speak. The succeeding Jewish pontiffs were descendants of the family of Aaron. It was the recognition of the fact that Judaism was a God-instituted authoritative religion, that prompted Jesus, the Jew of Jews, to say to the crowds and disciples, in spite of the wickedness of the Scribes and Pharisees, that they were to be obeyed, as they sat "in the Chair of Moses" (Matt 23:1-3); just as Catholics are obliged to obey the occupant of the Chair of Peter, in matters of faith and morals. 

The Book of Leviticus tells in detail of the duties of the Jewish priests; the sacrifices to be offered to God for the people of Israel, etc. It is a liturgical Book, which may be compared to our Catholic ritual. To call that authoritative priesthood a "PRIESTLY AUTOCRACY" is equivalent to calling God Almighty an 

Rabbi de Sola Pool's declaration that "RELIGION MUST BE GIVEN AUTHORITARIAN VOICE THROUGH THE DEMOCRACY OF MANKIND" is entirely contrary to Old Testament teachings. Yet it appeals to quite a number of persons during these days, when the maintenance and advancement of civic government by the consent of the governed is being fought for, against Red Dictatorship, in cold and hot wars. But the principle is false when applied to religion, which is the relationship of man to God; including man's obligation to obey the authoritative voice of God, expressed by His priestly ambassadors. 

The authoritarian voice of God, is expressed, for instance, in the following declaration of Moses:---"If thou perceive there is among you a hard and doubtful matter ... thou shalt come to the priests ... and Judge ... and shall ask them, and they shall show the truth and the judgment. And thou shalt follow their sentence, neither shalt thou decline to the right nor the left hand" (Deut. 17:9-11).

Monday, May 30, 2016

G. L. (9) Present day Judaism is not Old testament Judaism


"What The Jews Believe" is the subject to which "Life" magazine devoted eleven pages of its September 11th issue. The writer, Rabbi Philip S. Bernstein of Rochester, N. Y., is the president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, "the largest organization of rabbis in the world." The article enforces the conviction that the Judaism of today is not Old Testament Judaism. 

The two opening sentences alone of the lengthy article warrant the above declaration, viz:---"The Jew has no single organized church. He has no priests." This is enlarged upon in these words:---"The congregation's rabbi is a teacher, not a priest." The rabbi is "without any vested ecclesiastical authority, he is not even necessary to the functioning of the synagogue. Any male Jew with sufficient knowledge of the prayers and the laws can conduct a religious service, officiate at marriages and bury the dead." 

This is not new in Jewry. Ludwig Lewisohn, professor of English literature at Brandeis University, Waltham, Mass., says in his "Mid-Channel":---"With the destruction of the Temple the sacrificial cult of the Jews was destroyed. For among the people there was but one altar, hence the Jewish people were suddenly laicized. Priests and sacrifices and tangible mysteries were no more." 

Surely this is not Old Testament Judaism, which was, as the Catholic Church is, an authoritative God-instituted priestly religion; the high priest being the supreme ecclesiastical authority. Aaron was its Peter, who was ordained by God through his brother Moses (Exodus 28), having successors until about the time of the destruction of the Temple in the year 70 A. D. 

"God Is One," as the Rabbi says, the SHE-MA is the profession of this, that synagoguers of all divisions in Jewry recite, viz:---"Hear O Israel, the Lord thy God, the Lord is One." One God permits of but one religion of God, an organic religion, hence but one church of God; as God is not a contradictory Being, Who has two or more religions functioning at one and the same time. Such an exclusive religion was Judaism; such an exclusive religion is the Catholic religion, which existed POTENTIALLY in Judaism. The Catholic Church came into existence with the predicted priesthood "according to the order of Melchisedek" (Ps. 109), and the "clean oblation" (the unbloody Sacrifice), as foretold by Malachias (1:11). This was at the time of the ending of the Aaronic priesthood and Mosaic sacrifices, when Judaism was displaced by Catholic Christianity. This is the basis for the claim of the convert from Judaism, that his conversion is not a denial of the faith of his holy forebears in Israel, but the realization of its potential greatness as fulfilled by the Messiah, Jesus. The convert passes, so to speak, from the caterpillar to the butterfly stage of Judaism. 

Rabbi Bernstein says, as do all rabbis, that "the central fortress of Jewish spirituality, the repository of the law of Judaism, is the Torah (Pentateuch)." So "precious" is it, that it is "divided into fixed weekly portions and read (in the synagogues) on every Sabbath and holy day of the year. When the sacred round (of reading) is completed, there is a gay festival of Simchas Torah (rejoicing in the law)." To read the Torah, Book of Leviticus in the Synagogue, for instance, which deals largely with the Jewish priesthood and the Mosaic sacrificial ritual, and boast that "the Jew acknowledges no ecclesiastical authority," is an inconsistency, to say the least. 

A Jewish religion minus a priesthood, sanctuary, and sacrifices, such as existed in Jewry during pre-Christian times, is a religion devoid of the God-instituted means of atonement for sin. The Jewish Encyclopedia says:---"Judaism saw in the sanctuary the manifestation of God's presence among His people, and the priest the vehicle of Divine grace, the mediator through whose ministry the sins of the community, as the individual, could be atoned for" (Vol. 4, p. 125). 

Realizing this loss, Orthodox Rabbi David Levi exclaims in his Siddur (book of daily prayer), "Sovereign of the universe! Whilst the Holy Temple was established, if a man sinned, he brought an offering, and made atonement for himself; but now because of our iniquities, we have neither sanctuary, nor altar, nor offering, nor priest to atone for us; there is nothing left but the commemoration of this. O may that be our expiation, and we will render prayers of our lips instead of offerings." 

The Jew with "no single organized church," who has no priests," is left devoid of much more than the means of making the Mosaic called-for offering as an atonement for sin. He is left without a divinely authoritative means of knowing what shall be taught; he is left without a judge of matters of a religious and moral nature, recorded in Deuteronomy 17:8-12; such as his forbears were privileged to have in the days before Jesus, the Messiah, instituted a Universal hierarchy to teach matters of faith and morals, that displaced the teaching and judging hierarchy of an exclusive people, the children of Israel. 

Judgment must be allowed to flee to brutish beasts to declare pridefully, as does the writer of "What Jews Believe," that "Judaism around the world is marked by diversity of practice and latitude of faith;" that "there is only one thing that two Jews can agree upon, that is what the third Jew should give for charity." 

Surely no part of the Torah gives warrant for such religious anarchism, which is the cause of the rabbis failing to agree even upon what constitutes a person a Jew. It is such religious chaos that accounts for Rabbi Israel Goldstein of New York City, Chairman of the American Section of the World Jewish Congress, listing enemies of Old Testament Judaism in his "Ten Greatest Jews of the Last Fifty Years." First named is Albert Einstein, who publicly proclaimed his disbelief in a personal God; substituting a "Cosmic God" for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Second in the list is Sigmund Freud who declared that "religion is a delusion;" and ended his life work with the publication of a book to discredit Moses, who was second to Christ as the greatest figure in history. And, lo and behold! Leon Trotsky, who played the second foremost part in afflicting the world with Atheistic Communism, is listed as one of "The Ten Greatest Jews of the Last Fifty Years," because he was "next to Lenin, as a military genius in the early days of the Bolshevik regime in Russia."

To converts from the synagogue to the Catholic Church, this article justifies their claim that the Judaism of Moses and the Prophets is non-existent; while to "cradle Catholics" as well as converts, it adds to their realization that the Catholic Church alone is the Church of the Living God. 

The point was stressed in our analysis of Rabbi Philip S. Bernstein's article, "What The Jews Believe," that a God-instituted religion must be an organic, visible, authoritative heirarchical, priestly religion. Such was Judaism, before it blossomed forth into Catholic Christianity. 

It is reasonable to believe that God, Who commands obedience to His mandates would provide an authoritative guide in matters of faith and morals. The Old and New Testaments give warrant for this belief, as do Jewish and Christian tradition. The Jewish evidence of the existence of a priestly caste, empowered by God to instruct and guide the children of Israel in the ways of God, are set forth in the Torah. For instance, the Book of Deuteronomy says:---"If thou perceive that there is among you a hard and doubtful matter ... thou shalt come to the priests ... and Judge ... and shall ask them, and they shall show the truth and the judgment. And thou shalt do whatever they shall say ... thou shalt follow their sentence, neither shalt thou decline to the right nor the left hand" (17:9-11). The Christian evidence of reliance upon priests, who are called "Ambassadors of Christ" (2 Cor. 5:20), is found in Matt. 16; 19:6; 28:18, and elsewhere in the New Testament.

That such an authority no longer exists in Jewry is universally acknowledged. Rabbi Louis Epstein, Brookline, Mass., says in the Brandeis Avukal Volume:---"When a dispute of the law arises there is no authoritative body to give final decision. Authority is contained in a dead-letter book, not in any individual or organized body." 

Surely Rabbis Epstein and Bernstein do not imagine that God is less wise than were the framers of our American Constitution! They instituted an "authoritative body," the U. S. Supreme Court, for "final decision when disputes arise" as to the meaning of its contents, instead of leaving the citizens of the United States "with authority contained in a dead-letter" Constitution! 

Such Rabbinical reasoning regarding the moral law, if applied to civil law, would lead to chaos in our country, even worse than exists in the present-day Jewish religious world. All this is intended to stress the fact that Old Testament Judaism is no more; that it ended with the end of the Aaronic priesthood; just as the Church that Christ established would be at an end, if its priesthood were to be a thing of the historic past, assuming this to be possible, merely as an analogy. 

The "Life" magazine article is permeated with false concepts. For instance, the made-in-Jewry declaration is echoed, that Christianity is of Paul's making, and not of Christ. The historic fact is ignored that St. Paul's life was devoted to "preaching Christ, and Him crucified," which was taught by the Apostles before Saul traveled the road to Damascus, in which he was miraculously brought to the realization that Jesus is the predicted Messiah. Of course, great credit is due this learned, courageous, illuminating exponent of the things Christ represented and taught. For this he willingly suffered the acrimonious hostility of the Jews that converts from Judaism have had to suffer in varying degrees throughout the Christian ages.

This famous convert translated the charity of Christ (1 Cor. 13) into a "Hymn of Love," the like of which has never been equaled. Rabbi Bernstein fails to appreciate the fact that the Charity of Christ, eloquently expressed by St. Paul, is a Christian and not a Jewish virtue. In fact charity is a word not in the Hebrew language. The word "tzedodah, which literally means righteousness," as the Rabbi says, is not synonymous with the word charity, which in a word is love, great though the quality of righteousness is. The "charity" the Rabbi refers to, had better be called philanthrophy, a virtue commonly practiced by Jews, for which they deserve credit. Henry Drummond, the Scottish scientist, author of "The Natural Law in the Spiritual World," called the charity of Christ as expounded by St. Paul, "the spectrum of love in nine ingredients." It embodies the spirit of righteousness, but is not synonymous with the Hebrew word "tzedodah." Here are the "nine":

1-Patience ... "Love suffereth long." 
2-Kindness ... "And is kind." 
3-Generosity ... "Love envieth not." 
4-Humility ... "Love vaunted not itself, is not puffed up." 
5-Courtesy ... "Doth not behave itself unseemly." 6-Unselfishness ... "Seeketh not her own." 
7-Good Temper ... "Is not easily provoked." 8-Guilelessness ... "Thinketh no evil." 
9-Sincerity ... "Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth." 

The declaration of the Rabbi, that "the Jews rejected not Jesus, the teacher, but Christ, the Messiah," is another of his far from historic facts. Jesus as the Messiah cannot be separated from Jesus as the teacher. It was as the Jewish Messianic teacher that Jesus fulfilled the law and prophecies, by word and example. The Jews hailed Jesus in Jerusalem as the Messiah, crying out "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord." This salutation might have been heard throughout Jewry were it not for the corrupt Sanhedrin. It was the claim of Jesus that He is the Messiah, that brought the charge of blasphemy from the lips of High Priest Caiphas, who rent his garments and declared Jesus worthy of death for claiming to be the Messiah. 

The Apostles, and the thousands of first converts to Christianity, were Jews who recognized Jesus as the Jewish Messianic teacher. Of course, Jesus was a Jew, a faithful Jew, Who held the Jewish religion to be the one and the only then existing Divine religion; as IS the Catholic religion that Jesus instituted in fulfillment of the prophecies. Jesus was not only obedient to the law, but He also insisted upon obedience to the existing religious authority on the part of disobedient Jews, as "they sit in the Chair of Moses;" just as Catholics are obliged to respect the Christ-instituted religious authority that sits in the Chair of Peter.

Rabbi Bernstein denies belief in a personal Messiah as do nine out of every ten rabbis whose writings and speeches reach the general public. He expressed belief in the coming of a "Messianic Kingdom," but without a King. Maimonides, the Jewish Aristotle, 12th century codifier of the oral law, says that a Jew who denies belief in a personal Messiah "is a heretic, forfeits membership in the community of Judaism, and cuts himself off from all hope of future bliss." 

"The Orthodox Jews still believe in the coming of a personal Messiah. They pray each day for his advent," as the Rabbi says; and also for the reinstitution of the Aaronic priesthood, with the Mosaic sacrifices. The pity of it is, that Orthodox Jews sincerely pray for the impossible. This is said not merely because the Messiah came from the family of David, nineteen centuries ago; not merely because the Catholic priesthood instituted by Jesus displaced the Jewish priesthood; but because there is no known family of David in which anybody could be born; nor an existent family of Aaron from which the Mosaic priesthood could be reinstituted. May the Messianic light of Jesus shine upon the darkness of Rabbi Philip S. Bernstein, and his fellow Israelites. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

G.L. (8) A look at Judaism

Rabbi Morris N. Kertzer 
American Jewish Committee 
New York City

Sirs: Your article in "Look" magazine, What Is A Jew?, interested me very much. This was quite natural, being a graduate from the Jewry of the present age to Judaism full-blossomed into Christianity.

I found your "What Is A Jew?" to be the only one of the 18 "Look" articles on religion in which the author stressed what his denomination did not, rather than did believe. Of course, that did not surprise me, being the expression of a Reform Rabbi, whose Judaism is a 19th A.D. century German invention of Rabbis Samuel Hoidham and Abraham Geiger, instead of real, Old Testament Judaism; the Judaism God gave to the world through Moses and Aaron in the 16th B. C. century. Too bad the editors of "Look" did not select an Orthodox Rabbi "to tell the public What is Judaism? instead of a writer whose religious concepts are as far from Old Testament teachings as Unitarianism is from the religion in the New Testament.

"The Jew is one who accepts the faith of Judaism," as you said; hence the question is "What is That Faith?" Surely it is not whether "Jews try to convert Gentiles"! whether "Jews are opposed to intermarriage"! whether they are "forbidden to read the New Testament"; whether or not "Jews wear hats when they pray"; whether the "home is more important than the synagogue," but what are the basic principles of Judaism? the Judaism that God gave to the world through Moses. 

The Judaism of Moses, the only genuine Judaism, is based upon eternal unchangeable, God-given principles; hence they cannot rightly be "added thereto, nor diminished" (Deut. 13:1) to fit the Judaism that you, and your fellow Reform Rabbis, propagate. Those principles are set forth in the Torah (Pentateuch) in particular which Torah is "honored," as you say, by being kept "in the ark of the synagogue," being the "most sacred object of Jewish worship." 

The Torah makes plain the fact that the Judaism of God is of an authoritative, priestly, sacrificial character. The Book of Leviticus therein deals with the God-instituted priesthood of Aaron, of the tribe of Levi. Seven chapters of this third Book in the Torah deal with the various kinds of sacrifices; followed by three chapters that deal with the solemn consecration of Aaron by his God-selected brother, Moses; Aaron being the Peter of the Jewish hierarchy.

The Book of Leviticus in the Torah is a liturgical book, which may be compared to the Catholic Church ritual. It tells in detail of the duties of the Aaronic priests; the sacrifices they were to offer to God for the people of Israel, as you no doubt know. The Jews of old, who were God's chosen people, keepers of God's laws, and determiners of their application, believed, as do Catholics, that "atonement comes through blood," which is "the life of the flesh" (Levit. 7:11); for, as St. Paul, the famous convert from Judaism to Catholicity said, "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (Heb. 9:22). 

The difference is that in the Mosaic Law "forgiveness" comes primarily through the shedding of the blood of animals; whereas in the New Law, that superseded the Mosaic Levitical Law, "forgiveness comes primarily through the Blood of the Lamb of God, the Messiah, that was shed on Calvary's Crucifixion Altar, and continued, as Malachias (1:11) predicted, to be offered to God in an unbloody manner, in the Sacrifice of the Mass.

The Aaronic priesthood, and its Torah called-for sacrifices, are no more, as you well know. Do you imagine, my dear Rabbi, that this ending of the Aaronic priesthood and sacrifices over 19 centuries ago, called by the Jewish Encyclopedia "the critical period of Judaism" (Vol. 2. p. 13), was merely accidental? Its ending meant the finality of the most vital things in Torah Judaism; just as the ending of the Messiah-instituted priesthood, and the Sacrifice of the Mass, would mean the ending of first century inaugurated Christianity, the Christianity of the Catholic Church. 

No one speaks with Torah authority today in either the Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, or Reconstructionist divisions of present-day Jewry. The "Jews" of today have Rabbis, not priests. "The Rabbi is in no sense an intermediary between man and God," as you rightly said in "Look." Joseph Leftwich, formerly editor of the Jewish Telegraph Agency, said in his "What Will Happen To The Jews?" without being questioned by any Jewish book reviewer, that "the Rabbi is not a priest. The priesthood ended with the Temple. Even the rabbinical diploma, unlike the Christian ordination, confers no sacred power and is not a license. It is simply a testimonial of ability of the holder to act as a Rabbi if he wishes to be elected to a position.

Your "What is a Jew?" being minus even the mentioning of the Messiah, is like Hamlet minus the Prince of Denmark. Surely you know that the coming of the Messiah was the primary hope of Israel at the time when Judaism was the one, and the only religion of Almighty God. The Orthodox division of present-day Jewry ardently prays for His coming. They fail to realize that the birth of the Messianic Son of David during the present age, or in any future age, is an impossibility, as there is no House of David, or tribe of Judah, in which a Messiah, or any other person could possibly be born. This is providential, as the Messiah arrived in Bethlehem, the City of David, as predicted in Micheas 5:2; in the time predicted by Daniel (9); and in the manner foretold by Isaiah (7:14). 

This letter, which I will publish in The Pilot, the Boston Archdiocesan weekly, was written to let the Jewish readers of my column, as well as you, know that the Judaism of the Old Testament no longer exists. It fulfilled its glorious mission over nineteen centuries ago, when Israel brought forth the Blessed Virgin Mary; her Divine Messianic Son, Jesus; the Twelve Apostles; and the thousands of converts who formed the membership of the infant Catholic Church. This is written to proclaim the indisputable fact that the conversion of Jews to Catholicity is based upon love of, and not denial of, the religious faith of their fathers of old in Israel. That faith no longer exists, or rather it has blossomed forth into the "new covenant made with the house of Judah," as predicted by Jeremiah (13:31). 

May you be blest, as have I, with the gift of Catholic faith. 

Prayerfully, David Goldstein.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

G.L. (7) The Church is Judaism in full blossom

Mr. Israel Haber 
Miami Beach, Fla. 

Dear Sir: Eighteen months have passed since I answered your inquiry about things doctrinally and biblically Catholic. Your five page, single spaced, type written response, received a couple of days ago, evidences the fact that you failed to hold at bay your inherited and acquired Israelitish misconception of Catholic Church teachings; which would have enabled you to examine objectively the contents of my communication.

Your main doctrinal, biblical contention, the one of import, is regarding the Trinity, which you assume to mean belief in "three Gods". Thus you entirely disregard the fact called to your attention, that the Catholic Church positively declared in the Athanasian Creed, adopted in the fourth Christian century, that "there are not three Gods, but one God"; the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; that Catholics "are forbidden by their religion to say that there are three Gods, or three Lords."

Very likely your rejection of belief in the triunity of God is due to the realization that it embodies belief in the Second Person therein, the predicted Messiah, Jesus. 

Your failure to understand the teachings of the Catholic Church is no doubt due, in great part, to failure to understand the Judaism of the Old Testament, which you claim to have intensely studied. For instance, you cocksuredly declare that "God always speaks of Himself as One"; that "God speaks of Himself as 'I' and 'My', and related pronouns in the singular, and never 'We' or 'Us'." 

You must have slipped by Genesis 1:26, in which Moses records God as saying "Let US make man in OUR image"; and Genesis 11:17 in which God says "Let US go down (to earth) and confound their language." You also skipped Isaiah 9, in which "a child is (foretold to be) born to US". He is therein prophesied to be what Jesus is, "Wonderful", the "Prince of Peace", the "Mighty God". 

If you say the universal Jewish prayer in Hebrew, as do Synagogue Jews, recorded in Deuteronomy 6:4, then do you express belief in what you deny in your communication, the plurality of Persons in God. The words are "She-ma Yisrael Adonai Elohenu, Adonai Ehod". The literal translation is Hear Israel Jehovah GODS One. Adonai is His name; Elohenu is His plural existence; the singular of Elohenu is Eloah or EI. 

If ever you were blest, as I have been, with passing through Baptism into the Church that is Judaism full-blossomed, you could continue to say that foremost Jewish prayer, as did Jesus (St. Mark 12:29), while making the sign of the Cross, "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit". 

The sympathy for me, expressed in your communication, is based upon the assumption that "in forsaking Judaism for Catholicism" I "have exchanged gold for dross, illumination for half light". That declaration, based upon misunderstanding of both the Judaism of the great in Israel and of Catholicism, could be said of a Jew of over 19 centuries ago, who forsaked Judaism for any of the religions that existed during those pre-Christian ages; that is during the time of Moses and Aaron until the closing days of Jesus in Palestine; but not during the Christian ages in which Old Testament Judaism has not existed. 

Judaism was, but is not now, the one and the only God-revealed, God-instituted religion. That God-made Judaism, recorded in the Old Testament, was an organic, priestly, authoritative, revealing, sacrificial religion. Its authority centered largely in the High Priest, just as the authority of the Church the Messiah established centers in the Pope. 

The High Priest "alone offered the sacrifices for the sins of the people", as the Jewish Encyclopedia says (Vol. 6, p. 390). He officiated at the only Altar the Mosaic Law permitted (Exod. 20: 24-25; Lev. 17: 8-9). The Jewish priesthood ended during the first century with Phannias, son of Samuel, the 81st occupant of the Chair of Aaron. This happened, as the Jewish Encyclopedia says, "when the Jewish state perished" (Vol. 11, p. 43). The Temple and its Altar were destroyed, "not a stone upon stone was left standing", as Jesus predicted (St. Matt. 24:2)

The destruction of the Temple and its Altar, followed by the ending of the priestly tribe of Levi with its family of Aaron, and the ending of the existence of the tribe of Judah with its family of David, in which the Messiah was foretold to be born, evidences the indisputable historic fact that the Judaism of the Old Testament ceased to exist. Hence anyone who graduates from the Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, or Reconstructionist Judaisms of today into the Catholic Church, passes from dross to gold; from half-light to full spiritual enlightenment. 

The ending of Old Testament Judaism was providential. It had fulfilled its glorious mission. That mission ended with the coming of the predicted Messiah, in the Person of Jesus; Who instituted a new priesthood, and the New Sacrifice predicted by Malachi (chap. 1).

It were well to ponder the fact, my dear Miami Beach opponent, that both the Old and the New Testaments obligate man to submit, in matters of faith and morals, to a God-made Church, the will of which is expressed through its priesthood. Such authority, once expressed through the God-instituted Jewish Church, has been exercised by the Catholic Church since "the veil in the Temple was rent from top to bottom" (St. Matt. 27:51). 

You know, My Dear Sir, that synagogues have Rabbis, not priests. "The Rabbi is not a priest", says Joseph Leftwich, formerly Editor of the Jewish Telegraph Agency, proceeding to say that "the priesthood passed with the Temple. Even the rabbinical diploma, unlike the Christian ordination, confers no sacred power and is not a license. It is simply a testimonial of ability of the holder to act as a Rabbi if he wishes to be elected" by the members of a synagogue." ("What Will Happen To The Jews")

No one speaks with authority in any of the Judaisms of the world today; as did the High Priest and Sanhedrin during the pre-Christian ages. Rabbi Louis Epstein says in the Brandeis Avuka Volume, edited by Rabbi Joseph S. Shubow (both of Massachusetts), that "when a dispute of the interpretation of the law arises, there is no authoritative body to give final decision. Authority is contained in the dead letter book, not in any living individual or organized body." 

Further evidence of the fact that the Judaisms of today function without authority, such as was exercised during the pre-Christian centuries, is contained in a Talmud story of a High Priest who, upon "seeing the Temple in flames, went to the roof of the sanctuary with a group of the flower of the priesthood. Holding the keys of the Temple in his hands, he said: 'Holy One, Blessed be He, Creator of the Universe, since we are not worthy to be your faithful custodians, we transfer the keys of your house to you'. With these words, the keys were thrown up. Something in the form of a hand descended from Heaven and grasped the keys", which signified authority. 

The above quoted "Tragedy of Israel" should be recognized by you, and your fellow-Jews, to be God's warning that the religion of an exclusive people, the children of Israel, had ended its mission. It had been displaced by the religion of the people of all nations, the Catholic religion. A new set of keys were given by God the father, through His Messianic Son, to High Priest Peter (St. Matt. 16:19). Those keys, which signify spiritual, God-given authority, are today in the hands of Pope Pius XII. 

May you be blessed, as I have been, with the realization of what is herein set forth; and may it bring you the grace to follow the illumination to the baptismal font of the Catholic Church. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

G.L. (6) The Messiah

   Letter 1

Rabbi David Horowitz, 
Editor, The United Israel Bulletin, 
New York City. 

Sir:---Thank you for your reply to my communication (which appeared in this column, May 1, 1954). In it you make an acknowledgment which may, with God's grace, be a step toward the realization of the error of your assumption that present-day Judaism is the Judaism of God, recorded in the Old Testament, which it ceased to be with the coming of the Messianic Son of God, Jesus Christ, and His causing Judaism to blossom forth into Catholic Christianity. 

I was pleased to note your acknowledgment of the fact that the God concept of "many" American Rabbis is of a modernistic, pantheistic, rather than an Old Testament nature; when I confronted you with this fact, as statistically set forth by Rabbi Joseph Zeitlin, Ph.D., in his "Disciples of the Wise." That evidence prompted you to say, "I do not deny that such an attitude (exists) on the part of many Rabbis and Jews"; which "many" happens to be a majority of the "Rabbis and Jews" in our country. 

This above quoted acknowledgment ought to prompt an endeavor on your part to wean "Rabbis and Jews" from their Spinoza-Einstein-Freud concept of God, to belief in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Whom all Catholics worship in His Triunity, as the Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier. 

You say that your "objective research has convinced" you that "the Nazarene" was "a Messiah, as was Cyrus and every prince and priest in Israel," but not "The Messiah." If that be so, pray tell me why "The Nazarene" was the only one of those Messiahs to be brought before the High Priest and Sanhedrin on the charge of blasphemy, and condemned to death for claiming to be "The Messiah"? My "objective research has convinced me, beyond a shadow of doubt, that this trial and conviction of Jesus, was because He claimed to be The Messianic Son of God, of which there could only be one. This Messianic nature of Jesus manifested in the manner, time and place of His birth, His teachings, and the part He played in the fulfillment of the Law and prophecies. 

In view of the "sublimity of the ethical code" and personality of Jesus, as recognized by Prof. Joseph Klausner of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, in his "Jesus of Nazareth"; and His designation by the late Rabbi Stephen S. Wise as "the radiant Jewish teacher in Palestine," the probity and exactitude of such a personage cannot be reasonably questioned, when He claimed to be The Messianic Son of God. 

Many evidences of the claim of Jesus, that He is the Messiah, have been known throughout the Christian ages. For instance, in the story of the Samaritan woman at the well (St. John 4), which contains the answer to her declaration, "I know the Messiah is coming, and when He comes He will tell all things." To this Jesus replied, "I Who speak to thee am He." Also in the story of the pre-existence of Jesus before Abraham, who died a thousand years before the following question was put to Jesus by the Jews, "Thou are not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?" The answer of Jesus, was, ". . . before Abraham came to be, I Am" (St. John 8:48-59), for which He was stoned. The "I Am," as you know, is God's designation of Himself to Moses (Exod. 3:14)

The story of the trial of Jesus on the charge of blasphemy (St. Matt. 26) is sufficient to warrant calling Him The Messiah. In answer to the question of High Priest Caiphas, "I adjure thee in the name of the living God that You tell me whether Thou art The Messiah (not a Messiah), the Son of God?" to which query Jesus made the positive declaration, "I Am." The reply of the High Priest was the death sentence, which the Jews had a Mosaic right to impose upon a blasphemer (that ended with the crucifixion of the greatest Jew that ever trod the sacred soil of Palestine), viz. "We have a law, and by our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God" (St. John 19:7). 

Pray, tell me, are you of the minority of present-day Rabbis in our country who look forward for the coming of the Old Testament predicted Messiah? If so, then must you believe that He will be born in the House of David, that existed in the Tribe of Judah, as foretold in the Old Testament (Gen.49; Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5; 1 Par. 17:10-11). Surely that is a vain expectancy, as there is no existing House of David, or Tribe of Judah, from which anyone can come forth. This is said because, as the Jewish Encyclopedia says, "The very division of Israel into 'houses' presupposes the existence among them of well authenticated genealogies," which "were scrupulously kept" (Vol. V. p. 597). These were destroyed during the first century of the Christian era. In the same volume and page, the Jewish Encyclopedia records the "loss of official genealogies (as being) deeply deplored as a calamity." Still further, on page 577 there is recorded the fact that "very few Jews can trace their descent further back than a couple of hundred years."

 "Nothing is accidental with God," as Longfellow said; therefore right reasoning compels the conclusion that the non-existence of the House of David and Tribe of Judah, in which the Messiah was predicted to be born, evidences that God's predicted promise of the coming of The Messiah had been fulfilled.

The Messiah came in the manner Isaiah said He would be miraculously born (7:14). 

The Messiah was born in the time Daniel foretold nearly five centuries before the lily of Israel brought Him forth in the City of David (9 :6). 

The Messiah was born during the predicted time when the "sceptre," that is the authority, the political power, shall have been taken away from Israel, as it was by Rome (Gen. 49:10). 

The Messiah was to be betrayed; sold for 30 pieces of silver; led like a sheep to slaughter; suffer His hands and feet to be pierced; and thereafter to rise from the dead, as foretold in Zacharias 11:12-13; Isaiah 53:7; Psalm 21; and Isaiah 11:10. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

G.L. (5) The Trinity and common sense


The Trinity:---One of the basic teachings of Christianity, that remains an obstacle to Jewish appreciation of the teachings of the Catholic Church, is the Trinity. This is due partly to the realization that belief in the Trinity carries with it belief in Jesus, the Second Person of the Triune God, as the Messiah. We are prompted to deal with this principle on account of being faced with the query:---"How can you, in the name of common sense, believe that God can be one and three at the same time. It is the impossibility of this, that caused the Jewish Advocate of Boston to ask, editorially, "Can one equate the trinitarian God of Christianity with the affirmation of God's unity?" 

The Trinity, as we Catholics are taught, is a mystery; and so are many things in the natural world, such as electricity, ether, and light, which we know only in their manifestations; not in substance, which is the vital, immaterial, elementary part of them. 

The first thing that led this columnist to an appreciation of this basic Catholic principle, was the realization that "common sense" demands belief that a thing, any thing, is one from one aspect, and at the same time three from another aspect. But it cannot be both three and one from the same aspect. Electricity for instance which is one in its nature, is three in its manifestation,---motion, light, heat. This applies to any and every object, be it the hat worn by the inquirer, or the universe. 

As an object it is one, a unity; yet to be an object it must have a triunity of dimensions,---length, breadth, thickness. Hence the hat, like the universe, is one and three at the same time, though from different aspects. In fact the inquirer would not have a hat or a head to put it on if it were not one and three, a unity and triunity. This three-in-one principle applies to God, Who is in His nature One, that is in substance; yet God is Three in Persons---Father, Son, Holy Spirit. 

It is the implication embodied in belief in the Trinity, that Jesus is the Second Person therein, as claimed by Catholics, Who had come and fulfilled the Divine mission of Judaism, that prompts the denial of this principle. Jews fail to realize that Catholics are monotheists (worshippers of One Eternal God), not polytheists (worshippers of many Gods). They believe in but one God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; but that He functions as three distinct Persons,---Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

Isaiah, whom Jews recognize as "the greatest of the prophets," said that the "Son," Whom the Virgin" was to conceive, was to be "the Emmanuel" which means "God with us" (7:14), that He is "the Mighty God" (9:5) as Jesus is. This warranted St. Paul's declaration that Jesus is "God manifest in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16). 

Synagogue Jews, be they Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, or Reconstructionist, all say that the She-ma:---"Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is One God" (Deut. 6:4; St. Mark 12:29). This is the one and the only, universal profession of faith in Jewry; though its Interpretation ranges from belief in the Mosaic, eternal, transcendant, immanent God, to the Spinoza pantheistic concept of God. Jews appreciate not that the She-ma (hear) in Hebrew, being in the plural---"She-ma Yisrael Adoni Elohenu Adonai Ehod"---warrants the Catholic understanding that the God of Israel is a Triune God. Translated literally from the Hebrew, the She-ma is "Hear, O Israel, Jehovah (the Eternal One) our Gods is Jehovah a unity." The term Jehovah, in Hebrew Elohim, is plural. It appears 32 times in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis. It warrants the conclusion that the plurality of Persons in God must have been in the mind of Moses. Messiah Jesus, Who is God, would not have quoted the She-ma as the first commandment to the Scribes (St. Mark 12:29)---"the Lord our God, is One God"---in the Jewish misunderstanding of the monotheistic nature of God, which is a denial of the Trinity of God. Such a monotheistic profession on the part of Jesus Messiah would be a denial, inferentially, that He is God, the Second Person of the Trinity. If Jesus had made such a Jewish monotheistic claim when brought before the Sanhedrin, He would most likely not have been found guilty of "blasphemy." 

In addition to the She-ma, the plural declarations of God Himself---"Let Us make man in Our image and likeness" (Gen. 1:26); "Let Us go down, and there confuse their language" (Gen. 11:7), answer in the affirmative the Jewish Advocate query: "Can one equate the trinitarian God of Christianity with the affirmation of God's unity"? Catholics have more than "common sense," and the Old Testament, to warrant belief in the Triunity in unity in God. They have the Divine say so of Christ Jesus; the infallible Church Catholic that Christ established; and the New Testament.