Bethesda

St. Anne is an old Crusader Church built in 1100’s. It has amazing acoustics – sound reverberates through the whole building although I think it would be a disaster for anyone trying to preach. According to Catholic tradition, St. Anne was the mother of Mary and this cathedral was built to mark the place where … Read more

Kippur – Part 2

So we have met with a Rabi here on campus several times since the last post… If there is one thing I have taken from what has been said about atonement is that there is a general desire to downplay the significance of blood in the ceremonies instructed by God on Mt. Sinai. (I think … Read more

Kippur – Part 1

Once a week, after the Ulpan is finished, a visiting Rabi or professor gives a talk on theology, Judaism, etc. With Rosh HaShana (the head of the year) approaching and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) soon after, there has been some discussion on kippur… or ‘atonement’. Here are a few notes from the session: The … Read more

Tacitus on the Jews

Reading Tacitus reminds me a little of reading articles written by Hitchens, Harris or Dawkins about ‘Christian fundamentalists’ except that Tacitus writes with a degree of hatred that can only be understood in the context of that ancient hatred that has been uniquely reserved for the Jewish people. Tacitus writes of the Jewish traditions, “Things … Read more