Aish HaTorah

Churches and Synagogues--Same Role?

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For the sake of conversation...

...May I ask you:  Is the purpose of your church (individually or collectively) the same as that of the synagogue?  Has this changed over time, or does it remain the same?  I am referring, specifically, the the local warehouse (or the idea of warehouses, collectively) and not the larger mission of LDS evangelism, etc.

Let me give you an overview of the synagogue as well as synagogue life so that you may better assess what similarities and differences they may have with your warehouse.  (I sincerely hope that I am using that term--wardhouse--correctly.  It didn't seem right to say "building."

 

Even before the destruction of the Second Temple, perhaps even in early Biblical days, there were already rudimentary synagogues in ancient Israel.  It clearly became the central institution for the cultivation of the faith during the Babylonian captivity.  The restoration under Nehemiah and Ezra left a large Jewish Diaspora outside the Holy Land, and that Diaspora increased in succeeding ages.  Its central institution was the synagogue.  Here the Jews gathered to pray together, but that was not its most important function.  The mitzvah (commandment) to pray, we believe, is incumbent upon every individual Jew, three times a day--morning, afternoon, and evening--and there is relatively little difference in the prescribed order of prayer between the service as said in public in the synagogue and the version of it that is prescribed for the individual.

The central function of the synagogue is to cultivate a value perhaps more important than prayer to Jewish faith--study of the Torah.  On Shabbat (the Sabbath) as well as on festivals (Feasts of the L-rd) people gather in the synagogue to hear a reading of a passage from Torah and to be led in the understanding of its interpretation.  This is enshrined in the central act of public worship in Judaism on every major occasion.  The Scroll of the Torah, which is written in prescribed ancient form by hand on parchment made of the skin of a (kosher) animal, is taken from the Ark and an appropriate section is read.  On the Shabbat, the cycle of readings from the Torah comprises a consecutive reading of the Five Books of Moshe in the course of the Sabbaths of the year.  A complementary section from Prophets, known as the Haftarah, is also read on Shabbat and Festivals.

The synagogue is a Beit K'nesset (House of Assembly), a Beit Tefilah (House of Prayer), and a Beit Midrash (House of Study).

 

How do you see the building in which you worship?  I know that it is an important gathering place for you.  Do you see it functioning in the same way?  Are there differences?

Thank you kindly!  Shalom, shalom.

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2 hours ago, Aish HaTorah said:

For the sake of conversation...

...May I ask you:  Is the purpose of your church (individually or collectively) the same as that of the synagogue?  Has this changed over time, or does it remain the same?  I am referring, specifically, the the local warehouse (or the idea of warehouses, collectively) and not the larger mission of LDS evangelism, etc.

Let me give you an overview of the synagogue as well as synagogue life so that you may better assess what similarities and differences they may have with your warehouse.  (I sincerely hope that I am using that term--wardhouse--correctly.  It didn't seem right to say "building."

 

Even before the destruction of the Second Temple, perhaps even in early Biblical days, there were already rudimentary synagogues in ancient Israel.  It clearly became the central institution for the cultivation of the faith during the Babylonian captivity.  The restoration under Nehemiah and Ezra left a large Jewish Diaspora outside the Holy Land, and that Diaspora increased in succeeding ages.  Its central institution was the synagogue.  Here the Jews gathered to pray together, but that was not its most important function.  The mitzvah (commandment) to pray, we believe, is incumbent upon every individual Jew, three times a day--morning, afternoon, and evening--and there is relatively little difference in the prescribed order of prayer between the service as said in public in the synagogue and the version of it that is prescribed for the individual.

The central function of the synagogue is to cultivate a value perhaps more important than prayer to Jewish faith--study of the Torah.  On Shabbat (the Sabbath) as well as on festivals (Feasts of the L-rd) people gather in the synagogue to hear a reading of a passage from Torah and to be led in the understanding of its interpretation.  This is enshrined in the central act of public worship in Judaism on every major occasion.  The Scroll of the Torah, which is written in prescribed ancient form by hand on parchment made of the skin of a (kosher) animal, is taken from the Ark and an appropriate section is read.  On the Shabbat, the cycle of readings from the Torah comprises a consecutive reading of the Five Books of Moshe in the course of the Sabbaths of the year.  A complementary section from Prophets, known as the Haftarah, is also read on Shabbat and Festivals.

The synagogue is a Beit K'nesset (House of Assembly), a Beit Tefilah (House of Prayer), and a Beit Midrash (House of Study).

 

How do you see the building in which you worship?  I know that it is an important gathering place for you.  Do you see it functioning in the same way?  Are there differences?

Thank you kindly!  Shalom, shalom.

I would say there are some similarities between our houses of worship and your synagogues, as well as some differences.

Similarities: We also gather weekly on the Sabbath to study our scriptures. Generally, we have one hour where we hear sermons on various Gospel topics given by the members of the ward. We also have one hour of more in depth study, Sunday School together one week and Priesthood/Relief Society split by men and women the next. We also have special focus on certain scriptures and Gospel lessons during the holidays, Easter and Christmas being most important for us (and most other Christians of course). We also meet with our Bishop one on one if neccessary on Sunday, for individual counseling on various issues on an as need basis. I assume that is the same for Jews, although I don't know when you counsel with individuals in your congregation as a rabbi so I apologize if I am incorrect about that. I would say in many ways our faiths are similiar, as our churches can also be considered houses of prayer, study, and assembly.

Differences: On Sunday, the most important part of our worship service is partaking of the Sacrament. By eating the bread and the water, we renew our special covenants that we made with our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ during our baptism, and reflect upon and seek forgiveness for our sins. It is the most important part of our weekly worship, and is generally held near the beginning of our worship services. 

 

Edited by Midwest LDS

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On 2/15/2019 at 5:50 PM, Midwest LDS said:

I would say there are some similarities between our houses of worship and your synagogues, as well as some differences.

Similarities: We also gather weekly on the Sabbath to study our scriptures. Generally, we have one hour where we hear sermons on various Gospel topics given by the members of the ward. We also have one hour of more in depth study, Sunday School together one week and Priesthood/Relief Society split by men and women the next. We also have special focus on certain scriptures and Gospel lessons during the holidays, Easter and Christmas being most important for us (and most other Christians of course). We also meet with our Bishop one on one if neccessary on Sunday, for individual counseling on various issues on an as need basis. I assume that is the same for Jews, although I don't know when you counsel with individuals in your congregation as a rabbi so I apologize if I am incorrect about that. I would say in many ways our faiths are similiar, as our churches can also be considered houses of prayer, study, and assembly.

Differences: On Sunday, the most important part of our worship service is partaking of the Sacrament. By eating the bread and the water, we renew our special covenants that we made with our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ during our baptism, and reflect upon and seek forgiveness for our sins. It is the most important part of our weekly worship, and is generally held near the beginning of our worship services. 

 

Thank you so kindly for your thoughtful response.  As I read it, it made me think of something I've been meaning to ask of you or any Christian who cares to respond.

 

Why do you suppose the Church changed the Shabbat being on Saturday (Friday sunset to Saturday sunset) as directed by Scripture to Sunday instead?

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12 minutes ago, Aish HaTorah said:

Thank you so kindly for your thoughtful response.  As I read it, it made me think of something I've been meaning to ask of you or any Christian who cares to respond.

 

Why do you suppose the Church changed the Shabbat being on Saturday (Friday sunset to Saturday sunset) as directed by Scripture to Sunday instead?

I believe it was moved to Sunday to honor the Ressurrction of Jesus Christ. Christ was killed on the cross on Friday and rose from the tomb on Sunday, and I believe most early and modern Christians celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday for that reason. There are exceptions however, such as the Seventh Day Adventists, who still honor the Sabbath on Saturday.

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3 minutes ago, Midwest LDS said:

I believe it was moved to Sunday to honor the Ressurrction of Jesus Christ. Christ was killed on the cross on Friday and rose from the tomb on Sunday, and I believe most early and modern Christians celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday for that reason. There are exceptions however, such as the Seventh Day Adventists, who still honor the Sabbath on Saturday.

For us, the Shabbat is the holiest of days...even more so than Yom Kippur...because it is the only day (or Feast of the L-rd) that is mentioned in the Ten Commandments.  In other words, we believe that it is a day set apart for all people, not just Jews.  We look at the Shabbat with reverence for creation and the Creator.  It is a line of demarkation between the sacred and the profane, the things of the Divine, and the day to day.

Thank you for helping me understand that.

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2 minutes ago, Aish HaTorah said:

For us, the Shabbat is the holiest of days...even more so than Yom Kippur...because it is the only day (or Feast of the L-rd) that is mentioned in the Ten Commandments.  In other words, we believe that it is a day set apart for all people, not just Jews.  We look at the Shabbat with reverence for creation and the Creator.  It is a line of demarkation between the sacred and the profane, the things of the Divine, and the day to day.

Thank you for helping me understand that.

You're welcome! I've always admired the reverence and dedication Jews show to the Lord through their Sabbath Day observance. Thank you for sharing your beliefs on the subject.

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On 2/16/2019 at 11:32 PM, Aish HaTorah said:

Thank you so kindly for your thoughtful response.  As I read it, it made me think of something I've been meaning to ask of you or any Christian who cares to respond.

 

Why do you suppose the Church changed the Shabbat being on Saturday (Friday sunset to Saturday sunset) as directed by Scripture to Sunday instead?

Speaking of worship....  my heart is in my throat as I listen to this:

 

 

Regarding the change of the real Sabbath from Friday and sunset to Saturday and sunset by Christians.......

back in the fourth century the newly formed Roman Catholic Church was terrified of Jews.... and all things Jewish.... due partly to predictions that they

recorded in the eighth century edition of the Roman Catholic Encyclopaedia on the subject of the anti-Christ.

 

Here is a copy of an e-mail that I had sent off to Jerusalem Sanhedrin Rabbi Yeshayahu Julius Hollander back in 2010.  I will bold the parts that are most relevant to your question:

Shalom Rabby .......

 

I deeply appreciate your reply to my e-mail Sir.  

 

Back in the early '80's I was made aware that Catholic prophecy from well over

one thousand years ago stated emphatically that essentially the whole world was going to

become observant of the laws of Moshe.  A friend of mine attended Ambassador 

College in the '70's.  He said that there was an original set of the Catholic 

Encyclopaedia from the eighth century on the campus.  A friend of his knew Latin and

translated an article on The Antichrist. He was both shocked as well as encouraged

by the ideas expressed.

 

This article stated that in the latter days Christ would come to the earth first, and

things would be going great, then the Anti-Christ would come to the earth and cast

Christ into hell.  Soon the veneration of Mary would cease from the earth and

essentially everybody would begin to observe the Jewish Sabbaths, Holy Days

and eat kosher.

 

I am sure that you are well aware of these prophecies and how they fueled anti-Semitic

sentiment throughout the dark ages.  

 

Finally we are living in a time period when these ideas can be viewed in a whole 

new light.  The Christ who comes first could be understood to perhaps refer to

the final Elijah who is predicted to even be instrumental in the restoration of the

lost tribes of Israel.  The Christ who comes first could refer to Mashiach ben

Yosef/Joseph or even to the King Cyrus type predicted in Isaiah 42 - 46.  Considering that

the King Cyrus type does not himself know HaShem in a manner in which he

can be dogmatic, it is easy to understand why he would get along quite well

with the heirachy of the Roman Catholic Church.  

 

//I [am] the LORD, and [there is] none else, [there is] no God beside me: I 

girded thee, though thou hast not known me:// (Isaiah 45:5) 

 

Since 1990 I have studied the near death experience continually.  It was interesting

that in 1975 Dannion Brinkley whose NDE was even made into a TV movie was shown

that Israel and Jordan would become one nation!?

 

He was shown that an attempt to unfiy Judaism, Christianity and Islam would be made

around 2000, but thankfully a lot of people were praying and events were altered.


 

http://www.dannion.com/09/tan/index-tan.htm

 

//“
Many of my visions concerned the Middle East:
…A part of the vision that is yet to take place involves a merger of the three main religions – Islam, Judaism and Christianity – in Israel. The visions revealed that the Catholic Church would successfully establish a Vatican “state-within-the-state” of Israel before the year 2000. Although the intent of this effort would be a peaceful one, this move would infuriate many Middle Easterners and would lead to war.”
Obviously, this did not happen before 2000 and now I know why. But let’s take a quick look at history before I tell you the rest of the story
...// (Dannion Brinkley)

 

 
 
 
As to the fact that Latter day Saints meet together on Sunday.... rather than on the Sabbath.......
I am thinking that Joseph Smith really did have prophetic ability and this judgment call sets up 
his disciples in the year 2019 to not appear to be such a threat to Jews.... and to Judaism.......
as many Jews regard people like me to be.
 
Some Latter day Saints have a calling to work with Jews as both Cephas / Peter and the Apostle Paul had.... and also Timothy who was even circumcised......
after becoming a Messianic Jew.....
a believer in Rabbi Yeshua - Jesus as Moshiach.... (perhaps as Moshiach ben Ephrayim the warrior Messiah)????
 
I gave a suggestion to the Latter day Saints here on the forum that could actually give them a project that they could work together with Orthodox, Chassidic, Conservative and Reform Jews on....... and this could be done on the real Shabbat.... Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.......
 
 
The full text of my message to Rabbi Hollander can be viewed in post # 7 here:

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/tate4centralnova/my-correspondence-with-rabbi-t383.html#.VsDYdsf8iOw
 
(If I am not mistaken the President of the Latter day Saints and your twelve leading Prophets might just find my correspondence with Rabbi Hollander to be of some value)?!
Edited by DennisTate
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On 2/16/2019 at 11:56 PM, Aish HaTorah said:

For us, the Shabbat is the holiest of days...even more so than Yom Kippur...because it is the only day (or Feast of the L-rd) that is mentioned in the Ten Commandments.  In other words, we believe that it is a day set apart for all people, not just Jews.  We look at the Shabbat with reverence for creation and the Creator.  It is a line of demarkation between the sacred and the profane, the things of the Divine, and the day to day.

Thank you for helping me understand that.

Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I did not know that the weekly Sabbath was up there with Yom Kippur!!!!

 

I've been fasting on Yom Kippur since the 1970's...... but I recently made a judgement call regarding observance of the Friday evening portion of the weekly Sabbath that I have been questioning...... if this latest judgment is actually correct or not????

 

Edited by DennisTate
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As a liberal Jew, and not near any Jewish community, it is easy to stop observing Shabbat. I resist this. If I don't do a proper Shabbat, the rhythm of my whole week is disrupted.

Now, a proper Shabbat for me is nothing like an Orthodox Shabbos. I use electricity, for one thing! But it is distinctly different for me. I bake challah on Friday - nowhere to buy it! - and say HaMotzi when it is cut for Shabbat evening dinner. I light the candles and say the blessing. I don't cook, nor do I reheat food on my gas stove. I do reheat in the microwave. I read the parshah, and a commentary on it. Nobody to discuss it with at my rather elementary level. 

I try to keep up with the Conservative Daf Shevui, which is more my speed than Daf Yomi.

 

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