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Life Arts

To Experience Jesus, Visit a Synagogue

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.Look at me and see Jesus. Yeminite Jew with prayer shawl, tefillin and Torah by Wikipedia

When I began gathering material for my recently published book, Jesus Uncensored: Restoring the Authentic Jew, I described the project to an orthodox rabbi I know. I was prepared for an indifferent response, or perhaps a negative one, since I have found that Jews do not readily warm up to the name Jesus. Much to my surprise, though, the rabbi smiled and responded with a personal anecdote.

He lectures a great deal all over the world, he told me, and sometimes he is in an airport waiting room during morning prayer time. Undaunted by the public setting, he goes to the most private area he can find and proceeds to wrap himself in a prayer shawl and put on his phylacteries (teffilin-- two leather boxes that are fastened with straps to the forehead and arm).The tefillin contain parchments of verses from the Torah: Exodus 13:1-10 and 13: 11-16; Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21.

Occasionally, curious Christians ask the rabbi about this "strange" ritual. "I always give the same answer," he said: "This is what Jesus did every morning."

The rabbi was no doubt correct, as my research confirmed. Jesus, like most Galilean Jews at the time, was a Pharisee. And the Pharisees engaged in standard Jewish practices. Prayer shawls were traditional for prayer services. And the phylacteries date back to ancient times. The Torah scriptures were added to the leather boxes during the Second Temple Period beginning in 515 BCE. In Matthew 23:5 (New Testament) Jesus makes reference to tefillin, as well as the tassels (tzitzit) that observant Jews wear.

A traveler passing through Nazareth or a neighboring town who wanted to meet the charismatic Rabbi Jesus (as his followers called him) might easily find him at the local synagogue---especially on the Sabbath. Jesus routinely attended Sabbath services at a synagogue, where he read the weekly portion (parsha) of the Torah: "And he went to Nazareth where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up for to read." (Luke 4:16)

So the next time you see an observant Jew with prayer shawl, tefillin, and tzitzit, look at him and see Jesus. That's how Jesus appeared every morning. Or, for a more complete Jesus experience, visit a synagogue. That's where Jesus went every Sabbath.

Given the ample evidence that Jesus was a dedicated practicing Jew isn't it ironic that his spiritual home, the synagogue, has historically been the target of desecration and destruction by anti-Semites?

 

http://www.bernardstarr.com

Bernard Starr, Ph.D.is a psychologist, journalist and college professor. He is author of "Jesus Uncensored: Restoring the Authentic Jew," and is also organizer of the art exhibit, "Putting Judaism Back in the Picture:Toward Healing the (more...)
 
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Even as late as the fourth century, Christians con... by Bernard Starr on Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 9:54:45 AM
Are you trying to convert non-Jews to your correct... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 12:49:34 PM
You make some good points Robert....as does the au... by Burl Hall on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 5:59:04 AM
particularly by Leon Blois, the Catholic Historian... by Mark Sashine on Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 12:58:47 PM
is Life...that includes you.  All "isms" must... by Burl Hall on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 6:01:49 AM
Mr. Starr states that "Jesus was a Pharisee." But ... by E. J. N. on Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 3:21:08 PM
So, not only are Starr's assumptions about history... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 4:29:48 PM
Nowhere have I recommended conversion. First of a... by Bernard Starr on Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 8:13:20 PM
First, my comment was not critical of your articl... by E. J. N. on Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 9:13:04 PM
as I was about to withdraw from commenting on your... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 11:40:42 AM
Say what? others converted Jesus into a "latter-da... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 12:10:39 PM
In the "Gospel of Thomas" Christ says "If you brin... by Burl Hall on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 6:10:17 AM
I too find the Gospel of Thomas and other texts fo... by E. J. N. on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 11:36:24 AM
:)... by Burl Hall on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 12:11:51 PM
both for the valuable information and perspective ... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 1:00:56 PM
I am not only grateful to you both and very apprec... by E. J. N. on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 5:34:56 PM
Which the Jewish Authorities who handed him over t... by Michael Dewey on Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 5:17:54 PM
Meister Eckhart, a Christian mystic, says, "If tha... by Burl Hall on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 6:14:40 AM
Which his Guru nicked named Ma inspired.  For... by Michael Dewey on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 7:32:05 AM
Arlo is absolutely right when he said: "There are ... by E. J. N. on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 11:46:46 AM
"There is as many ways to pray as there are people... by Burl Hall on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 12:17:31 PM
click here... by Daniel Geery on Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 6:29:01 PM
Came and went where?  I see Him in the depths... by Burl Hall on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 6:30:38 AM
You wanna add yet another religious slant into thi... by Marta B on Friday, Apr 26, 2013 at 7:39:41 PM
Wrong:  All religions -- Christian, Jewish, I... by Burl Hall on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 6:25:03 AM
You do not understand Buddhism - they do not promo... by Philip Pease on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 9:38:09 AM
understand the deeper spirit behind all religions.... by Burl Hall on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 12:20:39 PM
is what we rationalist "thinkers" do (excuse us!:)... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 12:45:15 PM
Again, you're not going far enough and refuse to l... by Burl Hall on Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 at 4:48:51 AM
"Rationalism is a lesser evolved intelligence."Spe... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 at 11:07:38 AM
yes, I do experience judgement on others at time, ... by Burl Hall on Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 at 1:16:54 PM
but why not also, before you discard reason as une... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 at 1:26:04 PM
Thy enemy is thyself.  Even in this spat, in ... by Burl Hall on Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 at 2:43:07 PM
like fundamentalist fanatics who bomb children. Yo... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 at 5:52:00 PM
You state:  "In epistemology and in... by Burl Hall on Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 11:38:23 AM
And the world need not be viewed as dead or static... by Robert S. Becker on Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 12:23:14 PM
I can give a thumbs up to this response.  Tha... by Burl Hall on Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 4:47:19 PM
Trained as a literary critic, I am prone to make d... by Robert S. Becker on Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 7:28:23 PM
The only comment I can make on this is that it boi... by Burl Hall on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 5:16:39 AM
Read the news and see what modern Buddhism has bec... by Marta B on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 4:18:37 PM
Some claim to be Buddhist but don't get it. Some ... by Philip Pease on Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 at 8:46:51 AM
Thank you for you wonderful description of the tru... by Robert De Filippis on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 10:43:36 AM
Is religion not about the re-making of alleged div... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 12:37:46 PM
If we take the supernaturalism out of the discussi... by Robert De Filippis on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 1:45:13 PM
I wrote, "My argument is about religion." It shoul... by Robert De Filippis on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 1:46:48 PM
Yes, I welcome Mr. Starr's argument that it is use... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 2:22:57 PM
Mr. Starr's article reminds me of the Republican p... by Robert De Filippis on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 3:36:37 PM
in the US Christianity is  transferred into p... by Mark Sashine on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 3:50:22 PM
   I believe that Jesus is the son of th... by Bob Gormley on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 5:38:18 PM
I have many leaps of faith, like believing in scie... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 7:31:26 PM
 the actual belief  in Jesus being a son... by Mark Sashine on Saturday, Apr 27, 2013 at 8:11:49 PM
" The proper requirement is to love Jesus". That c... by Bob Gormley on Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 at 7:27:57 AM
   Internal struggle is a good thing. It... by Bob Gormley on Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 at 7:29:43 AM
 i tried to explain again and again that for ... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 at 8:48:49 AM
Bob Gormley, we've come a long way, and I like you... by E. J. N. on Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 at 2:05:26 PM
One of the mystics states, "of what use, Gabriel, ... by Burl Hall on Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 at 5:15:38 AM
  I think we use different spiritual terms, b... by Bob Gormley on Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 at 7:33:32 AM
Seek and you shall find. And what you find -- if y... by E. J. N. on Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 at 12:21:23 PM
E.J., you're wonder-full.  Thanks for that.... by Burl Hall on Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 at 1:07:23 PM
He said Sodom and Gomorrah would stand up and cond... by Michael Dewey on Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 at 10:57:39 AM
I keep thinking of Christ overturning the money ch... by Burl Hall on Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 at 1:10:10 PM
Well not all of my life.  I bought into that ... by Michael Dewey on Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 at 2:27:04 PM
Beautfully stated Michael!!!!!... by Burl Hall on Sunday, Apr 28, 2013 at 2:44:31 PM
That I call Pearls of Thunder, kept secret in Reve... by Michael Dewey on Monday, Apr 29, 2013 at 5:09:29 PM
We tend to judge others (religious organizations, ... by Philip Pease on Monday, Apr 29, 2013 at 10:50:23 AM
Ah, Philip.  Maybe me, you and E.J. N.....and... by Burl Hall on Monday, Apr 29, 2013 at 6:25:24 PM
I appreciate all the good commentary here, the pos... by Robert S. Becker on Monday, Apr 29, 2013 at 11:28:22 AM
It doesn't really matter how much scholarly debate... by anna kakol on Monday, Apr 29, 2013 at 11:40:37 AM
I don't know as much about dinosaurs (great analog... by Robert S. Becker on Monday, Apr 29, 2013 at 12:27:31 PM
Even though it is true that there are many false b... by E. J. N. on Monday, Apr 29, 2013 at 2:28:01 PM
What major sect changed its view or behavior or ri... by Robert S. Becker on Monday, Apr 29, 2013 at 3:58:24 PM
Robert, you are correct in that there are certain ... by E. J. N. on Monday, Apr 29, 2013 at 6:30:32 PM
I don't believe that Jesus was a Pharisee or a Rab... by Fresnoman4man on Monday, Apr 29, 2013 at 9:00:15 PM