Sunday, March 30, 2008

Jewish Christians.

I overheard the most absurd thing this evening at Argo Tea, and although there's still a few more minutes of Shabbat, I fell off the wagon sometime last night when I stumbled home after an evening of Karaoke (after shul, of course), and got on the Internet. So I had to share this, because of the level of absurdity.

I'd been at Argo for a while, and this group of folks had settled near me, discussing missionary work and other things, I wasn't paying attention really until I heard them mention the Passover seder. They were conversing about whether their churches did seders for Easter and about the Jews in their congregations. So I put my iPod on pause and listened in, casually, while exploring a cookbook I'd picked up.
"So there's a few Jews at my church, and they keep all the traditions and stuff, and this one guy was telling me that in the seder, when they hide a piece of the matzo, the matzo is supposed to represent Christ, and when they find the matzo, it is like finding salvation through Christ! It's called afikomen or something, and I guess it's really a new thing and is really supposed to be about Christ."
It took everything I had to restrain myself from blurting out "You've got to be kidding me!" Now, I know that the seder is different for everyone, and that people garner all sorts of messages and meanings out of them -- some are feminist, some emphasize vegetarianism, etc. This is why there are a million different haggadot! But this? This, well, absolutely outlandish idea of the afikomen symbolizing Christ and that the whole addition of the afikomen to the seder was actually Christian, is shocking.

Rabbi Shraga Simmons says, "The hiding of Afikomen is a rather recent custom, of a couple of centuries. It is based on Talmud Pesachim 109a which describes a Matzot grabbing, so that the children stay alert and do not fall asleep - (source: 'Ta'amei Minhagim' 529; quoting 'Chok Yaakov' 472:2)."

I guess, I didn't know that the Talmud made revelations and connections to Christian thought.

Seriously. How absurd.