Monday, February 25, 2008

A Response to Comments on Tridentine Judaism

Concerning the last blog posting, Tridentine Judaism, a reader has commented:

If you search the term shekinah does come up in a few searches. Could this be the result of an ignorance of the origin of Shekinah or is the author of this blog jumping to conclusions?

The 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia makes reference to the rabbinic texts in numerous instances. There is certainly a familiarity with the rabbinic texts there. Whether the writers/editors of the Catholic Encyclopedia knew of the rabbinic origin of "Shekinah" I cannot say. I can tell you with great certainty that the "Shekinah" is a non-biblical, post-Temple rabbinic invention. Its source is the Targum Onkelos which scholars date between 100-400 A.D. It is very likely a rabbinic reinvention/preservation of the pagan goddess that the apostate Israelites worshiped (Jeremias 7;18, Jeremias 44;17).

Am I overreacting? As I see it, Fr. Finigan, at least figuratively, perhaps unwittingly, is putting Asherah back in the Temple with his use of the term "Shekinah" in reference to the sanctuary. This is an abomination.

I would add that the logic behind the comment seems to be that the 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia, which predates Vatican II by several decades, is a solid test of orthodoxy by that fact. I'm sorry to say that if this is the thinking behind the comment, it is flawed. The errors that we're dealing with here go back centuries before Vatican II to the medieval and renaissance "Christian" Cabalists (Johannes Reuchlin, Pico della Mirandola, et al) who believed that post-Temple rabbinic texts, mysticism, gematria and other rabbinic exegetical methods could be incorporated into Christianity. This movement was largely pushed underground by the Council of Trent but was never fully stamped out. Today, this thinking has the endorsement of the Vatican and Benedict himself as documented here:

The Vatican recommends that Christians learn from post-Temple rabbinic texts which they say are of great value for interpreting both the Old and New Testaments. So, Fr. Finigan is really only acting as the Vatican encourages all Catholics to do when he incorporates post-Temple rabbinic concepts into Catholic tradition. The title of his blog, "The Hermeneutic of Continuity" is really quite telling in this regard. I anticipate more of this kind of diabolical Tridentine Judaism to come from the priests whose concept of obedience is more akin to that of Masonry or the Mafia than the Gospel, or who don't know the difference between Catholic and rabbinic tradition to begin with.


Anonymous said...

According to the cabbala, the universe is ruled not by one god but by several deities, of various characters and influences, emanated by a dim, distant First Cause. Omitting many details, one can summarize the system as follows. From the First Cause, first a male god called 'Wisdom' or 'Father' and then a female goddess called 'Knowledge' or 'Mother' were emanated or born. From the marriage of these two, a pair of younger gods were born: Son, also called by many other names such as 'Small Face' or 'The Holy Blessed One'; and Daughter, also called 'Lady' (or 'Matronit', a word derived from Latin), 'Shekhinah', 'Queen', and so on. These two younger gods should be united, but their union is prevented by the machinations of Satan, who in this system is a very important and independent personage. The Creation was undertaken by the First Cause in order to allow them to unite, but because of the Fall they became more disunited than ever, and indeed Satan has managed to come very close to the divine Daughter and even to rape her (either seemingly or in fact - opinions differ on this). The creation of the Jewish people was undertaken in order to mend the break caused by Adam and Eve, and under Mount Sinai this was for a moment achieved: the male god Son, incarnated in Moses, was united with the goddess Shekhinah. Unfortunately, the sin of the Golden Calf again caused disunity in the godhead; but the repentance of the Jewish people has mended matters to some extent. Similarly, each incident of biblical Jewish history is believed to be associated with the union or disunion of the divine pair. The Jewish conquest of Palestine from the Canaanites and the building of the first and second Temple are particularly propitious for their. union, while the destruction of the Temples and exile of the Jews from the Holy Land are merely external signs not only of the divine disunion but also of a real 'whoring after strange gods': Daughter falls closely into the power of Satan, while Son takes various female satanic personages to his bed, instead of his proper wife.

Israel Shahak- Jewish History Jewish religion

Anonymous said...

The duty of pious Jews is to restore through their prayers and religious acts the perfect divine unity, in the form of sexual union, between the male and female deities. Thus before most ritual acts, which every devout Jew has to perform many times each day, the following cabbalistic formula is recited: 'For the sake of the [sexual] congress of the Holy Blessed One and his Shekhinah... ' The Jewish morning prayers are also arranged so as to promote this sexual union, if only temporarily. Successive parts of the prayer mystically correspond to successive stages of the union: at one point the goddess approaches with her hand- maidens, at another the god puts his arm around her neck and fondles her breast, and finally the sexual act is supposed to take place.

Other prayers or religious acts, as interpreted by the cabbalists, are designed to deceive various angels (imagined as minor deities with a measure of independence)or to propitiate Satan. At a certain point in the morning prayer, some verses in Aramaic (rather than the more usual Hebrew) are pronounced. This is supposed to be a means for tricking the angels who operate the gates through which prayers enter heaven and who have the power to block the prayers of the pious. The angels only understand Hebrew and are baffled by the Aramaic verses; being somewhat dull-witted (presumably they are far less clever than the cabbalists) they open the gates, and at this moment all the prayers, including those in Hebrew, get through. Or take another example: both before and after a meal, a pious Jew ritually washes his hands, uttering a special blessing. On one of these two occasions he is worshiping God, by promoting the divine union of Son and Daughter; but on the other he is worshiping Satan, who likes Jewish prayers and ritual acts so much that when he is offered a few of them it keeps him busy for a while and he forgets to pester the divine Daughter. Indeed, the cabbalists believe that some of the sacrifices burnt in the Temple were intended for Satan. For example, the seventy bullocks sacrificed during the seven days of the feast of Tabernacles were supposedly offered to Satan in his capacity as ruler of all the Gentiles, in order to keep him too busy to interfere on the eighth day, when sacrifice is made to God. Many other examples of the same kind can be given.

Anonymous said...

I have seen authors influenced by the 'new theology' peddle this shekinah stuff. Before the last post I thought it was just a relatively harmless attempt to show off some Hebraist pseudo-erudition.

Priests who are genuinely traditional are careful to adhere to the rule of the Church-- never to interpret scripture contrary to the moral unanimity of the Fathers.

Maurice Pinay said...

I thought it was just a relatively harmless attempt to show off some Hebraist pseudo-erudition.

That may be the case in some instances. Perhaps that is how it ended up in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

However, the effect is that we become accustomed to hearing this foreign term and it becomes a part of our tradition solely on the basis of repetition. Only later once people believe the "Shekinah" is truly a part of their tradition would it be possible to unveil its true gnosis. I'm attempting to disrupt this pattern.

I don't suggest that all of the people who use this term understand it fully or know that it is a non-Biblical invention. But I'm certain that at least some of them do.

Anonymous said...

What's intersting is that in Genesis which clearly states, "Let US make man to OUR image." which is a clear reference to a Trinitarian Godhead which the Judaics reject, many Judaics say that the "Us" is a refernce to God and the cosmos creating man.

The rejection of Christ in turn causes a rejection of a Trinitarian Godhead which in turn leads to this nonsense of the cosmos partaking in creation.

I believe it can be all called an attempt to rationalize their rejection of God: Our Lord Jesus Christ.