My MILly is a wannabe Jew, which isn’t all that weird to me since my mother, also not a Jew, has this deep emotional/spiritual connection to Israel also. I think it may come from a lifetime of studying the Bible; after all it is all about the chosen people start to finish. How nominal Christians throughout the centuries could have missed this and become so anti-Semitic I have no idea. So we celebrated Passover last week.
We have actually been keeping Jewish feasts day with our little family for quite a while now. We decided a long time ago to dispense with the confusing, misleading, syncretistic North American traditional holidays and what better thing to replace them with than the feasts that are commanded in the Bible and are designed with the instruction of your children in mind and the memory of God’s provision in ages past. Assuming of course that you believe the stuff in the Bible, which we do. Most of the time anyway.
So before I lose everyone because I just dissed all of the Holidays, let me explain. Do you know that the word Easter is a derivative of Ishtar the goddess also known as Ashtereth, sometimes Isis, I think, as well. Did you also know that in 350 something AD after Christianity had become the state religion Christians were forbidden to celebrate Passover, which if you follow these things, is the Feast the Jesus celebrated with his disciples, the context without which communion makes a whole lot less sense, and one of the most meaningful holidays for Christians and Jews alike. Instead of Passover the Christians were to celebrate the resurrection on the Sunday following the full moon, Equinox, which somehow corresponded exactly with the worship of Ishtar and the celebration of some God attached to her, I don’t remember which, returning from the underworld. The Jews had been forced to worship Ishtar and Marduk during their Babylonian exile and captivity, and now Christianity, a faith that owes it’s entire life, roots, understanding of God, and center, to Judaic tradition is now absorbed by the prevailing pagan culture around it, and turns it’s back on the faith that parented it and with whom it is most closely tied.
All right, so that was all background so that my coming rant will make a little bit of sense. You see I have friends that are pagan and still worship Ashtereth consciously. And yes I can be friends with them and love them, even if the over arching stories that we live in are different and we often disagree. These women know what they are doing when they say Happy Easter.
We celebrated Passover on Friday, yes it was the wrong day for the Seder but that’s when the whole family could be there and since we’re not really Jewish, and it lasts three days anyway, we figured it was okay. It was a lot of fun, and very instructive for the kids. The Boy cried at the thought of eating horseradish, which you are supposed to eat so that you cry and remember the bitterness of slavery in Egypt, so we didn’t make him eat it until the second dipping with the Charoset on top, which is sweet and then he asked for more, which was funny and appropriate for what it’s supposed to teach.
The next day we went to the messianic Synagogue where the rabbi so beautifully brought together the deep symbolism of the Passover lamb with the death and resurrection of Christ and it was all whole and complete and there was nothing jarring or inconsistent about the whole day and the day before it. The kids seemed to get it, as they always do when we do things the Jewish way.
Then we went to church on Sunday and someone said Happy Easter to me. I had to chomp down on my tongue so hard it almost bled to keep from snarling at them. I was surprised at the gut reaction I had because I wasn’t expecting anything else, but the several days before of immersion in Passover had caused the celebration of Easter/Ishtar to be almost personally offensive to me. Perhaps I am thinking more like a Jew, hard to say. But I understand why they are offended almost regularly by all of Christendom.
See, if you want to be a pagan go ahead and be a pagan, eat your little fruit buns that were traditionally an offering to the Goddess, enjoy your fertility symbol bunny rabbits and have a good time. I am offended by the people that claim to be of one faith and yet nurture and carry on the traditions of another that is so contrary to their own with no idea of what is going on. Come on people, do a little reading, decide if you are pagans or Christians and then do accordingly.
So now by sharing my new found sensitivity and offended ness I’m sure I’ve offended at least some of you. I’m sorry because that’s not my intent, I have a chronic need to educate, and I can’t comment on something without giving background, in this case a pile.
So, am I being too extreme? What do you think?