Category Archives: Mishnah

Rabbis of the Mishnah as a family tree

Famous rabbis of the Mishnah and Talmud, shown on a family tree-like diagram.

From BimBam (formerly G-dcast)

Talmud-character-chart-1

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Rabbinic Judaism and the New Testament parallels

Judaism and Christianity are different religions: They have different concepts of the nature of God, revelation, salvation, and messiah. But Jesus, his family, and first generation of followers were all Jewish. Historians of religion hold that later Christian doctrine, such as the Trinity, were not taught by Jesus, but rather were developed centuries later by the Church Fathers.

People assume that the teachings of Jesus are radically different from Judaism, but that’s not really correct. This belief comes from comparing the words of Jesus to the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible, Old Testament.) But Judaism is not based on a literal reading of the Bible – rather, it understands the Bible through an oral law – Torah she’be’al peh תורה שבעל פה. These teachings are found in Mishnah, מִשְׁנָה, classical Midrash מדרש compilations, Talmud Yerushalmi (תַּלְמוּד יְרוּשָׁלְמִי) and Talmud Bavli ( תַּלְמוּד בבל ) And when we look at this oral law, we find that many of the words Jesus spoke were very similar to Judaism.

Jesus is presented as an opponent of the Pharisees, the largest of the Jewish groups that existed during the time of the Second Temple.Yet Jesus’s words were often in alignment with the Pharisees – as opposed to the other Jewish groups at the time (Sadducees and Essenes.)

After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, Pharisaic beliefs became the basis for Rabbinic Judaism. We can find remarkable lists of parallels between Jesus and rabbinical Judaism

A Rabbi’s Impressions of the Oberammergau Passion Play, by Joseph Krauskopf

Some Rabbinic Parallels to the New Testament,  Solomon Schechter, The Jewish Quarterly Review, Vol. 12, No. 3 (Apr., 1900), pp. 415-433

Rabbi Arthur Segal compiled this set of parallels between the teachings of rabbinical Judaism and Jesus in the New Testament.

The New Testament is a set of various books finalized around 100 CE.
The books of rabbinical Judaism are known as “the oral law”, and include material from a few centuries before Jesus, through the redaction of the Mishnah (200 CE), the various classical Midrash compilations (100 to 600 CE) and the two Talmuds (circa 550 CE)

 Rabbinic Judaism  Christianity
 Talmud: Yoma 85b: Rabbi Jonathan ben Joseph said: It (the Sabbath) is committed to your hands, not you to its hands.  Mark 2:27: The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
 Tosefta Shavuot, ch. 3 :One who betrays his fellow, it is as if he has betrayed God.  Matthew 25:45: Then shall he answer them, saying, Truthfully I say to you, in as much as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.
 Talmud: Bava Mezia 58b: He who publicly shames his neighbor is as though he shed blood.  Matthew 5:21-22: Insulting someone is like murder.
 Kallah, Ch. 1: One who gazes lustfully upon the small finger of a married woman, it is as if he has committed adultery with her.  Matthew 5:28: But I say to you, That whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.
 Talmud Taanit 7a : Rabbi Abbahu said: The day when rain fails is greater than [the day of] the Revival of the Dead, for the Revival of the Dead is for the righteous only – whereas rain is both for the righteous and for the wicked  Matthew 5:45: That you may be the children of your Father in heaven: for God makes the sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

 Rabbinic Judaism  Christianity
 Talmud Berachot 17b: In the case of the recital of the Shema Yisrael [prayer], since everybody else recites, and he also recites, it does not look like showing off on his part; but in the case of the month of Av, since everybody else does work, but he does no work, it looks like showing off.  Matthew 6:1: Take heed that you do not say your prayers before men, to be seen of them: otherwise you have no reward of your Father in heaven.
 Talmud Bava Batra 10a – 10b: What kind of charity  is that which delivers a man from an unnatural death? When a man gives without knowing to whom he gives. and the beggar receives without knowing from whom he receives.  Matthew 6:3:  But when you do works of charity, let not your left hand know what your right hand does.
 If one draws out his prayer and expects therefore its fulfillment, he will in the end suffer vexation of heart, as it says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Talmud, Berachot 55a  But when you pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.- Matthew 6:7
 Rabbi Eliezer the Great declares: Whoever has a piece of bread in his basket and Says. ‘What shall I eat  tomorrow?’ belongs only to them who are little in faith . – Talmud Sotah 48b  Do not worry about where your food will come from tomorrow, or your drink. – Matthew 6:25-31
A parable: [They were] like a man who was kept in prison and people told him: Tomorrow, they will release you from the prison and give you plenty of money. And he answered them: I pray of you, let me go free today and I shall ask nothing more! – Talmud Berachot 9b

Talmud Beracoth 9b – Each day has enough of its own troubles.

 Take therefore no thought for tomorrow: for tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. – Matthew 6:34

 Rabbinic Judaism  Christianity
A righteous yes is a Yes; a righteous no is No. – Talmud Bava Batra 49b

Let your yes be yes, and your no be no. – R. Abaye, Talmud Baba Metzia 49a

 Let your Yes be Yes and your No be No. – Matthew 5:34-37
 Rabbi Johanan said: Since the Temple was destroyed, prophecy has been taken from prophets and given to fools and children. – Talmud Bava Batra 12b  At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them to babes. – Matthew 11:25
 Even as R. Zera, who, whenever he chanced upon scholars engaged thereon [I.e., in calculating the time of the Mashiach’s  coming], would say to them: I beg of you, do not postpone it, for it has been taught: Three come unawares: Mashiach, a found article and a scorpion. – Talmud Sanhedrin 97a  Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. – Matthew 24:44
 They who are insulted but insult not back; who hear themselves reproached but answer not; who serve out of love and rejoice in their affliction–of them it is written in Scripture: They that love God are as the going forth of the sun in its might. – Talmud: Yoma 23a, Gittin  36b  and  Shabbat  88b  Love your enemy. – Matthew 5:43

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love your neighbor , and hate thine  enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; – Matthew 5:43

 If a man said, “I will sin and repent, and sin again and repent”, he will be given no chance to repent. [If he said,] “I will sin and the Day of Atonement will effect atonement”, then the Day of Atonement effects no atonement. For transgressions that are between man and God the Day of Atonement effects atonement, but for transgressions that are between a man and his fellow the Day of Atonement effects atonement only if he has appeased his fellow – Talmud Yoma 8:9  Therefore if thou bring your gift to the altar, and there rememberest that your brother hath aught against thee; Leave there your gift before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. – Matthew 5:23-24

 Rabbinic Judaism  Christianity
Talmud Rosh Hashanah 17a – Only if you forgive others will God forgive you.

Talmud Shabbat 151b – One who is merciful toward others, God will be merciful toward him

 Matthew 6:14-15 For if ye forgive men their trespasses …

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.—Matthew 5:7

 Jerusalem Talmud  Pe’ah 15b – It happened that Manobaz had squandered his father’s wealth to charity. His brothers admonished him: “Your father gathered treasure and you wasted it all!” He replied: “My father laid up treasure where human hands control it; I laid it up where no hands control it. My father laid up a treasure of money; I laid up a treasure of souls. My father laid up treasure for this world; I laid up treasure for the heavenly world.”  Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth …
Talmud Pirkei Avot 2:14 – Do not judge your fellow until you have been in his place.

Talmud Pirkei Avot 4:10 – Do not be a judge of others, for there is no judge but the one (God).

 Matthew 7:1 Do not judge, or you too will be judged …
Talmud Sotah 1:7 – By a person’s standard of measure, is he, too, measured.

Talmud Shabbat 127b – How you judge others, does God judge you.

Talmud Sanhedrin 100a, attributes to Rabbi Meir the saying: “The measure which one measures will be measured out to him.”

 Matthew 7:2 … with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
Talmud Arachin 16b – Rabbi Tarfon said, “I wonder if there be anyone in this era who will allow himself to be reproved. If someone says to another, ‘Cast out the speck that is in your eye!’ he will retort, Cast out first the beam that is in your own eye!'”

Do they say, take the splinter out of your eye, he will retort: “Remove the beam out of your own eye.”—R. Johanan, surnamed Bar Napha, 199-279 A.D., Baba Bathra 15b.

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the beam that is in your own eye?—Matthew 7:3

 

 Rabbinic Judaism  Christianity
 The day is short, and the work is much; and the workmen are indolent, but the reward is much; and the Master of the House is insistent.—R. Tarfon, 120 A.D., Aboth 2:15 The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.—Matthew 9.37
He who humbles himself for the Torah in this world is magnified in the next; and he who makes himself a servant to the Torah in this world becomes free in the next.—R. Jeremiah, died 250 A.D., Baba Metzia 85b Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.—Matthew 23:12
Talmud Yoma 85b – Yom Kippur atones for all sins, but first you must reconcile your conflict with others. Matthew 5:23-24… first be reconciled to your brother.
Talmud Rosh Hashanah 17a – Only if you forgive others will God forgive you.

Talmud Shabbat 151b – One who is merciful toward others, God will be merciful toward him

Matthew 6:14-15 For if ye forgive men their trespasses …
 Jerusalem Talmud Pe’ah 15b – It happened that Manobaz had squandered his father’s wealth to charity. His brothers admonished him: “Your father gathered treasure and you wasted it all!” He replied: “My father laid up treasure where human hands control it; I laid it up where no hands control it. My father laid up a treasure of money; I laid up a treasure of souls. My father laid up treasure for this world; I laid up treasure for the heavenly world.” Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth …

 Rabbinic Judaism  Christianity
Talmud Pirkei Avot 2:14 – Do not judge your fellow until you have been in his place.

Talmud Pirkei Avot 4:10 – Do not be a judge of others, for there is no judge but the one (God).

Matthew 7:1 Do not judge, or you too will be judged …
Talmud Sotah 1:7 – By a person’s standard of measure, is he, too, measured.

Talmud Shabbat 127b – How you judge others, does God judge you.

Talmud Sanhedrin 100a, attributes to Rabbi Meir the saying: “The measure which one measures will be measured out to him.”

Matthew 7:2 … with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
Talmud Shabbat 31a – What is hateful to you, do it not unto others — this is the entire Torah, and the rest is commentary. Matthew 7:12 Do to others what you would have them do to you …
He who is merciful to others, shall receive mercy from Heaven. – Talmud Shabbat 151b

Sifri, Ekev No. 49 – As God is, so shall you be: As God is merciful, so shall you too, be merciful.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. –Matthew 5:7
 Just as I teach gratuitously, so you should teach gratuitously. – Talmud Beracoth 29a Freely you receive, freely give. –Matthew 10:8

 Rabbinic Judaism  Christianity
 He who humbles himself for the Torah in this world is magnified in the next; and he who makes himself a servant to the Torah in this world becomes free in the next. – Talmud Baba Metzia 85b Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. –Matthew 23:12
 

Rabbi Arthur Segal analyzes these verses and concludes:

As we can see because Jesus was indeed a Pharisee Talmudic rabbi, from the House of Hillel, from the liberal tradition, as were his followers, he was teaching to those in Judea who were either followers of the more strict school of Rabbi Shammai, or still considered themselves Hebrews, and following the cult of the priests. The priests at the time of Jesus were corrupt, not of the line of Aaron, nor Kohan’s, but were Hasmoneans and Roman puppets. The Talmudic rabbis despised them saying ‘if you meet a priest and his is arrogant, you can be sure of his lineage.” The Talmud states that God’s holy Presence did not reside in the second Temple.

Jesus was preaching to Jews and Hebrews Talmudic spiritual Judaism and in cases were Talmudic law was trumped by Talmudic law, he was quick to tell those who would listen. Unfortunately, in the Christian bible, the words Jew and Hebrews get interchanged, and it sounds as if Talmudic Jews were still mired in the Temple priestly cult which Jesus, as the rabbis too, were against.

 

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