The Israel of the Old Testament no longer exists. The Israel of the New Testament is the Church.
You as a Catholic are perfectly within your rights to say that the Catholic church succeeded to the covenant.
However, you cannot say that the Jewish religion of today does not descend, directly, from the Jewish people of the "Old Testament".
Jewish scholars led by Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai made a deal with the Roman General Vespasian to spare them to establish the academy of Yavneh. (It was this Rabbi who in response to his disciples' dismay: "How can we serve the Lord after the destruction of the Temple?", answered: "By acts of loving kindness.")
Before the last Judeo-Roman wars, Jews had spread to all corners of the Roman and Hellenic world, at least, notably to Spain, Turkey (where Saint Paul ne Saul was from), and to Rome itself. In one of the last Jewish wars, some Jews in the diaspora did rise up and got slaughtered, but there is no record of a systematic extermination of Jews by Romans, who soon were more preoccupied to hunt down Christians.
Also, at the beginning of the Common Era (e.g. A.D.), Jerusalem Jews began formulating the Talmud, the essence of post-Temple Jewish life to this day, and transfered this effort seamlessly to Baghdad after the Romans expelled most Jews from Palestine.
In fact, some Jews never returned from the Babylonian exile, and due to this and other Jewish communities in the diapsora, the Jews began celebrating many important holidays like the New Year on two days rather than just one, in case communities in different time zones made a mistake, they could still celebrate contemporaneously with their brethren.
Jews expelled from Israel went primarily to western Europe through the port of Marseilles. That is why the earliest great medieval Jewish scholars were located in southern France.
So there is a clear "apostolic succession" for the Jewish religion from the Old Testament/New Testament Jews. Yeah, there were probably converts, which is fine in Jewish tradition: the Prophet Jeremiah was a descendant of Canaanites, and the great Rabbi Akiba of the great Jewish rebellion was the grandson of a convert. Nevertheless, recent DNA testing of Jews across the world of the priestly Kohan caste reveal that virtually 100% possess a Chromosone found in no other people.
I hope you will stop making unfounded claims about the Jewish people's lineage.
May the Lord give you strength and success in the Catholic faith, the world's preeminent universal creed. Your Pope has been a blessing to the world and an example for all men of faith.
posted on 02/19/2005 11:36:14 PM PST
("Remember, your fathers sacrificed themselves without need of a messianic complex." Ariel Sharon)
"Also, at the beginning of the Common Era (e.g. A.D.), Jerusalem Jews began formulating the Talmud, the essence of post-Temple Jewish life to this day, and transfered this effort seamlessly to Baghdad after the Romans expelled most Jews from Palestine."
Yes, yes. Indeed, contempory Judaism could more properly be referred to as Talmudism so as to distinguish itself from the Hebrew religion of the Old Testament.
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