Sunday, December 22, 2013

‘Schiffman lecture on Wednesday’

Professor Lawrence Schiffman, certainly the pre-eminent scholar in America on the subject of the Dead Sea Scrolls, will speak Wednesday morning on “Judaism and Christianity: How They Differ and Where They Parted.”

Wednesday, December 25
Morning Prayer at 8:30
Lecture/Breakfast at 9:15

Synagogue of the Suburban Torah Center
85 West Mt. Pleasant Avenue
Livingston, New Jersey

No matter what your concentration(s) in the Western Mystery Traditions may be, I think it is urgent to understand the history of the relationship of Judaism and Christianity. It’s not just a matter of knowing there would be no Christianity without Judaism; it really is crucial to have a working knowledge of the who, what, when, where, and why of how the two faiths connect and disconnect.

Click here to read a bit about Dr. Lawrence Schiffman.

I have no idea of what Professor Schiffman will sayand I do not expect a word on Western Hidden Wisdom and initiatic societiesbut I imagine he will provide the factual background to explain away the ideas of what is called Christian Hebraism, that Renaissance period movement wherein Judaism was explored by Christian theologians for the purpose of better understanding Christianity. The findings of Christian Hebraism mostly were wrong and have been left behind, but it is to Christian Hebraism that I attribute the use today of Jewish thought (e.g. the mysticism of Kabbalah) in certain Christ-centered esoteric societies.

I had the pleasure of meeting Schiffman during my university days, interviewing him for a newspaper story on his role in Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship at New York University when the DSS finally were shared with scholars outside Israel nearly a quarter-century ago. Brilliant doesn’t satisfactorily describe him, and I’m very much looking forward to hearing him speak.

85 West Mt. Pleasant Avenue, Livingston.
Obviously the lecture lands on Christmas morning, but if you are available and desire to learn fundamental facts at the root of what would give form to the esoteric movements we hold dear today, do yourself a favor and visit this synagogue. (No offense, but if you think the Essenes have something to do with your secret society, I would think it essential that you hear this talk.) Call (973) 994-2620 to be added to the guest-list. Livingston is reached easily from routes 10, 24, and 280; and is near many other major highways.

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