Catholics in Pakistan
Beliefs And Teachings

Should Christians take part in Jewish traditions?

By: Suzanna Joseph

As Christians we have our own identity so we should not forget that Jesus Christ bought us by His redeeming blood. This is the reason we do not celebrate Jewish traditions. Proponents emphasize that we take part in these traditions for making Christians live in the past as they focus on the Old Testament.

We as Christians should always be mindful that Jesus Christ is the focal point of our faith.

Old testament is about the preparation of Christ’s coming. As compared to the New Testament which is about His earthly life and preaching. We must familiarize ourselves with His teachings and spend our lives obeying His commandments.

Few Jewish traditions, for instance are, Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year is celebrated with many customs. One of the major customs is the blowing of Shofar (a horn), throughout the day and reciting Torah.

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Christians have three opportunities to celebrate New Year, the First Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of the New Liturgical Year. Second chance is, of course, January 1. Lastly, March 25 is the third New Year’s Day for Catholics because the incarnation of God’s Son was also the beginning of humanity’s redemption and the start of the new creation.

Another Jewish festival is ‘The Sukkot’ which recalls the Exodus of 40 years of exile spent in the desert. Jews relive this moment in history when the Israelis left Egypt, imitating their ancestors, as they reside in booths.
Or the festival of Tisha be-Av. On this day the chief celebrant mourns and repents not only his sins but the sins of all the Jews. Offering blood sacrifice and entering a sacred place of worship. People pray for God’s mercy, seeking his forgiveness.

For Christians the confession day is on Good Friday, which commemorates the day when Christ was crucified on the cross for our redemption.

“For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.” (Corinthians 6:20)

Contemplate whether we should forget this sacrifice and adapt to Jewish traditions instead?

(Source: Catholic Bishops Commission for Catechism, Pakistan)

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