Nazarene Space

Kabbalist Yeshua - Eat my fleash and drink my blood.

Yohanan 6:53-63 "Yeshua therefore said to them, truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the son of Adam and drink his blood, you possess no life in yourselves. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood possesses everlasting life, and I shall raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is truly food (meat) and my blood is truly drink...But Yeshua knowing within himself that his taught ones were grumbling about this, said to them, does this make you stumble?...It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh does not profit at all. The words that I speak to you are spirit and are life."

I was reading "The Essential Talmud" today and came across an old note I had made in relation to the kabbalistic concept above.

The Essential Talmud page 253 "Both halakhah and aggadah were Torah, each reflecting a different aspect of the truth. In one of the sources the sages compare halakhah to meat and aggadah to wine, emphasizing the difference between the basic food and drink that raises the spirits. In fact, aggadah was often regarded as the path to spiritual elevation..."

Catholicism tells us that Yeshua is referring to eating a wafer and drinking a small cup of wine/grape juice to receive eternal life. However with a good understanding of Jewish spirituality we can clearly see the true intent of Yeshua's words. When Yeshua sees that his students are having a hard time with this spiritual concept he explains "...the words that I speak to you are spirit and are life..." What words are there that are referenced as meat and drink? The Torah shebal peh - The oral Torah. When run back through the proper filter of orthodox Judaism Yeshua is stating that those who possess the halakhah and the aggadah have eternal life. The Torah which includes the oral Torah is life itself. Without the oral tradition/oral Torah you are lacking the flesh and blood of the written. The aggadah (which includes the explanation of spirituality/kabbalah) in particular is the spirituality of Judaism and the very source of spiritual elevation. Lets see if Yeshua agrees that the aggadah is elevation or vitalizing for the spirit.

"...It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh does not profit at all..."

The strongs number for "gives life" is 2227 " to (re-) vitalize" This word is also used just a chapter earlier...

Yohanan 5:21 "For as the Father raises the dead and makes alive, even so the son makes alive whom he wishes."

The word makes alive or quickeneth is used in the sense of elevating or revitalizing. So it is likely, and would make more sense that Yeshua was saying...

Realize that if you eat and drink (internalize) the oral Torah that I am now giving you - It is your spirit that is elevated/vitalized, the flesh does not profit at all.

This not only fits better contextually for the verse but it also matches the concept found in "The Essential Talmud"

" In one of the sources the sages compare halakhah to meat and aggadah to wine, emphasizing the difference between the basic food and drink that raises the spirits. In fact, aggadah was often regarded as the path to spiritual elevation..."

Notice the "raises the spirits" and the "path to spiritual elevation"

The sages of orthodox Judaism tell us that the oral Torah is both meat and drink, but not for the physical body, rather the spirit is raised or elevated by the oral Torah. Yeshua is telling us the same thing. By internalizing the written and oral Torah you are internalizing the essence (teachings) of the Mashiach.

Views: 1640

Comment by Shawn on September 13, 2009 at 9:34am
No problem RT. Yes the implications are far reaching if we stop and consider that Yeshua is talking about how to receive eteranal life and take part in the ressurection.
Comment by Wayne Ingalls on September 13, 2009 at 11:11am
Shalom Shawn, I rather think that Yeshua used the eating/drinking phraseology because it was well known, but for an entirely different reason. I think Yeshua used that phraseology to declare that He was indeed the Messiah, and to refute the doctrine of Rabbi Hillel (that the Messiah had already come and gone -- that the Messiah was Hezekiah).

R. Hillel says, “Israel will have no Messiah, for they consumed him in the time of
Hezekiah.” (Talmud Bavli, Sanhedrin 99A).

Yeshua was refuting this (probably) well known saying of Hillel, indicating: "No, you can consume me now, for I am the Messiah."

Blessings,
Wayne
Comment by Shawn on September 13, 2009 at 11:28am
Wayne that is an interesting idea. However, Yeshua references both eating and drinking, both meat and blood/wine. As in the ceremony of Aharon shel Pesach in which it is described that the wine of kabbalah is likened to the blood or mystical teachings of king David. We dont have to guess however at what Yeshua was referring to, because he explains what he is talking about "the WORDS that I speak to you..." He clarifies his mystical teaching by saying his words are what is being discussed. The words of his mouth - the Torah shebal peh. His explanation to his disciples did not include debate on other persons being Mashiach, but his words elevating ones spirit. Although the point you bring up is very interesting in the fact that the word consumed is used in reference to Hezekiah. I think what you bring up is applicable in the sense of that phrase being used in connection to people and in particular the Mashiach, but based on Yeshua's explanation his reference to meat and blood in my opinion is a clear reference to halacha and aggadah.
Comment by Shawn on September 13, 2009 at 11:35am
further what would it mean "Yeshua was refuting this (probably) well known saying of Hillel, indicating: "No, you can consume me now, for I am the Messiah."? What practical purpose would there be for this metaphor of "you can consume me now, for I am the messiah"? What would they be consuming besides the Torah teachings? What is actually being consumed if it is not referring to halacha and aggadah? Obviously it is not a literal eating of his flesh and blood.
Comment by Wayne Ingalls on September 13, 2009 at 11:09pm
Shalom Shawn, on one level, what Yeshua may have meant is simply that Hillel was wrong, and used Hillel's own idiomatic pictures to make His point. However, Yeshua is using analogy to make a literal point: The Ruach HaQodesh within you, indwelling within you, brings you everlasting life.

Yeshua is speaking far more mystically here than about "oral Torah." He is saying that He Himself came down from Heaven. He is saying that He Himself is comparable to the manna in the wilderness, but He is more -- that He Himself is the Bread provided by the Father for Everlasting Life.

Yeshua's subject is everlasting life, and that this everlasting life comes only by his "body" and his "blood." "The words He has spoken" does not refer to "halacha and aggadah" because these alone are not enough to bring everlasting life. Yeshus is using the same analogy of "Bread" and "blood" and with the same meaning as at Pesach:

Matthew 26: 26 And it came to pass, as they sat down to eat, Yeshua took the bread, and blessed and
broke, and gave to His talmidim, saying: Take you, and eat this, which is My body.
27 And afterwards He took the cup and blessed, and gave to them, saying: Drink you all
of it,
28 For this is My blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for many, to atone for
sinners.

What is then meant by Yeshua when He says:

John 6:63 It is the spirit that makes alive; the body does not profit anything. The words that
I speak to you are spirit and, are Life.

Keep reading:
John 6: 64 But there are some of you who do not have trust. (For Yeshua knew from before, who
those who did not have trust were: and who it was, who would betray Him.)
65 And He said to them: Because of this, I told you that man is not able to come to Me,
unless it is given to him by My Father.
66 Because of this saying, many of His talmidim turned their back, and did not walk
with Him.
67 And Yeshua said to His twelve: Do you also want to go?
68 Shim’on Kefa answered and said, My Adon, to whom would we go? You have the
Words of Eternal Life.
69 And we believe and know, that You are the Messiah--the Son of the living Eloah.

Peter/Kefa answers and confirms the meaning of "The words that I speak to you are spirit and, are Life." There were some who did not trust. Trust what? Kefa's answer: "And we believe and know, that You are the Messiah--the Son of the living Eloah." I conclude that these are the words that are spirit, and Life.

Blessings,
Wayne
Comment by Shawn on September 14, 2009 at 9:32am
Hey Wayne interesting post. It appears we both agree this particular topic falls into the catagory of mystical, and that being the case, it makes it harder to have definitive answers. We are left dealing with likelyhoods instead of definites.

For your first idea on these mystical words of Yeshua (simply to prove Hillel wrong) this seems a weird waste of gospel space and mystical lingo (just to prove Hillel wrong). Although I do concider this idea within the realm of possiblity of being one aspect of what Yeshua was saying.

For your second statement "Yeshua is speaking far more mystically here than about "oral Torah."

For someone who has a negative view of oral Torah (or any internal resistance or hesitancy to accepting that oral Torah is legit, atleast when presented in a pure form) it may not be easy to consider that Yeshua is speaking about the halacha and the aggadah. If you have a negative view of oral Torah, you would not consider it mystical and would therefore NEED something, anything that could be more mystical or spiritual than the oral Torah.

However, if you consider the oral Torah (halacha - including how to do festivals - and aggadah - kabbalah/explanation of spirituality) as an actual component of "THE TORAH" then there can be nothing more mystical than the oral Torah. I think for alot of us christians-turned-Torah seekers we still consider the five books of Moshe as the whole of the Torah. But if...if the oral Torah (in its correct form) should be considered as a vital part of the Torah then it too would be considered part of (and necessary for) the life giving essence of Torah. Yeshua being the word (Torah written and oral) made "flesh" would be a metaphor for really awesome teacher of Torah (thus he gives life - Torah is life). The idea of the Mashiach being the greatest teacher of Torah (both written and oral) is a major component of the Jewish understanding of the Mashiach.

As for your concluding thought I was unclear exactly what you were trying to say. It appears that you were saying the WORDS "...you are the messiah the son of the living El" were the words that Yeshua was giving for eternal life. I dont think that fits the story.

1 - Kefa is not confirming the meaning of "the words that I speak to you are spirit and are life" He is answering the question "Do you also want to go?"

2 - His answer is "to whom would we go?" Anwering a question with a question...how Jewish.

3 - Kefa then makes a statement of fact - "You have the words of eternal life" (By the time Yeshua was twelve he was clearly a genius in written and oral Torah, just like the Ramchal. By the time Yeshua is thirty he as obtained a perfect working knowledge of the written and oral Torah and he is able to explain all the secrets of Torah as no one before. Interestingly enough the time frame immediately following Yeshua is marked as a time frame of rapid growth in aggadah. Kefa's statement you have the words of eternal life links the concept of words with eternal life.)

4 - Finally Kefa makes a confession of his belief "And we believe and know, that you are the Mashiach, the son of the living El" (Kefa confirms his belief that Yeshua is fulfilling the role of Mashiach. This is a seperate concept than the WORDS that give eternal life.)

Example Luke 10:25 "And see a certain one learned in the Torah stood up, trying him, and saying, Teacher, what shall I do to inherit everlasting life?" And he said to him, what has been written in the Torah (words)? How do you read it? And he answering, said, you shall love Hashem your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as your self. And he said to him, you have answered rightly. Do this and you shall live."

Yeshua's answer to the question "how does one receive eternal life?" is, look to the words of the Torah. His answer did not include "just say the words I believe and know, that you are the Messiah"

To me it appears more likely that Yeshua's statement about eating his flesh and drinking his blood/wine is a reference to his Torah teachings. And not a another self proclaimation of him being the Messiah. I think it is negative to our education to reduce everything (I am not saying you have doen this Wayne, this is just a general statement) that Yeshua says to some proof that he is Mashiach. I think we can get more out of his words if we look at his words in the context of him being a rabbi/teacher rather than somebody always trying to prove he is the messiah.
Comment by Shawn on September 15, 2009 at 12:18am
Thanks for those posts Aharon. Wayne and I have known each other for several years, we live in the same city (roughly). I consider Wayne one of my spiritual role models and mentors. He is knowledgable in so many areas and always has great insight into the scripture. He is also one of the most giving and humble people I have ever met. Although we might differ on points of view in certain aspects of the "harder" stuff to figure out, this should not get in the way of what we have in common and our friendship. Wayne and I have discussed really difficult topics lately and it has been a real stretching of my mental and spiritual muscles. I want to take a moment to thank him for his points of view and his civil tone as well.
Comment by Wayne Ingalls on September 16, 2009 at 9:15pm
Shalom Shawn,
I just do not see the reason to hunt for for another explanation for bread and blood besides the one that Yeshua gave at Pesach. Why read into the text when Yeshua specifically tells us what He means?

The versification makes it more difficult, but remove them and we see:
Kefa" "You have the Words of Eternal Life. And we believe and know, that You are the Messiah--the Son of the living Eloah."

Now, about that statement: "You have the words of eternal life." It is helpful to examine other corresponding passages to clarify what is meant (i.e. the 4th Rule of Hillel).

John 6:40 "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."
John 6:47-48 47 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. 48 "I am the bread of life."
John 6:54 "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

John 3:14-16 14 "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. 16 ¶ "For Eloah so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

So, what the Messiah repeatedly is teaching is that the one who believes in Him has eternal life. So "eating his flesh/bread" and "drinking his blood" means "belief in Yeshua," for that is what Yeshua teaches us will give us eternal life. Thus, John 6 (and elsewhere) corresponds precisely with what Yeshua teaches in Matthew 26:

Matthew 26: 26 And it came to pass, as they sat down to eat, Yeshua took the bread, and blessed and
broke, and gave to His talmidim, saying: Take you, and eat this, which is My body.
27 And afterwards He took the cup and blessed, and gave to them, saying: Drink you all
of it,
28 For this is My blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for many, to atone for
sinners.

Belief in Yeshua == Bread of Life == Blood of the Covenant == Atonement for Sins == Eternal Life

That is the metaphor that Yeshua is teaching.

Kefa remembered the previous words that Yeshua spoke, in which Yeshua said:

John 5:21-24 21 "For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. 22 "For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 23 so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. 24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

There is no reason to look for other explanations of what Yeshua is saying, and this is summarized by Kefa: You are the Messiah. You have the power to raise the dead. You have the words of Life.

This is what the Scriptures teach, and so I think we should look at the connections made for us there. I certainly do not believe the explanation that Yeshua makes in Matthew 26 reduces his role of rabbi or teacher to prove that He is Life and that He gives Eternal Life (i.e. the Messiah).

Blessings,
Wayne
Comment by Wayne Ingalls on September 16, 2009 at 9:30pm
Shalom Aharon, thank you for the kind words. The advantage that Shawn and I have is that we are "real life" friends. It is easy to let oneself get all mad and sharp witted with people that you do not know. I certainly appreciate Shawn, as he is well known in these parts for making statements that are well researched, and so when I disagree with him I am never calling into question his motives or even his research/studies. I like this forum as it allows us to look over ideas and think about them, and study them out, continually. A refinement process of sorts.

Where the halakhah you have stated runs into problems is when it encounters the problem that all have sinned, and that sin leads to death, and not life:

Romans 3: 23 Because all have sinned, and are found lacking of the glory of Eloah.
Romans 6: 23 For the wages of sin is death, and the gift of Eloah is life eternal, by our Adon
Yeshua the Messiah.

This teaches us of the need for Yeshua, that we cannot obtain life by keeping commandments even 99% percent of the time.

Blessings,
Wayne
Comment by Shawn on September 16, 2009 at 10:46pm
Thanks Wayne. The line of logic that you have laid out speaks for itself. I dont disagree with anything you have said. And this is the hard part of getting across what I am trying to say, its not a disagreement with what is being said rather an addition or elaboration of a signigicant spiritual concept found in the kabbalah.

Lets use a metaphor.

we can say 2 + 2 = 4

we can also say 2 + 1.6 = 4 (if we round up) We can all say "yes 3.6 is pretty close to 4 lets just round that dude off and call it four." However some people might feel that there is just something missing here, and go hunting for that other .4 stashed away some where. (I know you well enough Wayne to say you are one of the guys who goes hunting for the missing .4)

I am suggesting that there is more to what Yeshua is saying about eating his flesh and drinking his blood. Do I think its okay to "round up" to arrive at the conclusion you have posted on this topic? Sure. In fact I would guess that most of Christianity including Messianics would agree with what has been said. But it is my opinion that there are missing elements to what has been stated, not that what has been stated is wrong. In fact you have brought up in your last two posts one of the missing elements...Atonement.

I believe most (if not all) of the spiritual concept that Yeshua is speaking of is found in the book Derek Hashem. Its to late at night for me to type out the whole section and elaborate on it, so for now Ill just state which part and summarize. Really it would take reading atleast through part 2. But I guess one could jump to Part 2 section 3 individual providence.

In this section the Ramchal tells us that a person can obtain perfection and be included in teh community of the holy ones "as the result of his association with a more worthy individual." Thus the statements the NT about believing in (associating with) Yeshua = eternal life.

It says further that these persons will be "beholden and dependant on them (the zadik they are association with)" Meaning these individuals NEED must have and depend upon the atoning power of a zadik.

Continuing it states where a zadik receives this life giving/atoneing power. "suffering and pain may be imposed on a zadik as an atonement for his entire generation. This zadik must accept this suffering with love for the benefit of his generation..."

Going further still the Ramchal tells us that certain very special zadikim can atone for all sins of all times from the beginning to the end "...select perfect individuals could rectify things for others...they can not only rectify their own generation, but can also correct all spiritual damage done from the beginning, from the time of the very first sinners."

This atoneing life giving power obtained by the suffering of high level zadikim is one aspect of what Yeshua is saying about eating his flesh and drinking his blood for he has the WORDS of eternal life. There is much much more important, dare I say necessary, information in the book Derek Hashem that further explains what Yeshua is telling us in his mystical statements. But we would not know this...save for the oral Torah as maintained by orthodox Judaism...which hopefully I can tie in to this topic another time...Im tired.

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