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The purpose ofthis journal is ({to promote aclimate ofrespect, under­ standing (md sharing between Jewish and Christian communities;

not onfJl for the exercise oflove and appreciation ofthe other,

but also for the discovery oftruths and values which

surpass the genius ofboth traditions. "

This is the hope dreamed in the name ofour journtll, SHABBAT SHALOM: hope ofreconciliation, hope ofSHALOM,

inspired and nurtured through a common reflection anchored

in the experience ofthe SHABBAT.

Shabbat Shalom A Journal of Jewish-Christian Reflection



Interviews Paul Lippi CliffordGoldstein


Biblical Lesson The Jewish Face ofAdventism



Layout & Design

Cesar A. Soro

Subscriber ServÍces

Steve Hanson

Consulting Editors

Clifford Goldstein Reinaldo Siqueira Arnram Elofer Deborah Everhart


Jacques B. Doukhan Judaism and Adventism: Simi!arities and Differences


Official SDA Declarations Gerrnan-Austrian Staternent


Copy Editor


SHABBAT SHALOM IS published chree cimes per year by rhe General Conference of Sevench-day Norrh Am eriGln Division of Adventiscs. Yearly subscripcions are $6.00 in che U.5.A., $9.50 overseas. To pay by credic ca rd call l-800-465-3991. Mail check or mone)' order co: Subscripci ons, SHABBAT SHALOM , 55 Wesc Oak Ridge Drive, H agerscown, MO 2l740. Address ed icorial correspondence co: Edicor, SHABBAT SHALO M, Andrews Universicy, Berrien Springs, MI 49104­ 1535. Fax: 269.471.6202; email: sshalom@andrews.edu. www.journal-sha bbacshalom.nec ©2005 SHABBAT SHALOM. Ali rights reserved.



General Conference Statement

Viewpoint Jews and Adventists: A Rejlection on Their Common Heritage


Isaac W Oliver


Jacques B. Doukhan

Shabbat Corner One Thing that Adventists Can Learn fro m the

Jews about Sabbath Keeping: Ce!ebrate! 28

May-Ellen Colou

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30 Cover: Cesar A. SOtO Vol. 51, No. 3, 2004

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Operatiol1 E{ijab

Jacques B. Doukban) D.H.L.) Tb.D.

evoting a whole issue to the "Jewish-Adventist connection" rnay appear odd to both Jews and Advenrists. But they are not always aware of their con足 nections to each other. Jews will be surprised to discover these sttange Christians who keep the sarne Sabbath-from Friday night to Saturday night-who eat Kosher, who pay serious attention to the Torah of Moses, and who hope in the final redemption of the world. Likewise, Adventists will wonder at the faithful Jews who rest and

celebrate on Sabbath, emphasize the value of life, and stress the unity of human nature . Through this unique and unusual series of artides, the reader will be srruck by the nature of the Jewish-Adventist connection. Theological reflections and analysis will challenge our thinking, help足 ing us recognize how dose the Jews are to Adventists, and lead us to the further guestion of what this particular connection means for us as Jews and/or Advenrists. The two inrerviews of Paul Lippi , a C hrisrian-bom Adventisr, who lived in Israel among Jews for more than twenty years, and of Jewish足 bom Advenrist C1ifford Goldstein, who embraced Aventism without abandoning his Jewish identity, will surpIise and perhaps disrurb some. From this encounrer, Jewish and Advenrist readers will certainly learn to see each otheI differenrly. Moreover, rhey may leam to see a new face of themselves and of rheir God. Indeed, this refreshing of the Jewish component of the

Advenrist faith may well enrich and deepen this faith and thereby draw Advenrists doser to Jews. lt may also allow Jews to see another face of Christianity and draw them doseI to this "strange" group of believers. ln these times when so rnany Christians are interested in renewing their Jewish roots, ir may bring Adventisrs and Jews doser to the Christian community ar large and even to the bigger world . ln the beginning of the Christian era, the Church separared itself from its Jewish roors in order to gain the world. Could it be that, at the end of its course, the Church wiU gain rhe world by coming back (teshuvah) to the Jewish face of irs identity? Such an intriguing advenrure would reflect the pro足 phetic intuition of Malachi aboLlt the coming of Elijah- rhe prophet who, ar rhe last momenr of human history, would "tum the hearrs of the fathers to the children and the hearrs of the children to their fathers" (Mal 4:6).







After his theology studies at Andrews University, Paul Lippi went to me Hebrew University of Jerusalem where he did post-graduate studies and worked under Prof. Emanuel Tov, the famous expert on the Septuagim and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Paullived in Israel for 23 years and served the Jewish-Advemist community in Jerusalem as a pastor. He is presently the director of the Shalom Learning Center in Florida, a center devoted to the preparation of materiaIs and lay people for Jewish­ Christian ministry.


habbat Shalom: As an Adventist who lived more than twenty years in Israel and studied at the Hebrew University with Jewish stu­ dents, what did you learn from your relationship that has affected/enriched your religious views, and even helped you become a better Adventist? Paullippi: What amazes me about Israel is the extent to which non-scholars have an active interest in Bible interpre­ rarion. Biblical turns oE phrase are embedded in everyday con­ versarion; rhe diEferent ways to rake whar the Bible says is part oE pop culture. For somebody coming Erom a Eaith communiry where linguistic interpretarion and popular religion are totally compartmenralized, and hardly on speaking terms, Israeli society

is music to the ears. Adventists need to learn from Jewish people that just because you openly discLlss some linguistic or textual difflculty in the Bible, God is not going to suddenly disappear between the cracks. His presence among us is thank­ fully not that fragile . If another way of looking at familiar data forces us to re-construe certain passages, "everything we've always believed in" doesn't go down the tube. Because God is gracious, He allows us to adjust our posi tion without withdrawing His giEt oE

Because Goo is grac1ous) He a[[ows us to aojust our positiol1 witbout witborawil1g H is gift of



Shabbat Shalom: How do

you see the future of the ]ewish-Adventist connec­ tion and by implication the future of Adventism in reIation to Protestant tradi­ tion? Lippi: I think with the pass­ ing oE time as the cultural cenrer oE Adventism shiErs away Erom North America, we will con­ tinue to distance ourselves Erom the Protestanr tradition. Our movemenr began among white Anglo-Saxon Prorestanrs and in

Torab is a v jbrant/ {ife­ giving message tbat seeks expression. cerrain respects WASP cultural assumptions prevenred our pio­ neers Erom grasping Bible rruth. Unril very recenrly, the cenrral authoriry oE AdvelHism has been North American culture. OE course, Advenrism had access ro the Bible ali along, bur it was the Bible conrextualized to WASP religion. As the Advenrist Eamily becomes more diverse, it becomes easier to Eace these inherited assumprions Eor what they are and correcr our reach­ ing in the light oE Cod's Word. Ir seems Cod has always used social change to lead His people inro rrurh. We see this process ar work in Acts chapter 15. Conservative leadership was clinging to an outmoded paradigm oE conver­ sion unril Eorced by the situa­ rion on the ground to change their rheological understanding. Theology develops as it scrambles to keep pace with social realiry; by playing catch-up we come up with the truth. This process is taking place right now in rhe area oE Advenrisr-Jewish relations. The questíon oE Israel's place in

We are more gui[t;9 of tbeoretica[ anti-Semitism tban persona[ avtimosit;9. the c10sing evenrs oE this world's history is no longer a rheologi­ cal abstraction. Social realiry is Eorcing us ro rethink our spiritual rreasure in a non-Christian con­ texto Since we are pragmatists, rather than attenrive students oE the Word, we are more responsive to Cod's activiry in our midst than to His voice in Scripture. Having said this, I don'r see Advenrism drawing nearer ro J udaism as an end in itself. Borh Judaism and Christianiry are Eorms oE institutionalized disobe­ dience. Instead oE correcting the tragic separation oE true worship­ ers inro mutually anragonistic parties, we have justified our sins and built doctrines around them. Because the Ofigin oE Chrisrianiry is the rejection oETorah, the reEormation oE Christianiry ar best can only bring us doser ro our original sino Chrisrianiry and Judaism are both mistakes. While Cod has graciously colHinued to make HimselE known within both traditions, neirher Eully rep­ resenrs the biblical Revelation. Thinking escharologically, the remnant "who obey Cod's commandmenrs and hold to the tesrimony oEYeshua" can­ not be comprised exclusively oE adherenrs either oE Judaism

remnant who proclaim the erer­ nal gospel by necessiry musr rran­ scend rhe hisroricallimitations oE Judaism and oE Christianiry. To do so, both traditions wiU need ro borrow back Erom each other truths they have EorEeired by disobedience. I don'r think many Adventists roday understand the ramifications oE the remnant, because we continue ro identify exdusively with Christianiry.

Shabbat Shalom: Considering this speciaI connection, do we fInd anti-Semitism among Adventists? If yes, how do you expIain this paradox? Lippi: Hisrorically speaking, rhe core oE Christian self-under­ standing and selE-definition is the rejection oE Israel. ln practice, however, Adventists are ao eth­ nically diverse group oE people who sincerely believe that every Eorm oE racism or prejudice is a grave sino The anti-Semitism I've encountered among Adventists is more a matter oE insensitiviry and ignorance than oE malicious intento I've never encountered a rabid Adventisr anti-Semite, but I do know oE Jewish people who've leEt our Eellowship because they couldn't handle the incessanr anri-Semirism Erom our pulpits

Botb ]uôaism ano Aôventism embrace Torab.

or oE Christianiry. Judaism has preserved the biblical dynam­ ics oE obedience to Cod's com­ mandmenrs, but defines itselE ro exclude the testimony oEYeshua. Christianiry holds ro the testimo­ ny oEYeshua, but is not biblically obedienr ro Him. The end-time

and in our publications. We are more guilry oE indiEEerence than oE personal animosiry. Advenrism suEEers Erom some bad theology. Most oE rhis bad theology is nor original with us; it's part oE our Christian heritage. Forrunately, you can have a poor grasp oE


theory, or even hold to the wrong theory, and still get cerrain things right in practice. You can relate to God on a personallevel in a wholesome way while entertain­ ing all sorts of erroneous notions. This, of course, doesnt excuse us from the sacred obligation of correcting our bad theology. Qur goal should be for our talk and our walk to someday agree, and for both to accord with God's revealed will for our lives.


Shabbat Shalom: ln your view, what are the most significant features of Adventism that draw it dose to Judaism? Lippi: Both Judaism and Advenrism embrace Torah. Adventism has constructed a beautiful theology, which inte­ grates Torah obedience into their thinking. We've escaped the Christian error of antinomian­ ism, but we haven't escaped the Christian exegetical and linguistic

connection with Adventists? Lippi: ln my experience, most Norrh American Jews have heard of 5eventh-day Adventists, but most lsraelis haven't. As far as the Israeli scene goes, we're nO( on the map yet. Now as for how those who recognize us per­ ceive us, that's another matter. I have only anecdotal knowledge, bur the perception seems to be superficial and quite negative. ln the main, I think we're perceived as a group of Christians who've hijacked certain defining symbols which Jewish people feel belong to them. 50 long as Seventh-day Adventists continue to define themselves exclusively within a Christian framework, it will be difficult for Jewish people to pick up on their connection with uso Ir's hard for Jewish people to look past our Christianity long enough to appreciate us in our own right. 5tereotyping isn't something that only we suffer Erom; there's Jewish

We are tbe ~rst sizeable group of Gel1tiles sil1ce tbe

first cel1tur~ wbo've ôeligrJteô il1 GoêVs Torab!

tradition, which still prevents the biblical data from informing our understanding of the Torah. We are the first sizeable group of Gentiles since the first century who've delighted in God's Torah! This potentially could be com­ mon ground with Jewish people if only we learned to talk about it in biblical terms.

Shabbat Shalom: How do you explain this particular connection? Lippi: I can only attribute it to the 5pirit's leading in the Advent movement, because his­ torically there was no dialogue between our Adventist pioneers and Jewish people.

Shabbat Shalom: Are the Jews aware of their 6 SHABBAT SHALOM

stereotyping too, you know.

Shabbat Shalom: Are Adventists aware of their connection with Jews? Lippi: Unless they happen to have Jewish spouses or in-laws, most Adventists don't connect with Jews. Adventists, of course, are aware of biblical Jews, because Adventists read abour them in their Bible. Most Adventists seem to assume the last good thing that carne Erom the Jews is Jesus and after Him God had no further need for Jews. Adventists seem unaware of the post-biblical Jewish contriburion that historically made the Protestant Reformation possible. ln the Middle Ages, Christianity borrowed back the Hebrew Bible from Judaism along

with all the cultural resources necessary for making sense out of it (the art of historical-literal interpretation, grammatical analy­ sis, lexicography, the rradition of pronunciation). 5ince they can't read the Bible for themselves, Adventists are unaware that these Jewish contributions are actually what make their Christian rrans­ lations possible.

Shabbat Shalom: What couldJews learn from Adventists that may help them become better Jews? Lippi: The Jewish people need to recover their missionary zeal. The historical reason why the Jewish religion for the most part ceased recruitment among non­ Jews is understandable, bur in a secular world that trend needs to be reversed. The old reasons are no longer valid; in most coun­ tries the practice of J udaism is no longer proscribed and suppressed. Jewish faith needs the exercise of direct confrontation with hea­ thendom. Judaism has developed too much as a negative reflex of Christianity; Judaism needs to get out of the reactive mode, get out from under the Christian shadow, and recover its own authentic voice. As Adventists we can't imagine personal faith confined only to our own fami­ lies-faith that doesn't reach out to others in darkness and extend the kingdom of Heaven. Jewish people shouldn't have their spiri­ ruallife confined either. Torah is a vibrant, life-giving message that seeks expression. The missionary impulse is healthy and normal, and shouldn't be considered foreign to the spirit of Judaism. During Second Temple times, bringing proselytes "under the wings of the Shekina" was a very Jewish thing; and it should be again.


c[ifforô Go[ôstein

Clifford Goldstein, editor of the

Adu/t Sabbath Schoo/ Ministries QJtarter/y since


1999, has had a long and distin­ guished writing career. He has writ­ ten sixteen books and numerous anicles and has been the editor of Liberty maga­ zine and Shabbat Sha/om magazine. Goldstein, bom in Albany, New York, has a passion for writing and studying and is a lover of philosophy. Since he met God, he has used his writing talents and intellect for God's glocy. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English fcom the University of Florida and a Master of Arts degree in Andent Semitic Languages fcom John Hopkins University. He is married to Kimberly, and they have two children, Zachacy and Hannah.

habbat Shalom: As aJew who has embraced Adventism, did you have to abandon your Jewish identity in order to feeI more comfortabIe among Adventists? Clifford Goldstein: Of course noto Most Jews never want to abandon their identity. ln facr, mosr of the experiences

I had thar led me to Adventism happened to me while I was living in Israel, when my sense of Jewish identity was the strongest ir had ever been. Of course, to be fair, I wasn'r exact!ya practicing Lubavitch either, so I didn'r have to make mat many changes.

Shabbat Shalom: Did your Iearning and adopt­ ing of Adventism make you a better Jew? Ifyes, in what ways? Goldstein: My father, who is an agnostic, always says to me, "You're a betrer Jew rhan Iam." The Adventisrs taught me to keep Sabbarh and not eat pig. ln many ways, and I know some people would fervent!y disagree with rhis state­ ment, I believe Adventism is a unique expression of Judaism, if not Jewish traditions per se, but of core, fundamental Jewish values.

Shabbat Shalom: Do you think that Adventists are closer to Jews than any other religious group? Ifyes, how? Goldstein: ln many ways, very much soo The Sabbarh and SHABBAT SHALOM 7

rhe healrh principies make llS very dose. Years ago, many Adventists were mistaken for Jews, particularIy because of Sabbath keeping. Ali thar being said, Adventism as it is practiced today is still a conserva­ tive Proresram faith, and rhus there are big differences in a number of areas. The identity of rhe Messiah, of course, being the biggesr.

Shabbat Shalom: Yes, but if it is troe that Adventism be10ngs historically to the Protestant tradition, don't you think that in many Ílln­ damental aspects Adventism broke from this current and by doing that drew near to judaism, repairing the old breach, for instance, between grace and law?


Goldstein: That's true, it has, and 1 think that's one of rhe great rhings thar the Adventisr Church has to offer the world-rhis unity of grace and law, the idea that grace doesn't annul the law. Grace is God's response to rhe law, or ar least to our failure to keep rhe law. ln this sense, Advemism has gone beyond rhe Protesrant tradition, which in some ways still never totally broke away from Rome, Sunday-keeping the great example of rhis point.

Shabbat Shalom: Considering this special connection, do we find antiSemitism among Adventists? If yes, how do we expIain this paradox? Goldstein: Well, people are people, and we ali are sinners. My reading of the Scriptures affirms that. ln a Church of, whar, dose to 20 million people, you're bound to find some. So often the Church itself reflects the culture around it, and in cultllres where anti-Semirism is stronger it's more like1y to appear in the Church. 1 can say rhat in my 25 years with Adventists, mosr people have been 8 SHABBAT SHALOM

very kind and accepring. Most have found my being Jewish some­ thing special; they were fascinated by ir. I'm not naive enough to believe it's not there; I just haven't blarantly confronted any, rhough I have met people who were insensi­ rive. Now, you could argue rhat insensitivity is a subtle form of anti-Semitism, and perhaps so, but I can truly say thar, with rare exceptions, this Church at leasr in my experience has been very accepting.

Shabbat Shalom: ln your view, what are the most significant features of Adventism that draw it dose tojudaism? Goldstein: As 1 said before, the importance Adventists place on the Sabbath, I rhink, is the most powerful connection. Though Adventist Sabbath-keeping prac­ tices are often different from rhose of many Sabbath-keeping Jews, both share a strong sense, 1 be!ieve, of the importance of Sabbarh, of how primaI ir is, how basic it is to hdping us know who we are, why we are here, and where we stand in relationship to God. Sabbath is a pretty big thing; to keep it demands a commitmenr. Sabbathkeeping is an outward affirmation of fairh, of belief, of trusr, and the fact mat both Adventists and practicing Jews keep it is, I be!ieve, a powerful link between both groups.

Shabbat Shalom: How do you explain this particular connection? Goldstein: Ir srems from a com­ mon be1ief in the Tanach, in rhe Lord, rhe Creator, and a common acknowledgment that we are here for a purpose, rhar we are nor products of change, of evolution, but are beings creared in the image of God . That's an important point in a world dominared by a kind of a priori materialism thar leaves out

a rranscendent Creator.

Shabbat Shalom: What are some of the biggest differ­ ences? Goldstein: Well, there are many, and we shouldn't gloss them over. Jews are Jews and Adventists are Prorestants, and there's a real gap there, to be sure. This isn'r rhe place to gel' imo the "Who is a Jew!" comroversy; however, Jews are Jews, generally, by virtue of birth, family ties, ethnicity, and to a certain sense beliefs and practices. After ali, how many lsrae!is do you find Friday night in Te! Aviv discos or bars! Plenty. Are rhey Jews? Most people would still say yes, regardless of their practices or be!iefs. ln many ways, people are Jews whether or not rhey made any choice to be Jews. With Adventism it's a bit dif­ ferent. Most people are Adventists because rhey have made a con­ scious choice to be Advemists. You can grow up in an Adventist home and as an adult reject ali rhar you have been raughr. You're no longer, then, an Adventist. With a Jew, ir's not quite the sarne. There are plen­ ty of people who, raised Jewish, abandon ali pretenses of Jewish belief and practice, and yet Hill consider rhemse!ves Jews. Any one who did thar wirh Adventism won'r still consider themselves Adventisr.

Shabbat Shalom: Are there many jews who are Adventists? Goldstein: "Many" is a rela­ tive number. There have been more and more Jews who, coming to be!ieve that Jesus of Nazareth is rhe Messiah, have embraced Adventism as a means of expressing that faith. At the sarne time, too, I've known "many" Adventists who have become Jews. Though they left rhe Church, they didn'r wam to abandon certain things, such as Sabbath, and thus found Judaism a natural place to go.

Biblical Lesson j I


Tbe ]ewisb Face of

Aôvel1tism Jacques B. Doukbal1


he purpose of this article is to introduce Adventist

and Jewish theologians to

the Jewish component of rhe

Adventist faith and eventu­ ally draw from this associa­ tion speciBc lessons in regard

to Adventist identiry and to

Jewish-Adventist relations. ln a

Brst step, 1 will try to disclose

and track the Jewish connec­

tion with Adventism that is of

a character not found elsewhere

in other Christian traditions­ one that instead constitutes an essential character of the Jewish identiry. ln a second step, 1 will analyze the various responses that have usually surfaced among Adventists in view of this particular Jewish compo­ nent of their religious identiry.

Jewish-Adventist service in Buenos Aires, Argentina


The Jewish Connection Adventisr idemiry holds a remarkable number of specific fearures rhar are an impor­ ram parr of whar also char­ acrerizes rhe Jewish idemity. Advemisrs' rheology of the Law, rheir respecr for rhe Torah of Moses, rheir high regard for rhe Hebrew Scriptures, their keen interesr in anciem Israelire institutions such as rhe Levirical sanctuary and in the theologi­ cal significance of the Jewish Kippur, rheir lifestyle and even their eating habits, and, more importantly, their keeping of the sarne seventh-day Sabbarh have not only singled them out within Christianity, but have also drawn rhem rheo­ logically and even sociologically

doser to rhe Jews. ln rhis artide, my observa­ tions of rhe Jewish characrer in Advemism will focus on rhe Sabbarh, nor only because ir is the mosr importam Jewish fea­ ture in Advemism-the most distinctive and the most visible one-but also because from the Sabbath we may derive the main comours of Sevemh-day Advemist rheology as rhey par­ allel those of Jewish theology.

1. The Jewis h -Christian Separation By keeping rhe sarne sevemh­ day Sabbarh as the Jews-not just as a principIe as wirh other Christian fairhs bur in actual reality, from Friday nighr to Sarurday night-Seventh-day


Jewish-Advemisr congregation, Sao Paulo, Brazil 10 SHABBAT SHA LOM

Advemisrs have made a his­ torie sratemenr regarding the Jewish-Chrisrian separarion. The Sabbarh had played an importam, if nor a decisive, role in the Jewish-Christian separarion. Christians separared from the Jews because of the Sabbarh; they chose anorher day and rejecred rhe Jewish Sabbath precisely in order to disassociate rhemselves from the Jews. This motivarion is already explicitly stared by Marcion in rhe second cemury: "Because ir is rhe rest of rhe God of rhe Jews, ... we fasr on thar day in order nor to accomplish on rhar day whar was ordained by the God of rhe Jews." I Ir is repeated and made official in rhe imperial councils of the fourth century: "Christians musr nor Judaize by resring on the Sabbarh, bur musr work on that day, honoring rarher rhe Lord's day by resring, if pos­ sible, as Chrisrians. However, if any should be found Judaizing, ler rhem be anarhema from Chrisr." 2 The history of rhe Chrisrian Mission to rhe Jews shows rhat the inirial mass movem em of Jewish "conversion" ceased abruprly in rhe fourrh century3 precisely in relarion to rhe Christian rejecrion of rhe Torah and, more specifically, of rhe Sabbarh. As historian Jules Isaac wrires: "The Jewish rejection of Chrisr was rriggered by rhe Christian rejection of the Law."4 Or in rhe words of Christian rheologian Marvin Wilson, "This move to Sunday worship made it exceedingly difficult, if nor virtually impos­ sible, for the Jew to give any serious consideration to the


Christian message.... ln short, to become a Christian was con­ sidered as leaving behind the Jewishness of one's past, hardly a live option for any faithful Jew to consider."5 Contrary to what one would expect, it was on the Law and not on the mes­ sianic controversy that Jews and Christians departed from each other. Ir is significant, indeed, that so many Jews had accepted Jesus as their Messiah as long as they did not have to reject the Law. Ir is also significant that Jewish tradition and Jewish his­ tory attest to a great number of messianic vicws and experiences where the borders bet\:veen Jews and Christians are blurred and even crossed-messianic views that at times are bolder than

The Shalom Learning Center, Hollywood, Florida. "Christian" Sabbath which in reference to Jesus' resurrection

B~ returl1il1g to the Jewlsh sabbath! Sevel1th-oa~

Aovel1tists were HOt 011[-:9 retur11111g to the sarne

sevel1th oa~.

their Christian counterpart. By returning to the Jewish Sabbath, Seventh-day Adventists were not only returning to the sarne seventh day; they were not simply reacting to the tradi­ tional Christian current on the question of a day. By keeping the seventh-day Sabbath, they were also bound to be affected on a deeper levei in the content of their theology.

2. Creation Versus Redemption The "Jewish" Sabbath, as already recorded in the fourth commandment (Exod 20:11) and in the conclusion of the Genesis Creation Story (Gen 2:2), carries a positive reference to Creation- the earth, nature, human body, etc.-versus the

exalts spiritual redemption and deliverance from the concrete flesh of this Creation. This dualistic paradigm originated in the Marcionite "Antithesis" and found its way into traditional Christianity where redemption from the body and the spiritual domain is valued over the mate­ rial and physical domain-so much so that the biblical act of Creation itself was interpreted as a mere illustration serving the spiritual truth of redemption. ln Jewish tradition, the Sabbath, because of its reference tO Creation, became the epitome of

the affirmation and enjoyment of the whole of !ife (involving the body and the senses). On Sabbath, one is not only allowed but is required to enjoy life. By returning to the seventh-day Sabbath, Seventh-day Adventists rejected the Marcionite para­ digm and emphasized instead the importance of Creation, thus giving special attention to the body-the eating and drink­ ing (health message), and the physical welfare of humankind (Adventist Development and Relicf Agency). Ir is noteworthy that this approach concurs with the Jewish way of !ife where the concrete body and eating and drinking are an inherent part of religion as well as the Jewish principie "eyn kemah eyn torah" (no flour, no Torah) that makes spirituality depend on physical existence.

111 Jewish traoitiol1, tbe Sabbatb, because

af its reference ta Creation, became tbe epitowre of the affirwration ano enjo~wrel1t af tbe wha{e af {ife. SHABBAT SHALOM 11


3. The Law The reference to rhe Law is implied in rhe Sabbarh com­ mandmem from (wo perspec­ tives . Ir is found firsr from rhe perspective of Crearion. By calling attention to the con­ crere domain of physical exis­ tence, the reference to Creation implies a specific concero for erhics and jusrice in reallife. From that perspective, spiritual and sentimental elaborations, love, and imellectual beliefs are nor enough. Concrete justice, the need for righreousness, has become an importam ingredi­ ent of religion. This dimension is a distinctive feature of Jewish identiry. A1so, the adoprion of rhe seventh-day Sabbath of biblical revelation over against rhe day of human tradition implies a recognirion of rhe rranscendence and of rhe vertical aspecr of religion and rhus encourages a renewed interesr in rhe dimen­ sion ofTorah in rhe Adventisr rheology of covenant. There are still problems in the observance of the Law. For instance, in spite of the biblical injunctions (Gen 2:4; Acts 15:20) , Adventists are not clear on the iss ue of the

Aovel1tists are 110t dear 011 the issue 01 the COl1sumptiol1 o 6[000. consumption of blood. To be sure, the vegetarian ideal pro­ moted by Adventisrs avoids that issue, but rhe quesrion of rhe consumption of blood has nor been setded. The reference (O rhe Law plays a specific role in Adventist rheology, thus drawing 12 SHABBAT SHALOM

Jewish-Advenrist congregation at Andrews University Adventists nea r (O rhe Jews. Ir is, among other factors, this recog­ nition of the Law that accounts for the respect for other Jewish laws such as the dietary laws and the tithe, and more imporrantly for closer attention (O ethical principies and a grearer imerest in rhe religious dimension of justice and righteousness.

4. Hope Another important dimen­ sion of the Sabbath that brings Seventh-day Adventists closer (O the Jews concerns the lesson of hope and expecration that is associated with the sevenrh-day Sabbath. ln Jewish tradition, the Sabbath has not only been imerpreted as a foretaste of the 'olam haba', the kingdom of God, and, therefore, as a sign of hope for perfecr harmony and peace; ir has also been identified as a time of hope in itself. For as the seventh day, the time of the Sabbath embodies the very structure of hope, the experience of the "not yet." ln Seventh-day Adventist "tradition," as in Jewish tradi­

rion, the seventh day is associ­ ated with rhe future Advent. Through rhis associarion, Seventh-day Adventists are in tune wirh rhe Jews; theyaffirm with rhem the imporrance of rhe future component of sal­ varion and arrest (O rhe sarne luciJiry toward presem evil on earth. As a sevench day, the Sabbath is also the day that marks the completion of ali (kol) creation of heaven and earth (Gen 2:1­ 3), thereby being a cosmic sign that prerequires the end of rhis world for the creation of a new world. One of the lessons of the seventh-day Sabbath is (O affirm the necessarily cosmic character of salvarion. The

seventb-õa'3 Aõventist l'traõition/, as 111 Jewisb traõitiol1; tbe seventb oa~ is associateo witb tbe future. ht

Jewish theology of Kippur, the Day of A(Onement, would be in that respect particularly rel­

evant for the Advenrist reflec­ tion on the sanctuary and is worrh noting in this reflection. ln the Bible, as well as in Jewish tradition, the building of the sancruary has been related to the cosmic Creation (Ps 78:69), and the "function of these cor­ respondences is to underscore the depiction of the sanctuary as a world."6 ln that perspec­ tive, the Da)' of Atonemenr that prescribes the cleansing of the sanctuar)' is supposed to prefig­ ure the cleansing, the re-creation or the world, calling once again for the need of a re-creation as the onl)' valuable redemp­ tive response or solution to our human condition. The sarne connection is also suggested in the rabbinic legisla­ rion of the Sabbath that relates typologically the 39 works that are not allowed on Sabbath to the 39 works of the building or the Sanctuary.7 Each Sabbath the Orrhodox Jew is thus sup­ posed to remember the relation­ ship between the Sancruary and the Sabbath, a theologicallesson not insignificanr in Advenrist

Because of their keeping of tbe sabbath; seventh-ôa~ Aoventists hav e often beel1 anô sti[[ are ioentifieô as ]elvs. ano as such bave some times been tbe object of suspiciol1 ano barôsbips. with Judaism, Advenrists have responded in a variery of ways ranging Erom the most positive to the most negative and often in an ambivalenr manner.

1. The Positive Response Ir is quite understandable that the adoption of the Sabbath and other distinctive fearures of Judaism has encouraged among many Adventists great sympathy toward the Jews. How often I have heard Sevenrh-day Advenrists expressing positive feelings at observing the Jews going to the synagogue on Sabbath morning while they are themselves heading for church. Because of their keep­ ing of the Sabbath, Sevenrh-day Advenrists have often been and still are idenriried as Jews and as such have sometimes been the

object of suspicion and hard­ ships (as is the case of Sevenrh­ da)' Advenrists in some African and Arabic countries). Similar dieta!")' choices have even asso­ ciated Jews and Advenrists in the market place, as Advenrists have often been caught stand­ ing next to the Jews at the Kosher counrer. The Adventist curiosit)' for Jewish interpreta­ tions and religious experiences is well attested not only among la)' members but also among Advenrist theologians (see, for instance, the importance of the reference to Abraham Heschel in the Adventist reflecrion on the Sabbath). These common sufferings and similariries of experience and of beliefs have narurall)' incited ver)' posi­ tive sentiments on the part of Adventists toward the Jews .

theology. ~

As we can see, the Adventist identiry orfers a great number of interesting parallels with the Jewish idenrity. I have given just a few of the most importanr ones. Though not all Advenrists are familiar with the profound significance of these connec­ tions, even on a superficial level, the connections are clear enough to make any Advenrist aware of the special theological and religious relations with the Jews.

The Adventist Response To that particular conncction

Jewish-Advenrist congregation celebrating Succot in Jerusalem, Israel



Jewish-Adventist congregation in Sr. Perersburg, Florida

2. Supersessionism


"Supersessionism" (from the Latin "supersede," meaning "sit­ ting at the place of") is an old Christian ideology9 that was first advocated in ecclesiastical terms in the fourth-century Catholic Church (the church as the city of God, the new Israel, has replaced the synagogue, the old Israel) and in theological terms in conrinen tal Protestanrism (the spiritual Israel with the grace of the Gospel has replaced the Israel of the flesh with the Law of Moses). This last supersessionism may look more elegan t and more sophisticated than the former one, but it carries the sarne porenrial damage: "If I am the true Israel and you are not, you do not deserve to live as Israel." This is why supersession­ ism has been diagnosed as "a spiritual Holocaust" preparing for the physical one. Franklin Littell notes: "the cornerstone of Christian antisemitism, the superseding and displacement myth . .. rings with a genocidal nore."lO


Supersessionist ideas were and still are taught by Adventists who inherited them, among other grains of dust, from rhe tradirional church (Catholic and Protestant). Yet considering Adventism's late arrival on rhe scene of religions and its special connection with the Jews, super­ sessionism is inconsistent with Adventist theology. Indeed, Adventists can­ not claim as can rhe Carholic Church that they had replaced rhe historical Israel of the Old

asrical supersessionism, Advenrist supersessionism emphasized the idea of a spirirual remnanr, as rhe spirirual Israel-rhe Israel of God-which replaced rhe physi­ cal Israel. These Advenrisrs onen idenrifY rhemselves as rhe chosen remnanr and rhe claim is some­ rimes heard wirh some nationalis­ tic overtones. Also, along rhe lines of rheo­ logical supersessionism, some Advenrisrs mainrain rhar rhey undersrand and Iive rhe Sabbarh and rhe Torah in a superior and more spirirual way rhan rhe Jews who are legalisric. ln conrrasr to rhe "Jewish" Sabbarh, the "Adventist" Sabbath is called a Sabbath "touched by the Gospel,"11 or, in comparison to the Jewish Sabbath of Joe Lieberman, the Sabbath of "Joe Advenrisr."1 2 Nore in the conrext of this journal rhe moving testimo­ ny of May-Ellen Colon who grate­ fully acknowledges her existential and theological debt to the Jewish Sabbath and the recommendation by John Graz: "We stiJl have many lessons to learn from rhem ."13 Ir is significanr, however, that

Tbis lnsistence 111 marki~ tbe àifference

between tbe Jewisb Sabbatb ano tbe

Aoventist Sabbatb is somewbat susrect.

Testament (ecclesiastical super­ sessionism), because they carne much later after the separation. Nor can they argue that the Jewish Sabbath or the Torah had been replaced by another Christian sabbath or by grace (theological supersessionism), for they had embraced together in tension the theology of the Sabbath and the Law with the theology of grace. Yet, along the lines of ecclesi­

these presenrations of the so­ caJled "Advenrist" Sabbath are nor in contradiction with a Jewish understanding of the Sabbath. Ir is also ironical that in order to set up the specific Advenrist characrer of the Sabbath many of these Advenrist authors have ofren resorted to and extensively referred to Jewish authorities such as Abraham Heschel. J4 This insis­ tence in marking the difference

between the Jewish Sabbath and the Adventist Sabbam is, therefore, somewhat suspect. ln the light of history, it is reminiscent of the old Christian anti-Semitic fear, as well as the very motivation that pre­ cipitated the firsr "apostasy" of the Church.

3. The Rejection The Christian idea of the rejection of the Jews, although not supported by the Scriptures (see Rom 11: 1), is a corollary to the idea of supersessionism. Both ideas belong together. Supersessionism implies rejec­ rion . But it is still possible to hold the idea of rejection with­ out having to resort to the idea of supersessionism. Ir is enough to say that Israel has been reject­ ed and thus lost her status as a chosen people or a witness. On that premise, the Jewish heri­ tage of Christianiry and here of Adventism will be denied, and more palatable alternatives will be proposed. A perfect illustration of this reaction can be found pre­ cisely in relation to the Sabbath. Adventists who refuse to assume the Jewish connection of the Sabbath have suggested instead a number of options: the Sabbath has come to them , not Erom the Jews, but Erom a "spiritual rem­ nant" which survived through­ out the ages; Adventists who consider themselves as the heirs of this remnant do not owe the Sabbath to the "rejected" Jews but rather to these faithful Christians. Unfortunately, this remnant is essentially an abstract

idea and does not carry serious historical weight; also, this thesis ignores the historical fact that these Christians who adopted the seventh-day Sabbath often did so under a significant Jewish influence. Yet only the Jews as a historic and visible group have formerly witnessed to the Sabbath. Others prefer to find the Sabbath in their own cul­ ture ("the African connection"). Here also rhe connection is not established, and, even if it were,

this apparently humble and 9":;'­ tual argument hides pride and ­ a subtle manner may disguise &.:õ' anti-Semitic repulsion to the ide'~ that rhey could have something to do with the Jews. Some have gone so far in that line of reaSOI1­ ing that they have claimed that the Jewish Sabbath, beginning on Friday night, was not in fact the true Sabbath revealed by God, but was rather a Jewish distortiol1 of the divine one which is sup­ posed to start on Saturday morn­

Jewish-Adventist congregation in New York City the cases are rare and do not attest to a historical testimony of the Sabbath. ln fact, the only serious African evidence of the biblical Sabbath is found in Ethiopian tradition rhat has itself originated in the Jewish soil. Others finally will respond that the Sabbath is neither Jewish, African, nor Adventist: it comes from God. This argu­ ment sounds highly spiritual and undisputable (who would want to compete with God?). And yet,

Tbe suggestiol1 tbat we ao l10t neeô tbe bumal1 otber

to bave access to tbe ôlVll1e reve[atiol1 ref{ects a

pbi[osopbica[/Greek t~pe of tbi-nking.

ing (note that the pre-Nazi theo­ logical discussion on the nature of Jesus, who could not be a Jew since he was God or of an Aryan origin, is of the sarne vein) . To be sure, the Sabbath comes Erom God. Ir was initiated and created by God. But how can we know so? Only through rhe testimony of a human witness. The suggestion that we do not need me human orher to have access to the divine revelation reflects a philosophical/Greek type of thinking. lt overlooks the biblical Hebrew principie of incarnation that requires human testimony for the quest of the divine truth. "God needs man." lt ignores not only the evidence SHABBAT SHALOM 15

oE salvation history, but also the unambiguous statement by Paul that to the Israeli tes pertain "the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving oE the law

theology aner Auschwitz. AIso, for the first time, we have a Jew as president oE the Israel Field and at the head of the "World Jewish Friendship Committee." But above ali, Eor the first time

ln tbe beginl1il1f of tbe c bristial1 era, tbe c burcb separateô itsel from its Jewisb roots il1 orôer to gail1 tbe worlô. Coulô it be tbat, at tbe el1ô of its course, tbe cburcb will gail1 tbe wor[õ b~ comil1g back (tesYuva) to tbe Jewisb face of its iôel1tit~? [induding the SabbathJ, the ser­ vice oE God, and the promises" (Rom 9:4).

Conc1usion: Challenges and Hopes For years, I have been able to observe and endure disturbing reactions on the part oE some Adventists to the Jewish pres­ ence among them. To quote just a Eew: the reluctance to involve Jews in the minisuy oE Jewish evangelism or in the theological discussion abolir Israel; the diE­ ficulry in recognizing and con­ Eronting anti-Semitic incidents (often dismissed as "sensitiviry" or "victimization"); the omission oE any reEerence to anti-Semitism in the discussion oE racism or the virtual absence oE theological reflection on the Holocaust. Paradoxically, however, in the last Eew years things have dramat­ ical1y changed in rhese matters. More and more Adventist Jews affirm their Jewish identity and are heartily welcomed as such. We have now Eor the first time an Institute ofJewish-Christian Studies at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary (Andrews Universiry) . We also have held, Eor the first time, a Holocaust Symposium with a special section on Adventist 16 SHABBAT SHALOM

in Adventist history, Hebrew Adventist worship services have emerged ali over the world, not only allowing Adventist Jews to worship according to their clllture and sensitiviry, but also enriching the worship experi­ ence and the spiri tllaliry of the Adventist communiry and even the Jewish and Christian com­ munities at large. AII of these could not have been imagined even a Eew years ago. lndeed, the Jewish-Adventist connection is growing stronger. I sometimes wonder whether this movement is not in fact Eulfilling the words oE the last Hebrew prophet Malachi who saw another coming of Elijah which would "tum the heans oE the Eathers to the children and the hearts oE the children to their Eathers" (Mal 4:6). The reEreshing oE the Jewish com­ ponent oE the Adventist Eaith may well enrich and deepen this Eaith, drawing Adventists doseI' to Jews. Ir may also, in these times when so many Christians are interested in renewing their Jewish roots , bring Adventists doser to the larger Christian communiry and the worJd as well. ln the beginning oE the Christian era, the Church sepa­

rated itselE Erom its Jewish roots in order to gain the world. Could it be that, at the end oE its course, the Church wiU gain the world by coming back (tes­ huva) to the Jewish Eace oE ics identiry?

Tertullian, Against Marcion, 4.1 2.7. Canon 29 of rhe Council of Laodicea. 3 See on rh ar marrer rhe work by sociol­ ogisr Rod ney Sr:lrk, The Rise ofChristianity: A Sociowgist Reconsiders History (Princeron, NJ: Princeron University Press, 1996). 4 Jules Isaac, Cenêse de I'Antisérnitisme: essai histol'ique (Paris: Calmann- Lévy, 1956), 147. 5 Man'in R. Wilson , Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots ofthe Gristian Faith (G rand Rapids, MI: W. B. Eerdmans, 1989),80. 6 J011 D. Lcvcnson, Creation and the Persistence ofEvil: The Jewish Drama of Divine Omnipotence (Princeron, NJ: Princeron Universiry Press, 1994), 86. 7 Shabbat VII.2. H See Uriah Smirh, "The Sancwary and rhe Sabbath are Inseparably Connected" (The Advent Review, 25 July 1854, 196); cf. Ra ymo nd F. ComeU, "The Sabbarh in rhe New World," in The Sabbath in Scripture and History, ed. Kennerh A. Strand (Wash ingron, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Assoc., 1982),257-259. 9 For a summJry of rhe histo ry of rhis doctrin e, see John Pawl ikowski, Jesus and the Theology oflsrael (Wilmingron, DE: Michael Glazier, 1989), 10-11. 10 FranlJin H. LirreH, The Crucifixion ofthe Jews (Maco n, GA: Mercer Universiry Press, J 986), 2. Sce also p. 1 where Lirrell speaks of "rhe red rhread rhar ries a Jl1srin Marryr or a Chrysosrom to Auschwitz and Treblinka" and p. 30 where he describes the "final solution" as a "Iogical extension of Christian theology of supersessionism." II Fritz Guy, Thinking Theologically: Adventist Christianity and the lnterpretation ofFaith (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews Universiry Press, 1999), 237. 12 E. Edward Zinke, "Is There One Sabbath for Joe Lieberman and Another for Joe Adventisr?" Perspective Digest 5, no. 4 (2000): 19 ff. 13 John Graz, "SriH Lessons ro Learn ," Perspective Digest 5, no. 4 (2000): 17. 14 Guy, 239; Zinke, 20. I


Biblical Lesson

Juôaism anô Aôventism:

Simi[arities ano Differences

he objective descrip­ tion of similarities and differences appearing here will provi de a clear and immediate overview of rhe nature of the )ewish-Adventisr connecrion and will draw lessons not only for a betrer understanding of each other, but a1so of a ber­ ter understanding of one's own re\igious identity, whether )ewish or Adventist. Ir will also implic­ itly suggest places where )ews and Adventists can in faCt learn from each orher and, beyond the human encounrer, discover a hid­ den face of the Lord.

Similarities 1. Sarne Day of Sabbath keeping from sundown on Friday

sundown on Saturday, includ­ ing the admonition to rest from work and engage in religious and worshipful activities. 2. Same emphasis on Creation, with what it implies of valori­ zation of matter, nature, and the flesh, versus the traditional Christian comtemptus mundí, which despises Creation and the flesh. 3. Sarne accent on the Wholeness of Human Nature and the rejection of Christian (Plaronistic) dualismo 1mportance of enjoyment of \ife: a sex !ife and food, for instance, are not evil, but beautiful gifts from God. Taking care of the human body is, therefore, a religious duty. 4. Sarne Holy Scriptures: to

Adventism embraces the sarne Hebrew Scriptures (Tanach) which are highly regarded and nor replaced by any other Holy Scripture or given a lower starus of inspiration. 5. Same attenrion to the Torah: Adventism does nor claim that the law of Moses (Torah) has been replaced by New Testament grace. God's requirements at Sinai are still norma tive to them. 6. Same respect of the Levitical Dietary Laws (no pork, etc.). 7. Same ideal of Righteousness: The importance of ethics in the daily !ife (sancrifi­ cation) as they are illuminared in the pages of the Bible. 8. Sarne belief in the Day of


Judgment at the end of human history when every person wi!l be evaluated and forgiven on the basis of his/her response and life. 9. Sarne hope in the Redemption of humankind at the time of the end, with the raising of the dead and the establishment of the Kingdom of God as histori­ cal and real events rather than just an abstract spiritual experience. 10. Sarne hope in the com­ ing of the Messiah, the son of David as predicted in the Hebrew Scriptures and Jewish tradition, who will come at the time of the end to redeem the world.

Differences 1. Different Practices of Sabbath: in Adventism, Sabbath is full of "missionary" acrivity. The average Adventist is more concerned with Sabbath as the right "seventh" day (in polemic with other Christians) than in the sacred content of that day (its meaning and rest). The aver­ age Adventist has not understood the "celebrating" character of the Sabbath; Adventists sometimes fast on Sabbath. 2. Different ideas of the Aftedife; Jews believe in the immortality of the soul (Platonistic influence as recog­ nized by the Jewish Encyclopedia), which suggests rhat rhe soul will go to paradise or hell. Some Jews (more on the popular levei and in mystic currents) even believe in the idea of reincarnation (trans­ migration). Adventists hold the biblical view of the unconscious state of the dead in the dust of the earth, wairing for the Day of Resurrection. 3. Different Components of Torah: Adventists are concerned with the biblicallaws and more specifically with the written Torah 18 SHABBAT SHALOM

given on Mount Sinai (especi ally the Ten Commandments) , where­ as the Jews also submit themselves to the so-ca!led oral 613 laws

(Torah be ai pe). 4. Different Way of Kosher: Jews do not mix dairy products and meat (which implies a differ­ ent set of vessel), do not eat the hip socket of an animal (cf. Gen. 32) , and do not eat meat with its blood (Gen. 9: 4) , which requires a special way of slaughtering the animais. Adventists promote veg­ etarianism. 5. Different Traditional Scriptures: Jews have only the Hebrew Scriptures or Tanach as propheticlinspired Writings; yet they also read traditional texts (Mishnah, Talmud, Midrash, and rabbinic commentaries) as a guide to rheir understanding of the Torah (written and oral). Adventists include in their canon the so-called New Testament ("Apostolic Writings"). T hey also revere the writings of Ellen G. White, who is heard as a prophet­ ic voice-not one which replaces the light of rhe Holy Scriprures but rather emphasizes the value of those Scriptures and provides guidance for living according to those direcrions. 6. Different Feast Days and Liturgy: Jews celebrate numerous festivais following the instructions of the Bible (Pessah, Shavuoth,

Rosh Ha-shanah, Kippur, Sukkot, etc.) and of Jewish tradition (Purim , Hanukkah, etc.). The Jewish life cycle is marked by twO important ceremonies: 1) the circumcision (Brith milah) rhat signifies in the human flesh the covenant between God and Israel; and 2) the Bar mitzvah, for thir­ reen-year-old males, thar signifies the commitment of the adulr man to devote himself to the obedi­

ence of God's commandments. The Adventist life cycle is marked by the baptism (immersion in water), a significant act reminis­ cent of rhe Jewish miqveh (cer­ emonial for converts) that recalls the event of C reation and signifies the commirment to beco me a new crearure and live a new !ife with God. Jews follow the Iiturgy transmitted through the ages and pray in Hebrew traditional prayers . Adventists keep only the seventh-day Sabbath and celebrare the Lord's Supper, reminiscent of the Jewish fe as t of Passover, signi­ fying the memory of the sacrifice of the Messiah until He comes. Adventist liturgy fo!lows the pat­ terns of Protestant churches with personal and spontaneous prayers. 7. Different Culture and History: Jews identify themselves with Jewish history, the suffering of anti-Semitism, the Holocausr, and the State of Israel. Jews hold a high view of learning. They are the people of the book. Adventists are generally indifferent to that history and that suffering and also to the state of Israel, somerimes being anti-Semitic. Adventists situated in the "evangelical" Cllf­ rent do not hold a high view of learning and may even sanctify ~. ignorance as a spiritual quality; their priority is in mission (soul gaining). 8. Different Messianic Applications: Adventists believe in Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah predicted by rhe Hebrew Scriptures-the exact time of His coming, His suffering and death, His life of miracles, His resurrec­ tion, and His return at the time of the end to respond to the hope of His people from ali the nations of the world. Jews believe in only one coming of rhe Messiah at the time of the end associated with



rhe esrablishment of peace and happiness under rhe torai rule of God. For Jews, Jesus cannor be rhe Jewish Messiah since He has rradirionally been associared wirh rhe Christian oppression and rhe Chrisrian contempr of rhe Torah ofMoses. 9. Different Time of ]udgment: Adventisrs believe, according to rhe indicarions of biblical prophecy (Dan 7), rhat the day of Jlldgment is cosmic and appears during the lasr moment of human history in the form of a heavenly Kippur (srart­ ing in 1844). Jews believe in judg­ ment ar death, an idea thar is in discrepancy with their other belief of final judgment and resurrec­ rion. Alrhough rhe date of 1844 has also struck a segment of the

Jewish community (Lubavitch) as a possible messianic moment, ir is nor central in Judaism. Adventists, rherefore, focus on the rime of the end (eschatological emphasis); their mission is to reach our to ali the nations of the earth (uni­ versal outlook) and proclaim thar rhe Judgment has come-urging humans to worship rhe Creator (Rev 14:7). Jews, on rhe other hand, focus on rhis life (exisrential and erhical emphasis); rheir mis­ sion is to survive as a witnessing people (particular outlook) and to live as an obedient people who "hear" God (shema Israel, Deur

6:4) . 10. Different understand­ ing of the Mechanism of Redemption: Adventisrs believe that Redemption comes rhrough

the sacrifice of God who O •• c.". = ~ Himself rhrough rhe Messia (Isa 53) in order to redeem humankind. Jews believe thar lhe:­ achieve redemption for rhemselves rhrough the act of mitzvoth and prayers. Adventists, like orher Chrisrians, tend to view rheir reli­ gion as a set of rheological beliefs on which rhey will base rheir actions (see, for insrance, Seventh­ day Adventists Believe.. . : A BibLical Exposition of27 Fundamental Doctrines). Jews undersrand their religion as a ser of deeds from which rhey derive rheir rheologi­ cal beliefs (see, for instance, the principie of Exod 24:7-naasseh wanishma, "We shall do, then we shall undersrand").


Why a Hebrew-Adventist Congregation?

ln these times of religious and identity crises, it is important to rethink and reshape our worship services to make them more relevant, more meaningful, but also more in touch with our Hebrew roots. For Seventh足 day Adventists this reflection and experience is all the more justified as they share so much in common with the Jews: the same Shabbat, the same affirmation of Creation and joy of life, the same reverence for the truth of the Torah, the same ideal of righteousness and justice, and the same hope for a better world . The purpose of the Hebrew-Adventist service then is threefold: 1. To offer a special worship experience that combines the joyfulness and reverence, and the sense of community of the Hebrew tradition, with our distinctive Adventist identity. 2. To help Christians in general , and Seventh-day Adventists in

particular, recover their Hebrew roots and enrich their emotional,

intellectual, and physical adoration.

3. To create a spiritual and liturgical environment where Jews as well as Christians, both wearing kippah and tallith, can worship the same God of Israel-the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who also was the God of Peter, John, and Paul-thereby relieving and transcending the Jewish-Christian tension. ln contrast to our modern society that tends to be a "gut-Ievel" society emphasizing emotions and free (sometimes even "wild") spontaneity, classical Judaism has followed a structure that saved order and hannony. As Jewish history testifies, however, Jewish liturgy has, within traditional fixed forms, left room for spontaneity and creativity. ln fact , the whole Bible has preserved this vision: there is not only the requirement of structure and the remembrance of the past, but aIso the need to be relevant and the artistic urge to "sing a new song." The Holy Scriptures are full of old and new songs, traditional and corporate hymns and recitations, and emotional and insightful new meditations. The root and the flower, the memory and the mood, have cohabited together, nurturing each other and thus maintaining the rhythm of life. It is in this breath, in the path of this inspiration, that we wish to place our 1iturgical steps. The content and liturgical structure of the Hebrew-Adventist service has been shaped with the same tension. Basically it is patterned after traditional Jewish worship services (Ashkenazic, Sephardic). Additional prayers and songs from other sources (Reformed, Jewish, Messianic, Christian/Adventist, new songs and liturgical moods) have been included. Yet the new has been imp1emented insofar as it respects and conveys the spiritual meaning and lessons taught in the rhythm and flow of the Jewish liturgy for the Sabbath service. A word of warning is in order. This formula and worship experience is not intended to function as the ideal and only worship mode!. It should 20 SHABI3AT SHALOM


be understood and used with flexibility, as a modest illustration to inspire and enrich the worship experience of "any" Adventist (Messianic or traditional) and even other Christian communities at large. For those who are happy with the status quo and do not wish to change their worship service, they may wish to try the following: The "once-in-a-while" experience: Once a quarter or at least once a year give your community the flavor of this servi ce. This change will bring fresh air into your community and will allow you to invite new guests (Jews, Jewish Christians, or even other Christians). The "pick and choose" experience: Select a new song or a new liturgical line or paragraph and introduce them into your present service. For those who have already ventured into the new worship experience of the Hebrew-Adventist worship, we suggest either take one of the composed liturgies and/or combine it with your own. You may also, of com-se, extend yourselves with the "pick-and-choose" experience. Whatever choice you may make, we hope this experience will not only promote reconciliation between Israel and the Church, but also refresh our relationship with the God of Creation and Recreation, the God of the past, the God of remembrance, but also the God of the future, the God of hope, indeed the God of the root and the flower.



reComme110eo reaoil1g for Hebrew- Aovel1tist COl1gregatiol1s


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Viewpoint I



Jews anô Aôventists: A Ref[ectiol1

Tbeir COWlWlOl1 Heritage 011

Isaac W. Oliver Graôuate Theo{ogica{ Stuôel1t

hen compar­ ing the simi­ larities berween Seventh-day Adventism and Judaism, many common points emerge. Having lived among Adventists as well as among Jews in Israel, I will try to give my personal view on the state of Adventist-Jewish reIations. Whenever such a discussion is heId , Adventists are quick to point out their beliefs and observances of the Sabbath and certain laws of kashrut (what some Adventists usually call "dietary" or "health" laws). And so, it is not uncommon for many Jews to be surprised when they discover certain Christians keeping the Sabbath on the seventh day and refraining from

eating unclean animaIs such as pork. I witnessed this type of reaction several times when sharing some of the Adventist beliefs with Jewish friends.

the Adventist view on Shabbat. This kind of interaction is a special one that singles out Jews and Adventists Erom most other religious groups.



The common observance of Shabbat is one of the most precious practices Jews and Seventh-day Adventists have in common, which has great potential ro improve the con­ nection berween both. Many Adventists can feeI comfortable in a Jewish home or synagogue during Shabbat. There, they can experience the rich Jewish customs that have been attached to this special day. Likewise, I believe that Jews can also be enriched by learning more about

However, when Jews look closer at Adventist "kashrut," they will also notice that Adventists only refrain Erom eating those animaIs which are prohibited in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. Till this day there is no official teach­ ing restricting the consump­ tion of blood with meat within Adventism. Perhaps Adventists have ignored this question because many are vegetarian, and , therefore, automatically do not consume any blood .


But both the Hebrew Bible and the apostolic writings (New Testament) universally teach against consuming blood. Cod commanded the sons of Noah not to eat meat with its blood (Cen 9:4), a law henceforth applicable not only to ]ews bur to ali human beings. Even dur­ ing the Israelite theocracy, resi­ dent aliens abiding with Israel were not allowed to eat blood either (Lev 17:10). Most ofall, Yeshua's aposrles renewed the validiry of this command to Centile Christians during the ]erusalem council (Acts 15:20, 29). A similar decision can be found in the so-called Noahidic Laws found in rabbinic lit­ erature. 1 No Orthodox Torah­ observant would ever dream of eating any animal blood. Furthermore, many]ews do not mix dairy products with meat, an observance derived by rabbinic exegesis from Exod 23:19. Consequenrly, some Orthodox ]ews have chosen veg­ etarianism as a safeguard against mixing both kinds of foods.


Certain rabbis also spoke of vegetarianism as the ideal diet. 2 Many Adventists have adopted a vegetarian Iifesryle, mainly because they believe that the human body is a holy temple (1 Cor 6: 19-20) and, therefore, seek to glorify Cod through a healthy lifesryle.

Religion and State I believe that a third major point of contact that is unique to Adventists and Diaspora ]ews alike is our common concern for religion and state issues. For instance, the majoriry of American ]ewry tiU this day, like the Seventh-day Adventist minoriry, endeavors to keep a c1ear line between government and religion. This preoccupa­ tion is naturally understandable, since ]ews have lived as a reli­ gious minoriry around the globe for millennia and have experi­ enced persecutions from oppres­ sive religious institutions linked to the rulership or government of their respective countries. Due to the minoriry status of

]udaism and Adventism (there are about 11-14 million ]ews worldwide; interesringly enough, Adventist membership is about the sarne), ]ews and Adventists have also encountered prob­ lems with civillegislation due to religious matters. It is not uncommon for a ]ew or an Adventist to experience conflicts with work or school attendance because of Sabbath observance. I particularly felt this rype of tension when living in France, where many ]ews and Adventists have had problems with school attendance, academic exams, and other important events that tend to fali on Saturday. The Adventist-]ewish connection can work together to confront these kinds of problems. If ]ews are actively involved with religious liberry because of persecutions in the past, then Adventists are engaged in this sarne batde because of expectations in the future. These expectations stern from Adventist eschatological belief, namely, that before the inau­ guration of the Messianic king­ dom on earth, this world will first experience a final cosmic confrontation, where once again church and state, religion and government join together (e.g., as in the Middle Ages) and persecute those who dif­ fer from such establishment. Adventists have, therefore, care­ fully sought to avoid seeing such a scenario repeat itself. Beyond the theological differences that Adventism and ]udaism may have about the end of times and the world to come, Adventists and ]ews need to continue to strive tOgether against any effort tO unite srate and religion. This is all the more true now, and particularly here in the United States where we see renewed






human attempts to shorten the gap berween church and state. The memories of the past and the prophetic cries of the future should be a stirring reminder of how harmful this deathly com­ bination can be.

"faith that works." Works flow out naturally from true emunah (faithfulness). Finally, I should not forget to mention that both Adventists and Jews worship the sarne God of Avraham, Yitzhaq, and Yaaqov.

Sarne God and Shared Scriptures

What Lies Ahead? With alI of these mutual

Besides these specific beliefs, we should not, of course, forget the more general ones. Both Jews and Adventists share the sarne Bible (although Adventists also include the writings of the apostles); Adventists and Jews accept the authoriry of the Tanakh (what Christians still persist in calling Old Testament). Obviously, both Adventists and Jews adhere to the sarne ethical principies of the Torah (i.e., the sacred vaI ue of human life and the moral principIes and guidelines that are prescribed therein). lndeed, for Adventists, the Bible is more than just a reference to symbols or rypologies that point to the Messiah. ln addi­ tion to these Messianic signs and rypes that Adventists (like other Christians) find in the Hebrew Scriptures, Adventists aIso search for those laws and truths that are deemed necessary for everyone, and not only for Israel. Many laws are still bind­ ing for ali of humaniry, and it would be a mistake to only Iook in the so-called New Testament for authoritative halakhah (legal instruction). Adventism is not onlya religion of faith, but faith with mitzvot (works) , espe­ cially the Aseret HaDibrot (the Ten Commandments). Perhaps Adventism is closer to Judaism in this "legal" aspect because there is a great emphasis on

beliefs berween Judaism and Christianiry, Jews have some­ times crossed their religious border and "converted" to Christianiry. Likewise, there are many forme r Christians within the Jewish commu­ niry. As David Novak has sug­ gested, "the greatest temptation for a Jew is Christianiry, and the greatest temptation for a Christian is J udaism."3 This may be even truer for Adventists and Jews where additional paral­ leIs can be found that are virtu­ ally non-existent in the rest of Christiani ry. ln spite of ali these wonder­ fui common points, there still remains a lot of work to be done in order to improve the Adventist-Jewish dialogue. The greatest obstacle that lies ahead is replacement theology, which certain Adventists still hold onto. Many adhere to this belief unconsciously or out of igno­ rance. Greater effort needs to be performed in order to correct this problem. But it seems that Adventism is on the right track. Certainly no serious Adventist biblical theologian today would accept the idea that God has rejected the Jewish people. AlI the wonderfuI doctrines on Sabbath, faith and works, and health will be of no effect if special care is not given to this sensitive issue. No well-ground­ ed Jewish person wiU be able to

accept any rype of replacement theology. ln fact, it is unbibli­ cal. Throughout the Scriptures we can hear of God's everlast­ ing love for Israel and human­ kind. God still maintains His love for Israel: "Can a woman forget her baby, Or disown the child of her womb? Though she might forget, I never could forget you" (Isa 49: 15). "Thus said the LORD: As surely as I have established My covenant with day and night-the laws of heaven and earth-so I will never reject the offspring of Jacob and My servant David" (Jer 33:25-26). Some Adventists need to remember the Aposrle Paul's statement: "I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means!" (Rom 11: 1). Hopefully, Adventism will continue on the right path and embrace the Jews as His chosen people.

ISan hedrin 56a.

2See Abarbanel on Gen 9:3 and lsa


3David Noval,., "lnrroducrion: Whar Seek and What to Avoid in JewishChristian Dialogue," in Christianity in Jewish Terms, ed. Tikva S. FrymerKensky er al o (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2000), 5. [Q



Shabbat Corner

One Tbing tbat Aôventists can Learn from tbe ]ews about sabbatb I<eeping: c elebrate! 1

Ma~- E{[el1


Assistal1t Director

Sabbatb scboo[/persol1a[ 1l11stries De,1artmel1t

Gel1era[ cOl1ferel1ce af Sevel1tb-ôa;9 Aôvel1tists

n Making Sabbath Special, Céleste Pw-ino

Walker paims a word picrure of an announcer couming down on Sabbath evening as sun­ down approaches_ .. _,<c 10, 9, 8, 7,6,5,4,3,2, I! We have lifr-ofr.' And you shoor our of rhe bonds of tiresome inactiviry ro do somerhing fun before rhe whole weekend is shor." 2 God says, "Remember rhe Sabbarh day ro keep ir holy," bur He does nor say, "Remember rhe Sabbarh day ro keep ir gloomy!" There are plenry of reaso ns ro joy­ fully celebrare on Sabbarh. When I rhink of celebrating, rhc firsr rhing rhar comes ro my mind is binhdays. The Sabbarh is the birrhday of rhe world. Ir is set ln a framework of ce lebrarion, joy, and deligh t. ln A Day to Remember, 28 SHABBAT SHALOM


George Vandeman linked the sp irit of celebration ro rhe Sabbath by referring ro God's powerful ques­ tion ro Job: '<CWhere wast thOll when I laid the foundarion s of the earrh? ... When rhe morning srars sang togerher, and aI! the sons of God sho ured for jo)'?' Job 38:4-7. The majestic, rhundering voice of the Crearor. Worlds f1ung imo space. Suns ser aflame. Electwns set to dancing. And back of it aI! the stars singing. The music of the spheres_ The so ns of God shouting praise ro their Creator!."3 That is celeb ration! A maITiage is another evem that calls for celebration, joy, and delight. The Sabbath also fits inro that theme. The first wedding was recorded in Gen 2: 18-24. On the sixth day, the first wedding berween a man and woman was celebrated.

Then a few hours later on thar firsr Sabbath, God celebrated anorher wedding-His wedding with humankind! Ali the Sabbarhs since rhat firsr Sabbarh have been a weelJy "wedding anniversary" of that wedding berween God and humankind. God knows the human tendenc)' ro forget anniversaries, so He gave a commandmenr ro "remember" ro celebrare! Some have suggested that the celebrarion of the Sabbarh is a forerunner of "the marriage supper of the Lamb" (Rev 19:7-9). Psalm 92, the Sabbath Psa lm, is resplendem with celebration, joy, and delighr. Sabbath is porrrayed as a time of exul tation. Nor a trace of gl00l11 ca n be found. Ir is clear that God wanrs our Sabbaths ro have an atmosphere of celebration. ln Isaiah, God said we shou ld

"call the Sabbath a delight" (58: 13). The Hebrew oneg ("delighr") lir­ erall)' meails "exquisite delight." Old Tesrament scholar Richard Davidson explarned rhar this word describes palaces of royalty in the one other place ir is found in the Old Tesrament. Ir is as if the King of the llniverse is inviting His people to His "Sabbath paJace" for a regai all-day spiritual feast and . fellowship. This is no ordinary "delight"! Why? Psalm 16: 11 (K]V) replies: "ln thy presence is flllness of joy; at eh)' right hand there are pleasures for evermore." "Delight yourself in the LORD ..." (Ps 37:4, NIV). Some chi/dren sing the song, "Sabbath is a happ)' day." Other children say. "Sabbarh is NOT a happy day!" When Dwight Moody was a bo)', he and his brothers used to shollt for joy when the Sabbath was over because it was the worst da)' in the week for them. Learning from rhe negative Sabbath experi­ ences of his childhood, he advo­ cated his belief that Sabbath "can be made the brightest day in the week. Every child ought to be reared so that he shall be able to say that he would rather have the other six days weeded out of his memory than the Sabbath of his childhood."4 According to noted ]ewish scbol­ ar. Abraham ]oshua Heschel, it is a sin to be sad on the Sabbath day. Mrer Sabbath meals, the Jews recite a prayer that "therebe no sadness or trouble in me day of our rest."5 ln Family Sabbath Traditions, John and M iUiéYoungberg remind us that "if Sabbaths are not a happy day, our children may choose to outgrow the fourth cOll1mandment as they out­ grow childhood."6 Ma)' Cod help u to make our Sabbaths a delight­ fui celebration "so interesting to our families thar its weekly return will be hailed with joy."7 How can we promote celebra­

rion 011 Sabbath? The Sabbathis a day for hol)' celebration, joy, and delight, but díis does not mean (hat ir is to be celebrated like a regular part)'o Alter a pastor and his wife presented a ]ewish-style Sabbath celebratioll in the Cayman Islands, a boy there called the experience "like having a sacred party" to celebrate the birthday of the world. Briefly, what does a "]ewish-style Sabbath celebration" look like? Because ]ews consider the Sabbath to be the queen of the week, a wife, the queen of the home, proclaims rhe beginning of rhe Sabbath by lighting special Sabbath candles. Then she prays a special Sabbath prayer. The father blesses the chi!­ dren and his wife. There is special Sabbath wine and braided chal­ lah breado This special celebration is followed by the Sabbath meal. The choicesr food of all the week is eaten . Before each course, some­ one says, "For the honor of the Sabbath!" During the meal the fam­ ily sings joyful table h)'mns which reflecr the celebration mood of rhe Sabbath. This celebration can tickle our imagination and i!lustrate the atmo­ sphere of celebration that charac­ terizes the Sabbath. ln a wa)' that fits our individual situations and cultures, we can make Friday eve­ nings special, with an atmosphere of celebration. Thar might mean having a special Friday night meal served on special dishes. Perhaps it will include special features, such as flowers, candles, special music, and a special worship activity, such as charades. A Friday nighr worship activiry thar m)' tàmily has been doing for years is adding something to oUI "Blessing Book." We write down something that has happened in our lives during the week that we consider a blessing, along with the date thar ir occmred. Then we celebra te by praising Cod in prayer

for this blessing. Ir is a celebration in itself to reread rhese blessings later on. For m)' fami!y, Sabbarh morning breakfasr was a time to capture this celebration. As oUl" children were growing up, we always had sweet rolls as part of Sabbath breakfast. To avoid having to wash man y dishes before leaving fo r church, we used paper plates and cups. On each paper plate, our daughter would make drawings and write happ)' messages such as, "H appy Sabbath , Dad!" "Cod loves )'ou, Ivan!" This spirit of celebration can continue into the Sabbath services, Sabbath dinner, afrernoon activi­ ties, and rhe closing of Sabbath. T he main idea is that Sabbath should be in a class by itself-more special, joyful, and delighrful than an)' other day of the week: a hol)' holida)'!

lThis arride is adapted from a forrh­ coming book on the Sabbath. 2Céles te Perrino Wa lker, Making

Sabbath Special: Simple Tmdltiom to Make the Sabbath a Delight (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press, 1999), 18. 3George Van deman, A Day to Remember (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press, 1965), 15. 4Dwigh[ L Moody, Weighed and Wlanting: Addmses 011 the Ten Commandments (Chicago, Ilo Fleming H. Revell, 1898), 54. 5Abraham Joshua H eschel, The Sabbath: Irs Meaningfo r Modem iVlan (New York: H . \Volff, 1951 ),30-31. 6Joh n and Millie Youngberg, Famí6' Sabbath Ti-aditions: Fi!!ing the Sabbath HOU1J with JO] (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press, 2001), 59. 7EIlen G. White, Child Cuidance (\Xfashingrol1, DC: Review and Herald, 1982), 536.


Recent Books

Israel and the Church Jacques B. Doukhan Hendrickson Publishers, 2002 108 pp., $19.95 ln this fascinating book Doukhan challenges the two voices-Israel and Christianity, which try to witness to the same God-to en ter in to dialogue and learn Erom each other. What Christians could learn from Israel is to appreciate the gift of the Torah, the value of creation and enjoyment of life, the celebration of time in the experience of the weekly Shabbat, the "not yet" of the messianic hope. What the Jews could learn Erom the Christian church is the good news about the event of God's salvation, His visitatíon in the flesh of human history, His personal relationship with each individual, the "already" of the kingdom of God. This book is indeed a call to overcome separation and hatred, for only when enemies become friends will the voice of God be heard in a world which needs to hear it. "Dr. Doukhan invites us to make real our voca­ tions to become God's witnesses working for the Kingdom of God, combating racism in ali its forms, bringing peace and spirituality to a world that hungers for God's Word. Israel and the Church is required reading, a must, for Christians and Jews involved in the dialogue, for beginners as well as seminary students."-Rabbi Leon K.lenicki (Director Emeritus, Department of Interfaith Affairs, Anti­ Defamation League) "Doukhan not only distills a generation of scholar­ ship to provide the reader with the best short intro­ duction to Jewish-Christian relations available today, but also provides numerous quite challenging new perspectives that will make it fascinating for vete r­ ans of the dialogue as well as beginners. An instant classic." - Dr. Eugene]. Fisher (Associate Director, Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligíous Affairs, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops)


The Mystery of Israel Jacques B. Doukhan Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2004 143 pp., $9.99 Jacques B. Doukhan approaches the much debated issue of Israel and Christianity through the eyes of both a scholar of Jewish heritage and an Adventist. He examines the traditional theories: Has God rejected the Jews as His special people and replaced rhem with the Christian church (rejection-superses­ sionisr theory)? Or does He have two separare ways of salvarion, Judaism and Chrisrianity, under differenr covenants (dispensationalist theory)? Doukhan suggesrs a third and better way to understand God's plan of sal­ vation. He argues that the movements diverged when Christianity rejected the law, especially the Shabbat. Now, Israel has the law without Jesus, and Christianity has Jesus without the law. ln his conclusion Doukhan points to Adventísm which can play an important role in healing the breach. "Careful and clear analysis of theological arguments, ... The issues raised by Doukhan can no longer be ignored by the Adventist communíty."-Angel Manuel Rodriguez, Ph.D. (Director, Biblical Research Institute, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists) "ln this penetrating study, Dr. Doukhan exposes the faulty theology undergirding much contemporary Christian thinking ... regarding Israel. ... A well-rea­ soned case for an alternative model thar is more faithful to the evidence of Scripture . ... Doukhan's model is especially pertinent for Seventh-day Adventists."­ Richard M. Davidson, Ph.D. (Old Testament Department, ]. N. Andrews Professor of Old Tesrament Interpretation and Chair, Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, Andrews University) "A close and linguistically rich study of ali the rele­ vam passages of Scripture, ... This is a very helpful vol­ ume on a key theme for Christians generally, . .. Highly recommended."-Ivan T. Blazen, Ph.D. (Professor of Biblical Interpretation and Theology, Faculty of Religion, Loma Linda University)


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Profile for Marlus Marconcin

The Jewish-Adventist Connection  

The Jewish-Adventist Connection

The Jewish-Adventist Connection  

The Jewish-Adventist Connection