One of the things I love about blogging is community. I not only get to write and hopefully become a better writer, but I get to become part of something that is so much bigger than all of us. I have been very blessed and am most grateful to know some richly wonderful people that I might have never gotten to meet or know otherwise. I have met many bloggers and have talked to many on the phone as well… It is all so remarkable. It is like one great big mishpacha and I love it..
I also learn about books I might not know about, like Jane Redmont’s When In Doubt Sing, Tobias Haller’s Holy and Reasonable, The Price of Right by Alicia Morgan, Googling God by Mike Hayes, to name a few.
Such is the case with “Why Is There A Menorah on The Altar? Jewish Roots of Christian Worship”. Author Meredith Gould became familiar to me in the comment boxes of various Catholic blogs and I was delighted to hear of the book that she was writing at the time. Her book was recently published and I reviewed it for The Evangelist, the newspaper of the Albany Diocese.
Jesus aside, what else is Jewish in Church?
by Fran Rossi Szpylczyn
As a Catholic child of a Jewish father, I was thrilled to learn that we would be attending a Bat Mitzvah. The year was 1967 and I was 10. My parents told me that we were going to “God’s other house.” This got my attention because I loved Mass at our “God’s house.”
Entering the synagogue, I was curious about the yarmulkes for men and no chapel veils for women, the lack of statuary and candles, not to mention no Holy Communion. The Hebrew might as well have been Latin; it seemed transcendent to me.
I fell in love with this version of God’s house. In fact, I could not wait to get to tell Sister Agnes Marie all about how it was totally different yet so much the same. As it happened, I can’t say that Sister was as excited as I was. However, I was intrigued with whatever God had going with Judaism.
No wonder I was anxious to read, “Why Is There a Menorah on the Altar? Jewish Roots of Christian Worship” by Meredith Gould (Seabury Books, $20). Gould, who was born and raised Jewish, is now a practicing Roman Catholic.
In the foreword, the author wastes no time and jumps into how her Jewishness shapes who she is to this day. Her proclamation that she is a “Jew in identity, a Christian in faith and a Catholic in religious practice” shows that her faith is wide and deep, cultural and spiritual.
Meredith is Catholic, but the book addresses liturgical Christian worship including Episcopal and Lutheran services. Go ahead and read the rest of the review you wish, you can find it right here. And if interested, go get the book, it is really good!