Comments about ‘BYU's Passover meals draw attention’

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Published: Friday, April 15 2011 4:35 p.m. MDT

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Eddie
Syracuse, UT

I attended a Passover Seder at BYU a couple of years ago and it was very good. It is to be expected to be a little different due to a group of Mormons there to learn what it really is. There has to be times when you have to have things explained and things get "off" a little. I rally did love it and learned so much about the passover that I did not know.

I am looking forward to going again sometime in the near future so I can gain more knowledge.

Y Ask Y
Provo, UT

I attended a Burning Man re-enactment of the LDS temple ceremony once in the deserts of Nevada. It was also very good.

Isn't that the same thing as Mormons re-enacting and reinterpreting Jewish ceremonies?

Michigander
Westland, MI

Any true passover will always use wine per Jesus' commandments to his ancient American disciples in 3Ne.18:1-10 and 3Ne.20:1-8. "Christ our passover is sacrificed for us" (1Cor.5:7). Using grape juice is trifling with the words of Christ.

rickplatts
Ridgecrest, CA

I do not see this as "trifling with the words of Christ." Such an interpretation seems to miss the spirit of the BYU passover meal, which was meant to increase awareness of the Jewish tradition and culture. Furthermore, Latter Day Saints believe that Jesus Christ has given us a modern commandment not to partake of alcohol. Choosing to substitute grape juice for wine was an appropriate alternative. Certainly a deviation from the "true" passover, but not disrespectful to either faith, Jewish or LDS. Just my opinion. You are entitled to yours as well. Have a great day!

Y Ask Y
Provo, UT

rickplatts,

First of all, the Passover was the historical event that gave Israel their identity. It is ceremonialized and celebrated by Jews with the Passover Seder, which is the meal and recitation of the story of the original Passover. Prior to the destruction of the 2nd Temple in Jerusalem (circa 70 CE), the Passover ceremony was carried out in the Temple by dedicated priests. After the destruction of the temple, the rabbinical councils created the home-based Passover Seder during which Jews could continue to enjoy the ceremony by reciting "The Long Order of the World" (most probably similar to the writings of Seder Olam Rabbah).

Therefore, the purpose of BYU's seder is to distort and reinterpret this sacred Jewish ceremony, putting Christians meanings on everything, and has nothing to do with the "Passover" Jesus celebrated (because the Passover Seder was not invented yet).

Without doubt, this BYU Seder re-enactment (for which they charge a fee) has little to do with respecting the Jewish faith. It is blatant disrespect in the same way non-LDS people re-enacting and reinterpreting the LDS endowment would be disrespectful.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

The attempt to compare enacting a passover seder to enacting the temple ceremony is a classic example of a false analogy.

The fact of the matter is that on average a higher percentage of the Mormons attending these ceremonies at BYU believe they are recounting events that really happened that Jews attending such ceremonies throught the United States.

Mormons fully believe that God intervened to save the Children of Israel, and that the destroying angel passed over the marked houses. There is a large segment of Jews in the United States who do not even believe God exists.

Beyond this passover seders are no where closed ceremonies limited to Jews.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

In the linked-to Mormon Times article it states "The re-enactments are performed with a profound sense of appreciation and respect for Jewish tradition." Unless a commentor wants to stand up and say they have re-entacted the passover without this, they have little to add.

At the same time, the fact that someone may have participated in a reenactment of the passover done without respect and with rudeness would not prevents others from having done it with a sense of respect.

I think that the Mormon Times article did not mean to say what it does with this line "Passover is also celebrated among Samaritans and Eastern churches but not in Christian religions." I am puzzled what are "Eastern Churches" if they are not Christian? What seems to be refered to is Oriental and or Eastern Orthodox Churches, which are most definently Christian (except to a few Fundamentalists Evangelical Protestants, who would also say Mormons and Catholics are not Christian). On the other hand if the groups refered to are Manicheans and other small religious groups in Iraq, than Church is not the right word.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

YAY has to be the first person I have seen refer to an event where multiple food items are served charging to attend as if doing so is some sort of cynical act.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

The following is part one of a two part post.

The issue some have missed is the majority of Mormons do not have ancestors who left the Middle West for Utah. In 1850 the number of Mormons in Great Britian outnumbered those in the United States. They then migrated in steam ships to the US and crossed the plains by rail and trail, and after 1868 just by rail, in varrying numbers. The Church stopped encoraging this migration in the 1890s.

However into the early 1950s Mormons from the British Isles, Scandinavia, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and other places were pooring into Salt Lake City. It was not until the Church built temples in Switzerland and England in the 1950s that this migration stopped. The Church experienced very heavy growth from conversions in the 1970s in the United States, and today the number of Church members outside the US is greater than inside the US. There are large numbers of Hawaiian, Tongan and Samoan students at BYU, as well as many black and Hispanic students, not to mention white students from various places in the US who are either converts or more often the children and grandchildren of converts.

Y-Ask-Y?
Provo, UT

JPL,

I didn't say cynical. I said disrespectful.

It is well-known that only practicing Jews are to perform the Seder, and strictly speaking, only practicing Jews are supposed to attend. An exception may be made to invite a non-Jew to participate in the Seder, but it is never appropriate for a non-Jew to lead the Seder, as is done by BYU professors.

Your comments reveal you do not understand the Seder. Christian Passover celebrations are not the Jewish Passover Seder. Christians were forbidden by Paul from continuing the Passover celebration, as well as circumcision (Jesus is the Christian's Passover. To celebrate the Passover is to act as if Jesus did not come).

Rabbi Dow Marmur wrote (excerpt):

"To view Passover as a quaint relic of the past telling us how Judaism was in the days of Jesus is to rob the Jewish celebration of its contemporary relevance. ...instead of trying to incorporate the one into the other. Christian Seder celebrations...may be misleading. On similar grounds I have been an opponent of Christmas celebrations in Jewish homes...to fuse the two into a continuum causes confusion."

OnlytheCross
Bakersfield, CA

Kudos to BYU for retelling the story of God's miraculous rescue & provision for His people from slavery! The Bible is His book, about His plans for those who wish "to be called by My Name". It is His Story and all are invited to the table. There is no copyright on sharing His victories. Abraham's tent was open to all who entered in by covenant.

I just attended my umpteenth seder last night, at a Reform Temple. Will attend a 2nd night seder tonight at our local Conservative synagogue. Last year I took my Hebrew class to (my 10th or so) "Jews for Jesus" seder in LA. I grew up in southern Calif's San Fernando Valley, where my 1st of many family seders was at my best friend's (Jewish) home. Growing up LDS, I wish the entire church had held these visual reminders of what God has done.

I'm sorry that there is so much misinformation here. No one "owns" the seder dinner or exclusive rights to His Book, both of which have been abused:

The Passover is about a Lamb's Blood that brought Rescue, Redemption and Life.

Grace
Bakersfield, CA

In the words of Selah's beautiful song, "Wonderful, Merciful Saviour":

"Who would have thought that a lamb could rescue the souls of men?"

I will always love my BYU Hebrew professor, Gabriel Tabor ('70-'71) for planting the first seeds of truth in my heart that God's Word is perfect Truth, perfectly written, by a perfect Creator, The Holy One of Israel. I will spend the rest of my earthly life sharing His Story. It is true, no matter how many centuries have intervened, or how many different ways have been attempt to redefine it or own it. He is over all and His ends will be accomplished, for His Glory. It's for Him that the story is told.

He owns the earth and all that is in it. He offers eternity in His Kingdom to all who will come. He sorrows for all who refuse, because He is Love and Light and Life- John 8:12. B'Shem Yeshua, HaSeh Elohim, His Lamb has shed His Blood to cover the doors of your sin. That's the Story we glory in, no matter at whose table, or however you choose to honor His Great Name.

michaelm
Waukesha, WI

Y Ask Y - It is clear to me that you do not understand the Seder and Passover tradition in the way most Jews practice it (if at all) it is an open ceremony where friends are routinely invited to participate.

Unlike you're Burning Man example which was intended to ridicule and demean performing a ceremony they fully knew was very private and holy to Mormons the Passover is an open public ceremony most practicing Jews are glad to share willingly with interested friends and relatives.

My Grandparents are Jews and I have participated in countless Passover ceremonies with them in their home and at "Temple" as they call their synagog. I have many Jewish family members who are not practicing at all but who still keep the Passover traditions, I have Orthodox relatives who are strictly keep it, invited me even as a child to participate with them.

My point is you are squarely wrong. There is no comparison about a Passover tradition being demonstrated and discussed by appreciative LDS students and drunken and drugged politically and hatefully performed mockery with the full intention of disrespecting and insulting or belittling the scared ceremonies of LDS Temple functions.

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