Putting Jesus back in the synagogue Shlomi Cohen/FLASH90

Putting Jesus Back in the Synagogue

Israel begins to deal with the question of why prophecies pointing to Jesus have been removed from Jewish liturgy


Israeli academics and scholars are now willing to recognize that certain Messianic passages were intentionally omitted from the synagogue readings. Research shows that passages were excluded from the weekly portion because of their “Messianic” connotations. Were the passages so clearly pointing to Jesus that the rabbis were afraid to read them in the synagogue, afraid that Jews might believe in Jesus?

A portion of the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy, called “Parashat Hashavua,” is read every Shabbat in the synagogue. Added to the Torah portion is the “Haftarah,” which are additional readings taken from the Prophets.

The earliest mention of this practice just happens to be found in the New Testament when Jesus stands up in the synagogue in Nazareth on the Shabbat and reads from the Book of Isaiah. Following that Haftarah, Jesus gives a sermon explaining that he himself is the one about whom the scripture is speaking.

It is well known that the tradition of reading from the Prophets after the Torah portion on Shabbat was an accepted custom in Nazareth...


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