"Those who forget history," wrote George Santanya, "are doomed to repeat it." However pithy the saying, one could be excused for wondering just how accurate it is. After all, we have thousands of years of recorded history to inform us of what racism, bigotry, greed, imperialism, and aggression lead to; that knowledge, however, hasn’t stopped the past century from being one of racism, bigotry, greed, imperialism, and aggression. Whether remembered or not, history is, it seems, doomed to be repeated.
Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi is Professor Emeritus of Theology and Church History at Andrews University. Dr. Bacchiocchi received his doctorate in 1974 from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. His dissertation focused on the Church’s change From Sabbath to Sunday.
An avid writer and lecturer, Dr. Bacchiocchi travels extensively. His works include The Advent Hope for Human Hopelessness: A Theological Study of the Meaning of the Second Advent for Today (1986); God’s Festivals in Scripture and History, 2 vols. (1995); and The Christian and Rock Music: A Study on Biblical Principles of Music (ed., 2000).
Tnew wave is moving through Christian communities; some Christians are engaging in the practice of Jewish festivals. The trend is significant enough to raise questions and reflection among both Christians and Jews: Should Christians “do” Jewish festivals?
To that question, yes and no answers are in order.
Dr. Hoffman is Professor of Liturgy and Director of the Synagogue 2000 Initiative for synagogue spirituality, Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion and an ordained rabbi. He researches, writes, and lectures in the history of Jewish liturgy, ritual studies, and contemporary worship and modern Jewish spirituality.
Dr. Hoffman was recognized for his contributions to the field of liturgy with the North American Academy of Liturgy’s (NAAL’s) annual Berakah award. He became the first Jewish president of the interfaith scholarly organization, which is dedicated to liturgical research and dialogue.
Time and its holiness is a central idea in Judaism since biblical times. From the beginning of their history, the Jews received the divine injunction to hallow time on a weekly, monthly, yearly, and life-time basis. These holy times mark the cadence of Jewish life even today. The beliefs and practices attached to these times speak of the innermost essence of the Jewish faith and hope.