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Thread: Jewish Birkat ha-mazon and Yotzer question

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    Jewish Birkat ha-mazon and Yotzer question

    Are East and West Syrian Anaphoras used in Eucharistic liturgies developed from, or, are developments of the Jewish Birkat ha-mazon and Yotzer?

    I've been studying St Jame's liturgy, used by the early Christian Church. That is my reason for asking about this subject. And he was Jewish, practiced in the liturgicals of the temple.

    Anybody......

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    Not being familiar with the Anaphoras used in Eucharistic liturgies, I really wouldn't even be able to begin to fairly address the question. I know that the Birkat Hamazon is an after meal blessing and that Yotzer has to do with blessing God as Creator. I had trouble finding the St James liturgy you referred to so I was unable to compare. Do you have a link that would allow us to look over this liturgy?

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    Anaphora's are Eucharistic prayers.
    I haven't found a copy of the original of St James. But I did find a book that might help. Some of it is online here.

    There is a St James liturgy that came into use in the 5th century. But it is not the original. The Coptic Orthodox Chruch holds that their St Cyril liturgy is that of St James. I believe this means that St Cyril developed his from St James.

    I do believe that the prayers (anaphora's) came from the Judaic style. As Orthodoxy is very similar in praxis in this area of worship. They do hours of prayers, as did the Jews. IMO the early Christian church incorporated this practice into their Eucharistic prayers. Since worship centered around the celebration of the Eucharist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teke View Post
    Are East and West Syrian Anaphoras used in Eucharistic liturgies developed from, or, are developments of the Jewish Birkat ha-mazon and Yotzer?

    I've been studying St Jame's liturgy, used by the early Christian Church. That is my reason for asking about this subject. And he was Jewish, practiced in the liturgicals of the temple.

    Anybody......
    The transition from fixed themes to fixed specific prayers was occurring during the same time period as the development of the Orthodox liturgies. Yotzer is part of the larger Sh'ma and it's Blessings. Yotzer follows Bar'khu (Call to Prayer) and precedes the Birkhat HaTorah, which all precede the Sh'ma itself. The Sh'ma and it blessings most definitely influenced the early liturgical development of the church. In my opinion, Birkat HaMazon was fixed fairly late, though its practice was one of the earliest Jewish liturgies.

    In the time of Yeshua, rather than there being fixed prayers there were fixed themes and highly educated prayer leaders in each synagogue called a Shaliach Tsibbur who were able to extemporize on the fixed themes, while varying the particular content. The fixing of liturgy happened progressively as the unifying influence of the Temple became further and further distant (in time and geography).

    There's a critical reconstruction of Yotser in Vol 1 of the series My People's Prayer Book: Traditional Prayers, Modern Commentaries edited by R. Lawrence Hoffman

    For further research I also recommend Jewish Liturgy: A Comprehensive History by Ismar Elbogen (translated into English by Ramond Scheindlin).

    The Jewish Encyclopedia discusses how much of the Apostolic Constitutions and Didache are actually re-workings of pre-existing Jewish documents, and that discussion may be helpful to your investigation. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/vi...d=343&letter=D

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    Thanks for the info Joe.

    Speaking of Apostolic Constitutions and Didache.........
    I found an outline of The Liturgy of Hippolytus (which is an early form) online here. It's not long. Could you take a look an tell me about any differences with the Jewish synagogue services?

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    Quote Originally Posted by literaryjoe View Post
    and that discussion may be helpful to your investigation. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/vi...d=343&letter=D
    That link came up as Apache Tomcat...???

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teke View Post
    That link came up as Apache Tomcat...???
    Try again in a few days: I went to their main site and it says the site is temporarily unavailable.

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    It appears to be back online now:

    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/vi...rch=Didascalia

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    Quote Originally Posted by literaryjoe View Post
    I tried and it isn't working. I'm getting the same screen of jibberish as before.

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    Jewish Encyclopedia on Didascalia

    I saved the article to pdf and you can download it here.

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    Thank you LJ.
    I'm reading it now.

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    I'm only half way through LJ, and I can tell you this sounds very similar to Eastern Orthodox Christianity. And the particular branch that one could presently observe all this, in it's most original form is
    the Coptic Orthodox (Syrian). The You Tube site has some clips of Syrian Orthodox Christians worship services.

    Things that make you go hmmm......

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    Thanks LJ for the info. I can tell you for certain, that the modern prayers do not include any ill speech against the Jews, as this article has mentioned.

    EO has longer and shorter versions of liturgies. I printed out pages 12-14 because they specifically address the liturgy. And I was very pleased to read of the Trisagion prayer, as it is one of my favorites.
    Here is the EO form from St John Chrysostom's liturgical format.

    "O Holy God, who restest in thy holy Holy Place. Who art hymned by the Seraphim with thrice holy cry, and glorified by the Cherubim, and worshipped by every heavenly power. Who out of nothing hast brought all things into being. Who hast created man after Thine own image and likeness and hast adorned him with Thine every gift. Who give to him that askest wisdom and understanding. Who despises not the sinner. But has appointed repentance unto salvation. Who has vouchsafed unto us, Thy humble and unworthy servants, even in this hour to stand before the glory of Thy holy altar and to offer Thee worship and praise which are due unto Thee. Thyself, O Master, accept even from the mouths of us sinners, the hymn of the Trisagion. And visit us in Thy goodness, forgive us every transgression both voluntary and involuntary, sanctify our souls and bodies, and grant us to serve Thee in holiness all the days of our life.
    Through the intercessions of the saints, who from the beginning have been well pleasing unto Thee. For holy art Thou, O our God, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen

    Before this prayer we sing the Trisagion hymn. Which is a short hymn.
    "Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (3 times)
    Gory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages Amen. Holy Immortal have mercy on us. Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal have mercy on us."
    Personally, my hands can't resist going upward when singing this hymn. Not my arms, but my hands. They just turn to open for the blessing.

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    I have a question on the article from the section "The Seven Benedictions".
    It reads, "his body being formed of the four bodily elements, his soul endowed with five senses as a new creation out of nothing, and his mind being the charioteer of the soul".

    Can you explain this more? What are the four bodily elements, five senses etc. spoken of? Or do you have a ref. I can read..............

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teke View Post
    I have a question on the article from the section "The Seven Benedictions".
    It reads, "his body being formed of the four bodily elements, his soul endowed with five senses as a new creation out of nothing, and his mind being the charioteer of the soul".

    Can you explain this more? What are the four bodily elements, five senses etc. spoken of? Or do you have a ref. I can read..............
    I'm not familiar with it, but it sounds like a kabbalistic reference, probably from the Zohar. I've never read the Zohar, but that is where I would suggest you look.

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