Thursday, April 5, 2007

Placing Maundy Thursday in the Jewish Tradition

No, this isn't Ray Vander Laan. This is Shawna R. B. Atteberry.

The Passover Seder was not a community religious event. It was a family meal. The family along with friends remembered and celebrated God redeeming them out of slavery in Egypt.

And now, consider this (take it away Sally).

This painting of the Last Supper by Bohdan Piasecki includes 6 women and 2 children, as well as Christ and His 12 apostles. Most classic paintings of the Last Supper (like Leonardo DaVinci’s Masterpiece) only show Christ and His 12 male apostles. But we know from scripture that Christ’s women disciples and His mother Mary had followed Him from Galilee up to Jerusalem, and the next day it was the women who were at the foot of the cross when the men ran away.

And those arguing for the ordination of women as Roman Catholic priests appeal to the Piasecki painting.

C.N.W.E. has learned of an Irish community, which shares our mission. BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST ( BASIC) is a community "Praying and Working for the Ordination of Women in the Roman Catholic Church." In an action similar to the Canadian "Catholics of Vision," they have petitioned the Irish bishops on behalf of Women's Ordination. Their petition had 22 000 signatures. Thanks to their generosity, we have posted a copy the new painting depicting "The Last Supper" which was painted by Polish artist Bohdan Piasecki and commissioned by B.A.S.I.C.

Let's continue.

Leonardo da Vinci's great masterpiece "The Last Supper" is for many Christians the clearest image they have of Christ's last meal with his disciples. Yet though it is great art, da Vinci's painting is bad history. All the details in da Vinci's painting are inaccurate:

The painting shows daylight outside the window, but the actual Last Supper took place at night

The figures are seated about the tables on benches, whereas Jesus and his disciples reclined on couches

Da Vinci shows a meal of fish and ordinary bread, yet a Passover meal consists of unleavened bread, roast lamb and bitter herb

Da Vinci shows only Jesus and the twelve apostles, omitting
women, yet the Passover had to be eaten by whole families including women
children, yet the laws of Passover require children to ask questions so that they can learn the meaning of the Passover meal from their parents
the disciples who prepared the meal during the day

Da Vinci shows thirteen Renaissance Italian males in oriental costume in a Florentine palace, not a Jewish celebration of the Passover in Palestine

We in BASIC have found Leonardo da Vinci's image of the Last Supper one of the main arguments used against us: "But there were no women at the Last Supper!" Certainly women and children would be present at the Passover meal.

But did it happen on Tuesday? That's all I wanna know.


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