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Etz Hayim—"Tree of Life" exists to promote Christian-Jewish relations and dialogue, and a joint biblical, spiritual and liturgical self-consciousness and cooperation.

As Christians, we cannot consider Judaism as a foreign religion; nor do we include the Jews among those called to turn from idols and to serve the true God (cf. 1 Thes 1:9). With them, we believe in the one God who acts in history, and with them we accept his revealed word...

—Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium
24 Nov. 2013. Read the Document HERE


Jewish and Christian
Liturgical Readings

The readings list provided by Etz Hayim—"Tree of Life" follows the Torah Portion of the Week (Parashat Hashavuah) read by Jews every Sabbath, and the readings for Masses and Sunday liturgies used throughout the Christian world.


   [Jewish Cycle]
12 Apr / Nisan 12 / Parashat Aharei Mot
12 Apr / Nisan 12 /Shabbat HaGadol
14 Apr / Nisan 14 / Ta'anit Bechorot | Erev Pesach
15 Apr / Nisan 15 / Pesach I
19 Apr / Nisan 19 / Pesach Shabbat
  [Read a commentary on this week’s parashah (Torah potion)
  from Bat Kol Institute or Light of Torah.]

   [Roman Rite]
30 Mar / 4th Sunday of Lent
06 Apr / 5th Sunday of Lent
13 Apr / Palm Sunday
17 Apr / Holy Thursday
18 Apr / Good Friday
19 Apr / Holy Saturday
20 Apr / Easter Sunday
   [Read a commentary on the gospel from Bat Kol Institute.]

30 Mar / 4th Sunday of Lent
06 Apr / 5th Sunday of Lent
13 Apr / Palm Sunday
17 Apr / Holy Thursday
18 Apr / Good Friday
19 Apr / Holy Saturday
20 Apr / Easter Sunday

[LINK HERE to Liturgical Readings citations
for the dates above]


[See Etz Hayim's glossaries for more information on
Jewish or Christian Feasts, Festivals and Events.]


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The Jerusalem Rainbow Group

Impressions of 45 Years of Jewish-Christian Dialogue published by the Rev Peter Janssen. NOW AVAILABLE.

The Jerusalem Rainbow Group logo

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Link to Order form: Adventures in Dialogue



for 2013-2014 | 5774-5775

Weekly Readings
for Christians and Jews
this 16 month interfaith calendar covers
Jewish Year 5774 & Christian Cycle:
Advent 2013–Advent 2014

...Read more about this Calendar HERE 

The Jewish and Christian Liturgical Calendar The Jewish and Christian Liturgical Calendar






| More




12 APRIL 2014 | 12 NISAN

The Sabbath preceding Passover is called Shabbat HaGadol (The Great Sabbath). The origins of this special Shabbat lie in the Torah. It was on this day that the Jewish People followed the command of God and “took for themselves” a lamb which was to be set aside for the paschal sacrifice. This day, the 10th of Nisan, occurred four days before the first Passover (Pesach Mitzrayim, i.e. Passover from Egypt) which the sages determined to be on a Thursday.

The rabbis have attempted to explain the term Gadol applied to this Sabbath by reflecting upon the significance of the lamb (a deity to the Egyptians) and the instruction to select the lamb four days prior to the sacrifice.

This day was Gadol (Great) because The Great God (HaGadol) of the Hebrews commanded and miraculously allowed it to happen that, despite the affront to the Egyptians against their deity, the people of Israel where enabled to take this action. The Egyptians were not able to prevent the people of Israel from taking their lambs; a great miracle (nes gadol) indeed.

It is related in midrash that when the people of Israel explained their action as their protection against the coming plague of the firstborn [the tenth and last of the plagues], the firstborn of Egypt begged their fathers to let the Israelites go. When this cry was refused war broke out between them and many Egyptians died (Tosafot, Shabbat 87b; Midrash Tehillim 136:6; Tanchuma, Bo). This event alone warranted the designation Gadol to this day.

Others have espoused the teaching that because many Israelites who had adopted Egyptian practices repented and returned to their Jewish roots on this day, this Shabbat was honoured with the distinction Gadol in honor of God, who is referred to as “HaGadol”. According to the Pri Chadash (Rav Chizkiah Silva, 1657-1696) it was on this day that the people of Israel performed their first mitzvah, an achievement which alone should be called Gadol. Additionally they, in performing this first mitzvah, showed their maturity. It was, in effect, their bar mitzvah. These Jews, this day, became mature (gadol) adults. In a similar vein the Chatam Sofer (Moses Schreiber, 1762-1839) taught that on this day the people of Israel did teshuvah, fully returning to God in faith and commitment. Therefore they themselves are called gadol because God is Gadol.


14-15 APRIL 2014

The Jewish festival of Passover [Pesach] begins at sundown on the evening of 14th April. Read more about Pesach HERE.

Guidelines for celebrating liturgy during Holy Week in a manner that respect s the integrity of Jews and Judaism can be found HERE.

[Download Study/Information sheets and Parish Newsletter inserts by clicking on the images below.]

Download Passover Study Sheet Parish Newsletter insert for Passover


Scripture through Torah
Resources for Christians from

Link to Light of Torah website
Ancients texts, through fresh eyes,
alive for today.

Light of Torah provides weekly insights on the Torah in an easy to use format for parish study groups and individuals.

Light of Torah
A subscription to Light of Torah is free.
Sign up at the Light of Torah website

    Page Updated: 7 April, 2014      
    Last Site Update: 7 April, 2014 | 7 Nisan, 5774
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