Sunday, June 20, 2010

An Interesting Coincidence

I think most us are aware that the Church Fathers connect the Gospel of Matthew with the so-called Evyonim (Ebionites). I wonder how many people are aware however that the two Aramaic words 'Matthew' and 'Ebionites' are connected in a central Jewish practice developed from the writings of Esther.

The matanot le'evyonim or 'the giving of gifts to the poor.' The basic idea is that every Jew is obligated to give at least one present to two poor people on Purim. This is developed from Esther 9:22: "[...] that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor."

Are the two concepts related? I don't know. But it is worth mentioning.

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