Rabbi: Passover Is for Christians, Too

Reform leader offers one Jewish perspective on New Testament tradition.
Rabbi: Passover Is for Christians, Too

Evan Moffic is one of the youngest rabbis in Reform Judaism to lead a congregation-- Congregation Solel in Highland Park, Illinois. Of the three main branches of Judaism in the US—Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform—his takes the most progressive approach to a Torah-honoring lifestyle. Reform Jews are theologically the most liberal of the branches, a branch of which Moffic believes is “a Judaism at home in America.”

As Moffic became involved in interfaith education and dialogue, he discovered the deep desire among some Christians to explore the Jewish roots of their own faith.

“Several years ago, when I was a rabbi in Chicago, I was asked to teach a class on this topic at a nearby church. The class was at 8 on a Sunday morning so I wasn’t expecting a big crowd,” he said. “The first week, 15 people showed up. By the end of the series, 80 people were attending the class.”

He found himself speaking to Christians of every theological stripe who expressed deep hunger to know more about the Jewishness of their own faith. Their questions—and his own—led him to pen two books on the subject: What Every Christian Needs to Know about Passover: What It Means and Why Matters (Abingdon, 2015) and What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Jewishness of Jesus: A New Way of Seeing the Most Influential Rabbi in History(Abingdon, 2016). Moffic’s graciousness, curiosity, and insight have caught the attention of evangelicals including Scot McKnight, Eugene Peterson, Lynn Cohick, and Ken Davis.

During Holy Week, we often reflect on Jesus’ own Jewish traditions as we commemorate the Last Supper and his death, burial, and resurrection. With Passover approaching, I spoke ...

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