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Blessings Over Wine And Bread In Judaism And Christian Eucharistic Prayers. Two Independent Traditions

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Chapter Summary

The system of tithing is a more realistic precedent for the rabbinic invention of birkhot ha-nehenin than polytheistic libations. Birkhot ha-nehenin have most of the advantages of the rituals of the declaration and separation of tithes while they do not share any of its disadvantages. They make one remember one's identity as a Jew in the context of each meal. They do not resemble pagan libations in any way. Among other features, the position of the Eucharistic prayer within the fourth century celebration of the Christian mass (before the consumption of the elements) shows that it is not related to grace after meals. Birkat ha-mazon designates the point after which no bread may be eaten (t.Ber 4.14 21; 5.12 27), although the drinking of wine is still permitted.

Keywords: birkhot ha-nehenin; bread; Eucharistic prayer; tithing; wine



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