Messianic people today are no less prone to being blown about by every wind of doctrine than any other believer. In fact, because they have delved more deeply into the scriptures than the average believer, they are likely more prone to error! Especially if they go looking for teachers to scratch their Jewish itch.
Not too long ago, we were the victims of the rebellion of Korakh, which was meant to tear and scatter, as I predicted, and as it did. And since then, doctrines galore emerged among familiar people. I loathe the necessity of writing this particular piece, because it is so boringly repetitive, and had been laid to rest in our circle of fellowship. But, there are so many teachers out there driving the people of Messiah to the feet of the Rabbis, that I feel I must address this seemingly insignificant doctrine that is yet so perfect an example of eisegesis, and full of error and trouble. Many in my past who have gone this route have eventually departed from Messiah altogether, because they look to Rabbis who denied Yeshua for their halakha.
The issue is the very minor ‘Khagigah’, a type of sacrifice offered during each of the three “Khag” pilgrim feasts. There are significantly popular “Messianic” teachers that have latched on to this Mishnaic-age treatise on a Temple custom to assert that Yeshua did not keep a Passover Seder on the night He was betrayed. They go there because it is indeed difficult to resolve the timeline of the Passover with the culture of that day. People who develop an affinity for all things Jewish and then for culture that goes beyond the scripture, chronologically and doctrinally, then get enamored by the Rabbis, who were already deep in error when our Messiah showed up. What I mean is, the only writings of the Rabbis, after scripture, is the Mishnah and then the Talmud. In their minds, the Mishnah begins the Talmud, but that is a bit of a misnomer. The Mishnah stood alone for a season, until much later Rabbis began to write their own conclusions.
The Mishnah is a series of second century writings ‘about’ Rabbis, by Rabbis. The second century Rabbis who wrote the Mishnah were not writing any of their own opinions, but instead recording in conversation form a ‘question and answer’ dialogue about what first century Rabbis thought about each of the issues recorded. The writers of Mishnah were students of the now dead Rabbis who are cited. Thus, they were recording what they could remember, from memory, and not from any written/recorded source. Mishnah, therefore, is subject to human error already. And, it is not divinely inspired, in spite of what today’s Rabbis and their paparazzi assert. These were not prophets qualified to be cited as divinely-inspired, sacred writings.
The ‘Khagigah’ offerings are recorded in the last tractate in the Seder “Mo’ed” of the Mishnah. One of the tractates of that Seder is “Pesakhim”, which records details about the two “Passovers”. There are indeed two Passovers. The first is recorded and detailed in Exodus 12-13, and Leviticus 23; the second is given in the book of Numbers, for people who miss the first Passover for whatever reason [traveling, uncleanness, etc.]. The Seder Mo’ed gives only the various restrictions associated with both observances of Pesakh in the Temple, and does not give every single detail of the Pesakh Seder itself, nor any detail about the in-home Seder. Most of the instruction is in regard to the offerings made in the Temple. Some are in regard to the sharing of the slaughtered Pesakh [lamb] in the home, but oddly enough no specific date is given for that. The only date given is in the very first passage, where the Bedikat Khametz is ordered, to be done in the night of the 14th of the first month.
So, the ‘khagigah’ tractate is not at all about Pesakh exclusively, and does not detail a Pesakh meal at all, or anything associated with it. It is simply in regard to the general procedures for offering the ‘sh’lamim’ or ‘olah’ [peace or burnt offerings] brought voluntarily by pilgrims TO THE TEMPLE as a sacrifice, IN ADDITION to keeping the Pesakh, Shavu’ot AND Sukkot. Nothing in the Mishnah gives us the order of a Pesakh Seder in detail, or the ’15 steps’ that are customary today. Certainly its tractate Khagiga does not.
The purpose of the Mishnah was to record TEMPLE processes, because the Temple had been destroyed, and the training manuals for Temple service were the minds of the Rabbis who had died in the latter first century; their information was given to the next generation, and that generation were compelled to write it all down, because the Jewish people had been scattered, and they feared losing the knowledge before the Temple would be rebuilt. The in-home custom of keeping Pesakh was NOT recorded/written down, because the same means of transmission was being used: generation to generation, orally. It is only later Talmudic writings that record more detail about the Pesakh Seder, by Rabbis who not only rejected Yeshua, but are hostile to Him. They are under the spirit of Mashi’akh HaSheker. [The Lying/False Messiah] The “Haggadah”, or the written guide for an in-home Passover Seder was not created until after the printing press, and was created because people got busier in life and were less likely able to remember the Seder; and, the Rabbis added much liturgy over the course of 1,000 years.
The Mishnah itself is rife with argument. There is no one conclusion as to how to do any one task. A question is asked, ‘How did they kill the lamb.’ And two or more answers are given: ‘Rabbi Gamliel says…’ and ‘Rabbi Akibah says’….and no conclusion is drawn as to who was more right. So, to try and settle a matter from the Mishnah is an impossible pursuit. It is merely the recording of the faint memories of men’s opinions. It is not divinely inspired.
People today who see very clearly that Yeshua’s “last supper” did not coincide with the Pharisee’s anticipated “Pesakh” thus struggle to try and resolve when, and now even IF, Yeshua kept His Passover Seder. They stumble into the Khagigah tractate and superimpose this minor mention of voluntary additional offerings for all three khag pilgrimages over Yeshua’s last meal. It is a very thin veneer to try to make Yeshua comply with Rabbinic conclusions. And therein is the rub. We follow Yeshua.
People who are enamored with the Rabbis are remiss to admit that those Rabbis could be wrong. They become more loyal to Jewish DNA than to the Very Word of God, and they are wooed away from truth by blind trust in man.
Yeshua eviscerates the Rabbis many times over in His dealings with them. Any time we see Yeshua having a conversation with the Pharisees, we are seeing His conversation with “Rabbis”. Today’s Rabbis follow the Pharisees, to a man.
The Rabbinic community of the early first century was divided into three basic parts: Pharisees under either Rabbi Hillel or Rabbi Shammai, and the Sadducees. [There were other sects, but these were the majority]. Hillel and Shammai, incidentally, are the two main Rabbis cited in the Mishnah. “The House of Hillel” were those who followed his way of thought, and Hillel’s ideas were very similar to Yeshua’s; so, among the Rabbis, he would have been more likely to accept Yeshua as Messiah if he had been alive when Yeshua appeared. Many of his ‘talmidim/disciples/torah students’ were likely among the “many thousands  in Y’hudah who are believers, and they are all zealous for the Torah” [Acts 21:20]. Hillel’s grandson, however, Gamli’el, defended the Messianic community in the book of Acts! [Acts 5] And he is another major Rabbi cited in the Mishnah. The House of Shammai was very strict, demanding, and almost arrogant in their approach to Torah, and to gentiles. That ‘house’ are the likely source of the Galatian error, where gentiles were compelled to become Jewish to secure salvation. The House of Hillel called them “The Synagogue of Satan”, and oddly enough, most Jewish streams of thought today follow Shammai’s halakhic conclusions. Shammai was the ruling house among Pharisees in Yeshua’s day, and that is why there was so much conflict between Him and the Pharisees.
Most people are unaware of the doctrines of the Sadducees, other than the fact recorded in the gospels that they did not believe in the resurrection. What many are not aware of is that they observed the in-home Passover on the night of the fourteenth of the 1st month, as did much of common Jewry in the first century. This is the part that is so frustrating for Messianic people who get wooed away from the SCRIPTURES for the sake of being more ‘authentically Jewish’. P’shah! No one is more authentically Jewish than Yeshua the Messiah! NONE. And NO ONE is more Jewish than the one who follows Yeshua’s way, whether his DNA is Jewish or not. [Rom 2:29]
We can see evidence in scripture, three times, that the common Jew was accustomed to keeping the Pesakh on the night of the 14th of the first month along with the Sadducees. Further, people who call Yeshua’s last meal a “khagigah”, which is not an in-home meal at all, but a very minor, additional voluntary sacrifice for all three pilgrimages called “khag”, are ignoring the DIVINELY INSPIRED writings of the three of the gospels, which, even in the greek, call Yeshua’s meal “The Pesakh.”
Here are those three passages:
17At the beginning of Matzot, the Talmidim came up to Yeshua and said to Him, “Where do you wish that we may prepare the Pesakh הַפֶּסַח for you to eat?” 18And He said to them, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘Adoneinu says, ‘My time has come, I will observe the Pesakh הַפֶּסַח with my Talmidim at your house.”” 19And His Talmidim did as Yeshua had commanded them; and they prepared הַפֶּסַח the Pesakh . 20And when it was evening, He was reclining with his twelve Talmidim. ~Matthew 26
7Then the day of Matzot came, on which it was the custom to kill the Pesakh הַפֶּסַח lamb. 8So Yeshua sent Kefa and Yokhanan, and said to them, “Go and prepare the Pesakh הַפֶּסַח for us to eat.” 9They said to Him, “Where do you wish us to prepare?” 10He said to them, “Behold, when you enter the city, you will meet a man carrying a waterskin; follow him. And wherever he enters, 11say to the Adon of the house, ‘Adoneinu says, ‘Where is the guest room where I may eat the Pesakh הַפֶּסַח with my Talmidim?” 12And behold, he will show you an upper room, large and furnished; there make ready.” 13And they went and found it just as He had said to them; and they prepared הַפֶּסַח the Pesakh . 14And when it was time, Yeshua came and sat down, and the twelve Shlikhim with Him. 15And He said to them, “I have greatly desired to eat this Pesakhהַפֶּסַח with you before I suffer… ~Luke 22
12On the first day of Matzot, on which the Yehudim sacrifice the Pesakh הַפֶּסַח , His Talmidim said to Him, “Where do you wish that we go and prepare the Pesakh הַפֶּסַח for you to eat?” 13And He sent two of His Talmidim, and said to them, “Go to the city, and behold, you will meet a man carrying a vessel of water; follow him. 14And wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘Our Rabbi says, ‘Where is the guest chamber where I may eat the Pesakh הַפֶּסַח with my Talmidim?” 15And he will show you a large upper room furnished and prepared; there make ready for us.” 16And His Talmidim went out and came to the city, and they found just as He had told them; and they prepared הַפֶּסַח the Pesakh. 17And when it was evening, He came with His twelve. 18And when they were reclining and eating, Yeshua said… ~Mark 14
ELEVEN TIMES in the HOLY BIBLE, the DIVINELY INSPIRED WORD of the apostles, the word PESAKH is used to describe the meal Yeshua ate on the night He was betrayed.
ELEVEN TIMES. “Out of the mouth of two or three witnesses, a matter shall be established. We have THREE WITNESSES, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, who stated 11 times that Yeshua was eating the Pesakh, the PASSOVER LAMB.
This was not a ‘khagigah’, which was a peace offering or burnt offering offered in the Temple. This meal was served in someone’s home, according to three apostles.
Further, two of those witnesses said they were ‘reclining’, and one of those states ‘reclining and eating’, and ‘reclining’ is how the Pesakh meal is supposed to be eaten: “in a relaxed manner.”
Since these passages above are cited in Hebrew and English from the Aramaic source, let’s make certain whether the greek aligns with it or not:
In each of the places cited in bold and in Hebrew above, the greek word πάσχα is used, ‘paskhah’, which is the greek translation of pesakh for passover; πάσχα is a greek word invented by Jewish greek scholars for PASSOVER.
Further, the night described in the three passages above have elements of the 15 steps of the Passover Seder recorded in it as the very FIRST Jewish writings ever to do so, and even Rabbinic scholars today have confessed that!
One detail is the cup Yeshua took in order to renew the covenant with Israel:
20And likewise also He took the cup, after they had eaten supper, and He said, “This is the cup of the Brit Khadashah in my blood, which is shed for you.” Luke 22
In a Passover Seder, the cup after supper is the third cup of the meal, and our Jewish people call it the ‘Cup of Redemption’, which is exactly what Yeshua is doing with that cup. This is no coincidence. Those were 13-plus Jews having a Passover Seder, keeping the customs of it, which were written down no where else until centuries later.
Also, it was and is still customary to ‘sing the Hallel’ on Passover, and this is recorded in tractate Pesakhim in the Mishnah! But, it was recorded in the Gospels first:
30And they sang the Hallel, and went out to Har HaZetim. ~Mat 26
26And they sang the Hallel, and went out to Har HaZetim. ~ Mark 14
“The Hallel” is Psalm 113-118, as recorded in the Mishnah and in most of today’s good ‘haggadot’. It is customarily sung as the last act of worship during the PASSOVER SEDER. It is NOT mentioned at all in tractate Khagigah!
The Pharisees wrote the Mishnah. They state in the Mishnah that the Jew is to give MORE WEIGHT to the Mishnah than to the Torah, to obey the Sages rather than the Torah. While the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection, they did believe that the Torah was preeminent in establishing doctrine. They did not merge Pesakh and Matzot into one feast, as the Pharisees did. They kept the Pesakh as a High Day, beginning the seven days of eating Matzot, and then they observed Matzot, with six MORE days of eating Matzot. And that is how average Jews also did it in the first century, as clearly seen the Messiah’s preparation for Pesakh. That is actually the biblical model, and is clearly seen in Deuteronomy 16:
1“Observe the Khodesh of The Aviv, and keep the Pesakh unto יהוה your Elohim; for in the Khodesh of The Aviv, יהוה your Elohim brought you forth out of Mitzrayim by night. 2And you shall sacrifice the Pesakh offering unto יהוה your Elohim, of the flock and the herd, in the place which יהוה shall choose to cause His Name to dwell there. 3You shall eat no khametz with it; seven days shall you eat Matzot therewith, even the bread of affliction; for in haste did you come forth out of the land of Mitzrayim; that you may remember the day when you came forth out of the land of Mitzrayim all the days of your life………. 6but at the place which יהוה your Elohim shall choose to cause His Name to dwell in, there you shall sacrifice the Pesakh offering at dusk, at the going down of the sun, at the season that you came forth out of Mitzrayim. 7And you shall roast and eat it in the place which יהוה your Elohim shall choose; and you shall turn in the morning, and go unto your tents. 8Six days you shall eat Matzot; and on the seventh day shall be a consecrated assembly to יהוה your Elohim; you shall do no work therein.”
For whatever reason, the Pharisees COMBINED the two feasts, and actually made it EIGHT DAYS LONG, with EIGHT DAYS of eating Matzah! They do not have their Pesakh Seder until the night of the 15th, and they eat Matzah for EIGHT DAYS! Their ‘high days’ are actually days 2 and 8 of their eight days!
Yeshua is the perfect Torah Teacher, and kept the Torah perfectly. The disciples knew that Passover would begin when they asked Yeshua where He wanted to observe it by eating the in home meal and having the customary Seder. Scriptures clearly show us that, whether one believes it was a khagigah or not, the meal He last ate was 24 hours before the Rabbis kept their seders. And we who follow Yeshua today are in similar contrast to most of today’s Rabbinic community. The HOLY SCRIPTURES written by Yeshua’s own “Talmidim”, “Torah Students”, record that Yeshua’s last meal was a Pesakh Seder eleven times over, and Paul even refers to that night as Passover [1 Kor 5, 11]. It has been believed by most to have been a Passover Seder for nearly 2,000 years. The notion that 2,000 years later so-called believers would come along and impose a much-later written debate about a voluntary temple offering over three of the gospels in order to re-write the history just shows that people read into scripture what they want to read into it. They truly “add for themselves other teachers for the itching in their ears; and they will turn away their ears from The Truth.” ~2 Tim 4:3 These same people accuse christians of such trickery, and then practice it themselves. They are deceived.
Yeshua is our example. He is our Rabbi. Him we follow.
1You, then, should imitate me, even as I also imitate Mashi’akh.
~ 1 Cor 11:1
for further reading on the timing of Passover click here and go to ‘Mo’adim’ dropdown.