Breath of Life

Breath of Life

Rabbi Rachel Timoner
Paraclete Press, $25.95

It is interesting to find the similarities between Judaism and Christianity as you read Rabbi Rachel Timoner’s study.

The Hebrew word “ruach” for breath or wind, used also for spirit, is everywhere in Torah, the books of the law, as in Tanakh, the rest of the Jewish Bible.

She sees the spirit active in creation, revelation and redemption. “We are a tangle of matter and spirit; we are not just physical but contain within us a wisp of transcendence.”

From the spirit of God made known at Mount Sinai; the giving of the ten commandments; the construction of the Tabernacle as a symbol of God’s continuing presence; and the covenant with the people of Israel, ruach rests on people enabling them to do extraordinary things, bringing meaning and purpose, inspiration and courage.

Zechariah’s vision of a people redeemed from oppression and exile prompts Rabbi Timoner to see God’s spirit “concerned not only with ends but with means, not only with justice but also with peace”.

After all was not Jesus himself a Jew?

John Atkinson

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