Have you ever been reading a book, and all of a sudden you stop short and think, “Whoah, wait…what did that just say?!” Well, I had one of those moments this morning, I was reading a book by Taylor Marshall titled The Crucified Rabbi: Judaism and the Origin of Catholic Christianity, when screeech, on went the brakes, and I jammed my eye transmission in reverse:
Just after that, I recognized someone in the waiting room. It was Mr. Smith from St. Andrew’s. Now I understood why I had been called upon to pray with a Jewish woman–she was married to an Episcopalian. Up until now, I had not known that his wife was Jewish. He was nervous about her surgery and we talked for a while until the rabbi returned to the waiting room. Mr. Smith formally introduced me to the rabbi, and we shared an interesting conversation about how some Jews bend their knees and raise up on their toes when they pray.
Then the rabbi asked Mr. Smith a very unusual question. "What is the Hebrew name of Joanna’s mother?"
The husband thought about it for a moment. "Gee, I don’t know. Why do you ask?"
"Well, I was going to ask Joanna the name of her mother, but she was already asleep by the time I found her."
"Why would you need to know her mother’s name?" asked her husband.
The rabbi explained, "We Jews believe that if someone is suffering and you invoke the name of his or her mother in prayer, God will be more merciful in granting your prayer for that person."
Now what about that! I’m not exactly sure what to do with this. Has anyone else out there heard of this from the Jewish side of things, or have a source for where this practice originated?