Water & The Holy Spirit

by Art Sippo

I ran across something interesting. At the time of Christ, there was an 8th day celebration after the Sabbath at the conclusion to the Feast of Booths in which water was taken from the pool of Siloam. This was a rain festival celebrating God's providence of rain for the crops and was supposedly the most joyous festival of the year. According to the Talmud, there was an explicit connection between this WATER celebration and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. They bolstered this with quotations from Isaiah about rain and wind (the word Ruach in Hebrew means both 'wind' and 'spirit'). This festival (long after Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed) was eventually replaced with the festival of Simcha Torah which celebrates the Law which had been given to Israel. In John 7 when Jesus gives the "water of Life" discourse it is on the last and greatest day of the Feast of Booths which corresponds to this 8th day festival. Many Protestants deny any connection between water and the Holy Spirit in the Bible. I am afraid that the Jews and Jesus would disagree with them.

Art Sippo
The Catholic Legate