Saint Peter

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to be merged with Simon Kefa (Peter) bar Jonah

In the medieval Toledot Yeshu folklore and traditions St. Peter (Shimeon Kepha Ha-Tzadik) has a pristine reputation as a greatly learned and holy man who established the Sunday Sabbath for God-Fearers (converted from among Gnostic heretics known as the watchers or Notzrim) instead of Saturday in the absence of the Yoveil, Noel (as a new year feast but not as Christmas) instead of Hanukkah, the Triumph of the Cross instead of Aviv, Pascha (a firstfruits festival) instead of Pesach, the feast of the circumcision John 7:2 instead of Yom Kippur (The Jewish tradition places the birth of Peter's Rabbi Anush Uthra in September rather than December), and the Ascension for them instead of Shavuot. Orthodox Jewish author R. Harvey Falk (NY) wrote that R. Judah ben Samuel of Regensburg, who led Germany's 12th-century Chasidei Ashkenaz, considered him to be a Tzaddik (a Jewish saint or spiritual Master among Hasidim). The Tosaphist Rabbeinu Tam wrote that he was "a devout and learned Jew who dedicated his life to guiding gentiles along the proper path". Tam also passed on the traditions that St Peter was the author of the Sabbath and feast-day Nishmat prayer, which has no other traditional author, and also that he authored a prayer for Yom Kippur after appearing before the Sanhedrin in order to prove his commitment to Judaism despite his work amongst Notzrim.

Peter was instrumental in helping his new Noahides (first of all in Antioch) to establish not churches, but the courts of law required of them, and he himself acted as the required Jewish Abbot in such Bet Dins. This is how Peter came to be called Pope among the Umot Ha Olam.

Peter himself belonged to the Jerusalem synagogue whose Nasi was Jakov Ha-Tzadik. Some argue that Jakov was not a Tzadik but a Zaddokite cousin of Anush Uthra on the same side of the family that Iuhana Ha-Matbil was. Others (e.g. Eusebeus) argue that Jakov was from the House of Jesse side of the family and equivalent to Israel's Exilarch at the time. In any event he was not much involved in Shimeon Kefa's work. Simon Peter's right-hand man was a pharisee who had changed his stance on Halakhah to the way of thinking that the Jerusalem Synagogue promoted and who went by the name of Saul of Tarsus. Sadly his fanatical past reputation turned out to be a thorn in his side that hindered Peter's work rather than helped it eventually leading to the secession of the Mandaeans before their noahidification was complete.