Qumran was a first-century Jewish community that had isolated itself from outside influences to prepare for the arrival of the Messiah. They took great care in devotional life, ceremonial washings,, and strict adherence to rules of conduct. Surviving documents show that they would not allow the lame, the blind, or the crippled into their communities. This was based on their conviction that anyone with a physical “blemish” was ceremonially unclean. Ironically, at that same time the Messiah of Israel was at work in the cities and villages of Judea and Galilee. Our Daily Bread, Friday, January 25, 2013. www.rbc.org.