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Modern Judaism Religion of Obedience to the Righteous God

TORAH. Founder of Judaism. Often associated with Moses and receiving the law. Biblically starts with Abraham. Historical Development. God’s Election of Israel Revealed (. See timeline. ). God in the world, Gen. 1-11.

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Modern Judaism Religion of Obedience to the Righteous God

Presentation on theme: "Modern Judaism Religion of Obedience to the Righteous God"— Presentation transcript:


Modern Judaism

Religion of Obedience to the Righteous God


Founder of Judaism

Often associated with Moses and receiving the law

Biblically starts with AbrahamSlide3

Historical Development

God’s Election of Israel Revealed (

See timeline)God in the world, Gen. 1-11God to all people

All people answerable to GodGod’s election of Abraham for a chosen peopleA people through whom all peoples would be blessed

Abraham (2100 B. C.)Joseph in Egypt (1900 B. C.)

Two CommonwealthsLaw given to fall of southern kingdom (1446 B. C. – 587 B. C.)

Fall of southern kingdom to destruction of Jerusalem (586 B. C. – A. D. 70)Slide4

Historical Development

First Commonwealth (1446 – 587 B. C.)

Exodus and the Law (1446 – 1406 B. C.)Period of Judges (1406 – 1050 B. C.)United Kingdom (1050 – 931 B. C.)Fall of Northern Kingdom, Israel (722 B. C.)

Features of First CommonwealthIdentity as a nationLegal code

Worship & sacrificial systemSlide5

Historical Development

Second Commonwealth (586 B. C. – A. D. 70)

Fall of Southern Kingdom, Judah (586 B. C.)End of Exile (537 B. C.)

Last Biblical Prophet, Malachi (440 B. C.)Conquest of Alexander the Great (332 B. C.)

Maccabean revolt (166 B. C.)Herod the Great, Hasmonean Kingdom (37 B. C. to A. D. 4)

Destruction of Jerusalem (A. D. 70) & Masada (A. D. 74)

Features of Second Commonwealth

Ethnic Identity

Legal Code: Keeping the Law

Devotion to God

Party Division: Pharisees, Sadducees,


, etc.

Messianic expectationSlide6

Historical Development

Masada (Breached Spring of A. D. 74)Slide7

Historical Development

Rabbinic Judaism

Developed after fall of Masada from Pharisees as the source of RabbisEmphasized obedience to the lawToday Judaism emphasizes obedience to the law, not a personal belief

Rabbis kept the Tanakh (Jewish scripture) aliveCollecting the Mishnah begun

Sacrificial system replaced with liturgical prayer and ethical behaviorSynagogues centers of worshipMinyan

– quorum of ten adult males for community worshipSlide8

Historical Development

Rabbinic Judaism into Middle Ages

A. D. 136 Bar Kochba rebellion put down and Jerusalem razedJews dispersed to various parts of the Roman Empire

Mishnah completed by Rabbi Judah, the Prince in A.D. 200 (completed legal teaching of oral Torah).Jews that dispersed to Persia prospered among ZoroastriansBecame the center of Jewish intellectual activity until 10

th centuryWhen Shi’ite Islam came to Persia in 7th cent. Judaism began moving to Iberian Peninsula

Further movement to Europe because of anti-Semitism of Islam and Christianity and CrusadesSlide9

Historical Development

Talmudic Tradition to Middle Ages

Time of the CrusadesBegan in the 11th centuryJews victims of the Crusades

Jews pressured with force to convertRashi - Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac (1040-1105)

Literal interpretationRambam (Rabbi Moses Maimonides (1135-1204)Know for his intellectual defense of Judaism

Commentary on the Mishnah

Quoted by Thomas AquinasSlide10

Historical Development

1492 - Messianic Hope but Persecution

Kabalic scholars had predicted 1492 as a redemptive yearFerdinand and Isabella unified Spain under Catholic rule and expelled Jews

Many Jews settled in Southeastern Europe under Turkish rule and lived fairly peaceful lives and others move further north in EuropeSome Jews “converted” rather than be expelled

Inquisition used to violently enforce proper Catholic doctrineAfter 1555 Italy and Germany forced Jews into “Ghettos” and wore yellow bands (later used by Nazi)Slide11

Historical Development

Forced migration gave rise to two main Jewish Groups:

Two main Jewish groups by languageSephardic Jews – Spanish roots, Turkish & Arab influence, “Ladino” language, Spanish dialect, Hebrew scriptAshkenazic

Jews – north & northeastern European roots. Separate from Gentile Europeans. Yiddish – German with Hebrew script.Slide12

Historical Development


Century – Renewal of Messianic ExpectationSabbatai Zevi

Jews from Europe, Middle East, and North Africa thought him to be the MessiahPublicly proclaim by Nathan of Gaza as the MessiahSabbatai went to convert the Turkish Sultan but was given the choice to convert to Islam or be killed, he became a Muslim

General despair among Jew over messianic hopeSlide13

Historical Development

New Movements and Reinterpretation of Judaism

HasidismHasid = pious oneEastern Europeans

Communal natureOrganized around Tzaddik

(righteous man) direct link between God and humansGave rise to Kabbalism

Central figure – Israel ben Eliezer

Know as Baal Shem (master of the good name or good master of the name)

Also know as


Born 1700

Miracle worker in Eastern EuropeSlide14

Historical Development

New Movements and Reinterpretation of Judaism

HasidismGod is found not in study or obeying the law but found inside the person and manifested in singing and dancing.

Joyful expression of God in their midst.Not antinomiansFollowed Talmudic tradition but more mystical

Access to God could be found through devotion and prayer After Besht’s

death, villages setup centered around rebbe or Zeddik who was believed to have healing powers


was given absolute obedience

Persecution drove them to the U. S.

European Jews were most exterminated by Nazis

Some objected to new state of Israel with no Messiah but changedSlide15

Historical Development

New Movements and Reinterpretation of Judaism

HasidismCurrent Hasidism retains those cultural forms of the 18th

century (like the Amish)Black clothing with beard and braidsIn Middle Ages non-people could not wear colorful clothing like those of high rank and so they wore a yellow armband (later used by Nazis)

Currently about 650,000 worldwideBeliefs:Panthiestic as the world is part of God’s being

Devekut – interconnectedness between God & humanitySlide16

Historical Development

New Movements and Reinterpretation of Judaism

Reformed JudaismArose in 18th centuryAccepted European culture and intellectual climate

Central figure: Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786)Studied in University of BerlinAbandoned outward Jewish formsAdopted the enlightenment ideal of the universality of humanity

Jews were free to adopt the culture in which they livedFollowers felt like traditional Jewish practices were hindering Jews from integrating into modern lifeSlide17

Historical Development

New Movements and Reinterpretation of Judaism

Reformed JudaismMain CharacteristicsTraditional forms not authoritativeTalmud not considered authoritative

Following orthodox practices not wrong but not bindingReligious practice is in a state of continues developmentNot an unchanging eternal truth

Do not seek a Messiah – if a Messiah exists, it is people working to make a better world. God acting in history toward messianic freedomInitially opposed a separate homeland for Jews but in the wake of the Holocaust they supported the state of Israel

Meeting place called a templeSimilar concerns as mainline Protestants & worship Slide18

Historical Development

New Movements and Reinterpretation of Judaism

Orthodox JudaismArose in the late 18th and early 19th century in opposition to Reformed Judaism which was continuing away from traditional Judaism

Considers itself as true JudaismMain figures were:Moses Sofer (1762-1839)Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsh (1808-88)

Rabbi Yisrael Lipkin Salanter (1810-83)Slide19

Historical Development

New Movements and Reinterpretation of Judaism

Orthodox JudaismOrthodox can be either Zionest or non-ZionestZionist movementTheodor Herzl (1860-1904) a journalist believed the Jews could not defend themselves against anti-semitism without a nation

Zionism – salvation linked with retaking the Holy LandMany sectsSlide20

Historical Development

New Movements and Reinterpretation of Judaism

Orthodox JudaismMain CharacteristicsGod revealed himself only in eternal, unchanging covenant given at SinaiLiteral messianic belief

Keeping of written and oral TorahReturn to Jerusalem to await deliverance of the messiahStrict adherence to traditional Jewish LawSome acceptance of modern culture to outright rejection

Jewish religion studied in traditional style with no modern forms of scholarshipSlide21

Historical Development

New Movements and Reinterpretation of Judaism

Conservative JudaismArose in 19th centuryCentral figure: Zecharias Frankel in Germany

Characterized by adhering to the law and adapting to the contemporary cultureReconstructionist Judaism (1934)Central figure: Mordecai Kaplan

Small movement attempting to integrate religious Judaism into all aspects of Jewish life with evolution of total Jewish cultureNot a covenant peopleGoal is pursuit of morality and justiceSlide22

Historical Development

Third Commonwealth (Proposed by Some)

Migration to Palestine in the 19th centuryEnglish took over Palestine from Turkey in 1917Both Arabs and Jews migrated

Holocaust moved international opinion in favor of JewsCreation of state of Israel 1948Recapture of Jerusalem in 1967Slide23

Sacred Writings of Judaism

Biblical – canon agreed on in A. D. 90 at Jamnia, lead by Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai

Torah (Genesis – Deuteronomy)Prophets

Early prophets – Joshua, Judges, 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 KingsLater prophets – Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and twelve minor prophets (Hosea to Malachi)Writings (Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, 1-2 ChroniclesSlide24

Sacred Writings of Judaism

The Talmud – the books containing both the Mishnah and Gemara

Mishnah (Halakah) + Gemara (Haggadah) = TalmudGamara – less formal traditions, stories illustrating the application of the law

Two versions of the TalmudPalestinian – completed in the 4th century

Babylonian – completed in the 5th centurySeventeen dense volumes

Orthodox – inspiredLiberals – historical value

Others – authoritative but not necessarily inspiredSlide25

Sacred Writings of Judaism

The Mishnah – collection of interpretations of the law by Rabbis

Collected over decades by Rabbis who met at TiberiusRabbi Meier and Rabbi Akiba lead the processCame to a halt temporarily in A. D. 136 with the second conflict with Rome under Bar Kochba

Rabbi akiba and bar Kochba executedJerusalem razed and Hadrian rebuilt JerusalemJerusalem dedicated to Jupiter, Aeolia CapitolinaSlide26

Sacred Writings of Judaism

The Mishnah

Mishnah completed by Rabbi Judah the Prince in A. D. 200.Six categoriesSeeds – agriculture and prayerFeasts – holy days and writing of scrolls

Women – marriage and other vowsDamages – criminal and civil laws, idolatryHoly Matters – sacrifices and lawsPurities – ritual cleanliness and purification

Halakah – application of the lawSlide27

Divisions of Judaism

Five Primary Divisions of Judaism

Hasidic JudaismReform JudaismConservativeOrthodox – primary religious Judaism

Secular JudaismNo belief in GodJewish by birth and cultureNot religious

Other smaller groupsSlide28

Hasidic Division of JudaismSlide29

Hasidic Division of Judaism

Leading Figures

Israel ben Eliezer or Baal Shem Tov - “Besht” (1700-1760)Zaddik – Group leaderGodGod is understood to be diffused through the world and interacts with it in an omnipresent manner. He is compassionate and desires a relationship with humans. Slide30

Hasidic Division of Judaism


People were created to commune with God and are unique in His creation. People can know God, influence Him and improve their spiritual conditions with Him. Authority & ScriptureThe source of authority is primarily through their religious experience. The Hebrew scriptures are important containing the literal words of God. Male leaders have unquestioned authority. Slide31

Hasidic Division of Judaism


Failing to keep one’s thoughts on God and appeal to Him in all of life’s situations is sin in that it fails to draw on God’s righteous influence. There are various forms of retribution. Salvation

Continues communion with God brings righteousness. A person must confess to the tzaddik for forgiveness of sins. Messiah

Rebbe may be a possible messiah at any one time. Acts of kindness can facilitate the coming of the messiah.Slide32

Hasidic Division of Judaism


Heaven is a place for souls to serve God. Rabbis instruct various groups to improve their abilities to serve God. CreationWorld created in seven 24 hour days.God the creator and creation are not totally separate with God’s substance diffused throughout the creation although God exist independently of the creation, he permeates it.

Through the created one glimpses God’s reality.Slide33

Hasidic Division of Judaism

Important Characteristics

Panentheism – the world is part of God’s being like the soul is part of the human bodyDevekut – communion between God and humanity whose acts and communications bring a response from God.By contemplating on God a person can unite with Him and influence Him.Slide34

Reform Division of Judaism

Leading Figures

Moses Mendelssohn (1729-86)Samuel Holdheim (1806-60)GodOne living God, the source of everything and reigns over the world with love and mercy. He provides moral ideals. God seen from mystical to humanist Slide35

Reform Division of Judaism


Created in the image of God and are children of God. Some believe there is an immortal soul, basically good, and have free will. Should resist evil and fight injustice Authority & ScriptureCanon same as Orthodox but seen as human documents but valuable for ethical insights. Revelation is an ongoing process but individual is the locus in autonomous individual. Slide36

Reform Division of Judaism


Sin is primarily about unjust social structures and humans are not innately sinful but it is evil behavior that is the problem. Sickness and death are not part of the fall. SalvationBetterment of oneself and society.

MessiahNo actual messiah but a humankind will bring about a utopian time of justice.Slide37

Reform Division of Judaism


No one belief but generally no literal afterlife, you live on in the minds of others through the good you do CreationThere is no one position but theistic accounts of creation are generally espoused.

Creation is of great value and humanity is responsible for preserving it.Slide38

Conservative Division of Judaism

Leading Figures

Rabbi Zecharias Frankel (1801-75)God – wide range of viewsMystical viewPanentheism with God in process, limited or evolving

God is finiteSlide39

Conservative Division of Judaism


People bear the image of God and are of great value and are created for a relationship with God and other people. People should work with God to improve it. Authority & ScriptureGod gave the Torah and Talmud to His people and they are to obey scripture as best they are able. Scripture is a mixture of revelation and human interpretation. Slide40

Conservative Division of Judaism


People essentially goodCan become ethically flawless by education and self-effortPersonal sin and social-structure sin

SalvationSocial progression by improving socio-cultural aspects of society, improving education, scientific advancement. Messiah

Sometimes viewed as a person or just a time of justice.Slide41

Conservative Division of Judaism


Diverse view, may even include reincarnation but main focus is on conditions in this lifeCreationMost understand God as a personal creator with many of the divine attributes traditionally associate with God. Others may take the view that he is a creative force or symbol of goodness. Overall he is viewed as involved in the world and cares about his creation, especially humanity with whom he has a special bond.Slide42

Orthodox Division of JudaismSlide43

Orthodox Division of Judaism

Leading Figures

Rabbi Samson Pahael (1808-88)Rabbi Yisrael Lipkin Salanter(1810-83)

Theodor Hersl (1860-1904)GodGod is extremely sacred God’s name is not pronounced, G-d, or incorrect vowels.Infinite, supreme, everlasting, almightySlide44

Orthodox Division of Judaism


A person is body and spirit but morally neutral. Can do good or evil. Overcomes evil by observing Jewish law but every person has a choice and responsible for one’s decisions. Authority & ScriptureLaw, Prophets, Wisdom

Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) is God’s revelation with the main focus on the Torah and rest interpreted through the Torah. Oral and written traditions are authoritative. Slide45

Orthodox Division of Judaism


Go astray by moral inclinationsPesha - intentional breaking of God’s lawAvon

-willingly disobeying God’s law but by irresistible impulseCheit - unintentional Salvation

Keeping a covenant relationship with God through prayer, repentance for sins, and obedience to the law. MessiahPerson from line of David will come that bring global peace and prosperity where he takes people back to Israel, restores Jerusalem, and redeems the Jews.Slide46

Orthodox Division of Judaism


Physical resurrection and obedient living with God forever, disobedient suffer the justice but disagree on how. CreationVarious position but theistic accounts of creation are generally espoused.

Literal six day creation less than 10,000 years agoDay in Genesis could be a time period other than 24 hoursModern science does not contradict but attests to God’s powerSlide47

Orthodox Judaism Worldview

Spiritual Realm

Ultimate RealityOne supreme holy GodCovenant maker with His people

Spiritual BeingsAngelsSatan

Type of Spiritual ExistenceResurrectionHeaven – Gehenna (temporary for most)

Relationship to HumanityCovenant relationshipSlide48

Orthodox Judaism Worldview

God & Spiritual Realm

Material Realm


Orthodox Judaism Worldview

Physical Realm

Belief systemWorship of one GodObedience to GodPrayer

CommunityKeeping KosherKeeping the SabbathSource of revelation or enlightenment

Torah and TalmudSlide50

Orthodox Judaism Worldview

Physical Realm

Relation to spiritual realmBelief in GodKeeping the lawUltimate goal of religion

Live as God’s chosen people according to lawResurrectionHope of MessiahWelfare of other peopleSlide51

Orthodox Judaism Worldview

Physical Realm

Rituals:Orthodox dressMezuzah in home on doorposts containing ShemaDietary laws

PrayerLife cycleBirth – circumcision for boys, naming for boys & girlsBoy’s bar mizvah at thirteen – now accountable for keeping the law (conservative and reformed have for girls)

MarriageDeath – short wait between death and funeralSlide52

Orthodox Judaism Worldview

Physical Realm - Significant days

SabbathRosh Hashanah – Jewish New YearYom Kippur – Day of AtonementSukkoth – Feast of Booths

Simchat Torah – final day of reading entire TorahHanukkah – commemorating purification of TemplePurim – rescue of Jews by Esther

Passover – Deliverance of Jews from EgyptShavuot - Pentecost or Feast of Weeks (Giving of Law to Moses)Slide53

Orthodox Judaism Worldview

Physical Realm – Worship

SynagoguesOrthodox have separate place for womenArk, Bema, & MenorahArk –

Bema – Menorah – LeadersCantor – song leader

Rabbis – preachersConservative and Reformed have women cantors and RabbisSlide54

Divisions of Judaism

Kabala – Jewish mysticism

Mysticism – attaining an unmediated link to the divineKabala means “tradition”Jewish mysticism is called “merkavah mysticism fro the word for “chariot” (Elijah)Could have started as early as 2

nd commonwealthSchools of kabala developed in Middle AgesMoses de Leon – most famous book called Zohar (Book of Splendor or Book of Lights)

Isaac de Luria – fled Christian persecution in Spain, setup school in Safed, GalileeSlide55

Divisions of Judaism

Other Isolated Groups

Yemenite Jews – transported from Arabian peninsula to Israel in 1940Karaite Jews – Accept Torah only and live in Jewish quarter of Old JerusalemFalasha Jews – from Ethiopia from 2nd

commonwealth but moved to Israel to avoid fanines in the 1980s