Judaism an introduction

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Judaism an introduction Israel Major Jewish populations world wide. The darker the color, the larger the population Judaism broken down by country. Basic overview Oldest major Western religion Seen by many as both a religion and a race/culture—big debate on whether or not this is historically tru.... ID: 769438 Download Presentation

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Judaism an introduction

Judaism an introduction Israel Major Jewish populations world wide. The darker the color, the larger the population Judaism broken down by country. Basic overview Oldest major Western religion Seen by many as both a religion and a race/culture—big debate on whether or not this is historically true.

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Judaism an introduction

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Judaism an introduction


Major Jewish populations world wide. The darker the color, the larger the population

Judaism broken down by country.

Basic overview Oldest major Western religion Seen by many as both a religion and a race/culture—big debate on whether or not this is historically true. Three major sects: Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Founded by Abraham (of Ur) though traditions and stories predate him from both a religious and historical point of view. If he existed it was around 2000 BCE. Actually only the 12 th ish largest religion in the world—vast majority of all Jews live in Israel or the US Unquestionably monotheistic—this is why Judaism, despite its size, is so important to world religions Belief in the oneness of the soul and the importance of the body, and eventual resurrection after death Sacred Texts: Tanakh (& Torah ) , Talmud Holy sites: Jerusalem, Western Wall, Temple Mount (Zion & Moriah ), Mt. Sinai Holy days: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Passover

Jaffa Gate, Old City Jerusalem

Topics from Intro (pp. 55-66) for discussion Comment on the importance of the origins and culture of Jewish society in relation to the religion. Distinguish between being an Israelite and being Jewish. Outline the differences between the first temple period, the second temple period, diaspora and modern times. Explain the impact of Israel’s history on the development of Judaism. Analyze the importance of the Ashkenazic Jews to Judaism. To what extent have the other Western Religion’s (Christianity & Islam) acerbic interactions with Judaism contributed to the formation of its religious identity?

Why are we here? YHWH or Yahweh, the God of the Jews, created the world in six days (Sunday-Friday)—and “saw that it was good”—and rested on the seventh (Saturday) God also created the planets, the heavens, the cosmos, etc. On the sixth day, God created man (Adam) and woman (Eve) “in his image” and created a paradise on earth, the Garden on Eden for them to live in. However, God gave them free will, and when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, he kicked them out of paradise and forced them to wander the Earth God then had several other problems with humans (Noah’s flood, Sodom & Gomorrah, etc.) before finding Abraham, who he called to begin the religion of Judaism. God chose Abraham and the Jews to be “his people”

What is the human condition? God gave man free will. Therefor man is continually in a struggle between yetzer ha- ra (bad inclinations) and yetzer ha-tov (good inclinations) God made a covenant (a promise) with Abraham, calling him to be the father of his new people. God promises that if Abraham listens to and believe in him, God will do great things with his progeny God has chosen the Jews to be his people, and he is their god (Remember there are tons of gods vying for attention in the ancient world.) Central to Judaism is the idea that the Jewish god is the one true God and god of everyone, Jewish or not. God used to interfere with, reward, and punish humans regularly, but this has waned a lot in recent years.

Where are we going? Of all religions, Judaism is most ambiguous on the afterlife A lot of this has to do with the fact that Judaism is a religion based more around actions and laws not beliefs However, some Jewish eschatology does exist and there is a belief in Olam Ha-Ba (“the world to come”) The book of Daniel is the only part of the Hebrew Bible that explores this Rabbinic writings and Sanhedrin decisions have affirmed the belief in an afterlife There is some belief you don’t have to be Jewish to get there as long as you’re righteous; but you must believe in God and repent and ask God for forgiveness, etc , regardless. Other writings and ideas mention the notion of judgment dividing people in the three groups: the righteous, the wicked, and those in between The righteous to straight to Gan Eden (heaven)—which is believed to be the Garden of Eden, transplanted The wicked to Genion (hell) Big debate about what happens to the third group and whether one can ever get out of hell Finally, central to Judaism is the notion a messiah (anointed one, savior) who will come to usher in a Messianic Age

How do we get there? The number one way is following the various mitzvoth set down by God and other rabbinic councils There are 613 total mitzvoth, many of which pertain to laws in the Temple Judaism cares way more about what you do that what you believe (but you do have to be a monotheist) Judaism also stressed repentance and atonement You can be forgiven for anything except 1.) murder, 2.) gossip, and 3.) defrauding the community One part of repentance is asking the person you wronged for forgiveness and this is impossible in the above three cases All this is summed up in the Shema Orthodox & Conservative Jews tend to believe you must also convert to one of the tribes of Judaism, Reform Jews, would like that, but don’t think it is a necessity. This is more of an older than newer thing. Goes back to the idea of the necessity of the chosen people

Why are we here? The Creation & Abraham’s Calling (pp. 82-87) Compare and contrast the two different creation stories and their emphasis at the beginning of Genesis Analyze to social and historical relevance of Eve’s creation in comparison to Adam. Explain God’s covenant with Abraham Deduce the importance of circumcision to the covenant To what extent is God’s covenant with Abraham similar to deals made with Adam and Eve?

The Israelites identified themselves as a people whose ancestors, Abraham and Sarah, moved from Ur and Haran in Mesopotamia to Canaan; Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, called “Israel,” resettled his large family in Egypt, where the Israelites were eventually treated as slaves.

Analyze the importance of “Israel married to the Sabbath” in terms of Jewish law Compare and contrast the commentary in the creation story in The Midrash with that found in Genesis. Deduce the reasons for and importance behind the “additions.” Explain why Jewish scholars were able to come up with an alternate story and make interpretations. Justify their changes in terms of Jewish practice. Comment on the increased anthropomorphizing of God in The Midrash . Explain the importance of the commentary on the binding of Isaac. Compare this to the Torah’s passage. Why are we here? The Creation and Binding according to The Midrash (pp. 230-237)

God of the Jews (and everyone else) But, he specifically picked the Jews to be his peopleAnd he made man “in his image”YHWH makes up the sacred name meaning “I am who I am” With no vowels it was converted to Yahweh to make it pronounceable It is so sacred Jews should not say it out loud (though some of the more liberal Jews do), instead using several alternate terms for it, most famously “El” Was originally one of many Gods worshiped by the early people who would become the Jews At a time he even had a wife named Asherah Probably wasn’t worshipped exclusively unit around 900 BCE Eventually won out and turned the Jews to monotheism God of the Hebrew Bible is very, very different in personality from the Christian presentation of God (in the New Testament) Tends to be more wrathful and vengeful in the Hebrew Bible—demands full attention & respect and gets upset when he doesn’t get it Rewards and punishes at a whim Was very active in Jewish life, but that stopped around 400 BCE Why are we here? YHWH

This is the most important story in Jewish history, and Moses, its main character is the most important prophet Scholars believe it was at this time and this story that the Jews began to identify as a people and eventually a nation. Why are we here? The Exodus Story (pp. 90-99) Outline what events from the story would cause the Israelites to being to identify as a nation Identify what mitzvoth come from the Exodus story Analyze the significance of the birth and raising of Moses. Compare it to other stories in the Bible Examine God’s choice of Moses to lead the Exodus. Explain key Jewish themes found in the Exodus story. Discuss the events on Mt. Sinai, the Ten Commandments and their birth of the importance of law to Judaism

Jericho plains and the ruins of Jericho: Where at the Battle of Jericho, Joshua and co. “blew down the walls” of the Canaanites 4,000 year-old Canaanite clay gate

What is the human condition? Samuel, Saul, David, & Solomon After receiving the promised land, a series of great Jewish leaders emerges This is where hagiography and history merge: Samuel, a prophet, is told to find David to become king of the Jews David beats Goliath to earn the respect of the Jews and becomes king David is considered the great king of the Jews and ushers in a golden age; conquered Jerusalem and made it the holy city of the Jews Bathsheba incident illustrates his humanity; (and sin and atonement) After a series of events, he is succeeded by the wise Solomon, who built the first Jewish temple 10 Northern Tribes then disappear from history forever We know for a fact that Solomon and David were real people Directions : find a group of between 2-3 in which at least one person has read each article that was assigned for HW last night. Discuss and come to a conclusion about the importance of David in Judaism. Then on a notecard as a group answer the following: To what extent is David more important to Judaism than Moses? Explain and defend your answer in detail with specifics.

Damascus Gate, Old City Jerusalem

Notes in the Western Wall Under the Western Wall Prayer at the Western Wall The Western Wall (of the second Jewish Temple)

Excavation of the City of David

Be’er Sheva – Ancient Israel’s “second city.” According to the Bible, YHWH spoke to both Isaac and Jacob here and Abraham lived here. All told it is mentioned 33 times in the Bible, second of all major (real) Israeli cities aside from Jerusalem

Judaism Socratic Seminar Texts: from Job (pp. 139-143); from Ecclesiastes (pp. 144-146); from “Thirteen Principles of Faith” by Maimonides (pp. 336-339); from The Memoirs by Glückel (pp. 427-429); from Jerusalem by Mendelssohn (pp. 522-524); from Moreh Nevukhe Ha- Zeman by Krochmal (pp. 529-533); from The Religious Significance of the State of Israel by Leibowitz (pp. 690-694); various poetry by Amichai (pp. 723-730); from The Counterlife by Roth (pp. 730-732); “A History of Antisemitism,” and “Who is a Jew?” which can be found on my website Discussion on the laws, ideas, and beliefs of the Judaism and how they have evolved over a few thousand years. You will receive the talking points for HW the night before. This is a (50 point) culminating grade.

Central to the beliefs of Judaism is that God endowed man with free will God is omniscient and knows all the choices humans will make; but humans still get to chooseGod also did not rid the world of evil—by giving humans free will, he could not So people are always torn between yetzer ha- ra and yetzer ha-tov From time to time in the Hebrew Bible, God decides he’s had enough of decadent humans and tells person his plan to punish them Most famous example of this is Noah and the Ark This begins the notion of prophecy which is central to all Abrahamic religions The second half of the Hebrew Bible is all based in and around prophecy However, virtually all major sects, save a branch of Christianity called Mormonism believe that while God used prophets back in the day, he no longer really does. Moses is considered the most important prophet in Judaism What is the human condition? Prophecy

Supernatural What is the human condition? More Prophecy Prophet Audience R1 F R2 P1 F P2 S Directions : Discuss last night’s critical reading on prophecy; make sure everyone at your group understands Overholt’s diagram, argument, model and steps and can apply them to an example of prophecy

You will pick on prophet from Ancient Israel and analyze him/her in terms of the prophetic model given by Overholt. You will also do further research to analyze their overall effectiveness, illustrated values of Judaism, and importance to the Jewish faith—think: if this is the story of the Jews, what did they contribute? You will create a short note sheet which you can use to explain your findings to your classmates. You will also turn in these notes to me. There are five prophets in the Miles book, you may pick one of those and use the pages below, though you may have to read further scripture to understand the prophet/prophecy fully. Alternatively, you may find a Jewish prophet and bible online and do someone not in the book. If you do the latter, you may NOT do Moses, Daniel, or Samuel. Check the website for the due date. Your Miles book prophets are: Hosea (pp. 114-117) Amos (pp. 117-118) Isaiah (pp. 119-125) Jeremiah (pp. 125-127) Ezekiel (pp. 127-129) What is the human condition? Prophecy mini-project

Judaism was the first religion to have the idea of a messiah (literally “anointed one”) who would save the Jewish people and usher in a Golden Age of peace and prosperity for 1,000 years. Some say that when this occurs, people will be resurrected and rejoined with God and their loved ones This is why it was originally important to bury and not cremate the body Isaiah (most notably 9:1-6) is cited by many, especially Christians for making this prophecy But, the prophecy of the Jewish messiah also says: War will cease, everything will be at peace (i.e. even animals will stop fighting) Crime will cease, as will prejudice, hunger, and illness The Jews will be restored to the Temple (which hasn’t existed since the Romans destroyed it in 70 CE) and their home of Israel Knowledge of God will fill the world They will be able to carry out all their mitzvoth—many of which they cannot carry out now because they are required to do so in the Temple The messiah will be a king As a result, many Jews point to this list (which is not exhaustive) as why they do not believe Jesus of Nazareth to be the messiah According to some Orthodox Jewish prophecy/astrology the messiah will come before 2240 CE; likely as soon as 2120 CE Where are we going? The Messianic Age

Mt of Olives; (top left) Jewish graves halfway up; (bottom left) from the other side, traditional location of Garden of Gethsemane

Jewish tombs on the Mt. of Olives. (It is the most sacred place in Judaism to be buried as it is believed the resurrection will begin from there.) Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives

Draw an interpretation of the apocalypse from Daniel or Enoch. Each person should have their own drawing.Explain the symbolism found in Daniel. Deduce the meanings and importance behind the imagery, particularly that of the various beasts. To what extent does Daniel give comfort to the possibility of a Jewish afterlife? Compare and contrast Enoch’s vision with that of Daniel’s. Outline the key elements in Enoch’s version. Explain the symbolism and imagery and deduce its importance. To what extent are both these visions a product of the time and circumstances in which they were written? Where are we going? Daniel and the afterlife (pp. 147-149 & 159-163)

Remember: Judaism is a religion of laws and actions way more than it is a religion of beliefs. As a result, central to Judaism is the idea of mitzvah (law; plural = mitzvoth) God has set down certain laws, beginning with the Ten Commandments that all Jews must follow While there are major moralistic ones, the vast majority involve cleanliness or sacrifices in the temple There are 613; if you’re bored tonight or cannot go to sleep, go read (pp. 99-106) to see examples Once they have a bar/bat mitzvah (coming of age), Jews are expected to follow as many of the laws as is reasonably possible But this varies based sect of Judaism Another central notion is that of atonement: if Jews make a mistake and 1.) are sincerely repentant for it, 2.) ask for repentance—apologizing to the person and God, 3.) try to make amends and 4.) live a better life without making the same mistake in the future, God will forgive them, and whomever they wronged should too This does not apply to 1.) murder 2.) gossip or 3.) defrauding the community All this is summed up, put together in a number of Jewish rituals, most notably the ritual of Shabbat and the practice of teffilin How do we get there? Mitzvoth & Repentance

The central prayer and affirmation of monotheism for Jews is known as the Shema. It constitutes, in a few words, what are believe to be the core principals of Judaism. It is meant to the be central prayer in the morning and evening for a Jewish service or on a personal level. It is less central in Reform Judaism. It is a combination of ( Deut 6:4-9; Deut 11:13-21; and Num 15:37-41)—though most Jews (save hardcore) only care about and recite the first part of the text and the very end. Jews are told to live by the Shema How do we get there? The Shema

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates…. The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner. And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the Lord , to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after. So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the Lord your God.” ( Deut 6:4-9 & Num 15:37-41) How do we get there? The Shema – full text of the most common parts

Directions : While there are many subsects of Judaism, the three main sects are Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform—the vast number of American Jews are of the Reform sect. However, you need to do research on all three. You need to find reliable sources and physically (i.e. something you can turn in) show the key difference between the three sects. Be sure to consider how they worship, dress, what mitzvoth they follow, how they differ in their understanding of Sabbath, in rabbinical teaching, marriage, family values, etc. Be sure to be thorough but also brief enough you can use this as a quick comparative reference to better understand Judaism. These are your notes—while I will take questions of understanding there will be no additional lecture on this material. How do we get there? Various sects of Judaism