JUDAISM. What is it?. Simply as a religion is too narrow.. It is:. A people (ethnic component). A land (Judah) Tribal lines as a division. Monarchy as sign of unity and Judaism as a nation. A culture (2. ID: 325154
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What is it?
Simply as a religion is too narrow.
A people (ethnic component)
A land (Judah) Tribal lines as a division
Monarchy as sign of unity and Judaism as a nation
A culture (2
BCE in Hellenistic Age)
Judah as Kingdom is the root of term of Judaism
Used first in 2nd
used to differentiate these people from Hellenists
A religion that has developed and changed over time
Shared collective memory and history is an essential element of Judaism to be studied and relived through ritual. Present and past continually coming togetherSlide3
JUDAISM: THE STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT
The period of the Bible (The most central)
The formation of a people
Patriarch Abraham: his faith, his steadfast acceptance of God in the face of suffering; a land and covenant signed by circumcision
Bondage and Exodus from Egypt
Moses leading them out of Egypt. Transition from a family to a nation of people. They were in Egypt for hundreds of years.
Wandering in the Desert and The Torah
Giving by God of the complete system of laws: Decalogue; the covenant code and the holiness code.
Entering the Land and Becoming a Nation
Take the land led by Joshua promised to Abraham, formation of a monarchy. David emerges as sign of unity and the promise of a messiah in his line. David moved capital to Jerusalem and Solomon built the Temple that became only place to worship God.
Exile and the destruction of the Temple (twice)
Formative stage ends with a hope of restoration. Hebrew Bible ends its story here.Slide4
Emergence of Rabbinic Judaism
Sage and wise men begin to emerge who are the forerunners of the Rabbi
Emergence of a
of Jewish people spread throughout the world
Without a Temple then how would the religion survive
Rabbinic literature – These were scholars who wrote a tremendous amount of literature.
New forms of prayer
Adapting Bible to new reality
Challenges of Medieval and early Modern
Jewish people scattered throughout the world as minority
Philosophers – Developed thought in dialogue with outside forces including academic and political forces.
882-942 (Iraq) Prominent leader of Rabbinic movement in Babylonia
He wrote in the context of serious challenges from
and Arab thinkers.
questioned the oral Torah and also actually some removed God from the act of creation. He wrote against Greek philosophical discourse to religious truths and developed
He wrote a philosophical defense of Judaism
Distinguishes between those truth of reason and those of revelation
He saw these truths as complimentary and as an example attempted a proof that God created the world.Slide5
Maimonides 1135 – 1204 (Spain and North Africa)
Codified Jewish law into 14 books known as the
(Repetition of the Torah)
Influenced by Arab philosophers trained in Aristotelian thought and science as a doctor.
Develop theology on questions of God and how one can even know God, how God can have so many attributes what is the essence of God unity and existence. Guide to the Perplexed:
Well versed Jewish believers with an understanding of science.
Concept of God presented in Bible in anthropomorphic form and how can God be that way
He also addressed prophecy and how a highly developed human intellect can then receive an emanation from God.
In Middle ages numerous legal codes were produced not only interpreting the
but including insights of the
that had developed over time.
Asher produces the Four Rows: 14
Prayer and festivals
1488-1575 wrote the Bet Josef (The House of Joseph) and then a digest of it called the
which became the definitive statement of Jewish law.
century traditional Judaism maintained that following the
was the true sign of a faithful Jew.Slide6
movement was trying to reconcile new modern secular world with Judaism
century led to emergence of Reformed Judaism in Germany
Questioned for the first time the need to follow
Stressed the central role of prophetic ethical teaching.
Later dropped many ritual components
Synagogue called Temple
Dropped a belief in a national restorative element
Dropped a belief in a personal messiah.
Present day division:
movement leads to unprecedented split in Judaism.
is seen by some as not required which was unheard of in the past
who ascribe to a strict adherence to the legal system of the Torah, the oral Torah of the Talmud and the
. It is an umbrella term obviously coming out of the Christian world for a wide variety of expressions of traditional Judaism.
Conservative find their roots in the thought of Frankel but is an American development maintain traditions but with an openness to the historical development of those traditions and frequent need to reconcile it with new realities. Basically saying the Reform group went too far
Besides those mentioned above Contemporary Judaism is marked by
Assimilation into society is ever-growing challenge
Christian Europe opens up to Jews but with the restrictions of giving up certain practices that set them apart.
Emergence of critical study of Bible
emerges with Jewish people also who were rather secular in their orientation.
Zionism was more secular saying that we must reclaim our land vs. the very religious understanding that God will restore us to the land
Some saw the return to the land was also a return to the Biblical faith but the fact is that Judaism had changed in its religious beliefs and self-identity.
Then what is the relationship of the Judaism outside of Israel to that of Israel.Slide8
THE JEWISH LIBRARY
Judaism is understanding the writings of Judaism. Study of Torah is prayer.
The Hebrew Bible (Christian Designation)
Torah: Creation to Moses Death
Traditional Jews consider that this was given to Moses in its entirety by God
It is read as part of synagogue ritual
It can be produced only on parchment with quill and special ink
All legal components of Judaism are considered to have their source in the Torah
In antiquity it was the primary if not the only text studied in formal education.
: Prophets (Up to the first destruction of the temple)
They are narrative and prophetic in nature
Prophesy is seen as exhortation to follow the Torah
Prophets cannot introduce new laws or change existing ones.
These books are only secondary in the synagogue service.
Psalms- poems that were originally attributed to David.
The five scrolls each of which is read in synagogues on a specific festival day: Esther; Song of Solomon; Lamentations; Ecclesiastes which asks what is this world all about; Ruth that tells the story of a process of conversion of a Moabite woman who became ancestor of King David.
Job, Proverbs, Daniel and Ezra and Nehemiah
Ends with Second Temple period.
(Search or examine) Commentaries
Produced in the first 6 centuries of CE by Rabbinic Judaism revitalizing the faith in a post-temple period.
Follow the torah primarily commentating on its meaning
It is much more than exegesis and contains various literary forms like fables, examples, parables.
Often homiletic in approach.
Mishna and Talmud Follows topics rather than text of Torah
More of a legal texts
Mishna was completed by 3
Two major Rabbis as sources
There are six sections: Laws of agriculture; festivals, marriage laws, civil laws, laws of the temple (even though there is no Temple) and aspects of ritual purity (what they touched and what they ate etc.)
Talmud based on the Mishna
Completed by 6
Rabbinic centers of learning in Palestine and Babylonia and each produced their own Talmud
The Babylonian Talmud assumed preferred status
While it became the basis of Law, it is anything but a legal manual.
It is a compilation of discussions and debates over issues related to the Mishna and to life.
It is the opinions of respected Rabbis
Entering Modernity (distinct categories leads to a code) Rabbi Joseph Karo in 16
century produces a compilation of legal codes known as Shulhan Arukh
It has four sections: Rituals of daily life (prayers, Sabbath, holidays), dietary laws; laws of marriage and divorce; and civil law.
Responsa Literature, Commentaries, Prayer Book
Responsa were aimed at specific questions by followers of Judaism
There are thousands of such compilations
They are valuable as a source for Social history.
Later Biblical Commentaries in Middle ages.
Rashi was the most famous and his work became the source of study.
Almost every region had their scholars who were producing their works.
Earliest is in the 8
A wide variety of these books reflects the diversity that existed in Judaism
Passover Text of Haggadah
Respect for Books (geniza)Slide10Slide11
Emergence of Rabbinic Judaism
Ancient Hebrew Religion
Worship in the Temple only - High level of centralization
Animal sacrifices by priests. A whole family grows up as the priests dedicated to temple worship
No mention of Rabbis but rather Kings, Priests and Prophets
Changes came about as a result of destruction of the Temple and grew with the destruction of the Second Temple by Romans
The second temple stood for nearly 600 years
The first for nearly 400 years
Jews from the “diaspora” supported it with funds, pilgrimages and prayed facing the Temple
Did this mean that the God of the Romans was stronger
Is there anything to live for without a temple
Others respond with an ascetic mourning. No eating of meat or drinking of wine
How will our sins be atoned for.
Finally there is the Rabbinic solution – we have to get on with life. Remember it but move on with life
It is attributed to Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai
Rabbi – A wise teacher of the Torah.Slide12
Synagogue becomes center of Worship
Rabbi is learned profession and not hereditary like Temple priesthood
Rabbis are mobile and able to establish disciples all over the world
Study of Torah is central and is a form of Religious Devotion. It is prayer.
Innovation is balanced with emphasis on continuity with the past and the Torah. There is always in this early period of eventually the temple being rebuilt.
Three pillars of Ancient Hebrew faith were Torah, Temple sacrifice and acts of loving kindness. Yohanan ben Zakkai says when one drops off, another one of the three will take up the slack. Acts of loving kindness will atone for our sins.
Jewish Worship and the Synagogue
Prayer emerges to replace animal sacrifice
Prayer did appear in the Torah but as a private form of devotion in a time of personal need but was not seen as normal mode of worship of God
Moses for Miriam
Even Solomon prayed but then he did the sacrifices that appears to be primary mode of public prayer
Hannah praying for a child
However in the far off diaspora prayer may have become more prominent in the post-exile period. First synagogue appears in 3
century BCE in Egypt. Called place of prayer.
century CE a synagogue in Israel was built with the inscription that this is a place of the reading of the Torah, the teaching of the law with facilities to care for aliens. No mention of prayer.Slide13
A fixed framework for when, where and how to pray after the destruction of the Temple.
The basic framework established in first century CE remained fixed to today with slight additions and modifications.Three mandatory times of daily prayer: morning and afternoon and then later a third evening prayer. (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob.Prayer itselfCall to prayerAmidah Prayer said while standing containing 19 blessings as attributes of God on weekdays and preceeded by blessings and then theShma Yisreal “Hear O Israel the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” Three short readings from Torah Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 11:13 – 21; Numbers 15: 37 – 41. This the central prayer to be said at time of death; at time of martyrdom; and central to the prayer service..Bind them on your hand an frontlets between your eyes. Tefillin black leather boxes inside is contained the parchment with biblical texts. Tallit or prayer shawl with fringes.Prayer in Hebrew with few exceptions until the reform movement. Portions begin to said in vernacular. However, with rebirth of Hebrew it is now again predominant.Prayers and poems have been introduced at different times including the prayerf or national leaders and prayers for the state of Israel.Prayer should be public: “We” pray; a quorum is necessary of 10 people except for the orthodox who require 10 males.Synagogue (House of Assembly) is seen as main place of worship although not necessary. It can be done even at home.Prayer, Torah reading and sermon on Torah are ordinary synagogue components for the SabbathComplete Torah is read in course of one yearThe scrolls of the Torah are deposited in an ark which stands at front.Prayer said facing the Ark but more traditionally facing Jerusalem (facing the Temple)Orthodox Synagogues have separate seating for men and women.Architecture often follows that of the local public buildings.Slide14
Genesis 1 - 2:4a is from Priestly tradition
Related to creation and worship by witnessing to God’s glory
Imitation of God
Was well established by the Exile period
Our Saturday – from Sundown of Friday
Day consecrated by the Lord to “rest”
Ex. 20: 8-11 includes all family members, slaves, alien guests and animals
No parallels in other Near Eastern religions
It is a sign of setting apart God’s people as part of God’s covenant
The people of God are to be different
See Num. 15: 32-36
Was originally celebrated on Saturday by Christians but then by 2
century CE most moved to Sunday as Lord’s Day – Resurrection.Slide15
Holy Days. Days of Awe
Rosh ha-Shana (New Year) Yearly day of judgment
Yearly day of judgment of all includes all people
Blowing of Rams horn (Abraham and Isaac story)
Remembering Abrahams faith and also wakening us up
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) Ten days of repentance from Rosh ha-Shana. It is day of total fasting and prayer.
Take stock of your life
Total fast from Evening to evening
Solemn but not sad
One final blast of rams horn
Seasonal Holidays come from Biblical Exodus
(Tabernacles) Winter and the beginning of the reading of the yearly cycle of Torah
Just five days after Yom Kippur
People leave house remembering the booths
They build the booths and eat in them
Eighth day of holiday is the final reading of the year of TorahSlide16
Passover – Six months after Sukkot. The First night is the Seder with symbolic food and the reading of the Haggadah.
The six items on the Seder Plate are:
and ; Two types of bitter herbs, symbolizing the bitterness and harshness of the slavery which the Jews endured in Ancient Egypt.
; A sweet, brown, pebbly mixture, representing the mortar used by the Jewish slaves to build the storehouses of Egypt.
; A vegetable other than bitter herbs, usually parsley
; A roasted
, symbolizing the
(Pesach sacrifice), which was a lamb offered in the
Temple in Jerusalem
and was then roasted and eaten as part of the meal on Seder night.
; A roasted egg, symbolizing the
(festival sacrifice) that was offered in the
Temple in Jerusalem
and was then eaten as part of the meal on Seder night
Shavu’ot – Seven weeks (Pentecost) Commemorates the giving of Torah at Sinai.
Third Set of Holidays was added in the second temple period
Purim Jewish resistance to annihilation attempt in Book of Esther One month before Passover.
Hannukah Focuses on cultural clash between Judaism and Hellenism. Attempt to outlaw ritual in the Temple. Maccabees win the battle.
Ninth of Av remembering a multitude of misfortunes including the destruction of the Temple
Yom ha-Shoah - One week after Passover the Holocaust is rememberedSlide17
CYCLE OF LIFE
Marriage is for procreation
It is the very first commandment of the Bible. Be fruitful
Litany of blessings reflects it as a source of delight and joy and happiness.
Birth is followed by circumcision after 8 days normally however if the baby is not healthy then it is postponed until determined by a doctor.
Adult converts or Jews who were not circumcised must be circumcised although Reformed Jews opposed it in the 19
Sign of the covenant made with Abraham
Coming of Age – Rite of Passage
It is an assuming of the obligations of adulthood
Study of the Torah
Keeping of laws (mitzva commandments)
It is ritualized through in Reformed and Conservative.
Participation of service in Synagogue
Bar mitzva – son of commandments or belonging to the commandments
Bat mitzva – daughter of the commandments or belonging to the commandments
Rituals are much more recent development.
Introduction of children into the study of the Torah at about the age of 6 years for boys in antiquity but the growing involvement of women into Judaic learning. The study of Talmud and teaching of Talmud.Slide18
Nothing in the Torah prohibits polygamy but in fact since around 1000 it has not been an accepted
. Judaism is monogamous.
It is a process that involves (In the past it was a long process over time)
) in which groom gives the bride a gift of specific value (a ring) in front of two witnesses and declares that “you are betrothed to me.”
Some months later The writing and signing of
. Marriage agreement if the groom divorces the bride. Protects the woman and couldn’t live together until this. The woman would give it to her mother for safekeeping.
They then go under the
symbolizing the house to which the bride is being introduced. After a number of blessings one of which is over a cup of wine they both sip from the cup
ceremony follows in which the groom gives a ring saying you are consecrated to me with this ring in accordance to the law of Moses and Israel” Then the
is read and wine is sipped again from the cup and then the groom is crushed under foot. (Destruction of Jerusalem)
Divorce. It happens. It was not meant to be and so lets get on with life. Some groups are now trying to restructure the
to be more symmetrical rather than just he man who can divorce the woman. The man initiates it by giving the document but the woman must accept it. Recently a woman can force a court to move a man to divorce her. Pressure him until he consents.
Death and Burial
Ideal death includes the recitation of the
and confession of faults
The corpse is cleaned and wrapped in plain white shroud and often men have their prayer shawls placed on them
Burial in the ground is traditionally the only way (Antiquity it was in two stages. Burial for one year in a cave to allow the corpse to decompose and then gather the bones one year later an put in urn and buried.)
Exclusive Jewish cemeteries.
Periods of Mourning follow
Shiva is a seven day period in which the family refrain from everyday activity; remain at home and receive condolences with daily prayers said at home
Second stage last for 30 days for all except the immediate offspring of the person
Third stage is for immediate offspring and lasts for another 11 months until the one year anniversary of the death and the
(prayer of sanctification) is prayedSlide19
Kabbalah (means tradition)
Distinction between God as God is and God as manifested in the world
God as God is unknowable
Manifestation of God is in ten powers known as sefirot and serve as bridge between God as God and us in our imperfect reality.
Bridge between en sof (limitless) and us.
Classic text is the Zohar which originally appeared in 13
Isaac ben Solomon Luria 16
God withdrew and created a void into which man and the sefirot crept in. What ensues is the ongoing process of emanations of God through the sefirot and withdrawal.
A mystical presentation of Israel’s vicissitudes between exile and redemption connected to God withdrawing and entering into creation.
Is connected to Hasidism.
God requires a clinging to God by prayer and devotion rather than study.
It was a revivalist movement founded in Poland and the community centers itself around a pious rabbi (zaddik) who maintained an personal relationship with God as intermediary of God to the Community.
Direct challenge to Rabbinic Judaism and opposed by them.Slide20Slide21Slide22Slide23Slide24
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