AN INTRODUCTION TO JUDAISM Founded in the 13th Century BCE Founder: Moses, who emancipated the Jews from slavery in Egypt and later established a covenant between his people and Yahweh on Mount Sinai Traditionally, it is held that Abraham and his descendants established Judaism before Moses, however the 10 Commandments are now considered by many to be the foundation upon which Judaism rests. Roots: dating back approximately 4000 years= origins of Judaism, Islam and Christianity Place: Palestine (sometimes called Canaan; now Israel Sacred Books: Old Testament (which consists of the Five Books of Law, the
historical books, the Prophets and other writings). The most sacred are the Five Books of the Law= called the TORAH Symbols: Menorah and Star of David People practicing Judaism: Smallest major world religions, making up 0.2 % human race Historical Overview Ancient Israel is the birthplace of the 3 great monotheistic religions of the world: Judaism, Christianity and Islam Ancient Israel dates back
approximately 4000 years to the books of the Old Testament Great patriarchs of Judaism: Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua Hebrews, Israelites, Jews, Semites: have all undergone persecution throughout history; from Babylonian Ancient Israel
Birthplace of Judaism is also birthplace to Islam and Christianity What is in a name? Hebrew means From across- name given to Abraham and his followers Israelites: Abrahams grandson Jacob renamed Israel which means he who has wrestled with God. His descendants were called Israelites Jews: named after Jacobs son Judah, ancient father of tribe of King Davids dynasty. Jesus was Jewish.
Tracing Roots of Israels History Nomadic tribes wandered into Palestine from east in approximately 1900 BCE Mesopotamian society dominated by polytheism God (Yahweh) appeared before Patriarch Abraham and told Abraham to go and raise a great nation This began the monotheistic tradition of the Hebrew faith with the establishment of the Covenant, Chosen People and Promised Land Abraham settled in Canaan Story: Sacrifice of Abraham
Patriarchs to Judaism Abraham God told Abraham to go to Haran and then Canaan to make a great nation Began monotheistic tradition Covenant with God The story of the Sacrifice of Abraham Patriarchs to Judaism Isaac Son of Abraham (Ishmael) Jacob and Esau Twin sons of Isaac (and Rebecca)
Jacobs name is changed to Israel 12 sons of Jacob (become the twelve tribes of Israel) Jacobs 12 sons (12 Tribes of Israel) Reuben (Genesis 29:32) Simeon (Genesis 29:33) Levi (Genesis 29:34) Judah (Genesis 29:35)
Dan (Genesis 30:5) Naphtali (Genesis 30:7) Gad (Genesis 30:10) Asher (Genesis Zebulun (Genesis 30:19), Joseph (Genesis 30:23) Benjamin (Genesis 35:18) Adopted Grandsons Manasseh Ephraim (Genesis 48:5) Daughter - Dinah
Moses & Exodus: Let My People Go! Joseph is sold into slavery and later becomes a governor of Egypt and brings his entire tribal family to live there where they begin to grow in numbers. They are made to be slaves to keep their population down. Moses received revelations from God: burning bush, rod / staff, 10 plagues, parting of the Red Sea End of 13th century BCE- Moses led the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt during Rames II reign called the EXODUS Moses led the 12 Tribes of Israel to Mount Sinai where Yahweh gave him the 10 Commandments, uniting the Hebrews under one God
Moses and Hebrews searched for the Promised Land or the land of milk and honey, however they wandered in the desert for 40 years Tribes become a great nation They settle in Canaan and begin to develop as a nation These tribes ruled 200 years in Canaan (Israel) under David and Solomon Eventually ten tribes split from two tribes (Northern/Southern Kingdoms) The ten tribes were attacked by the Assyrians in 722 BC and they went into exile under Assyrian rule
(Called the Lost Tribes of Israel, but some Jewish scholars believe they arent lost) Babylonians overthrow the Assyrians In 586 BC, Jerusalem is captured by the Babylonians Key Concepts Covenant solemn and binding agreement between God and Abraham (humanity) as God as the Creator and the Chosen people Chosen People Jews considered themselves to be Gods Chosen People as God chose Abraham and led him to monotheism
Jews were instruments of Gods will God chose Jews (humanity); humanity must choose God Promised Land Gained significance during Moses life as Hebrews sought to keep covenant and develop a community in the Promised Land. Jews believe this is Israel. Development of Judaism Judges: tribal leaders Kings: King Saul, King David, King Solomon (built temple) Division: Northern tribes = Israel; Southern tribes = Judah Prophetic Tradition: word of God spoken through prophets Love God and keep the covenant with Him
Exile in Babylon= Temple of Solomon destroyed; creation of synagogues and rabbis and concept of Messiah anointed one Diaspora: dispersal of Jews outside of Israel and Hellenization Maccabean Revolt: temple rededicated to God Expansion of Roman Empire and rule: destroying of the temple leaving only the Western Wall; rabbinic Judaism (interpretative commentaries) Monotheistic
Oneness of Creator God Human obligation to worship God God is immaterial and indivisible God is refered to as YHWH or YAHWEH I am that I am Lineage People are born a Jew (through mother) or can convert (gerut) Mitzvah act of performing a good deed or commandment (ie. 10 Commandments) Bible contains total of 613 mitvoth (some positive, some negative) Jesus View of Jesus = born a Jew a preacher and teacher Jesus was not the Son of God; the Messiah is still to come
Suffering suffering is heightened because as the Chosen People, Jews expect to suffer for all of mankind Death and Afterlife on death, body returns to earth (dust to dust) but the soul (Atman, Ori) returns to God who gave it body will be Resurrected and reunited with soul at a later time (therefore no cremation) TORAH consists of Five Books of Moses written on parchment scroll in
ancient form by hand and kept in Ark Torah means law but more accurate is revelation, teaching or instruction Torah is divided into 54 sections and one portion is read each week (2 weeks of year have a double portion) so that the entire Torah is read from beginning to end in
a year Sacred Texts Tanakh Jewish Bible, consisting of Torah (Law of Moses), the Prophets, and the Writings Talmud second most important source of rabbinic Jewish law based on Mishnah, which complements and interprets the Torah and applies scripture to everyday life and observance Mishnah Early rabbinic teachings on how to live according to
Torah Practices Holy Ark & Torah Blessings and prayer Minyan - 10 males (or females) over age of 13 in communal prayer of worship Kashrut Shabbat - important ritual that is based on creation stories of Genesis and time is set aside for prayer, family and friends (Friday sunset synagogue- lighting of candle let there be light, Sabbath dinner (Kiddush) songs and prayer)
Circumcision (symbol of covenant with God) Shofar (rams horn blown to bring people together) Bar / Bat Mitzvah Marriage Death & Shiva (seven days of mourning)
Holidays Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Hanukkah Passover Symbols Star of David= shape of King Davids shield; symbol adopted by Zionists Menorah= ancient source of light
Conservative Reconstructionist Messianic Western Wall The Western Wall in the midst of the Old City in Jerusalem is the section of the Western supporting wall of the Temple Mount which has remained intact since the destruction of the Second Jerusalem Temple (70 CE) It became a center of mourning over the destruction of the Temple and Israel's exile
communion with the memory of Israel's former glory and the hope for its restoration it became known in European languages as the "Wailing Wall". Interesting Facts The Israeli flag is rooted in Jewish tradition. The white background symbolizes purity. The symbols on the flag are two stripesone on the top and one on the bottomand the Star of David emblem adorning the center. The stripes and blue color are inspired by the techeileth dye of the tallit (Jewish prayer shawl) Jews have regarded the Land of Israel as their
homeland, both as a Holy Land and as a Promised Land. The Land of Israel holds a special place in Jewish religious obligations, encompassing Judaism's most important sites including the remains of the First and Second Temples Judaism In Modern World Anti Semitism in York Region and World Zionism movement originally for reestablishment of Jewish nation in Israel Holocaust (Heb., sho'ah) which originally meant a
sacrifice totally burned by fire the annihilation of the Jews (6 million) and other groups of people of Europe (5 million) under the Nazi regime during World War II Middle East Conflict Issue of who has the rightful claim to Jerusalem Impact of Ancient Israel on the World Covenant = formal agreement between Hebrews and God (Yahweh); Hebrews worshipped God
and only God, and in return, they would be Gods Chosen People and given Canaan as the Promised Land Spiritual ideas profoundly influenced Western culture, morality, ethics and conduct Three of the worlds most dominant religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam all derive their roots from the spiritual beliefs of the Ancient Israelites
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