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Judaism Notes

by: Brianna

Judaism Notes Religion 1101


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About this Document

This week's notes for the quiz on Judaism
Intro to Religion
Dr. Tenzin
Class Notes
judaism, Religious Studies, into to world religions, world religions, religions, religion
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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Brianna on Saturday October 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Religion 1101 at Georgia Highlands College taught by Dr. Tenzin in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 8 views.


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Date Created: 10/15/16
Chapter 8 – Judaism Highlight: important words Highlight: keywords Overview of Jewish History  Jewish history goes back 2,000 years or farther depending on one’s opinion of the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem o From this, temple-based religion was practiced in Israel o Another form of religion formed outside of Israel  Jews anywhere in the world can practice religion at home or in a synagogue  In recognition of this religious change there is a distinction made between biblical Judaism and rabbinical Judaism  There were two great spans of time, before and after the destruction of the second temple o In the first great span of time people created a homeland in Israel and made Jerusalem the capital o Babylonians destroyed the kingdom of Judah, and its first temple, and forced its people into exile in Babylonia o As a result, the Hebrew Bible was created  The second great time span is the 2,000 years of the development of Judaism in the Common Era o It can be divided into two periods o The first period marks the evolution of rabbinical Judaism and traditional Jewish life o The second period began around 200 years ago when a new movement began called the Reform  It questioned and modernized traditional Judaism  It also questioned Jewish identity  The Hebrew Scriptures were what was used to establish a foundation for the development of rabbinical Judaism o The scripture offered a basis for rabbis (teachers) to offer their midrash (interpretation) of biblical laws and practices The Hebrew Bible  Judaism is better associated with its book, the Hebrew Bible  It was originally made up of individual books that were once separate scrolls  It is divided into three sections 1. Torah “the teaching”  The sacred core because of its stories of creation  Includes laws of conduct and ritual  It consists of five books called Pentateuch 2. Nevi’im “the prophets”  Named for individuals who spoke in God’s name for the Jewish people Chapter 8 – Judaism Highlight: important words Highlight: keywords 3. Ketuvim “the writings”  Considered imaginative writing  Includes short stories, poems, proverbs, hymns, etc. o The whole book is usually called Tanakh  It is an acronym of the three sections Biblical History  The early stories (Genesis 1-11) are universally appealing  Begins with the story of the origin of the world, God separates things to maintain order in the chaos; he rests of the 7 day  The Garden of Eden is next – Adam is seen as a manifestation of God  Adam and Eve’s children – a sibling rivalry ends with Cain killing Abel  The Great Flood – god sends a flood to destroy humanity besides Noah and his family – Noah builds an arch to save two of every animal  Tower of Babel – people build a tower to reach heaven and God stops it by making builders speak different languages The World of Patriarchs and Matriarchs  Abraham is the first patriarch o He appears in the 12 chapter of Genesis o God instructs him to leave Ur to go to the land of Canaan o God enters a covenant with Abraham  Promised land, protection, and descendants, but Abraham and his descendants must be circumcised  Abraham’s passage is important in Judaism because it establishes a claim to Israel  The famous story of Abraham concerns his son Isaac o Sarah and Abraham could not have a child, so he conceives with his maid – the sun is named Ishmael o Sarah miraculously has a sun named Isaac – Sarah becomes jealous and wants to send the maid and Ishmael away o God asks Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, which he agrees to Moses and the Law  The Book of Exodus holds that the population of Hebrews in Egypt grew too large so the pharaoh commands that all newborn boys must be killed – Moses was an exception because he was hidden o Moses’ mother ends up being too afraid to keep hiding him so she puts him in a basket in the Nile River where an Egyptian princess finds him and raises him Chapter 8 – Judaism Highlight: important words Highlight: keywords  Moses fled Egypt and starts a new life o He was worked when he noticed a burning bush; as he approached the bush he heard God tell him to go back to Egypt too free the Hebrews, which he sets out to do  When Moses returned he set up rules for his people, the ten commandments, they were a set of moral laws The Judges and the Kings  After Moses died his people were led by judges o Judges were men and women with both military and legal power  The first king was Saul o He was a tragic figure who constantly suffered from depression and eventually died after a battle – another tradition believes it was suicide  The second king was David o He was an accomplished military leader that oversaw the kingdom buildup o He took over a town called Jebus, renamed it Jerusalem, and made it the capital  David’s son, Solomon constructed the temple envisioned by David o It was called the first temple and it was dedicated to Jerusalem Exile and Captivity  The period of exile in Babylonia was a significant turning point in the history of Judaism  Without their temple, public ritual stopped, but they began meeting weekly to pray and discuss scriptures – this formed into a Sabbath o It is used for worship, to study, sermon, and psalms Return to Jerusalem and the Second Temple  Cyrus took over and allowed the Jews back into their homeland  After returning they rebuilt their temple, the second temple  The Book of Psalms was the hymnbook of the second temple – recording oral traditions became important and scribes did not want this history to be lost, which is where the Hebrew Bible began The Seleucid Period  The army of Alexander the Great made Israel apart of the Greek empire and made them do things that were against their religion, because of this hatred the Jews rebelled and took back their country Chapter 8 – Judaism Highlight: important words Highlight: keywords  They rededicated their temple to the worship of one god  Hanukkah is a winter festival that memorializes the rededication of the second temple Responses to Outside Influences  Contact with the Hellenistic culture had positive and negative responses  The Sadducees were the first to emerge o Members of the priestly family o In charge of the temple and its activities  Pharisees were the second to emerge o Focused on preserving Hebrew piety through observation of religious laws and traditions  Zealots were the third group o Opposed foreign influences and roman rule of Israel o The Romans called them “robbers” o Patriots sometimes used violence to achieve their means  Essenes were the fourth o Not much is known for sure about them o Several writers concluded they lived a communal, celibate life, rejected animal sacrifice, and refused meat and wine o They were skilled in medicine, dressed in white, and followed a solar calendar The Canon of Scripture and the Talmud  Once temple-based religion had been destroyed it was important to figure out which religious books constituted the sacred canon  They went through each book and determined if it should be included  Another revolt began in Israel where some declared its leader, Kokhba, the Messiah (the savior sent by God to the Jews) o With many executions, the Romans put down the revolt causing more Jewish families to flee  this expanded the number of Jews living in diaspora, the dispersion of Jews beyond Israel  the existence of a canon scripture, that could be carried around anywhere, brought out a victory  Rabbinical Judaism, based on interpreting scared scripture of oral tradition, could flourish  The next step, after completing the scriptures, was protection and explanation Chapter 8 – Judaism Highlight: important words Highlight: keywords  Interpretive work, midrash “seeking out”, became the focus of evolving Judaism  Interpreting the Hebrew scriptures went on in six stages  There existed a philosophical discussion of specific biblical laws called the Mishnah o The Mishnah received further commentary (the Gemara) which resulted in the Palestinian Talmud “study” o When people think of the word Talmud they are usually referring to Babylon Talmud  It consists of the earlier Mishnah and an extensive commentary  it was compiled by religious specialists in Babylon  it contains legal material, halakhah  it also contains non-legal anecdotes and tales, haggadah Islam and Medieval Judaism  Maimonides was a great Jewish medieval thinker o He settled in Cairo where he practiced medicine o The work that made him famous was his book “A Guide of the Perplexed” he was also known for Mishneh Torah o He is renowned for his principles of basic Jewish belief Kabbalah  The Middle Ages focused on Jewish mysticism  The Kabbalah is the whole body of Jewish literature o It began to emerge before the Common Era and it speculated on mysterious passages of the Hebrew Bible o A common speculation was that the bible was written in code that only those who knew the code could read it o The most famous book of the Kabbalah is the Zohar  It sees the world as having emerged from a pure spiritual reality  From the divine reality comes sefiroth which are the ten active divine powers (wisdom, intelligence, love, etc.) Christianity and Medieval Judaism  Christianity became the most dominant religion but continued with the persecution of Jews  Stories began to circulate about Jews needing Christian blood to practice  From all of the persecution Jews were forbidden from several things in society Chapter 8 – Judaism Highlight: important words Highlight: keywords o They were forced to live in separate sections of town called ghettos o At the time of the time of the First Crusade several Jews were killed by crusaders o During the time of the Bubonic Plague Jews, were blamed for the deaths; it got so bad that some were burned to death inside their synagogues o Some Spanish Jews converted to Christianity because they were sought out in the Spanish Inquisition Questioning and Reform  After the Renaissance, Judaism went into two directions o One direction cherished traditional ways  This lead to the devotional movement Hasidism o The other saw a need for modernization Judaism and the Modern World  As Jews gained freedom, the anti-Jewish activity continued o Because of the constant prosecution many Jews fled to the U.S. o Many of their identities were comprised because they tried to associate with the surrounding culture  Many Jews continued to live in Europe Hitler and the Holocaust  The rise of Hitler began in 1933 and was the beginning of a wave of anti-Jewish activity  Hitler believed in several irrationalities o The believed that Jews and Gypsies were subhuman and polluters of the Arian race  It began with Nazis trying to pressure Jews to leave  As Nazi rule spread through different countries, so did Jewish prosecution  It was then that Hitler wanted to exterminate the Jewish population o He made them wear yellow stars to identify them o They were also put into concentration camps where they were divided into two groups, those strong enough to work and the rest  The huge loss of Jews was known as the Holocaust Creation of the State of Israel  The biggest result of the Holocaust was the creation of the state of Israel Chapter 8 – Judaism Highlight: important words Highlight: keywords  Jews longed for a place to live where they would not be prosecuted  This movement was known as Zionism  The state of Israel was created with several steps 1. Having a separate Jewish nation which was popularized with the book The Jewish State written by Theodore Herzel 2. The Balfour Declaration endorsed the notion of a Jewish homeland 3. The United Nations voted to divide two states, one for the Jews and one for the Palestinians Jewish Belief  There is no official Jewish creed, but there are central beliefs  There is no universal belief about the meaning of the messiah  The thought of immortality has been a question for Jews  In Judaism, Jews believe they have a special role o They believe it is to witness one God and to do his will in world o Some people their role is to suffer for reasons that only God is aware o Others believe they bring a sense of justice to the world Religious Practice  Judaism is less of an orthodoxy (common belief) and more of an orthopraxy (correct practice)  The ten commandments are the heart of Jewish morality, but they are also used in laws and customs The Jewish Sabbath  A central belief is to keep the Sabbath, the 7 day of the week, a special day o It is a special day of prayer and relaxation  The traditional purpose of the Sabbath was for everyone, even animals and slaves, to relax  The Talmud recommends that the mother begin to welcome the Sabbath on Friday by lighting candles and drinking wine at the Sabbath meal Holy Days  New Year’s Day is Rosh Hashanah o The Jewish religious year begins at the end of harvest season o It occurs in autumn o The New Year period lasts for 10 days  The New Year ends with Yom Kippur Chapter 8 – Judaism Highlight: important words Highlight: keywords o The most solemn day of the year o It consists of fasting, prayer, and reflection o It is meant to cleanse people for the upcoming year Other Religious Practices  Devout Jews practice regular daily prayer at dawn, noon, dusk and before bed o When they pray in the morning, traditionalist males use the tefillin; they are two small boxes with scriptural passages  The talit, a prayer shawl, it covers the man’s head and body during prayer  Males mark puberty with a ceremony called a bar mitzvah o In some branches girls, 12-18, have a bat mitzvah Observance-Based Divisions  Orthodox Judaism o Traditional Judaism is called Orthodox o There is still a variety among Orthodox Jews regarding social and political positions  Integrationists seek to play a role in society  Separationists want to live a traditional lifestyle apart from society Key Words Torah – the sacred core of the Hebrew Bible; it is the first section Israel – the homeland of the Hebrew people Tanakh – the name for the entire Hebrew Bible Hebrew Bible – the sacred book of Judaism Pentateuch – the five books in the Torah Talmud – collection of Jewish law and tradition consisting of the Gemera and the Mishnah Covenant – a contract Hebrew – descendants of Abraham; a member of an ancient people living in Israel YHVH – also known as Yahweh; a name used for God in the Hebrew Bible Chapter 8 – Judaism Highlight: important words Highlight: keywords Ten Commandments – a set of moral laws set up by Moses Ark of the Covenant – a wooden chest, in the Book of Exodus, containing two stone tablets of the ten commandments Judah – one of the 12 sons of Jacob; his tribe built a kingdom called the kingdom of Judah First Temple – the first temple of Jerusalem built by Solomon Second Temple – the temple built after the Jews took back their homeland under rule of Cyrus Gentiles – a person who is not Jewish Diaspora – dispersion of the Jews beyond Israel Sadducees – members of a priestly family; they are in charge of the temple and its activities Pharisees – focused on preserving Hebrew piety by watching over religious laws and traditions Essenes – not much is known about them; skilled with medicine, dressed in white, and followed a solar calendar Zealots – opposed foreign influences and roman rule; romans called them robbers Apocalyptic – the destruction of the world Messiah – a savior sent by God to the Jews Rabbis – Jewish teachers Synagogues – a place for Jewish people to meet to worship (like a church) Minyan – a number of men required to be present for a traditional public worship Midrash – an interpretation (of biblical laws and practices) Halakhah – legal material in the Talmud Haggadah – non-legal anecdotes and tales in the Talmud Mishnah – philosophical discussion of specific biblical laws Maimonides – great Jewish thinker that was known for his principles of basic Jewish belief Ghettos – separate sections in town for Jews to live Chapter 8 – Judaism Highlight: important words Highlight: keywords Kabbalah – the whole body of Jewish mystical literature Hasidism – Traditionalist Jewish devotional movement after the Renaissance Holocaust – Mass genocide of Jews caused by Hitler Zionism – Jewish desire to have their own nation without prosecution Sabbath – 1. the seventh day of the week 2. a service of study, worship, sermon, and psalms T’fillin – two small boxes with scriptural passages Talit – a prayer shawl covering a man’s head and body during prayer Bar/Bat Mitzvah – girl and boy coming of age ceremony marking puberty Rosh Hashanah – Jewish New Year lasting for 10 days Yom Kippur – end of the Jewish New Year period Hanukkah – winter festival that memorializes the rededication of the 2 nd temple Orthodox – traditional Judaism Reform – a movement that questioned and modernized traditional Judaism Conservative – an attempt to maintain the best of tradition with some modern elements Reconstructionist – newest and smallest branch of Judaism; a modern American-based Jewish movement based from Mordecai Kaplan


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