Chapter 12 Notes Mr. Tsolomitis’ class Introduction • After the death of King Solomon, the Hebrew kingdom split in two. • • Israel in 722 B.C.E. was conquered by the Assyrians. Judah in 597 B.C.E. was invaded by the Neo-Babylonians • The split of the Hebrew kingdom and the captivity in Babylon was the beginning of the Jewish Diaspora (diaspora= “scattering”) 12.2: The Central Beliefs and Teachings of Judaism • Monotheism • • • • • Judaism is the world’s oldest monotheistic religion God is all-powerful and all-knowing Many Jews feel they have a personal relationship with God: they speak to Him through prayer God is the source of morality (the standards of right and wrong) Jews believe in a solemn duty to honor and obey God 12.2: The Central Beliefs and Teachings of Judaism (continued) • Following God’s Law ▫ ▫ ▫ The oldest laws are the Ten Commandments Set aside a holy day for rest and prayer, called the Sabbath. Set laws of right and wrong, such as not stealing or murdering. Over time, Jewish religious leaders developed a much larger set of rules about things like food preparation and what foods should be avoided. Developed practices such as Passover (holy days celebrating God’s rescue of the Hebrews from Egypt) 12.2: The Central Beliefs and Teachings of Judaism (continued) • Equality and Social Justice ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ Hebrews did NOT view their leaders as gods. Even kings had to obey God’s laws. All people who keep the laws are equal in God’s sight. Caring for the less fortunate people in society is a basic value in Judaism. Many stories and sayings in the Torah teach about treating everyone fairly. “You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor.” 12.2: The Central Beliefs and Teachings of Judaism (continued) • The Importance of Study ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ In addition to studying the Torah, Jews also study interpretations made by scholars and rabbis. In the 200’s C.E., Jewish scholars began writing the Talmud (the collection of ancient Jewish writings that interpret the law of the Torah). Jews have kept their reverence for study and learning. Many Jews stay in touch with Jewish history, laws and traditions. Also pass on their knowledge to other members of the faith. 12.3 Foreign Domination and the Jewish Diaspora • In 586 B.C.E. Jerusalem and the Jewish temple were destroyed. • This destruction, along with the fall of Judah, threatened the survival of Jewish beliefs. • Many Jews would not return to their homeland after being freed from Babylon • Those who did would find it ruled by foreign leaders. 12.3 Foreign Domination and the Jewish Diaspora (continued) • • • Ruled by the Babylonians, Persians and Greeks for nearly 400 years. In 539 B.C.E. the Babylonians were conquered by the Persians, who set the Jews free. • • Many returned to Judah and immediately began building a new temple. Others stayed behind in Babylon. Greek rulers tried to force them to worship Greek idols. • • Jews rebelled in 168 B.C.E. and started a war that lasted 27 years. In 164 B.C.E. the Jews reclaimed Jerusalem from the Greeks and re-purified the temple. • Hanukkah is celebrated to honor this victory. 12.3 Foreign Domination and the Jewish Diaspora (continued) • Rule by the Romans • In 63 B.C.E. the Romans conquered Judah. • The Romans executed more than 50,000 Jews during the occupation. • • Allowed the Jews to practice their own religion and govern some of their own affairs. In 22 B.C.E. King Herod was allowed to begin rebuilding the temple to be more magnificent than Solomon’s temple. 12.3 Foreign Domination and the Jewish Diaspora (continued) • Rule by the Romans (continued) • • In 66 C.E. the Jews rose up against the Romans and kicked them out. In 70 C.E. the Roman leader named Titus led a large army and destroyed Jerusalem and the temple (again). • • Only remaining part standing is the Western Wall, which Jews consider sacred. Romans seized Jewish land and forbade Jews from entering Jerusalem. • Thousands of Jews were sent to other parts of the Roman Empire. 12.4 Preserving and Passing on the Teachings of Judaism • Rabbi Yahanan ben Zaccai • • • • • Worried that if the rabbis died and the temple was destroyed, Judaism would have nothing. Ben Zaccai begged the Jews to surrender to save Judaism. • When they refused, he turned to the Romans for help. Ben Zaccai faked his death and was smuggled out of Jerusalem in a coffin. Came to an agreement with the Roman general Vespasian to start a Jewish school in Yavneh. Yavneh became the center of Jewish life, where they created a new religious lawmaking body and trained other rabbis (who would return to their communities) 12.4 Preserving and Passing on the Teachings of Judaism • New Teachers and Practices • • • • Traditionally, only religious leaders were allowed to read from the Torah. The rabbis at Yavneh decided any adult Jewish male could read it. Made the synagogue more important in Jewish life. • Build a synagogue wherever there are at least 10 adult male Jews. In 1948, Israel was created and many Jews moved back to the Holy Land.