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The Religion of Judaism Judaism is… “A 4000 year old tradition with ideas about what it means to be human and how to make the world a holy place.” (Rabbi Harold Kushner, To Life) A “covenant relationship” between God and the Hebrew people. A faith (Judaism), a people (Hebrews/Israelites), a way of life. As a people, Jews are… 15 – 16 million in worldwide population. part of different religious sects (small part of a larger group that shares core beliefs). Orthodox: Modern Hasidic (Ultra Orthodox) Reformed (18th century Germany) Conservative: moderates, response to reform Reconstructionalism (20th century America) A 4000 year old tradition… The Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (“Israel”) – origins of the Hebrew people Abraham: “the father of many nations” Creation Myth “Promised Land” (The Land of Israel) - ends 6th century B.C. Old Testament Creation Myth As a faith, Jews believe… In one God – monotheism In prophets (a person God speaks through) – especially Moses In Torah (first five books of the Christian Bible), containing religious, moral and social law which guides the life of a Jew the Hebrew Torah does not include the New Testament “Basic Beliefs and Observances” Holy Books: Written in Hebrew Torah: (first five books of the Bible and Tanakh) contains religious, moral and social law which guides the life of a Jew Moses, The Ten Commandments Talmud: oral traditions of the Jews written down over time with commentaries by rabbis People and Places: Rabbi: teacher or master Synagogue: house of worship for prayer, education, and community activities Temple: the Temple or Temple Mount, where Solomon’s Temple once stood – located in present day Jerusalem Jerusalem and the Western Wall As a way of life, Judaism is based on… 613 commandments found in Torah (“Written Law”) Talmud (“Oral Law”) – commentary of ancient rabbis that explain how live everyday life through: Dietary rules (Kashrut/Kosher) Dress and other symbols Prayer and devotion to God The Temple and Temple rites Observance of Holy days Proper social relations between male and female, in business, judicial rulings, etc. Yarmulke Jewish Celebrations: Bar/Bat Mitzvah – full adult status and responsibility within the religion High Holidays: Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) Chanukah, the “Festival of Lights” More Holy Days… Purim (“Lots”) – a carnival (remembers events told in book of Esther) Passover – remembers the exodus from Egypt (events told in Exodus) Shabbat (Sabbath, 7th day, on Saturday) – the “Day of Rest” How is Judaism related to Christianity? Judaism was a religion before Christianity – it is the foundation of Christianity but is not a part of it. Jesus was Jewish, as were his followers, the Apostles. Jews do not believe that Jesus was anything more than a good and wise man who lived and died 2000 years ago – Jews are still waiting for their messiah. The Jewish people believe that their messiah will not be divine. He will be a political figure who restores the Hebrew monarchy in Israel and causes peace to reign on Earth. What are Jews really concerned about? Tikkun Olam - “repairing this world” through justice and righteousness The heart of Judaism is in the home and family, social responsibility and doing Mitzvot (“good deeds” based on God’s commandments) Education and hard work make one’s life and the world what God intended it to be – Holy Religion EQ Exit Slip: Describe one way religion and culture are connected in Judaism? To Life! To Life! LeChaim!