Contemporary Religions in Canada. Judaism. Judaism. Important preliminary… “being Jewish” can be either an ethnic or religious affiliation (and in many cases both)
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Modern “Judaism” has its roots in the era of the ancient Hebrew Bible, but with its emphasis on oral Torah it finds its path after the fall of the second Temple in 60 CE in what we call “rabbinic Judaism”—a reorganization of the faith in light of the absence of a Temple in Jerusalem
The Jewish faith is reoriented away from a Temple centered cult to one which finds its piety expressed in terms of prayers, good deeds, and the study of Torah and its application to everyday life.
Kabbalah—Jewish mystical movement which draws especially on Zohar (Book of Splendor), seeking to discover the spiritual emanations of God in the physical world (hence, is assumed to have neo-platonic and gnostic influences) through mystical contemplation and devout performance of the requirements of halakhah.
Hasidic Judaism—a Jewish movement with roots in Poland and with some links to Kabbalistic forms of Judaism, founded by Israel ben Eliezer (“the Besht”), a charismatic healer who taught joy is the only correct response to the great suffering of the Jews, creating a division of Judaism known for its festive communal worship and its reverence for the Tzaddik, the revered holy man who leads the hasidic community.
Zionism—a secular Jewish movement in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s that saw the establishment of a state for Jews as the only answer to ongoing Jewish persecution; now a term generally applied to a belief in the necessity of a Jewish state for the Jews
Holocaust—the destruction of 6 million European Jews by Hitler in WW 2—a devastating event that reshaped Jewish religion, politics, and identity and can be understood as the catalyst for the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, as well as a rethinking of aspects of Jewish theology by some leading Jewish writers