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Rabbinical Judaism

Rabbinical Judaism

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Rabbinical Judaism

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  1. Rabbinical Judaism Rels 120 4 February 2014

  2. Group Spiritual Activity The Spiritual Practice of Justice • Share with your table group – update others with what you decided to do, what it was like for you, and what you learned about justice and about yourself 120 - appleby

  3. Temple worship in Jerusalem 1st Temple – Solomon’s Temple – completed in 960 BCE • Sacrifices and prayers • Burnt offerings – submission to God • Peace offerings – gratitude or thanksgiving • Sin offerings – sorrow for misdeeds • Guilt offerings – confession & atonement Destroyed in 586 BCE 120 - appleby

  4. Ark of the Covenant – housed in the Temple Previously containing the stone tablets of the 10 commandments – now holds the Torah scrolls 120 - appleby

  5. 2nd Temple in Jerusalem • 2nd Temple completed in 516 BCE • Again the place of gathering for prayers and sacrifices • Psalms written during this time • Destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE • Never rebuilt – changed Judaism in significant ways 120 - appleby

  6. Israelites had returned to Canaan and the city of Jerusalem Repentance and renewed commitment to their covenantal relationship with God Substantial diversity within Judaism, with several distinct groups Sadducees – wealthy, Temple tradition Pharisees – local synagogues, teachers Hellenists – synagogue leaders under Greek rule Samaritans – ethnic group, temple at Mt. Gerizim Zealots – revolutionaries, only loyal to God Essenes – ascetic community (Dead Sea scrolls) Nazarenes – followers of Jesus The Second Temple – 515 BCE to 70 CE 120 - appleby

  7. 70 CE • Roman invasion of Canaan and Jerusalem • Total destruction of the 2nd temple • Interpreted as a call to return to God and their covenantal obligations • Huge crisis for a temple cult • Only group in any position to provide continuing leadership to Israel was the Pharisees Challenge – how to survive as a holy people outside of the promised land, Canaan, outside of the holy city, Jerusalem, and without the temple 120 - appleby

  8. Central Event within Jewish history =the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans – in about 70 CE • Before the destruction • God calls a people to be God’s people • Enter the land of Israel, with Jerusalem as its capital and the location of the First Temple • First Temple destroyed by Babylonians in about 586 BCE – people exiled in Babylonia for 50 years • Returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the Temple • After the destruction • Evolution of rabbinical Judaism (100 – 1800 CE) • Reform movements →modern Judaism 120 - appleby

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  10. Pharisees transformed Jewish practice and understanding • From Israel as a holy people with the temple as central to sacred ritual →Israel was a holy people, each family table was an altar, each male head of a Jewish household was a priest • Replacing priestly rituals of holiness and sacrifices in the temple, the prophetic tradition of justice and mercy prevailed → deeds of loving kindness; acts of mercy; moral behaviour 120 - appleby

  11. Out of the Pharisees’ leadership, Rabbinic Judaism emerged • 2nd to 5th centuries • Written sacred texts = Torah • Oral traditions and insights = Talmud • Systemized and recorded; central to Jewish life from the 6th to the 19th century Central teaching: “God was a loving personal father who chose Israel to enter into the covenant revealed in the oral and written Torah, so that each and every individual who keeps this covenant can live in hope of resurrection from the dead.” (World Religions Today, p.77) 120 - appleby

  12. Jewish texts 4 major sources of written materials • Jahwist and Elohist sources – two different Hebrew names for God (Jahweh and Elohim) – developed c.1000 BCE • Written accounts of the story of how God chose Israel to be a holy nation • Deuteronomic source – associated with King Josiah and his prophetic reforms – c.621 BCE • Priestly source – priestly reforms of Ezra and Nehemiah – c.458 BCE • Tribal narratives; from the story of creation to the Kingdom of Israel under David and Solomon 120 - appleby

  13. Sacred texts chosen, primarily by Pharisees • Torah / Pentateuch= the 5 books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) • Books of theProphets= 7 major prophets; 12 minor prophets • HistoricalWritings& Wisdom Literature = 11 books • Talmud = commentary and interpretation of the written Torah • 613 laws comprise the Mishnah 120 - appleby

  14. House of Hillel / House of Shammai • 2 major rabbinical schools: Rabbi Hillel and Rabbi Shammai • Task = to apply the oral Torah tradition to details of everyday Jewish life • Shammai more rigorous and severe • Hillel more lenient and compassionate • Students of Hillel tended to prevail in their interpretations of the tradition • Authored the Mishnah – written core of the Talmud 120 - appleby

  15. Talmud = Mishnah + GemaraMishnah = teachings of the Sages Laws for 6 categories of everyday life: • agriculture • sabbaths& festivals • women & property • civil & criminal law • cultic ritual & temple law • rules for maintaining cultic purity Oral wisdom on these areas written down • Recorded as the Mishnah (613 laws) 120 - appleby

  16. Gemara • Interpreters then developed a commentary on the Mishnah • Recorded in written form as the Gemara Gemaraincludes halakhah (legal material) and aggadah (narrative material) • explains unclear words or phrases • provides examples for laws • gives alternative opinions from sages Substantially completed by the 6th century CE 120 - appleby

  17. Persecutions & Expulsions • 380 CE – Theodosius removed legal protection for Jews • 8th century – persecuted by Islamic empire • 1095 – campaign against European Jews; first Crusade – “convert or die” • 1306 – Jews expelled from France • 1348 – blamed for the Black Death plague • 1480-1492 – expelled or killed during the Spanish Inquisition • 1648-1658 – organized massacres of Jews • 1933-1945 – Jews imprisoned and killed by Nazis 120 - appleby

  18. Medieval Scholars Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac (1040-1105), known as Rashi • Greatest teacher and commentator on the Talmud 120 - appleby

  19. Moses ben Maimon(1135-1204), known as Maimonides • Famous rabbi, teacher and interpreter of Jewish law • Developed 13 Articles of Faith • Also practised medicine; known as a healer 120 - appleby

  20. Maimonides’ Prayer for the Physician Before I begin the Holy Work of Healing the creations of your hands, I place my eternity before the throne of Your Glory that You grant me strength of spirit and fortitude to faithfully execute my work. Let not desire for wealth or benefit blind me from seeing truth. Deem me worthy of seeing in the sufferer who seeks my advice - a person - neither rich nor poor, friend or foe, good man or bad, or a man in need; show me only the [person]… Illuminate the way for me, for any lapse in my knowledge can bring illness and death upon Your creations. I beseech You, merciful and gracious God, strengthen me in body and soul, and instill within me a perfect spirit. 120 - appleby

  21. Medieval Jewish Mysticism • Kabbalah – how to explain the mystery of good and evil; how to sustain Judaism through periods of suffering and persecution • Zohar – the Book of Splendour • Infinite God = the En Sof • God is manifest in the world through Sefiroth (= fragments or emanations of the infinite God) or through acts of wisdom, mercy and justice • Fragments become visible in the Shekinah, representing God’s divine presence • Prior to the sin and fall of Adam and Eve, humans communicated directly with God • Through mystical contemplation, this communion can be re-established 120 - appleby

  22. A cumulative tradition (kosher symbols) • Centuries of scholars continued to develop commentary on Torah & Talmudic writings • In Judaism, study and discussion of texts is a religious ritual • Doubt, debate and questioning are religious activities • 613 laws specify how the Jews were and continue to be set apart as a holy people • Kosher food laws are one aspect of separation and holiness • Rabbis (teachers and leaders) provide guidance and wisdom to communities 120 - appleby

  23. What is Kosher? •[4:09] • The Kosher kitchen • • The White House kitchen goes kosher • 120 - appleby

  24. Modern Jewish Sects Orthodox Judaism Reform Judaism Conservative Judaism 120 - appleby

  25. Orthodox Judaism “Orthodox is the most traditional expression of modern Judaism. “Orthodox Jews believe the entire Torah - including "Written" (the Pentateuch) and "Oral" (the Talmud) was given to Moses by God at Sinai and remains authoritative for modern life in its entirety. According to a 1990 nationwide survey, 7 percent of American Jews are Orthodox. American and Canadian Orthodox Jews are organized under the Orthodox Union, which serves 1,000 synagogues in North America.” • 120 - appleby

  26. Orthodox Judaism

  27. ConservativeJudaism “The name [Conservative] derives from the idea that the movement would be necessary to conserve Jewish traditions in the U.S., a culture in which Reform and Orthodoxy were not believed to be viable. Conservative Judaism attempts to combine a positive attitude toward modern culture, acceptance of critical secular scholarship regarding Judaism's sacred texts and commitment to Jewish observance. Conservative Judaism believes that scholarly study of Jewish texts indicates that Judaism has constantly been evolving to meet the needs of the Jewish people in varying circumstances, and that a central halachic authority can continue the halachic evolution today.” 120 - appleby

  28. “What is Reform Judaism? “The great contribution of Reform Judaism is that it has enabled the Jewish people to introduce innovation while preserving tradition, to embrace diversity while asserting commonality, to affirm beliefs without rejecting those who doubt and to bring faith to sacred texts without sacrificing critical scholarship.” 120 - appleby

  29. Reform Judaism "The Pittsburgh Platform" – 1885 "The Columbus Platform" – 1937 • Reform Judaism: A Centenary Perspective • Adopted in San Francisco - 1976 120 - appleby

  30. October 14th, 2011 • Simchat Torah •[2:55] 120 - appleby