Chapter 8 Judaism A history of the Jewish people Torah Sacred practices Holy days Contemporary Judaism
Key terms anti-semitism Apocalypse Ashkenazim ghetto haggadah halakhah Hasidim Kabbalah kosher Messiah Midrash minyan mitzvah (plural: mitzvot) Orthodox Judaism Pentateuch Rabbi Reform or Liberal Judaism Sabbath Sephardim Shekhinah synagogue Talmud Tanakh Torah Zionism
“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Take to heart these instructions with which I charge you this day. Impress them upon your children. Recite them when you stay at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them serve as a symbol on your forehead; inscribe them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9
“What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor: that is the entire Torah; the rest is commentary; go and learn it. Hillel the Elder
Timeline c. 1900-1700 BCE c. 1300-1200 c. 1010-970 961-931 722 586 c. 535 168 BCE 70 CE c. 90 c. 200 c. 500 1095 c. 1720-1780 1933-1945 1948 CE Abraham, the 1st patriarch Moses frees Israelites from Egypt David, king of Judah and Israel King Solomon builds 1st Temple Northern kingdom of Israel falls Southern kingdom of Judah falls Jews return to Jerusalem Maccabean Revolt Romans destroy 2nd Temple Canon of Tanakh set Mishnah compiled Babylonian Talmud completed Crusaders massacre Jews Enlightenment in Europe Holocaust, World War II State of Israel declared
The world of the Hebrew Bible
Judaism Judaism, which has no single founder and no central leader or group making theological decisions, is the diverse tradition associated with the Jewish people, who may be defined either as a religious group or as an ethnic group.
A History of the Jewish People • The Jewish sense of history begins with the stories recounted in the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh • Jews hold the “five books of Moses” as the most sacred part of the scriptures • The theme of exile reappears continually in the Hebrew Bible, and in later Jewish history the people are rendered homeless again and again
Biblical History • Begins with the creation of the world by a supreme deity, or God • Progresses through: • the patriarchs and matriarchs • Moses who spoke with God and led the people according to God’s commandments • the prophets who heard God’s warnings to those who strayed from the commandments
Biblical History • After the Tanakh: • After the holy center of Judaism, the Temple of Jerusalem, was captured and destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE, Jewish history is that of a dispersed people, finding unity in their evolving teachings and traditional practices, which were eventually codified in the great compendium of Jewish law and lore, the Talmud.
Biblical Stories • From creation to the God of Abraham • Hebrew scriptures begin with an account of the creation of heaven and earth by God in six days • Covenant • A unique belief introduced into Jewish theology was the idea of a special covenantal relationship between the Jewish people and God • Early Monotheism • Scholars disagree on whether pure monotheism was practiced by the early patriarchs
Biblical Stories • Israel’s Birth in Struggle • The story in which a human being struggles and finally is reborn at a higher level of spirituality has been taken as a metaphor for the spiritual evolution of the people of Israel • Egypt: Bondage and Exodus • According to the scriptural Book of Exodus, Moses was chosen by God to defy the pharaoh and lead the people out of bondage, out of Egypt
Biblical Stories • From the Wilderness to Canaan • Acceptance of the laws given to Moses at Mount Sinai brought a new dimension to the covenant between God and Israel • Carrying the ark representing this covenant, the Israelites had to wander for forty years through the desert before they could re-enter the promised land, fertile Canaan, which at that time belonged to other peoples
Moses parts the Red Sea in a 10th-century Byzantine manuscript illumination.
Biblical Stories • The First Temple of Jerusalem • David, the second king of Israel, is remembered as Israel’s greatest king • Under the reign of King Solomon (son of David), a great temple was built in Jerusalem • The temple became the central place for sacrifice in Judaism • In 586 BCE the great walls of Jerusalem were battered down and its buildings put to the torch by the Babylonians
Return to Jerusalem • After fifty years of exile in Babylon, a small group of devoted Jews returned to their holy city and land, now called Judaea. • King Cyrus authorized the rebuilding of the Temple of Jerusalem, which was completed in 515 BCE. • The second temple became the central symbol to a scattered Jewish nation.
Three Sects Under the Hasmonean kings, three sects of Jews formed in Judaea: • Sadducees: priests and wealthy businesspeople, conservatives intent on preserving the letter of the law • Pharisees: more liberal citizens from all classes who sought to study the applications of the Torah to everyday life • A third general movement was uncompromising in its piety and its disgust with what it considered a corrupted priesthood
Revolts • Spurred by anti-Roman militias called Zealots, some Jews rose up in armed rebellion against Rome in 66 CE • The rebellion was suppressed, and the Jewish defenders were slaughtered in the holy walled city of Jerusalem In 70 CE • A second ultimately disastrous revolt followed in 132 CE • Judaea was renamed Palestine after the ancient Philistines. Judaism no longer had a physical heart or a geographic center
Rabbinic Judaism Rabbis and the messianic movement survived the destruction of Judaea • Rabbis: • inheritors of the Pharisee tradition • founders of rabbinic Judaism, which has defined the major forms of Jewish practice over the last 2,000 years • teachers, religious decision-makers, and creators of liturgical prayer • The messianic movement : • formed around Jesus of Nazareth, later known as Christianity
Rabbis’ Work The rabbis: • thoroughly interpret Hebrew scriptures • apply the biblical teachings to their contemporary lives, in very different cultural circumstances from those of the ancients • interpret scripture in ways acceptable to contemporary values
Judaism in the Middle Ages • In the early centuries of the Common Era, the Jewish population of the land of Israel declined • Life under Islamic rule was intellectually exciting for the Jewish community • From time to time Jews were threatened by intolerant Muslim rulers and were forced to flee to other territories • Jews who lived in Christian countries became expendable, and throughout the later Middle Ages there was a steady pattern of expulsions of Jews from countries in which they had long lived • Beginning in 1095, Jews became victims of mobs of Christian crusaders • There was deterioration of Jewish life in western Europe in the twelfth through seventeenth centuries
Mystical Yearning • Kabbalah • Hasidism
Judaism and Modernity • “Enlightenment Jews” • Orthodox Judaism • Reform Judaism Today, the United States, with approximately six million Jews, has the largest Jewish population in the world.
After World War I • In the aftermath of Germany’s defeat in World War I and the desperate economic conditions that followed, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party bolstered its popular support by blaming the Jews for all of Germany’s problems • With Hitler’s rise to power, acts of violence against Jews in Germany were instigated • Laws were passed that separated Jews from the rest of the population and deprived them of their legal and economic rights • By 1942, large-scale death camps had been set up by the Nazis to facilitate the “final solution”
The Holocaust • For many Jews the defining event of the twentieth century was the Holocaust, the murder of almost six million European Jews by the Nazi leadership of Germany during World War II • These Jews constituted over a third of the Jewish people in the world and half of all Jews in Europe.
Zionism and Contemporary Israel • Zionism is the Jewish movement dedicated to the establishment of a politically viable, internationally recognized Jewish state in the biblical land of Israel • In 1947 the United Nations decided to partition Palestine into two areas, one to be governed by Jews and the other by Arabs with Jerusalem an international zone • The Arabs did not accept the partition • In 1948 Israel was declared an independent Jewish state with full rights for minorities • As soon as British troops moved out, Israel was attacked by its Arab neighbors—Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt • From time to time, a negotiated peace has seemed almost possible, but it has not yet happened
Torah Jewish teachings are known as the Torah • The one God • Love for God • The sacredness of human life • Law • Suffering and Faith
Sacred Practices • scriptural study • remembering God in all aspects of life • ritual circumcision • what one eats is of cosmic significance • giving thanks continually • the Sabbath • Bar Mitzvah
Holy Days Judaism follows an ancient lunar calendar of annual holidays and memorials linked to special events in history: • Rosh Hashanah • Yom Kippur • Sukkot • Hanukkah • Purim • Passover • Holocaust Remembrance Day • Shavuot
Contemporary Judaism • Historic ethnic lines: • Ashkenazim • Sephardim • Distinctions among Jews who are religiously observant: • Orthodox • Reform • Conservative
Jewish Feminism • Some feminists are coming back to religious observance • Since the mid-twentieth century, women have taken an active role in claiming their rights to full religious participation • They are redefining Judaism from a feminist perspective
Jewish Renewal Both men and women from varied backgrounds are being attracted to newly revitalized expressions of Jewish spirituality, and conversions to Judaism seem to be increasing.
2000 BCE – Abraham is called from Ur in Mesopotamia to Canaan by Yahweh • 1600 BCE – Hebrews leave Canaan for Egypt • 1250 BCE – Moses and Hebrews leave Egypt (Exodus) and return to Canaan • 1000 BCE – Israelites establish a monarchy under Saul – the 1st Hebrew King • 1000 – 961 BCE – David is King • 961 – 922 BCE – Solomon is King • 922 BCE – Kingdom splits into 2 – Israel and Judah • 722 BCE – Israel falls to the Assyrians • 600 -550 BCE – Hebrew Torah and other Holy writings are compiled into their final form • 587 BCE – Judah falls to Chaldaeans under Nebuchadnezzar II and the Hebrews are enslaved and taken to Babylon (Babylonian Captivity)
539 BCE – Persians conquer Chaldaeans and return Hebrews to homeland • 500 BCE – Hebrews rebuild Temple to Yahweh (2nd temple period) • 70-72 CE – 1st Jewish Rebellion against Roman rule – Romans take Jerusalem and destroy the 2nd Temple under Titus • 115-117 CE – 2nd Jewish rebellion against Rome – Romans destroy Jerusalem, ban Jews from entering the city, and then remove them from Judah and place them all over the Roman Empire (Diaspora). • 117 CE – Jerusalem is renamed Aelius Capitolinus and a new Temple of Venus is built where the Temple was
JUDAISM • Judaism is the religious culture of the Jewish People and is one of the world's oldest religions. • Judaism makes up the cultural system of Jewish law, custom, and practice of the whole individual and community. • It is a system in which everyone is under God's rule. • Judaism originated in the Middle East and has spread throughout all parts of the world because of both voluntary migrations and forced exile or expulsions. • The total world Jewish population is about 15 million, most of whom live in the United States, Israel, and the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republic.
CENTRAL BELIEFS • With the many historical forms of Judaism, they all share similar characteristics. • The most essential characteristic is the belief in one God who created the universe and continues to rule it. • The God who created the world revealed himself to the Israelites at Mount Sinai. • The content of that revelation makes up the Torah, God's will for humankind stated in his commandments. • A second major concept in Judaism is that of the covenant, or agreement, between God and the Jewish people. The Jews would acknowledge God, agreeing to obey his laws. God, in turn, would acknowledge Israel as his chosen people. • The Bible is the word of God
CENTRAL BELIEFS • Jewish People believe that goodness and obedience will be rewarded and sin punished by God’s judgment after death. Then at the end of times, God will send his Messiah to redeem the Jews and deliver them to their Promised Land. • Although all forms of Judaism come from the Hebrew bible, Judaism is mainly derived from the rabbinic movement during the first centuries of the Christian era. At the turn of the 3rd century, the rabbis, or Jewish sages, produced the Mishnah, the earliest document of rabbinic literature.
TYPES OF JUDAISM • In North America today, the four main branches of Judaism are Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist. Within these denominations themselves, however, there is a great degree of variation in practice and observance.
TYPES OF JUDAISM • Orthodox - is the modern classification for the traditional section of Jewry that upholds the halakhic way of life as illustrated in a divinely ordained Torah. Halakha refers to the legal aspect of Judaism, and is also used to indicate a definitive ruling in any particular area of Jewish law. • It includes extreme orthodoxy which is called Chasidim/Chasidic Torah is literal word of God.
TYPES OF JUDAISM • Reform Judaism (also known as Liberal or Progressive Judaism) - subjects religious law and customs to human judgment, attempting to differentiate between the facets of the Torah that are divine mandate and those that are specific to the time in which they were written.
TYPES OF JUDAISM • Conservative Judaism - developed mainly in the twentieth century as a reaction to Reform Judaism's liberalism. It sought to conserve tradition by applying new, historical methods of study within the boundaries of Jewish law to the mainstream of American society. It is the largest denomination of the four.
TYPES OF JUDAISM • Reconstructionism - is the most recent denomination within Judaism, and, rejecting the assertion that the Torah was given to Moses at Mount Sinai, views Judaism as a continual process of evolution, incorporating the inherited Jewish beliefs and traditions with the needs of the modern world.
TYPES OF JUDAISM • In addition to the four main branches, there are several other noteworthy Jewish movements. Jewish Renewal is a transdenominational movement grounded in Judaism's prophetic and mystical traditions. It seeks to restore the spiritual vitality of the 19th century Hasidic movement, yet like the Reconstructionist movement, believes that Judaism is an evolving religious civilization. Therefore, Jewish Renewal regards men and women as fully equal and welcomes homosexuals and converts.
TYPES OF JUDAISM • Secular Humanistic Judaism is a movement begun in the 1960s which embraces "a human-centered philosophy that combines rational thinking with a celebration of Jewish culture and identity." In the Humanistic Jewish view, the focus is not on a relationship with God or religious ritual but in a belief that the "secular roots of Jewish life are as important as the religious ones." The emphasis is therefore placed on celebrating the Jewish human experience, and Jewish tradition, culture, ethics, values, and relationships.