Covenant Jewish belief centres on the idea of the oneness of God and the compassion God shares with creation in the form of the covenant. Before we try to understand the nature of the covenant, we must answer a few questions….
Who Are Jews? either born Jewish or converts to the faith The process of conversion is called gerut Candidates must show knowledge of Judaism, confirm beliefs, demonstrate the will to act ethically, and show a connection with the Jewish people
What do Jews believe? Judaism is a monotheistic religion God is the centre of everything Nothing can happen without God, therefore humanity has an obligation to worship Him
What do Jews believe? God shows his love and caring for humanity through the covenant. Through this covenant, humanity became a “junior partner” in God’s creation.
How do Jews Honour God? God created certain commandments to help people keep the covenant. Honouring the commandments allows people to see that everything is interconnected. Allows people to actively show devotion to God, through study of Torah, prayer, good deeds through charity.
How do Jews Honour God? Performing a good deed is called a mitzvah. Mitzvah is actually a commandment from God that gives people direction on how to live ethically while honouring God. The Bible contains 613 mitzvah.
Examples of Mitzvah To recite grace after meals Not to stand by idly when a human life is in danger To give charity according to one's means That a widow whose husband died childless must not be married to anyone but her deceased husband's brother That one who possesses evidence shall testify in Court
How can you carry out mitzvahs in your life? Graciously offer to move seats so that two people can sit together in a theatre or elsewhere. Check in on an elderly friend or neighbor. Donate a bag of food to local food shelter. Celebrate a birthday by giving your time or your resources. Invite someone you work with to carpool with you.
How does God show commitment to the Covenant? Through the burning bush, God gave his name to Moses, YHWH. People not sure how to pronounce this, so people say Lord; don’t say God. Other names used, and they were masculine, that’s why God is referred to as He
How does God show commitment to the Covenant? Judaism believes that by saying His name, God was saying to humanity, “I know you and I care for you” God showed this by providing circumstances and messages that would allow people to keep their covenant with God. i.e. Chosen people, promised land, Messiah, world to come.
Fiddler on the Roof Watch the opening clip from Fiddler on the Roof. What beliefs and traditions are shown in this clip? Complete Symbols and Practices handout