Presentation on theme: "THE JEWISH FAITH. CHANGES The Jewish faith has evolved continuously over its 4000 year history The early Israelites were polytheistic, believing in multiple."— Presentation transcript:
CHANGES The Jewish faith has evolved continuously over its 4000 year history The early Israelites were polytheistic, believing in multiple Mesopotamian gods They became henotheistic, believing in multiple gods but believing only one worthy of worship Probably after the Babylonian captivity, the Israelites became monotheistic, believing in only one god.
YHWH Original pronunciation lost centuries ago Means “He who creates” Brought to Israelites from southern Canaan in the 14 th century BCE, eventually rose to prominence May have evolved out of the Bronze Age god El
FIRST TEMPLE PERIOD YHWH was worshipped in a variety of ways during this time period: Some people worshipped only YHWH Others worshiped only YHWH while using figurines, shrines, etc of other gods Some worshiped YHWH alongside other gods
SECOND TEMPLE PERIOD By the end of the Babylonian Captivity, YHWH alone is worshipped as god, acknowledged as a god YHWH’s name is no longer spoken, except by the high priest on the day of atonement After the destruction of the second temple, the name is no longer spoken at all
THE NAMES OF GOD Since YHWH is not spoken or written, Jews use many alternate names for god Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh: I Am that I Am Adonai: Lord HaShem: The Name Elohim: The one God And many, many more
CORE BELIEFS OF JEWS There is one God, YHWH The Jews are God’s chosen people-selected to make the world more perfect Canaan/Israel is the “promised land” God has spoken through prophets God will reward the good and punish the wicked A Messiah will come to restore Israel, rebuild the temple, & defeat evil The dead will be resurrected
TIMELINE 2000 years from the fall of Adam to Abraham: desolation 2000 years from Abraham to the Diaspora: The Torah period, flourishing 2000 years from the Diaspora to…???: Waiting for the Messiah Currently year 5775
HOLY TEXTS The Tanakh-The Hebrew Bible/Old Testament The Torah-The first five books, Genesis through Deuteronomy. Written by Moses. Nevi’im-The teachings of the prophets Ketuvim-Mostly poetic books The Talmud-The teaching and opinions of rabbis on subjects like law, ethics, philosophy, history, etc.
HOLY DAYS Rosh Hashanah-The Jewish new year Yom Kippur-The Day of Atonement, Jews fast on this day for forgiveness of sin Hanukkah-Festival of lights, celebration of Maccabee victory Passover-Celebrates the Exodus from Egypt Shabbat-The Sabbath day, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday
SACRED SYMBOLS & OBJECTS-THE STAR OF DAVID The Star of David is a symbol of Judaism, the Jewish people, and the state of Israel Today, the Star of David is on the flag of Israel
SACRED SYMBOLS & OBJECTS-THE MENORAH A ceremonial lamp used to celebrate Hanukkah One candle is lit every night for eight nights Celebration of the Maccabee victory
SACRED SYMBOLS AND OBJECTS-THE MEZUZAH Hung on door frames in Jewish homes States the Shema Yisrael prayer: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God! The Lord is One!” The Tanakh issues a mitzvah, or command, that the Shema Yisrael be “inscribed on the doorposts of your house.”
SACRED SYMBOLS & OBJECTS-TEFILLIN Small, black leather boxes containing verses from the Torah Worn on the forehead and arm while praying The Torah commands they be worn as a remembrance of the Exodus
SACRED SYMBOLS AND OBJECTS-TZITZIT Specifically knotted ritual fringes or tassels Through numerology, the knots and threads add up to 613, the same as the number of mitzvah in the Torah
SACRED SYMBOLS AND OBJECTS-TALLIT Prayer shawl worn during morning prayers and during all prayer on Yom Kippur The Tzitzit are attached at the four corners
SACRED SYMBOLS & OBJECTS-YARMULKE A cap covering the top of the head Worn during prayers by men
HOLY PLACES-THE TEMPLE MOUNT The site of the original two temples in Jerusalem The holiest place in Judaism, where the presence of God is most strongly felt A holy place for Jews, Christians, and Muslims
HOLY PLACES-THE WESTERN WALL The remnants of an ancient wall that surrounded the temple courtyard Many Jews face toward the wall when praying Millions of prayer notes are left in the cracks of the wall every year
DIVISIONS Religious Branches Orthodox Conservative Reform Cultural Differences Ashkanazi-Jews of Central and Eastern Europe Sephardic-Jews of North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula Mizrahi-Jews of the Middle East Crucial Question: Who is a Jew? Is it a religious label? Is it an ethnic label? Is it a cultural label?