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Who is my Neighbor? A study of world religions Nov. 7, 2012 First Baptist Church of Pittsburgh.

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Presentation on theme: "Who is my Neighbor? A study of world religions Nov. 7, 2012 First Baptist Church of Pittsburgh."— Presentation transcript:

1 Who is my Neighbor? A study of world religions Nov. 7, 2012 First Baptist Church of Pittsburgh

2 Week 2: What is a Cult? OCT. 10 - Megan Scholarly vs. Popular Definition Common Traits Examples Week 3: Hinduism Brief History OCT. 17 – Megan (Kittie will contribute TM materials) Vedas Shaivas, Vaishnavas, Goddess followers Beliefs & Practice Week 4: Buddhism OCT 24 – Megan Brief History Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana 4 Truths, Eight-fold Path Mahayana Sects (Zen/Chan, Pure Land, etc.) Beliefs & Practice Week 5: "Minor" Religions OCT. 31 - Megan Zoroastrianism Sikhism Jainism Taoism Shinto

3 Week 6: Judaism NOV. 7 – Kittie Brief history Ancient vs. Modern Orthodox vs. Reformed Beliefs and Practices Week 7: Christianity NOV. 14 - Kittie Brief History Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, Other Beliefs & Practice NOV 21 – NO CLASS, BREAK FOR THANKSGIVING Week 8: Islam NOV. 28 - Kittie Brief History Four pillars Shiite vs. Sunni Sufism Week 9: New Religions (post 1800) DEC. 5 - Kittie Mormonism Jehovah's Witnesses Scientology Neo-Paganism/Wicca Various New Asian Religions Week 10: Overview/Summary: What Does All This Mean for Christians?

4 Continuing….Behind all faiths…..




8 Judaism Demographics: – Ethno-religious phenomenon (a person can be an ethnic Jew with or without practicing the religion – 13.4 million (0.2% of world population) is Jewish (2010) – ~42% of all Jews live in Israel; ~42% live in the U.S. (the rest mostly in Europe) – _USA_in_2000.svg

9 Types of Judaism Orthodox Judaism: – Traditional. – Asserts the Torah has divine origin – Torah is the changeless revelation of God’s eternal will and therefore fully authoritative. – Obligatory to follow “Halachah” [rabbinic defined law] ; therefore Orthodox Judaism places the greatest and strictest demands on its adherents to preserve religious belief and observe strict religious codes of behavior. – “Hassidim” – “Ultra-Orthodox Jews” – are considered to be the most pious of Orthodox Jews.

10 Types of Judaism Conservative Judaism: – Emphasizes Judaism’s historic development. – Therefore adjustments are allowed, as this branch considers basic Jewish theological and ritual concepts as evolving change. – Also strong emphasis on preserving “the People of Israel” and on Zionism.

11 Types of Judaism Reform Judaism: – The most liberal and non- authoritarian of mainstream branches. – Sees Torah as guidance rather than as literal divine revelation. – Thus ethical concepts are emphasized over ritual law. – Revelation is thought to be a continuing process, so this branch considers Judaism is still evolving.

12 Types of Judaism Elements of the Reform movement have recently broken with established religious law by: – Affirming patrilineal descent (provided that the child is also raised Jewish through confirmation age) – Seeking converts – Allowing women to practice certain liturgical duties and customs previously reserved for men (e.g. ordaining women as rabbis, women publicly reading from the Torah, and women donning skull caps, prayer shawls, phylacteries, etc.).

13 Types of Judaism Reconstructionist Judaism: – Smallest and most recent branch. – Follows an approach to Judaism developed by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan who emphasized human values and the centrality of Jewish peoplehood. – In practice, it is close to Conservative Judaism.

14 Who is a Jew? Traditional Jewish religious law defines a Jew as one who is born of a Jewish mother, or one who has been properly converted to Judaism. Stringency of conversion requirements varies from branch to branch, but all mainstream branches are in agreement that mere self- declaration does not constitute conversion. The basics of the conversion process include rabbinic sponsorship and lengthy study in a formal program that culminates with approval by a rabbinic body/court [“Beis Din”].

15 Interesting Point Ron Tappy (PTS): Ten Commandments are meant to apply to the Jewish family and tribe – not applicable for relations beyond. E.g., “Thou shalt not kill” (etc.) followed immediately by stories of the Israelites killing (non-Israelite) people.

16 Interesting Point For Jewish history and many practices, preservation of God’s elect people (families, tribes, nation) is tantamount.

17 Who is a Jew? Jews usually do not proselytize or encourage conversion (as Judaism does not assert that it is the only path to redemption/salvation). Consistent with Abraham’s covenant with God, all Jewish males must be ritually circumcised – according to religious law, when the male is 8 days old. A convert undergoes ritual circumcision is done along with other required rituals following Beis Din approval.

18 Judaism Basic belief: – Single God (Yahweh), who created the heavens and the earth (the universe) Genesis 1: 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning— the first day.

19 Judaism Basic belief: – In other Near Eastern religions of the time (thousands of years ago), belief was in lots of gods whose main concern was relationship with other gods. – – In Judaism, belief was in a single God, whose main concern was relationship with the world and the people God created.

20 Judaism Is a lot about stories about people (as is true for almost religions) To understand Judaism (and other religions), we need to understand their stories

21 Jewish (Israelite) History Basic beliefs: – God’ relationship with humans is based on a special “covenant” with Abraham (~1800 BCE, according to one Jewish source); God promised Abraham his offspring would be a new nation, Israel. – – The Jews are God’s chosen people, and are commanded to copy God’s love for them with other people.

22 Jewish (Israelite) History Abraham and Sarah had Isaac. Isaac and Sarah had Jacob (later named Israel) and Esau. Jacob had 12 male children (tribes of Israel) – With Leah: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulin (Dinah) – With Rachel: Joseph, Benjamin – With Bilhah (maid): Dan, Naphtali – With Zilpah (maid): Gad, Asher [;biblequestion.wor;]

23 Jewish (Israelite) History After the time of Joseph, whose brothers sold him as slave into Egypt, Moses became the Israelites’ leader and led them out of captivity in Egypt (there is some historical evidence of this people in Egypt ~ 1250 BCE, I believe). The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years before they got to the “promised land,” modern-day Israel.

24 Jewish (Israelite) History Series of tribal wars (era of Judges) Unified Kingdom (Saul, David, Solomon  Temple)

25 Jewish (Israelite) History Northern versus Southern Kingdoms – Northern Kingdom (“Israel;” 10 tribes; included Samaria) dispersed by Assyrians in about 720 BCE. – Southern Kingdom (Judah; 2 tribes; Jerusalem); Temple destroyed and deported to Babylon (Iraq) in 587 BCE; stayed about 60 years; returned to Israel and rebuilt the Temple. – Debates persist about who has the right to the land (Israel or Palestine)

26 Scripture “Old” or “Hebrew” Testament, Tanakh): – The Torah (Law; Pentateuch): Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) – The Nebi’im (Prophets): Joshua, Judges, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings – The Kethubim (Writings): Other Talmud: Interpretation of Jewish law

27 Basic Beliefs Note: – Judaism is the origin of monotheism (belief in one God) in the world – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all go back to the same founding father, Abraham Hagar  Ishmael; Islam Sarah  Isaac; Judaism (Christ, 1 st century Jew);

28 Basic Beliefs and Laws Central tenets were well defined in the 12 th century CE by Rabbi Moses Ben Maimon [the “Rambam” or “Maimonides”] in his “Thirteen Principles of Faith,” which include a belief in one God and the eventual coming of a Messiah [“Anointed One’]. Judaism today based mainly on the Talmud and 613 commandments derived from the Torah, several of which cannot currently be fulfilled without the existence of the holy Temple. Tenets and practices are further defined to varying degrees by different branches of the faith.

29 Basic Beliefs Summarized by the “Shema,” recited twice daily: – Hear O Israel the Lord is our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you today shall be upon your heart. [Deuteronomy 6:4- 6].

30 Essential Practices Circumcision as sign of God’s covenant with the Israelites No mixing of milk and meat on same dish (kosher laws) Passover (celebration of Israelites’ escape from Egypt) Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement and Repentance)

31 Essential Practices Rosh Hashanah: – Two-day Jewish New Year; period of religious self-examination and resolution. – Ram’s horn (Shofar) is blown as call to look into one’s soul and improve one’s ways. – Customary to eat apple dipped in honey and to wish others a good and sweet year. A new fruit, usually pomegranate, a sweet carrot dish (tizimmes), honey cake, Challah bread and other foods are traditional. Cards sent. – The 10 days beginning with Rosh Hashanah are considered “Days of Awe” and repentance, culminating with Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

32 Essential Practices Yom Kippur: – Considered the most solemn day in Jewish calendar, as it is believed that this is when God decrees each Jew’s fate for the rest of the year. – Day spent praying and fasting. – White garments worm, a special 5 th worship service is added. – Concludes with blowing of the Shofar. – (Before the 25-hr fast, it is tradition to eat hearty meal including boiled pieces of dough filled with meat – Kreplach).

33 Rites/Ceremonies Private: – Devout Jew should pray 3 times/day, preferably with quorum of 10 men in synagogue. – Additional morning worship occurs on Sabbath and Festivals – Books in Hebrew or Hebrew/local language are used for liturgies. – For all male Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist and some Reform Jews, head is covered during prayer with “yarmulke” (skull cap) or hat. – Most Orthodox men cover heads at all times as a sign of reverse to G- D. – During morning prayer, “a Tallit” (prayer shawl) is used (fringes at four corners, consistent with Torah)

34 Rites/Ceremonies Private, cont’d – Non-Sabbath/Festival days, Orthodox and some other males strap two small leather phylacteries [Tefillin] boxes are attached to the forehead and arm with leather straps. – Boxes have four passages of Hebrew scripture written on parchment: Exodus 13:1 – 10 and 13:11–16, Deuteronomy 6:4–9 and 11:13-21. – These items may be visually inspected (if handled with respect and care), only a qualified rabbi or scribe may open the sinew closed portions of the boxes.

35 Practices Jews also affix a “Mezuzah,” (small parchment scroll with opening paragraphs of the Shema which prescribes this practice) within a protective container to the upper right- hand corner of the doorpost of the front door of their home and synagogues. In homes of more observant Jews, Mezuzahs are also placed on the doorposts of every other living room (except bathrooms).

36 Rites/Ceremonies Shabbat is weekly day devoted to God through religious activities (and rest; “Shabbat Shalom”). Considered the most important of all Jewish holy days; begins just before sunset on Friday. Candles are lit, two per each household member, must burn out by themselves. Challah is traditional (may be substituted with matzah). Special prayer recited.

37 Rites/Ceremonies Blessing over wine and bread: – Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha- olam, borei p’ri hagafen. – Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha- olam, hamotzi lechem min ha-aretz.

38 Rites/Ceremonies Friday evening and Saturday morning worship services have special prayer (Kiddush) recited over wine.

39 Practices Shabbat: Many laws about what is allowed and not allowed – Certain number of steps OK – No electricity (elevators in Orthodox Jewish hotels have to be specially set up) – No fire – No cooking – No work

40 Practices Gender-specifics – Orthodox married women shave head out of devotion; wear wigs in public. Modest attire (fashion OK, just be covered). – No physical contact allowed between men and women not in same family (except for educational or clinical purposes, but even then….handshake not OK).

41 Temple Temple in Jerusalem (House of God) is extremely important to Jews Temple destroyed 587 BCE (deportation to Babylon); rebuilt when Israelites returned to Israel Temple destroyed 70 C.E. (Romans against Jewish uprising); mainly Western wall remains today

42 Temple Source of conflict: Muslim Dome of the Rock built right on top of the old Jewish Temple;

43 Holocaust Six million Jews died in WWII; Hitler’s attempt to “purify” the Germanic (and other) peoples.

44 Final word Extremely rich history and traditions. Without the Hebrew Testament, we have no New Testament. Without Judaism, we have no Christianity.

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