Divisions of Judaism Reformed: 1800s - ethnic over ritual or law Orthodox: maintains traditional practices and beliefs. Conservative: 1800s – mid-way. Reconstructionism: 1920s: Mordecai Kaplan - evolving Zionist: secular movement to establish Jewish homeland Rabbinic Judaism Ashkenazim: trace cultural influences to Germany and Eastern Europe where Christianity was the dominate culture. Yiddish language. Sephardim: trace influences to Spain, North Africa, Italy and Ottoman Empire where Islam was the dominate culture. Ladino language.
There is a story in wide circulation about a question asked of Rabbi Hillel -- a notable rabbi from the 1st century BCE. A non-Jew asked the rabbi to teach him everything about the Torah while standing on one foot. Rabbi Hillel responded: "What is hateful to you, don't do unto your neighbor. The rest is commentary. Now, go and study."
. Mishnah and Midrash Mishnah: – legal guidelines Midrash: by 5 th c. CE – Interpretations of the Torah – Legal and non-legal
Talmud 5 th c CE Palestinian and Babylonian Ongoing interpretation and application of the Torah
Problems with the Trinity Shema: Affirms monotheism G-d is not human. Man is not G-d. – The Christine doctrine of the incarnation goes against the fundamental Jewish belief that G-d in incorporeal To worship Jesus violates the commandment “you shall worship no other G-ds. Jews do not believe there is any intermediary between G-d and man. G-d speaks to everyone directly. A Jew believe that no one else is supposed to talk for him, live for him – and certainly not die for him.
On Jesus Joseph Klausner (1874-1958) – Jesus remains even for the Jews a great teacher of morality and an artist in parable.” Jews for Jesus
Rituals From Womb to Tomb Birth Becoming a Man/Woman Marriage Death
Mazel Tov Naming a baby: – Descriptive and prophetic – Ashkenazim (Western): forbid naming a child after a living person. – Sephardic (Eastern): Give honor to someone who is living. Will only find Jr. with Sephardic. – Midrash says: “Every man has three names: One his father and mother gave him, one others call him, and one he acquires himself.”
Circumcision Brit Milah (covenant) Male children at 8 days Mohel Sandek After procedure all present say: “May he grow to Torah, to chuppah, and to good deeds.”
Bar Mitzvah Bat Mitzvah Son/daughter of the commandment – The child is now bound to Jewish Law Son: age 13 Daughter: age 12 – First American: Judith Kaplan A Bar/Bat Mitzvahs happens automatically. Responsibility is the result of coming of age, not of a party.
Talmud on Marriage “When a man is without a wife, he lives without joy, without blessing, and without good.”
Wedding Not on a holy day. – Talmud says not to diminish your joy with sharing it with another. Bride = KallahGroom = Chattan – Both wear white The veiling (badeken) Chuppah
Fun Fact At many places that cater to pious Jews, a special opening is cut out over the place where the bride and groom stand. This hole can then be uncovered at the time of a wedding ceremony so that the couple is literally standing under the heaven as they begin their married life.
Ceremony At a traditional wedding, the bride circles the groom 7 times. 7 corresponds with the 7 times it is written in the Bible “when a man takes a wife.” Also has a mystical meaning – 7 spheres of her beloved’s soul Can also show that she is captured the heart of her beloved (Joshua and Jericho story)
Wine and Blessing Wine is the symbol of joy and gladness Special blessing Breaking of the glass: Reminder that our rejoicing must be tempered with the remembrance of our people’s catastrophes. Links the future of the couple to Jewish history.
The groom enters the chuppah first to represent his ownership of the home on behalf of the couple. When the bride then enters the chuppah it is as though the groom is providing her with shelter or clothing, and he thus publicly demonstrates his new responsibilities toward her.
On divorce “If a woman says, ‘My husband is distasteful to me; I cannot live with him,’ the court compels the husband to divorce her because a wife is not a captive.” Maimonides
Death “The day of death is when two worlds meet with a kiss: This world going out, the future world coming in.” Talmud Judaism refuses to fill in the details of the post- life experience. Just as those before birth would not have been able to describe life, so too are we unable to describe the world to come. But that does not mean there is not life after death.
Saying Goodbye Keriah: Tearing of ones garment. Dead should never be left alone. – Shomrin are those who stay and pray over the body of the deceased. Jewish Sacred Society: a group of pious Jews that assist in the final preparations – ritual washing of the body and dress the body of the shroud Simple pine coffin
Chessed shel emet (A kindness of truth) Every other act of kindness may have in it a personal motive: I’ll do something for you so that in the future you will do something for me. Showing kindness to the dead is a “true act of piety” because it cannot possibly be tinged with any hope of reciprocity
Sitting Shiva 7 days Mitzvah of sitting At end of 7 days, the mourner walks around the block
Kaddish Ritual prayer said 11 months after the death of a loved one It makes no mention of the deceased. Rather it is a statement in which the mourner affirms the justice of G-d and the meaninglessness of life. It expresses hope for the redemption and ultimate healing of all of suffering humankind. By extending the preoccupation with is own tragedy to a more universal concern, the kaddish elevates the mourner to a higher level of consciousness.
Reincarnation? Not a universal Jewish belief – although many especially in the mystical tradition of Kabbalah believe in reincarnation.
Signs and Symbols Yarmulke Tallit Menorah Star of David Mezuzah Shofar Kosher
Menorah 7 branch candelabrum used in temple 8 branch for Hanukkah
The Star of David, known in Hebrew as the Shield of David or Magen David The precise origin of the use of the hexagram as a Jewish symbol remains unknown, but it apparently emerged in the context of medieval Jewish protective amulets.
Star of David A Star of David, often yellow- colored, was used by the Nazis during the Holocaust as a method of identifying Jews. If a Jew was found without wearing the star in public, they could be subjected to severe punishment. The requirement to wear the Star of David with the word Jude (German for Jew) inscribed was then extended to all Jews over the age of 6 in the Reich.
Hear O Israel, the Lord 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. These words which I command you this day shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children. You shall recite them at home and away, morning and night. You shall bind them as a sign upon your hand. they shall be a reminder above your eyes, and you shall inscribe them upon the doorposts of your home and upon your gates. (DT 6)
20 th Century Yom-ha-Shoa:27 th Day of Nissan – Holocaust Yom-ha-atzma’ut: 5/14/1948 Israel Independence Jerusalem Day: The Six-Day War of June 5-10, 1967
Holidays Rosh Hashanah: Jewish New Year Yom Kippur: Day of Atonement Sukkot: “Tabernacles/Booths” Hanukkah: “Dedication” Purim: Queen Ester saves the day! Shavuot: “Weeks”50 days after Passover Pentecost: Giving of the Law to Moses
Celebrate! Passover, or Pesach is held each Spring to recall the Jews' deliverance out of slavery in Egypt circa 1300 BCE. A ritual Seder meal is eaten in each observant Jewish home at this time. Six different foods are placed on the seder plate in the order in which they area eaten: Karpas (vegetables dipped in salt water) recalls the bitter tears shed during slavery Maror (bitter herbs) to symbolize the bitterness of slavery. Chazeret (bitter vegetables) also to symbolize the bitterness of slavery. Choroset (apple, nuts & spices with wine) represents the mortar used by Hebrew slaves. Also placed on the seder plate, but uneaten during the Seder meal: Zeroa (lamb shankbone) to recall the Passover sacrifice in the ancient temple. Beitzah (roasted egg) symbolizes mourning, sacrifice, spring, and renewal. Not placed on the Seder plate, but often eaten, is a boiled egg. After women were first allowed to become Rabbim, some Jews commented: "A woman belongs as a Rabbi like an orange belongs on a seder plate." As such, many Reform Jews now include an orange with their Seder Plate to commemorate female Rabbim.
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