2 Judaism is…“A 4000 year old tradition with ideas about what it means to be human and how to make the world a holy place”(Rabbi Harold Kushner, To Life)A “covenant relationship” between God and the Hebrew peopleA celebration and sanctification of lifeA faith, a people, a way of life…
3 A 4000 year old tradition…The Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (“Israel”) – origins of the Hebrew people (more than 3800 years ago)Enslaved in ancient Egypt and freed by Moses (more than 3300 years ago)Hebrew monarchy in the “Promised Land” (The Land of Israel), ends 6th century BCE
4 As a faith, Jews Believe… In one God, creator of the universe, personal but non-corporealIn prophets of old – especially Moses, through whom Torah was revealed to the Hebrew peopleIn Torah (first five books of the Bible), containing religious, moral and social law which guides the life of a Jewthe Hebrew Bible does not include the New Testament
5 As a people, Jews are… A nation in Diaspora (dispersed) 15 – 16 million in worldwide populationUnited by a common heritage (an “ethnic” religion), divided in contemporary practice:Orthodox:ModernChasidic (Ultra Orthodox)Reformed (18th century Germany)Conservative – moderates, response to reformReconstructionalism (20th century America)
6 As a way of life, Judaism is based on… 613 commandments found in Torah (“Written Law”)Talmud (“Oral Law”) – commentary of ancient rabbis that elaborates on how to apply God’s Law in everyday life through:Dietary rules (Kashrut/Kosher)Dress and other symbolsPrayer and devotion to the one GodThe Temple and Temple ritesObservance of Holy daysProper social relations between male and female, in business, judicial rulings, etc.Thus sanctifying life, blessing it in every way
7 How does Judaism sanctify life? Life cycle celebrations:Bris – ritual circumcision, sign of the covenantBar/Bat Mitzvah – full adult status and responsibility within the religionMarriage - "Be fruitful and multiply" (Gen. 1:22)Death – funerals, mourning (sitting “Shiva”), and memorials (“Yartzeits”)
8 How does Judaism sanctify time? The Jewish Holidays:High Holidays:Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year)Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)Sukkot, the “Festival of Booths” (fall harvest festival)Simchat Torah – celebrating TorahChanukah, the “Festival of Lights”
9 More Holy Days…Purim (“Lots”) – a carnival (commemorates events told in book of Esther)Pesach (“Passover”) – commemorates the exodus from Egypt (events told in Exodus)Shavuot (“weeks,” Pentecost) – commemorates receipt of Torah at SinaiOther, minor festivalsShabbat (Sabbath, 7th day, on Saturday) – the “Day of Rest”
10 How is Judaism related to Christianity? Judaism predates Christianity – it is the foundation of Christianity but is not a part of itJesus was Jewish, as were his followers and the ApostlesJews do not believe that Jesus was anything more than a good and wise man who lived and died 2000 years ago – Jews still await their messiahThe Jewish messiah would not be divine. He would be a political figure who restores the Hebrew monarchy and causes peace to reign on EarthJews are not concerned about salvation and the “world to come”
11 What are Jews really concerned about? Tikkun Olam - “repairing this world” through justice and righteousness; through “deed, not creed”The heart of Judaism is in the home and family, social responsibility and doing Mitzvot (“good deeds” based on God’s commandments)Through education and hard work we make our lives, the lives of others, and the world, what God intended it to be – Holy!
13 Web resourcesJudaism 101: ”an online encyclopedia of Judaism, covering Jewish beliefs, people, places, things, language, scripture, holidays, practices and customs”ReligiousTolerance.org on Judaism:This P0werpoint presentation available at:
14 From Living Judaism by Rabbi Wayne Dosick Jewish SymbolsFrom Living Judaismby Rabbi Wayne Dosick
15 Magen David Star of David Was on the shields of David’s warriors Symbol on the Flag of the state of IsraelUsed throughout the world as a clear and unique identifying symbol of Jews and Judaism
16 Menorah Seven (or nine) branched candleholder One of the oldest Jewish symbols—one of the ritual objects described in the TorahToday the nine branched menorah is used in celebration of ChanukahThe seven branched menorah is the authentic ancient symbol (one for each of the 6 days of creation and 1 for sabbath)
17 Chai The Jewish symbol of life Expresses the hope and prayer for life, health and prosperityPopular Jewish toast—L’chayim—To Life
18 Mazal Tov Means good luck or congratulations Particularly used for significant life events (ie. Bar Mitzvahs, weddings, birthdays, etc.)
19 Amen Literally “So be it” Means I agree/affirm After a blessing it is customary for those who have heard the blessing to say Amen
20 Shalom Means hello/goodbye/peace Comes from root word shalem which means whole/completePeace comes when there is wholeness, completeness, unity.Pease is the eternal Jewish prayer—world peace, peace between people, inner peace, harmony.
21 Modern Denominations of Judaism From Living Judaism by Rabbi Wayne Dosick
22 Orthodox Judaism Mainstream Judaism Belief in the direct revelation of divine law which was recorded in the TorahIt is eternal, unchanging, and the sole guide for lifeCarefully and strictly observe the commandments as the direct will of GodUltra-Orthodox assert that complete separation from secular society
23 Chasidism—Sect of Orthodox Famous for their dress. From eastern Europe in the early 18th C. Emphasizes both contemplative meditation and fervent joy.Lubavitch Chasidism (Chabad) is contemporary American Chasidism
24 Reform Judaism Early 19th C. Germany Assert authorship of Torah to Divinely inspired human beingsModern worship mostly in vernacular
25 Conservative Judaism Response to Reform mid to late 19th C. Europe Agree that change was necessary but felt Reform had eliminated too many basic Jewish practicesMotto is “tradition and change”Fiddler on the Roof
26 Reconstructionist Judaism Early 1920s in US by Rabbi Mordecai KaplanJudaism is not merely a religion, but an evolving religious civilization, a peoplehood, a culture, as well as a faith community
27 All of Judaism To accept Torah and fulfill its mitzvot To embrace the ethical mandate of JudaismTo regulate existence to Judaism’s rituals & observancesTo support Jewish causesTo be a devoted member of the Jewish communityTo maintain a bond and a sense of mutual interdependence with the Jewish LandTo feel a connection to Jewish historyTo be committed to the creative survival of the Jewish future
28 From Living Judaism by Rabbi Wayne Dosick Jewish LiteratureFrom Living Judaism by Rabbi Wayne Dosick
29 TorahCreation: God Created the Universe and everything in it, The covenant was created between God and Humanity (specifically between God and the Jewish people)Redemption: Israelites were saved from bondage in Egypt (in order to experience revelation)Revelation: God gave his 613 mitzvot as a standard for conduct and behaviorMixed with ritual practices this provides the framework of lifestyle for all humanity.
30 TorahGenesis (Bereshit): contains stories of creation, records the establishment of the covenant between God and the Jewish people, tells of the lives of the patriarchs and matriarchsExodus (Sh’mot): account of Israelites enslaved in Egypt, the exodus from Egypt, the receiving of the 10 Commandments at Mt. SinaiLeviticus (Vayikra): gives God’s ethical and ritual laws and specific instructions to priests on how to perform their dutiesNumbers (Bamidbar): recounts the of the Israelites through the desert and gives more of God’s ethical and ritual lawsDeuteronony (Devarim): Moses reviews the laws and the people prepare to enter the promised land.
31 Nevi’im 2nd section of the Hebrew Bible, prophets Not a soothsayer but rather a messenger of God to the peopleProphets admonished the Jewish people for forgetting and forsaking God’s commandsThey called on the people to examine their lives and their conductNevi’im is divided in two sections: early and latter prophets
33 Ketuvim 3rd section of Hebrew Bible, writings Contains wisdom literature, poetry, songs, narrative, history, religious philosophy, and love hymns…12 books in totalBooks include: Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nechemiah, Chronicles
34 Tenach / Tanakh Hebrew name for Hebrew Bible Created by taking the first letter of each of the three sections of the Bible and making a word out of those three letters.T: for TorahN: for Nevi’imCH: for Ketuvim
35 MishnahThe first compilation of the Oral Law between 200 BCE and 200 CECollects all of the Jewish legal material from the post-Torah era.Divided into 6 orders (or chapters)Seeds, Festivals, Women, Damages, Holy Things, Purifications
36 GemaraA compilation of the discussions, interpretations, explanations, and theological arguments about the Mishnah.New interpretations and new laws that arose after Mishnah from about CEContains both Jewish law and Jewish stories
37 Talmud Is the combined Mishnah and Gemara Largest compilation of post-biblical lawRemains the basic and central document of post-biblical lawTalmud is studied:For the practical application of its lawsFor its mind-expanding challenges in logic and reasoningFor its total immersion in Jewish concernsFor its wisdom and insights into the human experienceAnd for the simple love of learning and growing
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