Judaism: History, Key Variations And Intersection

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Judaism

The symbol for this religion is the “Star of David”. It is a symbol of the Jewish religion and all the Jewish people as a whole, it is thought that this symbol was the emblem on the shield of King David. The Torah links this symbol to the “Seal of Solomon”, a magic ring used by King Solomon to control demons and spirits.

The origins of Judaism are explained in the Torah. It is said that God came to Abraham and made a special agreement with Abraham saying that Abraham and his descendants were the chosen people who would go on the create a great nation. God revealed the Ten Commandments, to Moses at Mt. Sinai.

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There are three major variations of Judaism, Orthodox Judaism differentiates itself its worship in the Hebrew language, their view is that Biblical law may only be developed and interpreted by process of reasoning. Conservative Judaism follows traditional practices but adapts with modernity, the core belief is that God’s will is made clear to humanity through revelations. The Progressive concept originated with the freedom of the Jews of the various German states. The ideological distinctions between the Progressive and the Orthodox are reflected in the form of temple service.

Judaism holds that Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the national God of the Israelites delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and gave them the Law of Moses at Biblical Mount Sinai as described in the Torah.

The Jews believe there is a single God who created the universe and every Jew can have an individual and personal relationship with. They believe God continues to wok in the world, affecting everything people do. The Jewish relationship with God is a covenant relationship.

Yahweh or God can be seen differently depending on the perspective, to some He may seem like the a ruthless murderer who kills all who don’t obey Him. To others he may seem like a nice peaceful guy who created the world, creating us perfectly in His image.

Jews are supposed to pray three times a day; morning, afternoon, and evening. The Jewish prayer book (it's called a siddur) has special services set down for this. Praying regularly enables a person to get better at building their relationship with God. After all, most things get better with practice.

Synagogues are spaces used for prayer, Halakha holds that communal Jewish worship can be carried out wherever ten Jews (a minyan) assemble.

There are a lot less Jews in Australia than Israel, but this however is not necessarily a bad thing. Smaller communities that have a common interest can be more beneficial for everyone involved. Smaller communities allow for closer relationships and a stronger identity within the group, smaller communities help move towards a common goal. Individuals are a part of something they want to be a part of, making their experience much more enjoyable. The size of these communities is about the only difference between them (aside from the country of course). Although there may be less attendants to a synagogue, the practices have remained the same showing that both communities have stayed true to their religion.

Critical Thinking and Reflection Question

According to Judaism, Jesus was what was called a false messiah. Jews believe Jesus was the most influential and therefore damaging of all the false messiahs. The rejection of Jesus as the messiah has never been an issue in Judaism, this is due to traditional beliefs. Judaism has also never accepted any of the claimed fulfilments of the prophecy that Christianity associates with Jesus. Since the fundamentals of Judaism are monotheistic, worship of a person as a form of God is forbidden. Judaism holds that the coming of the messiah will be accompanied by a series of events that have not yet occurred, this includes the return of the Jews to their homeland and the rebuilding of The Temple. Since these events did not occur in the lifetime of Jesus, he was not the messiah.

When comparing the major world religions, Judaism and Christianity are likely to be seen as the most similar. They both follow the Hebrew Scriptures (The Old Testament) and although Christianity includes The New Testament, they have a similar idea of a God who is seen as holy, righteous, and just, while at the same time loving, forgiving, and merciful. Although there are many differences between the two such as practices and worship etc, the key difference is the person of Jesus and the work he did. As mentioned before, Jesus is rejected as the messiah by Judaism but is seen by many as a good teacher and perhaps even a prophet. Christianity on the other hand teaches that God came to Earth as a human, Jesus, to sacrifice himself to pay the price for our sins. Judaism is strongly against these beliefs.

This task has greatly expanded my knowledge of Judaism. It has shown me how different religions have been changed throughout history and how the practices and beliefs of some have shaped new religions and beliefs.

CLS Assignment Speech Notes

The symbol for Judaism is the “Star of David”. It is thought that this symbol was the emblem on the shield of King David. The Torah links this symbol to the “Seal of Solomon”, a magic ring used by King Solomon to control demons and spirits (Augustyn, 2019). Following Jewish freedom after the French Revolution, Jewish communities chose the Star of David as their symbol, it is also found on the Israeli flag. The origins of Judaism are explained in the Torah. It is said that God came to a Hebrew man Abraham (The founder of Judaism). The Jews believe that God made a special agreement with Abraham saying that Abraham and his descendants were the chosen people who would go on the create a great nation. God gave his laws in the form of the Ten Commandments to Moses at Mt. Sinai. There are three major variations of Judaism, Orthodox Judaism is distinguished by its traditional forms of worship in the Hebrew language, their view is that Biblical law may only be developed and interpreted by process of reasoning. Conservative Judaism follows traditional practices but adapts with modernity, the core belief is that God’s will is made clear to humanity through revelations. The Progressive concept originated with the freedom of the Jews of the various German states. Jews were after full acceptance in the German culture to which they had finally been admitted. The ideological distinctions between the Progressive and the Orthodox are reflected in the form of temple service (Israel and Judaism Studies, 2018).

Judaism holds that Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the national God of the Israelites delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and gave them the Law of Moses at Biblical Mount Sinai as described in the Torah. The Jews believe there is a single God who created the universe and every Jew can have an individual and personal relationship with. They believe God continues to wok in the world, affecting everything people do. The Jewish relationship with God is a covenant relationship. Yahweh or God can be seen differently depending on the perspective, to some He may seem like a ruthless murderer who kills all who don’t obey Him. To others he may seem like a nice peaceful guy who sacrificed Himself to Himself to save the world from Himself, unable to understand the meaning of Him. To some, he is seen as the creator of the universe, a divine ruler perfect in every way and one who we should strive to like.

Jews are supposed to pray three times a day morning, afternoon, and evening. The Jewish prayer book (it's called a siddur) explains how to do this. Praying regularly enables a person to get better at building their relationship with God. Synagogues are spaces used for the purpose of prayer, Tanakh reading and study. A synagogue is not necessary for worship. Halakha holds that communal Jewish worship can be carried out wherever ten Jews (a minyan) assemble.

There are a lot less Jews in Australia than Israel, but this however is not necessarily a bad thing. Smaller communities that have a common interest can be more beneficial for everyone involved. Contrast to larger communities where individuals can avoid contact, smaller communities help move towards a common goal. Individuals are in something they want to be in, this greatly affects a person’s experience within a community. The more positive a community, the more positive individuals will be. The size of these communities is about the only difference between them (aside from the country of course). Although there may be less attendants to a synagogue, the practices have remained the same showing that both communities have stayed true to their religion, showing its authenticity worldwide.

References

  1. Bbc.co.uk. (2019). BBC - Religions - Judaism: Jewish beliefs. [online] Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/judaism/beliefs/beliefs_1.shtml [Accessed 7 Aug. 2019].
  2. Bbc.co.uk. (2019). BBC - Religions - Judaism: Prayer and blessings in Judaism. [online] Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/judaism/worship/prayer_1.shtml [Accessed 6 Aug. 2019].
  3. En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Deities in the Hebrew Bible. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Deities_in_the_Hebrew_Bible [Accessed 4 Aug. 2019].
  4. En.wikipedia.org. (2019). God in Judaism. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_in_Judaism [Accessed 4 Aug. 2019].
  5. En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Jewish symbolism. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_symbolism [Accessed 4 Aug. 2019].
  6. En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Judaism. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaism [Accessed 3 Aug. 2019].
  7. En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Judaism's view of Jesus. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaism%27s_view_of_Jesus [Accessed 11 Aug. 2019].
  8. En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Synagogue. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synagogue [Accessed 5 Aug. 2019].
  9. Encyclopedia Britannica. (2019). Star of David | Meaning, Image, & Facts. [online] Available at: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Star-of-David [Accessed 13 Aug. 2019].
  10. GotQuestions.org. (2019). What is the difference between Christianity and Judaism? | GotQuestions.org. [online] Available at: https://www.gotquestions.org/difference-Christianity-Judaism.html [Accessed 11 Aug. 2019].
  11. Israel & Judaism Studies (IJS). (2019). Modern Judaism: Orthodox, Conservative and Progressive - Israel & Judaism Studies (IJS). [online] Available at: https://www.ijs.org.au/modern-judaism-orthodox-conservative-and-progressive/ [Accessed 6 Aug. 2019].
  12. Mfa.gov.il. (2019). [online] Available at: https://mfa.gov.il/MFA/IsraelExperience/AboutIsrael/Spotlight/Pages/Jewish%20Sacred%20Texts.aspx [Accessed 13 Aug. 2019].
  13. My Jewish Learning. (2019). Is There a Jewish Afterlife? | My Jewish Learning. [online] Available at: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/life-after-death/ [Accessed 13 Aug. 2019].
  14. ReligionFacts. (2019). Jewish worship. [online] Available at: http://www.religionfacts.com/judaism/worship [Accessed 3 Aug. 2019].
  15. Sites.psu.edu. (2019). Larger vs. Smaller Communities | Applied Social Psychology (ASP). [online] Available at: https://sites.psu.edu/aspsy/2014/06/24/larger-vs-smaller-communities/ [Accessed 10 Aug. 2019].
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