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Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced


									         Paths of Faith
         Judaism – 1

                               Cheryl Gaver

@2009,   Cheryl Gaver                   1
                                 Overview of Session
     • Jewish History                                 • Jewish Core
                – Fundamental Concepts                   – Seven Core Beliefs
                        • Judaism & Jews                     • Shema
                        • Relationship with God              • Berit / Covenant /
                        • Humanity                             “Bris”
                – Seven Shifts within                        • Torah
                  Judaism                                    • Mitzvah (“Bar
                        • Biblical
                             –   Abraham                     • Shabbat / Sabbath
                             –   Moses                       • Kashrut / Kosher
                             –   Babylonian Exile            • Zion
                             –   Greco-Roman Period          • Meshiah / Messiah
                        • Post-biblical
                             – In Foreign Lands
                             – Kabbalism
                             – Zionism
                        • Holocaust
                        • Israel

@2009,   Cheryl Gaver                                                       2
                           What is Judaism?
                                                  Hebrew has no word for
                                                      Jews did not speak of
                                                       their ‘religion’ as
                                                       Judaism until the 18th-
                                                       19th centuries?

• „Judaism‟ - A way of living
         – The berit between God and
           the Jews
         – The mitzvot that regulate
                    • How Jews relate to God
                    • How Jews relate to other
@                   •
    2009, Cheryl Gaver How Jews relate to others                        3
                        Judaism Fundamental
                    Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one:
                      and you shall love the Lord your God
                      with all your heart, and with all your
                      soul, and with all your might.
                                                (Deut. 6:4,5)

                                        Fundamental belief in:
                                           the oneness, uniqueness of
                                           God who works in and through
                                            historical events
                                           God who has chosen the
                                            Jewish people as partners,
                                            ambassadors to the world

@2009,   Cheryl Gaver                                            4
                              Who is a Jew?
         • A follower of Judaism?
                 – but some Jews are atheists
         • A member of a race?
                 – but Jews exhibit
                   characteristics of nearly every
         • Someone who has Hebrew
           as a mother tongue
                 – but many Jews do not speak
                 – but many in Israel speak
                   Hebrew as 1st language yet
                   are not Jews

@2009,   Cheryl Gaver                                5
                        Relationship with God
         • God is God
                 – Beyond human ability to comprehend or
                 – Beyond time and space
         • God Acts
                 – God has broken into time and space to
                   interact with humanity
                 – God breaks into history – shaping it and
                   giving it meaning
                 – Life has meaning only because of God‟s

@2009,   Cheryl Gaver                                    6

   Therefore was a single
     human being created:
                  To teach you that to destroy
                  a single human soul is
                  equivalent to destroying an
                  entire world
                  and to sustain a single
                  human soul is equivalent to
                  sustaining an entire world.
   And a single human being
     was created...
             for the sake of peace, that
                none might say: My lineage
                is greater than yours!
@2009,   Cheryl Gaver                            7
                          Seven Shifts in Judaism
                        Each period represents a shift in direction and focus
                          within Judaism to enable it to better survive and
                          adapt to changing historical realities.
                            • The Beginning - Abraham and the First Covenant
                            • The Sinai Experience - Moses and the Giving of the
                            • The Babylonian Exile
                            • The Greek/Roman Occupations
                            • A Millenium of Rebuilding (Talmud, Midrash,
                              Kabbalism and Hasidism)
                            • Emancipation, Persecution and the Rise of Zionism
                            • Holocaust and the State of Israel

@2009,   Cheryl Gaver                                                     8
  Abraham and the First Covenant
               • God calls Abram /Sarai to
                 a new land
                        – A new land – a new name
                          – a new relationship
               • The First Covenant
                        – Two-way relationship
                          between God and
                        – God has obligations to
                          Abraham and his
                        – Abraham and his
                          descendants have
                          obligations to God
@2009,   Cheryl Gaver                               9
                           Jews in Egypt
   • Moved to Egypt
     during a famine
             – In time, Jews
               were enslaved
   • Freed by God
     through Moses
             – Passover
             – Sinai
             – Torah

@2009,   Cheryl Gaver                      10
                        Moses and the Torah

– God chooses Moses to be
  the one through whom he
  works to save Abraham‟s.
          • He reveals himself as one
            who cares about the
            helpless, the powerless
          • He reveals himself as one
            who expects certain
            behaviour from those who
            have power

@2009,   Cheryl Gaver                         11
                        Moses and the Torah
                              • The covenant is renewed /
                                extended to the Jewish
                                people at Sinai
                                 – God reveals a plan to save
                                   the Jews and, through them,
                                   the world
                                 – Jews promise to follow God;
                                   God promises to be their God
                                   - i.e., to be responsible for
                                 – The new covenant is sealed
                                   with the giving of the Torah -
                                   oral and written laws (10
                                   commandments are only a
@2009,   Cheryl Gaver                                    12
                           The Promised Land
         – Conflict with local population
                        – Philistines and Canaanites
         – Led by Judges and Prophets
                        – Military and spiritual leadership
         – Monarchy
                        – Prophets saw Covenant as call
                          for social conscience
                        – Prophets warned of a Day of
                          the Lord
         – Defeat and Exile
                        – Covenant emphasis shifts to
                          God‟s presence and love
                        – Future hope and restoration
                        – Messianic figure to come
@2009,   Cheryl Gaver                                         13
                          Jewish Nationalism
            – Eventual Return from
              Babylon / Assyria:
                    • Rebuilding the nation
                    • Re-commitment to
                    • Diaspora

                                           Defeat by Greek-Syrian
                                                 Antiochus Epiphanes
                                           Rebellion
                                                 Maccabees.
@2009,   Cheryl Gaver                                                   14
                        A New Understanding
                           • The need to re-interpret scripture
                             to a new historical situation is
                              – “No work on the Sabbath” - but what
                                is work? what is the sabbath?
                              – Is it better to observe:
                                  • the letter of the law? (school of
                                  • the spirit of the law? (school of Hillel)
                              – Is there a limit to the Torah?
                                  • Be killed keeping the Sabbath?
                                  • Being alive to celebrate other
@2009,   Cheryl Gaver                                                15
                    Greek/Roman Occupations
     • Main groups within
       Judaism prior to 70
                – Sadducees
                – Pharisees
                – Zealots
                – Qumran community
                – Christians

@2009,   Cheryl Gaver                     16
                             Roman Influence
                   –    Towns (Caesarea)
                   –    Aqueducts
                   –    Theatres
                   –    Palaces
                   –    Temple rebuilt

@2009,   Cheryl Gaver                          17
                        Rebellion against Rome
                                  Jerusalem   falls in
                                      The Second Temple is

   • Masada falls in
     73 CE
             – Mass suicide

@2009,   Cheryl Gaver                                 18
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                        Rebellion against Rome
• Judaism is redefined
     – Rejection of
     – Rejection of
       Christian sect

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                        Rebuilding Judaism

  • Mishnah, 2nd century CE
            – building a fence around the
  • Talmud, 5th century CE
            – Interpretative, illustrative,
              sermonic material
            – Halachah

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                            Jews in Foreign Lands
        Under Muslims
               7th-9th centuries:
                       “Golden Age” under Abbasid
                       Baghdad became centre of
                        Jewish learning
               9th century:
                       persecutions began in
                       Centre of Jewish learning
                        moved to Spain
               Middle Ages:
                       Maimonides very important
@2009,   Cheryl Gaver   Jewish philosopher           22
     Jews in Foreign Lands (cont‟d)

  • Under Christians
            – Middle Ages:
                    •   Crusades also time to attack Jews
                    •   1290, England expelled all Jews
                    •   1306, France expelled all Jews
                    •   1492, Spain expelled all Jews
            – Renaissance / Reformation:
                    • Many Jews fled to eastern Europe for safety
                    • Many pretended to be Christian only to suffer under
                    • Counter-Reformation instituted the Ghettos
                    • 1648-1656, 300-500,000 Jews killed in pogroms in
                      Poland/eastern Europe

@2009,   Cheryl Gaver                                                   23

• Jewish mysticism is as            Important Themes
  old as Judaism                        The nature of God
     – Concern with numerology,
                                      Creation of humankind and
       interpretation of dreams,
       when the messiah will           angels
       come, angels, demons,          The existence of evil
                                      The work of angels in the
     – These elements began to         world
       be collected and written
       down between 500-900           How can a good and
       CE and came to be known         spiritual God have created
       as the Kabbalah                 this physical world
     – Most important book is the
       Sefer Hazohar               Popular during times of
 @2009,   Cheryl Gaver                                       24
•       Baal Shem Tov (1699-1760)
        – Believed that God was not to be
          found in scholarly research but in
          simple, heartfelt faith
        – Founder of the Hasidic
• Hasidism
        – Widely accepted by the Jews of
          Eastern Europe
        – Emphasizes understanding
          scripture with one‟s heart
        – Stresses the inner and emotional
          sides of Judaism.

    @2009,   Cheryl Gaver                      25
                   Emancipation & Persecution

• Napoleonic Era                            Russian / Polish pogroms
          – New freedom for Jews                Period of social unrest and
          – Integration into European            renewed attacks on Jews
            society a real possibility
                                                Many left for America, (if
          – Many Jews chose
                                                 no Zion, maybe America
            assimilation - separation of
            “core” beliefs from “cultural”       would do)
            residuals                           Many left for Israel
• Rise of Socialism
          – Many secular Jews rejected
            lifestyles of orthodox Jews
          – Many left to build their own

@2009,   Cheryl Gaver                                               26
                  Dreyfus - A Push for Zionism
               • Dreyfus was an officer in the French
                 military, convicted of betraying the military
                 on flimsy evidence.
                        – The trial brought out strong anti-Jewish
                          sentiment in France
                        – Even when he was proved innocent, the
                          government still hesitated to free him
                        – He was finally exonerated 100 years later
               • The affair showed that Jews would never
                 be accepted in the Western world.

@2009,   Cheryl Gaver                                                 27
                        Nazis and the Holocaust

  • 1933:
            – Adolf Hitler became
              chancellor of Germany
  • 1935: Nuremberg Laws
            – Jews became citizens who
              could not vote, hold office,
              work in most professions,
              marry non-Jews.
  • 1941: “Final Solution”
            – Jews were to be annihilated
              in extermination camps.
  • 1945:
            – Around 6 million Jews had
              been killed.
         Cheryl Gaver                             28
                                The Holocaust

    • For many non-Jews (such as
      the Nazis):
               – assimilated or converted Jews
                 were still Jews.
               – Once a Jew, always a Jew.
    • Around 6 million Jews were
      killed because they were
               – Some of these individuals who
                 didn't even know they "had Jewish
               – Many countries, such as Canada,
                 refused to accept Jewish refugees
@2009,   Cheryl Gaver                                29
                        Reasons for Anti-Semitism

                                  • Theory of Evolution:
                                     – Survival of the fittest
                                     – Evolution from lower life
                                       forms to higher
                                     – Aryans were “higher”
                                       therefore superior
                                  • Need for a
                                     – Economic problems
                                         • Inflation over 400%
                                     – Fears of Communism
                                     – Fears of a Jewish
                                       Conspiracy to take over
                                       the world

@2009,   Cheryl Gaver                                     30
                         Complicity of Non-Nazis

                                        Country           Number killed   %Population
• Complicity of the Church
                                        Baltic              228,000            90%
      – Taught that Jews killed Jesus
                                        Belgium              40,000            60%
      – If Communion wafers had
        mould, Jews must have killed    France               90,000            26^
        Jesus again                     Germany/Austria     210,000            90%
      – Missing children – Jews         Greece               54,000            77%
        accused of using child for
                                        Hungary             450,000            70%
        Passover ritual
• Complicity of other Nations           Netherlands         105,000            75%

      – Hitler offered to let Jews go   Poland             3,000,000           90%
        but no country wanted them      Romania             300,000            50%
      – “None is too many” – a motto    Slovakia               75              83%
        of Canadian immigration
        laws???                         SSR                1,145,000           63%
                                        Denmark                --               --
 @2009,   Cheryl Gaver                                                    31
                                        TOTALS             5,697,000
                         Faith after the Holocaust

  • For devout Jews:
            – Where was God?
            – How could God
              permit this holocaust
              to occur?
  • For Christians
            – How could this
              happen in Christian
            – Where was the
            – Why didn‟t Christian
              countries respond?
@2009,   Cheryl Gaver                         32
                            Israel - the New Zion

                • The Holocaust:
                        – Where can Jews be safe
                          from enemies?
                           • Nowhere except Israel
                        – Who will speak up in
                          defense of Jews under
                           • No one except Jews
                        – Where was God?
                           • ?????
                        – Who will save Jewish
                           • Jews

@2009,   Cheryl Gaver                                33
                        Prayer for the World

May it be Your will:
• to cause war and bloodshed
  to vanish from the earth
• to let a great and wondrous
  peace prevail in all the world
• So never again shall nation
  lift up sword against nation
• Nor ever again shall they
  train for war

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