Modern Judaism by samc

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									Modern Judaism
Religion of Obedience to the Righteous God

Historical Development
• God’s Election of Israel Revealed
• God in the world, Gen. 1-11
• God to all people • All people answerable to God

• God’s election of Abraham for a chosen people
• A people through whom all peoples would be blessed • Abraham (2100 B. C.) • Joseph in Egypt (1900 B. C.)

• Two Commonwealths
• Law given to fall of southern kingdom (1446 B. C. – 587 B. C.) • Fall of southern kingdom to destruction of Jerusalem (586 B. C. – A. D. 70)

Historical Development
• First Commonwealth (1446 – 587 B. C.)
• • • • Exodus and the Law (1446 – 1406 B. C.) Period of Judges (1406 – 1050 B. C.) United Kingdom (1050 – 931 B. C.) Fall of Northern Kingdom, Israel (722 B. C.)

• Features of First Commonwealth
• Identity as a nation • Legal code • Worship & sacrificial system

Historical Development
• Second Commonwealth (586 B. C. – A. D. 73)
• • • • • • • • • • • • Fall of Southern Kingdom, Judah (586 B. C.) End of Exile (537 B. C.) Last Biblical Prophet, Malachi (440 B. C.) Conquest of Alexander the Great (332 B. C.) Maccabean revolt (166 B. C.) Herod the Great, Hasmonean Kingdom (37 B. C. to A. D. 4) Destruction of Jerusalem (A. D. 70) & Masada (A. D. 73) Ethnic Identity Legal Code: Keeping the Law Devotion to God Party Division: Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, etc. Messianic expectation

• Features of Second Commonwealth

Historical Development
• Rabbinic Judaism
• Developed after fall of Masada from Pharisees as the source of Rabbis
• Emphasized obedience to the law • Today Judaism emphasizes obedience to the law, not a personal belief • Collected the Mishnah • A. D. 136 Bar Kochba rebellion put down and Jerusalem razed • Jews dispersed to various parts of the world • Jews prospered in Persia • When Shi’ite Islam came to Persia in 7th cent. Judaism moved to Iberian Peninsula • Further movement to Europe

Historical Development
• Talmudic Tradition to Middle Ages
• Rashi (Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac)
• Literal interpretation

• Rambam (Rabbi Moses Maimonides)
• Know for his intellectual defense of Judaism • Quoted by Thomas Aquinas

• Time of the Crusades
• Began in the 11th century

Historical Development
• 1492 - Messianic Hope but Persecution
• Kabalic scholars had predicted 1492 as a redemptive year • Ferdinand and Isabella unified Spain under Catholic rule and expelled Jews
• Many Jews settled in Southeastern Europe under Turkish rule and lived fairly peaceful lives

• Two main Jewish groups by language
• Sephardic Jews – Spanish roots, Turkish & Arab influence, “Ladino” language, Spanish dialect, Hebrew script • Ashkenazic Jews – north & northeastern European roots. Separate from Gentile Europeans. Yiddish – German with Hebrew script.

Historical Development
• 17th Century – Renewal of Messianic Expectation • Sabbatai Zevi
• Jews from Europe, Middle East, and North Africa thought him to be the Messiah • Publicly proclaim by Nathan of Gaza as the Messiah • Sabbatai went to convert the Turkish Sultan but was converted to Islam and became a Muslim • General despair among Jew over messianic hope

Historical Development
• New Movements and Reinterpretation of Judaism
• Hasidism
• Eastern Europeans • Central figure – Israel ben Eliezer
• Know as Baal Shem (master of the good name or good master of the name) • Also know as Besht • Born 1700 • Miracle worker in Eastern Europe

Historical Development
• New Movements and Reinterpretation of Judaism
• Hasidism
• God is found not in study or obeying the law but found inside the person and manifested in singing and dancing.
• • • • Joyful expression of God in their midst. New cultural forms from the 18th century culture (like Amish) No antinomianists Followed Talmudic tradition

• After Besht’s death, villages setup centered around rebbe or Zeddik who was believed to have healing powers
• • • • Rebbe was given absolute obedience Persecution drove them to the U. S. European Jews were most exterminated by Nazis Some objected to new state of Israel with no Messiah but changed

Historical Development
• New Movements and Reinterpretation of Judaism
• Reformed Judaism
• Arose in 18th century • Accepted European culture and intellectual climate • Central figure: Moses Mendelssohn
• Studied in University of Berlin • Abandoned outward Jewish forms • Jews were free to adopt the culture in which they lived

• Main Characteristics
• • • • • Traditional forms not authoritative Talmud not considered authoritative Following orthodox practices not wrong but not binding Religious practice is in a state of continues development Not seek a Messiah – if a Messiah exists, it is people working

Historical Development
• New Movements and Reinterpretation of Judaism
• Reformed Judaism
• Main Characteristics
• • • • • Traditional forms not authoritative Talmud not considered authoritative Following orthodox practices not wrong but not binding Religious practice is in a state of continues development Not seek a Messiah – if a Messiah exists, it is people working to make a better world. • Initially opposed a separate homeland for Jews but in the wake of the Holocaust they supported the state of Israel • Meeting place called a temple • Similar concerns as mainline Protestants

Historical Development
• New Movements and Reinterpretation of Judaism
• Conservative Judaism
• Arose in 19th century • Central figure: Zecharias Frankel in Germany • Characterized by adhering to the law and adapting to the contemporary culture

• Reconstructionist Judaism
• 1934 • Central figure: Mordecai Kaplan • Small movement attempting to integrate religious Judaism into all aspects of Jewish religion

Historical Development
• Third Commonwealth (Proposed by Some)
• Migration to Palestine in the 19th century • English took over Palestine from Turkey in 1917 • Both Arabs and Jews migrated • Holocaust moved international opinion in favor of Jews • Creation of state of Israel 1948 • Recapture of Jerusalem in 1967

Founder of Judaism
• Often associated with Moses and receiving the law • Biblically starts with Abraham

Sacred Writings of Judaism
• Biblical – canon agreed on in A. D. 90 at Jamnia, lead by Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai
• Torah (Genesis – Deuteronomy) • Prophets
• Early prophets – Joshua, Judges, 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings • Later prophets – Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and twelve minor prophets (Hosea to Malachi)

• Writings (Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, 1-2 Chronicles

Sacred Writings of Judaism
• The Mishnah – collection of interpretations of the law by Rabbis
• Collected over decades by Rabbis who met at Tiberius • Rabbi Meier and Rabbi Akiba lead the process • Came to a halt temporarily in A. D. 136 with the second conflict with Rome under Bar Kochba
• Rabbi akiba and bar Kochba executed • Jerusalem razed and Hadrian rebuilt Jerusalem • Jerusalem dedicated to Jupiter, Aeolia Capitolina

Sacred Writings of Judaism
• The Mishnah
• Mishnah completed by Rabbi Judah the Prince in A. D. 200. • Six categories
• • • • • • Seeds – agriculture and prayer Feasts – holy days and writing of scrolls Women – marriage and other vows Damages – criminal and civil laws, idolatry Holy Matters – sacrifices and laws Purities – ritual cleanliness and purification

• Halakah – application of the law

Sacred Writings of Judaism
• The Talmud – the books containing both the Mishnah and Gemara
• Mishnah (Halakah) + Gemara (Haggadah) = Talmud • Gamara – less formal traditions, stories illustrating the application of the law • Two versions of the Talmud
• Palestinian – completed in the 4th century • Babylonian – completed in the 5th century

• • • •

Seventeen dense volumes Conservatives – inspired Liberals – historical value Others - authoritative

Divisions of Judaism
• • • • • Hasidism Reformed Conservative Orthodox – primary religious Judaism Secular Judaism
• No belief in God • Jewish by birth and culture • Not religious

Divisions of Judaism
• Kabala – Jewish mysticism
• Mysticism – attaining an unmediated link to the divine • Kabala means “tradition” • Jewish mysticism is called “merkavah mysticism fro the word for “chariot” (Elijah) • Could have started as early as 2nd commonwealth • Schools of kabala developed in Middle Ages
• Moses de Leon – most famous book called Zohar (Book of Splendor or Book of Lights) • Isaac de Luria – fled Christian persecution in Spain, setup school in Safed, Galilee

Divisions of Judaism
• Other Isolated Groups
• Yemenite Jews – transported from Arabian peninsula to Israel in 1940 • Karaite Jews – Accept Torah only and live in Jewish quarter of Old Jerusalem • Falasha Jews – from Ethiopia from 2nd commonwealth but moved to Israel to avoid fanines in the 1980s

Orthodox Judaism Worldview

God & Spiritual Realm

Material Realm

Orthodox Judaism Worldview
• Spiritual Realm
• Ultimate Reality
• One supreme holy God • Covenant maker with His people

• Spiritual Beings
• Angels • Satan

• Type of Spiritual Existence
• Resurrection • Heaven – Gehenna (temporary for most)

• Relationship to Humanity
• Covenant relationship

Orthodox Judaism Worldview
• Physical Realm
• Belief system
• • • • • • Worship of one God Obedience to God Prayer Community Keeping Kosher Keeping the Sabbath

• Source of revelation or enlightenment
• Torah and Talmud

Orthodox Judaism Worldview
• Physical Realm
• Relation to spiritual realm
• Belief in God • Keeping the law

• Ultimate goal of religion
• • • • Live as God’s chosen people according to law Resurrection Hope of Messiah Welfare of other people

Orthodox Judaism Worldview
• Physical Realm
• Rituals:
• • • • • Orthodox dress Mezuzah in home on doorposts containing Shema Dietary laws Prayer Life cycle
• Birth – circumcision for boys, naming for boys & girls • Boy’s bar mizvah at thirteen – now accountable for keeping the law (conservative and reformed have for girls) • Marriage • Death – short wait between death and funeral

Orthodox Judaism Worldview
• Physical Realm - Significant days
• • • • • • • • • Sabbath Rosh Hashanah – Jewish New Year Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement Sukkoth – Feast of Booths Simchat Torah – final day of reading entire Torah Hanukkah – commemorating purification of Temple Purim – rescue of Jews by Esther Passover – Deliverance of Jews from Egypt Shivuot - Pentecost or Feast of Weeks

Orthodox Judaism Worldview
• Physical Realm – Worship
• Synagogues
• Orthodox have separate place for women • Ark, Bema, & Menorah
• Ark – • Bema – • Menorah –

• Leaders
• Cantor – song leader • Rabbis – preachers • Conservative and Reformed have women cantors and Rabbis

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