Origins of the Jewish Faith

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1 Judaism

2 Origins of the Jewish Faith Oldest Western religion Judaism is an Abrahamic religion along with Christianity and Islam Abrahamic religions assert that Abraham was God s first prophet Monotheistic YHWH (commonly pronounced Yahweh) meaning God Role as creator and preserver of natural world; interacts with the world and people Jews see themselves as God s chosen Tanakh: religious text

3 The Jewish Faith Three main aspects of Judaism Covenant Laws Prophets

4 Abraham and the Covenant God first revealed himself to a Hebrew man named Abram Genesis 12:1-3 The LORD had said to Abram, Go from your country, your people and your father s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. God promised Abram would have many children that would inherit the earth, but Abram was 99 and his wife 90 God made a covenant (pact between God and a human) with Abram: God would produce a child for Abram (Isaac) Abram and his descendants would serve God This covenant would be signified by circumcision (removal of foreskin from male genitalia) God changed Abram s name to Abraham ( father of many nations )

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7 Prophets Prophet: act as the mouth of God, teaching and carrying out His will Abraham is considered the first prophet Moses is another famous prophet Called by God to lead the Exodus, or the freeing of Jews from Egyptian captivity God parted the Red Sea so Jews could flee; destroyed the Pharaoh and his army as a show of power

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9 Laws Torah: First 5 books of the Tanakh; laws handed down to Moses from God; most sacred text Most famous laws are the 10 Commandments Moses was called to climb Mt. Sinai to receive stone tablets inscribed with God s commandments Moses returned from the mountain after 40 days to find the Israelites worshipping a golden calf; threw and broke the tablets in anger Torah is understandable by all people, not just priests

10 10 Commandments 1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me 2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image 3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain 4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy 5. Honour thy father and thy mother 6. Thou shalt not kill 7. Thou shalt not commit adultery 8. Thou shalt not steal 9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor 10. Thou shalt not covet

11 Are Jews and Christians the same? Similar in some ways, but not the same Jews believe that the Messiah (powerful messenger) will begin an era with no war or hunger, and all of humanity accepts God Christians believe that Jesus Christ was the Messiah Jews believe the Messiah has not yet come Converting to Judaism is much harder than to Christianity

12 Do Jews believe in a heaven or hell? What about Satan? The answer is a vague combination of yes and no Ultimately Judaism doesn t care what you believe, but rather what you do Two Jews, three opinions Heaven and hell are present in the Tanakh, though briefly, and vaguely Satan is vague as well satan in Hebrew translates to adversary Most mentions of satan are of people acting as satans (adversaries), not a specific individual There is mention of HaSatan (The Satan) as an individual HaSatan creates hardships for Job, a follower of God, to test how devoted to God Job really is HaSatan takes away Job s wealth, kills his family, makes him ill but only with God s permission

13 Other Beliefs and Practices Jewish ethics include truth, peace, humility, charity Shabbat: day of rest on Saturday in anticipation of the Messiah Synagogue: place of worship and study Kosher: food suitable for Jews to eat Some foods prohibited, others prepared specially Meat and dairy not allowed to touch Bar/Bat Mitzvah: coming of age ritual for 13 year old boys (Bar) and year old girls (Bat) Become accountable for own actions

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16 Holidays Passover: 8-day celebration commemorating Exodus from Egypt Rosh Hashanah: Jewish New Year; marks beginning of 10-day atonement leading to Yom Kippur Yom Kippur: Holiest day of the Jewish year; atonement for the golden calf Fast for the day Pray for forgiveness Spend the entire day in the synagogue Hanukkah: 8-day Jewish holiday Commemorates the Miracle of Oil Only enough oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple of Jerusalem to last one day Oil burned for 8 days, long enough to prepare new oil Likely became popular due to being in the same time frame as Christmas Yom HaShoah: Day of commemoration for the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust

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