2 Judaism Judaism stands apart from every other religion in that it is both a religion and a people. To say you are Jewish may mean that you believe in the God of Israel, attempt to follow his commandments and study Torah, or it may simply mean that you are from a Jewish family. You can t be both an atheist and a Muslim, but a large number of Jews do not believe in God.
3 Judaism What makes you a Jew is being born a Jew. What keeps you active is participating in the life of the Jewish community showing up at synagogue, atoning for your sins at Yom Kippur and honoring your parents by saying the Kaddish prayer for them when they die.
4 Exile, Covenant and Return
5 Exile, Covenant and Return The problem in Judaism centers on the community rather than the individual.
6 Exile, Covenant and Return The problem is exile distance from God and from where we ought to be. The solution is return to go back to God and to our true home.
7 Exile, Covenant and Return Many Jews are awaiting the coming of a messiah who will deliver them from their exile once and for all.
8 Exile, Covenant and Return The Jewish story is a story of slavery and freedom, of covenants made, broken and made anew. But above all it is a story of a banished people called home.
9 Exile, Covenant and Return Because God is just, He punishes humans for their wrong, but because he is merciful he extends to them opportunities and responsibilities for a new relationship.
10 Exile, Covenant and Return Adam and Eve Cain Noah Abraham (Father of the Jewish people).
11 Exile, Covenant and Return Moses David Babylonian Captivity and destruction of Solomon s Temple in 586 BC.
12 Exile, Covenant and Return Roman destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD. Numerous times of persecution and exile up to the present today, climaxing in the Holocaust.
13 Exile, Covenant and Return To make the journey home we must tell the story and follow the law remember and obey.
14 Exile, Covenant and Return God calls Abraham and his descendants to be his people and promises them a special land. God frees Abraham s descendants from the Egyptians and on Mount Sinai delivers the Torah.
15 Exile, Covenant and Return God and human beings enter into sacred contracts called covenants.
16 Exile, Covenant and Return In these covenants, God promises blessings to those who follow his commandments and punishments for those who do not.
17 Exile, Covenant and Return The freedom won for the Israelites was not freedom to do whatever they wanted but freedom to become servants of God.
18 Exile, Covenant and Return The climax of the Exodus story comes not at the far side of the Red Sea but atop Mount Sinai.
19 Exile, Covenant and Return The law and story are inseparable. This-worldly redemption comes by doing more than by believing.
20 Exile, Covenant and Return It is by practicing the 613 commandments described in the Jewish scriptures that we bring holiness to our imperfect world.
21 Creeds Judaism has no real developed creed. Only the Shema functions as a sort of creed. Hear (Shema), O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is One. It then moves from this doctrinal statement to the ritual dimension: And you should love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength. And teach this to your children. Judaism is more about practice than belief.
22 Creeds Jews are knit together by memory - a memory that speaks of one God. Jews insist that God is beyond comprehension and description. Even writing the name of God is problematic for many Jews who write the English word God as G-d to avoid disrespecting the divine when the paper on which that word is printed will be thrown away.
24 Torah Translated law it connotes teaching or guidance. Strictly, Torah refers to the first five books of Moses.
25 Torah Torah can also means the entire Hebrew Bible, which Jews refer to as the Tanakh (an acronym for its 3 parts): Torah 5 books of Moses (narrow sense). Neviim Prophets. Ketuvim Writings.
26 Torah It can also refer more broadly to the oral law, which is the interpretive tradition said to have been revealed alongside the written law of Moses on Sinai.
27 Torah This is now written down in the core texts of the rabbinic tradition: The Mishnah (200 AD). The Jerusalem Talmud (4 th century AD). The Babylonian Talmud (5 th century AD).
28 Torah Studying and debating the Tanakh and Talmud is also Torah.
29 Perhaps more than any other religion, Judaism orders the world in time.
30 Sabbath (Shabbat)
31 Sabbath (Shabbat) From sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday, Sabbath is the most important holiday built around sacred time. Sabbath is the only holy day in the 10 Commandments. It is discussed and debated repeatedly in the Talmud, which prohibits 39 different types of work on this day.
32 On Sabbath everything slows down. Families gather around the dinner table, candles are lit, prayers said, wine drunk and a special kind of bread (challah) is shared. Sabbath (Shabbat)
33 New Year s Day (Rosh Hashanah)
34 Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur): The one day a year that the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies in the Temple.
35 Tabernacles (Sukkot): To remember the 40 years in the wilderness after the escape from Egypt.
36 Simhat Torah: Marks the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings and the beginning of a new cycle.
38 Hanukkah celebrates the Jewish rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in 164 BC after it had been wrecked and made unholy by Greek invaders.
39 The candles represent the 8 days for which there was enough oil after the consecration of the Temple. The extra candle, called the "shamash", is used to light the rest of the candles.
40 Tu Bishvat: A new-year celebration for the trees to thank God for the land he gave them. It is mainly (but not only) celebrated in Israel.
42 Purim remembers the events recorded in the book of Esther in which the hero Mordecai foils a plot by the villain Haman to destroy the Jews.
43 Passover: The Exodus from Egypt
44 Passover Passover is the most widely practiced holiday by modern day Jews.
45 Passover The classic Seder food is matzo, unleavened bread prepared in large flat sheets that snap when you break them. Matzo recalls the hurried flight from Egypt when there was no time to allow the bread to rise. During the eight days of Passover leavened bread products are prohibited from Jewish homes.
46 Pentecost (Shavuot): The giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.
47 Life Cycle Rituals Males circumcised shortly after birth. Bar mitzvah (son of the commandments) at age 12.
48 Many Jews now have naming ceremonies for female infants at birth. Bat mitzvahs (daughter of the commandments) for 12 year old girls. Life Cycle Rituals
49 When Judaism became Judasim Judaism, as we know it today, developed between the time of the destruction of the first Temple by the Babylonians (586 BC) and the destruction of the second Temple by the Romans (70 AD). Judaism is named after the tribe of Judah (the other tribes of Israel of the Northern Kingdom - disappearing after their fall to the Assyrians).
50 When Judaism became Judasim In 1948 Israel got back the land they lost to the Romans in 70 AD. Their Declaration of Independence speaks of a people forcibly exiled from their land yet never ceasing to pray and hope for their return to it. Though the Temple has not been rebuilt, Orthodox Jews pray for its restoration 3 times a day. The site of the Temple now houses the Dome of the Rock - the world s oldest Muslim building.
51 When Judaism became Judasim Since 70 AD only the Western Wall of the Second Temple is left standing. Without the first Temple (while in Babylon), Judaism developed the institution of the synagogue as a place for study and prayer. Since the destruction of the second Temple the synagogue has become the central place of Jewish worship and community.
52 When Judaism became Judasim The synagogue meant a shift from sacrifice to sacred texts. The Israelite religion of priests performing rituals in the Jerusalem Temple gave way to a religion of rabbis reading and interpreting texts in the synagogues. Contemporary Jewish life is rabbinic. Its exemplars are rabbis. It centers on books rather than altars.
53 When Judaism became Judasim Jews today follow both the written Torah of the Tanakh and the oral Torah of the Talmud. The Talmud serves as the textual heart of modern Judaism.
54 Worshiping God with Your Mind Jews have long seen study as an act of worship. They are free to wrestle, without fear, with how to read a text or how to observe a commandment. To turn learning into recreation and debate into play.
55 Worshiping God with Your Mind If religion without controversy is dead, Judaism may be the liveliest of the great religions. More than any of the other great religion, its practitioners love the questions. Learning is valued in Judaism and disagreements are believed to be a path to learning.
56 Worshiping God with Your Mind Jews revel in a good debate. The name Israel refers to one who has wrestled with God. What is required in Judaism is not to agree, but to engage.
57 The Effects of a Tradition of Worshiping God with Your Mind Jews have occupied seats in the U.S. Congress and on the U.S. Supreme Court far out of proportion to their numbers in the broader population. The same is true of CEO positions at Fortune 500 companies. Fourteen of Time magazine s 100 most important people of the 20 th century were Jewish. Nearly one-quarter of those winning the Nobel Prize since they were awarded in 1901 are Jews.
58 The Effects of a Tradition of Worshiping God with Your Mind Whenever you put on a pair of Levi s, sip a cup of cappuccino from Starbucks, power up a Dell computer or perform a Google search you have a Jewish entrepreneur to thank. Just a few famous Jews in the last 100 years: Arthur Miller, Bob Dylan, Marx Brothers, Carl Sagan, George Burns, Anne Frank, Woody Allen, Steven Spielberg, Albert Einstein, Calvin Klein, Barbara Streisand, Harrison Ford & Sigmund Freud.
59 Small in Number but Huge Influence Strictly by the numbers, Judaism is by far the smallest of the world s religions. There are only about 14 million Jews worldwide % of the world s population. 4.9 million in Israel. 5.2 million in the United States.
60 Small in Number but Huge Influence No other country has a Jewish population even approaching one million. Most people in the world have never met a Jew. Yet, this tiny religion started a monotheistic revolution that remade the Western World.
61 Small in Number but Huge Influence It gave us the prophetic voice, which continues to demand justice for the poor and oppressed. It gave us stories that continue to animate political and literary conversations. It gave birth to Islam and Christianity the two largest religions in the world. (Around 50% of the world s population combined).
62 Reform, Conservative, Orthodox The only form of Judaism officially recognized by the State of Israel is Orthodox. Elsewhere Jews have split into various branches. They divide largely over how they interpret and observe the law.
63 Reform, Conservative, Orthodox In the USA there are 3 main Jewish movements: Reform, Conservative, Orthodox. The simplest way to describe the differences between them is to say that each focuses on one key element in Judaism: Reform on ethics. Orthodox on law. Conservative on tradition.
64 Reform, Conservative, Orthodox Reform Jews emphasize the prophetic tradition and social justice. They have pushed for gender equality, ordaining female rabbis, counting women as part of the quorum for prayer and insisting not only on welcoming boys into adulthood via the bar mitzvah but also on initiating girls into adulthood via the bat mitzvah.
65 Reform, Conservative, Orthodox Orthodox Jews define themselves as defenders of Torah and tradition: kosher dietary laws, male rabbis only and services conducted in Hebrew. Conservative Jews mark a middle path between Reform and Orthodox Jews.
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