- University of Colorado Boulder
- Religious Studies
- Religious Studies 2600
- Judaism Test
Last Modified: 2011-07-03
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Another World to Live in
- It is the realm where one encounters or at least makes connection with what the tradition takes to be ultimate reality.
- It is the "inside" which qualifies insiders as "insiders."
- "in harmony with"
- the characterization of this state of at-onement will differ from one tradition to another.
- Ex. nonbracketed – The Jews are the Chosen People of God… bracketed – Jews believe themselves to be the Chosen people of God.
- the one in relation to which all other stories, beliefs, symbols, and practices take on the meaning they characteristically have in that tradition.
- Usually it is the story of the founding or establishment of the tradition.
- as if one were an insider while one is not one in fact.
- Success in empathetic understanding would be a matter of having entered the perspective of the other person sufficiently as well to be able to re-present it credibly to others,
- especially and above all in a way that is recognizable and credible to those persons who themselves occupy that perspective.
- the end of time
- It relates to those religious traditions that speak of a final end to human history
- involves a judgment of people in relation to God and a final apportioning of justice in which each is expected to receive what he or she deserves.
- There is no ideas in traditions which conceive cosmic time as cyclical rather than linear or non-repeating.
- Its central story will tell of a decisive revelation of trans-historical, universal significance as having actually taken place in historical time.
- In consequence, all efforts to convey the content of that alleged revelation will be shaped and colored by those historical particulars, and the tradition will continue to be preoccupied with those historical particulars as having been vested with eternal significance.
- The Western family of religions are all historical religions in this sense.
Holiness of God
- This is a characteristic of "ultimate reality" (stressed in Judaism)
- In Western religions
- where all relevant perspectives on it intersect
- thus to comprehend it in its transcendence beyond any one perspective in a way that commands the recognition of those who dwell within them and know them well.
- It is a matter of doing justice to the object itself
Otherness of God
(a) God and his intentions would not be known did he not make himself and his intentions known in human history
(b) God is capable of entering into relationship with people, thereby singling them out to accomplish his special purposes in history
Phenomenology of Religion
- It combines empathy and objectivity.
- It brings to light common patterns and differences.
- sometimes called sacramental symbols.
- All presentational symbols are representational symbols, but the reverse is not true.
Problem of Meaning
- The question is, how to cope with the threat and attain to an affirmation of the meaning and worth of life despite it.
- There are six ways of being religious, which are in ways of coping with the threat and attaining to an affirmation of the meaning and worth of life despite it.
- chosen and enabled by God to declare and make known his revelation to human beings, which revelation typically involves some divine moral expectation that needs to be heeded to get in right relationship with God.
Public Education of Religious Studies
- not an attempt to instruct religiously
- a system of symbols (e.g., words and gestures, stories and practices, objects and places) that functions religiously, namely, an ongoing system of symbols that participants use to draw near to, and come into right or appropriate relationship with, what they deem to be ultimate reality.
- Some such symbols under certain circumstances may also serve as presentational symbols, in which case they are experienced as conveying the very presence of what they are understood to represent.
- in Western religions.
Scandal of Particularity
- In consequence, there results a perpetual controversy over sorting out what is essential to the divine message and what are the non-essential particulars of its initial historical reception.
- The mix often comes across as "scandalous" to outsiders who might identify with what seems to be matters of universal significance but are put off by what appears to be culturally and historically specific particulars.
System of Symbols
Test of Empathy
- The actual test is to see whether or not knowledgeable and thoughtful insiders can recognize and confirm your interpretation as correct.
Test of Neutrality
- The actual test is to see if a third party can detect your own bias/opinion in your interpretation.
- An entryway whereby one crosses the boundary from being outside the "other world" of a tradition to being inside it.
- Though it may be symbolized by a physical threshold (as to a temple or shrine), it essentially refers to a shift of consciousness from focally attending to a tradition's symbols to subsidiarily attending from them to what they symbolize, which is to say coming to dwell within them.
- On the outside, symbols are opaque and at best refer to matters within that other world.
- As one begins to cross the threshold, the symbols become translucent, presentational.
- as one is able fully to cross the threshold, the symbols usher one into what seems to be the very presence of the sacred realities of which tradition speaks.
- It stands for whatever is taken to make up the ultimate cosmic context of life that lies beyond the perspectives of ordinary human awareness and the mundane sphere of everyday life.
- Ex. God
Way of Being Religious
- Each way is further characterized in terms of a mode of approach to what is taken to be the ultimate reality, an aspect of the problem of meaning to which it is addressed, a hermeneutical orientation, a pattern of social structures, and specific virtues and vices.
Way of Devotion
- It typically involves a conversion experience and emotional purgation.
Way of Mystical Quest
- in order to attain a direct awareness of "ultimate reality," come to be wholly at-one with it, and have life and one's relations with all things become transparently grounded in it.
Way of Reasoned Inquiry
- in the effort to attain understanding of, and consciousness-transforming insight into, “the ultimate what, how, and why of things”.
- To bring together one’s own mind with “the ultimate Mind” and thereby acquire a portion of “divine wisdom”.
- It typically involves systematic study of a tradition's scripture and previous attempts to articulate what is ultimately the case.
Way of Right Action
- Pursuing the promise of individual fulfillment, social justice, and the embodiment of the divine ideal in the midst of this mundane, worldly life.
Way of Sacred Rite
- by means of symbolic ritual enactments and presentations
- that enable participants repeatedly to enter their presence, attain at-onement with them, and thereby experience renewal.
- It is typically communal rather than individual.
Way of Shamanic Mediation
- Pursuing at-onement with "ultimate reality" in its nature to bring about healing, well-being, and fulfillment for the world.
- 1st person to live in covenant with God
- the covenant would embrace the people of Israel (Jews = chosen people)
- promise of homeland
- having to do with the purposes of the commandments
- encompasses matters of belief (e.g., about the nature of God, what actually happened at Mt. Sinai, the last things, life after death)
- According to the Oral Torah, interpretation of aggadah is not as restrictive as interpretation of halakhah
- interpretations and arguments are preserved in the Talmud
- died a martyr at the hands of the Romans
- involves coming forward to recite the formal blessing in Hebrew over the portion of the Torah to be read in the synagogue service.
- literally mean "son/daughter of the commandment."
- once the boy has completed the ceremony, he is qualified to become a part of the minyan (ten adult males) required for any Jewish worship service
- involving removal of the foreskin of the penis.
- occurs on the 8th day after birth and is called brit milah (covenant of circumcision).
- middle ground between Reform and Orthodox Judaism
- emphasized the relationship between the religion and the people.
- It is the only Jewish religious movement which has consistently supported Jewish nationalism (Zionism), which issue is the crux of its split with Reform Judaism.
- Founded by Zecharias Frankel (1801-1975) in Germany and later Solomon Schechter (1847-1915) in America.
- began with Abraham but reconfirmed and developed further at Mt. Sinai to include all the people of Israel, and involving Israel's acceptance of God's Torah.
- model of the messiah to come
- the second of the three kings who ruled over the ancient united kingdom of Israel, reigning between 1002 and 962 BCE
- the miraculous deliverance of the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt
- under Moses' leadership
- encompassing the receiving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai, and 40 years of wandering in the wilderness of Sinai before their entry into the "promised land."
- having to do with the commandments of God and their implications
- interpretation of halakhah must issue in a single ruling of what the commandment of God implies for conduct
- encompassses all of the Torah's implications for human conduct and all traditional interpretations of the same as a guide for Jewish life.
- initially quite distinct from traditional Rabbinic Judaism, but later home of the most strict or ultra-orthodox of Judaists.
- emphasizes emotion & intuition over reason, non-scholarly piety over scholarship in the study of Torah, and worshipping God through devotional joy.
- His definition of Judaism: "What is hateful to yourself do not do to your fellow-man. That is the whole Torah. All the rest is commentary. Now go and study."
- refers to:
(a) Jacob, a grandson of Abraham, who is said to have first received the name in an unusual encounter with a supernatural being;
(b) the offspring of Jacob, personified as a single person;
(c) an ancient united kingdom under kings Saul, David, and Solomon;
(d) the northern kingdom, after the united kingdom split in two, from Solomon's death until its destruction by the Assyrians in 722 BCE;
(e) the modern state of Israel founded in 1948.
Israel Baal Shem Tov
- charismatic holy man, storyteller, mystic, wonder worker, and shaman. - interested in experience & emotion
- "Master of the good name"
- movement to re-embrace the religion
- established by King David as the capital of the ancient united Kingdom of Israel
- it is believed God chose Jerusalem for his Temple.
- The name means "city of peace."
- in a special covenant (chosen people) with God in virtue of which they are believed to bear certain special obligations (the commandments).
- Historically, the name derives from persons who were citizens of the Kingdom of Judah.
- A person may be a Jew by birth or by conversion to Judaism.
- Jews never call themselves "Jews" in Hebrew, but always "Israelites."
- centered in Jerusalem,
- lasting until its destruction in 586 by the Babylonians,
- restored later in that century and lasting until 70 CE.
- This ancient kingdom/nation took its name from the name of one of Jacob's 12 sons, who were thought to have settled what later became the ancient southern kingdom of Judah.
- dedicated to discovering the esoteric, inner meaning of the Torah,
- using distinctively Jewish forms of meditation for developing an awareness of divine powers at work in the world and within oneself, and endeavoring to cooperate with God in the redemption of the world.
- The name Kabbalah refers to the teaching concerning the 10 sepherot, of which God is said to have created
- it refers to food selected and prepared according to Jewish dietary rules and under rabbinical supervision.
- brought together the philosophy of Aristotle with the faith and practice of Judaism in his Guide for the Perplexed
- one of the greatest of the Medieval rabbis whose clarifying summary of the entire Oral Torah, called Mishneh Torah, is still regarded as among the best and most influential.
- The human ruler who is forecast by the ancient Hebrew prophets for the end of days to bring peace to humanity, to restore the people of Israel to sovereignty in the promised land, and to rule over society in perfect accordance with the Torah.
- The symbol of the anticipated redemption of Israel and the world at large by God.
- It is a matter of aggadah, not halakhah.
- In late biblical times, the Zealots, the Qumran community, and Christianity were forms of messianic Judaism.
- In modern times, Reform Judaism, Zionism, and messianic socialism are forms of messianic Judaism.
- Although the Pharisees and the Rabbis of the Talmud did believe in the Messiah, because they did not give belief in the Messiah central emphasis, scholars are reluctant to speak of the Pharisees and the Talmudic Rabbis as "messianic."
- compiled and edited by Rabbi Judah around 200 CE,
- representing the most authoritative legal interpretations on halakhah which the Oral Torah had produced by that time
- the Talmud proper is the Gemara which consists of commentary on the Mishnah
- A good deed or virtuous action.
- refers to a commandment of God given in the Torah
- intended to be carried out by members of the covenant, thereby making sacred the area of life to which it pertains.
- According to traditional reckoning, there are 613 mitzvot in the Torah.
- leader of Israel through the Exodus,
- receiver from God of the Torah at Mt. Sinai,
- the one human of whom it is said that he spoke with God face to face.
- consisting specifically of the practical know-how for appropriately interpreting the Torah
- learned through oral apprenticeship from masters of the Oral Torah and is practiced orally to this day in groups of two or more persons.
- The commandment to study the Torah, is understood to mean participation, to the extent that one is able, in the Oral Torah.
- believing that God gave both the Written Torah and the Oral Torah for its interpretation,
- accepts as binding the interpretations of the Oral Torah in full continuity with the pre-modern past.
Especially identified with the position taken by Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808-1888) in opposition to Reform Judaism.
- commemorates liberation from slavery in Egypt by the miraculous power of God under the leadership of Moses.
- eating unleavened bread (matzah)
- He synthesized the philosophy of Plato and ancient Stoicism with Biblical religion and came to have a powerful influence on subsequent theology and philosophy, especially Christian thought.
- accepting the theory and practice of the Oral Torah
- The rabbis of the Oral Torah, accordingly occupy the place of religious leadership in all aspects of religious life in this form of Judaism.
- Abraham Geiger formed reform in an effort to counter secular nationalism
- Reform Judaism holds halahkah to be a human creation and not binding upon modern Jews;
- it does not take the Written Torah to be literally given by God
- it tends to universalize all Jewish teachings and minimize what traditionally has made Jews other than or different from non-Jews.
- It interprets the messianic hope in a figurative way as a vision of justice for all people of which they see it is the mission of Jews to spread.
- According to traditional Judaism, the greatest revelation, eclipsing all others, is the revelation of the Torah of God at Mt. Sinai to Moses and the people of Israel.
- It lasts from Friday at sunset to Saturday at sunset.
- commemorates the seventh day of Creation, in which God is said to have rested from the labor of creating the heavens and the earth and all of its creatures.
- Specifically, Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 11:13-21, Numbers 15:37-41.
- Sometimes said to be the closest thing to a creed in Judaism.
Siddur/Order of Prayer
- established by the rabbis of the Mishnah, setting order of worship for subsequent post-Biblical Judaism.
- The order of worship followed by a Jewish group is usually in book form, and is called the Siddur.
- produced in rabbinical academies in Palestine and in Babylonia between 200 CE and 700 CE.
- The Talmud (Mishnah and Gemara taken together) is the primary literary expression of the Oral Torah.
- based on Exodus and Deuteronomy
- These passages of the Torah are written on parchment, placed in leather cases, to which are attached long leather straps, and worn on left arm and forehead, with the straps wrapped around the left arm, hand, and finger -- signifying, among other things, the restrictions placed upon a Judaist’s physical and mental activities.
The 1st & 2nd Temples
- The center of Jewish religious life from the time of Moses to the building of the first temple by Solomon was this system of sacrificial rituals at a portable sanctuary.
- Except for the Babylonian exile in the middle of the 6th century BCE, between the destruction of the First Temple and the building of the Second Temple under Nehemiah,
- this system of sacrificial rituals at the Temple continued unabated until 70 CE, when the Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans.
- There have been no Temple and no sacrificial rituals since then.
- signifying first of all what was revealed by God to the people of Israel at Mt. Sinai
- laying out the way of life given by God for the people of Israel.
- the first five books of the Hebrew Bible (the Written Torah), especially in the form of the Torah scroll,
- the focus of Jewish worship.
- By extension it includes the whole of the Hebrew Bible.
- For Rabbinic Judaism, it includes also the Oral Torah
- Finally it is said mystically to refer to the esoteric principles that structure heart of all of creation.
- According to Rabbinical Judaism, the Written Torah was given by God,
- complemented by the Oral Torah, also given by God,
- to interpret and apply the Written Torah to living out what God has intended.
- to determine and shape what would become of subsequent Judaism.
- The Siddur and the substance of what became the Mishnah were its principal products.
- celebrating the creation of the world
- the people of Israel fast and gather in their synagogues to make up for the wrongs they have committed toward their neighbors, confess their to God, and seek his forgiveness and blessing.
- also symbolic of the entire Jewish homeland, the "promised land" of Palestine.
- Traditionally, the place where redemption is to begin and where the messiah is to begin his reign.
- in response to a recognition that modern Western societies would never wholly accept Jews in their difference from other peoples.
- Founded in 1897 by Theodor Herzl.
- composed by Moses de Leon in Spain in the 13th century and completed in the 14th century
- a mystical commentary claiming to find profound esoteric meanings beneath every detail of the Torah.
- historical works
- incl. psalms, proverbs, poetry, history
- links the oral to the written Torah
- Gemara and Mishnah form the Talmud
- attached to Bible
- usually for trad.s that were derived from the bible
Dead Sea Scrolls
- religious manuscripts preserved for 2000 yrs
- oldest Biblical texts ever found
- written in Hewbrew
- incl. Book of Isaiah
- associated with Temple in Jerusalem & religious power structure
- kept peace with Romans
- at odds with Essenes
- 2nd temple period, 1st century
- rejected Oral Torah, insisted on written Torah
- teachers associated with synagogues
- believed in Oral Torah with written Torah
- precursor to Rabbinic Judaism
- survives past 1st century
- strove to abide by Torah (Halakah)
- disgusted with Sadducees & Pharisees, moved out of Jerusalem to Qumran
- called themselves "sons of light/sons of darkness" (strict commitment to dietary laws and celibacy)
- against Romans
- had most impact
- instigated the Great Revolt
- attacked small Roman forces in Jerusalem, but were eventually overtaken by Romans in yr 70 because of Jews' civil war in Jerusalem
- where Dead Sea scrolls were found
- to defend themselves against Romans
- Romans built ramps and weapons to breach Masada's walls
- when it became apparent that Romans would not quit until they had defeated all Zealots, the Jews at Masada chose suicide rather than surrendering to Roman control
- shows Jewish resistance and desire to survive
- wrote about the Great Revolt, destruction of the 2nd Temple, Jewish history (The Jewish War)
- writings were biased and never considered fact because he was a prisoner of the Romans
- according to Kabbalah
- in Kabbalah, linked to feminism
- lived in temporary shelters
- ingathering of crops (palm frond, myrtle and willow branches, citron)
- commemorates the victory of Jews over religious persecution and the rededication of the Temple after its defilement
- oil lasted for 8 nights
- in book of Esther
- God brings judgement upon people who do not make the covenant
- pronounced "adonai" (lord) in trad. Judaism
- thought to be Messiah
- leader of Islamic kingdom told him he could choose between death and Isalm
- converted to Islam - therefore, not Messiah
- book in the Oral law
- moral advice and insights of the leading rabbinic scholars of different generation
- cites Hillel
- studied on the Sabbath
- expresses ethic in Reform Judaism
- said Jews have a role in shaping what Judaism looks like in the modern world
- founded Jewish National Committe during WWI
- I-thou relationships with others to truly understand them - dialogue is necessary
- God as the eternal thou
- reaffirms Jews' relationship with God - through dialogue
(- its ok to be mad at him)
- semite refers to Jews
- British gov created a national home for Jewish people in Palestine
- created violence between immigrants (Jews) and natives (Arabs)
Six Day War
- Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq had Israel surrounded, but did not launch full attacks
- June 5, Israel launched a surprise attack on Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq's air forces
- war continued for 6 days
- Israel gained control of Sinai, Golan Heights, Gaza strip, West Bank, Jerusalem, Western Wall (2nd Temple), - 3 times the area they controlled before the war
Yom Kippur War
- Egypt invaded Sinai penninsula
- Syria invaded Golan Heights
- Israel managed to maintain territories
- instigated political influence form zionists
Camp David Accords
- Peace treaty signed by Anwar Sadat, pres. of Egypt, and Menachem Begin, prime minister of Israel
- witnessed by US pres. Jimmy Carter
- led to Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1979
- street revolts by Palestinians against Israel
- West bank, Gaza, Jerusalem
- orchestrated and ended by PLO
- Declaration of Principles
- Israel and PLO to end conflict, recognize mutual political rights, and to live in peaceful coexistence
- Palestinians to control Gaza and West Bank for 5 yrs
- wrote The Jewish State - 1896
- "Jews need a place to live"
- focus on Palestine
- first zionist congress - 1897
Israel Independence day
- same day as British Mandate for Palestine ended
- established the State of Israel
- signed by Jewish People's Council in Tel Aviv
- David Ben Gurion
- recognized by US same day
- Arabs attacked Jewish communities
Destruction of 2nd Temple
- Roma's destruction of Jerusalem
- ended Kingdom of Judah (national status for people of Israel)
- instigated exile/diaspora
- Jews continued to live in Palestine
Bar Kokhba Revolt
- Roman ruler established a place in Jerusalem for Jews to rebuild Temple
- when Hadrian left, Jews rebelled for "the freedom of Israel"
- Romans fought back, demolishing cities, withholding food, eventually winning
- changed city's name from Judah to Syria
Biblical Period (4004 BCE-70 CE)
- 1800 - Age of the Patriarchs - Abraham
- 1400-1200 - Moses, Exodus, Passover
- 1000 - United Kingdom - Saul, David (Messiah), Solomon (1st temple)
- 922 - Divided Kingdom - Israel and Judah
- 722 - Assyrians conquer Northern Kingdom (Israel)
- 586 - Babylonians conquer Southern Kingdom (Judah)
- 538 - Cyrus of Persia - allows Jews to return from exile & rebuild Temple
- 164 - Epiphanes, Maccabees, Hanukkah
- 63 - Romans conquer Palestine
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