STUDY GUIDE JUDAISM/ZOROASTERIANISM JUDAISM: Who wrote Genesis Chapters 37-50? Moses took the earlier documents of Adam, Noah, Abraham Enoch Isaac, and Jacob, these documents that were passed on from one generation to the next, and put them together to create Genesis. When did the Israelites first worship in a temple? 10th century BCE and has been dated astronomically to 957 BCE; known as Solomon?s Temple How were the two temples destroyed? What is left of the temple today? The First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE and stood for 375 years; the Second Temple was built after Cyrus allowed the Jews to return from the Babylonia captivity and was completed in 516 BCE. It was destroyed by Roman Empire troops in 70 CE. Attempts were made to rebuild the Second Temple but all failed. The historic temple is presently occupied by the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. What was the 18th C challenge for the Jews? Haskalah was the Jewish Enlightment among European Jews in the late 18th century. This movement advocated adopting enlightment values, pressing for better integration into European society, and increasing education in secular studies. What are the items found on the Passover table and the symbolism of each? The Candles: represent the light of God?s face shining upon us. They symbolize the shekinah glory of God which appeared in the Tabernacle. There are always at least two candles on the Passover table, one for observe, the other for remember. God commanded the feast?s annual observance in order that Israel would remember his mercy. The two candles also remind the Jews that God is not only their Creator but also their Redeemer. The Matzo: three unleavened loaves placed together in a special cover with three compartments, represent the bread which did not have time to rise that the Israelites took for sustenance on their journey out of Egypt. Red Wine: a symbol of joy. Four cups are drunk by each participant to symbolize four expressions of redemption found in Exodus 6:6-7 Shankbone: a roasted shankbone represents the lambs slain in Egypt and the Passover sacrifice in Temple times. Roasted Egg: a roasted egg is a reminder of the special festival sacrifice that took place in Israel when the Temple was standing. It is a symbol of mourning for the Temple, and stems from the Eastern custom of giving eggs at funerals. Parsley: a symbol of the hyssop that was used by the slaves in Egypt to apply the blood of the Passover lambs to their doorways. It is dipped twice in the salt water before being eaten. Bitter Herbs: onions; symbolize the bitterness of slavery; Lettuce is also considered a bitter herb. It is a symbol of hope and new life. New life emerges out of sorrow. Charoset: a mixture of grated apple, ground nuts, raisins, cinnamon and wine. It looks like the clay which the Israelites used to make bricks for Pharaoh in Egpyt. It symbolizes hard labor. Salt Water: represents the tears of bitterness shed in Egpyt The cup of Elijah: an ornamental goblet filled at the end of the Seder in the hope that Messiah will come. Jewish Holidays: Purim, Shavuoth, Sukkoth, Passover, Yom Kipper Rosh Hashanah and Hanukkah, Sabbath and Shoah. Know when they are held and features of each holiday. Purim: Jewish Mardi Gras. This is a partying holiday celebrating the rescue of the Jews from a Hitler-like figure bent on genocide. Occurs in March, a month before Passover, and lasts for one day. Although work is technically not forbidden on this holiday, a small number of Jews prefer not to work on it because of rabbinical dictum that no good will come from work done on this day. Shavuoth: Commemorates the Giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai. Occurs between Memorial Day and Independence Day, and lasts for one or two days, depending on your branch. Like Sukkot, this holiday is every bit as important as Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but most American Jews don't see it that way. About 10% of Jews do not work on this holiday, in accordance with Jewish law. Sukkoth: This festival of booths commemorates the Biblical period of wandering in the desert, and is commemorated by building a temporary shelter (called a sukkah, usually rhymes with "book a") in the yard and eating meals in it. Some spend considerable time in the sukkah, even sleeping there. Sukkot begins on the fifth day after Yom Kippur, in late September or October, and lasts for 7 days. From the perspective of the Bible and Jewish law, this holiday is every bit as important as Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but most American Jews don't see it that way. Passover: This holiday commemorates the Exodus from Egypt. Passover is celebrated for seven or eight days (depending on the branch of Judaism) starting on the night of a full moon in April. Passover usually overlaps with Easter, though occasionally Passover occurs a month after Easter. Almost all American Jews observe Passover to some extent, even if only to go to their parents' house for a ritual dinner (called a seder) on the first and/or second night of the holiday. Most (though not all) American Jews avoid bread and grain products to one extent or another throughout this holiday, in memory of the fact that our ancestors left Egypt in a hurry and didn't have time to wait for their bread to rise. Yom Kippur: Yom Kippur is the Jewish day of atonement, a day of fasting and repentance to reconcile ourselves with the Creator for the mistakes we have made in the last year. It occurs on the ninth day after the first day of Rosh Hashanah (Rosh Hashanah occurs on the first day of the Jewish month; Yom Kippur occurs on the 10th), so it is usually in late September or early October, sometimes falling on Columbus Day. Rosh Hashanah: Rosh Hashanah is Jewish New Year, the day when the year number on the Jewish calendar increases. It occurs between Labor Day and Columbus Day. It lasts for one or two days, depending on your branch of Judaism. Hannukah: the festival of lights, commemorating the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after a successful revolt against the Seleucid Greeks. As part of the rededication, the victorious Jews needed to light the Temple's menorah (candelabrum), but they had only enough oil to last one day and it would take eight days to prepare more oil. Miraculously, the one-day supply of oil lasted for eight days. The miracle of the oil is commemorated with this eight-day candlelighting holiday. Chanukkah begins between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Shoah: Holocaust Memorial Day. A day to remember the victims of the Holocaust. Occurs in late April or early May. No accommodations are usually needed. Sabbath: Shabbat, like all Jewish days, begins at sunset. The family then attends a brief evening service (45 minutes - that's brief by Jewish standards). primarily a day of rest and spiritual enrichment. Types of Judaism: Reform, Orthodox, Reconstructionists and conservative, and the Zionists or Zionism. Know all about the practices of Rabbinic Judaism. Rabbi, Pharisee and Saducee. Diaspora Reform: liberal Jew who tries to adapt all aspects of Judaism to modern circumstances Orthodox: Jew who practices strict observance of Mosaic law Reconstructionists: Reconstructionist Judaism is a modern American-based Jewish movement based on the ideas of the late Mordecai Kaplan. Conservative: Jew who keeps some requirements of Mosaic law but adapts others to suit modern circumstances Zionism: a policy for establishing and developing a national homeland for Jews in Palestine; a movement of world Jewry that arose late in the 19th century with the aim of creating a Jewish state in Palestine Rabbinic Judaism: mainstream form of Judaism since the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE by the Roman Empire. Rabbi: spiritual leader of a Jewish congregation; qualified to expound and apply Jewish law; a Hebrew title of respect for a Jewish scholar or teacher Pharisee: a self-righteous or sanctimonious person; a member of an ancient Jewish sect noted for strict obedience to Jewish traditions Saducee: The Sadducees were members of a Jewish sect founded in the second century BC, possibly as a political party. Diaspora: the body of Jews (or Jewish communities) outside Palestine or modern Israel; the dispersion of the Jews outside Israel; from the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 587-86 BC when they were exiled to Babylonia up to the present time Two divisions of Judaism: Sephardim and Ashkenazim Sephardim: Sephardim are, primarily, the descendants of Jews from the Iberian peninsula. They may be divided into the families that left in the Expulsion of 1492 and those that remained as crypto-Jews and left in the following few centuries. Ashkenazim: the Jews descended from the medieval Jewish communities of the Rhineland in the west of Germany. Ashkenaz is the medieval Hebrew name for the region which in modern times encompasses the country of Germany and German-speaking borderland areas. Ashkenaz is also a Japhetic patriarch in the Table of Nations (Genesis 10). Thus, Ashkenazim or Ashkenazi Jews are literally "German Jews." Know of these Jewish leaders: Leopold Zunz, Hillel, Akibu and Maimonides Leopold Zunz: the founder of what has been termed the "Science of Judaism" (Wissenschaft des Judentums), the critical investigation of Jewish literature, hymnology and ritual. Zunz's historical investigations and contemporary writings had an important influence on contemporary Judaism. Hillel: associated with the development of the Mishnah and the Talmud. Renowned within Judaism as a sage and scholar, he was the founder of the House of Hillel school for Tanna´m (Sages of the Mishnah) and the founder of a dynasty of Sages who stood at the head of the Jews living in the land of Israel until roughly the fifth century of the Common Era. Akiba: He was also a founder of rabbinic Judaism. Maimonides: He was the preeminent medieval Jewish philosopher whose ideas also influenced the non-Jewish world. Today, his works and his views are considered a cornerstone of Jewish thought and study. Know of and what is contained in the Torah, Talmud and the Gamesh and how they came to be. What is the Halakha and the Haggadah? Torah: Five Books of Moses or Pentateuch, refers to the entirety of Judaism's founding legal and ethical religious texts. The Torah contains a variety of literary genres, including allegories, historical narrative, poetry, genealogy, and the exposition of various types of law. According to rabbinic tradition, the Torah contains the 613 mitzvos which are divided into 365 negative restrictions and 248 positive commands. the Torah is accepted by Christianity as part of the Bible, comprising the first five books of the Old Testament.[ Talmud: a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, customs, and history. It is a central text of mainstream Judaism. The Talmud has two components: the Mishnah (c. 200 CE), the first written compendium of Judaism's Oral Law; and the Gemara (c. 500 CE), a discussion of the Mishnah and related Tannaitic writings that often ventures onto other subjects and expounds broadly on the Tanakh. Halakha: the collective body of Jewish religious law, including biblical law (the 613 mitzvot) and later talmudic and rabbinic law, as well as customs and traditions. Judaism classically draws no distinction in its laws between religious and ostensibly non-religious life. Hence, Halakha guides not only religious practices and beliefs, but numerous aspects of day-to-day life. Haggadah: a Jewish religious text that sets out the order of the Passover Seder. Haggadah, meaning "telling," is a fulfillment of the scriptural commandment to each Jew to "tell your son" about the Jewish liberation from slavery in Egypt, as described in the book of Exodus in the Torah. Sephardi and Oriental Jews also apply the term Haggadah to the service itself, as it constitutes the act of "telling your son". According to Jewish tradition the Haggadah was compiled during the Mishnaic and Talmudic periods, although the exact date is unknown. Kosher foods and what is the meaning of Treyfah? Kosher foods: those that conform to the rules of Jewish religion. These rules form the main aspect of kashrut, Jewish dietary laws. Reasons for food being non-kosher include the presence of ingredients derived from non-kosher animals or from kosher animals that were not properly slaughtered, a mixture of meat and milk, wine or grape juice (or their derivatives) produced by only Rabbi, the use of produce from Israel that has not been tithed, or even the use of cooking utensils and machinery which had previously been used for non-kosher food. Kosher is eaten mainly by Orthodox Jews but other Jews are not so specific. The phrase kosher may also be used to refer to the diet of the Jewish religion. Treyfah: It means not allowed, normally Jewish food is labeled with it meaning, Jews are not allowed to eat it. Bar and Bat Mitsvah, the Brit Milah Bar Mitsvah: According to Jewish law, when Jewish children reach the age of majority (generally thirteen years for boys and twelve for girls) they become responsible for their actions, and "become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah" Bat Mitsvah: In many Conservative and Reform synagogues, girls celebrate their Bat Mitzvahs at age 13, along with boys. This also coincides with physical puberty. Prior to this, the child's parents are responsible for the child's adherence to Jewish law and tradition and, after this age, children bear their own responsibility for Jewish ritual law, tradition, and ethics and are privileged to participate in all areas of Jewish community life. Brit Milah: is a religious ceremony within Judaism to welcome infant Jewish boys into a covenant between God and the Children of Israel through ritual circumcision performed by a mohel ("circumciser"), on the eighth day of the child's life unless health reasons or certain specific conditions pertaining to the date, time, and conditions of birth vis-a-vis the Sabbath and/or holidays force a delay, in the presence of family and friends, followed by a celebratory meal. Synagogue Synagogue: a Jewish house of prayer. What are: Mezuzah, Tefillin, Kippah, Tallith, and a yarmulke, the Kiddaish, and the Shema. Mezuzah: a piece of parchment (often contained in a decorative case) inscribed with specified Hebrew verses from the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21). These verses comprise the Jewish prayer "Shema Yisrael", beginning with the phrase: "Listen, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One." A mezuzah is affixed to the doorframe of Jewish homes to fulfill the mitzvah (Biblical commandment) to inscribe the words of the Shema "on the doorposts of your house" Tefillin: a pair of black leather boxes containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with bible verses. The hand-tefillin, or shel yad, is worn by Jews wrapped around the arm, hand and fingers, while the head-tefillin, or shel rosh, is placed above the forehead. They serve as a "sign" and "remembrance" that God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt and serve several purposes in the fulfilment of the scriptual commandments proscribing them to be worn by Jews. Kippah: a thin, slightly-rounded skullcap traditionally worn at all times by observant Jewish men, and sometimes by both men and women in Conservative and Reform communities. Its use is associated with demonstrating respect and reverence for God. Kippot are not worn while sleeping or bathing. Tallith: a Jewish prayer shawl worn in the synagogue on the Sabbath and holidays, and while reciting morning prayers (Shacharit). The tallit has special twined and knotted fringes known as tzitzit attached to its four corners. Kiddush: a blessing recited over wine or grape juice to sanctify the Shabbat or a Jewish holiday. Shema: the first two words of a section of the Torah (Hebrew Bible) that is a centerpiece of the morning and evening Jewish prayer services. The first verse encapsulates the monotheistic essence of Judaism: "Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is One." The Shema is considered the most important prayer in Judaism, and its twice-daily recitation is a mitzvah (religious commandment). What are characteristics of a Jewish funeral? Jewish Funeral: There is also a custom of rending one's clothes at the moment one hears news of a passing. Orthodox men will cut the lapel of their suit on the left side, over the heart. Non-orthodox practice may be to cut a necktie or to wear a button with a torn black ribbon. There are three major stages to preparing the body for burial: washing (rechitzah), ritual purification (taharah), and dressing (halbashah). The term taharah is used to refer both to the overall process of burial preparation, and to the specific step of ritual purification. Once the body is dressed, the coffin is sealed. Unlike other religions, in Judaism there is no viewing of the body and no "open casket" at the funeral, though the immediate family is allowed a visitation right prior to the coffin being sealed to pay their final respects. In Israel caskets are not used at all, with the exception of military and state funerals. The body is carried to the grave wrapped in a tallit. Kevura, or burial, should take place as soon as possible after death. The Torah requires burial as soon as possible, even for executed criminals. This means that burial will usually take place on the same day as death, or, if not possible, the next day. Some Reform and other congregations delay burial to allow more time for far flung family to come to the funeral and participate in the other post burial rituals. Zoroasterianism: Zoroasterianism: the religion and philosophy based on the teachings ascribed to the prophet Zoroaster, after whom the religion is named. The term Zoroastrianism is, in general usage, essentially synonymous with Mazdaism, i.e. the worship of Ahura Mazda, exalted by Zoroaster as the supreme divine authority. Who is Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainya? Ahura: an Avestan language designation for a particular class of Zoroastrian divinities. Angra: is the Avestan-language name of Zoroastrianism's hypostasis of the "destructive spirit". The Middle Persian equivalent is Ahriman. What is the Kusti, sudre, Gatha. Kusti: is the sacred girdle worn by Zoroastrians around their waists. Along with the Sedreh this is part of the ritual dress of the Zoroastrians. Sudre: a thin white cotton garment worn next to the skin at all times, except when bathing. White is the symbol of purity, innocence and the Zoroastrian religion. The sudre has a small purse sewn into the throat, to remind the believer that it should be continually filled with good thoughts and deeds. Gatha: The Gathas, consist of seventeen hymns composed by the great poet-prophet Zarathushtra around 1200 BC. They are arranged into five groups based on their meter.
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