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DESCRIPTIONJudaism and some comparative religions
- Sumerian Religion
- Egyptian Religion
- Why is Judaism important?
- What 2 major world religions are based on Judaism?
- What made Judaism different from all other religions of the time?
- I. Origins and History:
- Judaism is the first monotheistic religion
- Yahweh is the Hebrew name for God.
- Hebrews , later called Jews, were nomads who lived in the Fertile Crescent (the birthplace of monotheism)
- Hebrews, also called the nation of Israel, settled in Palestine (the Promised Land)
- In 930 BCE, the Kingdom split
- North was called Israel
- South was called Judah
- Eventually Israel was invaded and the Hebrews lived under foreign rule
- Diaspora - When the Jews were forced out of Palestine and were scattered
- They kept their identity, obeyed Hebrew law, and influenced Christianity and Islam
- II. Beliefs:
- Monotheism - believe in one true God
- Chosen people - God made a covenant (binding agreement) with Abraham
- Sacred Text:
- - First 5 books of the Old Testament
- - Tells the story of the Hebrew people
- Ten Commandments - laws that God gave to the Hebrews through Moses
- They explain religious duty to God and moral conduct
- Prophets - spiritual leaders that interpreted Gods will and preached ethics (moral standards of living)
- III. Important Facts
- Place of Worship:
- Synagogue or Temple
- Nation of Israel is Jewish
- Neighbor country of Palestine is Muslim
- This has led to constant fighting over common holy places in Israel
- (Ex. Jerusalem )
- The Temple Mount, Jerusalem Today Solomons Temple Wall: The Wailing Wall The Dome of the Rock
- IV. Important Leaders:
- Patriarch or father of Judaism, made a covenant (binding agreement) with God
- adopted son of Egyptian pharaoh
- led Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land (Canaan). Called the Exodus.
- King David
- united the empire
- defeated the Philistine giant Goliath
- King Solomon
- Davids son
- Made Jerusalem into impressive capital (built temple and palace)
- He was praised for his wisdom
- female judge who won honor and respect
- In Hebrew society, women were subordinate (inferior) to men and could not participate in some religious ceremonies
- Interest Details
- A Mitzvah (MITS-vuh) literally means commandment. It is a ny of the 613 commandments that Jews are obligated to observe. It can also refer to any Jewish religious obligation, or more generally to any good deed. Its plural is Mitzvot (mits-VOHT) .
- Why do Jews wears a yarmulke?
- The most commonly known and recognized piece of Jewish garb is actually the one with the least religious significance. The word yarmulke (usually, but not really correctly, pronounced yammica) is Yiddish . It comes from a Tartar word meaning skullcap. According to some Orthodox rabbis , it comes from the Aramaic words "yerai malka" (fear of or respect for The King).
- It is an ancient practice for Jews to cover their heads during prayer. This probably derives from the fact that in Eastern cultures, it is a sign of respect to cover the head (the custom in Western cultures is the opposite: it is a sign of respect to remove one's hat). Thus, by covering the head during prayer, one showed respect for God . In addition, in ancient Rome, servants were required to cover their heads while free men did not; thus, Jews covered their heads to show that they were servants of God. In medieval times, Jews covered their heads as a reminder that God is always above them.
- Whatever the reason given, however, covering the head has always been regarded more as a custom rather than a commandment .
- Reading the Torah
- Hasidic Jews
- Hasidic Jews are called Hasidim in Hebrew. This word derived from the Hebrew word for loving kindness. It focuses on the joyful observance of Gods commandments, heartfelt prayer and boundless love for God and the world He created.
- The movement originated in Eastern Europe in the 18th century by Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer (1700-1760). As his following grew, he became known as the Baal Shem Tov (abbreviated as Besht) which means Master of the Good Name.
- Why do Hasidic men always wear a hat?
- Religious male Jews (not just Hasidim) wear a hat to cover the head in respect for God. Covering the head reminds us that there is a Creator, a Higher Power, above our own limited minds. Any head covering will do, but some people like a certain style of hat to identify their group. Others simply have personal preferences about hats.
- Why do Hasidic Jews always wear black?
- Some Hasidic groups do have a uniform of sorts for the men, while others do not. Male Hasidic clothing does not have to be black, but is usually a dark, conservative color. The use of black clothing on Sabbaths and holy days traces back to a time when black dye was rare and expensive, so black was reserved for formal occasions (the same as tuxedos and "black tie" events in the secular world.) The Sabbath is a time for honoring God by dressing nicely (as you would in the presence of a king), so people wore their best black coats on the Sabbath.
- What is the significance of the untrimmed beards and sidecurls?
- The payos (sidecurls, pronounced PAY-us) and beard are worn in obedience to this commandment in the Torah (Bible):
- You shall not round the corners of your heads, nor mar the edges of your beards. (Leviticus 19:27)
- The "corners of the head" are the area above the ears. "Not rounding" them means not shaving the hair there, or cutting it very short. Together, both the curls and the untrimmed beard are a symbol of obedience to the laws of God. Many Hasidic men also cut the rest of the hair very short. This is not really required, but is more comfortable under a hat. Also, some Hasidim see the entire haircut -- very short hair with beard and payos -- as part of the "uniform" of their group.
- Most men twist them while still wet. If you do this often enough, the hair gets trained that way. A boy starts wearing payos at age three. Before that, his hair is not cut at all, and is allowed to grow long. On his third birthday, there is a special ceremony where the hair is cut short except for the sidecurls.
- Mount Sinai
- St. Catherines Monastery at Mount Sinai
- Recreation of Ancient Jerusalem
- King Solomons Temple Floor Plan The First Temple
- Inside the Temple Tabernacle The Arc of the Covenant
- Kingdoms of Judah & Israel
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