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World religions week 4 judaism

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What does Modern Judaism believe and practice? How can Christians build respectful and loving, truth-seeking relationships with Jewish persons?

What does Modern Judaism believe and practice? How can Christians build respectful and loving, truth-seeking relationships with Jewish persons?

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  • Break into groups. Discuss!
  • But wait! Does that matter with Judaism? Isn’t that already the religion of the Old Testament?GREAT QUESTION! And the answer is… NO NONONONO
  • The purpose of this class is to equip you to build truth-seeking relationships with persons of other faiths. So what we are interested in is Modern Judaism. This is not the religion of the Old Testament. This is not the religion of Jesus. In fact, Modern Judaism has about as much to do with the religion that Jesus practiced as Modern Christianity does. So today – and especially when you’re talking with Jewish persons, don’t use that kind of terminiology. Christianity and Judaism are two different religions with a common root. Just like Christianity and Islam or Mormonism.
  • A personal God created the world. Creation bears the mark (Wisdom/Way/Torah)God chose a particular people to represent God to the world. But how? The world is always changing. Israel would be a people who engage that tension between God and the world.God frees God’s people from slavery and gives them the Way/Torah at Sinai.David consolidates Israelite religion and politics
  • David consolidated worship of God to the Temple in Jerusalem.This was a major shift for Yahwism
  • Yahwism was based around the Temple and Land.In the Exile, the religion was forced to become portable. This was called “The Diaspora”This was the birth of Judaism a more portable form of Yahwism. It was worship of God that didn’t require a Temple.When much of the Scriptures were being written down in the form we have them today – oral traditions and written records edited together.
  • After the Exile, the Jewish people rebuilt the Temple. But it was never the same.Babylon  Persia  Alexander  SelucidsIn 167 BC, Antioches IV Epiphanes (a Selucid king) desecrated the Temple. This sparked the Maccabean revolt and Israel was independent for a centry.Israel was conquered by Roman general Pompey in 63 BC2. By the time of Jesus, even in the Holy Land itself, Judaism had many factions.First were the Sadducees, who were the most conservative. They were closely tied with the Temple, which makes sense because Temple worship is the “original way” to worship.3. The Pharisees were the theological progressives. They were ambivalent toward the Temple. It was important to them, but they also practiced a form of Judaism that didn’t rely on the Temple. This is the form of Second Temple Judaism closest to what Jesus practiced and out of which Rabbinic Judaism grew.4. Other fringe groups existed. Two notable were the Zealots and Essenes. Zealots may not even have been a coherent group, but were fiercely reactionary. They advocated violent rebellion.The Essenes were convinced the Second Temple was an affront to God. They withdrew into the desert and lived as apocalyptic asthetics. They are the authors of the famous Dead Sea Scrolls.Second Temple Judaism is proof you can never go backwards. Even though Herod’s remodel of the Second Temple made it far superior to Solomon’s first Temple, Judaism had already changed too much in the wake of Exile. God’s people were scattered all over the known world, and they were figuring out how to maintain their cultural and ethnic identity without living in one place and worshiping at 1 Temple.By Jesus’ day, Judaism was leaving Centralized Temple Worship behind.And it’s good that Judaism was prepared for that. Because…
  • The Second Jewish War broke out in AD 66. It culminated in AD 70, when Rome destroyed Herod’s Temple. A generation later, in 132, the Bar Kokhba Rebellion broke out. In AD 135, Rome destroyed Jerusalem and banned all Jews from the city. This was the death-blow to land-based, Temple-centric Yahwism. From this day forward, only Judaism could survive. It was during this period the Hebrew canon was finalized. Judaism had become fully portable.In this second Diaspora, Jewish communities all over the known world thrived. Jewish teachers (rabbis) wrestled with the Torah, exploring how to follow God’s Way in a world without the Temple. Particularly in Babylon, the rabbis developed a complex and comprehensive record of these teachings and discussions called the Talmud. This emphasis on teaching gave Judaism a particularly scholarly bent.The Scholarship of the Jewish people flourished in the Middle Ages. Ironically and tragically, it flourished mostly in Muslim nations because Christian Europe persecuted the Jewish people heavily. This is also when Jewish mysticism (Kabbalah) developed.The Renaissance was a time of massive change, particularly in Europe. Jewish communities responded in two main ways: they either retreated into traditionalism (Hasidism) or engaged the secular culture head on (Liberalism) The central question throughout this age of Judaism (and really since the Exile) is, How do we maintain our identity as God’s people?
  • Judaism is not a religion of belief, at least not primarily. What really matters in Judaism is action or behavior. Jewish communities all over the world, though they may differ greatly in their beliefs, share a common set of practices that set them apart from the cultures around them. THIS IS A MAJOR DIFFERENCE FROM CHRISTIANITY. We – especially Evangelicals – put a huge emphasis on personal experience of God and assent to a set of beliefs. The emphasis in Judaism is reversed.Of course both emphases have pitfalls. We would agree that behaviors without belief are empty, and certainly lakcking spiritual significance and power. But on our end, we all know people who believe all the right things and yet don’t actually act as they should.We would all do well to remember the book of James (a very Jewish book in the New Testament). We can’t have only belief or only behavior. They were never meant to be separated.
  • As Jewish culture continued to thrive in Europe over the next several hundred years, the Jewish people continued to maintain their unique practices that marked them as a separate community.Shamefully, this made them enemies in the eyes of the larger Christian culture, and Christian persecution of the Jewish peoples in Europe was common and frequent.This culminated in WWII, when the Nazis implemented their “Final Solution” to the “Jewish Problem”. Now known as the Holocaust, this systematic extermination of minority groups resulted in the slaughter of 12 million innocent civilians. Fully half of these were Jewish, including 1.5 million children.The Holocaust (Shoah in Hebrew) left a deep scar on Judaism worldwide. It also provided the momentum necessary for the UN to establish a Jewish state. (Which is a whole different discussion.)
  • The divide that began to take shape during the Renaissance has resulted in a spectrum of Jewish belief and practice today. Orthodox JudaismGender separation in worship and publicServices in Hebrew, led by malesMen use tallit, tefillin and wear hats/yarmulkes.Women keep hair covered (often use wigs)Strictly observe Kosher and Sabbath lawsConservative JudaismSlow, thoughtful changeMostly worship in HebrewVery popular in the USAReform JudaismGender equality (including female rabbis and Bat MitzvahsWorship in vernacularIntentional modernization of JudaismJewish people are also divide along ethnic lines.
  • Though Jewish people don’t have many core beliefs, there are a few.there is only one God.God gave his Way to Moses and the Prophets.A word about the Scriptures: Law vs. Gift
  • As Jewish culture continued to thrive in Europe over the next several hundred years, the Jewish people continued to maintain their unique practices that marked them as a separate community.Shamefully, this made them enemies in the eyes of the larger Christian culture, and Christian persecution of the Jewish peoples in Europe was common and frequent.This culminated in WWII, when the Nazis implemented their “Final Solution” to the “Jewish Problem”. Now known as the Holocaust, this systematic extermination of minority groups resulted in the slaughter of 12 million innocent civilians. Fully half of these were Jewish, including 1.5 million children.The Holocaust (Shoah in Hebrew) left a deep scar on Judaism worldwide. It also provided the momentum necessary for the UN to establish a Jewish state. (Which is a whole different discussion.)
  • The Talmud was developed by Rabbis over hundreds of years. It is the best example of what it means to wrestle with Jewish identity. The most famous Talmud is the Babylonian Talmud. Here the interpretations (midrashim) and teachings of dozens of rabbis are preserved. The Scripture is in the center, and surrounding it are commentaries that often argue with each other. The purpose is to invite the community of students into the debate, the wrestling with what God’s Way looks like today.
  • 3. Belief in a Messiah who will come to establish God’s kingdom and the final Resurrection of the faithful.As with much else, how literally individual Jewish persons believe this varies. More conservative Jews will believe this literally, while more liberal Jews look at those teachings as metaphors about the ultimate triumph of good over evil.
  • 4. Humanity is the Image of God in the world. We are supposed to represent God to the world. The Jewish people in particular were given God’s Way (the Torah) so they could show God to the world.
  • Jewish practices is a way of finding the Order of God throughout daily, weekly and yearly life. The Shema is the daily prayer of Judaism. Depending on the branch of Judaism, various persons will use physical objects to help them focus prayer. Tefillin (or phylacteries) help to keep the Torah in mind. A prayer shawl (tallit) or yarmulke remind the prayer of God’s presence. And Mezuzah are often used outside doorways.
  • Sabbath is SATURDAYThe Sabbath orders the Jewish week. Originally, the Sabbath was an act of mercy. Not even animals and slaves were allowed to work on the Sabbath.Today, Sabbath is still mean to be a celebration. As with all Jewish time, the Sabbath begins Friday at sundown. Sabbath is to consist of study, worship and shared meals.
  • The Jewish year begins like the day does: after the Harvest, as life is ending. The Jewish calendar is lunar, so the dates shift compared to our (Roman, solar calendar). The Jewish festivals are a mix of agricultural festivals and religious festivals.Rosh Hashana is the Jewish New Year. It’s preceded by a month of blowing the Ram’s Horn to remind you to get your affairs in order, debts paid off, etc.10 days after the new year is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. In the Old Testament, it was the day they made corporate sacrifices for Sin. Without a Temple, it’s a day of fasting and repentance. Observant Jews spend this day in silence. This day is observed even by most secular Jews.Sukkot (Feast of Booths/Tabernacles) is a harvest festival that also commemorates the wandering in the wilderness. It’s a lot like Thanksgiving.Hanukkah commemorates the Maccabean War in 167 BC. Jewish people light candles on a Menorah to commemorate God’s provision for the Jewish people. They exchange gifts for eight days.Purim commemorates Esther rescuing the Jewish people from Haman. This is sort of like Halloween and Mari Gras. It culminates in a reading of Esther that’s more like a melodrama. Very fun holiday.Passover retells the Exodus story. The most famous part of Passover is the Seder meal, in which each aspect of the story is represented by different foods.Yom Hashoah is a new holiday that commemorates the Holocaust. Because it’s still so new, the rituals are still being figured out.We know Shavout as Pentecost. It’s another harvest festival that became a celebration of when Moses received the Torah from God.A final holy day is Tisha Be-Av, which remembers the destruction of the two Temples. This holiday has faded in popularity since 1948.What matters about this calendar is that the Jewish people are constantly reaffirming their unique identity and story throughout this year
  • What matters here is that these are unique practices that mark the Jewish people as special/chosen among other cultures. No matter where they live in the world, these practices unite the Jewish people as God’s people.
  • We have to be careful here. But it’s good that our worldviews are so similar.We believe in the same God. We understand God’s attributes in very much the same way.Not only this, but God’s Torah/Way is a good gift from God to humanity.Judaism is NOT a works-based religion. The Torah is not a duty. It’s a privilege.I know it seems like this comes up every week, but it won’t be shortly. So hang in there.
  • Obviously these are not mutually exclusive, but this can create some conversational blocks. When we think about religion, it’s a set of beliefs (mainly). For a Jewish person, it’s mainly a set of practices. Beliefs will be of secondary importance, which can be frustrating for an Evangelical.
  • The same basically follows for other Jewish ceremonies,Sabbath meals etc.
  • Transcript

    • 1. World ReligionsThe Gospel and Friendship in a Pluralistic Suburb
    • 2. What Do You Know? 1. How familiar are you with the Bible? Do you have any personal experience 2. with Judaism? 3. What do you know about modern Judaism? What questions do you have 4. about Judaism?
    • 3. Our “Mars Hill” Methodology • A basic introduction to the faith’s worldview 1. • Areas of agreement between that faith and 2. Orthodox Christian theology and practice • Areas of disagreement between that faith 3. and Orthodox Christian theology and practiceGOAL: To equip you to build a truth-seekingrelationship with someone of another faith.
    • 4. JudaismChosen by G_d
    • 5. Wait… Which Judaism? Orthodox Rabbinic Conservative Judaism Reform Ancient Second Temple Lutherans Yahwism Judaism Catholicism Presbyterians Early Methodists Protestantism Christianity Orthodoxy Nazarenes
    • 6. G_d’s Way: Ancient Yahwism Jacob Moses David A personal God created the world
    • 7. Where do you worship G_d? Dan Temple Bethel Yahwism 1,000 BC Jerusalem
    • 8. Diaspora: The Birth of Judaism Babylon TempleYahwism Exile 586 BC Judaism Israel Jerusalem
    • 9. G_d’s Way: Second Temple Judaism Rebuilding the Temple Sadducees *Not the same Pharisees *Antioches IV *Conservatives Epiphanes Zealots & Essenes *Temple-centric *Liberals (167 BC) *Oral Torah *Fringe *Popmey *Ambivalent movements (63 BC) toward Temple *Rejected *Most like Jesus Temple *Revolutionary/ Apocalyptic
    • 10. Order in the Midst of ChangeThe Jewish Second Medieval Renaissance Wars Diaspora Judaism Judaism
    • 11. Orthopraxy vs. Orthodoxy Orthodoxy Orthopraxy
    • 12. The Holocaust
    • 13. Branches of Judaism Today Conservative OrthodoxRenaissance Modern Conservative Judaism Judaism Liberal Reform
    • 14. Jewish Beliefs G_d is One Authority of the Law & Prophets
    • 15. Jewish Scripture: The TanakhTorah/LawGenesis Nevi’im/ProphetsExodus Joshua Khetuvim/WritingsLeviticus Judges PsalmsNumbers Samuel ProverbsDeuteronomy Kings Job Isaiah Scrolls (Song of Songs, Jeremiah Ruth, Esther, Ezekiel Ecclesiastes, Lamentations) Book of the 12 Daniel Ezra/Nehimiah Chronicles
    • 16. Jewish Scripture: The Talmud
    • 17. Jewish Beliefs G_d is One Authority of the Law & Prophets A Messiah and Resurrection Conservative Liberal
    • 18. Jewish Beliefs G_d is One Authority of the Law & Prophets A Messiah and Resurrection Humanity represents G_d
    • 19. Jewish Practice: The Way of G_D“Hear, O Israel!Adonai is our God!Adonai is One!”-- Deuteronomy 6:4
    • 20. Jewish Practice: Sabbath Sabbath Work Work Work Work Work Work
    • 21. Jewish Practice: Holy Days Shavuot Rosh Pentecost Hashana Yom Passover Kippur Sukkot Purim Feast of Booths Hannukah
    • 22. Other Ordering Practices Eating Kosher Circumcision Bar/Bat Mitzvah Ceremonial Cleansings
    • 23. Building Bridges to Judaism We share a common sacred history. Humans bear the Image of a personal G_d. Humanity is fallen and needs forgiveness. God saves us by Grace. The World is going somewhere Good.
    • 24. Jews and Christians Both Value Having a relationship with G_d Living out G_d’s Way in the world Repenting of Sin and seeking forgiveness G_d’s character
    • 25. Where Judaism and Christianity Disagree Practice vs. Belief God is One vs. Trinity Nature of Torah Nature of the Messiah
    • 26. How Not to Build a Friendship Modern Judaism is NOT “Old Testament Faith” Be careful how you engage a tradition Eating a Seder meal doesn’t make you more like Jesus. Don’t say, We’re really all Jewish now!
    • 27. How to Be a Perfect Stranger Services last anywhere from 30 min- 3 hours. Services include prayer, singing and reading from Torah Men: shirt, tie and yarmulke (provided) Women: Dress, skirt/blouse, head-covering (maybe) Stand and sit when everyone else does. Read/sing if you want. Stay for a reception (Kiddush)afterwards!
    • 28. Got Questions? • jrforasteros@gmail.com • @jrforasteros • facebook.com/jrforasteros Submit Questions