Free Essays

Compare and Contrast The Theology Of Judaism And Christianity

By  theology  we  mean  a  rational  and  systematic  study  of  a  religion. It  is  an analysis  to  understand  a  religious  matter. This  analysis  helps  us  to  understand  more  truly  our  religion, and  also  in  the propagation  of  our  religion.

As  we  know, Judaism  is  the  religion  of  Jewish  people. Judaism  theology follow  monotheism  i.e.  belief  in one  single  God. Moreover  Judaism  theology  says that  God  knows  every  thing, has  unlimited  power, has created  the  universe  and  is kind  to  everyone. The  essence  of  believes  of  Jewish  people is  the  written and  oral Torah. Torah  is  a  Hebrew  word  meaning  teaching, instruction  or  law. It  is  basically a  set  of  five books  of  Moses  also  known  as  five  laws  of  Moses. Moses  is the Father  and  chief  of  all  prophets.

Torah  says  that  all  living  and  non  living  things  in  this  world  are  creation of  God. It  is  the  God, who  has wrought  things, workout  and  shall  work  for  ever. It says  that  creator  is  one  and  is  incorporeal  i.e.  having no  corporeal  qualities  or  in other  words  He  has  no  material  or  physical  form  of  substance. It  says  that creator was  the  first  and  will  be  the  last, and  is  the  only one  to  be  worshipped  and  none else. Torah  also says  that  all  words  of  prophets  are  true. It  says  that  all  our  deeds and

our  thoughts  are  known  by  God. As  there  is  a  saying  in  Judaism, “He  who  had  formed  their  hearts altogether, He  knows  all  their  deeds”. According  to  Torah

God  rewards  those  who  keep  His  commandments  and  punishes those  who  go beyond  the  limits  of  what  is  morally  acceptable. One  of  the  most  ardent  faiths  of Jewish  people  is  that  there  will  be  a  resurrection  or  rebirth  of  God, but  on  the time  decided  by  Him. It  is  believed  that  every  man  and  woman  on  earth  is  like God, with  a  spiritual  and  always  existing soul. Everyone  is  made  to  be  the I mage and  likeness  of  God.

For  most  Jewish  people, earth  is the  place  where  they  are  supposed  to  enjoy  their  life, not  in  the  heaven. According  to  them, hard  work  and  education  are the  paths  directed  by  God  to  live  a  good  life. They  do  not  find  accumulation  of wealth  to  be  an  evil  act  as  long  as  it is  used  in  good  deeds  and  charity. One  can live  a  comfortable  and  cozy  life  following  moral  rules. They  also  promote  honest sex  and  marital  life, but  oppose  adultery, premarital  sex, homosexuality, abortion  and  these as  sins. They  say  that  pleasures  life  like  drinking  and  dancing  are  good  if  not   done  in  excess. One  should  not  be  habitat  of  such  things.

Judaism  theology  says  that  after  death  a  person  is  sent  to  heaven  or  hell. Heaven  is  considered  to  be  dwelling  of  God  and  angels. And  hell  as  home  of devils  and  place  where  wicked  people  are  punished.

Now,  if  we   talk  about  Christian  theology, then  there  is  a  very  clear  doctrine or  set  of  believes  related  to  the  Holy  Trinity. It  says  that  there  is  only  one  God, with  three  persons, the  Father, the  Son  and  the  Holy  Spirit. Each  person  is  fully God, but  there  are  not  three  Gods  but  only  one  God. Christians  consider  God  himself   as  a  community  of  love. The  father  loves  Son, and  the  Son  loves  the Father  and  this love  of  the  Father  to  the  Son  and  of  the  Son  to  the  Father  is  the Holy  Spirit. Three  persons  but  only  one  true  God. This  is  the  most  glorious  mystery  of  the  Holy  Trinity  in  the  whole  Bible. It  is  said  that  God  is  repeatedly the  God  of  Abraham, the  God  of  Issac  and  the  God  of  Jacob, symbolizing  the  Holy  Trinity. Abraham  is  God  the  father, Issac  is  God  the  Son  and  Jacob  is  God the  Holy  Spirit.

In  Christianity  faith  is  the  basis  of  a  Christian’s  life, the  foundation  of  the Christian building. One  of  the  faiths  is  that  the  person, who  believes  in  the  Son, has  eternal  life, whoever  disobeys  Him  will  not  see  life, but  God’s  wrath  resets upon  him.

Christians  take  baptism  a  way  by  which  the  original  sin is  forgiven. Baptism  is  a sacrament  instituted  and ordered  by  Jesus  Christ. By baptism  we emerge  as  a new  creature, a child  of God  and  receive the  gift  of Holy  Spirit. It  is believed  that  after  baptism  our  old  man  dies  and  is  buried   with Christ. Moreover

It   is   hat  before   baptism you  are  a  child  of  the  devil  and  after  baptism  you  are child  of  God. A  man who  believes  in  Jesus, but  do  not  receive  baptism  in  his church  is  not  a  Christian.

For  a  Christian  it  is  not  only  important  to  believe  in  God  but  also  to receive  what  God  gives  us. It means  to  give  thanks  to  God  for  everything. This  is the  secret  of  how  to  keep  ourselves  always  happy and  satisfied  in our  life. To  give  thanks  to  God  for  every thing  is  the  first  step  to  calm  ourselves  and face  any storm  in  our  life.



Free Essays

Judaism: Its identity and position to society

Judaism is more than a religion. It is the way of life of the Jewish people. Culture, customs, ethics, and sense of self – these are a part of Judaism as much as the faith and the rituals of the Jewish religion. A Jew can be defined in more than one way. Within Jewish law, being Jewish is a kind of citizenship. One is a Jew if one is born of a Jewish mother or has undergone a conversion. Conversion to Judaism is like a bestowal of citizenship – it makes one a member of the people.

A person who fits the legal definition of a Jew is recognized as a fellow Jew by the Jewish community. Even if a Jew does not share the religious beliefs of Jews and does not participate in the customs and practices of Judaism, one is still considered a Jew if he or she fits the legal definition. One could define a Jew religiously to the religious beliefs and practices of Judaism. A Jew is one believes in the One God, Creator and master of the Universe, the God with whom the people Israel have a special relationship. Many Jews believe God chose them to be his people.

They follow the laws that God revealed to Moses. The Ten Commandments are the most important of these laws. In ancient times the Jews were the only people who worship a single, exclusive God, and the only people who worshiped without physical images of God. The Jews were resented by other people for not participating in the worship of all gods. This led to the accusation that Jews were antihumanitarian, since sharing gods was considered to be an act of friendship and universalistic concern for other people.

When Christianity replaced the pagan religions of antiquity, the old misunderstanding of Jews did not die out. Added to it was the resentment that the Jews, Jesus’ own people, has not become Christians. Jews were protected under Christian law but were restricted in many ways. The laws in Christian lands called for Jews to be humiliated and despised in order to encourage Jewish conversions to Christianity. When Jews did not convert they were accused of stubbornness or spiritual blindness (Wylen).

Judaism teaches that God is the God of all humankind and that He wants all people to serve Him by living their lives the way He wants. The guidelines for this lifestyle are set down in the Noachide Laws, the basic framework for a moral and spiritual life. They believe that every person is completely free to choose whether to do good or evil for God is completely free to do as He wishes, so are humans. Jews regard any religion which upholds the Noachide Laws as an acceptable way for non-Jews to serve God.

This does not mean that they agree with everything that other religions teach, but that they can recognize some religions as pointing out a path to God. For this reason, Jews do not see the need to convert other people to their religion. In particular, Jews recognize that Islam teaches pure monotheism and that Muslims have a strict morality that upholds the principles of the Noachide Laws. The same may be said of the Sikh religion. Jews have always been less certain about Christianity.

Although they acknowledge Christianity’s high moral principles, they feel uneasy about the Christian belief that Jesus is God. They are also unhappy about the use of images and icons in Catholic and Orthodox worship. They feel that this comes rather close to idolatry. Nonetheless, Jews have always recognized a special relationship with Christianity and Islam. Rabbi Judah Halevi, a twelfth-century scholar, described Judaism as the seed of the tree and Christianity and Islam as the branches, since through these religions, millions of people have come to worship the one God (Forta).

At the turn of the twentieth century, a movement of interfaith dialogue between Jews and non-Jews served as a medium that facilitated the changes upon conflicts in religion. Although there had been some obstacle along the process, the interfaith dialogue helped to develop a better relationship between Jews and non-Jews in America. As a result it came into advancement of the well-being of the Jewish community in America.

This interfaith dialogue took place in America in 1893 when the World Parliament of Religions (WPR) convened in Chicago bringing together Protestants, Catholics, Greek Orthodox Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Bahai, Muslims, Native Americans and representatives of other faiths as well. It offered Jewish religious leaders such as Alexander Kohut, Isaac M. Wise, Kaufmann Kohler, Emil G. Hirsch, and Marcus Jastrow, an opportunity to present their views to a non-Jewish audience and make a case for Judaism (Kaplan).

The majority of Jews, especially in North America, resided in religiously pluralistic communities where people of diverse backgrounds and faiths, including many who had themselves experienced religious persecution, live side by side. Perhaps for this reason, they felt more comfortable interacting with Christians than Jews did in most parts of the world – so much so that we know of Jews and Christians who joined forces in business, witnessed each other’s documents, and socialized in each other’s homes (Bernardini and Fiering).

Over the century new discoveries, new methods of manufacture, new social conditions have changed people’s way of living and thinking about the world. For Jews, this has always created the need to reapply the halakhah (Jewish religious law) to ever-changing conditions for living by halakhah is essential for Jews to fulfill their part of their covenant relationship with God.

During this century advances in technology have led Jews to raise questions which could not have been thought of in earlier times – questions about the use of automated electrical machinery on Sabbaths, whether computer hacking is theft, whether surrogate mother is permissible, whether a person on a life-support machine is alive or dead. To enable rabbis to answer this questions, up-to-date commentaries have been added to the Shulchan Aruch (written catalogue of halakhah), and whole books concerned with specific topics of halakhah are now being published. The continued reapplication of halakhah is an ongoing process (Forta).

Works Cited

Bernardini, Paolo, and Norman Fiering. The Jews and the Expansion of Europe to the West, 1450 to 1800. Berghahn Books, 2001.

Forta, Arye. Judaism. Heinemann, 1995.

Kaplan, Dana Evan. The Cambridge Companion to American Judaism. Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Wylen, Stephen M. Settings of Silver: An Introduction to Judaism. Paulist Press, 2000.



Free Essays


Brianna Gowan B’Nai Torah Congregation, Boca Raton, Fl Gudny Rossen  Site visit date: 9/8/2012 REL 2011 4 November 2012 Judaism Religion is a set of beliefs, which vary depending on the culture, which connects humans spiritually and morally. Various religions exist all over the world, bringing people together or sometimes turning them against each other. As a child, I grew up with a Catholic father and a Jewish mother. My parents raised my sisters and I under both religions; however, we did not attend church or temple on a regular basis.

My mother and father were not religious; they were more spiritual and believed in a higher power. I chose to visit a conservative temple that some of my family members attended in order to gain a first-hand look at their weekly experiences. The B’Nai Torah Congregation is a conservative Jewish temple located in Boca Raton, Florida. Because I grew up in such a diverse household, attending a Jewish temple to conduct research on Judaism was the perfect choice, and provided ample amounts of history about the religion’s origin, culture, and traditions.

First off, I never knew the main difference between Judaism and Christianity, all I heard as a child was the statement “Jesus was a Jew”. After attending the Jewish synagogue and conducting research, both online and in person, I found out one of the major differences between Christianity and Judaism; Christians believe that their savior is Jesus Christ while Jews are still waiting for their savior, also known as the “messiah” (Davies). In the Judaism religion the messiah is described as a normal human being who fulfills certain requirements listed in scripture.

Some of the beliefs and requirements include the extinction of all weapons and death in the world upon the arrival of the messiah (Rich). They do not believe Jesus Christ fulfilled the requirements to become the messiah and therefore continue to pray for the day when he arrives (Rich). The B’Nai Torah Congregation allows conservative Jews to gather and spread their beliefs through various services such as religious school, youth programs, and community outreach programs. They offer religious schooling for children as young as preschool nd educate them all the way to high school graduation. BRUSY is the youth program held at the temple and contains three different programs based on grade level: USY (United Synaguge Youth) for high school, Bonim for elementary school and Kadima for middle school (“Bnai Torah Congregation”). All of these programs provide fun activities for the youth along with education. To start off my experience at the B’Nai Torah Congregation, I decided to attend the 9am temple service. This service is known as a Shabbat Service and was conducted by two Rabbis.

Each Rabbi wore long, black robes with shawls and a small, circular, head piece placed on their heads. The women who were in attendance wore shawls and, like the male members, wore distinct head pieces. The men wore small circular head pieces while the women wore headpieces that looked similar to that of a coffee liner. It threw me off guard at first; I am not used to seeing such structured dress at a service. Clothing had to cover the shoulders of everyone in attendance and little leg was allowed to show. Everyone was dressed in formal clothing with the head pieces; some men even wore long shawls as well.

After attending the service, I described the clothing to my mother and learned that the headpieces that the men and women wore are known as “kippahs”, while the shawls worn within the temple are known as a “Tallit”. After conducting further research, I discovered that tallits are shawls worn by many married men and women; they contain fringe at the end of the pieces, known as “tzitzit”, that the Torah instructs must be worn on the corners of all garments to represent the commandments that Jews are obligated to follow (“Jewish Attire”).

The tallits that some of the men and women wore contained fine threading details, one common detail that I noticed was the color of the tallits. The common colors on all of the tallits were white, red, gold, and blue. I furthered my research and found out that the color white is associated with Abraham, red with Isaac, and blue with Jacob; the three patriarchs of Judaism. (“Ohr Somayach”). According to Jewish Celebrations, an online Judaism database, the kippahs worn in temple are simply a symbol of respect to God; in ancient times it was respectful to cover their heads and hair during prayer.

I noticed that the men and women attached the kippahs to their heads as they walked in for the service but removed them as the service was over. In Orthodox Judaism it is common to wear them at all times, however, in Conservative Judaism the head pieces are not required to be worn at all times. The clothing I observed sparked a sudden interest in why Jews wore what they wore. I attended a conservative temple; Conservative Judaism is just one movement of modern Judaism. According to Tracey R. Rich, Orthodox Jews believe that God gave Moses the whole Torah at Mount Sinai while Reform Jews do not believe that God wrote the Torah at all.

Rich says that Orthodox Jews follow the Ten Commandments and live by the Jewish law while Reform Jews believe that Torah was written by multiple sources and redacted together, living merely on ethics and morals. Conservative Judaism formed as a happy-medium of the two movements, a mix of the two. They believe that the writings came from God but were transacted by humans. Conservative Jews, like the ones at the temple I attended, believe that the laws can adapt over time depending on time and culture.

This explains why the dress at the temple was somewhat strict but not completely enforced like it were to be in an Orthodox temple. Since conservative Jews do not believe in strictly following the Jewish law, these members keep their culture alive simply by wearing kippahs and tallits. Since the temple is a Conservative synagogue the service lasted about three hours and was conducted in Hebrew and English. Like Christian churches, the seats were long bench like rows and contained a bible behind every seat. During the service the Rabbi would recite prayers from different parts of the bible.

He spoke in a monotone voice and used various hand gestures to add emphasis on his words. The Rabbi used a lot of rhetorical questions, allowing the members to think among themselves. He would recite different sections of the Torah and then connect it with various moral stories. The Jewish bible is known to Christians as “The Old Testament” and is comprised of the Torah, the Writings, and the books of the prophets (“Qur’an Bible Torah Comparison”). However, a Christian bible not only contains the Hebrew bible, it also contains “The New Testament”; unlike Christians, Jews do not follow the New Testament.

I also noticed that the Jewish bible was read from right to left instead of the traditional left to right reading in most books. It is said that the Torah is read this way because the right side symbolizes greater spiritual revelation, as opposed to the left side, which symbolizes a “weaker” manifestation of spirituality (“Why Is Hebrew Read from Right to Left? “). The ceremony was conducted in mostly Hebrew but some parts were conducted in English; once I figured out that the readings were from right to left it made it a little easier to follow along.

The whole service was dedicated to prayer. There were times when the Rabbi asked us to stand and other times when the two large doors in the middle of the stage were opened to reveal scrolls. The Rabbi walked to the back of the temple and took the covering off the scroll; it took multiple people to open the doors and remove the scrolls. I learned that these scrolls were the different parts of the Jewish bible and used for rituals such as Shabbat and bar mitzvahs. The Rabbi then walked around the temple and allowed for each member to kiss the scroll while simultaneously saying a prayer.

My favorite part of the whole experience was observing the beauty of the temple. The inside of the temple contained granite flooring, dim lights, and two giant menorahs on either side of the main stage. The colors were somewhat monochromatic, containing shades of brown. According to our textbook, Anatomy of the Sacred, every religion contains various symbols and signs that give meaning. They “indicate the existence– past, present or future– of a thing, event, or condition”. The only symbols I saw inside the temple were the two large menorahs, stars, and the symbols in between them, above two large doors.

I always thought that menorahs contained nine branches; however, the menorahs in the temple only contained seven branches. The menorahs in the temple represent the burning bush that Moses encountered on Mount Sinai; it is a representation of the light of God (Rich). I discovered that the menorah with nine branches is used during the holiday of Hanukkah, a holiday that celebrates “miracle” after Jewish revolt against the Syrians (Rich). One of the most prominent symbols that I saw around the temple was a star.

Unlike the five pointed star that I am used to seeing, this star had six points. I sat through the service trying to figure out the significance of the extra point. The star is known as the Star of David. It is used to represent the Jewish community as a whole and is the symbol of the flag for the country of Israel. The six sides represent God’s rule in six directions: north, south, east, west, up and down; it was once known as the shield of a man named King David, a military hero in Jewish history (Rich) I never realized how much history and symbolism there were in the Jewish culture.

I was not raised in any particular religious setting so this site visit was an eye opener for me and provided me with a lot of new knowledge about the religious practices of my family. Some of my family members are orthodox Jews while others are conservative. The various movements of Judaism showed me that everyone has their own beliefs and that ancient beliefs evolve over time. The people in attendance of this ceremony brought their own versions of the torah and almost all of them dressed in the traditional attire.

Judaism is one of the oldest and complex religions around; every symbol, color, and piece of clothing contains some type of meaning and historical background. Religion gives people something to believe in and a sense of hope. It holds morals and a lot of family history with it. This site visit taught me to appreciate the different religions in the world. It taught me not to judge someone just because they hold different beliefs than I do. Judaism is a complex religion and deserves the same respect as any other religion. Works Cited “Bnai Torah Congregation. ” Bnai Torah Congregation. N. p. , n. . Web. 11 Sept. 2012. Davies, Tim. “Christ Church Central Sheffield. ” What’s the Difference between Christianity and Judaism? N. p. , n. d. Web. 07 Sept. 2012. “Jewish Attire. ” Jewish Attire. Jewish Celebrations, n. d. Web. 05 Sept. 2012. “Ohr Somayach. ” Ohr Somayach. N. p. , n. d. Web. 05 Sept. 2012. “Qur’an Bible Torah Comparison. ” Welcome to Change the Story. N. p. , n. d. Web. 12 Sept. 2012. Rich, Tracey. “Judaism 101. ” Judaism 101. N. p. , n. d. Web. 09 Sept. 2012. “Why Is Hebrew Read from Right to Left? ” – Miscellaneous Hebrew / Languages Hebrew. N. p. , n. d. Web. 05 Sept. 2012.

Free Essays

Modern Orthodox Judaism

Judaism (from the Latin Iudaismus, derived from the Greek Ioudaismos, and ultimately from the Hebrew ????? , Yehudah, “Judah”;[1][2] in Hebrew: ????? , Yahadut, the distinctive characteristics of the Judean ethnos)[3] is the religion, philosophy and way of life of the Jewish people. [4] A monotheistic religion originating in the Hebrew Bible (also known as the Tanakh) and explored in later texts such as the Talmud, Judaism is considered by religious Jews to be the expression of the covenantal relationship God established with the Children of Israel. 5] Rabbinic Judaism holds that God revealed his laws and commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai in the form of both the Written and Oral Torah. [6] Historically, this assertion was challenged by various groups such as the Sadducees and Hellenistic Judaism during the Second Temple period; the Karaites and Sabbateans during the early and later medieval period;[7] and among segments of the modern reform movements. Liberal movements in modern times such as Humanistic Judaism may be nontheistic. 8] Judaism claims a historical continuity spanning more than 3,000 years. Of the major world religions, Judaism is considered one of the oldest monotheistic religions. [9][10] The Hebrews / Israelites were already referred to as “Jews” in later books of the Tanakh such as the Book of Esther, with the term Jews replacing the title “Children of Israel”. [11] Judaism’s texts, traditions and values strongly influenced later Abrahamic religions, including Christianity, Islam and the Baha’i Faith. 12][13] Many aspects of Judaism have also directly or indirectly influenced secular Western ethics and civil law. [14] Jews are an ethnoreligious group[15] and include those born Jewish and converts to Judaism. In 2010, the world Jewish population was estimated at 13. 4 million, or roughly 0. 2% of the total world population. About 42% of all Jews reside in Israel and about 42% reside in the United States and Canada, with most of the remainder living in Europe. 16] The largest Jewish religious movements are Orthodox Judaism (Haredi Judaism and Modern Orthodox Judaism), Conservative Judaism and Reform Judaism. A major source of difference between these groups is their approach to Jewish law. [17] Orthodox Judaism maintains that the Torah and Jewish law are divine in origin, eternal and unalterable, and that they should be strictly followed. Conservative and Reform Judaism are more liberal, with Conservative Judaism generally promoting a more “traditional” interpretation of

Judaism’s requirements than Reform Judaism. A typical Reform position is that Jewish law should be viewed as a set of general guidelines rather than as a set of restrictions and obligations whose observance is required of all Jews. [18][19] Historically, special courts enforced Jewish law; today, these courts still exist but the practice of Judaism is mostly voluntary. [20] Authority on theological and legal matters is not vested in any one person or organization, but in the sacred texts and rabbis and scholars who interpret them. [21]

Free Essays

Jewish Feminism

Jewish feminism has had a significant impact on the development and expression of Judaism. They have faced many obstacles and brought about much change in the Jewish tradition. Jewish feminism is a movement that seeks to improve the religious, legal and social role and contribution of women within Judaism. Feminism can be traced back to the early 1970s where women began to question their roles amongst society. For Jewish women, they wanted to focus on the composition of the minyan, the exemption from some mitzvot, exclusion of women as witnesses of Jewish law and the position of women in relation to divorce proceedings.

Each variant has responded differently to feminism and the level of impact as differed amongst Reform, Conservative and Orthodox Jews. Judaism is known for being more patriarchal than many other organised religions. This has made it difficult for Jewish feminists to bring about equity and tzedakah. Jewish feminists have one main agenda and that is to challenge and fight sexism within Judaism. They see their work as part of their duty to tikkun olam and believe their actions bring tzedakah to their faith community.

Jewish feminism created much controversy as many men thought that it would have a weakening effect on Jewish life, however many would argue that it has been strengthened. The Orthodox Jewish communities found the impact of Jewish feminism to be a significant issue for their interpretation of the halakah and how their religion is to be expressed. They seeked change in a manner that can be defended by Jewish law and always worked within the framework of traditional worship. However, amongst the Reform and Conservative Jews, their attitudes have been much greater.

Reform Jews have accepted that a woman can perform any religious ritual that a man does. They were the first group to do away with the mehiztah, that separated men from woman in the synagogue, they felt the customs and practices should be more in keeping with modern society. This had a significant impact as it led to the change in service and synagogue, and the service was rewritten in English from Hebrew. Jewish Feminism called upon all variants of Judaism to reconsider its response to the mitzvot and other elements of the halakah.

Jewish feminists challenged Judaism in areas such as the patriarchal interpretation of sacred texts, role of women in rituals, role of women in leadership eg: Rabbi and the general rights of women. In 1972, ten New York Jewish feminists calling themselves Ezrat Nashim presented a document, “Call For Change”, to the Conservative movements Rabbinical Assembly. This “Call for Change” demanded that women be considered to perform all mitzvot, allowed full participation in religious observances, be counted in the minyan, have equal rights in marriage and initiate divorce.

Judaism was changed by this document in 1977 when Conservative Judaism introduced feminist rituals. Until the 1950s Jewish women traditionally took a back seat in communal worship. The synagogue was divided with a mehitzah as they felt that men could not concentrate and keep their thoughts purely on prayer and their individual connection with God. Jewish feminism’s impact on this issue was significant as they changed the physical direction of the mehitzah in the synagogue so women could see the front and yet the men were still separated from them.

This change of the direction symbolises the change of views. Jewish feminism had a strong impact on the religious observances, laws and services. The role of women amongst society was changed in 1973 when the first female Rabbi, Sally Priesland, was ordained. There were many objections to the allowance of female Rabbis and numerous questions were raised such as their abilty to raise families and cope with the religious demands and if they were able to interpret the Scriptures correctly.

However, non feminists were able to see that these women brought intuitive perspectives that positively questioned the base of the Jewish beliefs. Therefore the extent of change in response to Jewish feminism varies across the differing expressions of Judaism. It has brought new and fresh perspectives to the nature of worship services. Women will continue to demand and receive equality in both the secular and religious worlds. Jewish feminism has brought to each of the variants a closer relationship and a stronger response to the call tikkun olam.

Free Essays

Judaism Reflection Paper

There are many different ways of practicing Judaism that are amongst us today, and many different types of people that practice them. The aspects that I find to be significant and interesting in Judaism are Hanukkah, a Bar Mitzvah, and The Kashrut. There are many more aspects of Judaism that amuse me, and there are many that I might question if I thought about converting; however, these are the aspects that I believe to be some of the most widely known traditions throughout the world. My favorite part of Judaism that I would have no problem indulging in would have to be a young man’s Bar Mitzvah.

A Bar Mitzvah is a rite of passage for a 13 year old boy to become a man. Why is this something to look forward to? Because for a young boys Bar Mitzvah the boy usually gets a large amount of money. Now this money doesn’t come in ones and fives; however, it is known to come in six to seven figures all together. This may be frowned upon if you have an older sister; however, she will get a little bit of reward once she becomes a “woman. ” Another part of Judaism that really fascinated me had to have been the Laws of Kashrut.

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Most commonly known for not being able to mix dairy with meat, but there are other ways to make food Kosher as well. Such as pork and shellfish, these are forbidden foods in the Judaism community. Along with those, all blood must be drained before cooking and eating, for blood is sacred to God. It is amazing that even some even keep separate fridges, sinks, tables, and utensils to avoid the mixing of their meat and dairy products. Even though these ways of life may seem strict and harsh, not all Jews practice them. Most American Jews actually perform The Kashrut in small ways.

For example, they may buy pre-maid kosher food to substitute for going full on Kosher. Most major brands even put marking on their products to let us know if the item is kosher or not. The last major part of Judaism that caught my eye had to be the practice of “Holy Days” in Judaism. Jewish people practice many holy days such as Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Hanukkah, Purim, and Pesach (Passover). The most widely recognized holy days in Judaism are Hanukkah and Pesach. Hanukkah has to be the one that amuses me the most due to the fact that it s an eight night event. Hanukkah is a spread over eight-day event made to commemorate the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. An added tradition is that over the eight days of Hanukkah the children get a gift each night of the holiday. Although there are many important and fascinating aspects of Judaism that I left out, and many that I may not agree with. I still find Judaism to be a very interesting religion, and will have to put it on my bucket list to go a Jewish Temple in the future. As they say in Hebrew “Leheim! ”

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Islams Early Interactions with Judaism and Christianity

Chantel Hunt MNE 347 Palestinian Studies Bashir Bashir ISLAMS EARLY INTERACTIONS WITH JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY Because of its harsh desert environment, the Arabian Peninsula was left relatively unmolested by the several competing empires that swept through the Fertile Crescent just north of it in the early centuries before Islam. At the beginning of the 7th Century, the Byzantine and Sassanid empires were embroiled in a 26-year war for supremacy, which had a lasting cultural impact on the Arabs of the Peninsula eventually leading to the emergence and subsequent explosion of Islam into the monotheistic sphere.

The interaction Islam had with existing religions led to a unique monotheism better suited to the Arabs, yet still maintained traditional elements with Judaism and Christianity, even enabling it to fall under the Abrahamic title. Monotheism was initially introduced through trade. According to Jonathon Berkey, “…the exchange of people and ideas between Arabs of the interior and predominantly Aramaic-speaking inhabitants of Syria was, and had been for centuries, a routine element of life. That exchange touched on religious matters…” (64). Elements of these religions competed and intermingled with existing Arab paganism and traditions, creating a unique take on “the one God” that was much better suited to the Arabs than the politically-charged imperial baggage of the former traditions. Islam holds many similarities with the religions it sprung from besides its monotheism and devotion to the idea of a “true God,” yet even these similarities come with a unique Arabian flavor. These include a prophet-messenger, a holy book of scripture, and an ancestral link to the Abrahamic line.

The idea of a special kind of person able to transcend mortal boundaries to commune with deity and transmit knowledge or specific messages to mankind has been an integral part of the Judeo-Christian experience. There are many prophets throughout Torah and Old Testament including Noah, Samuel, and Isaiah. The New Testament continues this tradition with the addition of new messengers from God (though not by the term prophets) such as John the Baptist, Jesus Christ the declared Son of God, and his disciples, the apostles.

Islam adds one more prophet to the scene—Muhammad. Muslims view Muhammad as the greatest and last messenger of God. Muhammad’s message was similar to the previously accepted prophets: to turn aside from false devotions and to worship the only true God in the right way. Like other Biblical prophets, Muhammad’s message was initially unpopular towards the masses, necessitating his flight to what became Medina (Esposito History of Islam 8).

Despite initial troubles, however, Muhammad gained a considerable following and was able to later turn the tide against his former oppressors, and subdue them in a way no prophet of the earlier traditions was able to do: as a political conqueror (Esposito, History of Islam 8-11). Unifying several Arabian tribes created the beginning of an empire that would bring the Byzantine and Sassanid Empires to their knees and open up the spread of Islam to the whole world. Also significant to each Abrahamic denomination was the creation of a holy book.

Each consists of compilations of sacred texts, considered to be the words of God or of his prophets, though the original texts from which our modern ones are comprised of are non-existent today. It is generally assumed by many scholars that each text has likely been through apocryphal revisions and retellings before getting to us in their current state, but many adherents to Jewish and Christian faiths still view their books as the pure transmitted words of God.

The holy book of Islam, the Qur’an, is also a compilation of revelations regarded as divine, though unlike the other sacred texts, it is only credited to one “receiver. ” According to Muslim tradition, the Qur’an was preserved in both oral and written formats by Muhammad and his secretaries exactly as he had been given them from Allah, and were compiled in precise order of revelation and in their entirety (Esposito, Islam: the Straight Path 137). Yet like its contemporaries, it was not completed in written form while the receiver writer of the revelations lived. The Qur’an was compiled during the reign of Muhammad’s third successor, Uthman, leaving a window (admittedly a much smaller one than of the Jewish and Christian texts) where possible changes or mistakes in oral or written transmission may have occurred. In addition to a prophet and a holy book, Islam created a third link with the previous traditions giving it a higher sense of legitimacy and authority.

Islam claims a direct ancestral link to Abraham—the great prophet to whom God promised nations of posterity, the land of Canaan and religious stewardship. Judaic and Christian traditions trace their spiritual ancestry to Abraham through Isaac, Abraham’s son born to his legitimate wife, Sara. Islam instead, connects their heritage to Abraham through his first son Ishmael, born to Sara’s Egyptian handmaid, Hagar. Each separate tradition maintains that their particular son of Abraham was the favored son and heir to both the temporal and divine.

There are many other similarities Islam has with its older brother religions, but it is by no means a copy or mere synthesis of them either. While drawn to many aspects of the new religions that had sifted to them from the north, the Arabs had a substantially different religious, political, and economic environment than origins of Judaism and Christianity, making many doctrines and practices of the religions completely foreign and ill-suited to Arab sensibilities.

Islam has many similar components with the other two religions making its association with the other religions under Abraham a commonly accepted one. However, the unique political and spiritual environment of Arabia created unique elements in Islam not to be found anywhere else, and is possibly responsible for its exponential rate it acquired followers. Works Cited Berkey, Jonathan Porter. The Formation of Islam: Religion and Society in the Near East, 00-1800. New York: Cambridge UP, 2003. Esposito, John L. Islam: the Straight Path. New York: Oxford UP, 1998 Esposito, John L. The Oxford History of Islam. New York: Oxford UP, 1999 *As I could not find the original books to get exact page numbers, I used the page numbers given in our packet of materials instead for those ideas that came from them. ——————————————– [ 1 ]. Qur’an 47:19. See also Exodus 20:3 in the Bible

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The Evolution of Islam Judaism and Christianity

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are the most recognized and popular religions around the globe. The three religions are in some ways very similar while at the same time very diverse. Collectively all three religions are monotheistic which means the belief in one God, creator of the Universe who hears the prayers of his faithfuls. The Jews believe that God made a pact with their ancestors, the Hebrews, saying that they are the chosen ones. They await the return if the Messiah. The Christians believe that God in the form of Jesus came to earth and established the Christian church amongst his apostles.

The Muslims accept both the Jewish Messiah and the Christian Jesus, but in turn believe that their profit Muhammad was the last and greatest sent by God. The religions are all of book, and have written records of God’s words. The Jews have the Hebrew Bible, the Christians have the New and Old Testament of the Christian bible which includes the Hebrew Bible, and the Muslims have the Qur’an. One of the first major Jewish Architectural creations known is the First Temple in Jerusalem.

This temple was built to house the Ark of the Covenant by King Soloman back in the 10th century, it later became a place for the Jewish to worship. However it was destroyed by the Babylonians, the people where exiled and the Ark stolen. There was another grand temple built after the land was returned to the Jews by Cyrus the Great of Persia, but again destroyed by the Romans. The temple was said to be made of imported wood and was supported by two large bronze pillars. A big part of Judaism is the educations of the religion, they gather in buildings called Synagogues for this very purpose.

These buildings were used by Jewish men women and children to study the Torah, and was also used for social gatherings. Before buildings were specifically built for this purpose, they would meet in private homes or anywhere Torah scrolls were kept and read. Then the construction of house like buildings began. One of the first has an assembly hall, a courtyard, and a separate room for women, soon after residential rooms were added. The two architectural features that distinguished the assembly hall from the other rooms were long benches lining the walls, and a place for the scrolls.

Jews also built meeting places like that of the Roman basilica. This included an aisle on both sides and separated from this an apse adorned with Torah scrolls and facing east. Once Christianity was recognized by the government it’s number grew rapidly, more specifically amongst the wealthy. Early Christian art is described as style and imagery of the Jewish and Roman visual traditions, this is called syncreatism. Artist take images from past traditions and give them their own purpose. The most famous is what is known as the Good Shepard.

Before it was a depiction of Orpheus amongst his animals, or sometimes considered a personification of philanthropy. However in the time of early Christianity, this same image became a depiction of the Good Shepard of the book of Psalms. Most early Christian art is very rare and depicted either God, his son Jesus, or the Holy Ghost. Some of the few remains of art work are in catacombs which is where the dead were buried. The most famous of these are found where two Christians who were martyred for their faith are buried.

The art work of their cubicula, or small room created for the deceased, is a painting of the Good Shepard. Under to painting are the words: “I am a good Shepard. A good Shepard lays down his life for the sheep. ”, and around the painting are smaller paintings depicting the story of Jonah and the sea monster. Early Muslim architects were influenced by the Romans and the Byzantines. They began to build large numbers of mosques, palaces, and shrines. Of these buildings one of the most famous and recognized is the Dome of the Rock, or Haram Al-Sharif.

The building site is said to be the place where Muhammad rose to the Heavens to be with God. This site also has important value to both Jews and Christians. For the Jews this is the site where both First and Second Jewish temples were built and destroyed. For the Christians this site marks the creation of Adam and where the patriarch Abraham was sent to kill his son by God. Because both Jewish and Christian faiths have history here, the building of the Dome of the Rock is the first architectural statement by Islam that it completes the other religions.