( mm) judaism journal


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1. What were your expectations of this religion? Before we started studying Judaism, did you have any previous knowledge or experience with this religion?

2. What were the most interesting things you learned about this religious tradition?

3. Was there anything about this religion that really surprised you? Or that defied your expectations?

4. What is one thing that you appreciate or respect about this religion? This could be an attitude, a practice, a belief, a ritual, etc.

5. Which of the two readings (The Meaning of the Sabbath, Nvi’im: Vision, Rage and Rhetoric) did you find the most interesting? Why? What did you learn about the religion from the reading? Was there anything that you agreed or disagreed with in the reading?

6. What would you like to learn more about in this religion? Or what questions do you still have about this religion?

Your journal should be at least 500 words long and contain at least two direct quotations from the readings(one from two of the two assigned readings) along with the page number (if available). There are no right or wrong answers for this assignment. You will be graded on the completeness of your journal and whether you followed the assignment instructions. The journal is not due until we finish studying Buddhism, but you are welcome to start working on it as we are learning about it. https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/shabbat-a…https://youtu.be/HkdPGmoeEOQ?list=PLD2mGQI2tequH5f89XC0qkULPeRLs95dwso

we are starting our unit on Judaism today. This is the beginning of sort of the second half or the second section of the course. Right. In the beginning, we talk about our eastern traditions, Hinduism and Buddhism. You guys saw that there is a lot of there’s a lot of similarities. There’s a lot of overlap between those two traditions. And so now we’re kind of shifting gears. Right. And we’re going to start talking about the three major monotheisms of the world. Right. The three major religious traditions that believe in one capital, G God, those being Judaism, Christianity and Islam and Judaism. We start with Judaism for a couple of different reasons. Right. The most basic one being that it’s the oldest of those three traditions. Right. Judaism started before Christianity and before Islam. So, you know, if we’re going chronologically in our course, at least in this in this part of the course. Right. We start with Judaism because it is it is an incredibly ancient religious tradition. And it’s also it’s not just the oldest of those three traditions. It’s really the foundation. It’s the sort of the first step for those traditions as well. So it’s really hard to understand Christianity if you don’t understand Judaism. It’s really hard to understand Islam if you don’t understand Judaism. Right. Because both of those traditions sort of, you know, you know, arise out of Judaism. They have a lot of similar beliefs, similar histories, similar stories. So it’s really important that we start with Judaism and we have a thorough understanding of the Jewish tradition in terms of numbers. However, I Judaism is much, much smaller than the other traditions that we’ve studied. Right. Hinduism had, you know, almost a billion adherents. Buddhism has, you know, upwards of five hundred million. Judaism is much, much smaller. Right. There are different estimates for how many Jews are in the world, but it’s anywhere from about 10 to 14 million. So it is much, much smaller than the other religious traditions that we’re going to study in this class or that we have studied and we’re going to to study in the future in this class. So. Right, in terms of world religions, right. There are other religious traditions, definitely with many more adherents than Judaism. But we include Judaism in this course because it is the foundation of the rest of the great monotheisms of the world. Right. Christianity, Islam, as well as other religious traditions. So it’s important to understand Judaism really because of the profound effect that this tradition has had on the rest of the world. Right. Certain religious ethical concepts that come out of Judaism influence, influence, civilizations and other great religious traditions in the world. So the the influence of Judaism is much, much greater. Right. Than maybe the numbers of individual adherents would lead us to believe. So it’s a very important religious tradition, despite the fact that in terms of numbers is quite small. Right. It’s definitely the smallest of the five that we’re studying. And it is in terms of religions in the world. It is it is comparatively very small. So that’s why we’re studying Judaism, Judaism and why we’re starting with Judaism in this part of the course. And you can see the quote that I have here for Judaism, and it says that you should this is what, you know, a Jewish person should do. They should pray as if everything depends on God and act as if everything depends on ourselves. Pray as if everything depends on God, act as if everything depends on ourselves. So this is a line. It’s a line from the Torah. It is frequently recited or sung during during synagogue or temple services. And it’s a very important sort of world view or ethic for Judaism. Judaism combines a great faith in God, right. Judaism is a monotheistic religious tradition. It believes in one God, one capital G God. Right, that God is the creator of everything and that God is holy good, completely good. Judaism begins a concept that we’ll talk about called ethical monotheism. And there is a great faith, a great trust placed in that God right. That God is in control of everything. However, Judaism definitely balances that great faith, that great trust in God with a strong ethic of action in the world. Right. Even though you should. As if everything depends on God, you should act as if everything depends on you, right? So Judaism, as we’ll see, encourages its members to make the world a better place, right. To not just leave that up to God. Right. Don’t just pray that things will be better. Don’t just pray that bad things won’t happen. You need to take action in order to do that. Right. Human beings need to take action in order to make the world a better place. We are co creators of the world that we live in. God is the ultimate creator. But human beings have a role to play in the creation of this world, specifically in the creation of a better world. so here is the text of the two opening chapters, the first two or sorry, the first two? Yeah, the first two chapters of the Book of Genesis. Right. Which is the first book or first section in the Torah, which also happens to be the first book or section in the Christian Bible. So this is an English translation. Of course, the original is in Hebrew. This is the new international version. It’s widely available online and it’s a pretty standard and commonly used translation. Right. So we’re going to go through the story. We won’t read through the entire thing. But I just want to to point out some things as we go through it to to show you what I mean by these two different creation stories. This may be something that you’ve heard of or maybe you haven’t heard heard this idea before that there are two different creation stories in the Book of Genesis. So we’re going to start with Genesis one and we’ll see. The first creation story goes up until the first couple verses of the second chapter, and that’s when the second creation story starts. OK, so we’ll start at the beginning, right? You can see here in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The Earth was formless and empty. Darkness was over the surface of the deep and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters. So these are this is the opening two verses of the Hebrew Bible as well as the Christian Bible. Right. So it’s alerting us that it’s going to tell the story of God creating the heavens and the earth. Right. God creating the world at the beginning of time of our perception of time. So we’ll start then. We’ll keep going with verse three says and God said, let there be light. And there was light. God saw that the light was good and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day and the darkness. He called night. And there was evening and there was morning the first day. So we can see here in this this first creation story. Right, that God is God is creating the world and he’s doing it day by day. So if you’re familiar with this this story, you know that God continues his acts of creation over the course of several days, right over the course of six days. So it starts with the story of the first day where God created light. Right. And he separated the light from the darkness the day from the night. And I want you to look at that last part of verse five. It says, And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. This is also important to take note of because in Judaism, days go from sunset to sunset. And that’s because, as you can see here, that’s how days are described in the Bible, in the Torah. It starts with evening. So a day starts with evening. So at sunset, once sunset is completed, once the sun has set and right, that’s the marker of from day to night. That’s when day start in Judaism. Right. So a day goes from, you know, right after sunset to the next sunset. Right. Because that’s how they’re described here in Genesis. There was evening and morning the first day. Right. So an evening plus the next day. That’s a day, right? That’s a twenty four hour period. This is also why some of you may know and we’ll talk about more in later lectures. Right. The Jewish Sabbath or Shabbat goes from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday because that’s how days are counted in Judaism. Then we’ll we’ll continue on right for six. God said, let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water. So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so God called the vault sky. And there was evening and there was morning the second day. Right. So this on this night, we see what was created on the second day, right. That there are these two the waters were split. Right. So that there’s water above water below. Right. A lot of times it’s interpreted as, you know, the water condensation of the clouds, the seas below. Right. There’s two different two different areas of water, water storage on our planet. You can see right. There’s there’s another act of creation and another day and then it continues on. So we won’t go through all the rest of the days. So we saw what happened on the second day. God said, look, the water, the sky, we gather together and then we have dry, dry ground or land. Then God makes vegetation, seed bearing plants and trees. And then you see verse thirteen. There was evening, there was mourning. The third day we have a couple more acts of creation. Land is created and all the vegetation on the land is created as well. Then God creates more on the fourth day, he makes like the sun, the moon, the stars on the fourth day, you can see here, that’s what he creates there. So we have the fourth date done. Then on the fifth day, God creates all of the animals, right. He creates the great creatures of the sea, every living thing that the water teams with. Then he makes that on the fifth day. Sorry. So that’s the other sea creatures are on the fifth day and the the animals of the sky. And he also says the birds fly above the earth. That’s day five. Then on day six. Right. Then we come to day six, starting in verse twenty four, let the land produce living creatures according to their kines, the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground. So on the sixth day, God creates the rest of the animals right. On day five, he creates birds and all the animals in the sea. On day six, he creates all the animals of the land. Then we’re still on day six. If you look at and verse twenty six here, then God said, let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God is created, created the entire world, populated it with vegetation, right with plants, then all of the animals. Then God says, let’s make mankind right. So verse twenty seven that I have highlighted there. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God. He created them male and female. He created them. Right. So this is what happens in the first creation story. Right. You can see it’s a very orderly progression of everything that is created, starting with light, then the planet, right. Then populating the planet with plants and then animals and then finally people. Right. And people, male and female. They are the last act of creation. They are created at the same time and they’re both created in God’s image. Then you can see it. The story continues. Right. God gives them some instructions. He tells them to to be fruitful to you, to have children. And he says, I give you everything on this planet, you know, to for your resources and to take care of. And then and that’s all that happens on the sixth day, right? That’s a big act of creation. There was evening and there was mourning the six day. Right. And that’s the end of all the creation. Right. Human beings, male and female, are the last act of creation because as many of you probably know, God rests on the seventh day. Right. So you can see here now we’re in chapter two of Genesis, verse one. Thus, the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day, God had finished the work he had been doing. So on the seventh day, he rested from all his work, then God bless the seventh day and made it holy because on it he rested from all the work of creating he had done. This is the origin of the Sabbath or Shabbat in Hebrew that is still observed in Judaism. The seventh day of the week in Judaism is Friday, sunset to Saturday sunset. That is the Shabbat, and Jews rest on the seventh day in honor of God, who also rested on the seventh day. And then you can see in verse four that I have highlighted here, this is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens right. So it sort of summing it all up right now. We have told you the story of the creation of the world. This is how God created the world, and this is the order of everything that was created. OK, that’s the end of the first creation story. So creation story one runs from Genesis one to Genesis two four. So now with Genesis two five, we sort of jump back in to a totally different story, not totally different, but to a different story that tells the story of the creation in a different way. Right. So just going starting with verse number five. Right. Genesis two five says now no Shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up. Right. So now we’re sort of you know, we’re we’re taken back to, you know, to a previous time. Right. Genesis two four has completed the story. It’s completed the story of the creation of the world. But now we’re sort of being thrown back into the story at a previous time, right before there was any vegetation in the world. So in the first creation story that. On day like, what, between three and four, something like that, right, the earth has been created. We seem to have already know, the earth has already been formed. There’s land, but there’s no vegetation. Right. There’s no plants, plants, trees, things like that. So in this version of the story, we’re not told about the creation of the world. We start the story with the earth is there, but there’s no vegetation. Then in verse seven that I have highlighted here, then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. And the man became a living being. Right. So now we have the earth has has apparently been created. We don’t hear about it explicitly, but we know that there there are no there’s no vegetation yet. But then man is created. Right. So in this version of the story, in this creation story, man is actually created only male and created before vegetation and animals are created. OK, then in this version of the story. Right. We have kind of a different emphasis in this version of the story. This version of the story then talks about the Garden of Eden, God creating the Garden of Eden, which is not mentioned in the first story. Right. Genesis one to Genesis two for a there is no mention of a garden. There is no mention of a Garden of Eden. It’s only in this second creation story. And there’s there’s information on where it is. Right? There’s there’s discussion of certain rivers. These are the rivers that are going through it. This is where the Garden of Eden is located. And really in the first story, we don’t have any sort of like actual geographical markers. Right. It doesn’t give any specifics about where in the world exactly this was taking place. So so God creates man, he creates the Garden of Eden. And then you can see here, verse 15, the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden Eden to work it and to take care of it. So so now we’re really just focused on the garden, right? We’re not focused on the rest of the world. We’re focused on the Garden of Eden. And this man who has been put in it right. It’s translated as Adam. Oftentimes you can see it in this version of the story. But it is important to note, right, that in English we tend to think of Adam as a name. Right. That’s the name of the first man. And Adam is a common name for people in Hebrew. The word is Adam. It’s pronounced Adam. And in Hebrew, it’s not a personal name. The word Adam simply means like earth creature or earth thing. Right? It literally means like a dirt creature. So it really just means human, right? A creature of the earth, a human being. So it’s not it’s not a personal name and it’s actually not tenderized. It just means a human being, a creature, a creature of this world. So just a just an interesting side note that Adam is not actually a personal name. It is the Hebrew word, Adam, which just means literally earth creature or dirt creature or human being. OK, so Adam is in is in the Garden of Eden. This human being is in the Garden of Eden and this is where God gives the instructions many of you are probably familiar with. God says you can have anything that you want in the Garden of Eden, but you can’t eat from two different trees. There are two different trees that you cannot eat from. But you must not eat. You must not eat from the garden. Sorry, you must eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat it, you will certainly die. OK, so I use that one, the one tree there that he’s not allowed to eat from, then God says right here in the green, it’s not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable helper for him. So in this story, Adam is actually alone for a period of time. The genders, male and female, are not created at the same time. So God wants to find a helper for Adam, and this is when he creates all of the animals rights, says all the wild animals and all the birds. So as you can start to see now, in this version of creation, in this creation story, there’s a very different order of creation right now. We have, you know, the the earth, the planet being created, then male, right. Then Adam, then vegetation, then animals. So then God creates all the animals and the birds of the sky. But out of all of those animals, a suitable helper for Adam was not found. So that is when God having the second green highlighted section here. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. And while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib. He had taken out of the man and brought her to the man. And then Adam or the man now says, you know, this is bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh. We will we will be together. We will be as one. Right. So now we have the last act of creation in this version of the story. The last act of creation is not creating humankind, male and female. At the same time, the last act of creation is just to create the woman, right, just to create the woman who comes to be known as Eve because she is named in a later part of this story. She’s named Eve. So you can see it’s a very different, you know, a very different order in Genesis one one to two four. We have a very orderly description of the creation of the world. And it sort of goes in like a natural, logical progression. Right? Create, you know, the sky or sort create the light, create the world, populate the world with plants and then animals and finally people, humans, male and female. At the same time in Genesis two for a to the end of of chapter two, right to twenty five. It’s a very different order of creation we have. The planet is apparently created, but it doesn’t explicitly give us information about that. But then so the land is created then Adam then vegetation, then animals, then female. Right. So the two genders are separated in terms of when they are, when they are created. So these are the two different creation stories in Genesis. Right. You can see they have they have a different style to them. Right. The first one talks about the first day. The second day, the third day. The second one. Does it mention days? It doesn’t necessarily tell us on on what day certain things were created. It just sort of tells more of a story of sort of how and under what circumstances the acts of creation were. And it’s important to know. Right. I’ll just say, you know, well, you know, we’re not in the Christianity unit yet. But I will just say that there is a strong emphasis in some denominations of Christianity to harmonize the two stories. There can be among some Christians, a pushback to the idea that there are two stories. There are two different creation stories here, but we’re discussing Judaism right now. And it’s important to note that in Judaism, there is no pushback to this idea. It is very well accepted and well understood that there are two different creation stories in the Book of Genesis. They cannot be harmonized. They tell the story of creation in two very different ways. But the text as a whole is still sacred. There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with having two different versions of the creation story in Judaism. The emphasis has been on why are both stories in the text right? Why are the two different versions of how creation happened in the text? Right. There are significant differences between them that can’t be harmonized, that don’t need to be harmonized. So the emphasis in Judaism has been on understanding why they’re both there. What does each story have to teach? About God, about humanity, about the world, our relationship to the world. Things like that, and there, you know, there have been a couple of different there’s a couple of different theories within Judaism about sort of how how the stories work separately from each other. And in Judaism, there’s actually been kind of a theories that they they’re describing two different creations, that there were sort of two different attempts at creation. So one theory, which is something that has been around in Judaism since the Middle Ages. Right. If we go back to Genesis one, twenty seven says so. God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God. He created them male and female, sorry, male and female. He created them. There have been theories and in Jewish interpretation that this was another act of creation. This was actually not the creation of the first human beings you can see in the wording here, right. Because it says male and female, he created them. So some Jewish interpreters have seen this as well. This was some type of hermaphroditic being, right. This was a living creature that had aspects of both male and female within them. Right. And this is what God created before creating humanity. Right. The creation of humanity comes in the second story, right. Where we have the creation of the man of Adam and then the woman of Eve. So this creation in the first story, this must be a different creation. So this is you know, there’s been there’s this is some type of either maybe this was like Angel’s right. This is the creation of angels that angels don’t have a specific gender. They they are both male and female. There have also been other theories. There’s a section later on in Genesis that sort of talks about like a a race of giants, that there were some other type of giant beings in the world. So maybe it’s that’s what this creation is referring to. So some Jews have understood this to mean God created something else first. He created some other being that was both male and female and then later on created human beings. So that’s one way to sort of understand the two creation stories together. There’s also been other theories. This is more sort of Jewish folklore. But there are other another theory that that the man in both stories is the same. Right. But that there’s actually two different women, the two different women that are created. Right. There is a certain female that’s created in the first story. Right. So God creates Adam and another woman whose name is Lilith, which you may have heard of before. Maybe not. And then the second story is still talking about Adam. But the second woman who’s created that’s Eve. And again, this is sort of you know, it’s more sort of Jewish folklore, but this isn’t a theory or an idea that goes back to medieval times as well within Judaism. So in this story, right, the first creation in the first creation story, God created Adam and he creates his wife, Lily. Well, Lilith is not a traditional wife. She she decides that she doesn’t like she doesn’t like Adam. She doesn’t like this this idea of being a wife, of being a subservient wife, submitting to Adam and submitting to God. So she actually runs away. She runs away because she doesn’t want to fulfill that role. Then God says, well, it’s not good for Adam to be alone. Right. Then we have the second story. And then finally, God creates Eve, who becomes his his his wife, who works together with him. And they you know, they are married and they work together. So this Lillith figure has been around in Jewish sort of guys of Jewish folklore, Jewish legends for a long time. For many, many years. She was thought of as I was like an evil character, a bad character. Right. Kind of similar to a witch that she was some sort of embodiment of of temptation, of something that is bad within women or within some women. She was sort of a witch type figure. But as you may imagine, this Lillith character did sort of have a renaissance starting in the 1970s with the feminist movement. And now she really is considered a beloved figure by by many Jewish people. Right. They they really respect Lilith. And she, of course, became kind of an icon of the feminist movement of Lilith who would not submit to Adam. It would not be the traditional life, so these are just some ideas, right, but it’s just I just want to point these out to show you that within Judaism, there is no attempt to try to sort of mush the two stories together. The idea is that there are two creation stories. The text is sacred. God wants both of them to be in there. So what is happening in each story? Why are both stories in there and what can we learn from each story? OK, so those are the two creation stories in Genesis. Historical scholars of the Hebrew Bible believe that they were probably written at different times. They belong to different. There are a couple they were some sort of history. You don’t necessarily have to know. But in the early history of Judaism, there were separate tribes. One one story probably belongs to one of the tribes and one to another. The first Genesis creation story is probably written from a more priestly perspective because it’s very, very sophisticated. It’s kind of like poetry. It sounds like it goes along with the ceremony. And the second creation story is probably older. It probably belonged to a different tribe of early Israel. And it’s sort of more of it’s more of a folklore type story. Right? It’s it’s more exciting. It has sort of more, you know, more drama in it. The Garden of Eden and then eventually the the eating of the forbidden fruit, things like that. So that’s the perspective of scholars, of historical scholars of the Hebrew Bible. But I do want I do want you to be familiar with the story and the two different stories and how they differ. So in this video lecture, this is our last video lecture for Judaism. We’re going to talk about social justice. Remember in these video lectures, these last lectures for each of the traditions, we talk a little bit about the the contributions that this religious tradition has made in terms of making our world a more equitable, a more equal place to live, which the religious traditions of the world have had a great a great contribution to that. So before we get into talking specifically about social justice issues, though, I do want to go over the branches of Judaism because it is important in terms of kind of understanding some of the other comments that I’ve made about different interpretations of the law things and also the social justice issues that we’re going to talk about specifically in this video lecture. So you’ve heard me already mentioned a couple of times that there are different denominations of Judaism. Oftentimes in Judaism, you don’t necessarily hear the term denominations. You hear the term branches. Right. This idea that they’re sort of a family of Jewish people, a family of Judaism, but there are different branches of that family or different branches of that tree. So there are four different branches or denominations of Judaism, or at least these are the four main ones. There are definitely some some other denominations that are much smaller. But these are really the four four sort of largest mainstream, most popular denominations of Judaism. And they are Orthodox conservative reform and reconstructionist. I have them listed here. So you could say sort of most conservative to most liberal or progressive. So it kind of goes through that spectrum, right from Orthodox to Reconstructionist, even though it gets a little confusing with the terminology, because conservative Judaism is actually not the most conservative form of Judaism, Orthodox Judaism. And so the terminology can be a little bit confusing. But we’ll we’ll go through sort of what these branches are and the history of them. So Orthodox Judaism, as I mentioned, is really the most conservative, the most traditional, the most orthodox way of practicing Judaism. And so Orthodox Jews really try as much as humanly possible to follow all of Torah law. Right. To follow all of the 613 laws in the halacha. It’s basically impossible to follow all of them, though, because some of them sort of you can only follow in certain places. Some of them, of course, are relegated to certain, you know, certain roles in society, certain activities. So there is no individual person in the world that can follow all 613 laws. Right. Because some of them apply to men, some of them apply to women, some of them apply to priests. Some of them apply to people who live in Israel. Some of them apply to people who live outside of Israel. But as much as possible, they try to follow as many of those laws that apply to them as possible. And and so it’s also important to know that Orthodox Judaism is actually the minority of Jews in the world today. So Orthodox Jews are are smaller in number than some of these other branches or denominations that we’re going to talk about. And really, even the name Orthodox Judaism is a a modern it is a modern phenomenon. It wasn’t until these other branches of Judaism started to break away and sort of form their own denominations or communities of Jewish people that that Orthodox Jews started calling themselves Orthodox Jews. Right. Sort of in reaction to some of these some of these other denominations of Judaism. So what we are orthodox, right? We are going to keep the traditional ways right there. There might be other deno

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