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Judaizam

Judaizam

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Judaizam

Judaizam je religija koja propovijeda vjeru u jednog, bestjelesnog i samo duhovnog Boga, oca svih ljudi. Ovaj Bog predstavlja sveukupnost moralnih savršenstava i od ljudi zahtijeva ljubav i pravednost. Ime ovog Boga zbog svetosti ga nije dozvoljeno izgovarati. Judaistička religioznost temelji se u poslušnosti prema “božanskom zakonu”. Ovaj zakon sadržan je u hebrejskoj Bibliji. Biblija je sintetiziran rukopis od 24 knjige. Pisana je na hebrejskom i djelomično na aramejskom jeziku. Govori o povijesti, idejama i društvenim borbama judinog naroda. Ujedno to je i zbirka vjerskih i pravnih propisa, kao i starih mitova koje su Judeji preuzeli od drugih naroda istoka. Stari zavjet djeli se na tri osnovne grupe:
1. Zakon (hebrejski: Tora, sadrži tzv. Petoknjižje - Pet knjiga Mojsijevih:

Knjigu postajnja, Knjigu izlaska, Levitski zakonik, Knjigu brojeva i Ponovljeni zakon) 2. Proroci (sadrži: Prve proroke i Posljednje proroke), i 3. Spisi (Psalmi, Knjiga o Jovu, Priče Salomonove, Prva i Druga knjiga dnevnika, Jezdrijina i Nemijina knjiga, Knjiga o Ruti, Pjesma nad pjesmama, Knjiga propovjednika, Plač Jeremijin, Knjiga proroka Danijela). Mnogi istraživači smatraju da je Stari zavjet prethodna faza u razvoju kšćanske religije koja je izložena u Novom zavjetu. Pored Tore za vjerski život Židova posebno je važan Talmud (hebrejski: učenje). Talmud je velika je vjerska zbirka poslje-biblijskih tumačenja hebrejske Biblije, obrednih pravila, pravnih propisa, priča i izreka. Sastoji se iz dva djela: Mišna (tekst učenja) i Gemara (objašnjenje učenja). Postoje dva Talmuda: Jeruzalemski Talmud (priređen oko 650. godine nove ere) i Babilonski Talmud (priređen oko 500. godine). Za ortodoksnog Židova obavezan je i veliki broj obrednih propisa i propisa o čistoći i ishrani. Osnivač hebrejske religije je Mojsije (hebrejski Moše, oko 1225. pr. Kr.). Praktično jedini izvor za upoznavanje Mojsijevog života, rada i učenja je Biblija, odnosno Stari zavjet. Mojsije je bio hebrejski vođa i zakonodavac koji je narod oslobodio egipatskog ropstva i na gori Sinaju dao im dvije tablice koji su postali temelj hebrejske religije. Mojsije zauzima prvo mjesto među osnivačima religija, pošto njemu u prilog ide kronološko prvenstvo: Zaratustra, Buda, Konfučije, Isus i Muhamed pojavili su se tek mnogo stoljeća poslije njega. Prema Bibliji, Mojsije je čuvajući stoku na brdu Horeb (Sinaj) vidio Boga (Jahve) koji mu je dao moć da vrši čudesna djela i povjerio mu misiju - da se vrati svojim plemenima i oslobodi ih od ropstva.

Židovske svete knjige
Tora je, slobodno prevedeno, Zakon. Židovstvo doživljava Toru kao Božju riječ i kao samu božju pojavnost. Tora, kao osnovna knjiga cijelog židovstva,
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je pravilnik privatnog, društvenog, političkog i vjerskog života Židova. Ona je i više od toga. Zapravo to je savršen nacrt svijeta, jer svijet koji je stvoren prema načelima Tore, trebao bi biti i uređen prema istim načelima. Talmud je zbornik cjelokupne usmene predaje koja regulira religioznopravne odnose židovskog naroda. Postoje dvije verzije; babilonski Talmud koji je nastao negdje oko 500. godine i jeruzalemski koji je nastao stotinjak godina ranije. Oba se sastoje od dva dijela. Mišne i Gemare. Mišna je najraniji sačuvan rabinski tekst o vjerskom zakonu, a Gemara su rabinski komentari Mišne. Zohar je najpoznatija kabalistička knjiga. (Riječ kabala hebrejskog je porijekla i ona znači primati). Kabala je tajna nauka drevnih Hebreja. Njezini tekstovi razvijaju poseban način mišljenja, poseban način gledanja, poseban način doživljavanja. Gotovo kao da se uči novi jezik, novu metodu razmišljanja.

Sinagoga
Sinagoga (grčki: skupština, okupljanje) je zgrada u kojoj se obavljaju vjerske aktivnosti u židovstvu. Rabin (hebrejski: moj učitelj) je židovski svećenik, poglavar vjerske općine. Status rabina stječe se dugogodišnjim izučavanjem Biblije i Talmuda.

Židovski blagdani
• • • • • • • • • • • • •

sabat - sveti dan mirovanja - najvažniji blagdan, Roš ha-sana - Nova godina - obljetnica stvaranja svijeta, Jom Kipur - dan pomirbe i pokajanja, Sukot - blagdan sjenica, Š'mini Aceret i Simhat Tora - obnavljanje kruga čitanja Tore, Hanukai - blagdan svjetlosti, Tu bi-š-vat - nova godina drveća, Purim - blagdan izbavljenja, Pesah ili Pasjha - blagdan izlaska - izbavljenja iz egipatskog ropstva, Jom ha-Šoa - dan sjećanja na žrtve Holokausta, Jom ha-Acmaut - dan države Izrael, Jom Jerušalajim - dan grada Jeruzalema, Šavuot - blagdan primanja Tore.

Izrael i odnos Židova prema vjeri
Zemlja koju je Bog obećao Abrahamu (Kanaan) i dao je u vječni posijed, kasnije je poznata pod imenom Izrael (Erec Israel). Ona je za sve Židove od posebnog značenja i u razdobljima najvećeg raseljavanja i progona njihove misli neprekidno se vraćaju k njoj i svetom gradu Jeruzalemu (Jerušalajim). Tako su nakon dugih godina progonstva Židovi shvatili da će kao vjerska

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manjina prestati trpjeti samo ako budu ponovo mogli živjeti u svojoj vlastitoj zemlji. Iz tih shvaćanja i želja rodio se cionizam čijom je zaslugom i uspostavljena država Izrael. Godine 1942. cionistički pokret usvaja tzv. Baltimorski program, koji poziva na uspostavu židovske države u Britanskom mandatu Palestini. Država Izrael uspostavljena je 14. svibnja 1948. odlukom Generalne skupštine (UN) Judaizam kao religija i kao pripadnost jednom narodu je nedjeljivo. To je jedinstven identitet ako Židov želi biti i ostati Židov. To i razlikuje židovstvo bitno od drugih religija. Židov ne može biti član niti jedne druge vjerske zajednice, a da pritom ostane Židov, i niti pripadnici drugih naroda mogu biti židovske vjere, oni mogu preobraćenjem postati Židovi i članovi židovske vjerske zajednice. Suvremeni judaizam dijeli se na tri osnovna smjera: ortodoksni, konzervativni i reformni. Odnos Židova prema vjeri regulira HALAHA, koja je skup vjerskih propisa i pravila koje čine vjerski zakonik. Kašrut (‫ )כשרות‬je čuvanje posvećenosti, odnosi se na poštivanje čistoće hrane, ne samo u higijenskom smislu nego i prema propisima o dozvoljenoj i zabranjenoj hrani. B'rahot (blagoslovi) su važan dio svakodnevnih obreda. Oni su suština judaizma u njegovoj svakodnevnoj primjeni. Slave Stvaratelja svih dobara i time su osnovni motiv judaizma. Ima više vrsta blagoslova ali svi počinju blagoslovom Božjeg postojanja i djelovanja: BARUH, ATA ADONAI ELOHEINU MELEH HA'OLAM... (Blagoslovljen si Ti, Gospodine Bože naš, kralju Svemira...)

Rasprostranjenost
Danas na svijetu ima između 15 i 16 milijuna pripadnika ove religije. Veliki dio ih živi u SAD-u, oko pet milijuna ih živi u Izraelu, a ostatak u svim zemljama svijeta (poglavito Francuskoj i Rusiji). Njihovi običaji, njihov način života čak i izgovor hebrejskog jezika mogu se razlikovati, ali Židovi su jedan narod ujedinjen zajedničkim precima; patrijasima Abrahamom, Izakom (Yitzhak) i Jakovom (Jaakov). Prema podatcima iz 1991. godine u svijetu ima 17.865.000 pripadnika hebrejske religije. Država židova je Izrael.

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or roughly 0. A major source of difference between these groups is their approach to Jewish law. and the oldest to survive into the present day. philosophy. "Judah". About 42% of all Jews reside in Israel and about 42% reside in the United States and Canada. 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.Judaism (from the Latin Iudaismus. which retains several thousand followers today and maintains that only the Written Torah was revealed. Conservative Judaism and Reform Judaism. liberal movements such as Humanistic Judaism may be nontheistic.יהודה‬Yehudah. with the term Jews replacing the title "Children of Israel". In 2010. with Conservative Judaism generally promoting a more "traditional" interpretation of Judaism's requirements than Reform Judaism. the world Jewish population was estimated at 13. Historically. Islam and the Baha'i Faith. the Hebrew God's principal relationships 4 . The Hebrews / Israelites were already referred to as "Jews" in later books of the Tanakh such as the Book of Esther. The largest Jewish religious movements are Orthodox Judaism (Hareidi Judaism and Modern Orthodox Judaism). traditions and values strongly influenced later Abrahamic religions. Jews are an ethnoreligious group and include those born Jewish and converts to Judaism. Orthodox Judaism maintains that the Torah and Jewish law are divine in origin. with most of the remainder living in Europe.2% of the total world population. Defining character Unlike other ancient Near Eastern gods. but in the sacred texts and the many rabbis and scholars who interpret these texts. a movement that flourished in the medieval period. Many aspects of Judaism have also directly or indirectly influenced secular Western ethics and civil law. 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. and ultimately from the Hebrew ‫ . in Hebrew: ‫.000 years. Authority on theological and legal matters is not vested in any one person or organization. derived from the Greek Ioudaïsmos. consequently. eternal and unalterable. Judaism's texts. Conservative and Reform Judaism are more liberal. special courts enforced Jewish law. the Hebrew God is portrayed as unitary and solitary.יהדות‬ ֲַ Yahedut. and that they should be strictly followed. Judaism claims a historical continuity spanning more than 3. This assertion was historically challenged by the Karaites.4 million. these courts still exist but the practice of Judaism is mostly voluntary. including Christianity. Judaism is considered by religious Jews to be the expression of the covenantal relationship God developed with the Children of Israel. and way of life of the Jewish people. In modern times. Originating in the Hebrew Bible (also known as the Tanakh) and explored in later texts such as the Talmud. the distinctive characteristics of the Judean ethnos) is the religion. today. It is one of the oldest monotheistic religions.

calling for the Berakhot. and concerned with the actions of humankind. which is nothing else than the imitation of God. even if we consider only those that call for Berakot. the occasions for experiencing Him. that is.are not with other gods. Such things as one's daily sustenance. Whereas Jewish philosophers often debate whether God is immanent or transcendent. evil as well as good. 5 . Everything that happens to a man evokes that experience. Ethical monotheism is central in all sacred or normative texts of Judaism. He also commanded the Jewish people to love one another. many different interpretations of monotheism existed in Judaism. are felt as manifestations of God's loving-kindness. adultery. Many generations later. Kedushah. for a Berakah is said also at evil tidings. holiness. And not only do ordinary things and occurrences bring with them the experience of God. These commandments are but two of a large corpus of commandments and laws that constitute this covenant. monotheism has not always been followed in practice. is concerned with daily conduct. we have constitute occasions for the experience of God. Hence. while the several holy objects are non-theurgic. and more specifically. although the experience of God is like none other. he commanded the nation of Israel to love and worship only one God. In the Greco-Roman era. which is the substance of Judaism. and the shedding of blood. Jews are to imitate God's love for people. familiar. with keeping oneself from defilement by idolatry. everyday things and occurrences. because it involves every-day personal experiences of God through ways or modes that are common to all Jews. the short blessings that are spoken every time a positive commandment is to be fulfilled. The ordinary. Rabbinic scholar Max Kadushin has characterized normative Judaism as "normal mysticism". The Birkat Ha-Mitzwot evokes the consciousness of holiness at a rabbinic rite. but with the world. However. the very day itself. with the people He created. Thus. including the interpretations that gave rise to Christianity. This is played out through the observance of the halakhot and given verbal expression in the Birkat Ha-Mizvot. The Jewish Bible (Tanakh) records and repeatedly condemns the widespread worship of other gods in ancient Israel. are manifold. for having a consciousness of Him. the Jewish nation is to reciprocate God's concern for the world. with being gracious and merciful. that is. but the objects employed in the majority of these rites are non-holy and of general character. Judaism thus begins with an ethical monotheism: the belief that God is one. According to the Hebrew Bible. Halakha is a system through which any Jew acts to bring God into the world. and whether people have free will or their lives are determined. God promised Abraham to make of his offspring a great nation. although there is an esoteric tradition in Judaism (Kabbalah).

is the Creator and Guide of everything that has been created. I believe with perfect faith that the prophecy of Moses our teacher. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator. Who comprehends all their actions" (Psalms 33:15). developed in the 12th century. observance of Jewish law is more important than belief in God per se. I believe with perfect faith that there will be a revival of the dead at the time when it shall please the Creator. peace be upon him. has no body. and that there will never be any other Torah from the Creator. and will be. knows all the deeds of human beings and all their thoughts. and His mention shall be exalted for ever and ever. and is. 6 . 12. some have argued that Judaism does not require one to believe in God. is One. In modern times. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator. According to Maimonides. "Who fashioned the hearts of them all. Blessed be His Name. 11. 7. and that there is no unity in any manner like His. Blessed be His Name. I believe with perfect faith that all the words of the prophets are true. some liberal Jewish movements do not accept the existence of a personified deity active in history. 13. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator. 8. I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah. 10. all of which have met with criticism. and even though he may tarry. nonetheless. 3. Blessed be His name. -Maimonides Scholars throughout Jewish history have proposed numerous formulations of Judaism's core tenets. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator. Blessed be His Name. was true. Blessed be His Name. The most popular formulation is Maimonides' thirteen principles of faith. and will make all things. as a non-creedal religion. He alone has made. does make. Core tenets 13 Principles of Faith: 1. Blessed be His Name. I believe with perfect faith that this Torah will not be exchanged. who was. Blessed be His Name. as it is written. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator. Blessed be His Name. 5. and that He is free from all the properties of matter. and that He alone is our God. 6. and that he was the chief of the prophets. 4. it is right to pray. and that there can be no (physical) comparison to Him whatsoever. 9. peace be upon him. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator. rewards those who keep His commandments and punishes those that transgress them. and to Him alone. Blessed be His Name. 2. For some.Moreover. I believe with perfect faith that to the Creator. both those who preceded him and those who followed him. I wait every day for his coming. and that it is not right to pray to any being besides Him. any Jew who rejects even one of these principles would be considered an apostate and a heretic. is the first and the last. Jewish scholars have held points of view diverging in various ways from Maimonides' principles. I believe with perfect faith that the entire Torah that is now in our possession is the same that was given to Moses our teacher.

associating apostasy with a failure to observe Jewish law and maintaining that the requirements for conversion to Judaism included circumcision and adherence to traditional customs. • • • • Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and Rabbinic literature o Mesorah o Targum o Jewish Biblical exegesis (also see Midrash below) Works of the Talmudic Era (classic rabbinic literature) o Mishnah and commentaries o Tosefta and the minor tractates o Talmud:  The Babylonian Talmud and commentaries  Jerusalem Talmud and commentaries Midrashic literature: o Halakhic Midrash o Aggadic Midrash Halakhic literature o Major Codes of Jewish Law and Custom  Mishneh Torah and commentaries  Tur and commentaries  Shulchan Aruch and commentaries 7 . a core text of Rabbinic Judaism. Along these lines. structured list of the central works of Jewish practice and thought. Jewish religious texts The following is a basic. Judaism lacks a centralized authority that would dictate an exact religious dogma. to a greater or lesser extent. Maimonides' principles were largely ignored over the next few centuries. acceptance of the Divine origins of this covenant is considered an essential aspect of Judaism and those who reject the Covenant forfeit their share in the World to Come. Later. Albo and the Raavad argued that Maimonides' principles contained too many items that. leading to their eventual near-universal acceptance. Even so.In Maimonides' time. all Jewish religious movements are. Judaism also universally recognizes the Biblical Covenant between God and the Patriarch Abraham as well as the additional aspects of the Covenant revealed to Moses. the ancient historian Josephus emphasized practices and observances rather than religious beliefs. who is considered Judaism's greatest prophet. many different variations on the basic beliefs are considered within the scope of Judaism. his list of tenets was criticized by Hasdai Crescas and Joseph Albo. based on the principles of the Hebrew Bible and various commentaries such as the Talmud and Midrash. two poetic restatements of these principles ("Ani Ma'amin" and "Yigdal") became integrated into many Jewish liturgies. while true. Because of this. were not fundamentals of the faith. In modern times. In the Mishnah.

then. While there have been Jewish groups whose beliefs were claimed to be based on the written text of the Torah alone (e. they argue. the halakhic Midrash. sources. By the time of Rabbi Judah haNasi (200 CE). most Jews believed in what they call the oral law. According to rabbinic tradition there are 613 commandments in the Torah. These oral traditions were transmitted by the Pharisee sect of ancient Judaism. This parallel set of material was originally transmitted orally. and were later recorded in written form and expanded upon by the rabbis. To justify this viewpoint. after the destruction of Jerusalem. Sheelot U-Teshuvot. The literature of questions to rabbis. These have been expounded by commentaries of various Torah scholars during the ages.e. means that the reader is assumed to be familiar with the details from other. is based on a combined reading of the Torah. where many words are left undefined. much of this material was edited together into the Mishnah. oral. the Talmud and its commentaries.. the Sadducees.) Over time. Halakha. and came to be known as "the oral law". codes of Jewish law 8 . Rabbinic Judaism (which derives from the Pharisees) has always held that the books of the Torah (called the written law) have always been transmitted in parallel with an oral tradition. as practices develop. some only to farmers within the Land of Israel. the rabbinic Jewish way of life. Over the next four centuries this law underwent discussion and debate in both of the world's major Jewish communities (in Israel and Babylonia). The Halakha has developed slowly. is referred to as responsa (in Hebrew.g. and the Karaites). this. and fewer than 300 of these commandments are still applicable today. some only to the ancient priestly groups. through a precedent-based system. and the oral tradition .the Mishnah. and their considered answers.• • • o Responsa literature Jewish Thought and Ethics o Jewish philosophy o Kabbalah o Hasidic works o Musar literature and other works of Jewish ethics Siddur and Jewish liturgy Piyyut (Classical Jewish poetry) Jewish legal literature The basis of Jewish law and tradition (halakha) is the Torah (also known as the Pentateuch or the Five Books of Moses). the Kohanim and Leviyim (members of the tribe of Levi). and the commentaries on the Mishnah from each of these communities eventually came to be edited together into compilations known as the two Talmuds. Many laws were only applicable when the Temple in Jerusalem existed. Jews point to the text of the Torah. Some of these laws are directed only to men or to women.. and many procedures mentioned without explanation or instructions. i.

the Shulchan Aruch. A case logically falling into a general law but treated separately remains outside the provisions of the general law except in those instances where it is specifically included in them. the most important code. Jewish philosophy Jewish philosophy refers to the conjunction between serious study of philosophy and Jewish theology. Joseph B. The rules about a generalization being followed or preceded by specifying particulars (rules 4 and 5) will not apply if it is apparent that the specification of the particular cases or the statement of the generalization is meant purely for achieving a greater clarity of language. 4. Notable among Orthodox Jewish philosophers are Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler. only those particulars are to be embraced by it. Abraham Joshua Heschel. 6. Franz Rosenzweig. can be applied only to the particular cases specified. then continues with the specification of particular cases. 9. A penalty specified for a general category of wrong-doing is not to be automatically applied to a particular case that is withdrawn from the general rule to be specifically prohibited. 7. Obscurities in Biblical texts may be cleared up from the immediate context or from subsequently occurring passages 9 . Mordecai Kaplan. but without any mention of the penalty. A law operating in one situation will also be operative in another situation.are written that are based on the responsa. Judah Halevi. A particular case already covered in a generalization that is nevertheless treated separately suggests that the same particularized treatment be applied to all other cases which are covered in that generalization. A law that clearly expresses the purpose it was meant to serve will also apply to other situations where the identical purpose may be served. Maimonides. Major changes occurred in response to the Enlightenment (late 18th to early 19th century) leading to the post-Enlightenment Jewish philosophers. and Emmanuel Lévinas. When a general rule is followed by illustrative particulars. largely determines Orthodox religious practice today. Saadia Gaon. 12. with a modification in penalty. is to be applied to particulars cases not specified but logically falling into the same generalization. A general prohibition followed by a specified penalty may be followed by a particular case. Will Herberg. 3. 11. A law that operates under certain conditions will surely be operative in other situations where the same conditions are present in a more acute form 2. if the text characterizes both situations in identical terms. normally included in the generalization. and Yitzchok Hutner. Rabbinic hermeneutics 13 Principles of Hermeneutics: 1. and then proceeds to an allembracing generalization. and then concludes with a restatement of the generalization. 5. A law that begins with a generalization as to its intended applications. A law that begins with specifying particular cases. Modern Jewish philosophy consists of both Orthodox and non-Orthodox oriented philosophy. Well-known nonOrthodox Jewish philosophers include Martin Buber. 10. Soloveitchik. Major Jewish philosophers include Solomon ibn Gabirol. and Gersonides. 8. either toward easing it or making it more severe.

Ishmael: 'Behold. and law. 10 . Contradictions in Biblical passages may be removed through the mediation of other passages. Reflecting on the contribution of the Amoraim and Tanaim to contemporary Judaism. but of its interpretations as well. In the study of Torah. In Judaism. The study of Torah (in its widest sense.. the claim of the essential unity of Scripture as the expression of the single divine will. loving deeds of kindness. and for their successors today. These are the things for which a person enjoys the dividends in this world while the principal remains for the person to enjoy in the world to come.13. even (according to one famous report) scribal flourish. the study of Torah was therefore not merely a means to learn the contents of God's revelation. According to the Talmud. but no two verses hold the same meaning. all Rabbinic hermeneutics rest on two basic axioms: first. Ishmael Orthodox and many other Jews do not believe that the revealed Torah consists solely of its written contents. letter. second. According to the Talmud. Professor Jacob Neusner observed: The rabbi's logical and rational inquiry is not mere logic-chopping. the belief in the omnisignificance of Scripture.. and both the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud) is in Judaism itself a sacred act of central importance. narrative. to include both poetry. the sages formulated and followed various logical and hermeneutical principles. My word is like fire—declares the Lord—and like a hammer that shatters rock' (Jer 23:29). It is a most serious and substantive effort to locate in trivialities the fundamental principles of the revealed will of God to guide and sanctify the most specific and concrete actions in the workaday world . These two principles make possible a great variety of interpretations. and making peace between one person and another. But the study of the Torah is equal to them all. but an end in itself." To study the Written Torah and the Oral Torah in light of each other is thus also to study how to study the word of God. Here is the mystery of Talmudic Judaism: the alien and remote conviction that the intellect is an instrument not of unbelief and desacralization but of sanctification. (Talmud Shabbat 127a). According to David Stern. they are: honoring parents. in the meaningfulness of its every word. It was taught in the school of R. A single verse has several meanings. For the sages of the Mishnah and Talmud.. "the study of Torah can be a means of experiencing God". -R.

hermeneutics. the religious system or polity of the Jews".[62][63] in Hebrew: ‫ . and can be compared with hellenismos. The earliest instance of the term in English. Judah Hadassi incorporated Ishmael's principles into Karaite Judaism in the 12th century. and one of Judaism's earliest. this collection is largely an amplification of that of Hillel). Jewish identity Origin of the term "Judaism" The term Judaism derives from the Latin Iudaismus. Observant Jews thus view the Torah as dynamic. Ishmael's 13 principles are perhaps the ones most widely known. is Robert Fabyan's The newe cronycles of Englande and of Fraunce a 1513. the introduction to his commentary on the Sifra. Nevertheless. R. because it contains within it a host of interpretations According to Rabbinic tradition. they sometimes appealed to hermeneutic principles to legitimize their arguments. Eliezer b. meaning acceptance of Hellenic cultural norms (the conflict between iudaismos and hellenismos lay behind the Maccabeean revolt and hence the invention of the term iudaismos). As an English translation of the Latin. and ultimately from the Hebrew ‫ . used to mean "the profession or practice of the Jewish religion. Jose ha-Gelili listed 32. derived from the Greek Ιουδαϊσμός Ioudaïsmos. they constitute an important. Thus. that of iudea. Ishmael. some rabbis claim that these principles were themselves revealed by God to Moses at Sinai. It first appears as the Hellenistic ֲַ Greek iudaismos in 2nd Maccabees in the 2nd century BCE. ii. all valid interpretations of the written Torah were revealed to Moses at Sinai in oral form. Today R." (Talmud Sanhedrin 34a).Just as this hammer produces many sparks (when it strikes the rock). When different rabbis forwarded conflicting interpretations. 21 "Those that behaved themselues manfully to their honour for Iudaisme. and handed down from teacher to pupil (The oral revelation is in effect coextensive with the Talmud itself). 2 Macc. the first instance in English is a 1611 translation of the Apocrypha(Deuterocanon in Catholic and Orthodox Christianity). Ishmael's 13 principles are incorporated into the Jewish prayer book to be read by observant Jews on a daily basis. Hillel called attention to seven commonly used in the interpretation of laws (baraita at the beginning of Sifra). contributions to logic. All the hermeneutic rules scattered through the Talmudim and Midrashim have been collected by Malbim in Ayyelet haShachar.יהדות‬Yahadut. so a single verse has several meanings." 11 .יהודה‬Yehudah. the Greek derivative of Persian Yehud. "Judah". largely used for the exegesis of narrative elements of Torah. and jurisprudence. In the context of the age and period it held the meaning of seeking or forming part of a cultural entity. R. thirteen (baraita at the beginning of Sifra.

conquest. and different situations call for consideration and differing actions. Boyarin has argued that "Jewishness disrupts the very categories of identity. such as religion. a Jew is anyone born of a Jewish mother or converted to Judaism in accordance with Jewish Law. anarchic and theocratic self-government. All mainstream forms of Judaism today are open to sincere converts.Distinction between Jews as a people and Judaism According to Daniel Boyarin. Jews who have converted under duress may be permitted to return to Judaism "without any action on their part but their desire to rejoin 12 . practices such as Humanistic Judaism reject the religious aspects of Judaism. which would bear fruit in the form of a Jewish state in the Levant. particularly medieval and modern Europe). in the Diasporas.000-year history predates the rise of Western culture and occurred outside the West (that is. Persian. Jews have experienced slavery. According to some sources. occupation. Boyarin suggests that this in part reflects the fact that much of Judaism's more than 3. the underlying distinction between religion and ethnicity is foreign to Judaism itself." In contrast to this point of view. in dialectical tension. but all of these. while retaining certain cultural traditions. in his view. is a Jew forever. Converts are given the name "ben Abraham" or "bat Abraham". Who is a Jew? According to traditional Jewish Law. For example. They also saw an elite convert to Judaism (the Khazars). whether by birth or conversion. However. the Reform movement has maintained that a Jew who has converted to another religion is no longer a Jew. they have been in contact with and have been influenced by ancient Egyptian. and Hellenic cultures. because it is not national. Thus. American Reform Judaism and British Liberal Judaism accept the child of one Jewish parent (father or mother) as Jewish if the parents raise the child with a Jewish identity. Europe. (son or daughter of Abraham). Traditional Judaism maintains that a Jew. not religious. During this time. The conversion process is evaluated by an authority. only to disappear as the centers of power in the lands once occupied by that elite fell to the people of Rus and then the Mongols. the Reform movement has indicated that this is not so cut and dry. as well as modern movements such as the Enlightenment (see Haskalah) and the rise of nationalism. or culture. and exile. not genealogical. Babylonian. Thus a Jew who claims to be an atheist or converts to another religion is still considered by traditional Judaism to be Jewish. and the Israeli Government has also taken that stance after Supreme Court cases and statutes. and is one form of the dualism between spirit and flesh that has its origin in Platonic philosophy and that permeated Hellenistic Judaism. ethnicity. and the convert is examined on his or her sincerity and knowledge. Consequently. although conversion has traditionally been discouraged since the time of the Talmud. Judaism does not fit easily into conventional Western categories.

According to the Jewish Year Book (1901). and it may be • 13 . Orthodoxy is often divided into Modern Orthodox Judaism and Haredi Judaism.the Jewish community" and "A proselyte who has become an apostate remains. in the 1950s. and that the laws within it are binding and unchanging. Orthodox Jews generally consider commentaries on the Shulchan Aruch (a condensed codification of halakha that largely favored Sephardic traditions) to be the definitive codification of Jewish law.3% growth from 2000 to 2001.3 million Jews around the world. In 2002. Haredi Judaism is less accommodating to modernity and has less interest in non-Jewish disciplines. The question of what determines Jewish identity in the State of Israel was given new impetus when. • Orthodox Judaism holds that both the Written and Oral Torah were divinely revealed to Moses.‫ )יהדות רבנית‬has been the mainstream form of Judaism since the 6th century CE. Jewish religious movements Rabbinic Judaism Rabbinic Judaism (or in some Christian traditions. Conservative. Jewish demographics The total number of Jews worldwide is difficult to assess because the definition of "who is a Jew" is problematic. the global Jewish population in 1900 was around 11 million. David Ben-Gurion requested opinions on mihu Yehudi ("who is a Jew") from Jewish religious authorities and intellectuals worldwide in order to settle citizenship questions. especially in North America and Anglophone countries. and occasionally resurfaces in Israeli politics. Rabbinism) (Hebrew: "Yahadut Rabanit" . This is still not settled. The Jewish Enlightenment of the late 18th century resulted in the division of Ashkenazi (Western) Jewry into religious movements or denominations. with 0. Orthodoxy places a high importance on Maimonides' 13 principles as a definition of Jewish faith.6 million. after the codification of the Talmud. and Reform. Jewish population growth is currently near zero percent. "the way"). and some who identify as Jewish are not considered so by other Jews. It is characterised by the belief that the Written Torah (Law) cannot be correctly interpreted without reference to the Oral Torah and by the voluminous literature specifying what behavior is sanctioned by the law (called halakha. (p. 100-106). there were 13. a Jew". The main denominations today outside Israel (where the situation is rather different) are Orthodox. The latest available data is from the World Jewish Population Survey of 2002 and the Jewish Year Calendar (2005). according to the Jewish Population Survey. not all Jews identify themselves as Jewish. The Jewish Year Calendar cites 14. nevertheless.

• A Reform synagogue with mixed seating and equal participation of men and women • Reconstructionist Judaism. and an acceptance of both traditional rabbinic and modern scholarship when considering Jewish religious texts.distinguished from Modern Orthodox Judaism in practice by its styles of dress and more stringent practices. but unlike Reform. Conservative Judaism teaches that Jewish law is not static. Subsets of Haredi Judaism include: Hasidic Judaism. "traditional" (masorti). and Sephardic Haredi Judaism. a positive attitude toward modern culture. whose Jewish identity may be a very powerful force in their lives.[73][74] Conservative Judaism holds that the Oral Law is divine and normative. • • Jewish movements in Israel Most Jewish Israelis classify themselves as "secular" (hiloni). Jewish Renewal is a recent North American movement which focuses on spirituality and social justice. but rejects the Orthodox position that it was dictated by God to Moses. • Conservative Judaism. defines Judaism as a religion rather than as a race or culture. including observance of Shabbat and kashrut. is characterized by a commitment to traditional Jewish laws and customs. but holds that both the Written and Oral Law may be interpreted by the rabbis to reflect modern sensibilities and suit modern conditions. but has always developed in response to changing conditions. rejects most of the ritual and ceremonial laws of the Torah while observing moral laws. but does not address issues of Jewish law. which emerged among Sephardic (Asian and North African) Jews in Israel. does not hold that Jewish law. Reform Judaism has developed an egalitarian prayer service in the vernacular (along with Hebrew in many cases) and emphasizes personal connection to Jewish tradition. like Reform Judaism. "religious" (dati) or Haredi. but who see it as largely independent of traditional religious belief and practice. which is rooted in the Kabbalah and distinguished by reliance on a Rebbe or religious teacher. called Liberal or Progressive Judaism in many countries. It holds that the Torah is a divine document written by prophets inspired by God and reflecting his will. requires observance. and emphasizes the ethical call of the Prophets. a deliberately nonfundamentalist teaching of Jewish principles of faith. This portion 14 . Reconstructionist thought emphasizes the role of the community in deciding what observances to follow. The term "secular" is more popular as a self-description among Israeli families of western (European) origin. known as Masorti outside the United States and Canada. Reform Judaism. Men and women participate equally in prayer. Humanistic Judaism is a small non-theistic movement centered in North America and Israel that emphasizes Jewish culture and history as the sources of Jewish identity. as such.

or "Hardal". by other moral principles. be it of the official Israeli rabbinate (Orthodox) or of the liberal movements common to diaspora Judaism (Reform. although the percentage of Jews who come under that category is far greater than in the diaspora. and they cover an extremely wide range in terms of ideology and religious observance. in Yiddish. The term "Orthodox" is not popular in Israeli discourse. What would be called "Orthodox" in the diaspora includes what is commonly called dati (religious) or haredi (ultraOrthodox) in Israel. compassion. lovingkindness (chesed). Jewish observances Jewish ethics Jewish ethics may be guided by halakhic traditions. humility. which combines a largely haredi lifestyle with nationalist ideology. and North Africa).e. Jewish ethical practice is typically understood to be marked by values such as justice. has nothing to do with the official Masorti (Conservative) movement. Haredi applies to a populace that can be roughly divided into three separate groups along both ethnic and ideological lines: (1) "Lithuanian" (non-hasidic) haredim of Ashkenazic origin. This term. Conservative). truth. as commonly used. Specific Jewish 15 . and self-respect. There is a great deal of ambiguity in the ways "secular" and "traditional" are used in Israel: they often overlap. and (3) Sephardic haredim. near Tel Aviv in Israel. as well as what has become known over the past decade or so as haredi-leumi (nationalist haredi). Alternative Judaism Karaite Judaism defines itself as the remnants of the non-Rabbinic Jewish sects of the Second Temple period..of the population largely ignores organized religious life. The term "traditional" (masorti) is most common as a self-description among Israeli families of "eastern" origin (i. although most do. The former term includes what is called "Religious Zionism" or the "National Religious" community. Their religious practices are those of Judaism. regard themselves as the descendants of the Israelites of the Iron Age kingdom of Israel. Central Asia. such as the Sadducees. Some European Karaites do not see themselves as part of the Jewish community at all. also refer to observant Orthodox Jews as frum. a very small community located entirely around Mount Gerizim in the Nablus/Shechem region of the West Bank and in Holon. The Karaites ("Scripturalists") accept only the Hebrew Bible and what they view as the Peshat ("simple" meaning). The Samaritans. the Middle East. (2) Hasidic haredim of Ashkenazic origin. (Some people. but they regard only the written Torah as authoritative scripture (with a special regard also for the Samaritan Book of Joshua). peace. they do not accept non-biblical writings as authoritative. as opposed to frei (more liberal Jews)). or by central Jewish virtues.

Orthodox and Conservative congregations adhere most closely to tradition. and whether prayers are recited in the traditional liturgical languages or the vernacular. including roles traditionally filled only by men. women participate in prayer services on an equal basis with men. many Reform temples use musical accompaniment such as organs and mixed choirs. The approach to prayer varies among the Jewish denominations. most Conservative Jews and members of other Jewish denominations count female Jews as well. In addition to prayer services. only men wear kippot. the frequency of prayer. in nonOrthodox communities. Differences can include the texts of prayers. snug cap that covers the whole crown. and so on. after eating a meal. The Shema is the recitation of a verse from the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:4): Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad—"Hear. before eating or drinking different foods. and Ma'ariv with a fourth prayer. In general.ethical practices include practices of charity (tzedakah) and refraining from negative speech (lashon hara). Communal prayer requires a quorum of ten adult Jews. Kippot range in size from a small round beanie that covers only the back of the head. Proper ethical practices regarding sexuality and many other issues are subjects of dispute among Jews.כפה‬plural kippot. the use of musical instruments and choral music. reciting blessings. Religious clothing A kippah (Hebrew: ‫ . Another key prayer in many services is the declaration of faith. Mussaf added on Shabbat and holidays. or studying Jewish religious texts. At the heart of each service is the Amidah or Shemoneh Esrei. in most Conservative synagogues. only male Jews are counted toward a minyan. In nearly all Orthodox and a few Conservative circles. Jews recite prayers three times daily. 16 . eating. such as reading from the Torah. Mincha. observant traditional Jews recite prayers and benedictions throughout the day when performing various acts. the Shema Yisrael (or Shema). some women also wear kippot. Also. called a minyan.יארמלקע‬yarmulke) is a ּּ slightly rounded brimless skullcap worn by many Jews while praying. the number of prayers recited at various religious events. Prayers Traditionally. and Reform and Reconstructionist synagogues are more likely to incorporate translations and contemporary writings in their services. and all Reform and Reconstructionist congregations. In Orthodox communities. Yiddish: ‫ . to a large. O Israel! The Lord is our God! The Lord is One!" Most of the prayers in a traditional Jewish service can be recited in solitary prayer. Shacharit. In addition. although communal prayer is preferred. and at all times by some Jewish men. Prayers are recited upon waking up in the morning.

In some Orthodox circles. which involves burning fuel. writing. the woman of the house welcomes the Shabbat by lighting two or more candles and reciting a blessing. using money and carrying in the public domain. is worn by prayer leaders and some observant traditional Jews on the High Holidays.)קיטל‬a white knee-length overgarment. Jewish holidays Shabbat Shabbat. and the Mohtzi. In fact the activities banned on the Sabbath are not "work" in the usual sense: They include such actions as lighting a fire. Jewish males are buried in a tallit and sometimes also a kittel which are part of the tachrichim (burial garments). A tallit katan (small tallit) is a fringed garment worn under the clothing throughout the day. the fringes are allowed to hang freely outside the clothing. They are worn during weekday morning prayer by observant Jewish men and some Jewish women. During Shabbat Jews are forbidden to engage in any activity that falls under 39 categories of melakhah. on the table. The prohibition of lighting a fire has been extended in the modern era to driving a car. are two square leather boxes containing biblical verses. Customs vary regarding when a Jew begins wearing a tallit. the weekly day of rest lasting from shortly before sundown on Friday night to nightfall Saturday night.Tzitzit (Hebrew: ‫( )ציצית‬Ashkenazi pronunciation: tzitzis) are special ּ ּ knotted "fringes" or "tassels" found on the four corners of the tallit (Hebrew: ‫( )טלית‬Ashkenazi pronunciation: tallis). At sundown on Friday. or prayer shawl. and some grooms wear one under the wedding canopy. a blessing recited aloud over a cup of wine. and using electricity. The tallit is worn by ַּ Jewish men and some Jewish women during the prayer service. A kittel (Yiddish: ‫ . Three pilgrimage festivals Jewish holy days (chaggim). meaning safeguard or amulet). two braided loaves of bread. attached to the forehead and wound around the left arm by leather straps. such as the Exodus from Egypt and the giving of the Torah. celebrate landmark events in Jewish history. In the Sephardi community. boys wear a tallit from bar mitzvah age. It plays a pivotal role in Jewish practice and is governed by a large corpus of religious law. and sometimes 17 . The evening meal begins with the Kiddush. a blessing recited over the bread. In some Ashkenazi communities it is customary to wear one only after marriage. It is traditional for the head of the household to wear a kittel at the Passover seder in some communities.)תפלין‬known in English as phylacteries (from the Greek ּּ ְ word φυλακτήριον. translated literally as "work". It is customary to have challah. Tefillin (Hebrew: ‫ . commemorates God's day of rest after six days of creation.

Passover is celebrated for eight days. It is a day of communal fasting and praying for forgiveness for one's sins. Sukkot ("Tabernacles" or "The Festival of Booths") commemorates the Israelites' forty years of wandering through the desert on their way to the Promised Land. where Jews begin to pray for rain and Simchat Torah. High Holy Days The High Holidays (Yamim Noraim or "Days of Awe") revolve around judgment and forgiveness. Jews around the world eat in sukkot for seven days and nights. Tishri. it coincided in biblical times with the wheat harvest. symbolizing purity. throughout the year. Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah are technically considered to be a separate holiday and not a part of Sukkot.mark the change of seasons and transitions in the agricultural cycle. and saying blessings over a variety of symbolic foods. reading the Book of Ruth. Homes are thoroughly cleaned to ensure no bread or bread by-products remain. it was customary for the Israelites to make pilgrimages to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices in the Temple. • • • Passover (Pesah) is a week-long holiday beginning on the evening of the 14th day of Nisan (the first month in the Hebrew calendar). or ram's horn. sukkah) that represent the temporary shelters of the Israelites during their wandering. Shavuot customs include all-night study marathons known as Tikkun Leil Shavuot. Outside Israel. in the synagogue. ("Day of Atonement") is the holiest day of the Jewish year. such as pomegranates. or foot). decorating homes and synagogues with greenery. The three major festivals. eating apples and honey. It coincides with the fruit harvest. during which Jews are commanded to search their souls and make amends for sins committed. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year (literally. (also Yom Ha-Zikkaron or "Day of Remembrance". On the three regalim. Sukkot concludes with Shemini Atzeret. Passover and Shavuot. are called "regalim" (derived from the Hebrew word "regel". Shavuot ("Pentecost" or "Feast of Weeks") celebrates the revelation of the Torah to the Israelites on Mount Sinai. The occasion is celebrated with singing and dancing with the Torah scrolls. and are not consumed throughout the week. Holiday customs include blowing the shofar. Sukkot. or "Day of the Sounding of the Shofar"). In ancient times. Matzo is eaten instead of bread. 18 . and marks the end of the agricultural cycle. it coincided with the barley harvest. and wearing white clothing. • • Rosh Hashanah. Also known as the Festival of Bikurim. It is the only holiday that centers on home-service. and Yom Teruah. Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the 10-day period of atonement leading up to Yom Kippur. or first fruits. intentionally or not. that commemorates the Exodus from Egypt. eating dairy foods (cheesecake and blintzes are special favorites). "Rejoicing of the Torah". and a symbolic burning of the last vestiges of chametz is conducted on the morning of the Seder. although it falls on the first day of the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar. the Seder. It is celebrated through the construction of temporary booths called sukkot (sing. Leavened products (chametz) are removed from the house prior to the holiday. a holiday which marks reaching the end of the Torah reading cycle and beginning all over again. Yom Kippur. "head of the year").

charity to the poor. is eaten. Purim is celebrated annually on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Adar. and a celebratory meal (Esther 9:22). Hanukkah is not mentioned in the Bible and was never considered a major holiday in Judaism. dressing up in masks and costumes. It is customary to wear white on Yom Kippur. The holiday was called Hanukkah (meaning "dedication") because it marks the re-dedication of the Temple after its desecration by Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Synagogue services on the eve of Yom Kippur begin with the Kol Nidre prayer. Other customs include drinking wine. Hanukkah Hanukkah (Hebrew: ‫" . before candles are lit. The festival is observed in Jewish homes by the kindling of lights on each of the festival's eight nights. ends with a long blast of the shofar. It is characterized by public recitation of the Book of Esther. and leather shoes are not worn. who sought to exterminate them.חנכה‬dedication") also known as the Festival of ‫ֲֻ ה‬ ּ Lights. mutual gifts of food and drink. reciting prayers from a special holiday prayerbook called a "Machzor". Purim Purim (Hebrew: ‫( פורים‬help·info) Pûrîm "lots") is a joyous Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Persian Jews from the plot of the evil Haman. prayers are held from morning to evening. prepare and consecrate new oil. the "seuda mafseket". one on the first night. there was only enough consecrated oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. eating special pastries called hamantashen. two on the second night and so on. and organizing carnivals and parties. The final prayer service. but it has become much more visible and widely celebrated in modern times.which was the length of time it took to press. especially for Kol Nidre. On the eve of Yom Kippur. Many non-religious Jews make a point of attending synagogue services and fasting on Yom Kippur. is an eight day Jewish holiday that starts on the 25th day of Kislev (Hebrew calendar).Observant Jews spend the entire day in the synagogue. Miraculously. Hanukkah commemorates the "Miracle of the Oil". The following day. According to the Talmud. as recorded in the biblical Book of Esther. sometimes with a short break in the afternoon. mainly because it falls around the same time as Christmas and has national Jewish overtones that have been emphasized since the establishment of the State of Israel. the oil burned for eight days . which occurs in February or March of the Gregorian calendar. Spiritually. at the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem following the victory of the Maccabees over the Seleucid Empire. a prefast meal. called "Ne'ilah". 19 .

with the cycle starting over in the autumn.ט׳ באב‬the Ninth of Av") is a holiday of mourning and fasting commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples and the expulsion of the Jews from Spain. mammals must have split hooves and chew their cud. Synagogues and religious buildings Synagogues are Jewish houses of prayer and study. on Simchat Torah. a lectern facing the Ark where the hazzan or prayer leader stands while praying. which are ritual baths. a continually lit lamp or lantern used as a reminder of the constantly lit menorah of the Temple in Jerusalem The pulpit. In addition to synagogues. Dietary laws: kashrut The Jewish dietary laws are known as kashrut. and mikvahs. For example. and food that is not kosher is also known as treifah or treif. Some traditional features of a synagogue are: • • • • The ark (called aron ha-kodesh by Ashkenazim and hekhal by Sephardim) where the Torah scrolls are kept (the ark is often closed with an ornate curtain (parochet) outside or inside the ark doors). Many of the laws apply to animal-based foods. where the Torah is read (and services are conducted in Sephardi synagogues). smaller rooms for study. 20 . The eternal light (ner tamid). Torah readings The core of festival and Shabbat prayer services is the public reading of the Torah. or institutions of Jewish learning. and often an area for community or educational use. Food prepared in accordance with them is termed kosher. There is no set blueprint for synagogues and the architectural shapes and interior designs of synagogues vary greatly. People who observe these laws are colloquially said to be "keeping kosher". along with connected readings from the other books of the Tanakh. They usually contain separate rooms for prayer (the main sanctuary). The Reform movement mostly refer to their synagogues as temples. the whole Torah is read. other buildings of significance in Judaism include yeshivas. The elevated reader's platform (called bimah by Ashkenazim and tebah by Sephardim). The modern holidays of Yom Ha-shoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) and Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) commemorate the horrors of the Holocaust and the achievement of Israel independence. in order to be considered kosher.Other holidays Tisha B'Av (Hebrew: ‫ תשעה באב‬or ‫" . called Haftarah. Over the course of a year. respectively. or amud.

The Torah does not give specific reasons for most of the laws of kashrut. the Torah forbids Israelites from eating non-kosher species because "they are unclean". For example. this is where animal souls are contained. Without the proper slaughtering practices even an otherwise kosher animal will be rendered treif. Other types of animals. reducing cruelty to animals and preserving the distinctness of the Jewish community. crustaceans. The waiting period between eating meat and eating dairy varies by the order in which they are consumed and by community. Some Conservative authorities permit wine and grape juice made without rabbinic supervision. and the area in and around the sciatic nerve. The exact translations of many of the species have not survived. according to the Torah. Utensils that have been used to prepare nonkosher food. are therefore considered non-kosher. meat and poultry (but not fish) must come from a healthy animal slaughtered in a process known as shechitah. some fats. Although it has split hooves. render the food treif under certain conditions. Jewish law also forbids the consumption of meat and dairy products together. For seafood to be kosher. and some nonkosher birds' identities are no longer certain. not Biblical. Furthermore. traditions exist about the kashrut status of a few birds. or dishes that have held meat and are now used for dairy products. In addition to the requirement that the species be considered kosher. However. Forbidden parts of animals include the blood. The slaughtering process is intended to be quick and relatively painless to the animal. people are forbidden from consuming the blood of birds and mammals because. For example.The pig is arguably the most well-known example of a non-kosher animal. due to ancient pagan practices of using wine in rituals. and ovens may make food treif that would otherwise be kosher. a list of non-kosher species is given in the Torah. encouraging obedience to God. However. are prohibited altogether. The various categories of dietary laws may have developed for different reasons. both chickens and turkeys are permitted in most communities. and some may exist for multiple reasons. but the prohibition is Rabbinic. 21 . the Talmud and Rabbinic law. teaching impulse control. The Kabbalah describes sparks of holiness that are released by the act of eating kosher foods. The use of dishes. improving health. this rule is mostly derived from the Oral Torah. Certain types of seafood. Chicken and other kosher birds are considered the same as meat under the laws of kashrut. and eels. a number of explanations have been offered. such as shellfish. serving utensils. In contrast. all Orthodox and some Conservative authorities forbid the consumption of processed grape products made by non-Jews. Concerning birds. Based on the Biblical injunction against cooking a kid in its mother's milk. reptiles. and can extend for up to six hours. including maintaining ritual purity. such as amphibians. it does not chew its cud. the animal must have fins and scales. and most insects. but are too tightly bound in non-kosher foods to be released by eating.

occur throughout a Jew's life that serve to strengthen Jewish identity and bind him/her to the entire community. vaginal flux. members of the hereditary caste that served as priests in the time of the Temple. These laws are also known as niddah. Laws of ritual purity The Tanakh describes circumstances in which a person who is tahor or ritually pure may become tamei or ritually impure. In addition. the Torah mandates that a woman in her normal menstrual period must abstain from sexual intercourse for seven days. Life-cycle events Life-cycle events. are mostly restricted from entering grave sites and touching dead bodies. Kohanim. seminal flux. For example. Traditional Ethiopian Jews keep menstruating women in separate huts and.Welcoming male babies into the covenant through the rite of circumcision on their eighth day of life. literally "separation". purification can occur in a ritual bath called a mikveh. In Rabbinic Judaism. or family purity.Survival concerns supersede all the laws of kashrut. The baby boy is also given his Hebrew name in the ceremony. Rabbinical law forbids the husband from touching or sharing a bed with his wife during this period. enjoys limited popularity. Vital aspects of halakha for traditionally observant Jews. or rites of passage. as they do for most halakhot. • Brit milah . Some of these circumstances are contact with human corpses or graves. the Biblical laws are augmented by Rabbinical injunctions. Afterwards. menstruation. A woman whose menstruation is prolonged must continue to abstain for seven more days after bleeding has stopped. do not allow menstruating women into their temples because of a temple's special sanctity. Emigration to Israel and the influence of other Jewish denominations have led to Ethiopian Jews adopting more normative Jewish practices. and mandated that a woman may not have sexual intercourse with her husband from the time she begins her menstrual flow until seven days after it ends. they are not usually followed by Jews in liberal denominations. Family purity An important subcategory of the ritual purity laws relates to the segregation of menstruating women. similar to Karaite practice. A naming ceremony intended as a parallel ritual for girls. The Rabbis conflated ordinary niddah with this extended menstrual period. 22 . known in the Torah as zavah. Especially in Orthodox Judaism. named zeved habat or brit bat. and contact with people who have become impure from any of these.

they are still honored in many Jewish communities. and guard duties. A Jew can fulfill most requirements for prayer by himself. • • Kohen (priest) . which is observed for eleven months. In the Temple in Jerusalem.• • • Bar mitzvah and Bat mitzvah . In the Reform movement. the presence of ten Jews. lead the congregation in prayer and publicly read a "portion" of the Torah. Community leadership Classical priesthood The role of the priesthood in Judaism has significantly diminished since the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. This is often commemorated by having the new adults. assisted the priests.Marriage is an extremely important lifecycle event. janitorial. 23 . the second is the shloshim (observed for one month) and for those who have lost one of their parents. Some activities—reading the Torah and haftarah (a supplementary portion from the Prophets or Writings). male only in the Orthodox tradition. the levites sang Psalms. the blessings for bridegroom and bride. performed construction. avelut yud bet chodesh. In the Temple. Levi (Levite) . including the ceremony of redemption of the first-born. The priesthood is an inherited position. performs the Priestly Blessing. and the scattering of the Jewish people. Today. the complete grace after meals—require a minyan. the kohanim were charged with performing the sacrifices. Many Orthodox Jewish communities believe that they will be needed again for a future Third Temple and need to remain in readiness for future duty. a Kohen is the first one called up at the reading of the Torah. A wedding takes place under a chupah. and although priests no longer have any but ceremonial duties. Judaism has required specialists or authorities for the practice of very few rituals or ceremonies. and sometimes interpreted the law and Temple ritual to the public. as well as complying with other unique laws and ceremonies. which symbolizes a happy house. brother of Moses. a Levite is called up second to the reading of the Torah. maintenance.patrilineal descendant of Aaron. symbolizing the continuous mourning for the destruction of the Temple. Marriage . Today. both girls and boys have their bat/bar mitzvah at age thirteen.Patrilineal descendant of Levi the son of Jacob. when priests attended to the Temple and sacrifices.Judaism has a multi-staged mourning practice. The first stage is called the shiva (literally "seven". Death and Mourning . the prayer for mourners. observed for one week) during which it is traditional to sit at home and be comforted by friends and family. there is a third stage. At the end of the ceremony. the groom breaks a glass with his foot. Prayer leaders From the time of the Mishnah and Talmud to the present.This passage from childhood to adulthood takes place when a female Jew is twelve and a male Jew is thirteen years old among Orthodox and some Conservative congregations. or wedding canopy.

The most common professional clergy in a synagogue are: • • Rabbi of a congregation . if the congregation is Conservative or Reform. it is with this act that the shatz's prayer becomes the prayer of the congregation. knowledge of traditional tunes.rabbi who is the head of a Hasidic dynasty. but all Progressive communities now allow women to serve in this function. o Hassidic Rebbe . from a respected Orthodox rabbi or. These roles are not mutually exclusive. In other congregations these roles are filled on an ad-hoc basis by members of the congregation who lead portions of services on a rotating basis: • • Shaliach tzibur or Shatz (leader—literally "agent" or "representative"—of the congregation) leads those assembled in prayer. only men can be prayer leaders. from academic seminaries). Often there are several people capable of filling these roles and different services (or parts of services) will be led by each. This role requires ordination by the congregation's preferred authority (i. Although most congregations hire one or more Rabbis. 24 . Jewish prayer services do involve two specified roles. which are sometimes. and the use of professionals for other offices is rarer still. The requirements for being the baal kriyah are the same as those for the shatz. and this is still typically the case in many Conservative and Reform congregations. also rely on a: • Gabbai (sexton) . The Baal kriyah or baal koreh (master of the reading) reads the weekly Torah portion. especially larger ones. the use of a professional hazzan is generally declining in American congregations.a trained vocalist who acts as shatz.e. A congregation does not need to have a dedicated hazzan. In Orthodox congregations and some Conservative congregations. However.Jewish scholar who is charged with answering the legal questions of a congregation. Many congregations. in most Orthodox synagogues these positions are filled by laypeople on a rotating or ad-hoc basis. When a shatz recites a prayer on behalf of the congregation. Hazzan (note: the "h" denotes voiceless pharyngeal fricative) (cantor) . Any adult capable of reciting the prayers clearly may act as shatz. and sometimes prays on behalf of the community. Some congregations have a rabbi but also allow members of the congregation to act as shatz or baal kriyah (see below). and often does. he is not acting as an intermediary but rather as a facilitator. The entire congregation participates in the recital of such prayers by saying amen at their conclusion. The three preceding positions are usually voluntary and considered an honor. and makes certain that the synagogue is kept clean and supplied.Calls people up to the Torah. but not always. appoints the shatz for each prayer session if there is no standard shatz. The same person is often qualified to fill more than one role. filled by a rabbi and/or hazzan in many congregations. A congregation does not necessarily require a rabbi. understanding of the meaning of the prayers and sincerity in reciting them. Chosen for a good voice. Since the Enlightenment large synagogues have often adopted the practice of hiring rabbis and hazzans to act as shatz and baal kriyah.

Mashgiach of a yeshiva . importers. and Samuel appointed Saul to be their King.Specialized religious roles • • • • • • • Dayan (judge) . Later. would inherit the Land of Israel (then called Canaan). Mohel (circumciser) . and gittin (bills of divorce) must be written by a sofer who is an expert in Hebrew calligraphy and has undergone rigorous training in the laws of writing sacred texts. if not a rabbi himself.Torah scrolls. The people of Israel then told Samuel the prophet that they needed to be governed by a permanent king. and as a reward for his actions. he was promised that Isaac. Must be an expert in the laws of kashrut and trained by a rabbi. tefillin (phylacteries). which refers to the Mishna and the Talmud. or even supervise the emotional and spiritual welfare of the students and give lectures on mussar (Jewish ethics). Eventually.In order for meat to be kosher. might either be the person responsible for ensuring attendance and proper conduct. 535 BCE).the five books of Moses.An expert in the laws of circumcision who has received training from a previously qualified mohel and performs the brit milah (circumcision). it must be slaughtered by a shochet who is an expert in the laws of kashrut and has been trained by another shochet. In Israel. Jacob and his children were enslaved in Egypt. conversion and financial disputes in the Jewish community. History Origins At its core. Sofer (scribe) . his second son. As time went on. caterers and restaurants to ensure that the food is kosher.Supervises manufacturers of kosher food.A Torah scholar who runs a yeshiva. God told Samuel to appoint David in his stead. the Tanakh is an account of the Israelites' relationship with God from their earliest history until the building of the Second Temple (c. Once King David was established. Mashgiach . religious courts handle marriage and divorce cases. When the people pressured Saul into going against a command conveyed to him by Samuel.Depending on which yeshiva. the spiritual level of the nation declined to the point that God allowed the Philistines to capture the tabernacle. At Mount Sinai they received the Torah . he told the prophet Nathan that he would like to build a permanent temple. mezuzot (scrolls put on doorposts). Shochet (ritual slaughterer) . As a reward for his act of faith in one God. God led them to the land of Israel where the tabernacle was planted in the city of Shiloh for over 300 years to rally the nation against attacking enemies. God 25 . and God commanded Moses to lead the Exodus from Egypt. These books. together with Nevi'im and Ketuvim are known as Torah Shebikhtav as opposed to the Oral Torah. Abraham is hailed as the first Hebrew and the father of the Jewish people.An ordained rabbi with special legal training who belongs to a beth din (rabbinical court). Rosh yeshiva .

John Day argues that the origins of biblical Yahweh. Correspondingly. these oral laws were recorded by Rabbi Judah haNasi (Judah the Prince) in the Mishnah. Antiquity The United Monarchy was established under Saul and continued under King David and Solomon with its capital in Jerusalem. Rabbinic tradition holds that the details and interpretation of the law. were originally an unwritten tradition based upon what God told Moses on Mount Sinai. The Talmud was a compilation of both the Mishnah and the Gemara. the people of Israel believed that each nation had its own god. although it continued to be edited later. Some critical scholars oppose the view that the sacred texts. Some suggest that strict monotheism developed during the Babylonian Exile. the Kingdom of Israel (in the north) and the Kingdom of Judah (in the south). to build the first permanent temple and the throne would never depart from his children. it was only by the Hellenic period that most Jews came to believe that their god was the only god. including the Hebrew Bible. perhaps in reaction to Zoroastrian dualism. may be rooted in earlier Canaanite religion. rabbinic commentaries redacted over the next three centuries. It was compiled sometime during the 4th century in Israel. The Gemara originated in two major centers of Jewish scholarship. but that their god was superior to other gods. two bodies of analysis developed. destroying the First Temple that was at the center of ancient Jewish worship. Many suggest that during the First Temple period. which was centered on a pantheon of gods much like the Greek Pantheon. Later many of them returned to their homeland after the subsequent conquest of Babylonia by the Persians seventy years later. Palestine and Babylonia. The Kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Assyrian ruler Sargon II in the late 8th century BCE with many people from the capital Samaria being taken captive to Media and the Khabur River valley. El. as the persecutions of the Jews increased and the details were in danger of being forgotten. The Babylonian Talmud was compiled from discussions in the houses of study by the scholars Ravina I. Solomon. Ravina II. Asherah. and Rav Ashi by 500 CE. redacted circa 200 CE. However. The older compilation is called the Jerusalem Talmud. and that the notion of a clearly bounded Jewish nation identical with the Jewish religion formed. and two works of Talmud were created. After Solomon's reign the nation split into two kingdoms.promised David that he would allow his son. The Kingdom of Judah continued as an independent state until it was conquered by a Babylonian army in the early 6th century BCE. were divinely inspired. and Ba'al. The Judean elite were exiled to Babylonia and this is regarded as the first Jewish Diaspora. Many of these scholars accept the general principles of the documentary hypothesis and suggest that the Torah consists of inconsistent texts edited together in a way that calls attention to divergent accounts. a 26 . which are called the Oral Torah or oral law. In this view.

relying only on the Torah as divinely inspired.period known as the Babylonian Captivity. and old religious practices were resumed. Christianity survived. Zealots. Hadrian built a pagan idol on the Temple grounds and prohibited circumcision. During the early years of the Second Temple. Hellenistic Judaism spread to Ptolemaic Egypt from the 3rd century BCE. After the Great Revolt (66–73 CE). Essenes. Rabbinical and Karaite Jews each hold that the others are Jews. led by Ezra of the Book of Ezra. and others. and worship was rebuilt around the community (represented by a minimum of ten adult men) and the establishment of the authority of rabbis who acted as teachers and leaders of individual communities (see Jewish diaspora). Consequently. until the rise of Gnosticism and Early Christianity in in the fourth century. these sects vanished.) Like the Sadducees who relied only on the Torah. They soon developed oral traditions of their own. and forcibly removed virtually all Jews from Judea. relying instead only upon the Tanakh. Jewish worship stopped being centrally organized around the Temple. however. which is traditionally considered separate from Judaism. Karaites exist in small numbers today. the last books of the Bible were written at this time and the canon sealed. (The Samaritans practiced a similar religion. A new Second Temple was constructed. some Jews in the 8th and 9th centuries rejected the authority and divine inspiration of the oral law as recorded in the Mishnah (and developed by later rabbis in the two Talmuds). After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. and Christians. these acts of ethnocide provoked the Bar Kokhba revolt 132– 136 CE after which the Romans banned the study of the Torah and the celebration of Jewish holidays. The Sadducees rejected the divine inspiration of the Prophets and the Writings. the Yudganites. Historical Jewish groupings (to 1700) Around the 1st century CE there were several small Jewish sects: the Pharisees. a number of other core tenets of the Pharisees' belief system (which became the basis for modern Judaism). and eventually formed the Karaite sect. but by breaking with Judaism and becoming a separate religion. These included the Isunians. but that the other faith is erroneous. the Romans destroyed the Temple. were also dismissed by the Sadducees. the Malikites. prayer took the place of sacrifice. Among other accomplishments of the Great Assembly. the Pharisees survived but in the form of Rabbinic Judaism (today. 27 . In 200 CE. known simply as "Judaism"). Sadducees. the highest religious authority was a council known as the Great Assembly. mostly living in Israel. Jews were granted Roman citizenship and Judaism was recognized as a religio licita ("legitimate religion"). which differed from the rabbinic traditions. Following the destruction of Jerusalem and the expulsion of the Jews.

Portugal. The Enlightenment and new religious movements In the late 18th century CE. social restrictions and ghettoization. Hasidism Hasidic Judaism was founded by Yisroel ben Eliezer (1700–1760). Ancient repression was politically motivated and Jews were treated no differently than any other ethnic group would have been. attacks on Jews became motivated instead by theological considerations specifically deriving from Christian views about Jews and Judaism. Jews formed distinct ethnic groups in several different geographic areas — amongst others. rather than based on any doctrinal dispute. The 28 . Many of these groups have developed differences in their prayers. "opponents"). social and political movements known as the Enlightenment. the Ashkenazi Jews (of central and Eastern Europe). when European Jews had turned inward to Talmud study. they themselves established numerous Hasidic sects across Europe. in the form of persecutions.Over a long time. Some of the reasons for the rejection of Hasidic Judaism were the overwhelming exuberance of Hasidic worship. expulsions. pogroms. its untraditional ascriptions of infallibility and alleged miracle-working to their leaders. European Jews who rejected the Hasidic movement were dubbed by the Hasidim as Misnagdim. and the concern that it might become a messianic sect. and the Yemenite Jews from the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. the Sephardi Jews (of Spain. the Beta Israel of Ethiopia. but a refreshment of original Judaism. Nevertheless. Or as some have put it: "they merely re-emphasized that which the generations had lost". many felt that most expressions of Jewish life had become too "academic". The movement itself claims to be nothing new. This was different in quality to any repressions of Jews in ancient times. however these distinctions are mainly the result of their being formed at some cultural distance from normative (rabbinic) Judaism. Persecutions Antisemitism arose during the Middle Ages. Europe was swept by a group of intellectual. and North Africa). and that they no longer had any emphasis on spirituality or joy. It originated in a time of persecution of the Jewish people. traditions and accepted canons. His disciples attracted many followers. early on there was a serious schism between Hasidic and nonHasidic Jews. Waves of Jewish immigration in the 1880s carried it to the United States. With the rise of the Churches. forced conversion. (lit. Since then differences between the Hasidim and their opponents have slowly diminished and both groups are now considered part of Haredi Judaism. Hasidic Judaism eventually became the way of life for many Jews in Europe. also known as the Ba'al Shem Tov (or Besht).

It placed an emphasis on integration with secular society and a pursuit of nonreligious knowledge through reason. Argentina and South Africa contain large Jewish populations. Jewish religious practice varies widely through all levels of observance.) Intermarriage rates range from 40-50% in the US. Meanwhile. wealthy Reform Jews helped European scholars.7. and only about a third of children of intermarried couples are raised as Jews. thus allowing Jews access to secular education and experience. This is indicative of the general population trends among the Jewish community in the Diaspora.1 million had some sort of connection to the religion. especially in Central Europe and Western Europe. These leftwing Orthodox rabbis were joined by right-wing Reform rabbis who felt that Jewish law should not be entirely abandoned. in the United States' Jewish community—the world's second largest—4. (Replacement rate is 2. Modern religious movements of Judaism all formed in reaction to this trend. by leaders who argued that Jews could participate in public life as citizens equal to Christians. while maintaining the observance of Jewish law. United Kingdom.1. and emphasizing the ethical values of Judaism's Prophetic tradition. A parallel Jewish movement.Enlightenment led to reductions in the European laws that prohibited Jews to interact with the wider secular world.3 million Jews out of 5.1 million in 2001. Haskalah or the "Jewish Enlightenment". Birth rates for American Jews have dropped from 2.0 to 1. Spectrum of observance Countries such as the United States. relaxing legal obligations (especially those that limited Jewish relations with non-Jews). Israel. Of that population of connected Jews. Orthodox Jews who opposed the Haskalah formed Haredi Orthodox Judaism. but only 48% belonged to a synagogue. With the promise of political emancipation many Jews saw no reason to continue to observe Jewish law and increasing numbers of Jews assimilated into Christian Europe. Modern Orthodox Judaism developed in reaction to Reform Judaism. in response to both the Enlightenment and these new freedoms. in the United States.5 million in 1990 to 5. to form the Conservative movement. to establish a seminary to train rabbis for immigrants from Eastern Europe. but a focus on total population obscures growth trends in some denominations 29 . began. these movements have competed for followers from among traditional Jews in or from other countries. the Jewish population in the US shrank from 5. and fewer than 16% attend regularly. Reform Judaism and Liberal Judaism developed. followed by Great Britain and the United States. Due to intermarriage and low birth rates. After massive movements of Jews following The Holocaust and the creation of the state of Israel. In Central Europe. 80% participated in some sort of Jewish religious observance. who were Orthodox in practice but critical (and skeptical) in their study of the Bible and Talmud. emulating Protestant decorum in prayer. Canada. According to the 2001 edition of the National Jewish Population Survey.

but they were subject to certain restrictions that were not imposed on Muslims. Indeed. Many of the laws regarding dhimmis were highly symbolic. and they were also forbidden to bear arms or testify in court cases involving Muslims. Jews were confined to walled quarters (mellahs) beginning in the 15th century and increasingly since the early 19th century. Jews have interacted with Muslims since the 7th century. Dhimmis were allowed to practice their religion and to administer their internal affairs. in Persia and by the rulers of the Almohad dynasty in North Africa and Al-Andalus. were known as dhimmis. Both religions claim to arise from the patriarch Abraham. jurisprudence and practice are based on Judaism. Jews were also restricted in their choice of residence—in Morocco. exiled or forcibly converted in the 12th century. 30 . Jews in Muslim countries were not entirely free from persecution—for example. structure. a per capita tax imposed on free adult non-Muslim males. the years 712 to 1066 CE under the Ummayad and the Abbasid rulers have been called the Golden age of Jewish culture in Spain. exile or forcible conversion. As fellow monotheists. Jews rarely faced martyrdom. At times. including Jews. Non-Muslim monotheists living in these countries. a practice not found in either the Qur'an or hadiths but invented in early medieval Baghdad and inconsistently enforced. Judaism and other religions Christianity and Judaism Historians and theologians regularly review the changing relationship between some Christian groups and the Jewish people. In turn. Thus. and many aspects of Islam's core values. they had to pay the jizya.and communities. many Jews maintain that Muslims adhere to the Seven Laws of Noah. when Islam originated and spread in the Arabian peninsula. the article on Christian-Jewish reconciliation studies one recent issue. The Baal teshuva movement is a movement of Jews who have "returned" to religion or become more observant. dhimmis in some countries were required to wear distinctive clothing. a term that Jews have subsequently adopted as a way of describing their own connection to the Torah and other holy texts. many were killed. and are therefore considered Abrahamic religions. Muslim culture and philosophy have heavily influenced practitioners of Judaism in the Islamic world. such as Haredi Judaism. Muslims view Jews as "people of the book". For example. Judaism views Muslims as righteous people of God. and were mostly free in their choice of residence and profession. Islam and Judaism The relationship between Islam and Judaism is special and close. In premodern Muslim countries. For example.

The most controversial of these groups is the American organization Jews for Jesus. stating that Messianic Judaism is a Christian sect. and some Renewal Jews who borrow freely and openly from Buddhism. and salvation is only achieved through acceptance of Jesus as one's savior. Jewish Buddhists. antisemitic themes have become commonplace in the propaganda of Arab Islamic movements such as Hizbullah and Hamas. Other examples of syncretism include Judeo-Paganists. which actively proselytizes ethnic Jews through numerous missionary campaigns in major American cities. which arose in the 1960s. and other faiths. and even in the newspapers and other publications of Refah Partisi. another loosely organized group that incorporates elements of Asian spirituality in their faith. like Messianic Judaism. Most have chosen to live in Israel. The movement states that Jesus is part of the Trinity. Jews were expelled from nearly all the Arab countries. Sufism. the Jewish esoteric tradition. It blends evangelical Christian theology with elements of Jewish terminology and ritual. in the pronouncements of various agencies of the Islamic Republic of Iran. which employs teachers from multiple religions. is a New Age movement that claims to popularize the kabbalah. Syncretic movements incorporating Judaism There are some movements that combine elements of Judaism with those of other religions. Today. The Kabbalah Centre. 31 . and some of them argue that Messianic Judaism is a sect of Judaism Jewish organizations and religious movements reject this. a loosely organized set of Jews who incorporate pagan or Wiccan beliefs with some Jewish religious practices. The most well-known of these is Messianic Judaism. Native American religion. Some members of the movement are ethnically Jewish.In the late 20th century.

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