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The Hebrews

Dwarfed by the great empires of the Sumerians, Babylonians and Egyptians were the Hebrews. In everything that the Ancients valued—in war, diplomacy, inventions, literature and art—the Hebrews made but little splash in the stream of history. They didn’t create a solar system They did not excel in sciences and arts They did not build pyramids They surely did not mummify their dead. But it were the Hebrews who would change the world. 1. They exerted perhaps the greatest influence on the formation of the western civilization and western intellectual tradition in two crucial areas: religion and ethics. 2. It is out of their experience that three major world religions sprang: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

In the course of this exodus. the Hebrews migrated from Mesopotamia to Canaan (Palestine) and then into Egypt.C. Moses persuaded his followers to become worshippers of only one god. It was at this time. Moses. when a tribe of Hebrews who claimed to be the descendants of Abraham began to call themselves Israelites ("soldiers of God"). Abraham's family were natives of Sumer. In 1250 B. o o o o Moses is persuading his followers to worship one God . led them on an exodus out of Egypt to the Sinai Peninsula. In fact. They were later enslaved by Egyptian pharaohs and experienced very harsh life as slaves. o Between 1900 and 1500 BC.EXODUS The Hebrews were a small group of Semitic people who as many other peoples of that period first appeared in Mesopotamia. their leader. Jehovah.

The Temple in Jerusalem destroyed by the Romans (Model) . Alexander the Great conquered nearly all of the Near East. and they were gradually expelled from their native land to be dispersed all over the Roman empire. built by David specifically to honor God.C. One of many new cities they built was Jerusalem.The Promised Land The Hebrews who wandered into the Sinai with Moses decided to return to Palestine.  But under those harsh circumstance and persecution they never gave up their faith. the Hebrews completely lost their independence under the Romans.  In the first centuries B.  By the 10th century BC had created an Israelite Kingdom in Palestine.  In the 4th century BC. their famous temple was destroyed.  They revolted and lost. Palestine was annexed to Egypt and fell under Greek control.  Israelites experienced great economic prosperity.

which means “teaching” or “instruction”.  The Jews believed in only one god—all-powerful. This notion was absolutely foreign to the ancients  They claimed that all of them (some 6000 men and untold number of women and children) had miraculously escaped from slavery in Egypt.Ancient Torah  The fundamental teachings of Judaism have been grouped around the concept of ethical monotheism. infinite and invisible—who had created everything known to men.  During that encounter and through their leader Moses. they received a code of behavior complied in a holy book “Torah”. Monotheism by its very nature ultimately brought about religious universalism. then the mightiest empire on Earth. . where they all had an encounter with God. Mount Sinai. through the intervention of their god.  They claimed that after this great escape they reached a mountain in the wilderness. which they began to scrupulously follow.

To teach his child the word of god each parent had to be literate. God was transcendent: he was above nature. o Judaism was to bring about the reign of God on earth through divine or moral law that embraces all domains of life. 5. They were concerned only with God's will and not with man's capacity to explain or understand nature. They believed that man had the capacity to choose between right and wrong. Human conduct was to be placed in the service of God. Torah requires every person (even a beggar) to contribute to the welfare of the poor. Justice. o 3. The Jewish idea of righteousness included benevolence and charity. He who destroys one life destroys the world entire. Law was justice only when administered equally to all individuals regardless of their status in society. the "I" – the individual was self-conscious and aware of his own moral autonomy and worth. orphans. 4. which means Peace. New attitude toward women. Six principles essential to building of a perfect world 1. The everyday greeting of Jews became the word “Shalom”. that it was close to impossible to sentence someone to death: He who saves one life saves the world entire. 2. Sanctity of life. Revelation. and widows. No one can be above the law. Jews became the only people in the ancient world with a virtual hundred percent rate of literacy. o o The Hebrews were neither philosophers nor scientists. sick. Judaism taught that your spouse was your other half. Men and women were to fulfill their morality by making the choice to do good or evil. Though shall not murder. Life was considered so precious. not Reason was the cornerstone of the Hebrew faith In God the Hebrews developed an awareness of the Self. 6. Education became the priority for the entire people. Nature in fact was an example of God's work. marriage and family. your soul mate.o The Hebrews regarded God as fully sovereign. o . In his eternity God was the source of all creation in the universe and of moral laws that govern humanity. the being to whom you dedicate your entire life. Peace in the the world and in people’s personal lives.

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