Judaism Essay

2435 words - 10 pages

Judaism is a way of life. Most Hebrews agree that Judaism goes beyond normal boundaries and reaches deeply into daily life. (Being Jewish) "To be Jewish is to live a certain way before God, not to hold to a specific creed or confession" (Rousmaniere, 128).Judaism is one of the oldest religions in the world. Judaism was founded in Mesopotamia about 1300 BC. Judaism started out as an animistic religion, where people worshipped force of nature. This type of religion had practices that dealt with magic and animal sacrifices. Then Judaism morphed into a polytheistic religion. Which means people worshipped several gods. The next stage of evolution for Judaism was when it became anthropomorphic. This type of religion believed that God or gods became human and had human characteristics. The Hebrews becoming monotheistic is considered to be the final stage of evolution for Judaism. This is the belief in one God or Yahweh.The Jewish people believe they are the Chosen Ones of God. They believe this due to a special pact between them and Yahweh. The pact simply states that the Jewish people must live their life by the law given to them by Yahweh. Then they must keep observing this Law until the arrival of the messiah. The messiah would bring order and stability to the world.The Torah is a sacred text for the Jewish people. The Torah is full of the teachings of God and the struggles the Jewish people went through to get to the point they are at today. The other sacred text is the Talmud. The Talmud has two parts, oral law, and the interpretation of the oral law. The Talmud was written about the middle of the 5th century.To this day the Jewish people are still waiting for the messiah to arrive. However, the term messiah has undergone some changes in the Jewish way of thinking. Some Jews believe that the messiah is a messenger sent from God to bring peace to the world and will await his coming until the day they die. Other Jews believe that the messiah is nothing more than a symbol and that the peoples of the world should work together and bring in the messianic age. The messianic age occurs when the world is at peace and everyone gets along with each other.I was supposed to visit a synagogue in order to do this part of the paper, but there are not any synagogues near where I live. So I requested help from a friend of mine, who lives in Florida, and goes to worship every Saturday. The Jewish people worship on Saturdays. To them Saturday is the holy day of rest. My friend attends the Bethel El Synagogue. This synagogue is for conservative Jews. Conservative Jews believe that Jesus is the messiah. Whereas Orthodox Jews believe the messiah still has not come. The Beth El synagogue is a community who accepts members that have diverse backgrounds, levels of knowledge, ideas, and observance.For the interview I emailed my friend, Monique Wachtel-Williamson. I asked her the questions that I had prepared in week 4 of class. Unfortunately, Monique gave me one word...

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