Essay: Judaism

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  • Subject area(s): Religious studies and Theology essays
  • Reading time: 5 minutes
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  • Published on: January 23, 2019
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  • Number of pages: 2
  • Judaism
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Seeking meaning in a purpose driven life is a part of human nature. Humans attempt to find meaning through value and positive social afflictions. Judaists in particular base their meaning of life, in a primary belief in God, As Karen from the Jewish board of studies NSW says that Jewish adherents “Belief that there is only one God, the Creator of the world, who also provided guidelines for how we should our lives and thereby make ourselves better people and the world a better place. By equating the meaning and purpose of life by searching for the ultimate reality through the transcendent. They acknowledge the Bible and Jewish Religious literature by using anthropomorphic language to develop a deeper meaning, and to gain understanding of the nature of God. A way of gaining purpose of life and meaning is through the occasional stopping and thinking about our lives and experiences. This as an individual decision and sense can lead us to find meaning and purpose to the lives we already live.

Jewish adherents principally believe in the 13 articles of Faith. Which are

God is the creator

God is one

God is incorporeal

God is eternal

God alone is to be worshipped

God has spoken through prophets

Moses was the greatest prophet.

The whole Torah was revealed to Moses

The Torah is the unalterable word of God.

God has knowledge of and concerns for everything humans do

God rewards those who keep the mitzvoth and punishes those who do not follow them

The messiah will come

The dead will be resurrected.

These principal beliefs lead in the Jewish faith and particularly helps the adherents have a relationship with God. From the understanding of Jewish beliefs, God is not human like and that he is without form, so that humans can strive to be like God and for us to develop Gods moral attributes. This aspect is deeply revealed in Exodus 20:4 which states that “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.” Death being an important vessel of the adherents afterlife seen through Karens perspective she reveals that “There is a separation of their physical body and their spirit.” As the jewish tradition says the spirit goes to Olam HaBa which means ‘the world to come’) but no one knows for sure what that is like. The insight that a Karen provides allows room for jewish adherent to seek further meaning, she then goes to say, “There has been much speculation and there is a consensus about some aspects of Olam HaBa. The spirit continues to exist even after the body ceases to exist physically.“By definition, one experiences Olam HaBa only after dying, so there is no one living who knows with certainty what it is like. But as stated previously, there has been a lot of speculation about it and some consensus about it.”As Jewish adherents put it, everyone who dies goes to Olam HaBa, which is separated into different parts, one that is more desireable and the other part that is less desirable. From this phase there is a separation of the physical body from their spirit. The Jewish tradition says the spirit goes to Olam HaBa which is the world to come, but what it looks like is uncertain.

As Jewish adherents they have been given a plan by God, this plain was established through the Torah a book in which jewish adherents felt that God himself had apointed Moses to dictate. The 5 books that compose the Torah are the basis of Jewish life. Moses being their prophet in which Jews would abide in. The Torah being the main sacred text the adherents follow, defines and builds the foundation of Judaism. Followed by the Tenach which includes the Torah, then the prophets and the writings in the First testament of the bible. Karen views their faith and lessons fromthr Torah in a practical way by saying “It’s tolerant of other religions (in the sense of it’s OK for non-Jews to have their own religions and we don’t try to convert them to ours – this is linked to the belief that any good person, whether Jewish or not, will be rewarded in Olam HaBa so there is no benefit to being Jewish as regards what happens after we die). It’s a compassionate religion and puts a lot of stress on caring for other people, animals, the environment.” – (Jewish Board of Studies)

For Jewish adherents just like Karen to remain connected to their faith they carry out practices for them to stay connected to God. Their rituals begin in the home, with the common practices as prayers are doing daily in side the home. With prayer it is carried out 3 times a day, Morning, Afternoon and after sunset.

For larger fellowship, the Jewish community prayers are typically performed in a synagogue, being the house of prayer and study.

As some Jewish community prayers as a group of Jewish people typically are performed in a synagogue, which is the Jewish house of prayer and study. Traditionally Sabbaths, festivals and Holy days typically take place on Mondays and Thursdays, this program usually consists of Hebrew readings from the Torah through the dietary laws may be of hygienic benefit, the principal motivation seems to have been a desire to in still morality, self-control and self-abnegation in the personal lives of a people expected to observe the laws of the Torah even in the worst of circumstances. Jews have an obligation to follow the laws presented in the Torah, one including to rest on the 7th day. The seventh day of the week is the Sabbath, which is a biblically ordained day of rest. No work is permitted, except work connected to worship or the preservation of life and health. Usually this celebration is taken place at the synagogue, where the morning reading of the Torah is performed.” 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”

Other activities thought the year include The two days of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, mark the beginning of the Ten Days of Awe that end with the fast of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. All festivals that carry significance. Judaism sees itself as a religion for Jews and is quite specific that there is no form of punishment or disadvantage for not being Jewish. That said, Judaism has always allowed conversion to Judaism. However, we do not proselytise or pressure people to convert – if people want to convert and become Jewish, we allow it, but we do not pressure or try to persuade them to do so. 

Judaism encourages us to have good relations with non-Jews. Look at the modern state of Israel – it excels at sending well-equipped aid teams to help at times of crisis such as the earthquakes in Nepal, hurricane in Puerto Rico, and typhoons in the Philippines. This is done without any expectation of getting anything in return and simply because it is the right thing to do. As adherents of Jewish traditions, they being realistic about human nature (one of the things Jews observe about the Bible – the Jewish Bible. Judaism sees itself as a religion for Jews and is quite specific that there is no form of punishment or disadvantage for not being Jewish. That said, Judaism has always allowed conversion to Judaism. However, we do not proselytise or pressure people to convert – if people want to convert and become Jewish, we allow it, but we do not pressure or try to persuade them to do so. 

Judaism encourages us to have good relations with non-Jews. Look at the modern state of Israel – it excels at sending well-equipped aid teams to help at times of crisis such as the earthquakes in Nepal, hurricane in Puerto Rico, and typhoons in the Philippines. This is done without any expectation of getting anything in return and simply because it is the right thing to do. In asking Karen a series of questions that inquire about Judaism through history she responds with answers that say Judaism provides eternal values to guide us, not ever-changing moral and ethical standards based on the latest fashionable way of thinking. 

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