3. Judaism- Beliefs Flashcards
The ‘Jewish Bible’ or Tenakh. Made up of:
- Torah - written law (first 5 books, e.g. Genesis) • -Nebi’im - Prophets e.g. Jeremiah
- Ketuim - Writings e.g. Psalms
Explanation of the Torah by the rabbis Also called the ‘oral law’.
Three categories of Jewish belief:
Reform Jews tend to …?
Follow the spirit of the law – not the specific laws
Beliefs about God
- God has no body (scripture speaks of God’s body, hand, wings, God walking… but these are figures of speech to make God more understandable
- God is neither male nor female - follows from the belief God has no physical form
- Jews refer to G-d using masculine terms (he) for convenience
- Jews are forbidden from representing God in a physical form – it is considered idolatry.
Jews Believe God is (4)
OMNIPOTENT: God is all powerful
OMNISCIENT: God is all knowing
OMNIPRESENT: God is everywhere at once
- Belief in one God is the most basic principle in Judaism.
- This makes Judaism a monotheistic religion.
Characteristics of G-d
Merciful (forgiving) One Creator Sustainer The divine presence Judge Lawgiver
God as one means….
- God is a single, whole, indivisible being
- Everything in the universe has been created and is sustained by God
- God is the only being who should be praised and worshipped
Teaching from Shema
‘The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.’
Confirms there is one God. God is single, whole, indivisible, eternal.
God is ever present, so….?
Every experience Jews have is considered to be a meeting with God.
Importance of the Shema (3)
• Expresses belief in the one God
• Instructs Jews on how they should respond to this
belief in daily life
• It is the word of God
God as Creator beliefs (Orthodox and Reform)
Jews believe God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh (Genesis)
• Orthodox: God literally made the world in six days - they reject the Big Bang and evolution
• Reform: God created the world using the Big Bang and evolution
Bible evidence for God as Creator
I am the Lord … I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster.’ Isaiah 45:6-7
Beliefs about evil and free will
- As creator of everything, God created evil
- However, he gave humans free will – the ability to make their own choices (Adam & Eve)
- Having a choice makes a good act more significant
God the Sustainer? And helping those in need
- God sustains the universe – provides everything needed for life
- But humans have distributed resources (food, water etc.) unequally so some people have less than they need.
- Jews who choose to help those in need are therefore helping fulfil God’s plan for creation.
God as Lawgiver-The mitzvot?
• A mitzvah is a Jewish law (commandment)
• In the Torah, God gives Jews 613 mitzvot (plural) to
• These are the accepted code of conduct for Jewish life today.
• The first ten mitzvot are the ten commandments x the most important of all laws.
Ten Commandments formation (4 and 6)
- The first four commandments are between man and God
2. The other six are how to treat others - man and man
How the mitzvot aid free will?
- Following the mitzvot makes it impossible to disobey God
- The mitzvot guide Jews on how to use their free will correctly – to live in a way that pleases God
- There are consequences for bad actions (Adam & Eve)
God as Judge meaning?
• God judges Jews on how well they follow the laws
• God’s judgements are fair and merciful (forgiving)
• Good actions bring Jews closer to God and ensure
• Bad actions lead people away from God
Jews believe they are judged:
- Once a year (at new year - Rosh Hashanah)
2. When they die