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Flashcards in Judaism Deck (40):

What kind of religion is Judaism? (polytheistic, animistic, monotheistic)



Who is the founder of Judaism? What did God promise him?


God promised that if Abraham was faithful, he would be the father of a great nation, possess a land, and become a blessing to all people


What is the "covenant"?

Promise to be faithful to God


Who is Moses? What is his significance to the religion?

Moses is the one selected by God to deliver the Jewish people from slavery.

He was able to free the Jews from slavery, received the 10 Commandments on Mt. Sinai, and delivered the Jews to their promised land


What is God's name?

YHWH (Yah-way)


Understanding of how Jews believe God reveals himself through historical events

It presented a unique challenge for many Jewish scholars when the Holocaust came around


Understanding that for most Jews rabbinical interpretations are just as valid as the actual words of the Hebrew Bible (TNK)

Rabbis sought answers to questions about how Jews should practice their faith. The rabbinical commentary becomes important and authoritative as the divine word of the holy scriptures due to their function being studying and interpreting the scripture for Jews.


What is the Exodus? How did this event reflect God's promise to His people?

The story of Moses being chosen to deliver the slaves from Egypt.

It reflects God's promise, because it had to be accomplished before his promise was fulfilled. He acted to save his people and miraculously delivered them from slavery from the most powerful nation, revealed his name, and delivered them to their homeland.


When/how did the Jews receive the 10 Commandments?

When the Jews were in the wilderness on Mt. Sinai after the Exodus

God gave them to Moses


What are the 10 Commandments?

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images (Idols)
3. Thou shalt not take the Lord's name in vain
4. Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy
5. Honor thy Father and thy Mother
6. Thou shalt not kill
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery
8. Thou shalt not steal
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, wife, or possessions


When did Jerusalem become the capital of Israel? Why?

It became the capital of Israel after David (the first "true" king) fought Goliath and captured it.

He chose that location because it was located on a hill, which made it easily defensible


What are the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel? Why?

The northern part of Israel (the largest part)

They were destroyed by the Assyrians


Why are the Jewish people called "Jewish"?

Because it means "the people of the Kingdom of Judah"


Original temple of Judaism

Solomon's Temple: Built by Solomon, David's son. It contained a central room called the Holy of Holies which housed the Ark of Covenant.


Who is Abraham? Why is he important to the Jews?

The founder of Judaism.

He fulfilled God's promises and was succeeded by his son, grandson, and great grandsons. All Jews descend from Abraham.


Who is David? Why is he important to the Jews?

Regarded as the first "true" king.

He defeated Goliath and captured Jerusalem.


Who is Solomon? Why is he important to the Jews?

David's son. Built Solomon's Temple which stored the Ark of Covenant and was the first true Jewish temple.


Who is Ezekiel? Why is he important to the Jews?

Ancient Jewish prophet

He helped the exiled Jews hold onto their identity and claimed that YHYW wasn't just a local god, but mobile and available to his people everywhere.

Started the formation from polytheism to monotheism


Who is Isiah? Why is he important to the Jews?

Second ancient prophet.

Claimed that YHYW was not just the god of Israelites, but the one true God for all the world.

Completed the path to monotheism.


Who is Ezra? Why is he important to the Jews?

Held onto copies of the scripture of the Jewish people during the diaspora.

How the Jewish people began to form their identity around a central book and how they began the process of canonizing the book as the "word of god".


What is the Torah? Who "wrote" it?

The sacred book of the Jewish people. The first five books of the Hebrew Bible.

It's believed to be the word of God as delivered to Moses.


Know that the Hebrew Bible in its entirety is called the TNK (pronounced Tanakh). What are its three parts?

3 sections of it: Torah, Prophets, Writings.


What is the Mishnah?

The oral law that provided explanations or amplifications of the written law.

What is used to seek answers as to what the many laws, passages, and directives in the Torah means since they are not fully explained, are confusing, or seem contradictory.


What is the Talmud?

Combination of the Mishnah and the Gemara.

Storehouse of advice such as: recommending Jews always begin a lecture with a funny story, that there should never be more than 25 students in a classroom, that one should always give a person the benefit of the doubt.


What is a synagogue?

Wherever there is a quorum and a copy of the Torah. Can be held in many places.


What is the function of a rabbi?

To study and interpret scripture for the Jews


What does it mean to keep "kosher"? What are some of the kosher laws?

To follow certain dietary restrictions that are set down very explicitly in the Bible.

If an animal was killed in any way other than a prescribed ritual slaughtering, you can't eat it.

Any animal that has divided hoofs and is cleft-footed and chew the cud can be eaten.

Domestic birds can be considered kosher. Wild birds are not kosher.

Whatever has fins and scales you may eat

Meat and dairy cannot be mixed in the same meal

Do not eat the blood from an animal. Must remove as much blood as possible before cooking any meat.

Kosher and non-kosher foods cannot mix. So one cannot use the same cooking instruments, plates, or utensils for kosher and non-kosher foods.

Can get pareve foods along with meat and dairy


What is Orthodox Judaism? What do they believe and practice?

Most strict of Judaism. Strives to preserve traditional Jewish culture and religion. Resists changes in its beliefs and practices.

The law of God was given to Moses on Mt. Sinai and in the books of the Torah and is divine.

Sabbath is strictly observed

Men and women are seperated in synogogue

Both men and women must cover their heads

Worship services are given in Hebrew

Kosher food laws are strictly followed


What is Reform Judaism? What do they believe and practice?

Most relaxed branch of Judaism. Came from the reform movement in the 19th century. The belief was that the bible is not divine.

It encourages worshipers to follow their own beliefs and make their own decisions about the Jewish faith.

Chooses from among the various holidays, rituals and rules, discovering which new allow the to lead the Jewish lifestyle that is most comfortable for them

Many of the rules are much more relaxed:
Men and women sit together without head covers

Vernacular used for most of the worship service (local language)

Few members attempt to keep all of the kosher food laws or all the sabbath restrictions

Worship is held on friday evening instead of saturday morning

Emphasizes complete equality among the genders and many women lead jewish congregations as rabbits and cantors

Emphasizes the universality of traditional jewish values: peace, love, kindness, the "golden rule," charitable giving

Emphasizes interfaith dialogue (interested in looking at people globally. that we are all together)

Most concerned with working together to make our time here on Earth one of sharing, understanding, tolerance, compassion, and community


What is Conservative Judaism? What do they believe and practice?

Arose in early 20th century as a reaction to the extremes. In the middle of the spectrum containing both traditional and modern views.

Accommodates the needs of Jewish life in contemporary society, but accepts the divine interpretation of the law of the Torah

Personal decisions are based not as much on individual conscience as on the accepted practice of the community, ritual committees within each congregation, and the guidance of jewish scholarship through the ages.

Basic practices:
Greater concern with rabbinical interpretation than orthodox

Worship is on Saturday morning

Men are required to cover their heads during worship

Many follow kosher food laws and sabbath restrictions


What is Reconstructionist Judaism? What do they believe and practice?

Founded by Rabbi Kaplan who believed Judaism is more than just a religion. Between Conservative and Reform.

Any culture evolves in its understanding of its own principle values and ideologies

They embrace a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional Jewish ways of life

They operate in a gender neutral environment

Have a strong commitment to traditional Jewish values

Search for contemporary meaning in the liturgy and religious service

New meanings will be found in the old forms, or they will be developed into more meaningful and innovative practices

Judaism must be practiced not only as a religion but also as a culture

Importance on the study and experience of Jewish history, arts, and community

Jewish community centers are from these ideals


What is Sabbath? When is it practiced? What is restricted during Sabbath?

The day of rest. Commemorates how God created the world in six days and on the 7th day he rested.

It begins on Friday at sundown and continues until sundown on Saturday.

Restrictions: Any kind of work is not allowed, lighting or extinguishing fires or lights, cooking, riding in automobiles, smoking, carrying money for Orthodox

Many modern-day Jews, do no observe all these sabbath restrictions


What is Passover? How is it celebrated?

Biblical holiday celebrated in Spring. Celebrated for 7-8 days.

Commemorates the Exodus of Jews from the slavery of Egypt

Passover refers to the 10th plague (death to first child) that God sent to convince the Pharaoh to release the Jews.

Celebrated by: First night as a special holiday meal called a seder. Has an order and performance that goes with it. Seder begins with the lighting of the holiday candles and proceeds to the prayer of the wine. Matzo (large cracker) is eaten after saying first lines of the story of Passover. Recitation of the 4 questions then the description of the 4 sons. Retell the story of the Exodus. Blessings are made over the matzo and it is eaten. The door is opened to welcome in the prophet Elijah. Passover songs are sung. The end of seder come with the wish that we all "meet next year in jerusalem"


NOT FINISHED What is Shavuot? How is it celebrated?

Celebrated the first grain harvest at first but after the Exodus, it celebrates the 10 commandments. "Festival of Weeks"

Celebrated by:


What is Rosh Hashanah? How is it celebrated?

Jewish New Year. Sometimes looked at as the anniversary of the creation of the world and Adam and Eve

Celebrated by: special foods like challah and apple sections dipped in honey.


What is Yom Kippur? How is it celebrated?

Most solemn day of the Jewish year. The day in which your fate is sealed. A day on which "you shall deny yourselves".

Celebrated by: ban on eating, drinking, bathing, sex, and the wearing of leather shoes. Most Jews fast as a step to ask for forgiveness. Begins with a special evening service and prayer called Kol Nidre. The next 25 hours is spent fasting, introspection, and synagogue services. Jews ask God to write them in the Book of Life and seal them there at the conclusion of the service.


What is Festival of Tabernacles? How is it celebrated?

Also known as Sukkot. Biblical holiday commemorating the 40 years the Israelites wandered in the desert, living in portable dwellings and waiting to enter the Promised Land.

Celebrated by: constructing sukkah (booths or huts). Sukkah serves as a home for the duration of the holiday, but not all jews observe this. Some just eat their meals back there. Synagogues even build their own. Important 4 plants talked about in the bible are used. Many Jews use this holiday to reflect on their relationship to the planet


What is Hanukah? How is it celebrated?

Commemorates two events: The victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian Greeks and The rededication of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. Celebrates the miracle of the oil that lasted 8 days in the lighting of the temple menorah

Celebrated by: Lighting the 8 candles of the menorah, eating food that involves lots of oils. Gambling is allowed. Involves given children presents or money.


What is Purim? How is it celebrated?

Commemorates the tale of queen esther saving her people from slaughter. The event is in the book of esther.

Celebrated by: reading the book of esther during purim services. Giving gifts to the poor. Sending gifts of food to friends. Feasting and drinking in celebration. Holiday meals


What is the Bar/Batmitzvah? How is it celebrated?

Means "Son/daughter of the commandment". The celebration that proclaims young Jewish men and women to be adults. Now old enough to assume responsibility for their own relationship to God.

Celebrated by: a ceremony where the child reads a portion of the torah, reading of the haftrah, a party to celebrate the adulthood