- Created by: helentaylor
- Created on: 16-05-18 12:53
Where did Abraham originate from?
The city of Ur, Mesopotmania (Iraq)
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When was Abraham born?
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How do Jews regard Abraham today?
As the first Patriarch of the Jewish people (father of the people)
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What is Abraham's family backround?
Family initially led a nomadic lifestyle as shepherds, but eventually settled in Haran- he lived in a polytheistic age
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What did Joshua say about Abraham's background?
"Long ago, your anscestors, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River and worshipped other gods"
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What was Abraham's father's job?
He was a merchant who sold idols for worship
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What does tradition tell us about Abraham's view on monotheism?
He had already begun to question the accepted view of there being many gods- Abraham's response to God was revolutionary as he was the first to teach that there was one God, creator of heaven and earth
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What quote does Abraham say in Genesis 14:22 about monotheism?
"With a raised hand I have sworn an oath to the Lord, God most high, creator of heaven and earth"
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What is a problem with the concept of monotheism?
Old Testament scholars have pointed out that we are using as anachronistic (referring to a historical period that did not exist) understanding of the term in relation to events at the time of Abraham
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What did God say to Abraham in relation to what he would offer him?
"Go from your country, your people and your father's household to the lan I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you"
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Was the idea of a covenant new at the time of Abraham?
No, it was a commonplace in the Ancient world
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How was a traditional covenant formalised?
Identifying the two parties, information conerning the background of the covenant, terms of the covenant and sactions pre-warned
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Who had God made covenants with prior to Abraham?
Noah and Adam (both had been universal covenants for all of humankind)
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How was the Abrahamic covenant initiated?
By the word of God- it was authoritative and full of promise and would establish the Abrahamaic community within the protection of God
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What were the 3 promises God offered?
Father of a great nation, numeroud descendents and land to live in
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Why was Abraham chosen?
He was considered 'blameles' amongst those in his generation
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What did it show from God?
God had chosen Abram to be a physical and spiritual leader
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Why was Abraham concerned?
Him and Sarah were old and had no children- seemed like an impossible set of promises to keep
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When Abram accepted the covenant, God changed his name to Abraham- meaning?
'the father of many'
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What is a quote to show this name change?
"No longer will you be called Abram; for I have made you the father of many nations"
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Is the Abrahamic covenant unconditional or conditional?
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What is an unconditional covenant?
An agreement between 2 parties but where only one of the parties is required to do something
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What chapter of Genesis was the Abrahamic Covenant ceremony recorded?
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What is the typical covenant ceremony?
(Found in the texts of the Mari people) Sealing of covenants by killing an *** which would be cut in 2 which symbolised what would happen if the covenant was broken.
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What was significant about the Abrahamic Covenant Ceremony?
God alone moved between the two parts of the animal represented by a smoking furnace and a flaming torch - this should be done by both parties but God made Abraham sleep- highlights unconditional nature
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What is the sign of the Abrahamic covenant?
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What does Brit Milah mean?
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What does the Torah tell us about circumcision?
Abraham was commanded by God to circumcise himself + all the other male members of the household+ descendents - this was a sign of the 'chosen people'
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What was a quote about circumcision?
"Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to udnergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you"
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What was different about circumcision under the covenant?
It was for a reason- an outward physical sign of the covenant between God and the Jewish people- it was the first specific commandment to the Jews
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What is a quote showing the consequences of not being circumcised?
"Any circumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people, for he has broken my covenant"
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Who carries out circumcision today?
A mohel, usually on the 8th day after birth
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What does brit milah represent on a spiritual level?
An act of consecration (dedicating to God's services) and shows that the individual is under divine authority
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What does Isaac stand for and how old were Abraham and Sarah when they had him?
'laughter' 100 and 90
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What was the 10th Akedah?
God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering
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What did Abraham's willingness show?
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What is a quote explaining this event?
"Take your son, your only son Isaac.. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will shwo you"
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How many times did God test Abraham?
10 - but the sacrifice of Isaac (Akedah) is the last one but we do not know what the others are as they are not stated in scriptures
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What does Akedah mean?
The binding of Isaac
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What is Rabbi Joseph Leiner's interpretation of the meaning of the Akedah?
Rabbi Jospeh Leiner= story allows us to gain an appreciation of God's rules and moral conduct and that Abraham realised this when he realised killing was wrong
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What was Maimonides interpretation of the Akedah?
Humans and God are separate and cannot be bridged, when Abraham 'heard' the voice of God it was actually him becoming attuned to the will of God and was able to interpret it
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Why is the Abrahamic covenant unique?
It's a two way relationship but man is not required to do anything specific in return
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To what extent is the covenant universal?
Y. Covenant made for all of humanity, Abraham's name = father of many- refers only to Jews, circumcision, God made the world for everyone, can it not extend even if it was not originally universal?
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Is the covenant a privilege or responsibility?
God has promised to protect the Jews but then in order for this they must upkeep the covenant, Jews were chosen (priviledge), can be a burden to be a Jew in secular society, 613 difficult in modern society, circumcision outdated- why? re-evaluate?
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How is Moses considered in Judaism?
Second most important leader, after Abraham, he is seen as the law-giver and the one who gave the Jewish faith a foundation as the chosen people of God - Maimonides views him as the most important (13 principles of faith)
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What does the Torah tell us about Moses' background?
Descendents of Jacob lived in Egypt for 450 years and grew into the nation of Israel. Israelites become enslaved by Pharoah Rameses II around 1290 BCE.
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What is a quote to describe the slavery?
"So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labour"
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How did the Pharoah try and weaken the Hebrews further?
Ruled that all newborn male babies should be killed- it is here that Moses is introduced
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What does Exodus chapter 2 tell us about Moses and his escape from death?
Born to Hebrew mother who, to save him, put him in basket down Nile- found by Pharoah's daughter + brought up as a royal prince- named Moses which means 'to extract'
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What happened to Moses as he got older?
His upbringing gave him helpful law knowledge, he flt like he belonged to the Hebrews, killed an Egyptian who was beating a slave and had to flee
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What happened to Moses while he was in exile?
Lived in Midan where he married the daughter of a priest named Jethro- he spent 40 years as a shepherd living in the desert- this would help him with survival skills for Exodus
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What is the story of the burning bush?
While tending the sheep, Moses heard the voice of God speaking to him through a bush "Here I am" - he asked Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery and deliver them to the promised land
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The event of the burning bush is known as a theophany- what is this?
The manifestation of God to humans
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What happened when Moses returned to Egypt?
After a number of confrontations with the Pharoah and 10 plagues, including the death of the first-born sons in every Egyptian household, the Israelites were released but as they left, the Pharoah changed his mind
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What happened at Yam Suf?
Parting of the Red Sea which allowed the Israelites through but then destroyed the Pharoah's army
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Where did Moses head after Exodus- use a quote?
Set out for Sinai, "when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain". The journey itself was challenging- people were concerned, "is the Lord among us or not?". It was a test of faith and daily dependence on God
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Outline the Mosaic Covenant
Conditional covenant, God promised to be the God of the Israelites only if they followed a list of laws, reinforced the Abrahamic covenant but now the Jews were told what they had to do
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What are two types of conditional covenant?
Parity= the condition of being equal, Suzerain= ruler exercises control over another state, whilt allowing it to retain some autonomy
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What kind of conditional covenant is the Mosaic one?
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What are the 6 characteristics of a Suzerain treaty?
Preamble- states name, historical prologue, conditions imposed, attention to treaty document, witnesses, penalties
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How does the Mosaic covenant show Suzerain similarities?
Premable "I am Yahweh, your God", historical proogue- exodus, we should not expect a witness clause as Yahweh doesnt recognise other Gods
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Why is the Mosaic covenant not a parity covenant?
The two parties arent equal, the covenant was given by God, God was free to terminate it "Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all the nations you will be my treasured possesion"
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What is significant about the Mosaic covenant?
It was made with a whole nation, not just an individual, as in the case of Abraham and still provides the basis for the Jewish faith today
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What is included in the 5 Books of Moses and therefore the Mosaic Covenant?
613 Mitzvot which are ethical ideals which shows Jews how to keep a relationship with God - shows holy side of the covenant and Jews can be witnesses to other nations
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How is this backed up?
"Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy"
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What does E.W Heaton identify as the 4 distinctive features of faith that stemmed from the Mosaic covenant?
1. Faith that orginiated in response to God's actions in Exodus. 2. God as a guide. 3. Faith that demanded total trust in God's purpose and power. 4. Demands absolute moral obedience
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What happened at Mount Sinai in regard to the Jewish laws?
After recieving the laws, Moses returned to Sinai at God's request- with the sons of Aaron and the elders- elders stayed at bottom, sons half way up, Moses went to summit and recorded all the laws
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What is a quote to show this?
"Moses then wrote down everything that the Lord had said"
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What did Moses do by giving the law to the Israelites?
Taught them what God expected of them,and by keeping God's rules they would become God's servants and fulfil the divine plan- the covenant is now sealed
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How does the Torah show that the covenant is sealed? (ratification)
"He got up early the next morning and built an alter at the foot of the mountain and set up 12 stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel"
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What happened when Moses failed to reappear from the mountain?
People got annoyed and got a gold calf and used it as an idol for worship in a pagan way- when Moses returned he was angry and smashed the stone tablets showing the covenant was broken
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How did Moses show he was a mediator?
He made an appeal and showed God's forgiveness- covenant renewed through a new declaration of the law of the covenant - Moses had to prepare the tablets
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"Chisel out two stones like the first ones.. which you broke.. present yourself to me there in the top of the mountain"
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What have scholars noted about the new tablets?
They differ from the first- they are stricter and are referred to as the 'ritual decalogue'
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Is the covenant a method of religious control?
Covenant developed as a religious control, person can't be Jewish unless they are willing to be controlled by God, emphasis has changed in modern day, you can retain Jewish identity without following them all, a way of communicating with God
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Is the covenant of legal value?
Only important when the Israelites were forming a new home in the wilderness, laws bring holiness into the world, aids spirituality, more of a moral and ethical guide rather than legal, laws outdated
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What does the word Torah mean?
'instruction' or 'teaching'
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What are the Five Books of Moses, in order?
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
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What can the stories in the Torah show?
Refers to Jewish teachings as a whole, central document which is the basis of Jewish faith
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How long did it take for God to dictate the Torah to Moses?
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What is in Genesis?
Creation of the world, patriarchs and concludes with settlement of the Hebrew people in Egypt
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What is in Exodus?
Moses leading Jews to freedom, revelation of Torah at Sinai, beginning of journey into the wilderness
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What is in Leviticus?
Instructions about legal and moral practices
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Demonstrates importance of holiness and faith as the people make their way to the Promised Land
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Speeches made by Moses, laws, ethical teachings etc.. ends with the death of Moses
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What is the Tanakh?
The Jewish Bible
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What is the Tabakh split into?
Torah, Nevi'im (books of the Prophets), Ketuvim (holy writings)
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What do Orthodox Jews believe about the Torah?
Without doubt, the Torah is the exact word of God as revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai - they accept its authorityas direct revelation of divine law. By studying the Torah, they believe they are in contact with the will and mind of God
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What do Othodox Jews believe about judgement?
They will be judged eventually on how they have kept the covenants and commandments- everything they do links them back to Abraham
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How is the significance of the Torah shown?
When copying the books of Moses - no mistakes can be made as this would change the word of God "The law is going to be the same forever" Maimonides
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What are Reform attitudes on the Torah?
More liberal, believe in divine revelations and that the Torah contains many divine truths but they attribute the authroship to divinely inspired humans "the biblical writers were men inspired by God.. there can be no garantee" Brain Close
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The Torah is still seen as instructional and inspiring, a neccessary resource- Judaism is not static but developing therefore the mitzvot change and there is no need to adhere to all of the 613 mitzvot
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What is progressive revelation?
The concept that old laws of the Bible are no longer applicable in modern society now new ethical, moral and spiritual values have been discovered
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Where were such views revealed?
The Pittsburgh Platform 1885 - they called for- a rejection of laws that have a ritual rather than moral basis, rejection of Jewish dietry laws etc..
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What is the Rabbinic tradition of the Torah?
Some believe it pre-existed and is one of the 7 things created before the creation of the world- represented God's plan. Rabbi Yose claimed the Torah existed for 974 generations before + Rabbi Lakish= 2000 years before
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How does Jewish mysticism present the Torah?
An architectural blueprint for the creation of the world
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Why do some Rabbi's reject this theory?
Ex-nihilo argument, only existed in the mind of God- some also believe that it is eternal
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What is a quote to show that the Torah is eternal?
"for the generations to come it is a lasting ordinance"Exodus
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What is the Sefer Torah?
Parchment scroll upon the 5 Books of Moses are written and is the holiest item in the synagogue
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What do the 613 mitzvot say about the obligation for every Jew to write out a Torah scroll?
"Now therefore write this song, and teach it to the people of Israel" Deuteronomy
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How must the Sefer Torah be copied?
Must be written by hand, copied letter for letter from an original by a sofer (scribe). If the sofer makes a mistake, he has to scratch the ink off the parchment but if it can't be corrected completely then the whole page must be removed
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Why can you not destroy the page of a Torah that has a mistake?
It is the word of God- it must be buried instead
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What is the actual body of the Torah made from?
The parchment= the skin of a kosher animal, each end is stitched to a wooden roller called an etz chaim - tree of life
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What happens when a Torah is completed?
The author usually will write his final letters and there is a special ceremony- it is a great honour to be able to do this
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What is the Aron Kodesh?
The 'Holy Ark' at the synagogue in which the Sefer Torah scrolls are kept
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How often are the synagogues read at the Synagogue?
3 - small sections read on Mondays and Thursdays but the main reading is on the morning of the Shabbat
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What is pashirot?
Sections of the Torah that are read in the synagogue- there are 54- at least one pashirot is read each week
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How is the pashirot spoken?
In a tune - you have to be skilled to read it as there is no punctuation or vowels
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What is a Chumash?
A Jew's own printed version of the Torah- still holy but does not hold the same level of significance as the Sefer Torah- the rituals of Jewish festivals include reading passages of the Torah during the celebrations at home
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What is regarded as the most important teaching in the Torah?
"And you shall teach it to your children" Deuteronomy - Education is extremely important - Rabbinic tradition teaches that the study of the Torah is equal to all the other mitzvot combined
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How is this described in a quote?
""These are things the fruits of whih a man enjoys in this world, honouring one's father and mother, acts of kindness, and bringing peace between a man and his fellow. But the study of the Torah is equal to them all"
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What 2 reasons show why studying the Torah is so important?
1. Without studying the Torah, one cannot know how to fulfil the mitzvot. 2. With detailed study it is possible to gain an insight into the spiritual significance of the mitzvot
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What is the Yeshiva?
A Jewish academy of Talmudic studies - focuses on the Talmud, Torah and Tanakh- just boys
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How does the Yeshiva run?
They work in pairs, studying parts of the Talmud, the hall is lively full of discussion and debate- the students are assesed by oral examiations and can progress in classes
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What is the seminary?
A theological college for girls - more structured courses than at the Yeshiva and a wider range of subjects
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What is the purpose of the oral Torah?
To explain in greater detail how to adhere to the commandments of the written Torah when a fuller explanation is needed e.g. Jews should honour the Sabbath but doesnt explain how they can do this- oral Torah provides interpretation
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What books was the oral Torah eventaully written into?
The Talmud, Mishnah and Midrash
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What is the gemara?
A rabbinical commentary on the Mishnah which forms the second half of the Talmud
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What is the Midrash?
Ancient commentary consisting of rabbinic teachings and sermons which seek to read between the lines of things in the Torah
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What is the role of the Midrash, Mishnah and Talmud?
Provide the basis for further discussion and interpretation by the rabbis and yeshiva students- allows Judaism to have a place in modern society
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What is the Mishnah?
Material that makes up the Mishnah collected together around 2000CE and consists of lessons, discussions and quotations by early rabbis e.g Hillel. Contains a collection of legal rulings and practices which are still the basis of Judaism today
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What are the 6 sections of the Mishnah?
1. Seeds (offerings for the priest, gifts for the poor, agricultural laws) 2. Holidays (festivals) 3. Women (marriage, divorce etc) 4. Damages (laws regarding civil disputes, rabbinic courts, punishments etc) 5. Holy things (ritual slaughter, dietary
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laws etc..) 6. Purity (ritual cleanliness and impurity)
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What is the Talmud?
The Mishanah and Gemara together - the Gemara is rabbinical teachings on the Mishanh
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Where is the Aron Kodesh situated in UK synagogues?
The East side- facing the direction of Jeruselum
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What does the Holy Ark (Aron Kodesh) represent?
The golden box which contained the 10 commandents in the original temple
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What is the bimah?
Ceremonial ritual- where the Sefer Torah is taken out of the Holy Ark on the Sabbath and carried in a ceremonial procession around the synagogue. All will stand and prayer shawls will be kissed before touching the outer cover of the scroll
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What is a mantle?
A decorated cover for the Sefer Torah - protects it while it is being carried around during the Bimah - the scrolls are not touhed because of their sanctity
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What is th yad?
Pointer in the shaoe of a hand with an outdtretched finger which is used for reading the Torah
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What happens to the Torah when it is no longer fit for use?
Cannot be thrown away as it would be seen as discarding the word of God. It is placed in a protective container and buried in a Jewish cemetary "Take these deeds and put them in an earthware vessel, that they may last for a long time"
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Is the Torah still of authority in Judaism?
Only one source of authority within the Jewish faith, reform jews dont accept it in the same way, rabbinic authority just as important, provides guidance, Mishnah, Midrash + Talmud are helpful
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Is the Torah a religious icon?
Treating something with respect doesnt make it an icon, Judaism places emphasis on spirituality and moral guidance, veneration of images not allowed, the emphasis should be on the content not the physicality, icon can be interpreted differently
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T2- RELIGIOUS CONCEPTS
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What is the premise of monotheism?
There is only one God who is indivisible, incomparible and the ultimate cause of existence
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How does Maimonides summarise the process by which humankind came to the recognition of there being one God
God was known to Adam but over time people believed that it would make God happy to worship the forces that serve God therefore they began erecting temples etc.. over time "the veneble and awesome name of God was forgotten from the lips and minds of
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humanity" - this was changed by the arrival of Abraham
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According to the Talmud, how did Abraham come to the realisation of monotheism?
By process of elimination- he thought the sun was the most powerful deity but at night the stars and moon took over power, he also thought about human's superiority to air - humans are flawed so we cant worship them- the deities were a mask
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What is a quote to represent this?
"it was only then that he began to understand how all of nature was a veil which masked the presence of a deity, and how amn must learn to apprehend the hidden creator"
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What does the 10 commandments say about monotheism?
It is forbidden, monotheism is the foundation of their faith - they are constantly reminded this in the Shema "the Lord our God is one Lord"
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Is Judaism more focused on the characteristics of God or the practice of faith?
Practice of faith
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What is the first verse of the Jewish scripture?
"In the beginnig God created the heavens and the earth"
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What does this show about God and existence?
He must be the source of existence
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What are the two interpretations about God and his process in existence?
Some Jews believe God created the world ex-nihilo and then watched from a distance while it developed while others believe that he continued to part of the process of creation of the world by designing a divine plan
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What does the Midrash say about God pre-the creation of the world?
God opened the Torah scroll and read the beginning of the book of Genesis as though the Torah was an instruction manual, it was made in 6 days and God rested on the 7th
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What does the Sabbath reflect?
That God rested on the 7th day "Remember the sabbath day by keeping it holy"
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What do Jews believe about God's active creation?
Creation is a continual event that only exists while God pours creative energy into it and this is known as the doctrine of perplectual creation. If God were to cease then all would become nothing
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What is the doctrine of perplectual creation?
Creation is continuous and only exists while God pours creative energy into it. At every point in time, the world is only the way it is as God has actively desired it
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What do Jews pray daily to continue God's creation?
"He who in his goodness renews the work of creation each day continually"
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What does it mean for God to be incoporeal?
Without bodily substance, not bound to the physical world or restricted by a place or time
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How does the belief on an incorporeal God contrast to the Abrahamic times?
They worhsipped deities they believed had a physical presence in the world
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In the Thirteen Principles of faith, how does Deuteronomy talk of God's incorporeality?
"you have not seen any image" "he is neither a body nor a bodily force"
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Why do we see God as a male despite his incoroporeality?
God has no physical existence and therefore is not male or female but God is often spoken about as a father but there are also times that God is referred to in feminie terms - in the shekinah is a feminine word and describes God in the universe
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What does El Olam mean?
A name for God within Judaism meaning the everlasting, eternal one
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How does Abraham describe the eternal nature of God?
"Abraham called on the name of the Lord, the eternal Lord"
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How is Gid's eternal nature represented in the burning bush story?
Moses asked for God's name who replied "I am who i am". This is represented by 4 Hebrew letters YHWH - the ambuigity of the phrase shows his eternal nature
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"Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to evelasting you are God"
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Explain God's characteristic of omnipotence
No limits to God - total control of the universe- this is known as the sovereignity of God but lives at an epistemic distance to allow us to use our free will- but can sometimes intervene in the form of a miracle
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Explain God's characteristic of omniscience
God knows of everything happening in creation, he is referred to as 'the Lord who sees' aswell as 'the lord who knows'
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Explain God's characteristic of omnibenevolence
Aware of human needs, brings comfort to those in need- the convenants show this- problems with inconsistant triad- has been proposed that God's epistemic distance means we can have free will
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Explain God's characteristic of being holy and perfect
Hebrew word for holiness of God= 'qodesh'- he is seperate from evil and deficiency
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Why do Jews not like to use the word God?
The word is holy and therefore should not even be spoken, instead they use the name Adonai meaning 'Lord'
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What's a quote to reflect God's holiness?
"Put limits arounf the the mountain and set it apart as holy"
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Explain God's characteristic of being just and merciful
Jews believe that justice and mercy arecarefully balanced, God punishes the evil and rewards the good and is forgiving to those who repent
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What is quote to show that God is just and merciful?
"All I do, I do in justice. If I sought to pass beyond justice but once, the world could not endure"
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What does kavod mean?
Literally means 'heavy' or 'weighty' but often denotes honour or glory. It attempts to describe the experience of standing in the presence of God
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What is a quote to show kavod?
"I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple" Isiah
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What does Shenikah mean?
Means 'dwelling' or 'settling' and denotes the divine presence of God in the world- found in rabbinic tradition. It is essentially a mystical tradition which denotes the relationship between God and the individul- it is the feminine aspect of God
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What are the different interpretations of the the Shekinah?
1.Part of God that is in exile along with the other Jewish people 2. Shekinah permeates the same way that the soul permeates the body- it sustains the world
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Where is the idea of the Shekinah and those in exile quoted?
"And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light"
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What did Maimonides say on the attributes of God?
Jewish philosopher (13 Principles of Faith), study of the Torah= greater understanding of God's characteristics, he was unhappy about using positive attributes to describe God as the Torah speaks in the language of man- not literal
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Why cant you descibe God as what he is?
He has no physical body, no end or beginning - he is incorporeal- we can only describe what God isn't e.g. God is not corporeal- "You have not seen my image"
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Is it possible to know God?
Y. the Torah can reveal things, spiritual awareness, you don't need full understanding to know it N. You cannot know something thta cannot be known through the human understanding of the world, human understanding will always be limited
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Are God's characteristics meaningful today?
Y. The holiness of God will always be meaningful- Torah, we can understand his characteristics still, eternal God- eternally meaningful N. Science, contraditions, evil and suffering problem..
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What is the Jewish understanding of humanity and its relationship with God?
We were created for a special purpose "So God created mankind in his own image"
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What does tzelem mean?
Does not refer to physical image but to the nature or essence of being, therefore suggesting that the essence of humankind is like God- Rashi argues the similarity is the power of perception- we can disern things using perception- God incorporeality
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Explain the concept of nefesh
Nefesh= soul/ life- Judaism teaches that the body and soul are seperate but co-exist in human life- God has given humans bodies to carry out sacred work
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What Jewish laws emphasise the holiness of human life?
Mitzvot cover a range of commandments concerning what to wear, eat, sexual relationships- these show the need of caring for the body which means also caring for the soul
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What dis Saadia Gaon claim in the late 9th century?
Without the body, the soul would be unable to do the holy, redemptive work of carrying out God's sacred plan
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Where is the belief of the body enabling the soul furthered?
In the Kabbalah which identifies 5 levels of the soul, of which nefesh is first- nefesh represents the ego that is responsible for the safety and survival of the body
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Explain the concept of Pikuach Nefesh
Sanctity of life- saving, protecting and preserving life which is of the upmost importance in the Torah
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What is a quote to represent Pikuach Nefesh in the Torah?
"Do not do anything that endangers your neighour's life"
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What does the Torah teach about Pikuach Nefesh?
Life comes from God, gift of God and to do anything that may shorten it is murder- it is a core precept that overrides any other
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What does the Talmud say about Pikuach Nefesh?
Any mitzvot may be ignored to uphold it, "he shall live by them, and not that he should die from them". Also allows breaking the laws of the Sabbath- anyone who went to ask the rabbi first would disgrace themselves and the rabbi if the person died
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Explain yetzer hara and yetzer hatov
Yetzer hara= evil inclination and Yetzer hatov= good inclination- both impluses are present within an individual- hatov influences indivudual to carry out mitzvot and keep covenant with God (bar mitzvah at 13 means a boy should know between wrong and
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right), hara can lead to acts of sin - not always bad- needed in a selfish sense e.g aspiration but it has to be balanced by hatov
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What does teshuvah mean?
Means 'return' and is th word used to describe the concept of repentance in Judaism- jews are required to reflect upon their misdeeds and consider how far their actions have fallen short of God's requirements to atone
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What us attonement?
Allows Jews to begin again with the right attitudes and actions
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What is the Shema?
Means 'hear' - Jewish prayer declaring the oneness of God. Jews recite it morning and evening "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one"
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What is the purpose of the Shema?
Developed as a way of summarising the whole of Jewish law and is the central focus of Jewish worship
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What is the first prayer taught to children by their parents?
The Shema, the opening line is alos recited at the synagogue while it is taken from the ark on the Sabbath and at festivals
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What is the Shema made up of?
Three praragraphs from the Torah (Deuteronom x2 and Numbers x1)
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What is is deuteronomy part 1?
"Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one, Love your Lord with all your heart" Expresses need for the commandments to be the central focus and talks of tying the prayer to your doorframes (mezuzah) and also being holy by wearing the tefillin
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What is the mezuzot?
Small parchment scroll fixed to the right hand doorpost of every room in the Jewish house (except for the bathroom)
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What is in deuteronomy part 2?
"So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today to love the Lord your God and serve him.. then I will send rain on your land in its season.. you will eat and be satisfied" "Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as
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symbols on your hands and bind them to your foreheads" Declares the acceptance of the commandments and shows loyalty to God
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What is in Numbers regarding the Shema?
"You will have these tassels to look at you and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord" "I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt to be your God" Talks about specific things to be done e.g. wearing the tzitzit on the tallit
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What is the tzitzit?
Fringes attached to each corner of the tallit
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What is the tallit?
A woolen or silk shawl worn by males during morning prayer
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How is the nature of the Shema an aid to faith and remembering?
Contains many mitzvot/ commandments that Jews are required to keep as part of the covenant- the words of the prayer are taken literally in the use of the tefillin, mezuzah, tzitzit and tallit which are items that act as aid to faith and reminders
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of the commandments
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What the the symbolism of the tefillin?
Worn as a result of the direct commandment found in the first paragraph of the Shema "Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them to your feet" 2 leather boxes that contain the first two paras of Shema - reminder + way of cultivating holy thought
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What is the symbolism of the mezuzah?
2 passages from Torah that declare the Oneness of God and the coovenant relationship- fixed to doorposts as a response to "you shall write them on the doorposts of your houses" they touch it when they enter that room - sign of rememberance+ respect
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What is the symbolism of the tzitzit?
Aid to remembering God- "throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments.. so you will remember all the commandments of the Lord"
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What is the symbolism of the tallit?
Two types; tallit gadol= larger prayer shawl and tallit katan= worn all the time by Orthodox Jews under their clothes- 4 cornered garment - its a devotional undertaking
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How is the Shema a reinforcement of the covenant relationship and meaning and purpose of life?
Reinforces importance of uoholding the laws daily, allows them to acknowledge soveriegnity of the One God, physical acts represent upkeeping the covenant- daily guide, deeper understanding etc..
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Does the Shema contain the most important beliefs within Judaism?
Affirms Jewish belief that there is one God, contains essence of covenant relationship upon which the Jewish faith is built, Shema contains reminders of how to follow the commandments, important at all stages of life, open to interpretation
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Is the Shema precise enough to guide Jewish belief and practice?
Daily reminder to Jews to obey God, Torah is the most important document, Other sources of more detailed information,
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C. Beliefs about judgement - the Messiah and afterlife
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What does the word messiah mean in Hebrew?
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What does annointing refer to?
The annointing and consecration of Kings and high preists at a formal century (investiture) in ancient times however is generally seen as a term to refer to the future leader of the Jewish people
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What the Jews believe that the Messiah will bring?
New age of freedom, justice, peace and goodwill which will be established under the rule of God
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When was the idea of the Messiah introduced?
It was not mentioned in the Torah and was probably introduced during the time of the prophets
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What are some Jewish views on the messiah?
Nicholas De Lange- 'one of the most distinctive ideas of classical Judaism' and Hermann Cohen- 'the most significant and original product of Judaism'
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What do the writings of the prophets say about the future?
There will be a time when the Jewish people will be free from subjugation of other nations
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What is subjugation?
To be in a state of domination by another nation
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Where is this new age of the Jews talked about?
Isiaiah where they will rad that they will return to Israel, and the temple will be restored in Jeruselum
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What is a quote to show this?
"The mountain of the Lord's temple will be established as the highest of the mountains" "He will teach us his ways so we can walk in his paths"
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Who will feel God's presence
Everyone; Jews and Gentiles
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How do some prophets further the idea of the Messiah?
They claim that this future age will be associated with a human leader, sent by God who will create a peaceful society
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How does Isiaiah show this?
"Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore"
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"With righteousness he will judge the needy.. righteousness will be his belt"
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What did the prophet Jeremiah say about the Messiah?
They will be a political leader, a descendent of King David, he will be well versed in Jewish law and observant of the commandments of God. He will also be a great judge who will make decisions based on rightoutness
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"In those days and at that time I will make a righteous branch sprout from David's line; he will do what is just and right in the land"
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What is the period when the Mesiah comes to be called?
The Messaianic Age
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What is the belief over when the Messianic age will come?
There is no unifed concept of when the Messiah will come about and what it will be like
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How does the Babylonian Talmud say the Messianic Age will be?
'no different from the present except that Israel will no longer be in subjection to the kingdoms of the word"
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What was an agreement made about the Messiah in the middle ages?
That they were personal but disagreements over whether the Messianic Age would be natural or supernatural
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What did Maimonides say about the Messianic Age?
Warned against the expectation that the course of nature would be changed with the Messiah but the Messiah will restore the Kingdom of David to its orginal glory, restore the temple + gather the Jews to be a nation again- the Messiah will be the
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ruler who will reign according to the commandments of the Torah
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For Maimonides, what was the purpose of the Messainic age?
Not that the Jews would claim superiority over other nations but that they would be free to study the Torah and prepare for the Coming Age or 'World to Come'- the afterlife
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What do Orthodox Jews believe about the Messiah?
Believe a personal Messiah will come when God chooses who will lead all humanity back to God. The Messiah will be a descendent of King David and preceded by the return of the Prophet Elijah. After a period of decline and catastophe, the Messiah will
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establish a new world order based upon the laws of God and characterised by peace on the earth
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What is the general belief about when the Messiah will come?
Humankind's conduct will determine the time, either the Messiah will come at a time most needed and at its most sinful state or at a time we are most deserving, as a result of good conduct
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What is the Ani Ma'amin?
A poetic form of Maimonides' 13 Principles of Faith which is recited every day after morning prayers at the synagogue
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What does the Ani Ma'amin say about the Messiah?
"I believe with complete faith in the coming of the Messiah, and even if he should tarry (be slow/late), I nevertheless will wait everyday for his coming"
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What do Reform Jews believe about the Messiah?
They believe in the idea and that it will be a time of peace but they do not subscribe to the idea of the restoration of the Jewish state, reform Jews reject the notion that they are in exile from te Jewish State as they think dispersion is
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a neccessary thing as it is their job to spread their faith and be an example to other people
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What does the Pittsburgh Platform say about the Messiah?
"We recognise in the modern era of universal culture of heart and intellect the approaching of the realisation of Israel's great Messainic hope or the establishment of the kingdom of truth, justice and peace among all men"
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What do Jews believe about death?
That there is no theological significance to death other than it is part of God's plan for human beings
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What are mourning and funeral practices within Judaism?
More about remembering the deceased and comforting the living rather than wondering what will happen to the person in the afterlife
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Where is the resurrection of the dead talked about in Judaism?
Eschatology - branch of theology that deals with death, divine judgement and life after death
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What are the two biblical references to the resurrection of the dead?
"But your dead will live, Lord; their bodies will rise - let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout of for joy- your dew is like the dew of the morning ; the earth will give birth to her dead"
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""Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake :some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt"
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In the book of the Prophet David, what does the 'son of man' refer to?
Future figure whose coming will signal the end of history and bring about the time of God's judgement aka the Messiah - the goal of history is thus portrayed as the coming of God's Kingdom rather than the human kingdom, which will present itself in
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God's own time, as a result of God's power
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What does the book of Daniel say about the time of the coming of the Messiah?
The arrival of God's kingdom will be preceeded by a time of great trouble - those who have been faithful to God will be saved from God's hardship
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What will happen on the day of judgement?
There will be a resurrection of the dead, when God will judge each soul and determine where each will spend eternity
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What is a quote to show this?
"Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt"
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What did Maimonides say about the doctine of resurrection?
In the 13 principles of faith, he said that it was one of the foundations of Jewish belief - however, in later texts he seemed to think that the resurrection was ofthe immortal soul and not the body
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How does this contrast to rabbinic statements?
Rabbinic literature states that the dead will be resurrected wearing their clothes "the just in time will rise in their own clothes" (Babylonian Talmud)- Father Crescas said that our soul and bodies have been co-existing and therefore they need an
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ultimate reward or punishment together- therefore there is a need for bodily resurrection
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What does the Midrash say about who will rise first?
The humble and those who are buried in Israel
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How do Orthodox Jews maintain the belief in the resurrection?
They make reference to it in daily prayers and at funerals especially in the Kaddish that is recited by the son of a parent at a funeral. Many Jews object to cremation however Reform Jews are not as bothered as they only believe in immortality and
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reject the idea of the resurrection of the body
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What is the kaddish?
A prayer said by a mourner
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What does Olam ha-ba mean?
'The world to come' denoting the afterlife
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What do Jews believe about the afterlife?
There is little found in the Torah about the afterlife and what actually happens to someone after death-no accpeted agreement amongst different groups apart from the fundamental emphasis of living now and forever in the ways which God intends
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What does the Mishnah say about God and Olam ha-ba?
"be like servents who serve their master not for the sake of recieving a reward, and let the awe of heaven be upon you"
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What does the Talmud say about preparing for the afterlife?
"This world is like the eve of the Shabbat, and the olam ha-ba is like the eve of Shabbat. He who prepares on the eve of Shabbat will haeve food to eat on Shabbat"
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Where is it thought that the concepts of rewards and punishment in Olam ha-ba comes from?
Post bibilical era of Judaism - cant have been introduced until Jews had adopted the idea o the survival of the soul after the death of the body-may of have been borrowed from Greek thought and has been assimalted into Jewish thought
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What is the El male rachamin?
A funeral prayer- "O God, grant perfect peace to the soul who has gone to eternity, may he/she rest in the Garden of Eden"
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What is Gehinnom?
A place of spiritual punishment and/or purification
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What does the Talmud say about recieving tranquility after death?
"the righteous sit with crowns on their heads feasting on the radiance of the shekinah"
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What is the general belief of where you go and why in the afterlife?
Good life= reward, bad life= punishment
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What does Orthodox Judaism stress about the essence of Judaism?
That it is about how you live in you current life and it is more important to focus on your life npw than the afterlife
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What did the Pittsburgh Platform say about the afterlife?
"Reform Judaism rejects the idea of bodily ressurection but accepts the view that the soul is immortal and that the spirit is divine" Has corrected prayer books to only show immortality of the soul- sole belief of spiritaul afterlife
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Where was this belief rooted?
"God created man in his own image" Reform Jews think this gives a responsibility to command God's wishes to make a better humanity
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"while we ourselves are alive and we continue to live, primarily through the lasting blessings we impart and through the memories we leave behind"
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Are Jewish bleliefs about the Jewish afterlife relevent today?
Lack of agreement between different groups on the topic, more important to focus on having a good life, if the concepts found in scriptures are about the afterlife then they must still be relevent, judgement holds more relevance than afterlife, Yom
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Kippur, Jewish festival, places great emphasis upon reward and punishment in the present life opposed to the afterlife
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Whether the concept of the Messiah isa serious religious belief for Jews today
Orthodox Jews= yes- belief in personal messiah, linked to promises of covenant relationship, Reform Jews believe it will be created by human efforts, not explicity mentioned in the Torah, Orthodox and Reform beliefs do not cojoin, life now priority
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T3. Religious life
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A. The diversity of views within Judaism with regards to the mitzvot
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What are hte mitzvot?
Commandments regarding Jewish Law based on the Torah and Talmud- there are 613 "And now,Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you?.. to walk in obedience to him.. and to observe the Lord's commandments and decrees that I am giving you today
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for your own good"
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Outline the use of the Mitzvot in Orthodox Judaism
Traditional branch within Judiasm, accept that the Torah is the divine revelation of God- purpose being to discipline the Jewish people towards holiness (qodesh) thereore the observance of the mitzvot is paramount - it is a religious duty+
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a way to communicate with God
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How many positive demands are there?
248- what Jews must do
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How many negative demands are there?
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What is the most notable form of the mitzvot?
The Mishneh Torah- Maimonides
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Why can over 200 of the mitzvot no longer be observed?
They are linked to religous ritual that must take place in the temple, which was destroyed in 70CE
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Why have rabbis adapted the original mitzvot?
To make them applicable in modern society + to meet demands of changing world- modern day interpretations may cover ideas such as fertility and organ donation- fulfils Pichuak Nefesh
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How do quotes back up the interpretation of the mitzvot?
"that he shall live by them, and not die by them"
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What are the two types of mitzvot?
Ritual e.g. resting on the Sabbath and ethical e.g. "do not steal"
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How can you further define the Mitzvot?
One class of commandment known as Chukim (statues)- they are distinctive as there is no particular reason to keep them- an example of this is food laws
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What is halakhahand why do Jews refer to it?
Jewish Law - complete body of rules and practices- means "path that one walks"- Orthodox Jews are bound to follow the rules as it walks the Jew through life- Halakhah is a means of regulating the Mitzvot- source = Torah and rabbinic tradition
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How was the Halakhah enabled Orthodox Jews to continue their religion?
allowed adaptions and helps make the rules clear
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Outline beliefs on the Mitzvot in Reform Judaism
Different attitude on revelation of the Torah at Sinai, "we recognise in the Mosiac legislation a system of training for the Jewish people for its mission during its national life in Palestine" but they reject laws that arent relvent in modern
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society, and "maintain only such ceremonies as elevate and sanctify our lives"
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What do reform Jews believe about the nation of Israel
They dont believe that Jews are a nation anymore rather a community and dont want a return to Palestine - they believe the word of the Torah was written by divinely inspired humans and Reform Jews believe that their religion hasnt remained static and
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therefore it is ok to adapt the mitzvot to mirror this belief
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Why does this belief lead to more diversity and variation within the Jewish belief?
They arent as strict and therefore people act differently on the Kosher food laws and some light candles on Shabbat and some dont- considered to be up to the individual
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What does the Halakhah say about divorce?
Its permitted as long as it goes through the Jewish court but Reform Jews believe it is ok for it to go through civil court - a convenience
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How do reform Jews retain their identity?
By keeping the Sabbath and going to the synagogue
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How do Hasidic Jews view the Mitzvot?
Hasidism= the pious ones - ultra orthodox who came about as result of spiritual revelation that developed through the role of the Baal Shem Tov in the 18th century- "The Baal Shem Tov was a mystic..he emphasised the hidden truths over the revealed
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aspects of the Torah"- same views on revelation of Torah as Orthodox Jews- they believe all the mitzvot are relevent nd they should never lose an opportunity to uphold the mitzvot- even extending to personal appearrance- ear locks etc.."do not cut
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the hair at the sides of your head"Rigid obedience crucial at all times - aids achieveing identity + clear direction of religious life+ fulfils sense of duty which cause great joy
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What is a rebbe/ tzaddik?
'righteous man' rebbe= religious leader- first one = Baal Shem Tov- great status = authority- higher spiritual power able to teach Torah and interpret Jewish law - greater emphasis on religious experience which led to mystical tradition of kabbalah
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What is the Zohar?
Classical text of Kabbalism
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What is devekut?
Devotion to God- having God permanantly on your mind - every action should be with God in mind (links to Mitzvot)- human activity is considered to a holy act
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What is keeping Kashrut?
Religious dietry laws
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Do Orthodox Jews follow Kashrut?
Yes, kosher home and restraunts "you shall not cook a kid in the milk of its mother"
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Do Reform Jews keep Kashrut?
Not on the whole, some keep to a degree e.g. not eating pork
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What are differing opinions on Shabbat (orthodox + reform)
Orthodox= refrain from work- carrying out any of the 39 melachot is forbidden - e.g. they dont use electrical appliances - many live in walking distance of synagogue so they dont have to use a car. Also remains important in Reform, but it starts at
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any time - not sunset like orthodox- set time and they only relate not working to actual work and are happy to drive
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Concept of mitzvot is divisive in Judaism
Acceptable to reinterpret it for modern life, maintianing essence of mitzvot is what matters, oral Torah allows mitzvot to be relvevent in modern world, some groups have deviated so far it has caused division, observance of mitzvot does=Jew
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Can the mitzvot contribute to spirituaity in Judaism?
Main purpose= moral and ethical guide, fulfilment of God's duties can bring spiritual joy, tehy are restrictive so could negatively impact spiritual development, merely just part of daily routine, prayer + meditation is better way to be spiritual
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B. Jewish teachings about teffilah with reference to the Amidah and tezedakah
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What is tefillah?
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What is the role of tefillah?
Important part of the relationship with God + gives Jews a way to reflect upon the nature of God and come to a greater understanding of the path that God wants them to take in life
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What are some examples of tefillah in the Bible?
When Abraham prayed to God for an heir, when Moses prayed for Israel to be spared but there is no explicit commandment to pray
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Why may it not be mentioned that you need to pray?
Some may see it as a natural human activity for one who is in a relationship with God
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What is a quote that could show this?
A person is "to love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all your soul"
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How does the Talmud refer to prayer?
Avodah shebalev- 'service of the heart'- prayer is seen as a service to God on a personal basis; reaching out to connect with the source of all life
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What do Jews believe about when you can pray to God?
They can pray to God whenever they want although opportunities for daily prayer can be provided at the synagogue
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What is the Siddur?
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Why may praying at set times be helpful?
Sets aside specific times for devotion to God and prayer keeps people in context of where they are in the world
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What does Judaism acknowledge to be a problem with repeating the same prayer daily?
It may lose its meaning - this is why the concept of Kavvanah is so important
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What is kavvanah?
literal meaning = intention- used to denote a state of mental concentration and devotion at prayer
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Where can Kavvanah be found?
In all aspects of life, yet in prayer, there is an opportunity for self-spiritual reflection and a mystical encounter with God
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What are the levels of the Kavvanah?
Starts with basic sense of being able to understand the significance of words being said and then it goes all the way up to the awareness of being in the presence of God
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What is a quote to show prayer as the outpouring of the soul?
"Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord"
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What did Maimonides say about prayer and kavvanah?
A person "should empty his mind of all other thoughts and regard himself as if he were standing before the divine presence"- he said that prayer without Kavvanah was no prayer at all
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What is the Shulchan Arukh?
The code of Jewish Law
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What does the Shuchan Arukh state?
"Better a little supplication with the kavvanah, thana great deal without it"
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What did Rabbi Mindel say we should pray for?
God's wishes, God has "commanded us to to pray to him for our sake"- God can do without prayer but we cannot do without prayer - it is good for us and is "our daily bread and our general welfare"
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What is the most common type of prayer in Judaism?
The Berakah- blessing which is an expression of praise directed to God and they are recited on a number of occassions, synagogue, private prayer etc..- nearly everything in life can be a blessing e.g. eating
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What does Baruch atah Adonai, melech ha'olam mean?
"Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe"
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What is the Amidah?
Literally means 'standing' (standing prayer) , one of the principal prayers of the Jewish liturgy and is the central prayer in each of the services and the congregation stands to perform it
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How many services are there a day are there at the synagogue and what are they called?
3; arvit= evening prayer, shacharit= morning prayer and minchah=afternoon prayer
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What do the timings of the services correspond to?
The times sacrifices were offered in the temple in Jeruselum
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What is the Amidah also referred to as?
The Teffilah of the Shermonah Esray which means 'the 18' referring to the original 18 benedictions of Amidah- there has been 1 more benediction added recently
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What is it traditional to do before you say the Amidah?
Take 3 steps backwards and then forward again to symbolise being in God's presence, the Amidah is said quietly with feet together and your hands folded over your heart and at 4 points in the prayer you bow slightly
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How are the 19 blessings of the Amidah split?
3 sections that relfect how a worshipper should approach God, petitions and thanksgiving
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Outline the first section of the Amidah
Shevach- expresses praise for the patriarchs, the wonders of God and God's holiness (qodesh)- in liberal synagogues, the matriarchs are also mentioned - first blessing praises God for remebering their good actions and asks God to hear our prayers
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What is the second section of the Amidah?
Bakashah- bulk of prayer is petitionary, this section requests that both spiritual +physical needs are met such as repentace, forgiveness, redemption, freedom and salvation of messiah are requested- indivudally prayed for by individuals
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What is section 3 of the Amidah?
Hoda'ah- prayer concludes with 3 blessings of thanksgiving concerning an acceptance of the worship, gratitude, and blessings of peace
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What is done on Sabbath and at Jewish festivals regarding the Amidah?
Ammendment to the central section of the Amidah by a single blessing which focuses on the holiness of that particular dau e.g on Shabbat morning the central section includes Moses getting the 10 commandments and then by parts of
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Exodus to show that Shabbat is a gift and shows thanks for God by making the day qodesh
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How does the Amidah end?
Making 3 steps back, bowing and then 3 steps forward again while saying "May God who brings peace to the universe, bring peace to us and all of the peopl, Israel, Amen"
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Where did the Amidah originate?
It is not known despite its importance, subject of debate- some say it was introduced to identify heretics
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What is the Minynan?
Congregation or assembly; a group of 10 males (orthodox) or 10 people over the age of 13 required before an act of communal prayer can take place in the synagogue
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Where did the idea of the minyan being neccessary come from?
"How long will this wicked assembly grumble against me?" - the word assembly became associated with 10
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Is the minyan from Halakhic laws or rabbinic tradition?
Rabbinic tradition-there is no halakhic tradition but rabbinic tradition has always enouraged it
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What does the Shulchan Arukh say about the minyan?
"A person should make every effort to attend services in a synagogue with a minyan; if circumstances prevent him from doing so, he should pray, wherever he is, at the same time that the synagogue service takes place"
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Can the minyan form and pray anywhere?
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What are reform beliefs on the Miyan?
They have discarded it- services can take place with any number - aswell as allowing adult women into the minyan
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What is tzedakah?
'Charity' - literal meaning= justice or righteousness
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What are Jewish beliefs towards tzedakah?
Charitable acts are more than just kindness by making a donation, they are considered 'right' actions which are just as important as any other mitzvot
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What does the Torah say about tzedakah?
"There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be open ahnded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy"
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What is tithe?
Giving a tenth of your income to charity - a way of balancing out wealth
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What is a quote to show that tzedakah is not just about money?
"It is important to show kindness and mercy to those who are in difficulties and who need support. This can be done best by giving up one's time to help someone"
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What are Jews aware of when giving tzedakah?
The dignity and respect for the reciever e.g. story of leaving the edges of the fields for people to pick up food from the ground rather than not at all
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What is gemulit hasadim?
'the giving of loving kindness' - doing good deeds - it is something anyone can do by rich and poor alike- highest form of the act is to attend funeral of someone who has died as the person has no opportunity to repay the favour
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What happens at the festival of Purim?
Special feast-everyone has to make sure that all members of the community have enough food for the occassion- people send gifts- both poor and rich can recieve and accept without embarrasment
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What is a pushkes?
Collection of boxes for charity- families will deposit their small change in it after shopping
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What did Maimonidies say about the 'ladder of tzedakah'?
Maimonides identified 8 different stages of tzedakah with each one being higher than the one before- 8. give only grudgingly 7. give willingly but less than is appopriate 6. give only when asked 5. give without being asked
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4. give without donor knowing recipient 3. give without recipient knowing the donor 2. give so neither identity is known 1. help poor rehabilitate e.g. employment etc...
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Is the Amidah an encapsulation of the most important beliefs, values and teachings
1. Allows communication with God 2. reminder of covenant relationship 3. different versions of the Amidah representing diversity 4. reflects most important teachings of Judaism 5. Shema developed to summarise it
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Has prayer become spiritually ineffective?
1. Praying with other like minded individuals may help bring a sense of spirtituality 2. Allows time to focus on God and nothing else 3. Can bbe repetitive and people may forget the meaning 4. disappointment of unanswered prayers 5. enhances it
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C. 10 commandments
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What does Aseret ha-D'ibrot mean?
The Ten Sayings
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What does Aseret ha-D'varim mean?
The Ten Principles
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Where are the above found?
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What are some of the 10 commandments?
Eternal God, No other Gods, dont use name of God in vain, holy Sabbath, honour father and mother, dont kill, no adultery, dont steal, dont bear false witnesses, you shall not covet
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What does covet mean?
To want something that belongs to someone else
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How are the 10 commandments related to the Mitzvot?
Serve as foundation for all other 613 mitzvot
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How are the 10 commandments split?
First 4 show what is expected of the relationship between God and human and the others are personal expectations
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How are the commandments weighted?
They are equal but if it comes to it you should help people firstly
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What story in the Talmud shows this?
Man who ignored drowning man's cries as he was praying- God didnt need his help but the man did
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What are the two versions of the 10 sayings in Exodus and Deuteronomy?
Ethical + Ritual Decalogue
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Are the 10 commandments open to interpretation?
No they are set and universally applicable at all ages - there are no explanations for the commandments- set in stone - they are ethical obligations
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How are the Aseret ha-D'ibrot set out?
Not individual commandments - they are catergories that each of the 613 mitzvot can be split into- the decalogue show limitations that the covenant sets out
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What are some of the categories?
Belief in God, Prohibition against impropern worship, prohibition against taking oaths, observation of sacred times, respect for parents and teachers, dont harm others, sexual immorality, theft, verbal harm, coveting
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Are the 10 sayings an effective gudie for ethical living?
They werent the first regulations set out for moral living, should be considered in historical context, universally applicable, better when considered as categories, still relevent
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Do the 10 sayings adequately summarise religious belief?
Provide ethical guidance, categories for the 613 mitzvot, relevent in modern society, reflect essence of Jewish belief, other sources which also allow summary
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4. Religious practices that shape religious identity
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A. Role of the Synagogue
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What does the word synagogue mean?
To gather together
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How long have Jews been meeting in synaggoues?
2500 years- the most important ever place of worship was the temple in Jerusleum however this was destryoed by the Babylonians and the Jews were forced to leave their homeland
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What happened at the temple in Jeruselum?
Was the centre of Jewish life as Jewish law stated that certain rituals such as animal sacrifices could only take place there- after the destruction of the temple Jews worried that their faith would be eroded "The greatest danger in that time in the
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Jewish faith, torn from these historical moonings, would be drowned in the sea of Babylonain culture"
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Quote to show the worry of the Jews in exile?
"How shall we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land?"- they wanted to preserve Jewish identity
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How did the prophets help continue the Jewish faith?
They "paved the way for the new expression of Israel's faith by proclaiming that Yahweh was not bound to the Temple in Jeruselum" Jeremiah insisted that Jews could still access God through prayer
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What vision did Ezekiel have about Yahweh's glory?
A vision of God's glory that showed glory going to all the people in exile just as the ancient had moved from place during the years in the wildnerness
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"The Lord will scatter you among peoples..but if from there you seek the lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul"
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How did the idea of synagogues develop?
People began to meet in small groups to make sure the faith didnt die out - these temporary buildings became known as syngagoues which werent to replace the temple but was a temp place of worship until it could be rebuilt
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How are synagogues similar to the original temple?
Layout baed on temple- contains structures that remind them of the original e.g. the aron kodesh reminds them of the golden box that kept the scrolls in the temple
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What was the sanctuary?
Housed the two stone tablbets of stone given to Moses at Sinai- in a wooden box covered in gold known as the Aron Kodesh- temp structure that was built when the Israelites moved to a new camp
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What is the interior of the sanctuary like?
Contains inner chamber split by a parochet (curtain) which contained the Holy Ark - instructions for the use of the parochet can be found in Exodus
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What is said in Exodus about the use of the Parochet?
"Then he (Moses) brought the ark into the tabernacle and hung the shielding curtain and shileded the ark of the covenant of law, as the Lord commanded him"
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What does GW Anderson say about the significance of the Torah?
That it is possible that the importance has varied througout the years and that God's presence travelled with the people sitting upon the ark
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How did King Soloman build the temple and based on what?
Modelled on the sanctuary and therefore the main area inside the temple was the area keeping the Torah scrolls
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Where is the Aron Kodesh facing in Western synagogues?
The Eastern side facing towards the direction of Jerusleum
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What is the inner chamber of the aron kodesh known as?
The Holy of Holies
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How do the actions and treatments surrounding the aron kodesh show its holiness?
Rabbinic tradition says that it is forbidden to make any secular use of the aron Kodesh and when it is no longer usable it cannot be destroyed, it must be stored away. You cannot sell it even to create the funds for a new synagogue. It is also custom
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that you must stand while it is being opened
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What is bet k'nesset?
House of meeting- for worship and prayer- you cant sleep in there
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What is bet midrash?
House of study- many children are taught Hebrew as many secular schools do not teach it and classes in the synagogue can extend to adults aswell
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What does shul mean?
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What are usually incoporated into modern synagogues?
Classrooms, sometimes a community hall which host events such as bat+bar mitzvahs, weddings etc..
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How is the importance of education in Judaism shown?
Bet Midrash and "And these words which I command to you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them dillingetly to your children"
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Explain the role of the synagogue in Jewish festivals
Jewish year full of many special days, e.g. Torah reading important part of Sabbath, feasts, fasts- these can only take place in the synagogue. During the New Year Rosh Hashanah takes place in synagogue- morning service can last up to 6 hours -
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followed by day of Attonement (Yom Kippur) where prayers last throughout the day and the synagogue is well attended - statement of religious identity not just a commitment
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What is the Avinu Mallenu?
A prayer said at the end of Yom Kippur "our father, our king"
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What is Simchat Torah?
Orthodox festival "Rejoicing in the Torah"- day where annual reading of the Torah is completed
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What is bet tefillah?
House of prayer
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How is the synagogue a place of ritual?
The Mikveh is a bath where people can purify themselves e.g. after touching a corpse or dead animal or a woman after they have had their period (more modern use) or after the birth of a child, once they emerge from the water they are pure and can
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carry on sexual relations with their husband- spiritual cleanliness "uncleanliness is not mud or filth which water can remove, but a matter of scriptual decree"
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What are some other uses for the Mikveh?
Observant jews use it every week before shabbat, can be used for cooking utensils or before getting married or converted
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What is a bet din?
House of judgement - a rabbinical court
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What are the two primary functions of the bet din?
Making judgements on civil jewish law, ruling on religious matters
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Where does the bet din originate?
Moses "the people come to me to seek God's will. Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God's decrees and instructions"
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What is the dayanim?
Religious judges attached to the rabbinical court - in orthodox= men , more progressive = me and women
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Does the synagogue have a main use or purpose within Judaism?
Main purpose= a place for Jews to meet- Temple alt, underlies many cultural + Jewish identifying things, many uses, what happens in the Jewish home is more important, study of torah and prayer can be done anywhere
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Is the synagogue at the heart of the Jewish community?
Helps maintain lifestyle- further assimilation may occur without it, venue for all events, temp replacement of the temple, home has a more central role?, major events of Jewish life celebrated at synagogue
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B. The role of festivals in shaping identity
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What is pesach?
'Pass over' - remembers Jews escaping from Egypt- held in spring- Jews are to observe the pesach for 7 days beginning on the 15th day of the Jewish month Nissan - festival of unleavened bread
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What is the focal point of pesach?
Seder meal- full of symbolism and follows a set ordder - order set down in a book called the Haggadah
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Who is pesach celebrated by?
Both observant and non-observant Jews
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What theme is at the heart of Jewish festivals?
Redemption- both physical and spiritual redemption
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What is a quote about pesach?
"celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come"
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What does z'man heyruteinu mean?
"the season of our freedom"
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How does pesach not just show historical redemption but also future?
Seder meal itself points many allusions to the coming of the Messiah- one of the most significant parts is when a cup of wine is filled and a blessing said over it - the cup is set aside for Elijah who is belived to be the forerunner of the Messiah
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What is the importance of Exodux 12-15?
Historical background to pesach found in these chapters, retelling of the story teaches Jews about redemption and hope- tells us how Moses petitioned with the Pharoah for the Israelites freedom- Also shows God's power with the parting of the Red Sea
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What does the meaning pass over come from?
God knew that the angel of death would pass over the Israelites children as he would know they werent Egyptians
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What is a quote to show God's role in Yam Suf?
""The Lord is my strength and defence"
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What is the symbolism of the seder meal?
Emphasises Jewish teachings about redemption and hope for the future- you eat the meal and have 4 glasses of wine
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What are the 4 questions asked by the youngest child before eating the meal?
Why on this night do we eat unleavened bread? Why on this night to we eat bitter herbs? Why on this night do we dip our herbs? Why on this night do we recline?
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What is the answer to the questions?
"We were Pharoah's slaves in Egypt. The Lord our God brought us out of there by power and force...The more one talks about it, the more praiseworthy it is"
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What follows this answer?
Followed by comments of the biblical account of Exodus, although it depends on family traditions, some add their own explanations
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What is the matzah?
One of the most important symbols- unleavened bread- reminder that there was no time for the bread to rise before the Israelites escaped from Egypt- helps Jews feel a connection with their ancestors
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What does a roasted lamb shank represent?
Represents when they marked their doorposts with lamb blood so the angel of death would pass over and their firstborns wouldnt be killed
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What is Maror?
Bitter herb- brings tears to your eyes when eaten- recalls the biterness of slavery
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What is charoset?
Sweet paste made of apple, cinnamon and raisins- symbolises the mortar used by the slaves and the sweetness of their redemption
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What is karpas?
Green vegetable, usually parsley, symbol of spring - dipped in salt to show tears and sweat of slavery
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What is the purpose of the roasted egg?
Present but not eaten-recalls sacrifice made in temple
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Why do they drink 4 glasses of wine?
Recalls fourfold promise of redepmtion in exodus
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How is the meal ended?
"Next year may we be in Jeruselum; next year may we be free"- cup of wine set out for Elijah who is believed to herald the Messiah, and who is believed, to come to pesach to do this
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Is Pesach the central festival in Judaism?
Traditions passed down to younger generations, commomorates significant eveny where the Jews entered into the covenant, has future relevance not just past, Rosh Hashanah is also important, other festivals e.g. Yom Kippur are popular
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Does the notion of redemption hold relevance for Judaism today?
Important theme in Judaism (ritual and worship), theme at heart of pesach, Orthodox Jews believe redemption in the form of the Messiah, different emphasis in Reform, mystical branches emphasise it
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C. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
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What doea Rosh Hashanah mean?
"Head of the New Year"
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What does Yom Kippur mean?
Day of Attonement
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When does Rosh Hashanah occur?
First + second day of the Jewish month Tishri- anniversary of day God created Adam and Eve - God judges people on the last year and writes out names in one of three books
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What are the 3 books?
One for completely wicked, one for those in between and one for the righteous
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What are the consequences of having your name in the books?
If your name goes in the bad book you go to book of death and if you are good you go to book of life - their fate is sealed until Yom Kippur where they are reevaluated
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How many days are there between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
10-called the 10 days of returning
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What happens during the 10 days of returning?
Jews are given the days to think about their actions for the past year and are able to repent if they feel the need
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"A tourmented soul finds peace in confessing" - from a rabbi
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Why is Rosh Hashanah important?
Arguably 2 of the most important things in Judaism are repentance and attonement- Rosh Hashanah allows you to do both - you can let go of resentment and have a chance to start fresh
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How is God seen during Rosh Hashanah?
As a king- sin isnt that focused upon -"On New Year we acknoweldge him as King, may he reign over us and within us"
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Why is cleansing of sins not paramount before Rosh Hashahnah?
First we need to restore "a sense of God in the world, the sense of the spiritual that is a pre-requisite for attonement"
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How do Jews prepare for the festival?
The prepare for the spiritual demands of the High Holy Days that are to follow- preparation takes the form of reciting selichot which are prayers for forgiveness which encourage self-examinationand to raise spiritual awareness
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On the last day what is said at midnight?
A special selichot and then a sermon
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What makes up the selichot?
Collection of Torah verses and poems which focus on asking God for forgiveness on both a personal and communal level
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What is the central point of the service?
Reciting the "Thirteen Attributes of Mercy" which was believed to be reveled to Moses at Sinai and is a means by which people could beg for compassion- based on Exodus
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What are the 13 Attributes according to rabbinic tradition?
God is merciful before a person sins, God is merciful to sinners, God (el)- this name for God denotes might, strength and power, compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abundant in goodness, abundant in truth, merciful, forgiver of iniquity, forgiver
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of sin, forgiver of errors, one who cleanses
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What do people wear at Rosh Hashanah?
White- they want to present themselves clean of sin "they wear white, trim their beards, eat, drink and rejouce. For they know the holy one will perform miracles for them"
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In the synangoue, what else are covered in white?
Bimah, ark and lecturn
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What is a machzor?
A speical prayer book for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
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What themes are in the machzor?
Kingship, rememberances, shofar blasts - they emphasise the sovereignity of God, who sits in judgement over the world
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Is the Amidah spoken at Rosh Hashanah?
Yes- with some ammendments including references to God's kingship, remeberance and shofarot
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What do Jews say when leaving the synagogue?
"May you be written down for a good year"- Jews believe God balances last year's goos deeds over bad deeds and this sets out their next year
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How many notes of the Shofar are blown?
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At home, what kind of bread is customary?
Challot- round bread not the usual plaited bread-represents crown and God as king of the world, also shows the life cycle
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How is the sweetness of the festival shown?
At home e.g. the challot is baked with raisinsand honyeyon top to show the "sweet new year"
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What fruit is usually eaten?
A new fruit, one not eaten during the past season- usually a pommegranate as it is said to have 613 seeds
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What is the shofer trumpet made of?
A ram's horn- developed by the early Hebrews
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Where are they told to blow the horn?
Leviticus- "on the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of sabbath rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts"
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What does the horn show?
The time Abraham was going to sacrifice Isaac but instead provided ram
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What does the sound of the shofer in the synagogue remind Jews of?
the responsibility to keep God's covenant - it calls out to the Jews of today
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What are the three types of note of the shofer?
tekiah- single long note which calls for attention, shevarim= 3 shorter notes, teruah= 9 or more very short notes and then a finl note that lasts for 10 seconds - they all represent different expressions about calling out to be reunited by God
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What is tashlikh?
means to cast, ritual of casting away your sins from the last year
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What happens in tashlikh?
You toss bread into a flowing body of water "and you will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea"- they shake off every last crumb
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When does it usually happen?
On the first afternoon of the festival but if it falls on shabbat then it is moved to sunday
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What happens the day before Yom Kippur?
Day of preparation, some families give donations to charity as at this time giving to the poor is emphasised
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What is the scapegoat?
Where a goat which the sins of the Jewish people was transferred by the Jewish high preist and was banished to create a clean slate in the new year
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What custom developed after the templewas destroyed?
Killing a chicken and giving it to the poor- some very orthodox jews still do this but most just give moiney to charity instead and sometimes men go to the mikveh
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What happens on the eve of Yom Kippur?
There is a feast which is then followed by a 25 hour fast- you can't eat or drink, bathe luxuriously, have sex, use purfume or wear leather shoes
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What does the fast symbolise?
Spiritual benefits, way of attoning any sin that hasnt been acocunted for, doesnt punish but takes your mind off physical needs so you focus on your spiritual needs, encourages self discipline
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What happens after the meal?
Many Jews change clothing, they do not wear leather shoes as this is seen as a luxury and some men wear a garment called a kittel which symbolises purity
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What is a quote to show the purity of white?
"Even if your sins will be as red as scarlet they will become as white as snow"
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What happens just before sunset?
Candles are lit and the holyday begins
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Howmany services are there at Yom Kippur?
5, in olden times people would stay there the whole 25 hours however this has been modified in modern times to have breaks etc..
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What is the opening service called?
Kol Nidrei- means annulment of vows, "All vows and oaths, all promises and obligations, all renunciations and responses, that we shall make from this Yom Kippur to the next.. all of them we retract"
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What follows morning service?
Musaf- 4th prayer that is added at Shabbat and festivals, aim is to release people from feeling guilty from the past so they can start again
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What is the theme of the Book of Jonah that is read in afternoon service?
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What does the days worship end with?
Neilah- the closing of the gates, unique to Yom Kippur, final service before decrees are sealed with Rosh Hashanah and God, the doors of the ark remain open symbolising the gates of heaven
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What re the three things said at the end of the service?
"The Lord is one", "Blessed is the name of his glorious kingdom forever and ever" x3, "The Lord is God" x7
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What id havdalah?
Single blast of the shofer horn and at home the fast is ended
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Are Jewish festivals effective in reinforcing Jewish identity?
Identity is more linked to lifestyle practices, weekly celebration of shabbat more effective, can bring non-observant Jews back to the synagogue, brings Jews together, no single definition as to what makes a person Jewish
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Is regular acknowledgement of sins and penitence an admission of the failure of spiritual development?
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur allow redemption annually, litrugy of high holy days are focused upon self examination, acknowledging sin brings people back to God, spirtual development isnt neccessarily based on knowing sin, what is 'regular acknowledg
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