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Judaism Religion and Theology - Essay Example

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In light of the descriptions of Essenes by Josephus and Philo as described in the Damascus document, the Dead Sea document and the Rule of the community, someone might have been interested in being part of these separatist societies for a number of reasons…
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Judaism Religion and Theology Essay
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Judaism Religion and Theology

Download file to see previous pages... One reason is that the Essenes formed one of the greatest sects during that time of Christ, in which the Jews were divided. Judaism is the way of life, philosophy and religion of the Jewish people. One might be interested in being part of these separatist societies because of the uniqueness of these societies. The Essenes for example had no women and also had no money. These were believed to be the major causes of sin and were therefore forbidden from these societies. They only had palm trees as their companions. This saw many people who were tired of life being driven to these societies to adopt their interesting mannerisms. This paper will discuss “The Damascus Document” and the “Rule of the Community” expanding on why someone might have been interested in being a part of these separatist communities. One would therefore be interested in being part of these separatist societies because they were thought to have advantage over the weariness that comes with life. “The land of the Essenes was also very fertile and it attracted people to it”. Another factor that would make one to be interested in being part of these separatist societies, first, according to Josephus and Philo, the members of the sect numbered 4000. Judaism is a religious system whereby everyone is under the rule of God. This was because becoming a member of Essene sect for example was not easy to achieve. Only the male adults were allowed to join the group. The Essenes for example believed in living very simple lives....
There are a number of factors that made their ways of life appealing. First, their days began with prayer and they believed in purification after working in their various occupations. That is why they would assemble for ritual purification at the end of each day. “Followers had communal meals which were prepared by the priest” (Brownlee, 1982). These meals were served to each member in order of their status in the society but each member would wear special garments for these meals. They would return to work after these meals and later on reassemble for another meal. They often recited prayers together at sunset. Their unique mannerisms and ways of life made them to be different and they were separated from their fellow Jews. One can therefore desire to be like them because of their unique mannerisms (Trans, 1942). These societies overemphasized on ritual purity in the sense that they would purify themselves several times after relieving themselves for example, after working, after being in contact with people who were not members of their societies and before meals. According to the rule of the community, the character of these communities such as that which required one to undergo thorough examination before being allowed to join the sects made them to be desirable and appealing. Such an examination process would last for almost two years before one became a fully fledged member. Their celibacy, community of property and theology were unique and made them to be different. The Jews are considered to be an ethno religious group. The members of these separatist societies such as the Essenes only worked in certain occupations such as crafts and agriculture. They avoided other occupations that were considered as not being pure. These ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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