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World Religions: Judaism - Essay Example

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Monotheism One of the most important features of Judaism is the fact it is a monotheistic religion. Judaism is the oldest still practiced religion which first introduced the concept of one and only one almighty god. …
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Download file to see previous pages Philanthropy is not a choice Unlike most other religions, Judaism is the only religion in which those who practice are supposed to engage in philanthropy, not as a choice but as a commandment. For those who practice Judaism, helping other people out is not something that one can choose to do or not to do; it is a requirement in order to conform to the tenets of Judaism. Coherence to the laws Judaism requires a strict observation of the Torah, and those who practice this religion are supposed to practice the many laws found in the Torah and other ancient manuscripts. Priesthood One other important feature which stands out in Judaism is the existence of a central priest who is the connection between the deity (God) and the people. This is especially a clear distinction between Christianity and Judaism, which seem to have the same roots. Unlike in Christianity where those who practice Christianity have a complete access to God without the need of a priest to mediate, Judaism uses a priest as the mediator between God and the ordinary person. Question 2 The origin of the synagogue temple is one of the most disputed in the study of Judaism. However, according to recorded Jewish history, it would appear that the first place of worship was built by King Solomon in 950 BCE (Molloy 96). Although history recorded that Solomon built this massive and expensive house of worship which he called a temple, the reality of this has been questioned by some archaeological historians who have disputed a lot of Jewish history. For instance, there is a group of people who have disputed the existence of such people as Abraham, David, and the famous wise king Solomon (Kalman 2-3). Regardless of the reality of King Solomon’s temple being the first temple ever build, there is a common truth that the synagogue system had started up somewhere in the history of the Jewish people. To better understand the issue of the synagogue, it is necessary to understand that the term “synagogue” is of Greek origin, and this may further complicate the issue of the history of the synagogue. There are those who argue that Jews started the synagogue system in order to be able to have a place of worship as the other existing religion. If the term synagogue is in fact from the Greek language, this may indicate that it has its origins in Greek worship practices because the Greek are known to have had a lot of gods and spiritual practices. It is also argued that Jews built their first temple and introduced the synagogue system after the Babylonian invasions as a way to revamp their worship and compete with the other religious structures in the ancient Middle East. Question 3 Over time Judaism has evolved in a number of ways. Not only has it evolved, but it has also led to a number of subsets of Judaism such as conservative, orthodox and reformed Jewish traditions. Orthodox Judaism is the one which has tried to maintain the most fidelity and congruence with the original ancient Judaism (“Variants Within Judaism” par. 3). These are the Jews who believe that Judaism should not be subjected to the changes which have been happening in the society. These Jews adhere closely and strictly to old Jews, and in most cases, these are the Jews who are still in the homeland of Jews. Even within the Orthodox Judaism, they can be regrouped in two major groups such as the Orthodox and the ultra-Orthodox Judaism, which advocates for up to the letter implementation of Jewish laws and requirements. ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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