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THEO 424 - Christianity and World Religions: Judaism

A guide that serves as a brief introduction to several world religions. It is intended to whet your appetite for further study and to help you understand the religious beliefs of others in today's global society.

Keywords and Sample Questions

Terms and names. Note that the terms include both English and Hebrew names of some items, such as feasts (e.g., Sukkot = Tabernacles).

Ahad Ha’am
Amalek
Ashkenazic
Baal Shem Tov
Besht
bi-national state
Buber, Martin
Conservative Judaism
covenant
cultural Zionism
Day of Atonement
Days of Awe
Diaspora
Exile
Exodus
Gemara
ghetto
Haggadah
Halakha
Hanukkah.    
Hasidism
herem
Herzl, Theodor
Hillesum, Etty
Holocaust
Holy War
ingathering
Kabbalah
Ketuvim
kibbutz
Luria, Isaac
Maccabees
Maimonides, Moses
Mendelssohn, Moses
midrash
Mishnah
moshav
Neviim
Orthodox Judaism
Passover
Pentecost     
Pesach
Philo Judaeus
pogrom
political Zionism
Promised Land
Purim
Reconstructionist Judaism
Reform Judaism
religious Zionism
Rosh Ha-Shanah
Sephardic
shalom
Shavuot
Shoah
Suffering Servant
Sukkot
Tabernacles
Talmud
Tanakh
Targums
tikkun
Torah
tzaddik
yetzer ha ra’
yetzer ha tov
Yom Kippur
Zionism
Zohar


Describe and distinguish the various Jewish holy books and traditions: Tanakh, Torah, Neviim, Ketuvim, Mishnah, Talmud, haggadah, halakhah, Targums, midrashim, Talmudic tales.

Describe the following concepts in Judaism and explain their relevance to issues of justice and peace: covenant, chosen people, promised land, holy people, sense of persecution.

Who were the Maccabees?  What part did they play in Jewish history? What Jewish religious holiday is associated with them, and what is the connection?

Explain the transition from early first century Judaism (centered around Temple worship) to Rabbinic Judaism.

Be prepared to recognize and identify key Jewish beliefs, and to discern when they are being incorrectly described.

Be able to describe or identify major Jewish religious feasts: Passover (Pesach), Pentecost (Shavuot), Tabernacles (Sukkot), the High Holy Days: New Year and the Day of Atonement (Rosh Ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur), Hanukkah.

Why do Jews (of the great tradition) keep the Law of Moses?

 Distinguish the following Jewish groups: Hasidic, Orthodox, Reformed, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Ashkenazic, Sephardic. What gave rise to each? How do they compare with each other?

Distinguish political, socialist, cultural, and religious Zionism.

What are some limits to Holy War as we read it described in the Tanakh or Old Testament? Be prepared to recognize such reasons, and to discern when they are being incorrectly described.

Among persecutions of Jews, what was unique about the Nazi Holocaust? How did Christians respond to the tragedy that their Jewish neighbors were facing? Describe three Jewish theological explanations of the Holocaust (ultra-orthodox Jews, secular Zionists, modern Orthodox religious Zionists)? What conclusion do many modern Israeli Jews draw from the Holocaust Museum Yat va Shem? From the Holocaust experience, how do Zionists respond to Gentile criticism of Israeli policies?