Judaism questions and answers
Q: How did Judaism react to external cultural influences?
From the conquest of Alexander the Great to the compilation of the Babylonian and Persian Talmuds, Judaism reacted to external cultural influences. Provide specific historical examples of these reactions and note particularly how the Pharisee tradition came to prevail in Rabbinical Judaism.
A: They reacted with characteristic Xenophobia and went to war with them. just read that account of genocide known as the old testament. To the people who gave me two thumbs down: READ THE OLD TESTAMENT IT'S NOT EVEN DENIED!!!
Q: Why does Judaism have such a long and stringent conversion process?
Judaism must have the most lengthy and stringent conversion process of any religion. Only Orthodox conversions are considered valid to every branch and then even not all of those are considered valid by authorities in Israel when a convert wants to immigrate there. It is a long and lengthy process and you have continuously prove you're sincere. Other religions make it incredibly easy to convert by contrast. Why is it that Judaism has such stringent rules regarding conversion? Why should it take two, three, or four years or more to convert?
A: You make conversion sound like a punishment! It is a privilege and a pleasure! If one is sincere about converting, they will look forward to reading everything they can get their hands on about Judaism. If they are sincere, they will become a part of the Jewish community by attending services, participating in Jewish holidays, practicing Jewish traditions. In effect, they become a integral part of the community while anticipating the mikvah and the privilege of calling themselves Jews. Working with a convert takes much time and effort for the rabbi. He must assure that the applicant is sincere before devoting many hours to the prospective convert's education. Anyone who is sincere in their quest will look forward with anticipation to each and every day of the conversion process. I suspect other religions don't make the conversion process nearly as fulfilling as any rabbi does. Rabbis have no special powers. They are nothing more than teachers and teaching is what they love to do!!!! Bring on the *serious* converts. Rabbis' enthusiasm rubs off even on the not-so-serious converts! As a convert myself, I often feel sympathy for those who have no understanding of Judaism. It has much more to offer than any other religion, yet there are those who think they understand Judaism because Jesus was a Jew. Why learn from only one Jewish teacher when there are writings from thousands of Jewish sages from over the centuries. Avail yourself of their writings! You won't regret it. Reform Jew-by-choice .
Q: How did judaism change after the holocaust?
I'm doing a research paper on a country, but my thesis statement is the holocaust changed the jewish religion for many countries. It pretty much sucks for writing a paper. I can find plenty of effects of the holocaust, but not how it might have changed Judaism itself.
A: The holocaust did not change Judaism at all. The prayers, rituals etc are still exactly the same as before the Holocaust- there has been no change to the religion. The only debate is over the date of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust remeberance day); many on the religious establishment object to the current date since it is in a period when we are not meant to eulogise people and thus Yom HoShoah has become a contentious issue date wise. However, since it is actually a secular rememberance rather than a religious occasion- the no-Orthodox Jewish world (in other words the majority of Jews world wide) is likely to continue to celbrate it on the current date- with various Orthodox communities holding their own celebrations on more appropriate days. To many in the Orthodox world it seems bizarre that we should the remember the righteous dead on a date when we should not be doing so under Jewish law! To us, it is inappropriate. Maybe a better them for your thesis is going to have to be the reislience of Judaism despite secular disasters.
Q: What happens if a Palestinian decides they want to convert to Judaism?
If a Palestinain in Israel/or Palestinian territories decides for some reason they want to convert to Judaism and be an Israeli what happens? Are they accepted at all or turned down because of their background?
A: We will go through with them the procedure that is used in a normal conversion. Namely the acceptance of the torah and and abide by it's precepts. So no, they would not be treated any differently than say a Canadian or Australian in this regards. With saying that, they may be the victim of the wrath of their former family and comrades, who do not look positively to conversion, especially to Judaism.
Q: What is the position of Judaism on spiritual warfare?
Christianity teaches that there is spiritual warfare unseen around us. Does Judaism believe in spiritual warfare? I really think that with terrible events like the Holocaust; there is an unseen battle raging between God and his angels and Satan and his demons. Thoughts?
A: There is no such thing as a fallen angel in the Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh. It is an aspect of New Testament/Christian doctrine alone. Judaism has HaSatan ( the adversary) but that does not = the Christian Devil. There is also NO such entity as "Lucifer" at all in either the Hebrew Bible or Judaism, period. HaSatan is an angel and an adversary to humans, not to God, in the Tanakh. The word satan appears in the Hebrew Bible when simply meaning the word adversary a couple of times, but when referencing the angel of God, the prefix "ha" meaning *the* always appears. There is a very good web page that Rabbi Federow wrote explaining the difference between the Jewish concept of Satan and the Christian concept of The Devil (or Lucifer ) The word lucifer does NOT appear at all in the Hebrew Bible. It is only in the Christian Bible’s translation from the LATIN. The word lucifer means star or light bearing in Latin. Isaiah wrote in HEBREW. The Hebrew word Isaiah wrote is heylel, meaning star. In the English translation of the Christian Old Testament they make the Latin word lucifer into a proper name ( Lucifer) and then personify the word referring to the planet Venus (known by the ancients in the Levant as the morning star) in a passage that Isaiah slams Nebuchadnezzar for styling himself the god/man representation of Venus (the morning star) on earth. Isaiah is condemning a human for calling himself a god. No reference is made at all to HaSatan OR to any entity known as a devil there. There is no fall of angels in the Hebrew Bible. Judaism is strictly monotheistic so there can be no entity that rules the underworld in opposition or contradiction to God or battles God (that would give that entity the attributes of a deity ) http://www.whatjewsbelieve.org/ It will refer you to every instance that refers to HaSatan found in the Tanakh. I HIGHLY recommend that page to anyone who wishes to understand the difference. In addition, the Christian concept of hell can also be better understood by reading the rendition of the ancient Myth of Er in Plato's book, the Republic. You will see that it, too is a construct from a belief system far removed from Judaism and Torah. Many of the beliefs and concepts of Christianity borrowed WORDS , terminology and outward appearance, from Judaism, but reassigned to those things different meanings, sometimes at complete contradiction to the tenets of faith through Torah. Judaism teaches that God created everything ( meaning both good and evil ) and gave humans the ability to master our evil inclinations. HaSatan is the adversary to humans, not to God. Many Jews believe that "the adversary" is simply a personification of our inclinations to evil. Judaism teaches us a path through Torah precept how to overcome the evil incliation. Judaism teaches us how to be accountable for our behaviors, accept responsibility when we do wrong, make amends and choose to do better in our walk with God through Tikkun Olam. ( working as partners with God and fellow humans to repiar and restore the world to righteousness, justice, mercy and harmony) HaSatan can be thought of as the outward projection and manifestation of the impulse to think for self alone and above all else with immediate gratification, If one believes that you are powerless to master the evil inclination IMHO that would make one an easy target for being led blindly. Humans are more powerful than HaSatan in the Tanakh, and like all angels, have no ability or authority to do anything other than what God wills. The Jewish belief is that angels were created first, immortal and without free will. Humans were created afterward, mortal and with free will. The human nephesh(soul) contains within it a potential for immortality, but the unrepentant soul dies. These are all different than what Christianity teaches I have only very recently seen some Christians try to point to a passage in Ezekiel as a place referring to the fall of Satan. However, HaSatan is not mentioned at all in the entire passage. In Ezekiel 28..if one reads the actual book in context go look for yourself..please..it is the King of Tyre that is being spoken to and about..NOT about HaSatan at all. . A paraphrasing and explanation of the section is as follows: Verses 11-19 tell that a lamentation shall be raised over the king of Tyre: the personification of wisdom and beauty. Your covering is studded with the most precious stones as if you were in God's Garden of Eden. Your craftsmanship in wind instruments is as if it were preserved for the day you were born. Like the outspread cherub, so saintly were you, actually walking amidst stones of fire. You were perfect from the day you were born (*additional note..this affirms tthat original sin wasn't a concept of Jewish belief but being born pure and having abilities to choose was) until iniquity set in with you. Due to your great business dealings you were filled with violence; you have sinned, and thus, cherub, have you perished from amidst the stones of fire. Your proudness of heart has corrupted your wisdom and your brightness, and like a fire from within you has it burned you up in full view of kings and all all spectators. Whosoever knew you among the nations was shocked; like a wraith were you which is no more forever. ( Read starting with chapter 26 and it's really clear what is talked about here) LIke the passage of Isaiah..this story is all about condemning the notion of men as gods; the King of Tyre being punished by God for setting himself up as a man/god and Christian dogma tries to take portions out of context to imply they refer to the Christian concept of the Devil as a “fallen" angel. Ezekiel has taken the titles and stories the king of Tyre has styled for himself and insulted and debased him for thinking himself a god. ****There is no "fall" of any angels in the Hebrew Bible. period. I find it interesting that both passages of Tanakh that are linked to a fall of angels in Christian doctrine, in their context in the Hebrew Bible are condemning the notion that men can become gods.***** The attempts to impose these concepts borrowed from the Hellenized populace and the Romans, depend on mistranslation, sometimes of verb or tense or other aspects of grammar to imply meaning not in context to the story being related. Bottom line, Satan is an adversary to humans and not to God in the Jewish religion. Judaism does not teach us to abdicate accountability for our choices onto some demi-god demon of the underworld. No devil in Judaism.
Q: In Judaism, what happens when certain people die and what happens to people on the day of Judgment?
What happens to the disbelievers when they die, there is no Hell in Judaism so, what happens to them? We already know what happens to the believers. However, I also ask: A)What happens to the people who believe in God but didn't follow all his laws? B)What happens to people who don't believe in God, but still did good deeds? C)What happens to people who did an evil deed they realized they shouldn't have done, but by the time they realize it they die? Any specifics?
A: You'll find many answers here: http://www.jewfaq.org/olamhaba.htm#Resurrection No one can give you specific answers about the afterlife because no one has returned to tell us about it. Each of us have our own opinions. As for me, I learned long ago that I don't need to know. I live life the best way I can and trust in God to be merciful. He has watched over me thus far; I trust Him to continue to do so in the afterlife (if there is one). For Jews, not following all of God's laws is like missing many opportunities to please God. There is no *punishment* other than the extreme sense of a lost opportunity. Jews are not required to *believe* in God -- only to live a life of righteousness. Most Jews believe that there is a short period of *cleansing* after death. Many Jews believe that we will review our past and suffer the burning shame of our sins. Don't obsess over it! Live life the best you can and put your trust in God. Help others to have the same opportunities you've had. .
Q: What was the date and birthplace of Judaism and Islam?
I know the Christian date and birthplace, but I was wondering about Judaism and Islam. Where did they take form and where were they practiced in their earliest years? Any reliable history source and further details - any information provided will be deeply appreciated. Thank you!
A: The first person to be considered a Jewish person was Abraham, who lived around 1810 BC Judaism as a religion was formalized at the Revelation at Sinai, when G-d gave the Torah to Moses and pronounced the Ten Commandments in front of around three million people, in the year 1313 BC Islam was founded around 610 AD by Muhammad in a cave outside of Mecca.
Q: How has Judaism/Christianity influenced the culture in the areas in which it is currently practiced?
How has Judaism/Christianity influenced the culture in the areas in which it is currently practiced? Can you please tell me where the area is, and the area cannot be the USA. I'm doing some schoolwork and I'm stuck. Any answers will help! Thank you :)
A: First of all, when Israel was obedient to the LORD in the olden days they prospered and had peace. When they rebelled as a nation, they were overcome by enemies. In Paul's day he was directed to go west instead of east by the Holy Spirit and Christianity spread throughout Europe which saw prosperity and blessings too, where Christianity was practiced. Christianity has also brought freedom for women. Even in ancient Judaism women were seen as second class people, and today in some muslim countries women cannot even show their faces - literally. These are a couple examples. Hope it helps.
Q: How long does it take to convert to Judaism?
I would like to know how long it takes to convert to Judaism. After sitting down and going over it in my head many times I will start the conversion very soon. I'm also curious to know if any converts served in the IDF? I'm positive I will at some point after conversion. Thank you.
A: Orthodox conversions take a minimum of two years according to the new guidelines. Women are not able to serve in the IDF if they are over 20 years old. I wanted to join too!
Q: To what extent is Judaism descended from earlier religions?
The Bible contains many references to earlier and contemporary religions, but did Judaism come about through evolution, becoming a syncretistic form of nearby religions, or through revolution, breaking from earlier religious beliefs and practices?
A: That's a tricky question because so much is conjecture -- we simply don't have enough crucial data -- but I'd have to say it's both. Championing monotheism was a thoroughly radical act, but even that was less than the startling revolution of Judaism's abstraction of the divine. Idol worship was very literal in that world. To think of 'G-d' as something that can't be carved in stone was utterly and profoundly mind-blowing. Enough so that abstract monotheism didn't catch on with the people immediately. It was a long, slow process. We can see its impact throughout the texts, even if we don't know the specifics. However long that may have taken, however slow and twisting and arduous the acceptance, at some point there was a revolution in what the very word 'god' means.
Q: Are there any other minority religions besides Judaism which are being hijacked by a majority religion?
I'm talking about "messianic Judaism", which is a sect of Christianity claiming to be a part of Judaism. Their apparent goal is to redefine Judaism as a Christian sect (Jesus, Mary, New Testament, the whole bit) and thereby eliminate Judaism altogether. Is anything similar happening to other minority religions?
A: Honestly, i'm Christian and think that Messianics should just admit they are Christian and not Jewish. They believe in Christ, like me. Christ-believer= Christian. I respect the Jewish religion and their right to worship whoever they want.
Q: What is the Palestinian view on Judaism or Islam?
I am writing a newspaper article through a Palestinian perspective. I have to write it on Judaism or Israel. What is the basic political view or religious view between them?
A: This link will help: http://ifamericansknew.org/
Q: What are the spiritual principles of Reconstructionist Judaism ?
Are they the same as Orthodox and consevative Judaism? If not where do they differ? I am looking for spiritual principles not how the activities differ.. Thank-you
A: there is no spiritual differences between the branches, as they all adhere to the same core belief in one g-d. the difference is in the interpretation of torah. the orthodoxy is about close to literal interpretation of torah, conservative judaism makes some concessions but still adheres to most of the implicit laws, such as the absolute observance of shabbath. reconstructionist judaisms main innovation is that it recognizes that modern evolution of morality and the needs of present society prevent the literal performance of some toraic laws. for example, we would not approve of stoning of adulterers or those who do not observe the sabbath. neither would reconstructionism prevent health workers from working on the sabbath, since they are working for the greater good. I practice reconstructive judaism, and as such, i have certain concessions, i am able to answer your question today, the middle of the sabatth because i am not making any profit from typing this so it is not the same type of work that i would have done during the week, for money. an orthodox jew would not have even turned on the computer and it is unlikely that a conservative would either.
Q: How has Judaism influenced the society and its folllowers?
How has Judaism influenced the society and its folllowers?
A: Without Judaism, there would be no Jews, Muslims, or Christians. Jewish Bible verses that have affected society: Leviticus 19:27 invented sideburns. Genesis 2:3 created the Sabbath which in turn led to the idea of a weekend.
Q: In what way Judaism is different in base from any other religion ?
Why Judaism is sometimes referred as if it is a 'race', more than a religion ? Sorry if i offend someone.
A: It's a religion, not a race. If it was a race, you couldn't convert, which you can. A lot of the confusion stems from the fact that Jewish law says that a child born of a Jewish mother is a Jew. But if that child grows up and does not practice Judaism, they are no longer a Jew. Any Jew who converts to another faith ceases to be a Jew.