Here are some facts about Judaism. Write a post about this ancient religion in your blog.
- 3,500 years old
- Founded by Abraham and Moses
- Jewish people are specially chosen by God.
- Followers worship in synagogues; their spiritual leaders are called rabbis.
- Has twelve million followers, most of whom are in Israel and the United States.
- Six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust in an attempt to wipe out Judaism.
Many everyday phrases were first used in the Bible. Match phrases to meanings.
1. a drop in the bucket (Isaiah 40:15)
2. At their wits’ end (Psalms 107:2)
3. A man after my own heart (I Samuel 13:14)
4. Give up the ghost (Job 3:11)
5. As old as the hills (Job 15:7)
a. Unable to handle anything more
b. A kindred spirit
c. A small amount of a plentiful commodity
d. Very, very old
e. To die, to cease working
Jewish history and culture have affected many aspects of Western civilization: it literature, its art, its philosophy. One small measure of this is the use of traditionally Jewish names. Abraham Lincoln was named for a Jewish patriarch. So was Noah Webster. Many people today have traditionally Jewish names, such as Adam, Luke, Joshua, Rachel, Sarah, Deborah, Naomi, and Nathan.
List as many well-known people as you can who carry Jewish names.
Monotheism is a belief in one god alone. Polytheism is a belief in many gods. Around 2000 BC.E., most peoples in the Mediterranean region believed in many gods. They saw each force of nature – the wind, the sun, the rain – as a separate deity. This was a way of explaining the world in which they lived.
Unlike most of their neighbours, the Jews believed in one god, not many. Think about what you know about the history and geography of the region. How do you think the Jewish belief in one god affected their interactions with the other people?
The history of the Jews goes back thousands of years. Below are some important events in the years before the Common Era (B.C.E.). Use your knowledge of Judaism and the history of the region to determine their correct order. Number them 1-10, with 1 as the earliest event.
a. Cyrus, king of Persia, allows the Jews to return to Judah.
b. The kingdom of Israel splits in two. The northern kingdom continues to be called Israel. The southern kingdom is called Judah.
c. Abraham, to whom the Jews trace their ancestry, is told to leave Mesopotamia and settle in Canaan, which is now Israel.
d. When King Antiochus tries to force Jews to worship idols, a group of rebels overthrows the king.
e. The kingdom of Israel is founded.
f. Judah comes under the control of Alexander the Great.
g. Moses leads the Israelites out of Egypt and receives the laws of God.
h. The Babylonians conquer the southern kingdom of Judah.
i. Persia conquers Babylonia.
j. The Assyrians conquer the northern kingdom of Israel.
The history of the Jews goes back thousands of years. Below are some important evens in the first thousand years of the Common Era. Use your knowledge of Judaism, and the history of the region to determine their correct order. Number them 1-8, with 1 as the earliest event.
a. After the Jewish expulsion from Jerusalem by the Romans, Jewish oral law is written down in a book called the Mishnah.
b. Jews in the Roman Empire are repressed.
c. The Romans reconquer Jerusalem and destroy the Temple.
d. The Muslim Empire expands to cover southwestern Asia, northern Aftrica, and Spain
e. Jews rebel against Roman rule and seize Jerusalem.
f. The Jews begin to scatter around the world.
g. Christianity becomes the primary religion of the Roman Empire.
h. The Romans crush the rebellion and prohibit Jews from living in Jerusalem.
The history of the Jews goes back thousands of years. Below are some important evens in that history between 1000 and 1900. Use your knowledge of Judaism and the history of the region to determine their correct order. Number them 1-8, with 1 as the earliest event.
a. Jews from Eastern Europe begin to emigrate to Israel, then called Palestine.
b. One hundred thousand Jews are massacred in Poland.
c. The Crusades, intended to free the Holy Land from Muslim rule, begin; they result in the deaths of many Jews.
d. A series of massacres of Jews, called pogroms, begins in Russia.
e. Much of Europe blames the Black Plague on Jews; hundreds of Jewish communities destroyed.
f. French Jews are granted full citizenship for the first time since the Roman Empire.
g. Russia requires thirty-one years of military service for Jews, beginning at age twelve.
h. Jews of Vienna are forced to move into a ghetto called Leoplodstadt.
The history of the Jewish people and the history of the State of Israel are closely connected. Here are some important events in that history. Match date/dates with each event.
a. Armistice agreements are signed with Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon; Israel is admitted to the United Nation
b. Adolf Hitler comes to power in Germany.
c. After World War I, France and Britain divide up the Middle East.
d. Conflicts between Arabs and Jews continue.
e. The State of Israel is declared; hostilities break out between Israelis and Arabs.
f. The Holocaust results in the deaths of about six million Jews.
g. With Palestine under British rule, Jewish immigration to Palestine increases.
Abraham was a founder of Judaism. He was born around 1800 B.C.E. in the city of Ur. His father, Terah, made idols for people to worship. Abraham did not believe in idols; he believed in one god.
One day, Abraham was left to mind his father’s store of idols. He smashed all the idols except one, then put the hammer in that idol’s hands.
When Terah returned and saw the broken idols, he was furious. He shouted to Abraham, “What have you done?? Why did you smash my idols?” Abraham replied that the idols had gotten into a fight, and the idol with the hammer had broken the other ones. Terah said, “What nonsense! I made these idols – they have no life or power, they can’t do anything! You must have broken them!”
This answer gave Abraham the perfect argument to use with his father. What do you think Abraham said next?
Abraham was the first prophet of Judaism. According to the Midrash, a book of Jewish stories and aphorisms, Abraham was walking near the city of Ur when he saw an empty palace. For a moment he thought that the palace appeared before him like an illusion. Then he realized, of course, it was probably built by someone. In order for a palace to exist it must have been built. Likewise, Abraham reasoned that the world itself was made by something. This “something” is called God.
Do you think things can exist without having a beginning?