University of Phoenix
September 2, 2010
Interview on Judaism Paper
Judaism is one of the oldest religions practiced in the world today. Although the basic rituals and traditions have been modified over the millenniums, the covenants between the people of this faith and their higher power have remained the same. The history is long and the journey has been difficult for this group. This paper involves an interview with a dedicated individual who has personal information that will assist in the understanding to why this religion continues to exist today. Judaism has been in practice for over six thousand years. According to Simani (2009), the Torah, which is the five books of Moses, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Later in the chapter it continues with “and God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it:” This day stated is the Shabbat. It is observed as the day of rest because God rested from creation” (Simani, 2009). As an example of how the traditions are founded and practiced many events that are continued are stories from both the oral and written Torah. The written Torah is Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Each book has extensive histories of the Jewish people and is the documentation of this history. The first book is also known as the Breshit. This book describes the creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and the Flood and ends with Jacob’s descendants and family to Egypt. The second book is also known as Shmot. The title of this book is the names of the Jews who entered Egypt. It continues with the stories of the eventual enslavement of the Jewish people, the birth of Moses and his efforts to finally release the Hebrews from this slavery. It then moves to the events at Mt. Sinai where Moses received the Ten Commandments and the first covenant between God and the Jewish people. This covenant is the responsibility of the people to honor God and his covenant to protect his people (Fisher, 2005). The third book is known as Va yirka. This book talks about God’s instruction to Moses about the laws, the priest, the sacrifices and the Festvals. The main message is to love your neighbor as yourself (Becher & Newman, 1996). The fourth book is known as Bamidbar. It talks about the 40 years in the wilderness and the establishment of the 12 tribes of Israel. Devarim is the final book written according to Moses. “It speaks of the message that Moses had before his death. He writes the Torah in thirteen copies, giving each tribe a copy and placing one in the Holy Ark” (Simani, 2009). This completes the written Torah and begins the interview to the Oral Torah. “In Judaism, Jews were commanded to follow 613 mitzvot (commandments) while non-jews only have to follow seven laws of Noah. These laws include: •Murder
•Sexual Immorality- Adultery, Bestiality, Incest, Homosexuality •Blasphemy
• Not eating the limb of an animal while it is still alive •Setting up a body of government, with laws” (Simani, 2009). Each of the mitzvoth requires study and are too lengthy to go into detail responded Mr. Simani (2009). Most other religions that are descendant to Judaism refer to these laws and continue to practice them also. Most of the laws in today’s society also use these laws as guidelines to current peace-making. Even the Constitution of the United States is based on traditional Jewish law. This interview was conducted during the Hanukkah Festival season. Traditionally, a Menorah is used to hold eight candles which represent the eight days of the Festival. According to legend, when the Jews regained access to the Temple, they found only one jar of oil left undefiled, still sealed by the high priest (Fisher, 2005). This jar had enough oil to stay lit for one day. “By the miracle of God, this lamp managed to stay lit for eight days; hence the eight days of Hanukkah” (Simani, 2009). On the eighth day of the traditional festival, Jewish people gather...