Judaism: The Tree of Life
Hum/130 Religion of the world
Michael Scott Svoboda
Judaism: The tree of life.
Judaism is one of the oldest religions that are being practiced today. It is a monotheistic, patriarchal religion that is both down to earth and mystical. Though it is patriarchal with an all male priesthood there is a sprinkling of powerful women in both the Torah and the Jewish history. This is a religion ground by numerous laws and commandments, yet have managed to retain a sense of continue dialogue about God and what it means to be a Jew. The Jewish people can be defined as either a religious or as an ethnic group. As a religious group, To be Jewish or a Israelites is to be one who answer the call of God and is willing to obey the one God through the Torah and the teaching of the prophets (Fisher, 2005). Many Christians are intrigued by the Jewish tradition, the foundation of both the Christian and the Muslim faith. It began with a man named Abraham, who answered the call of God and travel to a new land, and brought a whole new way of life for his future descendent. The tree of life is a symbol in both the Kabbalah the Jewish mystical tradition as well as in traditional Judaism. This is a fitting symbol for a religion that is the root of so many branches (Tracey, 2008). In The Beginning.
The story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden is a familiar to most people. The Hebrew scripture begins with two parallel story of creation. In the first version God create heaven and earth, day and night, separated water from land, and after all the fishes of the sea and the animals of the land created man and woman in God's image. In the next account God create man first and from Adam's ribs create a helpmate Eve for Adam. Adam and Eve were placed in a garden of paradise where Eve ate from the tree of knowledge against God's command after being promise wisdom by a serpent. Eve gave the fruit to Adam and this is ended their innocence as well as the gift of immortality, and they were banish from paradise. This is the first of many exiles for God's chosen people. It is important to point out that Judaism does not did not believe in the original sin, nor do they blame Eve for the loss of paradise. Under Judaism this story is seen from a different perspective (Tracey, 2008). The beginning of the Journey with Abraham.
The Jewish religion is based on a special reciprocal relationship with God. The first covenant was with Noah and with all life on earth. After God destroyed the earth with a flood for the people had became wicked. God promised that the earth will never be destroyed again and used the rainbow as a sign of this covenant. Later God entered into a covenant with Abraham who was a descendant of Noah. Judaism began around 1900-1700BCE with a man name Abram. Abram left his home, religion and even submit to circumcision without hesitation in answer to the call of God. God rename Abram as Abraham and his wife Sarai to Sarah as part of the covenant with them and all of their descendants. All male children will be circumcised on the eighth day as part of this covenant. That Abraham will be the father of many nations and Sarah will be a mother of nations and kings. God also said that he will enter into a covenant with Isaac the future son of Sarah and his seeds. Isaac is the father of Jacob renamed Israel. Israel 12 sons become the 12 tribes of Israel. This makes Abraham the father of the Jewish people (Tracey, 2008). According to Jewish traditions Abram was the son of Terach, who was an idol merchant, Abram had always question the faith of his father. He came to the conclusion that there was one creator who created the whole universe. He begins to share his belief to his Father and to others. One day he smashed all the idols in his Father shop except the largest one, he place the hammer that he had use in the hands if this idol. When his father returned and question Abram. Abram said that the...
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