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Encyclopedia > Jewish principles of faith
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Jews and Judaism
       

Who is a Jew? · Etymology · Culture This article describes the Jewish religion; for a consideration of ethnic, historic, and cultural aspects of the Jewish identity refer to the article Jew. ... Image File history File links Star_of_David. ... Image File history File links Menorah7a. ... Who is a Jew? (Hebrew: ) is a religious, social and political debate on the exact definition of which persons can be considered Jewish. ... Look up Jew in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Secular Jewish culture embraces several related phenomena; above all, it is the culture of secular communities of Jewish people, but it can also include the cultural contributions of individuals who identify as secular Jews, or even those of religious Jews working in cultural areas not generally considered to be connected...


Judaism · Core principles
Tanakh (Torah / Nevi'im / Ketuvim)
Talmud · Halakha · Holidays · Prayer
Ethics · 613 Mitzvot · Customs · Midrash This article describes the Jewish religion; for a consideration of ethnic, historic, and cultural aspects of the Jewish identity refer to the article Jew. ... Tanakh [תנ״ך] (also Tanach, IPA: or ) is an acronym that identifies the Hebrew Bible. ... Torah () is a Hebrew word meaning teaching, instruction, or law. It is the central and most important document of Judaism revered by Jews through the ages. ... Neviim [נביאים] or Prophets is the second of the three major sections in the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible). ... Ketuvim is the third and final section of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible). ... Tractate Brachos, folio 2a The Talmud (תלמוד) is a record of rabbinic discussions of Jewish law, ethics, customs, and stories, which are authoritative in Jewish tradition. ... Halakha (Hebrew: הלכה; also transliterated as Halakhah, Halacha, Halakhot and Halachah) is the collective corpus of Jewish religious law, including biblical law (the 613 mitzvot) and later talmudic and rabbinic law as well as customs and traditions. ... A Jewish holiday or Jewish Festival is a day or series of days observed by Jews as holy or secular commemorations of important events in Jewish history. ... Jewish services are the communal prayer recitations which form part of the observance of Judaism. ... Jewish ethics stands at the intersection of Judaism and the Western philosophical tradition of ethics. ... 613 mitzvot (or 613 Commandments. ... Mitzvah (Hebrew: מצווה, commandment; plural, mitzvot; from צוה, tzavah, command) is a word used in Judaism to refer to (a) the commandments, of which there are 613, given in the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible) or (b) any Jewish law at all. ... Minhag (Hebrew: מנהג Custom, pl. ... Midrash (Hebrew: מדרש; plural midrashim) is a Hebrew word referring to a method of exegesis of a Biblical text. ...


Jewish ethnic divisions
Ashkenazi · Sephardi · Mizrahi · Lost tribes Jewish ethnic divisions refers to a number of distinct Jewish communities within the worlds ethnically Jewish population. ... Ashkenazi Jews, also known as Ashkenazic Jews or Ashkenazim (אַשְׁכֲּנָזִי אַשְׁכֲּנָזִים Standard Hebrew, AÅ¡kanazi, AÅ¡kanazim, Tiberian Hebrew, ʾAÅ¡kănāzî, ʾAÅ¡kănāzîm, pronounced sing. ... Sephardi Jews (ספרדי, Standard Hebrew SÉ™fardi, Tiberian Hebrew ardî; plural Sephardim: ספרדים, Standard Hebrew Sfaradim, Tiberian Hebrew ) are a subgroup of Jews originating in the Iberian Peninsula, generally defined in contrast to Ashkenazi Jews. ... This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Population (historical) · By country
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Lists of Jews · Crypto-Judaism Jewish population centers have shifted tremendously over time, due to the constant streams of Jewish refugees created by expulsions, persecution, and officially sanctioned killing of Jews in various places at various times. ... It has been suggested that Lists of Jews by country be merged into this article or section. ... The vast territories of the Russian Empire once hosted the largest Jewish population in the world. ... This article is about the history of the Jewish people in England. ... The history of the Jewish people in the Americas dates back to Christopher Columbus and his first cross-Atlantic voyage on August 3, 1492, when he left Spain and eventually discovered the New World. ... Excluding the region of Palestine, and omitting the accounts of Joseph and Moses as unverifiable, Jews have lived in what are now Arab states at least since the Babylonian Captivity (597 BCE), about 2,600 years ago. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Crypto-Judaism is the secret adherence to Judaism while publicly professing to be of another faith; people who practice crypto-Judaism are referred to as crypto-Jews. The term crypto-Jew is also used to describe descendants of Jews who still (generally secretly) maintain some Jewish traditions, often while adhering...


Jewish denominations · Rabbis
Orthodox · Conservative · Reform
Reconstructionist · Liberal · Karaite
Alternative · Renewal Many Jewish denominations exist within the religion of Judaism; the Jewish community is divided into a number of religious denominations as well as branches or movements. ... Rabbi (Classical Hebrew רִבִּי ribbÄ«;; modern Ashkenazi and Israeli רַבִּי rabbÄ«) in Judaism, means teacher, or more literally great one. The word Rabbi is derived from the Hebrew root-word RaV, which in biblical Hebrew means great or distinguished, (in knowledge). In the ancient Judean schools (and among Sefaradim today) the sages... Orthodox Judaism is the stream of Judaism which adheres to a relatively strict interpretation and application of the laws and ethics first canonized in the Talmud (The Oral Law) and later codified in the Shulkhan Arukh (Code of Jewish Law). It is governed by these works and the Rabbinical commentary... This article refers to Conservative (Masorti) Judaism in the United States. ... Reform Judaism can refer to (1) the largest denomination of Judaism in America and its sibling movements in other countries, (2) a branch of Judaism in the United Kingdom, and (3) the historical predecessor of the American movement that originated in 19th Century Germany. ... Reconstructionist Judaism is a movement of Judaism with a very liberal set of beliefs: an individuals personal autonomy should generally override traditional Jewish law and custom, yet also take into account communal consensus, modern culture is accepted, traditional rabbinic modes of study, as well as modern scholarship and critical... Liberal Judaism is a term used by some communities worldwide for what is otherwise also known as Reform Judaism or Progressive Judaism. ... Karaite Judaism is a Jewish denomination characterized by the sole reliance on the Tanakh as scripture, and the rejection of the Oral Law (the Mishnah and the Talmud) as halakha (Legally Binding, i. ... Alternative Judaism refers to several varieties of modern Judaism which fall outside the common Orthodox/Non-Orthodox (Reform/Conservative/Reconstructionist) classification of the four major streams of todays Judaism. ... The term Jewish Renewal refers to a set of practices within Judaism that attempt to reinvigorate Judaism with mystical, Hasidic, musical and meditative practices. ...


Jewish languages
Hebrew · Yiddish · Ladino · Dzhidi
Judeo-Aramaic · Judeo-Arabic
Juhuri · Krymchak · Karaim · Knaanic
Judeo-Persian · Yevanic · Zarphatic The Jewish languages are a set of languages that developed in various Jewish communities, in Europe, southern and south-western Asia, and northern Africa. ... Hebrew (עִבְרִית or עברית, ‘Ivrit) is a Semitic language of the Afro-Asiatic language family spoken by more than seven million people in Israel and Jewish communities around the world. ... Yiddish (Yid. ... Ladino is a Romance language, derived mainly from Old Castilian (Spanish) and Hebrew. ... Dzhidi, or Judæo-Persian, is the Jewish language spoken by the Jews living in Iran. ... Judæo-Aramaic is a collective term used to describe several Hebrew-influenced Aramaic and Neo-Aramaic languages. ... The Judeo-Arabic languages are a collection of Arabic dialects spoken by Jews living or formerly living in Arabic-speaking countries; the term also refers to more or less classical Arabic written in the Hebrew script, particularly in the Middle Ages. ... Juhuri, Juwri or Judæo-Tat is the traditional language of the Juhurim or Mountain Jews of the eastern Caucasus Mountains, especially Dagestan. ... Krymchak is the Crimean Tatar language dialect spoken by the Krymchaks - Rabbanite Jews of the Crimea. ... The Karaim language is a Turkic language with Hebrew influences, in a similar manner to Yiddish or Ladino. ... Knaanic (also called Canaanic, Leshon Knaan or Judeo-Slavic) was a West Slavic language, formerly spoken in the Czech lands, now the Czech Republic. ... The Judæo-Persian languages include a number of related languages spoken throughout the formerly extensive realm of the Persian Empire, sometimes including all the Jewish Indo-Iranian languages: Dzhidi (Judæo-Persian) Bukhori (Judæo-Bukharic) Judæo-Golpaygani Judæo-Yazdi Judæo-Kermani Judæo-Shirazi Jud... Yevanic, otherwise known as Yevanika, Romaniote and Judeo-Greek, was the language of the Romaniotes, the group of Greek Jews whose existence in Greece is documented since the 4th century BCE. Its linguistic lineage stems from Attic Greek and the Hellenistic Koine (Κοινή Ελληνική) and includes Hebrew elements as well. ... Zarphatic or Judæo-French (Zarphatic: Tsarfatit) is an extinct Jewish language, formerly spoken among the Jewish communities of northern France and in parts of what is now west-central Germany, in such cities as Mainz, Frankfurt-am-Main, and Aachen. ...


Jewish political movements
Zionism · Labor Zionism · General Zionism
Religious Zionism · Revisionist Zionism
The Bund · Kibbutzim
Israeli politics · Jewish feminism Jewish political movements refer to the organized efforts of Jews to build their own political parties or otherwise represent their interest in politics outside of the Jewish community. ... Poster promoting a film about Jewish settlement in Palestine, 1930s: Toward a New Life (in Romanian),The Promised Land (in Hungarian), the small caption (bottom) reads First Palestinian film with sound Zionism is a national liberation movement,[1] a nationalist[2] and political movement that supports a homeland for the... Labor Zionism (or Labour Zionism) is the traditional left-wing of the Zionist ideology. ... General Zionists were centrists within the Zionist movement. ... The Religious Zionist Movement, or Religious Zionism is an ideology combining Zionism and Judaism, which offers Zionism based on the principles of Jewish religion and heritage. ... Revisionist Zionism is a right wing tendency within the Zionist movement. ... A Bundist demonstration, 1917 The General Jewish Labour Union of Lithuania, Poland and Russia, in Yiddish the Algemeyner Yidisher Arbeter Bund in Lite, Poyln un Rusland (אַלגמײַנער ײדישער אַרבײטערסבונד אין ליטאַ, פוילין און רוסלאַנד), generally called The Bund (בונד) or the Jewish Labor Bund, was a Jewish political party operating in several European countries between the 1890s and the... Kibbutz Dan, near Qiryat Shemona, in the Upper Galilee, 1990s A kibbutz (Hebrew: קיבוץ; plural: kibbutzim: קיבוצים, gathering or together) is an Israeli collective community. ... The State of Israel is a parliamentary democracy whose political system and main principles are set out in 11 Basic Laws. ... Contemporary ideas about Jewish feminism can be traced to the early 1970s in the United States. ...


History · Timeline · Leaders
Ancient · Temple · Babylonian exile
Jerusalem (In Judaism · Timeline)
Hasmoneans · Sanhedrin · Schisms
Pharisees · Jewish-Roman wars
Diaspora · And Christianity · Under Islam
Middle Ages · Kabbalah · Hasidism
Haskalah · Emancipation · Holocaust
Aliyah · Israel (History) · Arab conflict Jewish history is the history of the Jewish people, faith (Judaism) and culture. ... This is a timeline of the development of Judaism and the Jewish people. ... Jewish leadership: Since 70 AD and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem there has been no single body that has a leadership position over the entire Jewish community. ... In compiling the history of ancient Israel and Judah, there are many available sources. ... The Temple in Jerusalem or the Holy Temple (Hebrew: בית המקדש, transliterated Bet HaMikdash) was built in ancient Jerusalem in c. ... Babylonian captivity also refers to the permanence of the Avignon Papacy. ... Jerusalem (Hebrew: , Yerushaláyim or Yerushalaim; Arabic: , al-Quds; official Arabic in Israel: أورشليم القدس, Urshalim-Al-Quds) is Israels capital, most populous, [1] and largest city, with a population of 724,000 (as of May 24, 2006 [2]) contained in 123 km². An ancient Middle Eastern city on the watershed... The city of Jerusalem is significant in a number of religious traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam. ... 1800 BCE - The Jebusites build the wall Jebus (Jerusalem). ... The Hasmonean Kingdom (pronunciation) in ancient Judea and its ruling dynasty from 140 BCE to 37 BCE was established under the leadership of Simon Maccabaeus, two decades after Judah the Maccabee defeated the Seleucid army in 165 BCE. // Recorded history The origin of the Hasmonean dynasty is recorded in the... For the tractate in the Mishnah, see Sanhedrin (tractate). ... Schisms among the Jews: // First Temple era Based on the historical narrative in the Bible and archeology, Levantine civilization at the time of Solomons Temple was prone to idol worship, astrology, worship of reigning kings, and paganism. ... The Pharisees (from the Hebrew perushim, from parash, meaning to separate) were, depending on the time, a political party, a social movement, and a school of thought among Jews that flourished during the Second Temple Era (536 BCE–70 CE). ... The first Jewish-Roman War (66–73 CE), sometimes called the Great Jewish Revolt, was the first of three major rebellions by the Jews of Iudaea Province against the Roman Empire (the second was the Kitos War in 115–117, the third was Bar Kokhbas revolt, 132–135). ... The Jewish diaspora (Hebrew: Tefutzah, scattered, or Galut, exile) is the dispersion of the Jewish people throughout the world. ... // Judaism and Christianity are two closely related Abrahamic religions that are in some ways parallel to each other and in other ways fundamentally divergent in theology and practice. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This article incorporates text from the public domain 1901-1906 Jewish Encyclopedia Jews in the Middle Ages : The history of Jews in the Middle Ages (approximately 500 CE to 1750 CE) can be divided into two categories. ... This article is about the overall Jewish mysticisms tradition. ... Hasidic Judaism (from the Hebrew: Chasidut חסידות, meaning piety, from the Hebrew root word chesed חסד meaning loving kindness) is a Haredi Jewish religious movement. ... Haskalah (Hebrew: השכלה; enlightenment, intellect, from sekhel, common sense), the Jewish Enlightenment, was a movement among European Jews in the late 18th century that advocated adopting enlightenment values, pressing for better integration into European society, and increasing education in secular studies, Hebrew, and Jewish history. ... Dates of Jewish emancipation. ... It has been suggested that Holocaust Cruelty be merged into this article or section. ... STOP THE WAR NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HIJOS DE PUTAAAAAAA ISRAEL=TERRORISTAS. WHAT IS THE WORLD AND THE AMERICANS DOING NOW? SEND THEM BACK TO AUSWITS ... This History of Israel discusses the history of the modern State of Israel, from its independence proclamation in 1948 to the present. ... Combatants Arab nations Israel Arab-Israeli conflict series History of the Arab-Israeli conflict Views of the Arab-Israeli conflict International law and the Arab-Israeli conflict Arab-Israeli conflict facts, figures, and statistics Participants Israeli-Palestinian conflict · Arab League · Soviet Union / Russia · Israel and the United Nations · Iran-Israel...


Persecution of Jews
Anti-Semitism · Holocaust
History of anti-Semitism
New anti-Semitism Persecution of Jews includes various persecutions that the Jewish people and Judaism have experienced throughout Jewish history. ... The Eternal Jew: 1937 German poster. ... It has been suggested that Holocaust Cruelty be merged into this article or section. ... This is a partial chronology of hostilities towards or discrimination against the Jews as a religious or ethnic group. ... New anti-Semitism is the concept of an international resurgence of anti-Jewish incidents and attacks on Jewish symbols, as well as the acceptance of anti-Semitic beliefs and their expression in public discourse, which is held to be associated with certain left-wing political views. ...


v·d·e

There are a number of basic Jewish principles of faith that were formulated by medieval rabbinic authorities. These principles were put forth as fundamental underpinnings inherent in the acceptance and practice of Judaism. However, unlike most Christian denominations, the Jewish community has never developed any one binding catechism, though all such formulations demonstrate a commonality of core ideology. This article describes the Jewish religion; for a consideration of ethnic, historic, and cultural aspects of the Jewish identity refer to the article Jew. ... This article describes the Jewish religion; for a consideration of ethnic, historic, and cultural aspects of the Jewish identity refer to the article Jew. ... Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on Jesus of Nazareth, and on his life and teachings as presented in the New Testament. ... Codex Manesse, fol. ...


A number of formulations of Jewish beliefs have appeared, and there is some dispute over how many basic principles there are. Rabbi Joseph Albo, for instance, in Sefer Ha-Ikkarim counts three principles of faith, while Maimonides lists thirteen. While some later rabbis have attempted to reconcile the differences, claiming that Maimonides' principles are covered by Albo's much shorter list, alternate lists provided by other medieval rabbinic authorities seem to indicate a some level of tolerance for varying theological perspectives. Joseph Albo was a Spanish rabbi, and theologian of the fifteenth century, known chiefly as the author of the work on the Jewish principles of faith, Ikkarim. ... Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Maimonides (March 30, 1135–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Spain and Egypt during the Middle Ages. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ...

Contents


Jewish principles of faith

Monotheism

Judaism is based on a strict unitarian monotheism, the belief in one God. The prayer par excellence in terms of defining God is the Shema Yisrael, "Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One", also translated as "Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is unique/alone." In theology, monotheism (in Greek μόνος = single and θεός = God) is the belief in the existence of one deity or God, or in the oneness of God. ... God is the deity believed by monotheists to be the supreme reality. ... Shema Yisrael (or Shma Yisroel or just Shema) (Hebrew: שמע ישראל; Hear, [O] Israel) are the first two words of a section of the Torah (Hebrew Bible) that is used as a centerpiece of all morning and evening Jewish prayer services and closely echoes the monotheistic message of Judaism. ...


God is conceived of as eternal, the creator of the universe, and the source of morality. God has the power to intervene in the world. The term God thus corresponds to an actual ontological reality, and is not merely a projection of the human psyche. Maimonides describes God in this fashion: "There is a Being, perfect in every possible way, who is the ultimate cause of all existence. All existence depends on God and is derived from God." Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Maimonides (March 30, 1135–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Spain and Egypt during the Middle Ages. ...


The Hebrew Bible and classical rabbinic literature affirm theism and reject deism. However, in the writings of medieval Jewish philosophers, perhaps influenced by neo-Aristotelian philosophy, one finds what can be termed limited omniscience. [See Gersonides "Views on omniscience"] Tanakh [תנ״ך] (also Tanach, IPA: or ) is an acronym that identifies the Hebrew Bible. ... Rabbinic literature, in the broadest sense, can mean the entire spectrum of Judaisms rabbinic writing/s throughout history. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Deism is a modern religious movement that originated in 17th and 18th century Europe and North America. ... Omniscience is the capacity to know everything, or at least everything that can be known about a character/s including thoughts, feelings, etc. ... Levi ben Gershon (Levi son of Gerson), better known as Gersonides or the Ralbag (1288-1344), was a famous rabbi, philosopher, mathematician and Talmudic commentator. ...


God as creator of the universe

According to the Biblical account, the world was created by God in six days. While most Haredi Jews take this literally, many Modern Orthodox, Conservative and Reform authorities feel that the six days should be interpreted as "stages" in the creation of the universe and the earth, and that Judaism would not be in contradiction to the scientific model that states that the universe is over 13 billion years old. Genesis (Greek: Γένεσις, having the meanings of birth, creation, cause, beginning, source and origin) is the first book of the Torah, the first book of the Tanakh and also the first book of the Christian Old Testament. ... Creation is a doctrinal position in many religions which maintains that one or a group of gods or deities is responsible for creating the universe. ... Haredi or Charedi Judaism, often referred to as Ultra-Orthodox Judaism, is the most theologically conservative form of Orthodox Judaism. ... Modern Orthodox Judaism (or Modern Orthodox, also known as Modern Orthodoxy and sometimes abbreviated as MO) is a movement within Orthodox Judaism that attempts to synthesize traditional observance and values with the secular modern world. ... This article refers to Conservative (Masorti) Judaism in the United States. ... Reform Judaism can refer to (1) the largest denomination of Judaism in America and its sibling movements in other countries, (2) a branch of Judaism in the United Kingdom, and (3) the historical predecessor of the American movement that originated in 19th Century Germany. ...


See Judaism and evolution and Jewish views on Creationism for a discussion. Jewish views on evolution includes a continuum of views about evolution, creationism, and the origin of life. ... The Creation of Light by Gustave Doré. In the Abrahamic religions, creationism is the belief that humans, life, the Earth, and the universe have a miraculous origin in a deity or supreme beings supernatural intervention. ...


God is One

The idea of God as a duality or trinity is heretical - it is considered akin to polytheism. "[God], the Cause of all, is one. This does not mean one as in one of a pair, nor one like a species (which encompasses many individuals), nor one as in an object that is made up of many elements, nor as a single simple object that is infinitely divisible. Rather, God is a unity unlike any other possible unity. This is referred to in the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:4): "Hear Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one." (Maimonides, 13 principles of faith Second Principle). It has been suggested that Combative dualism be merged into this article or section. ... For other uses, see Trinity (disambiguation). ... Polytheism is belief in, or worship of, multiple gods or divinities. ... Torah () is a Hebrew word meaning teaching, instruction, or law. It is the central and most important document of Judaism revered by Jews through the ages. ... Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Hebrew Bible. ... Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Maimonides (March 30, 1135–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Spain and Egypt during the Middle Ages. ... Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Maimonides (March 30, 1135–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Spain and Egypt during the Middle Ages. ...


While Jews hold that such conceptions of God are incorrect, they generally are of the opinion that non-Jews that hold such beliefs are not held culpable. The word Gentile from the Latin gentilis, can either be a translation of the Hebrew Goy/גוי or of the Hebrew word Nochri/נכרי. In the most common modern use it refers to the former being derived from the Latin term gens (meaning clan or a group of families) and it is... The Seven Noahide Laws (Hebrew: שבע מצוות בני נח Šbaˤ mişwōt bnē-Noḥ), also called the Brit Noah (Covenant of Noah) mitzvot (commandments) and halakhot (laws) that are morally binding on non-Jews. ...


See also Divine simplicity. In theology, the doctrine of divine simplicity says that God is without parts. ...


God is all-powerful

Orthodox Jews believe in the omnipotent, omniscient God of the Bible - “Attribute to the Lord all glory and power” (Psalms 29). Thus, most rabbinic works present God as having the properties of omnipotence, omniscience and omnibenevolence (being all good). This is still the primary ways that most Orthodox and many non-Orthodox Jews view God. Psalms (Tehilim תהילים, in Hebrew) is a book of the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh, and of the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. ... Rabbinic literature, in the broadest sense, can mean the entire spectrum of Judaisms rabbinic writing/s throughout history. ... Omnipotence (literally, all power) is power with no limits or inexhaustible, in other words, unlimited power. ... Omniscience is the capacity to know everything, or at least everything that can be known about a character/s including thoughts, feelings, etc. ...


The issue of theodicy was raised again, especially after the extreme horrors of the Holocaust and several theological responses surfaced. These are discussed in a separate entry on Holocaust theology. The central questions they address are whether and how God is all powerful and all good, given the existence of evil in the world, particularly the Holocaust. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... It has been suggested that Holocaust Cruelty be merged into this article or section. ... Holocaust theology refers to a body of theological and philosophical debate, soul-searching, and analysis, with the subsequent related literature, that attempts to come to grips with various conflicting views about the role of God in this human world and the dark events of the European Holocaust that occurred during...


God as personal versus God as non-personal humanity

Most of classical Judaism views God as personal. We have a relationship with God, God has a relationship with us. Much of the midrash, and many prayers in the siddur portrays God as caring about humanity in much the same way that we care about god. Midrash (Hebrew: מדרש; plural midrashim) is a Hebrew word referring to a method of exegesis of a Biblical text. ... The siddur (plural siddurim) is the prayerbook used by Jews over the world, containing a set order of daily prayers. ...


Harold Kushner, a Conservative rabbi, writes that "God shows His love for us by reaching down to bridge the immense gap between Him and us. God shows His love for us by inviting us to enter into a Covenant (brit) with Him, and by sharing with us His Torah". Hasidism seems to endorse this view to some degree. Harold Kushner is a Conservative rabbi, in the liberal wing of Conservative Judaism, a member of the Rabbinical Assembly, and a long time congregational rabbi of Temple Israel in Natick, Massachusetts, USA. He is the author of the immensely popular book on liberal theology, When Bad Things Happen to Good... Rabbi (Classical Hebrew רִבִּי ribbÄ«;; modern Ashkenazi and Israeli רַבִּי rabbÄ«) in Judaism, means teacher, or more literally great one. The word Rabbi is derived from the Hebrew root-word RaV, which in biblical Hebrew means great or distinguished, (in knowledge). In the ancient Judean schools (and among Sefaradim today) the sages... Hasidic Judaism (Hebrew: Chasidut חסידות) is a Haredi Jewish religious movement. ...


On the other hand, Maimonides and many other medieval Jewish philosophers rejected the idea of a personal God as incorrect. (For Maimonides, such a view was heresy.) Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Maimonides (March 30, 1135–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Spain and Egypt during the Middle Ages. ...


The Nature of God

God is non-physical, non-corporeal, and eternal. A corollary belief is that God is utterly unlike man, and can in no way be considered anthropomorphic. All statements in the Hebrew Bible and in rabbinic literature which use anthropomorphism are held to be linguistic conceits or metaphors, as it would otherwise be impossible to talk about God at all. See Divine simplicity; Negative theology; Tzimtzum. While in the popular mind, eternity often simply means existing for an infinite, i. ... ASIMO is an anthropomorphic robot created in 2000 by Honda. ... Tanakh [תנ״ך] (also Tanach, IPA: or ) is an acronym that identifies the Hebrew Bible. ... In theology, the doctrine of divine simplicity says that God is without parts. ... Negative theology - also known as the Via Negativa (Latin for Negative Way) and Apophatic theology - is a theology that attempts to describe God by negation, to speak of God only in terms of what may be said about God and to avoid what may not be said. ... In Jewish Mysticism, Tzimtzum (צמצום Hebrew: contraction or constriction) refers to the notion in the Kabbalistic theory of creation that God contracted his infinite essence in order to allow for a conceptual space in which a finite, independent world could exist. ...


To God alone may one offer prayer

Any belief that an intermediary between man and God could be used, whether necessary or even optional, has traditionally been considered heretical. Maimonides writes that "God is the only one we may serve and praise....We may not act in this way toward anything beneath God, whether it be an angel, a star, or one of the elements.....There are no intermediaries between us and God. All our prayers should be directed towards God; nothing else should even be considered." Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Maimonides (March 30, 1135–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Spain and Egypt during the Middle Ages. ... Maria Magdalene in prayer. ...


This view was disagreed with some rabbinic authorities. Notably Nachmanides was of the opinion that it is permitted to ask the angels to beseech God on our behalf. This argument manifests notably in the Selichot prayer called "Machnisay Rachamim", a request to the angels to intercede with God. Modern printed editions of the Selichot include this prayer. Hasidic Orthodox Jews teach that their leaders, called rebbes, are an intermediary between man and God. Nahmanides is the common name for Moshe ben Nahman Gerondi; the name is a Greek translation of the Hebrew Ben Nahman, meaning Son of Nahman. He is also commomly known as Ramban, being an acronym of his Hebrew name and title, Rabbi Moshe ben Nahman, and by his Catalan name... In the Jewish religion Selichot are penitential prayers said in the days leading up to Yom Kippur. ... Hasidic Judaism (from the Hebrew: Chasidut חסידות, meaning piety, from the Hebrew root word chesed חסד meaning loving kindness) is a Haredi Jewish religious movement. ...


Scripture

The Tanakh and the Talmud are the main holy books in Judaism. The Tanakh contains the Torah (five books of Moses), the prophets, and the Ketuvim ("writings). Judaism's oral law is contained in the Mishnah, Tosefta, classical midrashim, and the two Talmuds. Tanakh [תנ״ך] (also Tanach, IPA: or ) is an acronym that identifies the Hebrew Bible. ... Tractate Brachos, folio 2a The Talmud (תלמוד) is a record of rabbinic discussions of Jewish law, ethics, customs, and stories, which are authoritative in Jewish tradition. ... Tanakh [תנ״ך] (also Tanach, IPA: or ) is an acronym that identifies the Hebrew Bible. ... Neviim [נביאים] or Prophets is the second of the three major sections in the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible). ... The Mishnah (Hebrew משנה, repetition) is a major source of rabbinic Judaisms religious texts. ... The Tosefta is a second compilation of oral law from the period of the Mishnah. ... Midrash (Hebrew: מדרש; plural midrashim) is a Hebrew word referring to a method of exegesis of a Biblical text. ... Tractate Brachos, folio 2a The Talmud (תלמוד) is a record of rabbinic discussions of Jewish law, ethics, customs, and stories, which are authoritative in Jewish tradition. ...


Moses and the Torah

Orthodox and Conservative Jews hold that the prophecy of Moses is held to be true; he is held to be the chief of all prophets, even of those who came before and after him. This belief was expressed by Maimonides, who wrote that "Moses was superior to all prophets, whether they preceded him or arose afterwards. Moses attained the highest possible human level. He perceived God to a degree surpassing every human that ever existed....God spoke to all other prophets through an intermediary. Moses alone did not need this; this is what the Torah means when God says "Mouth to mouth, I will speak to him." Orthodox Judaism is the stream of Judaism which adheres to a relatively strict interpretation and application of the laws and ethics first canonized in the Talmud (The Oral Law) and later codified in the Shulkhan Arukh (Code of Jewish Law). It is governed by these works and the Rabbinical commentary... This article refers to Conservative (Masorti) Judaism in the United States. ... Moses or Móshe (מֹשֶׁה, Standard Hebrew, Tiberian Hebrew Mōšeh, Arabic موسى Mūsa, Geez ሙሴ Musse) is a legendary Hebrew liberator, leader, lawgiver, prophet, and historian, and also one of the greatest figures in Jewish history. ... Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Maimonides (March 30, 1135–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Spain and Egypt during the Middle Ages. ...


However, this does not imply that the text of the Torah should be understood literally, as according to Karaism. Rabbinic tradition maintains that God conveyed not only the words of the Torah, but the meaning of the Torah. God gave rules as to how the laws were to be understood and implemented, and these were passed down as an oral tradition. This oral law ultimately was written down almost 2,000 years later in the Mishna and the two Talmuds. Karaite Judaism is a Jewish denomination characterized by reliance on the Tanakh as the sole scripture, and rejection of the Oral Law (the Mishnah and the Talmuds) as halakha (Legally Binding, i. ... The Mishnah (Hebrew משנה, Repetition) is a major source of rabbinic Judaisms religious texts. ... Tractate Brachos, folio 2a The Talmud (תלמוד) is a record of rabbinic discussions of Jewish law, ethics, customs, and stories, which are authoritative in Jewish tradition. ...


For Reform Jews, the prophecy of Moses was not the highest degree of prophecy; rather it was the first in a long chain of progressive revelations in which mankind gradually began to understand the will of God better and better. As such, they maintain, that the laws of Moses are no longer binding, and it is today's generation that must assess what God wants of them. (For examples see the works of Rabbis Gunther Plaut or Eugene Borowitz). This principle is also rejected by most Reconstructionist Jews, but for a different reason; most posit that God is not a being with a will; thus they maintain that no will can be revealed. Reform Judaism can refer to (1) the largest denomination of Judaism in America and its sibling movements in other countries, (2) a branch of Judaism in the United Kingdom, and (3) the historical predecessor of the American movement that originated in 19th Century Germany. ... Moses or Móshe (מֹשֶׁה, Standard Hebrew, Tiberian Hebrew Mōšeh, Arabic موسى Mūsa, Geez ሙሴ Musse) is a legendary Hebrew liberator, leader, lawgiver, prophet, and historian, and also one of the greatest figures in Jewish history. ... Rabbi (Classical Hebrew רִבִּי ribbī;; modern Ashkenazi and Israeli רַבִּי rabbī) in Judaism, means teacher, or more literally great one. The word Rabbi is derived from the Hebrew root-word RaV, which in biblical Hebrew means great or distinguished, (in knowledge). In the ancient Judean schools (and among Sefaradim today) the sages... W. Gunther Plaut (born November 1, 1912) is a Rabbi of Reform Judaism and author. ... Reconstructionist Judaism is a movement of Judaism with a very liberal set of beliefs: an individuals personal autonomy should generally override traditional Jewish law and custom, yet also take into account communal consensus, modern culture is accepted, traditional rabbinic modes of study, as well as modern scholarship and critical... God is the deity believed by monotheists to be the supreme reality. ...


The origin of the Torah

The Torah is composed of 5 books called in English Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. They chronicle the history of the Hebrews and also contain the commandments that Jews are to follow. Torah () is a Hebrew word meaning teaching, instruction, or law. It is the central and most important document of Judaism revered by Jews through the ages. ... Genesis (Greek: Γένεσις, having the meanings of birth, creation, cause, beginning, source and origin) is the first book of the Torah, the first book of the Tanakh and also the first book of the Christian Old Testament. ... Exodus is the second book of the Torah (the Pentateuch) and also the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible), and the Christian Old Testament. ... Leviticus is the third book of the Hebrew Bible, also the third book in the Torah (five books of Moses). ... The Book of Numbers is the fourth of the books of the Pentateuch, called in the Hebrew ba-midbar במדבר, i. ... Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Hebrew Bible. ... Hebrews (syns. ...


Rabbinic Judaism holds that the Torah extant today is the same one that was given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai. Maimonides explains: "We do not know exactly how the Torah was transmitted to Moses. But when it was transmitted, Moses merely wrote it down like a secretary taking dictation....[Thus] every verse in the Torah is equally holy, as they all originate from God, and are all part of God's Torah, which is perfect, holy and true." Torah () is a Hebrew word meaning teaching, instruction, or law. It is the central and most important document of Judaism revered by Jews through the ages. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Maimonides (March 30, 1135–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Spain and Egypt during the Middle Ages. ...


Haredi Jews generally believe that the Torah today is no different from what was received from God to Moses, with only the most minor of scribal errors. Many other Orthodox Jews suggest that over the millennia, some scribal errors have crept into the Torah's text. They note that the Masoretes (7th to 10th centuries) compared all known Torah variations in order to create a definitive text. Some Modern Orthodox Jews hold that there are a number of places in the Torah where gaps are seen, and accept that part of the story in these places may have been edited out. However, all Orthodox Jews view the Written and Oral Torah as the same as Moses taught, for all practical purposes. Haredi or Charedi Judaism, often referred to as Ultra-Orthodox Judaism, is the most theologically conservative form of Orthodox Judaism. ... Orthodox Judaism is the stream of Judaism which adheres to a relatively strict interpretation and application of the laws and ethics first canonized in the Talmud (The Oral Law) and later codified in the Shulkhan Arukh (Code of Jewish Law). It is governed by these works and the Rabbinical commentary... The Masoretes (baalei masorah) were scribes based primarily in at least three places, Tiberias (the best known); Eretz Yisrael, or the land of Israel; and Babylonia. ... Modern Orthodox Judaism (or Modern Orthodox, also known as Modern Orthodoxy and sometimes abbreviated as MO) is a movement within Orthodox Judaism that attempts to synthesize traditional observance and values with the secular modern world. ...


Accepting the findings of biblical scholarship, archeological and linguistic research, most non-Orthodox Jews reject this principle. Instead, they may accept that the core of the Oral and Written Torah comes from Moses, but maintain that the Torah extant today has been edited together from several documents. In studying the Hebrew Bible, some historians and academics in the fields of linguistics and source criticism have proposed the theory known as the documentary hypothesis: that the Five Books of Moses (the Torah) represent a combination of documents from different sources rather than a single text authored by one...


Conservative Jews tend to believe that much of the Oral law is divinely inspired, while Reform and Reconstructionist Jews tend to view all of the Oral law as an entirely human creation. Traditionally, the Reform movement held that Jews were obliged to obey the ethical but not the ritual commandments of Scripture, although today many Reform Jews have adopted many traditional ritual practices. For more details see Richard Elliot Friedman's "Who Wrote the Bible?" and the entry on the documentary hypothesis. This article refers to Conservative (Masorti) Judaism in the United States. ... Reform Judaism can refer to (1) the largest denomination of Judaism in America and its sibling movements in other countries, (2) a branch of Judaism in the United Kingdom, and (3) the historical predecessor of the American movement that originated in 19th Century Germany. ... Reconstructionist Judaism is a movement of Judaism with a very liberal set of beliefs: an individuals personal autonomy should generally override traditional Jewish law and custom, yet also take into account communal consensus, modern culture is accepted, traditional rabbinic modes of study, as well as modern scholarship and critical... Richard Elliot Friedman is a writer and Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at UCSD. He is also Katzin Professor of Jewish Civilization: Hebrew Bible; Near Eastern Languages and Literatures. ... In studying the Hebrew Bible, some historians and academics in the fields of linguistics and source criticism have proposed the theory known as the documentary hypothesis: that the Five Books of Moses (the Torah) represent a combination of documents from different sources rather than a single text authored by one...


The words of the prophets are true

The Nevi'im the books of the Prophets, are considered divine and true. This does not imply that the books of the prophets are always read literally. Jewish tradition has always held that prophets used metaphors and analogies. There exists a wide range of commentaries explaining and elucidating those verses consisting of metaphor. A prophet is a person who has directly encountered God, of whose intentions he can then speak. ...


Reward and punishment

The mainstream Jewish view is that God will reward those who observe His commandments and punish those who intentionally transgress them. Examples of rewards and punishments are described throughout the Bible, and throughout classical rabbinic literature. See Free will In Jewish thought. God is the deity believed by monotheists to be the supreme reality. ... Free will is the philosophical doctrine that holds that our choices are ultimately up to ourselves. ...


In contrast, philosophical rationalists such as Maimonides believed that God did not actually mete out rewards and punishments as such. In this view, these were beliefs that were necessary for the masses to believe in order to maintain a structured society and to encourage the observance of Judaism. However, once one learned Torah properly, one could then learn the higher truths. In this view, the nature of the reward is that if a person perfected his intellect to the highest degree, then the part of his intellect that connected to God - the active intellect - would be immortalized and eternally enjoying the "Glory of the Presence" for all eternity. The punishment would simply be that this would not happen; no part of one's intellect would be immortalized with God. See Divine Providence In Jewish thought. In theology, Divine Providence, or simply Providence, is the sovereignty, superintendence, or agency of God over events in peoples lives and throughout history. ...


The common understanding of this principle is accepted by most Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jews; it is generally rejected by the Reconstructionists.


According to the Kabbalah (a non-normative set of doctrines) God judges who has followed His commandments and who doesn't and to what extent. Those who do not "pass the test" go to a purifying place called Sheol lit. gloom (sometimes referred to as Purgatory, sometimes Hell) to "learn their lesson". There is, however, for the most part, no eternal damnation. The vast majority of souls can only go to that reforming place for a limited amount of time (less than one year). This article is about the overall Jewish mysticisms tradition. ...


Judaism has always considered "Tikkun Olam" (or Perfecting the world) as a fundamental reason for God's creating the world. Therefore, the concept of "life after death" in the Jewish view, while considered the eventual eternal reward or punishment for all, is not encouraged as the sole motivating factor in performance of Judaism. Indeed it is held that one can attain closeness to God even in this world through moral and spiritual perfection.


Israel chosen for a purpose

God chose the Jewish people to be in a unique covenant with God; the description of this covenant is the Torah itself. Contrary to popular belief, Jewish people do not simply say that "God chose the Jews." This claim, by itself, exists nowhere in the Tanakh (the Jewish Bible). Such a claim could imply that God loves only the Jewish people, that only Jews can be close to God, and that only Jews can have a heavenly reward. The actual claim made is that the Jews were chosen for a specific mission, a duty: to be a light unto the nations, and to have a covenant with God as described in the Torah. Reconstructionist Judaism rejects also this variant of chosenness as morally defunct. Chosen People refers to a group of people who have been chosen by G-d to act as G-ds agent on earth. ... God is the deity believed by monotheists to be the supreme reality. ... Torah () is a Hebrew word meaning teaching, instruction, or law. It is the central and most important document of Judaism revered by Jews through the ages. ... Tanakh [תנ״ך] (also Tanach, IPA: or ) is an acronym that identifies the Hebrew Bible. ... Torah () is a Hebrew word meaning teaching, instruction, or law. It is the central and most important document of Judaism revered by Jews through the ages. ... Reconstructionist Judaism is a movement of Judaism with a very liberal set of beliefs: an individuals personal autonomy should generally override traditional Jewish law and custom, yet also take into account communal consensus, modern culture is accepted, traditional rabbinic modes of study, as well as modern scholarship and critical...


Rabbi Lord Immanuel Jakobovits, former Chief Rabbi of the United Synagogue of Great Britain, describes the mainstream Jewish view on this issue: "Yes, I do believe that the chosen people concept as affirmed by Judaism in its holy writ, its prayers, and its millennial tradition. In fact, I believe that every people—and indeed, in a more limited way, every individual—is "chosen" or destined for some distinct purpose in advancing the designs of Providence. Only, some fulfill their mission and others do not. Maybe the Greeks were chosen for their unique contributions to art and philosophy, the Romans for their pioneering services in law and government, the British for bringing parliamentary rule into the world, and the Americans for piloting democracy in a pluralistic society. The Jews were chosen by God to be 'peculiar unto Me' as the pioneers of religion and morality; that was and is their national purpose." Rabbi (Classical Hebrew רִבִּי ribbÄ«;; modern Ashkenazi and Israeli רַבִּי rabbÄ«) in Judaism, means teacher, or more literally great one. The word Rabbi is derived from the Hebrew root-word RaV, which in biblical Hebrew means great or distinguished, (in knowledge). In the ancient Judean schools (and among Sefaradim today) the sages... Immanuel Jakobovits, also Baron Jakobovits (8 February 1921 - 31 October 1999) was the Orthodox Judaism Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and the Commonwealth from 1967 to 1991. ... Chosen People refers to a group of people who have been chosen by G-d to act as G-ds agent on earth. ...


More on this topic is available in the entry on Jewish views of religious pluralism. This article deals with Jewish views of religious pluralism. ...


The messianic age

There will be a Jewish Messiah known as Mashiach, a king who will rule the Jewish people independently and according to Jewish law. The Jewish vision of Messianic times has little to do with the Christian definition of this term. Jewish views of the Messiah as derived from the Davidic line, the Messianic era, and the afterlife are discussed in the entry on Jewish eschatology. The Jewish Messiah, (משיח) or Mashiah, Mashiach or Moshiach, has traditionally referred to a future Jewish king from the Davidic line who will be anointed (in Hebrew, mashiach -- משיח (messiah) means anointed with holy anointing oil) and inducted to rule the Jewish people. ... The concept of the messiah in Judaism is briefly discussed in the Jewish eschatology entry. ... Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on Jesus of Nazareth, and on his life and teachings as presented in the New Testament. ... Davidic line, (also Davidic Kingdom or Davidic dynasty), known in Hebrew as Malchut Beit David (Monarchy [of the] House [of] David) refers to the tracing of royal lineage by kings and major leaders in Jewish history to the Biblical King David in Judaism. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


The soul is pure at birth

Humans are born morally pure; Judaism has no concept analogous to original sin. Judaism affirms that people are born with a yetzer ha-tov (יצר הטוב), a tendency to do good, and with a yetzer hara (יצר הרע), a tendency to do evil. Thus, human beings have free will and can choose the path in life that they will take. The rabbis even recognize a positive value to the yetzer ha-ra: without the yetzer ha-ra there would be no civilization or other fruits of human labor. The implication is that yetzer ha-tov and yetzer ha-ra are best understood not only as moral categories of good and evil but as the inherent conflict within man between selfless and selfish orientations. The soul, according to many religious and philosophical traditions, is a self aware ethereal substance particular to a unique living being. ... Michelangelos painting of the original sin (the Fall) According to Christian tradition, Original sin describes the condition of sinfulness (lack of holiness) into which human beings are hereditarily born. ... Free will is the philosophical doctrine that holds that our choices are ultimately up to ourselves. ...


Judaism recognizes two classes of "sin": offenses against other people, and offenses against God. Offenses against God may be understood as violation of a contract (the covenant between God and the Children of Israel). (See Jewish views of sin.) SiN is a computer game developed by Ritual Entertainment and published by Activision in late 1998. ... Covenant, in its most general sense, is a word for a solemn promise or similar undertaking. ... // The Children of Israel (Hebrew: בני ישראל Bnai Yisrael or Bnei Yisrael or Bnei Yisroel or Bene Israel;) is a Biblical term for the Israelites. ... SiN is a computer game developed by Ritual Entertainment and published by Activision in late 1998. ...


A classical rabbinic work, Avoth de-Rabbi Natan, states: "One time, when Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai was walking in Jerusalem with Rabbi Yehosua, they arrived at where the Temple in Jerusalem now stood in ruins. "Woe to us," cried Rabbi Yehosua, "for this house where atonement was made for Israel's sins now lies in ruins!" Answered Rabban Yochanan, "We have another, equally important source of atonement, the practice of gemiluth ḥasadim (loving kindness), as it is stated: "I desire loving kindness and not sacrifice" (Hosea 6:6). Also, the Babylonian Talmud teaches that "Rabbi Yochanan and Rabbi Eleazar both explain that as long as the Temple stood, the altar atoned for Israel, but now, one's table atones [when the poor are invited as guests]" (Talmud, tractate Berachoth 55a). Similarly, the liturgy of the Days of Awe (the High Holy Days; i.e. Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur) states that prayer, repentance and tzedakah atone for sin. Jerusalem (Hebrew: , Yerushaláyim or Yerushalaim; Arabic: , al-Quds; official Arabic in Israel: أورشليم القدس, Urshalim-Al-Quds) is Israels capital, most populous, [1] and largest city, with a population of 724,000 (as of May 24, 2006 [2]) contained in 123 km². An ancient Middle Eastern city on the watershed... The Temple in Jerusalem or the Holy Temple (Hebrew: בית המקדש, transliterated Bet HaMikdash) was built in ancient Jerusalem in c. ... The Atonement, arguably the single greatest act of love, was initiated and accomplished by Jesus Christ as a means for members of the human family to reunite with God, as documented by the Bible and testified by other Christian scripture. ... Tractate Brachos, folio 2a The Talmud (תלמוד) is a record of rabbinic discussions of Jewish law, ethics, customs, and stories, which are authoritative in Jewish tradition. ... This article is about the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. ... Yom Kippur (יום כיפור yom kippÅ«r) is the Jewish holiday of the Day of Atonement. ... Maria Magdalene in prayer. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Tzedakah (Hebrew: צדקה) in Judaism, is the Hebrew term most commonly translated as charity, though it is based on a root meaning justice (צדק). According to Maimonides, there are eight levels of tzedakah in Jewish tradition, ranging from publicly giving funds, so that the donor and recipient both know who each other...


History and development

No formal text canonized

The prime reason why no one text was formalized as "the" Jewish principles of belief is the lack of an authoritative sanction from a supreme ecclesiastical body. This is why no one formulation of Jewish principles of faith is recognized as universally binding force.


Though to a certain extent incorporated in the liturgy and utilized for purposes of instruction, these formulations of the cardinal tenets of Judaism carried no greater weight than that imparted to them by the fame and scholarship of their respective authors. None of them had a character analogous to that given in the Church to its three great formulas (the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene or Constantopolitan, and the Athanasian), or even to the Kalimat As-Shahadat of the Muslims. None of the many summaries from the pens of Jewish philosophers and rabbis has been invested with similar importance. The siddur (plural siddurim) is the prayerbook used by Jews over the world, containing a set order of daily prayers. ... The Apostles Creed (Latin: Symbolum Apostolorum), sometimes titled Symbol of the Apostles, is an early statement of Christian belief, a creed or symbol. ... Icon depicting the Holy Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea holding the Nicene Creed. ... The Athanasian Creed (Quicunque vult) is a statement of Christian doctrine traditionally ascribed to St. ... A Muslim is a believer in or follower of Islam. ... Philosopher in Meditation (detail), by Rembrandt. ... Rabbi (Classical Hebrew רִבִּי ribbī;; modern Ashkenazi and Israeli רַבִּי rabbī) in Judaism, means teacher, or more literally great one. The word Rabbi is derived from the Hebrew root-word RaV, which in biblical Hebrew means great or distinguished, (in knowledge). In the ancient Judean schools (and among Sefaradim today) the sages...


Gaining converts

Originally nationality and religion were the same. Birth, not profession, admitted a person to a religio-national fellowship. As long as internal dissension or external attack did not necessitate for purposes of defense the formulation of specific doctrines, the thought of fixing the contents of the religious consciousness did not insinuate itself into the mind of even the most faithful. Missionary or proselytizing religions are driven to the definite declaration of their teachings. The admission of the neophyte hinges upon the profession and the acceptance of his part of the belief, and that there may be no uncertainty about what is essential and what non-essential, it is incumbent on the proper authorities to determine and promulgate the cardinal tenets in a form that will facilitate repetition and memorizing. And the same necessity arises when the Church or religious fellowship is torn by internal heresies. Under the necessity of combating heresies of various degrees of perilousness and of stubborn insistence, the Church and Islam, were forced to define and officially limit their respective ) theological concepts.


Both of these provocations to creed-building were less intense in Judaism.


The proselytizing zeal, though during certain periods more active than at others, was neutralized, partly by disinclination and partly by force of circumstances. Righteousness, according - to Jewish belief - was not conditioned of the acceptance of the Jewish religion. And the righteous among the nations that carried into practice the seven fundamental laws of the covenant with Noah and his descendants were declared to be participants in the felicity of the hereafter. This interpretation of the status of non-Jews precluded the development of a missionary attitude. Moreover, the regulations for the reception of proselytes, as developed in course of time, prove the eminently practical, that is, the non-creedal character of Judaism. Compliance with certain rites - immersion in a mikveh (ritual bath), brit milah (circumcision), and the acceptance of the mitzvot (Commandments of Torah) as binding - is the test of the would-be convert's faith. He or she is instructed in the main points of Jewish law, while the profession of faith demanded is limited to the acknowledgement of the unity of God and the rejection of idolatry. Judah ha-Levi (Kuzari 1:115) puts the whole matter very strikingly when he says: Noahs Ark, Französischer Meister (The French Master), Magyar Szépmüvészeti Múzeum, Budapest. ... Halakha (Hebrew: הלכה; also transliterated as Halakhah, Halacha, Halakhot and Halachah) is the collective corpus of Jewish religious law, including biblical law (the 613 mitzvot) and later talmudic and rabbinic law as well as customs and traditions. ... God is the deity believed by monotheists to be the supreme reality. ... Judah Ha-Levi, also Yehudah Halevi, was a Jewish Spanish philosopher and poet. ... The Kuzari is the most famous work by the medieval Spanish Jewish writer Yehuda Halevi. ...

We are not putting on an equality with us a person entering our religion through confession alone. We require deeds, including in that term self-restraint, purity, study of the Law, circumcision, and the performance of other duties demanded by the Torah.

For the preparation of the convert, therefore, no other method of instruction was employed than for the training of one born a Jew. The aim of teaching was to convey a knowledge of halakha (Jewish law), obedience to which manifested the acceptance of the underlying religious principes; namely, the existence of God and the holiness of Israel as the people of God's covenant. Torah () is a Hebrew word meaning teaching, instruction, or law. It is the central and most important document of Judaism revered by Jews through the ages. ... Halakha (Hebrew: הלכה; also transliterated as Halakhah, Halacha, Halakhot and Halachah) is the collective corpus of Jewish religious law, including biblical law (the 613 mitzvot) and later talmudic and rabbinic law as well as customs and traditions. ... God is the deity believed by monotheists to be the supreme reality. ...


Is dogma inherent in mitzvot?

The controversy whether the practice of mitzvot in Judaism is inherently connected to Judaism's dogma, has been discussed by many scholars. Moses Mendelssohn, in his "Jerusalem," defended the non-dogmatic nature of the practice of Judaism. Rather, he asserted, the dogma and beliefs of Judaism, although revealed by God in Judaism, consist of universal truths applicable to all mankind. Rabbi Judah Low ben Bezalel (Maharal), among others, took the opposite side. Low argued that Mendelssohn's theory had been carried beyond its legitimate bounds. Underlying the practice of the Law was assuredly the recognition of certain fundamental principles, he asserted, culminating in the belief in God and revelation, and likewise in the doctrine of divine justice. Mitzvah מצוה is Hebrew for commandment (plural mitzvot; from צוה, tzavah - command). ... This article describes the Jewish religion; for a consideration of ethnic, historic, and cultural aspects of the Jewish identity refer to the article Jew. ... Moses Mendelssohn. ... Judah Low ben Bezalel (1525 — 1609) was a Jewish scholar and rabbi, most of his life in Prague. ...


The first to make the attempt to formulate Jewish principles of faith was Philo of Alexandria. He enumerated five articles: God is and rules; God is one; the world was created by God; Creation is one, and God's providence rules Creation. Please wikify (format) this article as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ... For other uses, see Alexandria (disambiguation). ...


Belief in the Oral Law

Many rabbis were drawn into controversies with both Jews and non-Jews, and had to fortify their faith against the attacks of contemporaneous philosophy as well as against rising Christianity. The Mishnah (Tractate Sanhedrin xi. 1) excludes from the world to come the Epicureans and those who deny belief in resurrection or in the divine origin of the Torah. Rabbi Akiva would also regard as heretical the readers of Sefarim Hetsonim - certain extraneous writings that were not canonized - as well such persons that would heal through whispered formulas of magic. Abba Saul designated as under suspicion of infidelity those that pronounce the ineffable name of God. By implication, the contrary doctrine may be regarded as orthodox. On the other hand, Akiva himself declares that the command to love one's neighbor the fundamental the principle of the Torah; while Ben Asa assigns this distinction to the Biblical verse, "This is the book of the generations of man". The Mishnah (Hebrew משנה, repetition) is a major source of rabbinic Judaisms religious texts. ... Torah () is a Hebrew word meaning teaching, instruction, or law. It is the central and most important document of Judaism revered by Jews through the ages. ... Akiba ben Joseph (or Rabbi Akiva, Rebbi Akiva, c. ...


The definition of Hillel the Elder in his interview with a would-be convert (Talmud, tractate Shabbat 31a), embodies in the golden rule the one fundamental article of faith. A teacher of the 3rd century, Rabbi Simlai, traces the development of Jewish religious principles from Moses with his 613 mitzvot of prohibition and injunction, through David, who, according to this rabbi, enumerates eleven; through Isaiah, with six; Micah, with three; to Habakkuk who simply but impressively sums up all religious faith in the single phrase, "The pious lives in his faith" (Talmud, Mak., toward end). As Jewish law enjoins that one should prefer death to an act of idolatry, incest, unchastity, or murder, the inference is plain that the corresponding positive principles were held to be fundamental articles of Judaism. Hillel (הלל) was a famous Jewish religious leader who lived in Jerusalem during the time of King Herod; he is one of the most important figures in Judaic history, associated with the Mishnah and the Talmud. ... // Overview Events 212: Constitutio Antoniniana grants citizenship to all free Roman men 212-216: Baths of Caracalla 230-232: Sassanid dynasty of Persia launches a war to reconquer lost lands in the Roman east 235-284: Crisis of the Third Century shakes Roman Empire 250-538: Kofun era, the first... Moses or Móshe (מֹשֶׁה, Standard Hebrew, Tiberian Hebrew Mōšeh, Arabic موسى MÅ«sa, Geez ሙሴ Musse) is a legendary Hebrew liberator, leader, lawgiver, prophet, and historian, and also one of the greatest figures in Jewish history. ... 613 mitzvot (or 613 Commandments. ... Isaiah the Prophet in Hebrew Scriptures was depicted on the Sistine Chapel ceiling by Michelangelo. ... Micah or Micha (מִיכָה, Standard Hebrew Miḫa, Tiberian Hebrew Mîḵāh) is the name of several people in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). ... Habakkuk or Havakuk (חֲבַקּוּק, Standard Hebrew Ḥavaqquq, Tiberian Hebrew Ḥăḇaqqûq) was a prophet in the Bible Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh. ... The neutrality of this article is disputed. ...


Belief during the Medieval era

Detailed constructions of articles of faith did not find favor in Judaism before the medieval era, when Jews were forced to defend their faith from both Islamic and Christian inquisitions, disputations and polemics. The necessity of defending their religion against the attacks of other philosophies induced many Jewish leaders to define and formulate their beliefs. Saadia Gaon's "Emunot ve-Deot" is an exposition of the main tenets of Judaism. They are listed as : The world was created by God; God is one and incorporeal; belief in revelation (including the divine origin of tradition; man is called to righteousness and endowed with all necessary qualities of mind and soul to avoid sin; belief in reward and punishment; the soul is created pure; after death it leaves the body; belief in resurrection; Messianic expectation, retribution, and final judgment. Saadia Ben Joseph Gaon (892-942), the Hebrew name of Said al-Fayyumi, was a rabbi who was also a prominent Jewish exilarch, philosopher, and exegete. ... This article describes the Jewish religion; for a consideration of ethnic, historic, and cultural aspects of the Jewish identity refer to the article Jew. ... For information on the last book of the New Testament see the Book of Revelation. ... SiN is a computer game developed by Ritual Entertainment and published by Activision in late 1998. ... The soul, according to many religious and philosophical traditions, is a self aware ethereal substance particular to a unique living being. ... Resurrection of the Flesh (1499-1502) Fresco by Luca Signorelli Chapel of San Brizio, Duomo, Orvieto The term resurrection is used in the literal sense to mean either the religious concept of the reunion of the spirit and the body of a dead person, or the return to life of... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Judah Halevi endeavored, in his Kuzari to determine the fundamentals of Judaism on another basis. He rejects all appeal to speculative reason, repudiating the method of the Motekallamin. The miracles and traditions are, in their natural character, both the source and the evidence of the true faith. In this view, speculative reason is considered fallible due to the inherent impossibility of objectivity in investigations with moral implications. Judah Ha-Levi, also Yehudah Halevi, was a Jewish Spanish philosopher and poet. ... The Kuzari is the most famous work by the medieval Spanish Jewish writer Yehuda Halevi. ...


Maimonides' 13 principles of faith

The 13 principles of faith were formulated by Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, better known as Maimonides or "The Rambam" (1135-1204 CE), in his commentary on the Mishnah (tractace Sanhedrin, chapter 10). Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Maimonides (March 30, 1135–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Spain and Egypt during the Middle Ages. ... The Mishnah (Hebrew משנה, repetition) is a major source of rabbinic Judaisms religious texts. ...


These principles were controversial when first proposed, evoking criticism by Crescas and Joseph Albo. They evoked criticism as minimizing acceptance of the entire Torah (Rabbi S. of Montpelier, Yad Rama, Y. Alfacher, Rosh Amanah). The thirteen principles were ignored by much of the Jewish community for the next few centuries. (Dogma in Medieval Jewish Thought, Menachem Kellner). There have been a number of Jewish writers and rabbis in the Crescas family, including: Hasdai Crescas Vidal de Caslar Crescas Astruc Don Crescas Mordecai En Crescas, of Orange (Don) Vidal Crescas of Perpignan Abiatharibn Crescas Ha-Kohen, doctor to King Juan II. of Aragon (1458-79) Israel ben Joseph... Joseph Albo was a Spanish rabbi, and theologian of the fifteenth century, known chiefly as the author of the work on the Jewish principles of faith, Ikkarim. ...


Over time two poetic restatements of these principles (Ani Ma'amin and Yigdal) became canonized in the Jewish prayerbook, and eventually became widely held. Today most of Orthodox Judaism holds these beliefs to be obligatory, and that anyone who does not fully accept each one of them as potentially heretical: The siddur (plural siddurim) is the prayerbook used by Jews over the world, containing a set order of daily prayers. ... Orthodox Judaism is the stream of Judaism which adheres to a relatively strict interpretation and application of the laws and ethics first canonized in the Talmud (The Oral Law) and later codified in the Shulkhan Arukh (Code of Jewish Law). It is governed by these works and the Rabbinical commentary...

  1. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, blessed be His Name, is the Creator and Guide of everything that has been created; He alone has made, does make, and will make all things.
  2. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, blessed be His Name, is One, and that there is no unity in any manner like His, and that He alone is our God, who was, and is, and will be.
  3. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, blessed be His Name, is not a body, and that He is free from all the properties of matter, and that there can be no (physical) comparison to Him whatsoever.
  4. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, blessed be His Name, is the first and the last.
  5. I believe with perfect faith that to the Creator, blessed be His Name, and to Him alone, it is right to pray, and that it is not right to pray to any being besides Him.
  6. I believe with perfect faith that all the works of the prophets are true.
  7. I believe with perfect faith that the prophecy of Moses, our teacher, peace be upon him, was true, and that he was the chief of the prophets, both of those who preceded him and of those who followed him.
  8. I believe with perfect faith that the entire Torah that is now in our possession is the same that was given to Moses, our teacher, peace be upon him.
  9. I believe with perfect faith that this Torah will not be changed, and that there will never be any other Law from the Creator, blessed be His name.
  10. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, knows all the deeds of human beings, and all their thoughts, as it is said: “[He] that fashioned the hearts of them all, [He] that comprehends all their actions.”
  11. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, blessed be His Name, rewards those that keep His commandments and punishes those that transgress them.
  12. I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah; and even though he may tarry, with all this I wait every day for his coming.
  13. I believe with perfect faith that there will be a revival of the dead at the time when it shall please the Creator, blessed be His name, and exalted be His Name for ever and ever.

Importantly, Maimonides, while enumerating the above, added the following caveat "There is no difference between [the Biblical statement] "his wife was Mehithabel" (Genesis 10,6) on the one hand (i.e. an "unimportant" verse), and "Hear, O Israel" on the other (i.e. an "important" verse)...anyone who denies even such verses thereby denies God and shows contempt for his teachings more than any other skeptic, because he holds that the Torah can be divided into essential and non-essential parts..." The specialness of the thirteen fundamental beliefs was that even a rejection out of ignorance placed one outside Judaism, whereas the rejection of the rest of Torah must be a conscious act to stamp one as an unbeliever. Others, such as Rabbi Joseph Albo and the Raavad, criticized Maimonides' list as containing items that, while true, in their opinion did not place those who rejected them out of ignorance in the category of heretic. Many others criticized any such formulation as minimizing acceptance of the entire Torah (see above). As noted however, neither Maimonides nor his contemporaries viewed these principles as encompassing all of Jewish belief, but rather as the core theological underpinnings of the acceptance of Judaism.


Several Orthodox scholars write that the popular Orthodox understanding of these principles are not at all what Maimonides held to be true. See books noted below by Marc Shapiro and Menachem Kellner.


Maimonides' 13 principles never received formal official approval. In the last two centuries however, large segments of the Orthodox Jewish community have begun to demand acceptance of Maimonides' principles. Others reject this view, noting that his views were never considered the last word in Jewish theology.


Principles of faith after Maimonides

The successors of Maimonides, from the thirteenth to the fifteeneth century — Nahmanides, Abba Mari ben Moses, Simon ben Zemah Duran, Albo, Isaac Arama, and Joseph Jaabez — narrowed his thirteen articles to three core beliefs: Belief in God; in Creation (or revelation); and in providence (or retribution). Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Maimonides (March 30, 1135–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Spain and Egypt during the Middle Ages. ... Nahmanides (1194 - c. ... In theology, Divine Providence, or simply Providence, is the sovereignty, superintendence, or agency of God over events in peoples lives and throughout history. ...


Others, like Crescas and David ben Samuel Estella, spoke of seven fundamental articles, laying stress on free-will. On the other hand, David ben Yom-Tob ibn Bilia, in his "Yesodot ha- Maskil" (Fundamentals of the Thinking Man), adds to the thirteen of Maimonides thirteen of his own — a number which a contemporary of Albo also chose for his fundamentals; while Jedaiah Penini, in the last chapter of his "Behinat ha-Dat," enumerated no less than thirty-five cardinal principles.


In the fourteenth century Asher ben Jehiel of Toledo raised his voice against the Maimonidean articles of faith, declaring them to be only temporary, and suggested that another be added to recognize that the Exile is a punishment for the sins of Israel. Isaac Abravanel, his "Rosh Amanah," took the same attitude towards Maimonides' creed. While defending Maimonides against Hasdai and Albo, he refused to accept dogmatic articles for Judaism, criticizing any formulation as minimizing acceptance of all 613 mitzvot. Asher ben Jehiel (or Rabeinu Osher ben Yechiel) (1250? 1259?-1328), an eminent rabbi and Talmudist often known by his Hebrew acronym the ROSH (literally Head), was born in western Germany and died in Toledo, Spain. ... 613 mitzvot (or 613 Commandments. ...


The Enlightenment

In the late 18th century Europe was swept by a group of intellectual, social and political movements, together known as The Enlightenment. These movements promoted scientific thinking, free thought, and allowed people to question previously unshaken religious dogmas. Like Christianity, Judaism developed several responses to this unprecedented phenomenon. One response saw the enlightenment as positive, while another saw it as negative. The enlightenment meant equality and freedom for many Jews in many countries, so it was felt that it should be warmly welcomed. Scientific study of religious texts would allow people to study the history of Judaism. Some Jews felt that Judaism should accept modern secular thought and change in response to these ideas. Others, however, believed that the divine nature of Judaism precluded changing any fundamental beliefs. (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... World map showing Europe Political map Europe is one of the seven traditional continents of Earth; the term continent here referring to a cultural and political distinction, rather than a physiographic one, thus leading to various perspectives about Europes precise borders. ... ... Science in the broadest sense refers to any knowledge or trained skill, especially (but not exclusively) when this is attained by verifiable means. ...


Those denominations accepting outside influence on the practice of Judaism are known as Conservative and Reform Judaism. The Jews who did not accept any fundamental changes in rabbinic Judaism became known as Orthodox. The entry on Relationships between Jewish religious movements discusses in more detail how and why the enlightenment led to the development of the modern Jewish denominations. This article refers to Conservative (Masorti) Judaism in the United States. ... Reform Judaism can refer to (1) the largest denomination of Judaism in America and its sibling movements in other countries, (2) a branch of Judaism in the United Kingdom, and (3) the historical predecessor of the American movement that originated in 19th Century Germany. ... Orthodox Judaism is the stream of Judaism which adheres to a relatively strict interpretation and application of the laws and ethics first canonized in the Talmud (The Oral Law) and later codified in the Shulkhan Arukh (Code of Jewish Law). It is governed by these works and the Rabbinical commentary... This article discusses the relationship between the various denominations of Judaism. ...


Holocaust theology

Because of the magnitude of the Holocaust, many people have re-examined the classical theological views on God's goodness and actions in the world. Some question whether people can still have any faith after the Holocaust. Some theological responses to these questions are explored in Holocaust theology. It has been suggested that Holocaust Cruelty be merged into this article or section. ... Holocaust theology refers to a body of theological and philosophical debate, soul-searching, and analysis, with the subsequent related literature, that attempts to come to grips with various conflicting views about the role of God in this human world and the dark events of the European Holocaust that occurred during...


Principles of faith in Modern Judaism

Dogma in Orthodox Judaism

Orthodox Judaism considers itself to be in direct continuity with historical rabbinic Judaism. Therefore, as above, it accepts philosophic speculation and statements of dogma only to the extent that they exist within, and are compatible with, the system of written and oral Torah.


Due to this, there is no one official statement of principles. Rather, all formulations by accepted early Torah leaders are considered to have possible validity. Additionally, as a matter of practice Orthodox Judaism lays stress on the performance of the actual commandments. Dogma is considered to be the self-understood underpinning of the practice of the Mitzvot.


Dogma in Conservative Judaism

Conservative Judaism developed in Europe and the United States in the late 1800s, as Jews reacted to the changes brought about by the enlightenment and emancipation. In many ways it was a reaction to what were seen as the excesses of the Reform movement. For much of the movement's history, Conservative Judaism deliberately avoided publishing systematic explications of theology and belief; this was a conscious attempt to hold together a wide coalition. This concern became a non-issue after the left-wing of the movement seceded in 1968 to form the Reconstructionist movement, and after the right-wing seceded in 1985 to form the Union for Traditional Judaism. This article refers to Conservative (Masorti) Judaism in the United States. ... Reform Judaism can refer to (1) the largest denomination of Judaism in America and its sibling movements in other countries, (2) a branch of Judaism in the United Kingdom, and (3) the historical predecessor of the American movement that originated in 19th Century Germany. ...


In 1988, the Leadership Council of Conservative Judaism finally issued an official statement of belief, "Emet Ve-Emunah: Statement of Principles of Conservative Judaism". It noted that a Jew must hold certain beliefs. However, the Conservative rabbinate also notes that the Jewish community never developed any one binding catechism. Thus, Emet Ve-Emunah affirms belief in God and in God's revelation of Torah to the Jews; however it also affirms the legitimacy of multiple interpretations of these issues. Atheism, Trinitarian views of God, and polytheism are all ruled out. All forms of relativism, and also of literalism and fundamentalism are also rejected. It teaches that Jewish law is both still valid and indispensable, but also holds to a more open and flexible view of how law has and should develop than the Orthodox view. Codex Manesse, fol. ... In comparative religion, fundamentalism has come to refer to several different understandings of religious thought and practice, through literal interpretation of religious texts such as the Bible or the Quran and sometimes also anti-modernist movements in various religions. ... Halakha (Hebrew: הלכה; also transliterated as Halakhah, Halacha, Halakhot and Halachah) is the collective corpus of Jewish religious law, including biblical law (the 613 mitzvot) and later talmudic and rabbinic law as well as customs and traditions. ...


Dogma in Reform Judaism

Reform Judaism has had a number of official platforms, but in contrast to rabbinic Judaism, rejects the view that Jews must have any beliefs, other than rejecting Christianity. The first Reform Jewish platform was the 1885 Declaration of Principles, the Pittsburgh Platform. The next platform was in 1937, "The Guiding Principles of Reform Judaism". The Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) rewrote its principles in 1976 with its "Centenary Perspective" and rewrote them again in the 1999 "A Statement of Principles for Reform Judaism" (3 pages). While original drafts of the 1999 statement called for Reform Jews to consider re-adopting some traditional practices on a voluntary basis, later drafts removed most of these suggestions. The final version is thus similar to the 1976 statement. According to CCAR, personal autonomy still has precedence over these platforms; lay people need not accept all, or even any, of the beliefs stated in these platforms. Reform Judaism can refer to (1) the largest denomination of Judaism in America and its sibling movements in other countries, (2) a branch of Judaism in the United Kingdom, and (3) the historical predecessor of the American movement that originated in 19th Century Germany. ... Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on Jesus of Nazareth, and on his life and teachings as presented in the New Testament. ...


Reform Rabbi W. Gunther Plaut writes "there is no such thing as a Jewish theological principle, policy, or doctrine." This is because Reform Judaism affirms "the fundamental principle of Liberalism: that the individual will approach this body of mitzvot and minhagim in the spirit of freedom and choice. Traditionally Israel started with harut, the commandment engraved upon the Tablets, which then became freedom. The Reform Jew starts with herut, the freedom to decide what will be harut - engraved upon the personal Tablets of his life." [Bernard Martin, Ed., Contemporary Reform Jewish Thought, Quadrangle Books 1968.] Rabbi (Classical Hebrew רִבִּי ribbī;; modern Ashkenazi and Israeli רַבִּי rabbī) in Judaism, means teacher, or more literally great one. The word Rabbi is derived from the Hebrew root-word RaV, which in biblical Hebrew means great or distinguished, (in knowledge). In the ancient Judean schools (and among Sefaradim today) the sages... W. Gunther Plaut (born November 1, 1912) is a Rabbi of Reform Judaism and author. ...


Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) President Rabbi Simeon J. Maslin wrote a pamphlet about Reform Judaism, entitled "What We Believe...What We Do...". It states that "if anyone were to attempt to answer these two questions authoritatively for all Reform Jews, that person's answers would have to be false. Why? Because one of the guiding principles of Reform Judaism is the autonomy of the individual. A Reform Jew has the right to decide whether to subscribe to this particular belief or to that particular practice."


Dogma in Reconstructionist Judaism

Reconstructionist Judaism is an American denomination that has a naturalist theology; this theology is a variant of the naturalism of John Dewey. Dewey's naturalism combined atheist beliefs with religious terminology in order to construct a religiously satisfying philosophy for those who had lost faith in traditional religion. Reconstructionism denies that God is either personal or supernatural. Rather, God is said to be the sum of all natural processes that allow man to become self-fulfilled. Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan wrote that "to believe in God means to take for granted that it is man's destiny to rise above the brute and to eliminate all forms of violence and exploitation from human society." Reconstructionist Judaism is a movement of Judaism with a very liberal set of beliefs: an individuals personal autonomy should generally override traditional Jewish law and custom, yet also take into account communal consensus, modern culture is accepted, traditional rabbinic modes of study, as well as modern scholarship and critical... John Dewey (October 20, 1859 – June 1, 1952) was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer, whose thought has been greatly influential in the United States and around the world. ... God is the deity believed by monotheists to be the supreme reality. ... Rabbi Mordecai Menahem Kaplan (June 11, 1881- November 8, 1983) founded Reconstructionist Judaism. ...


Most Reconstructionist Jews reject theism, and instead define themselves as naturalists or humanists. These views have been criticized on the grounds that they are actually atheism, which has only been made palatable to Jews by rewriting the dictionary. A significant minority of Reconstructionists have refused to accept Kaplan's theology, and instead affirm a theistic view of God.


As in Reform Judaism, Reconstructionist Judaism holds that personal autonomy has precedence over Jewish law and theology. It does not ask that its adherents hold to any particular beliefs, nor does it ask that halakha be accepted as normative. In 1986, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (RRA) and the Federation of Reconstructionist Congregations (FRC) passed the official "Platform on Reconstructionism" (2 pages). It is not a mandatory statement of principles, but rather a consensus of current beliefs. [FRC Newsletter, Sept. 1986, pages D, E.] Major points of the platform state that: Halakha (Hebrew: הלכה; also transliterated as Halakhah, Halacha, Halakhot and Halachah) is the collective corpus of Jewish religious law, including biblical law (the 613 mitzvot) and later talmudic and rabbinic law as well as customs and traditions. ...

  • Judaism is the result of natural human development. There is no such thing as divine intervention.
  • Judaism is an evolving religious civilization.
  • Zionism and aliyah (immigration to Israel) are encouraged.
  • The laity can make decisions, not just rabbis.
  • The Torah was not inspired by God; it only comes from the social and historical development of Jewish people.
  • All classical views of God are rejected. God is redefined as the sum of natural powers or processes that allows mankind to gain self-fulfillment and moral improvement.
  • The idea that God chose the Jewish people for any purpose, in any way, is "morally untenable", because anyone who has such beliefs "implies the superiority of the elect community and the rejection of others". This puts Reconstructionist Jews at odds with all other Jews, as it seems to accuse all other Jews of being racist. Jews outside of the Reconstructionist movement strenuously reject this charge.

Chosen People refers to a group of people who have been chosen by G-d to act as G-ds agent on earth. ...

References

  • Blech, Benjamin Understanding Judaism: The Basics of Deed and Creed Jason Aronson; 1992, ISBN 0-876682-91-3.
  • Boteach, Shmuel Wisdom, Understanding, and Knowledge: Basic Concepts of Hasidic Thought Jason Aronson; 1995. Paperback. ISBN 0-876685-57-2
  • Dorff, Elliot N. and Louis E. Newman (eds.) Contemporary Jewish Theology: A Reader Oxford Univ Press; 1998. ISBN 0-195114-67-1.
  • Dorff, Elliot N. Conservative Judaism: Our Ancestors to Our Descendants (Revised edition) United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, 1996
  • Platform on Reconstructionism FRC Newsletter, Sept. 1986
  • Fox, Marvin Interpreting Maimonides, Univ. of Chicago Press. 1990
  • Robert Gordis (Ed.) Emet Ve-Emunah: Statement of Principles of Conservative Judaism JTS, Rabbinical Assembly, and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, 1988
  • Julius Guttman, Philosophies of Judaism Translated by David Silverman, JPS, 1964
  • Maimonides' Principles: The Fundamentals of Jewish Faith, in "The Aryeh Kaplan Anthology, Volume I", Mesorah Publications 1994
  • Kaplan, Mordecai M. Judaism as a Civilization Reconstructionist Press, New York. 1935. Jewish Publication Society; 1994
  • Dogma in Medieval Jewish Thought, Menachem Kellner, Oxford University press, 1986
  • Maslin, Simeon J., Melvin Merians and Alexander M. Schindler, What We Believe...What We Do...: A Pocket Guide for Reform Jews UAHC Press, 1998
  • Maimonides Thirteen Principles: The Last Word in Jewish Theology? Marc. B. Shapiro, The Torah U-Maddah Journal, Vol. 4, 1993, Yeshiva University
  • Shapiro, Marc The Limits of Orthodox Theology: Maimonidies' Thirteen Principles Reappraised The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization; 2004, ISBN 1-874774-90-0.

Shmuley Boteach (born November 19, 1966) is an American rabbi, radio show host, and author. ... Rabbi Mordecai Menahem Kaplan (June 11, 1881- November 8, 1983) founded Reconstructionist Judaism. ...

External links

  • What We Believe - Essays on the fundamental principles of faith from chabad.org

 
 

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