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Judaism Presentation #1

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John Crow

on 17 June 2015

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Transcript of Judaism Presentation #1

Judaism Presentation #1
The Word

Western religions emphasize and privilege the revelatory text
The ‘word’ matter or thing, from root meaning to arrange
The ‘logos’ – speaker and spoken
The name – the power of language to control and liberate
“And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.”
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Creation of the World by Word
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. (NIV)
A Legacy of Anti-Semitism
What language is and is not acceptable?
Is an ‘us’ and ‘them’ perspective appropriate?
Is the separate status of Judaism, as the chosen people, inherently violent?
Can we make a difference between the person, the religion, the culture, the history, and the nation of Judaism?
In particular to the nation, Israel, is to criticize it the same as criticizing Judaism?
Historical Narrative
Earliest mention of Jews, Egyptian Stele, c. 1230 BCE,Victory Stele of Merneptah
“Israel is laid waste; its seed is no more.”
Historical Narrative
Abraham forms Jewish nation from Isaac, not Ishmael
Jews end up in Egypt in bondage
Exodus – liberates Jews from Egypt, promises land to Jews
Ten Commandments, new covenant
Israelite kings
Historical Narrative
Building of the Temple
Under Solomon, Judea (2 tribes) and Israel (10 tribes) split
Babylonian Diaspora 586 BCE
Babylon conquered by Cyrus 538 BCE
Jews return to Judea
Second Temple built 515 BCE
Alexander III of Macedon (356–323 BCE), Greek influence 331 BCE
Historical Narrative
Greek influence in Jewish culture
Adoption of Greek as primary language
323 Alexander dies in Babylon at age 32.
Two dynasties:
Ptolemies (Egypt)
Among Jews, the high priest becomes the most influential figure.
Seleucids (Syria)
Historical Narrative
Historical Narrative
Antiochus IV (175-164 BCE)
167BCE Antiochus issues a decree abolishing Jewish religion.
He sets up an altars on which pigs are sacrificed.
He outlaws:
owning/copying scriptures
sacrifices to Jehovah
Sabbath and festival observance
He tortures those who practice Judaism or refuse to participate in pagan rituals.
In December, he defiles the temple by offering a sacrifice to Zeus

Maccabean Revolt c. 165 BCE
The rebels successfully wage guerilla warfare on the Syrian forces lead by Antiochus' commander, Lysias
c. 164 BCE The temple is purified
The altar is rebuilt and sacrifices resume
This event is celebrated as the 8 day Feast of Hanukkah
Historical Narrative
Relative independence 156-64 BCE Hasmonean Dynasty
Roman capture of Judea 64 BCE by Pompey
Jews revolt against Romans 66CE
Revolt is crushed and Temple destroyed in 70CE
Historical Narrative
Arch of Titus
After destruction of temple, Jews spread throughout what is now Europe and the Middle East
With emergence of Christianity persecution by Christians increases
With emergence of Islam, Jews find better treatment in Moslem areas than Christian
Christian crusades frequently target Jews
Europe develops a general Anti-Semitism, varying in degrees, that continues to today
Historical Narrative
Full transcript