Unformatted text preview: World Religions: Judaism Why put Judaism first?
Because…of the top three, this is
where it all began…4000 years
We’ll start with the study of Jewish
history . . . This one’s a bit long,
but that’s because they’re the
first and have the longest history • You can figure out a lot about a people/nation/religion by knowing a
bit about its history . . . Just like knowing a person’s background goes
a long to understanding that person
• It’s also very important to our other religions, so we need to set the
stage History of Judaism
◆ In remote ancient times– 4000 years ago and beyond – a majority of
people believed there were a lot of different gods or goddesses that
controlled things—”polytheism” (though there is some debate about
◆ This would change, though, after the influence of a man named “Abraham”
(originally Abram) • A word on ”Polytheism” and other “theisms”
• ”Theos” in Greek means “God” . . . ”Poly” means “many” . . . So ”many gods”
• Other ”theisms”
• Pantheism—Everything is God and God is everything (God=everything)
• Panentheism—Everything in the world is God . . . But God is more than the sum total of
the world (Everything=God but God > everything)
• Monolatry—Belief in many gods, but worship of one above the others
• Monotheism—The belief that there is only one “true” god . . . Pay attention to this one History of Judaism
◆ Let’s turn to the Bible for the story of
◆ The start of Judaism is actually found in the
first five books of the Bible. ◆ These books are called the Torah ◆ Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers,
Deuteronomy (more on this later) The founder of Judaism
◆ A man named Abram (later
changed to Abraham) . . . A
descendent of Noah (of
Noah’s Ark fame)
◆ Has a divine experience in
which he is chosen, given a
commission, and receives
promises ◆ He convinced his immediate
family to stop worshipping
idols and begin following One
God (monotheism) Genesis quote about Abraham’s covenant
with God: Gensis 12: 1-3
• 12 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people
and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
• 2 “I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.[a]
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you. Original covenant promises
• Land (the “promised land” . . . Canaan . . . Would become Israel)
• Abraham’s descendants will be the “chosen people” . . . The Jewish people Jews led to the “Promised Land”
◆ Because their beliefs – in ONE God – were so
out-of-step with everybody else, Abram’s family was
◆ In addition to the persecution, a famine struck the
area. Jews led to the “Promised Land”
◆ God told Abram to leave,
that He would guide them
to a place where they
could practice their faith
◆ This place was called “the
Promised Land” Along the way…
◆ The Jews (as they were now called)
traveled for many years. ◆ Along the way, they settled in Egypt
where they were made to become
slaves to the Egyptian pharaoh.
◆ They didn’t start off as slaves though Egyptian Slavery
◆ While they were slaves, they were
made to work very hard, were
persecuted and mistreated to the
point that many died. Moses
◆ At the time, a new Pharaoh had come into power.
◆ This new Pharaoh decided to kill all the Jewish
newborn boys to keep the Jewish people from coming
◆ Moses was born a Hebrew (Jew) but was given up as
a baby by his mother to protect him from harm. ◆ Moses was placed in a basket
made of reeds and floated across
the Nile River towards the
Pharaoh’s palace. ◆ Later that day, the Princess (the Pharaoh's daughter) came down to
◆ When she saw the baby in the basket, she knew that he was a Jewish
baby and was supposed to be killed.
◆ She took him home anyway, called him Moses, and raised him in the
palace “Essential Story”
◆ Moses grew up as royalty . . . an adopted son of the Pharaoh . . . A
brother to the future Pharaoh
◆ One day, Moses saw an Egyptian hitting a Jew. Moses became angry
and hit the Egyptian back, killing him.
◆ Moses ran away into the desert where he became a shepherd.
◆ Then one day, while tending the sheep, he saw a bush that was
burning. He went to have a closer look, the fire went out, and then… “Essential Story” (cont’d)
◆ …strangely enough, he looked at the
bush and it wasn’t burnt at all.
◆ Suddenly, he heard a voice saying
“Stop! And take your shoes off, for this
is sacred ground." “Essential Story” (cont’d)
◆ God then spoke to Moses and told
him to go back to Egypt, back to the
Pharaoh, and ask him to let the
Jews go free.
◆ Moses did so, but you can imagine
what the Pharaoh’s reply was “Essential Story” (cont’d)
◆ Moses told him if he didn’t comply, God
would punish him severely. ◆ The Pharaoh didn’t care.
◆ The response? ◆ God sent Ten Plagues (bad things) to
happen to Pharaoh and his armies. “Essential Story” (cont’d)
The Ten Plagues of Egypt were as follows:
1st plague: God changed water into blood.
2nd plague: God made frogs appear everywhere.
3rd plague: God put lice everywhere.
4th plague: God sent flies everywhere.
5th plague: All livestock were mysteriously killed. “Essential Story” (cont’d)
The Ten Plagues of Egypt were as follows:
6th plague: The Egyptian people developed weeping sores.
7th plague: Hailstones and fire destroyed crops.
8th plague: God sent locusts to eat the crops
9th plague: Darkness everywhere EXCEPT where the Jews were.
10th plague: The oldest son in every Egyptian family died. • All the Jewish children were spared . . . They had been given
instructions to put the blood of a lamb on their doorposts
• Those with this sign on their doorposts were spared in the final plague
• Remember this detail—this will be important for later rituals in both Judaism and
◆ Pharaoh gave up and allowed the Jews
to leave. ◆ The Jews were so excited to leave that
they didn’t even wait for their bread to
◆ which is why unleavened “flat bread” is so
important to the Jewish story . . . Remember
this detail—it will be important for
understanding “Passover” • The Jews flee Egypt with Moses as their leader
• The Pharaoh has a change of heart and ends up following them
• God/Yahweh parts the “Red Sea” and lets the Hebrews pass through
• The Egyptians try to follow . . . But are consumed by the sea as the parted
waters fall in on them Review of Jewish History so far
• Abram is chosen by God/Yahweh (YHWH)
• Abram’s name is changed to Abraham (a sign of having received a
commission from God) • A covenant is established between God and Abram’s descendants
• Monotheism—worship only one God . . . In exchange for . . .
• Land (promised land)
• Descendants • Abraham takes his band and sets out for the promised land
• The Hebrews end up stuck in Egypt as slaves
• Moses leads the Hebrews out of Egypt (the “Exodus”) ...
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- Fall '15
- Judaism, Moses, Abram