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1 EXAM 03 STUDY GUIDE SOC 367: Religion in America; Spring 2011 SOC 367: Religion in America Exam 03 : Study Guide; Spring 2011 April 5, 2011 – April 28, 2011 Professor Dan Olson WEEK 12: April 05/07 2011 Chapter 09: Living a Jewish Life in the United States 1. Be aware of the differences that Hemeyer describes between being Jewish in a religious, a cultural, and an ethnic sense. In the past, being a religious Jew and an ethnic Jew were closely tied together; Jewish ethnicity meant Jewish religion. This however is not true for all Jews, as the Jewish faith accepts gentile converts. These converts are called “Jews by choice” which is the preferred term for those who choose Judaism rather than being born into the faith. However, once a person becomes a religious Jew, no distinction is made between Jews who are born Jewish and Jews who are not, because in a sense all Jews are Jews by choice since even born Jews have to make the decision to remain Jewish, or convert to another religious affiliation. Religious Jews: Are those who seek a spiritual base in the modern world by living the life of study, prayer, and daily routine dedicated to the proposition that Jewish wisdom through the ages will answer the big question in life. These questions include “Why do people suffer? What is life’s purpose? Is there a God?” Cultural Jews : An individual can be culturally Jewish without claiming religious affiliation. A person is culturally Jewish when they identify with the cultural heritage of Judaism. Ethnic Jews : Are those who have biological ties to Israel. 2. Why does Hemeyer argue that Jews are not a race? Jews are not a race because there are Jews of many races. 3. According to Hemeyer, which is more important to being Jewish, correct belief or correct practices/behavior? Judaism is primarily a religion of action, because it emphasizes proper obedience to the God of the covenant over proper beliefs about God. The majority of Jews in colonial America were Sephardic Jews of Spanish origin who was thoroughly traditional in their religious beliefs and practices. 4. What is the Pentateuch? What is the Torah? What is the Talmud? Pentateuch : The five books which are the core of God’s revelation. Also known as the five books of Moses these include the first five books of the bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Torah : the Jewish bible. Talmud : the written record of several centuries of discussion, interpretation, and commentary on Torah by the earliest rabbis, who were primarily scholars and teachers of Torah.
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2 EXAM 03 STUDY GUIDE SOC 367: Religion in America; Spring 2011 5. What things do Judaism and Christianity hold in common? How are their sacred texts similar? How are they different? What are some of the reasons that the Jewish tradition does not believe Jesus Christ to be the Messiah? Differences between Jews and Christians
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