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Main Notes - Andrew Heisler Main Notes for Jewish Studies...

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Unformatted text preview: Andrew Heisler Main Notes for Jewish Studies 211 Professor: Dr. Rosenblum ( [email protected] ) TA: Kevin ( [email protected] ) Things to think about:- On final, there will be a question, “What is Judaism? Define it”-There will be a “sympathy bank account.” If you are dedicated, there’ll be more sympathy for you if something comes up-Be afraid of quotation marks, aka “scarequotes.” DAY 1 (Introduction) What is religion? • Presumption: it’s a human creation • Not an assumption about the absolute truth of this presumption. • Problems with: o Beliefs o “meaning” in ritual o First Order vs. Second order definitions What’s Judaism? o Normative claims (“us” vs. “them”) o Am Yisrael : biological notion of extended family o “family traditions” o Polythetic definition, o Polythetic (adj)- having many, but not all properties in common o Judaism itself has no history; no “Judaism believes…” statements Essentialism: (something that involves many broad concepts that can be reduced to one important concept) o The “ Adam Sandler Problem ” o In the Hanukkah song, he singles out certain parts of the holiday and leaves out others; not everyone celebrates Hanukkah the same way o Even if people are 25 or 50% Jewish, they are all still connected as Jews o You can’t categorize all Jews as the same because they’re not. Practices are different. Three Maps: 1. Self-identification (people who blatantly say they’re Jewish) 2. Textual Tradition a. Canonical ( definition: appearing in a biblical canon ), ( definition of biblical canon: a list or set of Biblical books considered to be authoritative as scripture by a particular religious community ) b. Conversational 3. Religious Practice DAY 2 (Contemporary Jewish overview) USA Judaism vs. Israeli Judaism: • Most Jews live in Israel and the USA • USA Judaism influenced by the USA; vice-versa for Israeli Judaism Brief History: • 1630- Dutch Jews go to Brazil • 1654- Portugal overtakes Brazil and kicks out the Jews o Some go to New Amsterdam, others to West Indies. Sephradim were first to arrive • USA governmental models affected traditional Jewish ones (democracy) • Judaism: ethnicity or religion? Sephardim vs. Ashkenazim: • Essential essentialism concept • Volunteerism : you have the choice to keep kosher, join a synagogue, etc. • Structures of Judaism needed to adapt • Affected by Christianity, (stores closed on Sundays). Jewish Movements: • The movement takes shape within a distinctly USA milieu • Domino effect: o Reform (1 st ) o Orthodox (2 nd ) fighting the reform o Conservative (3 rd ) “ conservative” in respect to reform o Everyone else (Habad, Hassidim, Reconstructionism) • Reform: o Germany in 1800’s o Synagogues with mixed seating o Hebrew Union College (HUC) in Cincinnati o The Pittsburgh Platform Americanized Judaism (see CJ, p.34-35, #3,4,5 in particular) • Conservative o 1887- Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) o Halakhah (Jewish law) is dynamic, essential...
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Main Notes - Andrew Heisler Main Notes for Jewish Studies...

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