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Coursework Example on Jewish Society and Religion

7 pages
1751 words
George Washington University
Type of paper: 
Course work
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Discuss Jewish attitudes towards national sovereignty in the period between 200 B.C.E and 200 C.E.

Christianity is a unique religion. The Jewish created a very self-motivated religion, whose vast potentialities could produce different systems of thought. During this period, the Jewish faith on the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ, gave a different meaning to obeying the law. At that time, the Jewish family was still roughly united and its religion forecast a restoration of the Messianic rules and laid down ground-rules for the structure of the priestly hierarchy.

For the authors of classical rabbinic literature, there is no fundamental conflict between Law and Spirit. Discuss.

The classical rabbinic literature believed that the divine presence is encountered mainly within history. These authors believe that spirits are experienced within the ordinary kingdom but the intimate revelation occurs in human activities. Although other early communities also observed a heavenly presence in the past, the earliest Israelites understandings demonstrated to be influential. However, the way people conducts themselves expresses their spiritual state. Through spirituality, people are able to identify themselves and the new principles of life. That sense of things is reinforced by reflection on oneself and the ability to follow the requirements of the law willingly and abide by the law. Spirituality expresses nature transformed by the actions of the Spirit but in between there is law. There is a sense in that the law already reveals some judgment of obstructed encouragements theologized as the encouragement of the spirit.

What were the key differences between Pharisees and Sadducees? How do we know this?

The main difference between the Pharisees and the Sadducees was mainly in the understanding of the Torah function in the Jewish society. Pharisees leaders were known as Rabbi while most of the Sadducees worked as priests. The Pharisees belonged to the middle class Jewish families that upheld Mosaic Law and they believed that God provided both the oral and written law to the Jews. In contrast, the Sadducees belonged to the lower class Jewish families that were exposed to more nonspiritual education and they believed that the Torah also referred to written law, were Gods will to show his divine authority to the Jewish people. Unlike the Pharisees who believed in heaven and hell, and taught that humans will be judged on the work they did after their physical death, the Sadducees did not believe in resurrection after death. Lastly, the Pharisees believed that a messiah would be born in Jerusalem to rule and bring unity and peace among the Jewish, and that they every situation in peoples lives are influenced by a divine power whereas the Sadducees did not believe in a coming Messiah, and assumed that people have the willpower and the ability to create their own situations.

What should be considered in discussing the origins of Judaism and Christianity?

While discussing the origin of the two religions, it is important to pay close attention to what is disclosed in their holy books. By doing so, it will be easier to understand if their holy books relate to each other in any way. Secondly, people can consider what the religion authorities say about these religions to acknowledge if the religion authorities recognize their beliefs. Finally, they can consider what the religions have to say about religious practice, the nature of man and God, and the path of salvation.

What is the historical significance of Yavneh?

Yavneh is one the oldest cities in Israel which served various purposes in the ancient times. The city is believed to be located in the middle of the country in which it acted a central point for the people of Israel for many years. As such, it is certain that it has a lot of historical significance to the people of Israel. Yavneh is mentioned several times in the Bible as most of the King in Israel was living around that city. In most cases, it acted a trading center for both the Israelites and the people who were coming to trade with them. Since it was the central place of the country, it was also acted as a place for worship among the Israelites. In fact, a huge temple is believed to have been constructed in that region in which people from the north and the south used to meet to worship their God. Another historical significance about Yavneh is the fact that Bronze was obtained in that place. Bronze was an important natural resource during that period in which it was used to serve various purposes. Even the Kings were looking for Bronze to build some of their architectural designs.

There appears to be an interesting correlation between the absence of women leaders in the synagogues of Palestine and Babylonia and the authority of the rabbis in these [places]. Discuss

During that period, the rights of women were being undermined. In fact, both the Palestines and the Babylonians did not respect the rights of women to lead any religious function. Most of the religious doctrines put men as a superior gender in which resulted to the undermining of the women community. In most cases, the role of women was to take care of the children while their husband was trying to provide for the family. As such, the women were not involved in any religious activities. They were just to stay at home and take care of the children and all the properties owned by their husband. That was why was impossible to find women in the synagogue leading any religious functions.

Discuss the historical significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The historical significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls based on ether reports. One of the significance was the fact that they contained a lot of information about what was happening in the past. This includes information relating to the religious aspects that were practice in the past. However, most of those Dead Sea scrolls were destroyed as they gave a varying opinion about certain religious issues. The people who destroyed them believed that it would change the mind of the people about certain events that happened in the past. Another historical significance was the fact that they gave answers to some of the architecture found in different parts of the world.

How does Schwartz support his argument that "quite a lot of ...distinctive Jewish culture was... repackaged Christianity"?

One of how Schwartz supports his argument that "quite a lot of ...distinctive Jewish culture was... repackaged Christianity was the use of the traditional forms of worshiping compared to the modern forms of worshiping. It is evident that most of how the Jewish used to worship are similar to the way modern Christian still worship. In fact, some of the traditional forms of worship have been shaped to fit in the new system. Another evident was the Bible in which he explained that most of the Jewish were following the Old Testament in which the Christians came after the death of Jesus on the Cross and ascending to heaven. Based on that information, he claimed that both the Christians and the Jewish were using the same doctrine for their religious references. Another evidence was the story that as found in both the Jewish community and the modern Christians. Based on the information provided, most of the Christians believe the stories that were told about the Jewish traditions.

The Jewish, being the descendants of Abraham had the same ethnicity and cultural beliefs and moral values. Since they were all related by blood, they took it as an opportunity to settle down with their families in the land that they were given by their father. The Jewish now had to protect their promised land. Since they had stayed together for a long time, they had the same cultures and customs and knowing about the Promised Land, they thought it as grounds to practice their social beliefs without worrying about any consequence.

The Jewish understanding of nationhood offered them with a problem in regard to the Palestinians. Owing to the fact that Israel which is the Promised Land has granted some of its citizens that are non-Jewish, there are critics that maligned it on different grounds. The Palestinians, have a stronger claim over the same land that is very much boasted. Palestinian nationalism was vying for their separate place in the same land as the Israelites. Every now and then the two fight over the land which the Palestinians claim to have inhabited even before the Israelites arrived (Clancy 54).

Ever since, there has not been peace between the Israelites and the Palestinians as both parties want right over land. There have been wars a number of times but what is needed is decisive leadership that will emanate from both of the sides and yet still compromises will have to be made in that regard. Israel has not been safe and it will be much safer if a viable Palestinian state is achieved. The changes, which that have taken place in the history have been initiated for freedom for the ordinary people.

Discuss the historical importance of Yochanan ben ZakkaiYochanan ben Zakkai is one of the most remembered Jewish religious leaders who played a major role in shaping the Jewish culture. Based on the information form people who knew him, he was never found doing anything apart from reading books. As such, he passed serve to teach to the religiosity leaders. One of the significance roes was the parts of teaching the Jewish on the matter regarding the law. One of his major teachings was about the infinity of God. He tried to teach people about the nature of God.

In what ways was Jewish society of the period between 300 BCE and 200 CE Hellenistic? Or was it Hellenistic at all?

One of how the Jewish were in that period of Hellenistic was the fact that they tried to adopt other cultures. The period was marked by a great prosperity due to the treading activities that were conducted in the region. People from different parts of the world were traveling to conduct business. As such, it led to mixing culture among the people.

Were the rabbis Pharisees?

According to the Jewish religious books, the Rabbis were considering to be Pharisee. The definition of Pharisee carding to the region boss was the person who knew a lot about the law. Since the Rabbi was the teachers of the law, they were one and the same. Most of the Pharisee was involved in teaching the people about the law.


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