RELI 448N Discussion Judaism

Sample Answer for RELI 448N Discussion Judaism Included After Question

Initial Post Instructions

For the initial post, respond to only one of the following options:

Option 1

For this option, address the following:

  1. Choose two (2) of the following terms: Orthodox Judaism, Hassidic Judaism, Reform Judaism, and Conservative Judaism.
  2. Briefly explain these two terms.
  3. Describe where and how they originally developed and identify their similarities and differences.
  4. Explain one contemporary issue that challenges each of your chosen religious traditions.

Option 2

The destruction of the 2nd Temple in Jerusalem marks a major shift in the history and character of Judaism. For this option, address the following:

  1. Describe the Jewish concept of Messiah and what Jews expected of their Messiah. How is Messiah understood before and after the second temple destruction?
  2. What characterized Jewish practice before the destruction of the 2nd Temple?
  3. What characterizes Jewish practice after the Temple’s destruction?
  4. Explain one contemporary issue that challenges Judaism today.


A Sample Answer For the Assignment: RELI 448N Discussion Judaism

Title: RELI 448N Discussion Judaism

Orthodox Judaism refers to traditional Judaism. This is the most interesting to me. This type of Judaism originated in Europe and is how Judaism was initially intended to be. However, because Jews were persecuted for their religious. beliefs under the reign of Hitler, much of the Judaism community was destroyed. There are two separate categories in Orthodox Judaism, one is called integrationists. These particular types of people are those who want to exist and contribute to a role in civil society. Then there are separatists. These are people who want to live their lifestyle away from society (Molloy, M. (2012).

In orthodox judaism, men seem to be more privileged than females, at least coming from a 2020 perspective. The religious services are conducted only by male rabbi’s. Only males are given bar mitzvah’s to celebrate their coming of age. The men are considered the workers and providers while the women maintain the homestead and tend to the children. On the day of the sabbath, no manual labor is allowed. This means no cooking, no cleaning, no talking on the phone, no electricity, etc. (Molloy, M. (2012).

Conservative Judaism- is for those who believe that the beliefs of orthodox judaism, are just far too radical. These people want to branch out and live their lives still practicing much of the religion, just with some changes. For example, some of them still want the religious ceremonies performed in Hebrew. This type of practice originated in Germany but has a more dense population here in the US.

A similarity between the two of these is that both of them still hold the importance of their religion closely. They both still honor and practice Judaism. However, one of them wants to follow it to a T, and one does not. One may want to practice observing the sabbath and one may not choose to participate in that. 

A contemporary issue that I think could arise from Conservative Judaism, is sticking to it (The Challenge of Assimilation. (n.d.). There is a large risk that the more relaxed people become within their religion, the less they will actually practice that religion and may potentially become more secularly involved. Judaism may not have a large acceptance rate in the US, and people may feel pressured to conform less to their own beliefs and more to the beliefs of everyone around them. 

The Challenge of Assimilation. (n.d.). Retrieved November 23, 2020, from https://pluralism.org/the-challenge-of-assimilation

Molloy, M. (2012). Experiencing the World’s Religions. [VitalSource Bookshelf]. Retrieved from https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/126039672X/

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A Sample Answer 2 For the Assignment: RELI 448N Discussion Judaism

Title: RELI 448N Discussion Judaism

Another key difference between these three main branches of modern Judaism is in their view of life after death. Dean C. Halverson writes that the Orthodox Jew believes “there will be a physical resurrection. The righteous will exist forever with God in the world to come.” (Halverson, 1996.) This view, as you may be aware, is very much in line with what Christians hold. However, when it comes to the views of life after death among the other two branches, things change significantly.

RELI 448N Discussion Judaism
RELI 448N Discussion Judaism

Conservative and Reform Jews tend to share the same view, and that view is that there is no personal life after death. This belief obviously has a big impact on what happens to the individual after they die, but it also has a major impact on what the goal in life is for these Jews. Halverson adds that for the Conservative and Reform Jew “a person lives on in the accomplishments or in the minds of others.” (Halverson, 1996). Therefore, what is most important for these Jews is the legacy they leave behind.

Halverson, D. (1996). The Compact Guide To World Religions. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House.

A Sample Answer 3 For the Assignment: RELI 448N Discussion Judaism

Title: RELI 448N Discussion Judaism

I have to say that it not only happens to Conservative Judaism. I am a non practicing Catholic. I do pray at home, and try to follow lent and the fact that we are suppose to fast as well as no meat. Unfortunately once I moved away from my family it just did not seem as important to continue with all of the practices. In Judaism it appears to be even harder because of all of their restrictions and strict rules.

As for the not cooking on the Sabbath, I for one would be all over that because it means a whole day of relaxation for me. I appreciate the Orthodox Judaism because of their being so traditional and wanting to exist and contribute to a role in civil society but I’m leaning more towards the Conservative Judaism because I am for less radicalism. I loved your discussion. Thank you.

I chose Reform Judaism and Conservative Judaism. Both forms of religion are quite similar actually. Reform Judaism started in Germany for a need to survive. It is very different from orthodox Judaism and many reforms came very quickly once a family adopted this new culture. Reform Judaism believes that change is necessary for the culture to survive for the current times. It is okay to question and challenge beliefs and women are treated as equally as men.

In the synagogue, both Hebrew and the original language can be spoken, and women can become rabbis as well as celebrate their own bat mitzvah (Molloy, 2020). “Reform Judaism has enabled the Jewish people to introduce innovation while preserving tradition; to embrace diversity while asserting commonality; to affirm beliefs without rejecting those who doubt; and to bring faith to sacred texts without sacrificing critical scholarship” (“What is Reform Judaism, n.d.).

Conservative Judaism also stemmed from Germany, but reform Judaism was too progressive for these families to take on. This stem of Judaism became very popular in the U.S.  They too believed Orthodox Judaism is too unchanging and change should be accepted but not as quickly as Reform Judaism. “Thus this branch of Judaism accepts change, but it uses study and discussion to guide change carefully. In the United States, almost half of all practicing Jews belong to this branch” (Molloy, 2020).

Both of these branches accept change and believe the culture can be guided for the new times. However, Conservative Judaism came a little before Reform Judaism in the early 1800’s they both began and coexisted quite close to each other in time. The main difference being, Conservative Judaism takes a little more of a stronghold in original Jewish traditions and customs whereas Reform Judaism does as well, they are more willing to change and accept the new comings of the times and change with it. This is because they believe the Torah is always living and able to change.

A contemporary issue for Reform Judaism is that it is a radical movement and there are many different branches of Judaism. Many Jews live in the U.S. and Israel, and they don’t want the different branches to not accept each other and grow farther apart. “History will judge our generation. Did we learn lessons of the past? Did we overcome our differences? It requires everybody to be in this dialogue, and it requires respecting everyone around the table equally.” (Herzog, 2019). This comes from the Jewish leader of the Agency of Israel. This is his number one worry about contemporary issues.

A current issue for Conservative Judaism is kind of similar to the above. People believe Conservative Judaism is too conservative now. They do not allow intermarriages and believe that there is too much polarization between the cultures already. It is a belief that there are and/or will be culture wars between the branches.

References

Herzog, I. (2019). These are the main challenges of global judaism today. Retrieved from https://reformjudaism.org/blog/these-are-main-challenges-global-judaism-todayLinks to an external site.

Molloy, M. (2020). Experiencing the world’s religions – tradition, challenge, and change (8th ed.). 2 Penn Plaza, New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

What is reform judaism? Retrieved from https://reformjudaism.org/what-reform-judaismLinks to an external site.

A Sample Answer 4 For the Assignment: RELI 448N Discussion Judaism

Title: RELI 448N Discussion Judaism

Reform Judaism “began in Germany out of a desire of some Jews to leave ghetto life completely and enter the mainstream of European culture.” (Molloy, 2020 p. 310) Moses Mendelssohn argued for “human dignity, equality, individual liberty, democracy, secular education, and the development of science” (Molloy, 2020 p. 310). Overall, reform Judaism is a religious movement that has abandoned a variety of traditional Jewish beliefs, laws, and practices based on the changing world of social, political and cultural beliefs.

Because of this reform, every belief can possibly be questioned. For an example, as an Jew one can come from a family of the same sex or be a Jew of color, or Jews with disabilities, there is no discrimination which is why the reform was created. Reform’s practice includes reflection, study, worship, and ritual when it comes to their belief system and how they worship God.

“Hasidic Judasim is an Orthodox spiritual revivalist movement that emerged in Eastern Europe in the 18th century. Followers of Hasidic Judaism (known as Hasidim, or “pious ones”) drew heavily on the Jewish mystical tradition in seeking a direct experience of God through ecstatic prayer and other rituals conducted under the spiritual direction of a Rebbe” (My Jewish Learning, 2020). Although, Hasidic movement emerged in the 1800s, it was founded in 1700. “Hasidism emphasized the beauty of everyday life and the physical world, teaching that “only in tangible things can you see or hear God.” (Molloy, 2020 p 297). Hasidism stressed the importance of having joy, faith, and prayer accompanied by song and dance which provides positive service to God and uplifting for ones sole.

 The difference between Hasidic and Reform Judaism, is that reform welcomes everyone and allows no discrimination, while Hasidism focuses on prayer and worship. The similarities are that both types worship God and believes in God. In the Hasidic culture, the men wear long black frock coats and hats, a fur hat is worn on the Sabbath day which is Saturday. Black outerwear and whit shirts are standard for men and long sleeve high neck clothing for women. In the Reform culture, men and women wear a thin skullcap which is also called a kippah which shows respect for God.

The contemporary issue that challenges Reform Judaism is that there is no central decision-making person that has authority to make policies binding. The contemporary issue that challenges Hasidic Judaism is that once a person leaves the Hasidic community they are faced with awkwardness and a new way of life.

Fatimah Williams-Terry

References:

Molloy, M. (2020). Experiencing the world’s religions: Tradition, challenge, and change (8th ed.). McGraw-Hill

https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/hasidic-movement-a-history/Links to an external site.

A Sample Answer 5 For the Assignment: RELI 448N Discussion Judaism

Title: RELI 448N Discussion Judaism

While researching reform Judaism I found not only do they differ in how they dress, but also entirely how they practice their faith.  Reform Jews that I spoke to this week told me they only go to Temple on the holidays.  They do not follow a strict kosher diet and they are very inclusive in their community.  They allow intermarriage, interracial families, and embrace the LGTB community. Whereas In the Hassidic community they are very exclusive.

I found myself very drawn to Reform Judaism because of its inclusiveness. I struggle with my own Christian faith for a time, because they also were very exclusive min their teachings.  For example, there was a period where my church became very vocal about marriage being between a man and a woman.  I had a hard time reconciling this because I always believed God is Love and why would he be against any two people who professed to love one another.  

Judaism has four separate branches. These four branches are: Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist. After reading about these, I found two that stood out to me. Those two, were Orthodox Judaism and Conservative Judaism. Orthodox Judaism, separates males and females within their synagogues, all services are conducted in Hebrew by males. Men keep a covering over their heads like a hat or shawl. The reason that they keep their head covered is because it is a reminder to them that God is above all. Only men are able to to celebrate their coming-of-age ceremonies. Men, are always the breadwinners and women are responsible for caring for the household. Orthodox Judists, are a very small minority and originated in Europe  (Molloy, 2020, pg. 310).

Reform Judaism, has separate characteristics from Orthodox Judaism. It first began in Germany. Within Reform Judaism, men and women sit together in their synagogues. Services, are conducted in not only just Hebrew but also native languages. There are no different ways of dressing for Reform Judaism. With Reform Judaism, there are no specific cultural ways to dress. Both men and women also, are able to become rabbis and have coming-of-age ceremonies (Molloy, 2020, pg. 312-313). 

I believe that one contemporary issue would be equality. With different branches of Judaism, each branch has separate issues. Between the two, they have separate beliefs when it comes to equality. Men, are no longer the only breadwinners in the family. Women are able to make money as well. Men and women are equal when it comes to households. I remember watching a show on Orthodox Judaism, and it was exactly how the book explains it. Women, stayed at home and basically obeyed their spouse. Women didn’t go out much, and men made all of the decisions. Being able to compare this to the book, was very interesting. 

Molloy, M. (2020). Experiencing the world’s religions: Tradition, challenge, and change (8th ed.). McGraw-Hill