What is Judaism?
Signs and Symbols
Torah, Tanakh, and Talmud
The Tanakh is the Hebrew Bible, consisting of the Torah (the 5 books of Moses), Prophets, and Writings. The Torah is hand written on stitched together parchment paper by a scribe. A Yad (hand) is used by the reader to keep his/her place, you are not supposed to touch the scrolls. One portion of the Torah is read, analyzed and discussed every week, until the end of the year when Jews celebrate Simchat Torah. On this holiday, the very last portion in Deuteronomy of the Torah is read, then the whole Torah is unrolled and the first portion of Genesis is read. All of the interpretations and commentary is contained within the Talmud. The center of the page (red) is the Mishna, ancient oral law, the lower part (yellow) is the Gemara is a collection of scholarly discussion, the right side (blue) is commentary by Rashi one of the most famous French scholars, finally the margins of the page (green) contain commentary from other Rabbi's from the 10th Century onward. The Talmud has 6 sections that cover every aspect of life and religious observance.
Branches of Judaism
The Jewish Diaspora and Persecution
The diaspora of Jews is huge. Jews can be found in every country. Much of this is due to persecution that Jews have faced through the centuries. To help provide some context to the severity of this persecution and for the reasons why, I'll cite some figures.
Between the years 250 CE and 1948 CE - a period of 1,700 years - Jews have experienced more than
Historians have classified six explanations as to why people hate the Jews:
A common saying amongst Jews to summarize the holidays is: "They tried to kill us, we survived, now let's eat." Many of the holidays are centered around an instance in history when Jews' livelihood, religion, and well-being were threatened. When the Jews have prevailed through, we re-live the events as if it actually happened to us. We are supposed to gain a personal understanding of what it was like to live at that time. But of course, after we recognize the suffering of our ancestors (and others still today) we celebrate our survival!
Jews from Around the World!
Presented to Connections and Blog post by Rebecca.
Rabbi Susan Talve spoke to Connections about a wide variety of topics. I will attempt to summarize a few here, though I cannot do her justice in my summary.
Here is some information about Rabbi Susan Talve, and the Central Reform Congregation from their website:
"Central Reform Congregation, a Reform Jewish congregation in St. Louis, Missouri, represents the coming together of a diverse and inclusive group of individuals who accept the responsibility of maintaining a community of respect and friendship.
Through the study of Jewish texts, both ancient and modern, we join together to address questions relevant to the quality of our lives and the lives of all humankind. We maintain an active commitment to tikkun olam, the repair of the world, through social change and social responsibility projects. Central Reform provides a home for us and for our children in which we strive to create an environment of warmth, caring, growth and commitment.
As the only Jewish congregation in the City of St. Louis, CRC has grown to more than 750 households since our founding in 1984. We are a community sharing an ongoing search for Jewish answers to fundamental life questions in a manner in which members and guests can find healing and inspiration.
As a diverse and inclusive community, we seek equal roles for men and women and welcome members of interfaith backgrounds, Jews by choice, members of the gay and lesbian community, singles, and people of all ages. With a commitment to people paramount, member participation is a fundamental cornerstone of our philosophy." http://www.centralreform.org/
Presented to Connections by Rabbi Susan Talve.
Blog post written by Rebecca.
This blog is made to record the information learned at Connections lectures.
All information provided on Connection's web site is provided for information purposes only. Although every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, Connection's makes no guarantees of any kind and cannot be held liable for any outdated or incorrect information.