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.
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