On "earning salvation" - that was what I was always taught as I grew up Jewish, and also that studying torah was not, in fact neccessary as long as you followed all the important laws. There's also a lot more varied and infinitely strange ideas about death and reincarnation and the Messiah and so forth in a lot of sects of Judaism. It always seemed to me that even though there were 7 billion different types of Christian, they all seemed more unified in their beliefs than the 3 or 4 different types (maybe "degrees" is a better word) of Jew.
And I think the cultural aspects are pretty unique, in particular some Jewish customs followed by more orthodox Jews are incredibly archaic since they take the OT much more literally than Christians. But I'm sure there's some archaic practices in Christianity too, that I don't know so much about.
Moishe, you give an unfair representation of conservative Judaism. The fact is that despite its many more reform members, the movement itself encourages working with the law rather than throwing it away. Its roots are both in the orthodox and reform movements, people coming together from all sides. Kashrut and Shabbat, among other things, are observed in a conservative home that stands by the movement's values. I'm still exploring these things, as I was brought up in a more culturally Jewish home, as I try to find where I fit. Tzniut is also an issue, the difference being what is considered appropriate. Issues between the orthodox and conservative movements usually have to do with different rulings on halacha.
So beards were shaved off; modern dress was put on; services were changed from Shabbos (Saturday) to Sunday. Services were done in the native language of the country where Jews lived.
I think this can end up being a neat thread, along with the other two.
I can't come to the threads with much knowledge of Jewish life/history, except from a Christian viewpoint--but I guess, if everyone brings their own particular viewpoint, this could prove interesting.
As a Christian, I was taught that Jews are God's chosen people, they were constantly disappointing God--but this was likely due to their impossible laws. And, it was largely due to their inability to please Him, that He decided to become human, and relieve them of the burden of having to earn their salvation. He earned it for them.
In roughspeak, Jesus was Plan B--or a fair social program for all of us heathens, who just couldn't meet the initial mark.
The salvation aspect, I guess, is the big thing. Jews, as I understand, must earn their salvation through works, while Christians have to accept it, through faith.
Hope you gets lots of responses.
Well, as you all are engaging in a civil exchange, I have little to offer in terms of "corrections." Dauer seems to basically have it right.
I am not sure that the idea of everyone going to Gehinnom is accurate.
The idea is that the mitzvohs of a Jew are weighed against his aveirahs (sins) and if mitzvohs outweigh the aveirahs, he goes on the the Heavenly World.
However, Judaism is resplendent with the idea that G-d's mercy is overwhelming and it is Hashem's (G-d's) wish that everyone enter the Heavenly world.
The idea being that one really only ends up in Gehinnom if one is really deserving due to having been pretty bad in Life.
However, these are still very loose concepts that are not as clearly defined as they might be in Christianity.
This world is called Olam Hazeh and it is considered the world of illusion or false values.
The next world (or previous one) is called Olam Habah and it is considered the real world.
Just food for thought.
Now, I offer my semi-educated, very cryptic, OPINION on what Judaism means.
It's all about the Jews.
All of History. All of world events. All of what happens. Is centered on Israel.
It is a bizarre and often frightening thought, but, through my own observations, I have found this to be true.
As Tevya said, in "Fiddler on the Roof:" G-d, I know we're the Chosen People, but once in a while, couldn't you choose somebody else?
I find no other explanation for the total obsession with Jews, with Israel, with Judaism for the entire history of Man.
It makes no sense otherwise.
Jews are Chosen by G-d and our mission, should we decide to accept it, is to do what G-d has commanded us to do.....Otherwise....
This nation will self destruct in five minutes.
Moishe3rd wrote:So beards were shaved off; modern dress was put on; services were changed from Shabbos (Saturday) to Sunday. Services were done in the native language of the country where Jews lived.
Did the shaving off of the beards really only began when Reform Judaism saw daylight? For what I know the Netherlands had no history of Reform (Liberal) Judaism before Jewish refugees from Germany came to my country in the 30's, setting up the first congregations (many of which sadly were soon destroyed in WW II; however, in the 50's Dutch Jews decided to 'give it a try' and now the Liberal communities are the fasted growing Jewish communities in the Netherlands - for what I know -, with main centres in places like Rotterdam and Tilburg). Taking that in consideration though, the look of the Dutch Jews at that moment - both Ashkenazi as well as Sefardic - was as, well, how the rest of the population looked like. Although it's just a small detail, but did the shaving off of the beards really started with Reform Judaism in Germany?
Daur - I don't know a whole lot about the history of reform Judaism, only how it's practiced now. I guess that would explain why a lot of orthodox and conservative Jews seem to think that reform Jews aren't really Jews somehow. It mostly seems to be arguments about little things like whether it's ok to play music for some of the songs or eat things at a restaurant that might not have some rabbi's stamp of approval on them. There's no law in the torah against playing music, and I personally think the kashrut laws have been way over-interpreted. The actual wording is about boiling a calf in it's mother's milk. Nothing about calves boiled in ANY milk, or being served with milk products, or anything about turkeys or chikens. But since I've pretty much stopped keeping kosher or being Jewish at all, it probably doesn't matter what I think about it. Mmmmm, shrimp.
The first note of clarification needs to be that the objective of God's commandments is not the betterment of society as a whole or how we might appear to others, but rather how the mitzvot (commandments) speak to us personally, and how they enhance and promote the requisite spiritual growth of the individual who observes them.
A mitzvah (commandment) is a communication between the 'Metzvave,' the Commander (God), and the person who has wisely chosen to observe His expressed will, thereby forging a personal relationship with the Master of the universe. Society and the people around us are merely incidental and peripheral to the process.
Philosophically, the issue at hand is the existential struggle between focusing on the external or the internal dimensions of life. The external is the physical, material world of appearances that incessantly and compellingly beckons to us. This includes the never-ending drive to sate our appetites. It encompasses the needs of eating, drinking, sleeping, clothing ourselves, careers, acquisition of money, buying bigger and more beautiful homes, cars, vacations etc, etc. All of these drives are part of the world of the proverbial hunt. Arguably, the pursuit of the blandishments of the external world can be all consuming and, as such, can conceivably take us far off course from a life of purpose and meaning.
The internal world is the world of the spirit. Its voice is quieter and its demands on the human being more subtle and admittedly drowned out by the loud chatter of external pressures. But to ignore the needs of the soul is to ultimately deny one's raison d'etre -- the reason for being on this earth.
So no, the shaving of the beards did not start with Reform Jews in Germany. It was simply part of the process.
What does the "average" Jewish person think of Jesus?
What was he? A misguided lunatic troublemaker? Just another false prophet? Or maybe just a guy that said some stuff, had a few followers, and got himself killed?
Are their any Jewish sects that think of Jesus as any more than just another average human being? Hmmm....did a search on google and it appears there is at least a few groups that call themselves Jewish & "Believe in Jesus as Messiah." Not sure how mainstream Jewish folk feel about such groups, though.
Do "most" Jewish people believe there is a messiah coming in the future?
I realize these answers may be found in texts, but I am interested more in what most living Jewish people actually believe...
Would you say most Jewish people believe that a Messiah will come one day?