4
   

1. Compare Judaism and Christianity

 
 
extra medium
 
  1  
Thu 12 Aug, 2004 08:33 pm
Interesting.
Is the term "Jew" and "Jews" offensive to Jewish people...what is the most respectful term to use....Jewish?

I mean, if I'm at party (and I'm not Jewish) and say "Oh, yeah, Jim is Muslim, Mark is Christian, and David is a Jew" is that sort of derogatory, or... Is there a term there that is preferred over "Jew?"

need a course here called Getting Along with the Jewish 101 Very Happy
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jespah
 
  1  
Fri 13 Aug, 2004 06:45 am
I think either is fine (Jew or Jewish), it depends on the inflection. I was called a Jew or dirty Jew in 6th grade and it certainly was anything but complimentary.

As for what we think of Jesus, I think most of us think of Jesus the way that most Christians think of Mohammed, as the centerpiece of someone else's faith, and not ours.

The Messiah coming thing is not really central to our faith unless you're ultra-Orthodox or Hassidic. But, it's a given that we don't think the Messiah has yet arrived, though there have been false Messiahs (Sabbatai Zvi is one) throughout history, and people have believed then because, well, they wanted to believe in something good.

... and of course I'm not speaking for every Jew, really just one American Jew brought up as Conservative/Reform.
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extra medium
 
  1  
Fri 13 Aug, 2004 12:02 pm
dauer wrote:
edit again: This is beginning to turn into the place for the Jews to chat and that's really getting away from what I wanted to achieve, so I'd like to pose an interfaith question now:

What does salvation in Judaism look like vs. salvation in Christianity? Is there a need for salvation? What is the role of the messiah and how does this role fit into the greater scheme of things? These issues have been touched upon but because of the major differences I'd like to address them directly and more thoroughly. Hopefully some more Christians will be willing to join in. Yoda? We seek your knowledge o short and greenish one.


I'll submit that a reason Christians and others are hesitant to join in is many may think it will turn into a negative "my religion is better than yours, and, incidentally, yours is screwed" debate.

I think it would be great if we could have an objective comparison of the beliefs of various religions. Everyone would learn and hopefully come to understand others better. Too often, though, people's egos, emotions, fear, and attachments to being "right" gets in the way, and it gets ugly. Also, there seem to be a few on here who are almost like rabid dogs when it comes to religion: one makes a seemingly innocuous statement, and the wolfpack of self-proclaimed experts pounces. Gee, why aren't they lining up to subject themselves to that? Very Happy

Is it possible to have a productive discussion between members of various religions on here without it turning ugly?

jespah & Moishe, thanks for the information!
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Sofia
 
  1  
Fri 13 Aug, 2004 02:04 pm
Yeah to extra medium. It would be great if everyone (Jews and Christians) could feel free to give their insights and viewpoints here without fear of reprisal, argument or backlash. It's gone pretty well so far--but---

Miller-- When I say I learned that the Jews were God's chosen people, please don't tell me what I meant.

If you disagree, or were taught something else, feel free to share what you learned; but I don't think any of us should reprove another's beliefs. We all have varied beliefs here.

I do believe the Jewish people were somehow favored by God. But, in a NT passage, it is written that faith in Christ is the equalizer of all people... I don't mind that others have different beliefs.

Another big thanks to jes and Moishe!
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jespah
 
  1  
Fri 13 Aug, 2004 02:29 pm
Woof, Embarrassed
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Miller
 
  1  
Fri 13 Aug, 2004 02:32 pm
Sofia wrote:
Yeah to extra medium. It would be great if everyone (Jews and Christians) could feel free to give their insights and viewpoints here without fear of reprisal, argument or backlash. It's gone pretty well so far--but---

Miller-- When I say I learned that the Jews were God's chosen people, please don't tell me what I meant.

If you disagree, or were taught something else, feel free to share what you learned; but I don't think any of us should reprove another's beliefs. We all have varied beliefs here.

I do believe the Jewish people were somehow favored by God. But, in a NT passage, it is written that faith in Christ is the equalizer of all people... I don't mind that others have different beliefs.

Another big thanks to jes and Moishe!



You said "were". This I doubt. God favors no one over anyone else.
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Miller
 
  1  
Fri 13 Aug, 2004 02:35 pm
Sofia wrote:
Yeah to extra medium. It would be great if everyone (Jews and Christians) could feel free to give their insights and viewpoints here without fear of reprisal, argument or backlash. It's gone pretty well so far--but---

Miller-- When I say I learned that the Jews were God's chosen people, please don't tell me what I meant.

If you disagree, or were taught something else, feel free to share what you learned; but I don't think any of us should reprove another's beliefs. We all have varied beliefs here.

I do believe the Jewish people were somehow favored by God. But, in a NT passage, it is written that faith in Christ is the equalizer of all people... I don't mind that others have different beliefs.


Another big thanks to jes and Moishe!


In the Rabbinical sense, to a Jew, the use of the word "chosen" means "chosen" by God to receive the Torah. This is what the Rabbis, I've studied with, have said.
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Sofia
 
  1  
Fri 13 Aug, 2004 02:53 pm
Miller--

People here are sharing their opinions and beliefs.

When one comes in and shoots down another's belief, our nice, comfortable discussion turns foul.

Its fine if you doubt my belief. Just frame it that way-- "I doubt that God favors anyone."--Rather than telling me what "I meant" by what I said.

Hope you understand the difference.

Would really like to keep things light and airy here.
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Sofia
 
  1  
Fri 13 Aug, 2004 02:58 pm
Miller wrote:
Sofia wrote:
Yeah to extra medium. It would be great if everyone (Jews and Christians) could feel free to give their insights and viewpoints here without fear of reprisal, argument or backlash. It's gone pretty well so far--but---

Miller-- When I say I learned that the Jews were God's chosen people, please don't tell me what I meant.

If you disagree, or were taught something else, feel free to share what you learned; but I don't think any of us should reprove another's beliefs. We all have varied beliefs here.

I do believe the Jewish people were somehow favored by God. But, in a NT passage, it is written that faith in Christ is the equalizer of all people... I don't mind that others have different beliefs.

Another big thanks to jes and Moishe!



You said "were".
I said I 'do believe' they were.

This I doubt.
You are entitled to doubt it. Very Happy

God favors no one over anyone else.
Um, would you like to put a wager on that??? Think before you answer...


<smiling wryly at Miller, like one smiles at a friend?...or a meal... :wink: >
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rufio
 
  1  
Fri 13 Aug, 2004 06:23 pm
Dauer - my religion never taught me that it was ok to mix meat and milk, it was always against the rules to have meat products and milk products in the same meal. We never observed the thing where you have different sets of dishes for meat meals and milk meals, though we do have a seperate set used only for passover. My mother grudgingly allowed us to eat blatently unkosher things as long as she didn't make it. I don't follow kashrut anymore because I'm sort of ex-Jewish now.

On death and the messiah: According to my reform Jewish rabbi, when you die (and go through whatever shenanegans with Judgement and Gehena), you go to Olam HaBa'ah (the world to come). When the Moshiach comes, the world becomes Olam HaBa'ah, and thus all the people who were once dead are now alive again. What happens to everyone else depends on what would have happened to them if they had died suddenly. When I was going to school at a private Conservative Jewish middle school, the Judaic Studies teacher taught us that when the Moshiach came, all Jews were to be saved, but all gentiles weren't. However, each Jewish person could pick 7 gentiles to be saved, if that happened.

About Jesus - some of my teachers said he was an average guy, some said he was a Jew. some said he was a rabbi rebelling against the Jewish elite. Other than that, I never learned much about him, and I'd suspect that most Jewish people (except Jews for Jesus anyway) probably don't know much either.

Moishe - the passage you quoted seems to imply that laws regarding worldly things like eating and working and such are only important on a spiritual level, and it doesn't matter about the specifics of their interpretation in terms of worldly rituals. That's what I've always thought was the case, so I'm not sure what you're trying to say, really.
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rufio
 
  1  
Fri 13 Aug, 2004 06:26 pm
Maybe this post will show up on the forums? Please?
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Miller
 
  1  
Fri 13 Aug, 2004 07:23 pm
rufio wrote:
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.


I am Jewish and I do keep kosher. By the way, I enjoy music during the service. I especially enjoy our service, held the first Tuesday of each month, called "Healing of the Soul", in which the Cantor playes the guitar.
By the way, this is a Reform service.

I can't eat shell fish, due to my allergies. Confused
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dauer
 
  1  
Sun 15 Aug, 2004 12:43 pm
I've been away for a few days and I still have company. I read up to here. Someone said something as to why some Christians may feel uncomfortable joining in. My hope for this thread is that individuals can respect each other's beliefs even if they don't agree.

I know discussions on religion can quickly become heated and I would hope that everyone who decided to participate in this threat would be careful about how they phrased things in response to other people. The thread isn't about what's right and what's wrong. It's about what's similar and what's different. We are similar in many ways and different in many as well. I want to find what's out there and in the process learn.

Miller, I believe there are two orthodox issues on music on Shabbat, but someone orthodox could answer better. One is that certain instruments, tuning them would be work. Tuning a guitar would be work even though playing it would not be. There is also the issue of mourning for the Temple.

Personally, I've begun attending a shul where someone sometimes plays a djembe during the service. At least I think it's a djembe. It's an independent congregation that was right wing conservative and then was influenced by the renewal movement.

I'm going to try again to pose an interfaith question. This one is less sensitive than my last:

What role does prayer and ritual plays in Judaism and what role does it play in Christianity?
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Miller
 
  1  
Sun 15 Aug, 2004 01:24 pm
Good idea!
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extra medium
 
  1  
Mon 16 Aug, 2004 03:40 pm
dauer wrote:
What role does prayer and ritual plays in Judaism and what role does it play in Christianity?


Such a short, seemingly simple question. Yet one could write a 500 page book on the subject and still probably not cover all the bases.

Ritual & Christianity: So much depends on the specific Christian denomination. Certain denominations (ie: Catholic) are much bigger on ritual than other denominations. But I'd hazard to say that for most, the ritual is as much about getting groups of people to feel community by stepping through an activity together, as it is about the actual specific ritual. Regardless of one's religion, ritual is an interesting subject. The psychology of ritual. From what I've saw, ritual seems to almost take away from any spiritual experience I've had. Its like, if you have to rituallistically drink wine or make certain hand movements or something to sort of help you believe, something seems not quite right about that.

Prayer & Christianity: Again, answer would depend on one's denomination. I think for most, this is a person's chance to attempt to have a personal connection with God.

Obviously the rituals in Judaism and Christianity differ a lot.

In contrast to the many differences in ritual, I wonder if there are more similarities in the role of prayer between Judaism & Christianity?
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dauer
 
  1  
Wed 18 Aug, 2004 04:43 pm
Prayer in Judaism is, I believe, trying to have a connection with God, but Judaism does not stop with prayer. It is one form. I'm going to take ritual more loosely because much of Judaism is ritualized.

In Judaism ritual extends into all parts of life, making them sacred. For instance, in keeping kosher one is aware of what food is bought, how meat was killed, what dishes are used, when dairy or meat were last eaten, depending on denomination either that the food has a rabbinic stamp of approval or that none of its ingredients are unkosher. This hallowing raises an awareness of God in even mundane tasks.

Some rituals serve extra purposes though. The Jewish sabbath is a day of rest from laboring and there are a number of different categories of work that are considered labor. All of the laws of the sabbath are don'ts and it can look very harsh on paper. But it creates an atmosphere of almost perfect rest in which one can devote time to family, friends, study of sacred texts, prayer, rest. It is a removal of the commitments to things.

When it comes to little rituals that appear within ceremonies I think they tend to be there for a reason. There is symbolism that's supposed to help put an idea in one's mind although the reasons for individual rituals may vary. And I'm really not sure how this type of ritual varies much in general purpose from Christian ritual or any ritual for that matter.

But prayer is prayer as much as meditation is meditation. Regardless of the form it is what it is. I think there are three types of prayer: praise, thanksgiving, asking for stuff. Judaism is mostly praise and thanksgiving.

And ritual, well I think the biggest differences come just from the pervasiveness of ritual in Jewish life. Movements and words aren't very different if they're saying basically the same thing.
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au1929
 
  1  
Wed 18 Aug, 2004 05:56 pm
Book mark
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anton bonnier
 
  1  
Wed 18 Aug, 2004 07:47 pm
Very interesting discorse... however, I just wonder how anything concrete can come from discussion on Religion,. when the whole thing hinges on things like... Belief, Spirituality, faith, Myth, and the personal beliefs out side of the taught ones
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Moishe3rd
 
  1  
Wed 18 Aug, 2004 08:11 pm
dauer wrote:
All of the laws of the sabbath are don'ts and it can look very harsh on paper. But it creates an atmosphere of almost perfect rest in which one can devote time to family, friends, study of sacred texts, prayer, rest. It is a removal of the commitments to things.

Beautifully said, Dauer, and I wish not to detract a jot, but I believe a slight correction is in order per the above -
There are a lot of "do's" associated with the Sabbath.
One Law (mitzva) of the Sabbath is to eat! Very Happy
It is a mitzva to eat three meals and, in that unduly complicated Jewish way of doing things, it is a triple mitzvah to eat the third meal! (After all, who wants to eat again after having just had the equivalent of a Thanksgiving dinner a few hours before.)
This is more than just a funny Jewish thing too.
For those who celebrate Thanksgiving or have a formal "Christmas" dinner (l'havdil) - think of the ceremony and the family time and the celebration and the preparation and the good food that goes into all of that.
Every observant Jew does this on Friday night and Saturday every single week of the year. Not to mention the additional holidays where the same celebration takes place.
The Sabbath is such a celebration.

Sometimes the question is posed to me (mostly by fellow Jews) how "dedicated" I must be and how hard it must be to keep the Sabbath.
My reply is always something like - let's see... hmmm...
G-d commands me not to work - ever - for the rest of my natural life - on Shabbos.
G-d commands me not to answer the telephone; not to cook; not to use the car; not to use the computer; or even get involved with secular activities such as television and newspapers.
As Dauer said, I can only eat, drink, sleep, read, study, pray, spend time with my family, go for a walk, spend time with friends...
Amazing.
No, I am not dedicated. I am grateful.
If it were up to me, I would not rest. I would be involved in the world as we all usually are. My mind and will are not really capable of disconnecting and reconnecting in the way that G-d commands.
However, if it's a three thousand year old tradition that G-d says I must follow - who am I to rebel?
Very Happy
Life is beautiful all the time.
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dauer
 
  1  
Wed 18 Aug, 2004 08:14 pm
Anton, from m-w.com:

Quote:
Main Entry: re·li·gion
Pronunciation: ri-'li-j&n
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English religioun, from Latin religion-, religio supernatural constraint, sanction, religious practice, perhaps from religare to restrain, tie back -- more at RELY
1 a : the state of a religious <a nun in her 20th year of religion> b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2 : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
3 archaic : scrupulous conformity : CONSCIENTIOUSNESS
4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
- re·li·gion·less adjective


We are comparing two "institutionalized systems of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices." In the course of this discussion the opposing and like attitudes and practices will be illuminated. I am not answering primarily with my personal views but with the single or multiple views that best represent Judaism as a whole.

I am not trying to find a single answer. Comparing and contrasting two systems for the sake of knowing these systems better does not bring about one answer. It does, however, bring about a better understanding of each system as it relates and does not relate to the other.

I hope this answers your question.
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