Jerusalem and Judaism
Jews are often called a "People of the Book", and Judaism has an age-old intellectual tradition focusing on text-based Torah study.
Distinction between Jews and Judaism
According to Daniel Boyarin, the underlying distinction between religion and ethnicity is foreign to Judaism itself, and is one form of the dualism between spirit and flesh that has its origin in Platonic philosophy and that permeated Hellenistic Judaism. Consequently, in his view, Judaism does not fit easily into conventional Western categories, such as religion, ethnicity, or culture. Boyarin suggests that this in part reflects the fact that most of Judaism's 4,000-year history predates the rise of Western culture and occurred outside the West. During this time, Jews have experienced slavery, anarchic and theocratic self-government, conquest, occupation, and exile; in the Diasporas, they have been in contact with and have been influenced by ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, and Hellenic cultures, as well as modern movements such as the Enlightenment and the rise of nationalism, which would bear fruit in the form of a Jewish state in the Levant. They also saw an elite convert to Judaism, only to disappear as the centers of power in the lands once occupied by that elite fell to the people of Rus and then the Mongols. Thus, Boyarin has argued that "Jewishness disrupts the very categories of identity, because it is not national, not genealogical, not religious, but all of these, in dialectical tension."
Orthodox Judaism holds that both the Written and Oral Torah were divinely revealed to Moses, and that the laws within it are binding and unchanging. According to most Orthodox Jews, Jewish people who do not keep the laws of Shabbat and Yom Tov (the holidays), kashrut , and family purity are considered non-religious.
Hasidic Jews wearing black frock coats and fur shtreimels
Modern Orthodox Judaism emphasizes strict observance of religious laws and commmandments but with a broad, liberal approach to modernity and living in a non-Jewish or secular environment. Modern Orthodox women are gradually assuming a greater role in Jewish ritual practice, which is not acceptable in the Haredi community.
Historically, Judaism has considered belief in the divine revelation and acceptance of the Written and Oral Torah as its fundamental core belief, but Judaism does not have a centralized authority dictating religious dogma. This gave rise to many different formulations as to the specific theological beliefs inherent in the Torah and Talmud.
Jerusalem Judaism Religious significance: What is the connection between Jews and Jerusalem. While in exile, Jews remembered Jerusalem through prayers, pilgrimages and the Western Wall. Judaism is the religion of the Jewish people. According to Jewish tradition, the history of Judaism begins with the Covenant between God and Abraham (ca. 2000 BCE). Jewish history and doctrines have influenced other Abrahamic religions such as Christianity, Islam, and the Samaritanism. Today, 14 million people identify themselves as Jewish.
Judaism has no official creed. In Judaism, ultimate reality is a single, all-powerful God. It is this belief that made the Jews unique among other ancient Semitic peoples and that became the legacy Judaism has passed on to the entire Western world. God's name in Hebrew is YHWH, which simply - but significantly - means "I am." The religious beliefs and practices and the way of life of the Jews. The term itself was first used by Hellenized Jews to describe their religious practice, but it is of predominantly modern usage; it is not used in the Bible or in Rabbinic literature and only rarely in the literature of the medieval period.
What is the connection between Jews and Jerusalem. While in exile, Jews remembered Jerusalem through prayers, pilgrimages and the Western Wall. Jerusalem is important to Judaism and Israel: According to Jewish tradition, Jerusalem has been the center of Jewish national life for about 3,000 years since its conquest by King David. It was the capital city of Judea under the descendants of David and after the return from Bablyonian exile. In the Jewish religion, Jerusalem is revered as the site of the ancient temples built by King Solomon and rebuilt after the Persian exile and greatly renovated by Herod, but destroyed by Trajan about 70 AD. In ancient times, Jews would come to Jerusalem 3 times a year for key holidays.
After destroying Jerusalem, Trajan returned to Rome in triumph and constructed a triumphal arch, with the inscription "Judea Capta" and bearing on it the booty he had captured from the Jewish temple. These treasures were in turn looted by barbarians and carried off to North Africa, where they were subsequently lost.
Importance of Jerusalem in pre-Zionist Judaism
Jerusalem remained a center of Jewish attention and thought throughout the entire history of the dispersion.
Jews pray in the direction of Jerusalem, and Jewish prayers call for the rebuilding of Jerusalem as a symbol of the renewal of national life. The Passover Seder meal service concludes with the words;
This year we are here. Next year in Jerusalem.
Mainstream Judaism does not contemplate rebuilding the temple as a practical project. It would entail animal sacrifice, as well as devoting all those who are identified as Levites and Cohanim to the service of the temple. According to Rabbinical authorities, Jewish law stipulated a series of sacrifices which must all be done perfectly or not at all. The meanings of these sacrifices and the procedures to be followed are now lost. Orthodox Jews are enjoined by most rabbis from ascending to the Temple Mount, because the precise place of the Holy of Holies of the ancient temples is not known, and may be trod upon by mistake. However, small groups of extremists, especially the Faithful of the Temple Mount, do want to rebuild the temple, and occasionally create provocations by insisting on their right to visit the Temple Mount.
BCE Abraham and the Patriarchs
BCE Egypt, the Exodus and wandering in the desert
BCE Occupation of Canaan, the Promised Land
BCEUnited kingdom under Saul, David and Solomon, with capital at Jerusalem
BCE Divided kingdom of Israel (north) and Judah (south)
Assyria conquers Israel
Egyptians conquer Judah
Ninevah destroyed by Babylonains and Medes
Babylon conquers Egypt, now rules Judah
Destruction of the first temple
Second Isaiah composed
Haggai and Zechariah prophesy
Second Temple built
5th cent. BCE
Oldest known example of a ketubah
3rd cent. BCE
Rise of the Sadducees; Septuagint formed
2nd cent. BCE
Idea of resurrection of the dead gains popularity in Jewish circles
Philo Judaeus born
Compilation of the Tenakh
Destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans on the 9th of Av
Canonization of Hebrew Bible essentially complete
Bar Kokhba rebellion defeated at Betar by Romans on 9th of Av
Roman governors ban circumcision
Hasmonean revolt against the Romans
Compilation of the Mishnah by Judah ha-Nasi
Proselytizing for Judaism is punishable by death in the Roman Empire.
Rabbi Hillel II introduces permanent fixed ritual calendar
Compilation of the Jerusalem Talmud
Compilation of the Babylonian Talmud
Karaite sect rejects Rabbinic Judaism
Saadiah Gaon writes the Book of Beliefs and Opinions
Rashi (Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac)
First Crusade prompts anti-Jewish violence in France and Germany
Chasidei ashkenaz develops
Maimondies publishes Mishneh Torah, a compendium of Jewish law of great importance
Maimonides becomes court physician to Saladin
Jews in York massacred on 9th of Av
Compilation of the Zohar
De Leon writes Sefer Ha-Zohar
First known occurances of bar mitzvah ceremony
First book printed in Hebrew (Rashi's commentary)
Jews expelled from Spain
Jews expelled from Portugal
Baruch Spinoza born in Amsterdam
Founding of Hasidism
Founding of Orthodox, Reform, and Conservative movements
Emmanuel Levinas born in Lithuania
Abraham Joshua Heschel born in Lithuania
Jews granted full legal equality in Ottoman Empire
Jews granted full legal equality in Spain
1913Considering conversion to Christianity, Levinas attends a Yom Kippur service and resolves to remain a Jew
Jews granted full legal equality in Russia after Bolshevik victory
Rosenzweig begins lifelong friendship with Martin Buber in Frankfurt
Rosenzweig's Star of Redemption published
Judith Kaplan, daughter of Mordecai Kaplan (founder of the Society for the Advancement of Judaism), is the first to participate in a bat mitzvah ceremony.
Martin Buber's I and Thou published.
Progressive Judaism founded
Franz Rosenzweig dies of amytrophic lateral sclerosis
Adolf Hitler named Reichschancellor
Martin Buber appoints Abraham Joshua Heschel head of the Lehrhaus in Frankfurt and emigrates to Palestine
Holocaust begins; Heschel is deported to Poland by the Nazis
Heschel leaves for New York, where he will spend the rest of his life. Levinas, an officer in the French Army, is taken prisoner by the Germans
Deportations from Warsaw to death camp at Treblinka begin on 9th of Av
State of Israel established
Israeli Parlianment passes the Law of Return
Jerusalem reunited by Israeli victory in Six-Day War
First female rabbi ordained in Reform movement
Beit Chayim Chadashim, first gay synagogue, founded in Los Angeles
First female rabbis ordained in Reconstructionist
World Congress of Gay and Lesbian Jewish Organizations founded
First female rabbis ordained in Conservative movement
The Union of American Hebrew Congregations changes its name to the Union for Reform Judaism.
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Different sects of Judaism
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Jewish Sites in Jerusalem
Every generation Jews of all walks of life turn to Tehillim in times of trouble and times of joy. Psalms is a vehilcle for salvation, for solace, for expressing thanksgiving. If we aply ourselves and delve into the treasures nestled within its sacred words, it offers a means of coming closer to our Creator. To go beneath the surace, Tehillim (Psalms) shows the way to improve - even drastically change- our lives. A message from Rabbi Pilskin
Haredi Judaism (also known as "ultra-Orthodox Judaism," although some find this term offensive) is a very conservative form of Judaism. The Haredi world revolves around study, prayer and meticulous religious observance. Some Haredi Jews are more open to the modern world, perhaps most notably the Lubavitch Hasidim, but their acceptance of modernity is more a tool for enhancing Jewish faith than an end in itself. Hasidic Judaism is a stream of Haredi Judaism. is rooted in the Kabbalah, and Hasidic Jews accept the Kabbalah as sacred scripture.
Conservative Judaism, known as Masorti Judaism outside of the United States and Canada, developed in Europe and the United States in the 1800s as Jews reacted to the changes brought about by the Enlightenment and Jewish emancipation. It is characterized by a commitment to following traditional Jewish laws and customs, including observance of Shabbat and kashrut, a deliberately non-fundamentalist teaching of Jewish principles of faith, a positive attitude toward modern culture, and an acceptance of both traditional rabbinic modes of study along with modern scholarship and critical text study when considering Jewish religious texts.
Reform Judaism, called Liberal or Progressive in many countries, originally formed in Germany in response to the Enlightenment. Its defining characteristic with respect to the other movements is its rejection of the binding nature of Jewish ceremonial law as such and instead believing that individual Jews should exercise an informed autonomy about what to observe. Reform Judaism initially defined Judaism as a religion, rather than as a race or culture, rejected most of the ritual ceremonial laws of the Torah while observing moral laws, and emphasized the ethical call of the Prophets.
Humanistic Judaism. A small nontheistic movement that emphasizes Jewish culture and history as the sources of Jewish identity. Founded by Rabbi Sherwin Wine, it is centered in North America and Israel but also has affiliated groups in Europe and Latin America.
Jerusalem Prayer at the Western Wall
Judaism and Jerusalem
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The Importance of Jerusalem in Judaism