Talking about Judaism, practicing Jews means the Jewish tradition. This tradition means the obtaining of knowledge about God, who created everything, his relationship with people, the goal of creation, the way of living, and following certain laws. This paper is dedicated to learning some principles of the Jewish tradition and its artifacts.
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The Role of Torah in the Life of the Jewish Community
Having been published with rabbinic comments, Torah usually includes the first five books of the Jewish Bible – from the Book of Genesis to the end of Chronicles (Anon 19). The word “Torah” is also used to determine the integrity of the theory, practice, and culture of the Jewish teaching. The Jewish nation believes that the Torah defines its origin, pre-determining the way of living through providing a set of rules. Midrash, one of the books of the Oral Torah, states that the Torah existed before God created the world. Thus, it becomes a draft that God was using while creating the universe. A public reading of this book is one of the core traditions of the Jewish community.
The Role of Faith in Judaism and Within the Jewish Community
The base of Judaism is knowledge, and Jews believe that faith starts where knowledge finishes. The history of the Jewish nation described in the holy texts is treated as knowledge, as the community believes that their ancestors confirmed this information (Rodriguez 101). Nonetheless, faith defines the whole existence of religion in the Jewish community. Faith for Jews means accepting the presence of the only God who is almighty. The existence of one God, who is the creator, is a core principle of Jewish religious teaching.
The Relationship Between the Oral Torah and the Written Torah
In Jewish religious texts, the term Torah means both the Written and the Oral Torah. The Written Torah unites the first five books of the Jewish Bible, and the Oral Torah consists of Midrash and Talmud, which include the interpretations of holy texts (Anon 20). These explanations are believed to be received from the previous generations. The traditions of Judaism teach that both written and oral versions come from God.
There are three types of connections between the Written Torah and its oral explanation. The first type formulates the law in a general way, explaining its details in the Oral Torah (Collins 461). The second type is the verses of the religious texts, the meaning of which provides ground for doubts, as they can be explained in different ways. The tradition defines the correct understanding of such verses. The third type is the verses, the meaning of which differs from the explanations of the Lord, which are stated in the oral tradition. Such pieces of teaching need to be understood in a specific context and defined limits.
The Significance of the Shema for the Jewish People
Shema in Judaism is defined as a Jewish liturgical text that consists of four quotes from the Torah (Collins 463). It declares that God is one, stating love for him and faithfulness to his commandments. Shema is a prayer that is a crucial part of the morning and evening prayers. Also, in the Jewish traditions Shema is often said as the last words before death and as the last words before the night sleep.
The Relationship Between Shema and the Kingdom of Heaven
Shema touches on the core issues of Judaism; reading it for the representatives of the Jewish community means confirmation and strengthening of their relationship with the Lord and his laws. Reciting it means getting the Kingdom of Heaven (Rodriguez 112). Reading Shema is also seen as a tradition to remember the Lord’s Ten Commandments, which were taken away from the prayer.
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Jewish traditions are among the strongest and the oldest in the world. The Jewish religion is based on core principles of knowledge and faith, and its rituals can be studied through the Judaic religious texts. Learning the significance of such elements as Shema, Oral Torah, and Written Torah is crucial for understanding the principles of this teaching.
Anon. “The Torah as Law in Judaism”. Sodic, vol. 35, no. 2-3, 2002, pp. 18-24.
Collins, John J. “The Transformation of the Torah in Second Temple Judaism”. Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic and Roman Period, vol. 43 no. 4-5, 2012, pp. 455-474.
Rodriguez, Jacob. “All That Yahweh Has Commanded We Will Obey: The Public Reading of Torah as Covenant Praxis in Early Judaism.” Journal of the Jesus Movement in Its Jewish Setting, no. 4, 2017, pp. 91-117.