The Significance of Each Epoch in Jewish History

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Judaism Reading Guide 1 Invitation to Religions Terms are should know: Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Baal Shem Tov, Covenant, Diaspora, Election, Ethical monotheism, Exodus, Hasidism, Holocaust/Shoah, Kabbalah, Moses, Messiah, Maimonides, Pesach/Passover, Rosh Hashanah, synagogue, Tanakh, YHWH, Yom Kippur, Zionism. Note the significance each epoch of Jewish history had on the formation of the Jewish people’s identity and religion. Biblical Period: Exodus, Davidic Kingdom, Judah & Israel, Exile: Exodus was really the foundation of Judaism; it was the reason the Israelites settled in Israel. Exodus gave the Jews hope that God would take care of them. It marked the time when the Israelites were delivered from bondage as slaves in Egypt. Exodus is commemorated by Jewish people every year at Passover. Davidic Kingdom was founded by King David. God’s promises to David that someday, out of his lineage, the Messiah would come and would save us from eternal damnation, building up a kingdom that would last forever. Judah & Israel are the two kingdoms of Israel: Judah-South and Israel-North. The tribe of Judah located themselves in Jerusalem and the Israelites in Samaria. Both kingdoms had a rich abundance of corrupt kings who would disobey God. The kingdoms are very complicated. Exile made the Jews more opened-minded to secular and religious ideas. It is through the Exile that the Jews were exposed to a new, monotheistic faith, Zoroastrianism while religious leaders were trying to get rid of polytheism. The Second Temple Period: Return, Division and Revolt The Second Temple Period marks the span between the Old and New Testaments and when most all of the New Testament events began. It encompasses when the Persian Empire took over Jer... ... middle of paper ... ...n ‘it’ in the presence of God” (96-97). I thought it was a good statement to reflect upon. So many times we forget how dependent we are on God. By saying that each of us must humble ourselves before the Lord as an ‘it,’ it truly allows us to realize the vast difference of rank we have compared to Him. From the moment we were born, we were given names with a significant¬¬ amount of power to them as they make up who we are. To be viewed in a state of an ‘it,’ we are to be humbled so that we can understand deeper the amount of dependence we have on God; to know that we live because of Him and, in that sense, need Him in our lives. Questions What kinds of prayer does God respond to? The needs of what is on our heart-what we want-or what we need? In other words, does he only respond to prayers that bring us closer to Him or does he also answer materialistic prayers?

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