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Judaism

Judaism 
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The oldest monotheistic religion.  As times and cultures change, various Jewish denominations form by either preserving or reforming the Jewish beliefs. Most Jew follow strict practices such as kosher rules and observe G-d worshiping rituals to the minute.  To me, obeying so many specific rules in everyday life borders with dogma and is quite oppressing.  But, regulation of everyday life aside, Judaism is a religion which allows questioning; in fact, it fosters inquiries and curiosity.  This is respectful.  The answers they give to many philosophical questions are, of course, always rooted in the Torah and are not convincing to me.  But I like the fact that they are allowed to and ask questions.  This is in stark contrast with Islam, which requires total submission to G-d and blind belief in higher authority; any questioning is heretical, and any inquiry is paid with life.  

In another stark contrast with both Christianity and Islam, Judaism is life-affirming religion.  Not just in a sense of more permissible attitude toward sexuality, but more in a sense of enjoying life.  While Iranian type of Islam bans music and laughter, Judaism has Purim.  While some versions of Christianity consider people inherently sinful and thus deserving eternal damnation, Judaism connects seamlessly spiritual ecstasy with "pragmatic self-improvement."  In the words of Izzy Greenberg, Judaism recognizes "distinct time and place within the mosaic of human experience" for both inner spirituality and every-day materialism.  Yet, material excesses are never encouraged; rather happiness with what one has and life within one's means are praised.  But do we need to be told by religion that living within one's means is wise? 

I do not like the Messianic idea, which originates from Judaism and then follows in Christianity and Islam in modified forms.  No one or nothing should claim being the Messiah.  Yet there is an aspect in the Messianic musings, which I like.  This is the vision that there "will be an era in which peace will reign, including peace between concepts that are now paradoxical" (Supernatural Disorder, Izzy Greenberg).  But, again, do we need divine revelation to recognize that world peace is universal humankind wish? 

"He [G-d] created such an amazing world, with such consistency, that those who want to keep Him out of their lives can believe He does not exist.

Nevertheless, for the sake of those who earnestly seek the truth, He throws in a glitch [meaning miracle] once in a while, peeking mischievously from behind His craft."

Does G-d break the rules, Tzvi Freeman 

Poor, lost atheistic souls!  What were we thinking?  That we have the choice to not believe in God?  Well, this belief of ours is arranged by God too...  Well, this is too much for me...  MDA 

What I like most about Judaism is that it is not a missionary religion.  It does not seek conversion of others to Judaism.  Does not impose opinion and way of life.  While pride is deserved, it is not easy being a Jew.  So, conversion to Judaism is sought, not offered.  Whoever converts, it is by choice. 

Excerpts about Judaism
To be posted


 
 
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Updated:  17 October, 2010

 

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