Explore Your Judaism: HISTORICAL RESOURCE

I sticked with Option 2 because Rabbi Micha Odenheimer and I had a one and one discussion about the 10 questions related to Judaism. Here are my questions and Rabbi Micha Odenheimer's answers. 1) What do Jews believe? What are the basic beliefs of Judaism? Although there have been many attempts to define the basic beliefs of Judaism, the most famous among them the 13 Principles of Maimonides, there is no “official” catechism of beliefs. In the Talmud, it says: “Everyone who repudiates false worship (idol worship or strange worship) is called a Jew. I would say that the basic beliefs are that there is one God, who created the universe, human beings are made in His image, God cares about the world and the kind of society human beings create God cares deeply about justice and love between human beings., She or he has a special relationship with the Jewish people starting from Avraham, to whom He promised the Land of Israel and continuing with the revelation at Sinai, humanity and the world are not in their final state, they can and will be transformed for the better, and evil and death will be defeated. 2) What does the term “chosen people” mean? It means that the Jews have been chosen since the time of Abraham for a special mission, to try to demonstrate and teach “Tzedeka and Mishpat”, and to teach humanity awareness of the one God who cares about justice and love, and chosen to keep the 613 commandments enumerated in the Torah. 3) What are the different branches of Judaism? Haredi, National-Haredi-National Religious, Modern Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Renewal, Reconstructionist 4) What does it mean to be Jewish? Is Judaism a race, a religion or a nationality? Judaism is a religion, which is why any human being can convert to Judaism if they are sincere, but Jewishness also means to be part of a people, a nation, a group with common roots and history and a family. In this sense Judaism is both like tribal religions—it is a religion of a specific people with a specific history and land—and also, like Islam, Christianity or Buddhism, a universal religion that accepts converts, even if it does not seek them. 5) What is a Rabbi? A rabbi is a Jewish teacher, who needs to have some expertise in Jewish law and in Jewish thought and is granted the title, after a test or series of test, by another rabbi or rabbinic institution. . The original term Rabbi was meant for people who had received their ordination (semicha) in a line that stretched all the way back to Moshe (Moses) but that line was broken during the time of the Roman occupation. 6) What is a synagogue? A synagogue is a building or room especially set aside as a place for Jews to hold prayers, every day and on Shabbat and Holidays. 7) What is Judaism’s most sacred text? Judaism has many sacred texts, but the most sacred is the Torah, the five books of Moses written by a specially trained scribe on parchment in a scroll. 8) What is the Jewish view of Jesus? Jesus was a Jew who taught ideas from within the rabbinic tradition but was not the messiah or “god’s son” any more than all of us our God’s sons. 9) What do Jews believe about the afterlife? Jews traditionally believe in an afterlife, where the soul enjoys an ongoing existence, after being cleansed of sin. Jews are also (traditionally) committed to the idea of a final union between body and soul, called the revival of the dead. Many Reform and Conservative Jews might not embrace these ideas. The mystical Jewish tradition also believes in Gilgul, or reincarnation. 10) Do Jews believe in sin? Yes, there is sin, but there is always redemption, through repentance, good deeds, and prayer.

Points Earned: 2