Judaism And Judaism

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HOW DOES JUDAISM ACHIEVE PEACE AND INTER-FAITH UNDERSTANDING?

Judaism is the 5th most popular religion in the world, with a population of approximately 14,000,000 followers (Berman Jewish Database, 2014). Judaism is an Abrahamic religion that promotes the seven dimensions of religion in everyday life. Through study of sacred texts, it becomes apparent that people of the Jewish faith are strong believers of peace, tolerance and inter-faith understanding. It is through the legal and ethical, ritual and practical, experiential and emotional, doctrinal and philosophical, and mythical and narrative dimensions that this religion practises these values.

Law and ethics are fundamental to the Jewish faith, as they are the foundation of the religion’s
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Most likely the key Jewish ritual is the Sabbath, or Shabbat in Hebrew, which is practised once a week, starting Friday evening and ending at sunset on Saturday. The Sabbath has been a main feature of Jewish life since the birth of the religion, and is introduced in Exodus 31:15-17, as a day of rest:

The seventh day is a complete Sabbath, holy to the L-RD…it is an eternal sign that in six days, the L-RD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed. (Exodus 31:15-17)

Shabbat is primarily a day of rest and spiritual enrichment (Judaism 101, n.d., para. 4). Furthermore, prayer is significant in Judaism for promoting peace and relationship with God. The following prayer is said on the Sabbath and is a part of daily prayer in Jewish festivals:

May the Lord bless you and protect you...
May the Lord show you kindness and grant you peace (Numbers 6:24-26)

This prayer displays the fundamental connection Jews have to peace as granted by the Lord, which then must be carried into the world. Jews believe that peace can bring religions together, so that they understand and tolerate each other (Living Judaism, 2002, pg. 13). The prophet Isaiah prayed for the age of peace in the following
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Judaism is a monotheistic religion, meaning it believes that there is only one God. Covenant is a major part of the Jewish faith, as outlined in the Torah: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. (Deuteronomy 6:4).’ The covenant between God and the Jewish people is of the vital doctrines of Judaism. The idea of covenant is not uncommon to Christians and Muslims, as they too are monotheistic religions. However, in Judaism, the covenant with God is integrated more into Jewish life. When males are born, they are circumcised as a symbol of the covenant with God. After God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, God made a covenant with him. He said, ‘And on the eighth day, the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. (Leviticus 12:3).’ It is a Jewish doctrine that every newborn Jewish boy should be circumcised on the eighth day. Even Abraham himself, as well as all the males in his household, underwent the operation, hence establishing the covenant for all generations to come. Furthermore, the Torah and the Tanakh (the Hebrew bible) commonly refer to peace in Jewish faith. The book of Numbers is the fourth book in the Hebrew bible, containing various teachings that portray peace in Judaism. One of the passages reads: ‘Behold, I give unto him My covenant of peace (Numbers 25:12).’ This passage relates back to the doctrine of the

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