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McGill University
Religious Studies
RELG 207
Eyad Atallah

The Study of World Religions RELG 207 Friday March 5, 2010 Judaism Terms: Passover: Along with the Sabbath, Passover, and circumcision are the 3 things that distinguish Judaism. The Jewish holiday of Passover is the yearly celebration of the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt. In the Book of Exodus, an angel of death is sent by God to punish the Egyptians, but the angel of death passes over the Jewish homes without harming them. Circumcision – The physical mark of God’s covenant with his people. Abraham was the first person to be circumcised. It is given a religious or spiritual value in Judaism. The covenant is sealed with the blood of the male members of the Jewish community. Tabernacle – literally means “tent”. It is also called the tent of meeting, where God and Moses (as the representative of Israel) would meet. It serves as a visual representation of God’s separation from the world. It is divided into three parts: 1. The outer court which surrounds the tent 2. The inside of the tent is a holy place, where they offer incense 3. At the back or deep inside the tent is the holy of holies, where the Ark of the Covenant is kept. Holy of Holies – where God was said to dwell in the tabernacle, and the high priests could only enter once a year. Ark of the Covenant – A highly ornate box, and inside there are the two tablets on which the ten commandments were recorded. The point here is that it’s not an idol to be worshiped, rather it contains the covenant between God and the Jewish people. Priest – associated with Temple worship: sacrifice of animals or offering of incense. The priests are always centered on the Temple. Rabbi – literally means “teacher”, and becomes important in Judaism after the temple is destroyed. The synagogue develops and with it, the rabbi to answer the Jews’ uncertainties of God’s commitment to them. Scribe – Person trained to read and write. Scribes are usually associated with the preservation of the holy book; they copy and transmit the books so the next generation can read them. They are involved in the publication and redistribution of the books. Synagogue – A religious institution that develops during the Babylonian exile. It is associated with rabbis and scribes, not priests and prophets. Judaism becomes much less cultic and much more book-oriented to study and preserve the faith. Messiah – literally is God’s “chosen one”, and is a person or a man. This person would restore the people of Israel to their rightful place in the world, to the Promised Land. The messiah was to be a descendant of the king of David. There are at least 25 well known documented cases of claimed Messiahs. Although Christianity claims Jesus Christ was the messiah, within two decades of his life, there were at least two other claimants. Mishnah – collection of rabbinical commentary, which comes into its final form in 2 nd th century CE. It is also called The Oral Torah, which might date back to the 5 century BCE. The mishnah is the oral teaching about the Torah. nd Talmud – Also formed in the 2 century CE. It is more rabbinical commentary, and there are two collections of the Talmud: the Jerusalem Talmud and the Babylonian Talmud. Even though some Jews returned to Jerusalem after the exile, some Jews did not. Those that returned made the Jerusalem Talmud and the ones that stayed in Babylon made the Babylonian Talmud. It incorporates further rabbinical commentary on the Mishnah and the Torah. Christianity Terms: Alexander the Great (336-323 BCE) – A famous Greek king who sets up an empire that is the largest the world has known at that point. He sets up Greek cities throughout the Ancient Near-East, which includes Egypt, Israel, Ir
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