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Intro to Judaism - Lecture 5

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Religion & Culture
Holly Pearse

 Today in Judaism o 20 Tishrei, 5774 AM  6th day of Sukkot  4th Chol HaMoed  Classical Judaism o under Greeks and Romans marked by Greco-roman philosophy, politics and social mores  absorbing from other cultures, especially philosophy  experts have to read scriptures properly to understand them, issue of finding a teacher to "teach" the sacred books o specifically, became religion of elite instruction, no longer an organic as-is cultural way of life, but becoming matter of expertise and authority  "right" and "wrong" way of being Jewish  strict monotheism, eradicating "folk" Israelite practices o More focus on urban. upper class education  more focus on authority, and who has it  part of the standardized religion , becomes conversionary faith, not just blood/lineage faith  conversion of people(s) o once they are converted, cannot remind them that they were converts o conversion of faith/choice, also of royal authority o rabbis created modes of conversion  how to keep covenant o Torah and Tanakh being compiled and becoming widespread  Halakah - way of the law, generally agreed upon o sanctity of the temple  importance of a correct/ pure / well maintained temple  The Temple/ The Synagogue o Second Temple  rebuilt after Babylonian exile, ca. 515 BCE, renovated/expanded 20CE-60CE (Herodian temple), fell in 70CE  expands the gentile court to accommodate for "visitors" and "tourists"  big temple = more renowned and respect  not just the nexus of creation, one of the wheels of Jerusalem economic life  contains a plaza where people can buy things o synagogue  multipurpose non-temple site of Jewish gathering and non- sacrificial worship  used as a place of teaching and place for pilgrims on way to temple  grew in popularity during Second temple period, in diaspora and then in Palestine, eventually replaced Temple in Jewish practice after 70 CE (by3rd century CE)  3rdcentury BCE, Egypt; "proseuche" (prayer place)  referred to as semneion (sanctuary); didaskalion (place of learning), sabbateeion (Sabbath place)  Greek Period o Greeks ended Persian rule in 332 BCE, under Alexander the Great  323 BCE : death of Alexander, division of empire  301-201 BCE: Egyptian Ptolemaic control o Egyptian Hellenist o becomes much more affluent, lot more money into upper class, rising middle class  201-152 BCE: Seleucid Empire control o Syrian Hellenist o most of the religious differences appear during this period o insisted Jews needed to also sacrifice to Zeus o meets Judah Maccabe (Chanukah)  167 BCE, Mathias moved back to rural home, messenger comes to tell him he needs to sacrifice to Zeus, Mathias kills the messenger, Judah Maccabe is his son  dies in 168, son takes over  menorah sign of "God", oil lasted longer than initially planned o Maccabean Revolt breaking point under the Greek  140-37 BCE: The Hasmonean Dynasty  Maccabe become the Hasmonean,  Mathias had 5 sons, established Hasmonean dynasty o had relatively Jewish Monarch, took position of high priest  not descendent of Zadokites, which made it a problem  lacked legitimacy to be the high priest  Simon the Hasmonean takes on high priesthood, general and king o casts himself as the royal priest king  popular among the high class, but not among the lower  cursed himself by declaring himself as king  in and out of roman client state  63 BCE: Roman control  become the controlling force in Israel, not just the silent partner o Hellenism: cultural/social domination/appreciation of Greek thought, religion, language, art, world views, political traditions and social values  starting to become bigger force among the higher class  structures of a city make good citizens, greater emphasis on public life  if you live a good public life, you have good "morals" o good "Greek" public life  wants to be Hellenistic in public, but Jewish in public o significant issues  Hellenistic Judaism  Hellenistic Jewish thought and Practice o public life o social views o world view and philosophy  Gnosticism  esoteric search for truth, "orphic" view  belief that certain sections of the community has knowledge that others don't, combined with world view that body is less important than the spirit, and the flesh is what holds you back from divine knowledge  Gnostic / Orphic view become important during this term  Jewish views understand the self o they are their name, their soul and their flesh  separation of soul/flesh becomes a way for people to Hellenize without feeling remorse  Hellenizers controversy o against the Hellenizers o What is "real" Judaism? Who is a "real" Jew? o Jerusalem as polis  3 main problems, theatres, bath houses, gymnasium o Nudity affects the purity o theatre - Greek religion, Greek gods are patrons of theatres  hellenizers view as entertainment o gymnasium - school where men become Hellenistic  hellenizers- as a place to work out o bath houses - covered in statues of gods/goddesses, hard to do ritual baths if doing it under a statue of another god/goddess  hellenizers - place to get clean  Hellenistic philosophy focused on the individual, but Jews are a group bound by the covenant o each Jew stands on the virtue of the community o what a man does in Hellenistic views only affects himself as long as he doesn't break a law o anti hellenizers - could lead to exile or destruction of the temple if covenant is broken  Roman Period o Roman Palestine; continued as Hellenistic trends
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