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Lecture 14

Introduction to Judaism - Lecture 14

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Religion & Culture
Holly Pearse

RE204 – Lecture 14  Jews under Arab rule during Middle Ages  Sephardic tradition main identifier of Jews in Islam  ladino - Judeo-Arabic, Hebrew translated characters  Jews in the Islamic world were multilingual o Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Arabic o could use more classical sources o under Arabic scholars where classical sources were revived o have consumed Aristotle and other Greek philosophers  cosmopolitanism - perspective in which people can look at a more broader scope o more secular education o education in philosophy, mathematics, wider literature amongst the upper class Jews in the world  relationship between the Jews and Muslims, conceptual relationship, the view on the exile (galuts) o Jews diaspora for a reason o spread across the world as a punishment from God o saw Arabs as the children of Ishmael  were also seen as God's people and part of their punishment o story of the covenant - gives the exile a poetic meaning o idea of exile becomes important aspect to Christians and Arabs, that they were being punished  do they deserve restrictions o understanding that exile will come to the end  general understanding among Jews in the Middle Ages o rabbinic Judaism becomes dominant form on Judaism in this period because of its adaptability and mobility  ability to absorb secular knowledge o allowed Jews to contain zeal against conversion, holding out has a larger goal o to be able to explain and understand religion to yourself allows you to teach it to other people  Sin understood in legal terms o does not mean there is a lack of ethical philosophy o in terms of Judaism, covenant as the people code, transgression is the main reason of sin  Integration o did not look very different from Islam o two systems very compatible with one another o only difference was the mezuzah (scroll) on the door frame o aligned lifestyles and Jews stood out less  Court Jews o Jews of influence particularly in Europe, but also in Islamic world, who held favour or position in the ruling courts o most instances - court Jews used influence to speak on behalf/defence of Jewish population, but not always regarded favourably and were often first victims of "reform" o term is now frequently pejorative 1 RE204 – Lecture 14  seen with a negative connotation  Judaism in Babylon o Gaonim (589-1038CE)  the Sa'adiah Gaon (ca. 882-942 CE)  book of belief and opinions (ca. 933CE)  first person to write down philosophical explanation of Judaism, Rabbinic Judaism  precepts o creation - several proofs why creation reasonable belief o creator is united o revelation and law is reasonable foundation for Judaism  legal experts performing act of prophesy using intellect o free will answer to the odyssey (why evil can continue)  was how one explained presence of omnipotence and ultimate power o belief in justice, merit/demerit for good/bad behaviour o beliefs in Torah death, soul after death o belief in the resurrection  explained why it is rooted in early judaism, not a modern innovation o belief in messiah  explanation that idea of messiah can outlive second temple o belief in the world to come o morality is occupation of a reasonable person  people have inclination towards doing the wrong thing, only thing stopping is their knowledge in morality  focuses more on logic  Jewish Kalam o practice of dialogue, which was inherited from Aristotle  firmly rooted in Talmud, but not explained in the same ways o concern that some faithful were not intellectual, and some int
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