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RE204 (20)

Introduction to Judaism - Lecture 21

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Religion & Culture
Holly Pearse

RE204 – Lecture 21  Halakhah and Modernity o halakhah: entirety of religious law for Jews, biblical law, Mishnah, Talmud and authoritative rulings, as well as customs  terms of the covenant  focuses on decision of status of things/people, responsibility to things/people  means for rabbinic judaism to deal with things  halakhah - both a verb and a noun  encompasses traditional Jewish way of law  process by which authorities make decisions based on previous authorities  someone with appropriate authority can go through process of making halachic decision  consult relevant text (previous authority for precedence)  evaluate specifics of that case, rooted in examination  may require consultation with secular authority  extrapolate  does not always give consistent answers, very individualized  physical bodily behaviours matter, practical (day to day) matters  "the path" o challenges from modernity  emphasis placed on place, rather than action in post-modernic religion  emancipation  Jews will have full secular rights, challenges rabbinic authority o less emphasis on religious courts, some places lost them  enlightenment  posed certain challenges in divinity of literature  individual autonomy  more emphasis on science, more discoveries in science and technology o tradition must adapt to decide uses/opinions on developments o changing halakhah  adapting to changing world o halakhah and identity  halakhah and denominational difference  personalization of halakhah  Jews who maintain traditional law, not due to communal pressure, but voluntary  halakhah becomes issue of identity  does not preclude people who practice law out of faith RE204 – Lecture 21  either becomes issue of personal identity and issue of out- datedness  allows for discussion of supremacy of European society  emphasis on mitzvah (more interest in law)  Ritual and Modernity o ritual : sacred traditional performances that mark Jewish time, including festivals, daily practices ,rites of passage, etc o ritual and modernity  challenges and changes  denominational perspectives o ritual and changing role of women  mixed seating, co-ed seating o with emancipation, more trained/knowledgeable rabbinic authority  have to learn aspects of secular life o service that looks and sounds nice, professionalization of canters  desire to have someone who's religiously and musical
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