Lecture Judaism 1:
Myths and Narratives
• Is a religion developed among the ancient Hebrews and characterized by belief in one
(monotheistic) transcendent God who has revealed himself to Abraham, Moses, and
Hebrew prophets by a religious life in accordance with scriptures and rabbinic traditions.
• Judaism is conformity to Jewish rites, ceremonies and practices
• Judaism is the cultural and social behaviours and practices of the Jews
• Judaism is the whole body Jewry: the Jewish people, described metaphorically as the
‘People of Israel’
• Diverse group of people, no real genetic make-up,
• 14 million worldwide, but they don’t participate in religious traditions, they see it as a part
of their culture not the defining part. Cultural: literary and folk
Origins: Biblical Period
• Abraham left Mesopotamia.
• The torah: descendant of Jacob (male) they became slave labourers for Egyptians. The
miraculous escape of Israelites in 1250 BCE.
• In the beginning of god creating the skies and the earth, the earth was shapeless and
• This is the Hebrew bible, not the Old Testament. It shouldn’t be called that.
• The Hebrew bible: Israelites and their mythic ancestors to their kings and prophets to the
buildings and temples of Jerusalem.
• The scripture begins with two pictures of creations. 1:1 and 1:2.
• According to Hebrew b