RLG100Y1 Chapter Notes -Judah The Prince, Judah Bar Ilai, Babylonian Captivity
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Terms for religions – Multiple Choice
Religion: Jewish Traditions
Apocalypse: From the greek for “unveiling” (latin is revelation); the final battle between the forces of
darkness and light expected at the end of time. Apocalyptic literature flourished in the Hellenstic era. It
first comes from the essenes people, who lived on the outside of urban centres, lived in caves. They
were believers in good vs. evil (sons of light and sons of darkness). They established a centre of priestly
purity in preparation of the apocalypse. Apocalyptic literature also associated the messiah with a divine
overturning of existing order.
- Is a Greek word meaning “revelation” or unfolding of things previously unknown. It is refer to
the genre of prophetical writing with coded symbolic visions which developed in the post-Exilic
(Hellenistic) Jewish culture.
- The un-fulfilled prophecies found in the Jewish Scriptures served to popularize the methods of
- The message of the apocalyptic writers was of patience and trust for that deliverance and reward
were sure to come, often expecting an imminent battle to end the unrighteousness of the present.
- The present evil age will give way to a glorious new age (and restoration of the nation after the
destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple) and a future looking sense of history was born .
- Notions of deliverer figures, such as Messiah were commonplace. The Essenes of the Dead Sea
Scrolls, expected more than one messiah.
- Apocalyptic thinking was extremely influential in Jewish tradition between the second century
BCE and third century CE; however, the disastrous failure of the lltwo revolts against Rome (in
70 and 135 CE, respectively) caused the radical political dimension of apocalyptic tradition to
undergo some key changes.
Berith: Hebrew term for covenant, the special relationship between God and the Jewish People. The
berith is like a contract in which both sides need to oblige to the agreement. For example there was a
convenant between God and Abraham. Abraham is promised the land of Canaan, but Abraham has to
something in return. God uses obedience as a test for loyalty. Example, Abraham was about to sacrifice
his own son when an angel tells him he can sacrifice an animal instead. If the convenant is obliged then
you receive an award. Abraham ends up recieveing the land of Canaan for him and his descendants, in
addition to a long life and peaceful death.
Diaspora: “Dispersal”, the Jewish world outside the land of ancient Israel; it began with the Babylonian
exile, from which not all Jews returned. Judaism had to evolve new ways of understanding and
explaining itself since most of the Jews did not live in Israel anymore.
Documentary Hypothesis: the theory that the Pentateuch was not written by one person (Moses), but
compiled over a long period of time from multiple sources. It was created by Julius Wellhausen. It has
been extremely criticized , but was one of the greatest intellectual achievements of the nineteenth
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Eschatology: Doctrine concerning the end of age, from the Greek for “study of the end”. Refers to
apocalyptic literature and the jewish bible on predictions regarding the fate of the world at the end of
Exile: The deportation of Jewish leaders from Jerusalem to Mesopotamia by the conquering
Babylonians in 586 BCE; disrupting local Israelite political, ritual, and agricultural institutions, it marked
the transition from Israelite religion to Judaism. The exile caused a Diaspora and gave focus and impetus
to a number of significant social and religious changes. Life became more urban than agricultural. Also,
with the absence of a temple, focus shifted from formal worship to congregational life. Also the idea of
the synagogue was born.
- refers to the deportation and exile of the Jews of the ancient Kingdom of Judah to Babylon after
Babylonians conquered Jerusalem in 586 BCE.
- The Babylonian captivity had a number of serious effects on Judaism and the Jewish culture,
including changes to the Hebrew alphabet and changes in the fundamental practices and customs of the
- A rupture of local Israelite political, ritual, and agricultural institutions, it marks the transition
from Israelite religion to Judaism.
- This period saw the last high-point of Biblical prophecy in the person of Ezekiel, followed by
the emergence of the central role of the Torah in Jewish life. This process coincided with the emergence
of scribes and sages as Jewish leaders.
- The Babylonian Captivity and the subsequent return to Israel were seen as one of the pivotal events in
the biblical drama between Yahweh and "his people" of Israel. Just as they had been predestined for, and
saved from, slavery in Egypt, in the logic of the Bible the Israelites were predestined to be punished by
their god through the Babylonians, and then saved once more.
Exodus: The migration of Hebrews from Egypt under the leadership of Moses, after 400 years of
oppression . It is understood in later Hebrew though as marking the birth of the Israelite nation. Moses
is a prophet and given instructions by God. God tells Moses to request the Hebrews’ release from the
pharaoh and the pharaoh refuses. Then God sends plagues on the Egyptians, but spares Hebrews,
allowing them to escape. The Passover festival commemorates the event.
Menorah: The seven-branched candlestick, a Jewish symbol since ancient (temple) times, well before
the widespread adoption of the six-pointed star; the nine branched menorah used at Hanukkah is
sometimes called the hanukiah. Roman soldiers carried a seven-branched menorah from the destruction
of the Jerusalem temple. At that time the menorah was a symbol of sovereignty, today it is the official
symbol of the state of Israel.
Midrash: Commentary on scripture. Most midrashic commentaries are line by line interpretations of
the biblical text. It is a part of the Tanakh.
Mishnah: The Hebrew summary of the oral law- inherited from Pharisaism and ascribed to Moses-
arranged by topis; edited by Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi before 220 CE, it has an authority paralleling that of
the written Torah. The mishnah is the oldest datable rabbinic document. It was a new type of text with
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its own topical arrangement in 6 orders (seed, festivals, women, damages, holy things and purification).
Authority is based on notion along side with the 5 books of Moses (passed down by Moses orally).
- is the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions called the "Oral Torah" and the
first major work of Rabbinic Judaism.
- It was redacted c. 200 AD by Judah haNasi when, according to the Talmud, the persecution of the
Jews and the passage of time raised the possibility that the details of the oral traditions dating
from Pharisaic times (536 BC – 70 AD) would be forgotten.
- It is thus named for being both the one written authority (codex) secondary (only) to the Tanakh
as a basis for the passing of judgment, a source and a tool for creating laws, and the first of many
books to complement the Bible in a certain aspect.
- The Mishnah is also called Shas (an acronym for Shisha Sedarim - the "six orders"), in reference
to its six main divisions
- The end of the Jewish commonwealth in the year 70 AD resulted in an upheaval of Jewish social
and legal norms. The Rabbis were faced with the new reality of Judaism without a Temple (to
serve as the center of teaching and study) and Judea without autonomy
Passover: The major spring festival of agricultural rebirth and renewal, given a historical dimension by
association with the hasty departure of the Israelites from Egypt under Moses’ leadership (exodus).
Pentateuch: The first five books of the Hebrew bible, ascribed by tradition to Moses but regarded by
modern scholars as the product of several centuries of later literary activity.
Rabbi: A teacher, in Roman times an expert on the interpretation of Torah; since priestly sacrifices
ceased with the destruction of the Temple, the rabbi has been the scholarly and spiritual leader of a
Sabbath: The seventh day of the week, observed by Jews since ancient times as a day of rest from
ordinary activity. It is a day for prayer and assembly in a synagogue, the Jewish house of worship and
Tanakh: The entire Hebrew bible, consisting of the Torah ( or law), Nevi’im (or prophets), and Ketuvim
(or sacred writings), and named as an acronym of these three terms.
Torah: A word meaning “teaching” or “instruction”; applied most specifically to the Law of Moses (the
Pentateuch) but may also refer to the entire scripture, including commentaries, and even the entire
spiritual thrust of Jewish religion. Torah
Has multiple meanings and may mean literally first 5 books in Hebrew Bible or rest of it all
together or Hebrew Bible or can it all just mean you follow its teachings
God’s ongoing engagement and sequences of moments of success and failure are tied to
moments of obedience and disobedience
1. Torah (genesis, exodus, Leviticus, numbers, Deuteronomy)
2. Prophets (Nevi’im) – stuff coming after Moses and after establishment of Israel
3. Writings (Ketuvim) – classified as short stories and poems
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