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Author Topic: Israelite religion vs. Judaism [Shaye Cohen, Harvard University]  (Read 2092 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jetavan
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« on: December 01, 2010, 10:46:26 PM »

Q: What are the main differences between Israelite religion and Judaism?

Cohen: How do we contrast Israelite religion with Judaism? We can do it in a number of different ways. We can begin institutionally: Israelite religion has a temple; Judaism has a synagogue. Israelite religion has priests; Judaism has sages or rabbis. Israelite religion has animal sacrifice; Judaism has prayer. Israelite religion is located primarily in the homeland of Israel; Judaism is found in any land. Israelite religion has prophets; in Judaism, prophecy has ceased.

Israelite religion has sacred interpreters, but it's only Judaism that has sacred interpreters, sages, studying a sacred text. And the sacred text is meant to be the property of the entire community. This is a sign of Judaism, not a sign of Israelite religion. Israelite religion, theologically speaking, believes that God rewards and punishes in this world. Judaism develops theories of reward and punishment in the hereafter.

These are some of the contrasts between Israelite religion and Judaism, and the transition from one to another is not an event; it's a process that will take centuries, and the Babylonian Exile and the restoration in the 5th century B.C.E. are important moments in that process.
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« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2010, 12:08:18 AM »

This seems to be excluding Second Temple Judaism from "Israelite religion", if he identifies the Babylonian Exile as the beginning of the shift....
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« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2010, 03:04:34 AM »

Q: What are the main differences between Israelite religion and Judaism?

Cohen: How do we contrast Israelite religion with Judaism? We can do it in a number of different ways. We can begin institutionally: Israelite religion has a temple; Judaism has a synagogue. Israelite religion has priests; Judaism has sages or rabbis. Israelite religion has animal sacrifice; Judaism has prayer. Israelite religion is located primarily in the homeland of Israel; Judaism is found in any land. Israelite religion has prophets; in Judaism, prophecy has ceased.

Israelite religion has sacred interpreters, but it's only Judaism that has sacred interpreters, sages, studying a sacred text. And the sacred text is meant to be the property of the entire community. This is a sign of Judaism, not a sign of Israelite religion. Israelite religion, theologically speaking, believes that God rewards and punishes in this world. Judaism develops theories of reward and punishment in the hereafter.

These are some of the contrasts between Israelite religion and Judaism, and the transition from one to another is not an event; it's a process that will take centuries, and the Babylonian Exile and the restoration in the 5th century B.C.E. are important moments in that process.

St. John Chrysostom also noticed that.  Wink
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Jetavan
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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2010, 06:35:30 AM »

This seems to be excluding Second Temple Judaism from "Israelite religion", if he identifies the Babylonian Exile as the beginning of the shift....
Didn't 2nd Temple have animal sacrifices?
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"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2010, 10:01:11 AM »

So he writes off the priestly class of Aaron and all he Levite priests?
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Jetavan
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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2010, 10:28:42 AM »

So he writes off the priestly class of Aaron and all he Levite priests?
I think he argues that the priestly class gradually ceased functioning in what is called "Judaism".
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If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2010, 09:58:21 PM »

This seems to be excluding Second Temple Judaism from "Israelite religion", if he identifies the Babylonian Exile as the beginning of the shift....
Didn't 2nd Temple have animal sacrifices?

Yeah.

But I was referring to the end of the entry. He/she referred to the destruction of the First Temple as the beginning of the transition rather than the destruction of the Second Temple.
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