Teaching on Judaism

Monday, the 4th, and Tuesday, the 5th of August 2014, we had input with Sr. Anne Catherine. We studied a little more about Judaism. We were very interested in the destruction of the Temple, and were aware that on 5 of August (Tishah B’Av on the Jewish calendar), the Jewish people had their annual solemn memorial of that event. As we know, for them it is not only a memory but also a daily reflection that brings them back to awareness of the presence of God. After the destruction of the Temple they remembered their earlier experience of the presence of God at the Tent of Meeting and how they gathered there in open desert, to pray. Forgetting that moment led them into exile, remembering it is a secret of their survival as a people.

For the Jewish World, three things remain central: Torah – The Word of God, Avoda – worship or the service of prayer, and Gemicur Hanadin – deeds of love toward one’s neighbours. These three are related to each other and, among them, the Word of God is the most important. Therefore in Judaism everything begins with that or is developed from it.

We learned more about the difference between Written Torah and Oral Torah. Torah comes from the root “YIARA,” that is, pointing the way to go, to live, the way of truth. For the Jewish people, both Oral and Written Torah are important. Oral Torah is the tradition, the transmission, and the Written Torah must follow the Oral Torah, for without it, it would be dead.

written by Alejandra