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Old 11-04-2019, 02:05 AM
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Amanah Amanah is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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The Great Courses

I'm watching lectures via an online learning app "The Great Courses Plus." The purpose of this thread will be to share things of interest that I learn in these courses.

I'm currently watching:
Great World Religions: Judaism
Professor Isaiah M. Gafni Hebrew University

Of Interest is Prof Gafni stating (in his lecture) that the destruction of the temple in 70 AD was the most devastating event in Jewish history, arguably more devastating than the holocaust.

His course guide simply states:

Judaism points to the Bible as the source of its faith and religious behavior, yet when we compare the Judaism practiced today, even by its most zealous adherents, with the religious behavior mandated by the Bible, we encounter major discrepancies. The Bible stresses the importance of worshipping God at a single, central institution, ultimately represented by the Temple in Jerusalem. Decentralization of the cult was frowned upon.

Today, however, Jews worship in synagogues, and these are located wherever a sufficient number of Jews warrants their establishment. The Israelites of the Bible were required to serve God through an elaborate system of sacrificial worship, that is, by slaughtering animals on an altar at the temple. This activity was conducted primarily by the members of a particular family, known as priests. Today, the most common mode of worship in Judaism is through prayer, and no priests are required. The most visible form of religious leadership among Jews today is the rabbinic model. But whereas the Bible describes the role and functions of kings, priests, and prophets, there is no mention of rabbis anywhere.

These changes are just a few of the major adjustments that resulted from what was arguably the most traumatic event in Judaism’s long history:the destruction of the Second Temple in the year 70 C.E., following a four-year uprising against the Roman rulers of Judaea. The Second Temple had stood in Jerusalem for almost 600 years (516 B.C.E.–70 C.E.). Viewed in historical perspective, the sudden loss of the center of Jewish life for practitioners of Judaism throughout the world must have been devastating.

The First Temple, of biblical times, stood for approximately 400 years (c. 960 B.C.E.–586 B.C.E.). Save for a 70-year interval, Jews had worshipped for a thousand years in the manner prescribed by the Bible. The sudden absence of a temple demanded a theological explanation, as well as practical adjustments to the new reality. Some other sources describe groups of Jews entering a state of perpetual mourning and assuming a life of ascetic abstinence. Rabbinic stories describe one sage—Rabbi Joshua—arguing with these ascetics and claiming that such extreme reactions to the destruction can only lead to an ultimate negation of life itself. His solution, as opposed to theirs, was to establish formal symbols of mourning that would maintain the memory of the destroyed Temple, but otherwise, to get on with life.
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Old 11-04-2019, 04:24 AM
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Evang.Benincasa Evang.Benincasa is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
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Re: The Great Courses

Therefore they came up with a system to negate the Messiah. Jesus Christ.
Biblical Judaism ended in 70 A.D. and Rabbinical converts fight hard to erase that true Christianity is the only way to worship the One True Living God.
"Don't Kill The Messenger" ~Sophocles
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