Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Understanding Judaism Part 1

The Torah as a Testimony

In the next few posts I will present information discussed from a Traditional and Orthodox Judaism. I define Traditional Judaism as the Torah understandings and traditions that came out of the Middle East directly from Jewish communities who have always been in the Middle East. Orthodox Judaism I define as the Torah understandings and traditions of the descendants of Middle Eastern Jews who made their want into Europe. The two are one and the same on some level with miner differences in culture. I make the distinction since most people are familiar with Jewish movements that came out of Europe, but not those that came out of the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Instead of relying on my own words or opinions I will try to find videos or writings by various Judaic scholars from around the Jewish world. I also intersperse this group of posts with some comparisons in Jewish liturgy and music.

Rabbi Amnon Yitzhaq Lecture

Below is part 1 and part 2 of a video, done here in Israel, of Rabbi Amnon Yitzhaq speaking on whether one can take the Tanakh (Hebrew) as a valid source of religious truth or simple as a collected group of histories.

Rabbi Amnon Yitzhaq

Rabbi Yitzhak is widely involved in "Kiruv" ("bringing [secular Jews] closer [to Torah Judaism]"). He is the head of the 'Shofar' organization, which, among other activities, distributes his lectures on audio and DVD's around the globe. Rabbi Yitzhak was born in Tel Aviv, Israel to a Yemenite Jewish family. He was brought up in a non-religious home, and became religious at the age of 24. Eight years later he established the Shofar organization for promoting the "return to religion" amongst the Jewish Israeli population.In his lectures he dresses in traditional Yemenite Jewish clothing.

In order to understand some of the points of his lecture you have to understand that Traditional and Orthodox Judaism bases itself on what is called מסורה (Mesorah). Mesorah refers either to the transmission of a (religious) tradition or to the tradition itself.
  • In a broad sense the term can refer to the entire chain of Jewish tradition.
  • In a narrow sense the term refers to the tradition of the Masoretes used in determining the precise text of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible):
Rabbi Amnon Yitzhaq's lecture is in Hebrew, but there are English subtitles.

Torah - A testimony for generations (pt.1)


Torah - A testimony for generations (pt.2)

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