Judaism is one of the oldest major world religions. It has managed to maintain itself over the course of over 3,000 years. It has faced many hardships including persecution and the Holocaust. How is Judaism still relevant today after so many years? Many people use Judaism for stability in maintaining the order in their life. Also, Jewish people who share their faith from generation to generation keep the faith going. Finally, faithful and devoted Jews keep the faith alive with teaching others and their children in the ways of Judaism. Judaism is still relevant and existing today because of hopes for stability, generational sharing, and faithful devotion of the followers it already has.
One reason that Judaism is relevant and in existence today is through the stability it provides to the people who follow it. Judaism in itself has many laws and regulations on every aspect of daily life such as “The Thirteen Articles of Faith” (Maimonides) that encourage them to believe in the Prophets and God alone. When properly observed, halakhah increases the spirituality in a person’s life, because it turns the most trivial, mundane acts, such as eating and getting dressed, into acts of religious significance (“Rich”). This gives believers meaning to do their everyday jobs to be of great significance to their god and makes everything they do worth while. Most Jews Will follow the rules of the Mitzvot, all six-hundred and thirteen biblical laws, that keeps them kosher, humble, and at peace with God and man (Rich ). These rules pertain to every aspect of the Jewish life. The wanting for social and religious stability is not the only reason for conversion to Judaism, however.
Another way Judaism is kept today is handing it down from generation to generation and keeping Judaism in the family. At a young child’s first B’nai Mitzvah, the proud parents and grandparents keep the faith alive when giving him or her first Torah (Coulson). Most family members play an active role in a child’s religious life as an effort to stabilize that child in the Jewish faith. Also on the day of the young Jew’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah the grandparents bless their grandchild in their faith and read to them from the sacred Torah to affirm their adulthood role in Judaism (Coulson), including again passing on their faith to their children and grandchildren. Most followers of the Jewish faith are that because of elders of the same faith instilling Judaism within them. These important moments in a young Jewish life help to instill the faith and establish the role of elders in life.. When a once faithful Jews have fallen away from either the faith or their family ties, they often attempt to reconnect those family ties with converting back to Judaism and keeping other family members within the faith (Cukierkorn). The reliability of family members within faith has kept Judaism thriving from generation to generation.
Finally, Judaism is still relevant today because many devoted Jews have kept their faith and also given it to others. The Jewish people have a high level of devotion for their God. Whenever they do anything they find a way to bless their creator. Immediately upon waking, Jews wash their hand ceremonially and recite the prayer Mohed Ani, thanking God for “Restoring the soul”. (“Nadler”), Again before retiring tot sleep, they recite a blessing known as Ha-Mapil. Imploring God to grant a peaceful sleep, whish is also followed by the invocation of the Shema (“Nadler”). they even thank their creator in times of tragedy, such as death, by blessing him. When one hears of the death of a friend or a loved one , God is blessed as “The judge who deals truthfully”; upon hearing the news of any great tragedy, God is blessed for “dealing thus with His world”; and upon seeing a seeing a severely deformed person, a benediction praises a Lord “who varies his creatures” (“Nadler”). The Followers of Judaism in this attempt to be grateful to their God in every aspect of life.
To be that devoted to a god is amazing and quit respected. Being able to bless and praise the one who has taken things and changed them takes mush devotion on the part of the believer. Most practicing Jews will also pray three times daily as prescribed to them through rabbinical law (Nadler). There is one devotion that is of biblical origin: the mandatory recitation, twice daily, of the credo Israel, the aforementioned She Yisrael, followed by the three biblical passages, the most important of which explicitly commands the Children of Israel to “Recite the words, when you rise up and before you lay down.”(“Nadler”).
Falling short of religious expectation can cause them to be scorned by others. Finally on the Jewish death bed the soon to be deceased is expected to utter the invocation of Shema as their last words (Nadler). Shema was once used only my martyrs giving their life for their faith and their God. As stated before all devoted parents and grandparents will attempt to instill Judaism into their children and grandchildren. This way their God may be satisfied in the fact that they have managed to enter another into the faith and thus keep the faith in existence. Followers of Judaism may also try to influence and possible convert their peers as to have a common bond with that person. Judaism has been kept in existence through the devoted and faithful converting others and keeping their practices.
Judaism may not be the largest religion today but it could indeed still be the most relevant and well kept of all the major world religions. The stability of this religion has often brought on new believers through its well defined stability and important laws. Many Jews, parents and grandparents alike, have used their vital role in family members’ lives to keep Judaism going from generation to generation. Also the true and faithful have kept this religion in high esteem and shared it with others in order to keep the religious spark alive. Through all of these things Judaism has thoroughly maintained itself for over three thousand years.
1.Coulson, Eve. “”Making ‘from Generation to Genration Meaningful for ALL Grandparents.” Interfaith.com – Interfaith Hospitality Resources and Information. 2009. Web. 12 Dec. 2010. . 2.Cukierkorn, Celso. “Convert to Judaism – Keeping the Spark Alive.” Conversion to Judaism – Jewish Conversion, Convert to Judaism, Information on Converting to Judaism. Adat Achim Synagogue, 2001. Web. 12 Dec. 2010. . 3.Maimonides. “”The Thirteen Articles of Faith”” Religionfacts.com. 2008. Web. 12 Dec. 2010. 4.Nadler, Allan. “”Judaism Worship and Devotion in Daily Life”” Patheos.com. 2008. Web. 12 Dec. 2010. 5.Rich, Tracey. “”Halakhah: Jewish Law”” Judaism101.com. 2002. Web. 12 Dec. 2010.