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6 years ago  ::  May 04, 2008 - 12:16AM #1
Gemsbok
Posts: 83
What is different from the Judaism of old and the Judaism of today?  Is there anything in the past that was done that is not done today?  When I say Judaism of the past I mean during the time of the Jewish temple.  First or second temple, around that time and judaism of today.
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6 years ago  ::  May 04, 2008 - 2:20AM #2
Pam34
Posts: 2,659

Gemsbok wrote:

What is different from the Judaism of old and the Judaism of today?  Is there anything in the past that was done that is not done today?  When I say Judaism of the past I mean during the time of the Jewish temple.  First or second temple, around that time and judaism of today.



Well, obviously and most glaring - when the temples stood, we had animal sacrifices there, and now that the temple is gone, we don't do that. Shortly after the destruction of the second temple by the Romans, our sages decided that sacrifices at the temple would be replaced by study and charitable contributions.

Clothing styles have changed too. And we spent a lot of time and effort discussing how to observe the laws, given modern technological advances like electricity and automobiles....

But there's a lot that is the same - like praying daily and saying blessings and getting married and buried, and raising children - normal stuff.

Blessed are You, HaShem, Who blesses the years.
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6 years ago  ::  May 04, 2008 - 7:19AM #3
Bunsinspace
Posts: 5,929

Gemsbok wrote:

What is different from the Judaism of old and the Judaism of today? Is there anything in the past that was done that is not done today? When I say Judaism of the past I mean during the time of the Jewish temple. First or second temple, around that time and judaism of today.



BS"D

It is no more and no less than the difference between ourselves and our parents.  ;)

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6 years ago  ::  May 04, 2008 - 12:33PM #4
nieciedo
Posts: 5,617
What they said,

The Mishna, one of the two elements that make up the Talmud, is essentially a guidebook to Jewish life in the period of the Second Temple. The laws of the Mishna, together with their commentaries and amplifications in the Gemara, together form the Talmud and the Talmud is the basis of all Jewish life going forward from the 5th century CE or so.

So, where things were no longer able to be done (like the sacrifices) they were set aside or replaced with something metaphorically similar. Otherwise, as much as could be preserved was done. The laws of the Sabbath and holidays, of kashrut, ethics, etc. All are the same. Of course, as is natural over 1500 years or more our laws today have evolved and are in many cases more complicated than those in the Talmud, but that is also a fact of the evolution of technology and the changes in social life.
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6 years ago  ::  May 04, 2008 - 8:09PM #5
Gemsbok
Posts: 83
Alright, you all gave simple answers and that is all I wanted to know.  Although If or when the temple is rebuilt, do you think the animal sacrifices would start up again?  Thanks again.
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6 years ago  ::  May 04, 2008 - 8:47PM #6
mlarue75
Posts: 1,199
[QUOTE=Gemsbok;477579]Alright, you all gave simple answers and that is all I wanted to know.  Although If or when the temple is rebuilt, do you think the animal sacrifices would start up again?  Thanks again.[/QUOTE]Some people want to, but a lot of us say "Ick!"  It's a great discussion starter with the kids in religious school.  Personally, I hope animal sacrifice would not resume.
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6 years ago  ::  May 04, 2008 - 8:09PM #7
Gemsbok
Posts: 83
Alright, you all gave simple answers and that is all I wanted to know.  Although If or when the temple is rebuilt, do you think the animal sacrifices would start up again?  Thanks again.
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6 years ago  ::  May 04, 2008 - 8:47PM #8
mlarue75
Posts: 1,199
[QUOTE=Gemsbok;477579]Alright, you all gave simple answers and that is all I wanted to know.  Although If or when the temple is rebuilt, do you think the animal sacrifices would start up again?  Thanks again.[/QUOTE]Some people want to, but a lot of us say "Ick!"  It's a great discussion starter with the kids in religious school.  Personally, I hope animal sacrifice would not resume.
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6 years ago  ::  May 04, 2008 - 10:38PM #9
Pam34
Posts: 2,659
Wasn't it Rav Kook who said that when the messiah comes and the temple is rebuilt, only the vegetable sacrifices will be brought?
Blessed are You, HaShem, Who blesses the years.
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6 years ago  ::  May 04, 2008 - 11:29PM #10
nieciedo
Posts: 5,617
Oh, there are a lot of different opinions about what, if anything, we go on in a rebuilt Temple. Orthodox Jews pray every day for the rebuilding of the Temple and the resumption of sacrifices. Conservative Jews pray for the rebuilding of the Temple. but are content to leave the sacrifices in the past. Reform prays neither for the rebuilding of the Temple nor the sacrifices.

Having studied the sacrificial system, both in the Rabbinic texts and in the writings of modern scholars like Jacob Milgrom, I can understand the underlying principal beneath the rituals and why they would have been meaningful to our ancestors.

There were three main kinds of sacrifices: the burnt offering, the well-being offering, and purification of offering.

The burnt offering was simply an expression of praise and worship of God. Twice each day, a lamb accompanied by wheat flour mixed with olive oil and a libation of wine was offered on the altar. In Leviticus 21 these are explicitly called "the food of God" and that's what it originally was: many ancient societies believed the gods needed to be "fed" by sacrifices and providing God with this "food" was the basic definition of "worship" (which in Hebrew is exactly the same word as "service"). A worshiper "served" God the same way, for example, a butler "served" his master. Monotheistic Israel stripped the sacrifices of these anthropomorphic connotations for the most part. Now, these sacrifices -- the daily tamid offering and the additional offerings for the Sabbath and the holidays are written in terms of commandments. The only reason we do not perform these today is because we do not have the Temple and its altar. Presumably, a commandment once given cannot be rescinded and if the Temple were restored the burnt offerings would resume.

The well-being offerings were not commanded. They were optional, a way for people to celebrate the blessings they had received in their lives. Animals would be slaughtered, their sacrificial fats burned on the altar and the blood poured out on the altar, but the flesh would be eaten by the priests and people in a festive meal. This is a reflection of the very ancient era in which all eating of meat was originally done in sacred setting. In the Messianic Age, we are given to understand that humanity will be redeemed and will no longer need the compromise of meat-eating that was made after the Flood to channel our violent urges. One could assume, then, that the well-being offering would not be made.

The purification offering was brought to cleanse the Altar of the impurity it could contract from the surrounding environment. Impurity had two primary sources: the natural cycles of life and death and human transgression against the commandments (which is itself a form or manifestation of death). A dead body or menstrual blood or semen or  childbirth -- all of these things created ritual impurity which, if not taken care of in the proper ritual manner, could contaminate the Sanctuary. Human transgression, willful or accidental, also produced impurity which immediately contaminated the Sanctuary and necessitated the purification offering (erroneously translated often as a "sin offering"). We can presume that in the Messianic Age no one will sin since we will all have the law of God inscribed on our hearts. Yet, there is nothing to suggest that people won't still be born, die, menstruate, or ejaculate. The purification offering should therefore still be necessary.

All of this, of course, is based on taking the scriptures from an internal viewpoint. I personally am very skeptical that a Temple will ever be restored.

Reading Tractates Yoma and Tamid, I'm actually quite nauseated by the prospect. Imagine men in white robes spattered with blood -- that's got to be a ghastly sight. And then the bleats of dying animals, blood sprayed all over the slaughtering pens, collected in vessels and poured against the Altar, the stench of burning meat -- all of this in the hot desert sun?

Well, the Rabbis say that it was miraculous that no flies were ever seen in the Temple and no woman ever miscarried from the smell. So, who knows?
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