Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Huston Smith Assignment 2

4. What is the meaning in suffering?

In Judaism, suffering is important because similar to history, it teaches people a lesson and there is always a reason for suffering. In most cases, suffering is God’s way of punishing the Jewish people but also teaching them a lesson so they do not do it again. The most important examples of this are when they were put into exile by the surrounding empires and instead of giving up they still believed that God was on their side, he was just trying to show them what they were doing wrong and give them an appreciation for everything they had before they were exiled. Suffering also teaches people that if they stay true to God through hard times he will reward them. Also, suffering is seen as a lesson to the rest of the world, not just people of Jewish faith. When suffering occurs, God is punishing everyone even if they do not believe in him and the lessons that the Jewish people learn affect the entire world.

5. What is the Meaning in Messianism?

In Judaism, Messianism is important because it gives people a sense of hope because they were usually the underdogs in every situation and Messianism gave them hope that one day the conditions of life would improve. The idea of a Messianic age consists of three important elements; hope, restoration of a Jewish Nation, and an ethical change that would affect the entire world so people would live in peace. Some people believe that a messiah will come to bring in this era, or that God will intervene himself, or that there will be an apocalyptic event that restores the world so this era will be possible. The idea of improving a person’s life or the lives of a large population is important in Judaism because they were usually mistreated or the underdogs throughout most of their history so hope that life would improve was essential to their faith.

6. What is meant by the “hallowing of life”?

In Judaism, the “hallowing of life” is a way of making everything in life sacred by sharing the good and bad parts of life with God. A person has to understand the concept that everything belongs to God; therefore people should share all of life’s events with Him even if it is just a family dinner. In Judaism, this is done through rituals and traditions that have been passed down through generations. These rituals not only allow people to slow down and consider the current conditions of their lives, but also to be aware of God and be grateful towards God for everything that He provides.

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