As long as deep within the heart The Jewish soul is warm And toward the edges of the east An eye to Zion looks Our hope is not yet lost, The hope of two thousand years To be a free people in our own land In the land of Zion and Jerusalem.
And the Bible played a major role in the process. The creation of the United States of America represented a unique event in world history.
Unlike other countries where democracy evolved over a period of hundreds of years, the United States was the first country to be created, from its inception, as a democracy. And the Bible—and Jewish values—played a major role in this process.
Over the next century, America continued to be not only the land of opportunity for many people seeking a better life but also the land of religious tolerance. The majority of the earliest settlers were, of course, Puritans.
Beginning with the Mayflower, over the next twenty years, 16, Puritans migrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and many more settled in Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Like their cousins back in England, these American Puritans strongly identified with both the historical traditions and customs of the ancient Hebrews of the Old Testament.
They viewed their emigration from England as a virtual re-enactment of the Jewish exodus from Egypt. They were the new Israelites, entering into a new covenant with God in a new Promised Land.
Thanksgiving—first celebrated ina year after the Mayflower landed—was initially conceived as day parallel to the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur; it was to be a day of fasting, introspection and prayer.
Gabriel Sivan, in The Bible and Civilization, p. No Christian community in history identified more with the People of the Book than did the early settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, who believed their own lives to be a literal reenactment of the Biblical drama of the Hebrew nation.
In England, the Puritan identification with the Bible was so strong that some Puritan extremists sought to replace English common law with Biblical laws of the Old Testament, but were prevented from doing so.
In America, however, there was far more freedom to experiment with the use of Biblical law in the legal codes of the colonies, and this was exactly what these early colonist set out to do. The earliest legislation of the colonies of New England was all determined by Scripture.
At the first assembly of New Haven inJohn Davenport clearly stated the primacy of the Bible as the legal and moral foundation of the colony: Scriptures do hold forth a perfect rule for the direction and government of all men in all duties which they are to perform to God and men as well as in the government of families and commonwealth as in matters of the Church A very significant political evolution was taking place in the New World.
Unlike the Puritans in England who, of necessity, lived under English common law and were ruled by a King and Parliament, the Puritans of America had no central authority or national governing body. Yet, they did not lapse into anarchy.
Their communities were both stable and prosperous, with mandatory school systems modeled after the Jewish ones. This unique political evolution goes a long way toward explaining the strong sense of independence shared by the colonies and the early success of democracy in America.
The Puritans felt that God was watching them, and fear of heaven was a thousand times stronger than fear of the crown. But what did it say exactly?
So much of it could be subject to interpretation of the reader. Without the Jewish Oral Law, which helped the Jews understand the Bible, the Puritans were left to their own devices and tended toward a literal interpretation.
This sometimes led to a stricter, more fundamentalist observance than Judaism had ever seen.
For example, the Jewish Sabbath is a day of refraining from work as the Bible mandates. But the Puritans took the commandment to cease work as unconditional. And their prohibitions were actually more restrictive than what the Jews had themselves practiced.
Even household chores such as sweeping floors, making beds, or feeding animals were not allowed for the twenty-four hours of the day of rest."Israel is the very embodiment of Jewish continuity: It is the only nation on earth that inhabits the same land, bears the same name, speaks the same language, and worships the same God that it .
For the first time in history, Jewish ethical ideas were legally enshrined into the laws of a non-Jewish nation. That country, the United States, would, in turn, become a powerful model to be emulated by numerous countries around the world. In fact, however, many developments have occurred within so-called normative or Rabbinic Judaism.
In any event, the history of Judaism can be divided into the following major periods: biblical Judaism (c. 20th–4th century bce), Hellenistic Judaism (4th century bce –2nd century ce), Rabbinic Judaism (2nd–18th century ce), and modern Judaism (c.
to the present). Beyond Time and Place. Introduction. In the year BCE, Abraham began his long journey from Haran to Canaan - a journey which would change the history of the world and have a profound effect on the development of most major religions.
Throughout the ages there has been a fascination with Jewish history. Judaism, monotheistic religion developed among the ancient arteensevilla.comm is characterized by a belief in one transcendent God who revealed himself to Abraham, Moses, and the Hebrew prophets and by a religious life in accordance with Scriptures and rabbinic traditions.
Judaism is the complex phenomenon of a total way of life for the Jewish . Without the Jewish Oral Law, which helped the Jews understand the Bible, the Puritans were left to their own devices and tended toward a literal interpretation. This sometimes led to a stricter, more fundamentalist observance than Judaism had ever seen.