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Some questions on Judaism

Discussion in 'Judaism DIR' started by Doodlebug02, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. Doodlebug02

    Doodlebug02 Active Member

    Dec 21, 2004
    Hi everyone. I have some questions about Judaism. Please answer these for me.

    1. Why is Judaism the correct religion?
    2. Do you still follow the Levitical laws such as the ones about mold in your house?
    3. What kinds of dietary laws do you have?
    4. How does one convert to Judaism?
    5. What does Judaism have to say about pets?
    6. What is the afterlife like in Judaism?
    7. If one does not have a synagogue nearby, is one still obligated to attend?
    8. What does Judaism say about abortion?
    9. What does Judaism say about homosexuality?
    10. What does Judaism say about the death penalty?
  2. Caladan

    Caladan Agnostic Pantheist

    Aug 29, 2008
    Hey Holly, nice to see you in the Judaism forum. I am Jewish, but secular, so take that into consideration while reading my answers, I'll try to mix in some of the traditional Jewish aspects with my own personal take.

    Obviously as a secular man, I dont really believe there is a completely exclusive 'correct religion', if I try to look at it from the traditional perspective, its not that Judaism is the correct religion, its that Judaism presents a comphrhensive teachings and commandments for Jews, and also a universal code of morals for the universal community. Im sure our Noahide members will be happy to fill in the gap on this one.
    Obviously there are different sectors with different degrees of strictness within the Jewish faith, in general I dont hold myself to the over 600 commandments, I may fulfill some of them because of cultural traditions.. for example, Jews almost exclusively all have a Mezuzah on their doors, even if they may be completely secular.
    Eat and drink well, enjoy your food, and dont discriminate in it ;) if they serve good ham in England enjoy it, if you have a chance to enjoy a fresh dish of seafood in a coastal town, go for it.
    Up until today, the conversion is done through the orthodox bodies, it is a process of about a year, in which you study Judaism, and a some Hebrew, today there is an attempt to recognize conversions to Judaism via the reform stream as legit.
    Hehe, I suspect it all depends on the context, the ancient Israelites obviously used the Canaan dog breed as shepherds, although as history change, I did hear that some religious sectors are less accommodating of dogs, personally I have a companion who is a Dutch shepherd mixed with Canaan dog :cool:
    I'll get back to this once I partially figure out what this life is about.
    TBH, I have synagogues around, but I hardly visit them. maybe Im missing on some communal brotherhood, but its just my life style.
    You might find some relevant info in this link: Jewish beliefs about abortion
    To me its more of what Jews say about homosexuality. I participated in the Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade a few weeks ago, and it was nice seeing religious Jews showing support and presence.
    The Rabbis throughout history have made a web of complications in the way of capital punishment, so while one can easily read certain passages of the Hebrew bible through a limited context, the many other parts of the Jewish library give us a more complex information, this attitude was inherited by the modern state of Israel which does not have the capital punishment. in 61 years of existence, the state of Israel has executed only one person: Nazi war criminal, Adolph Eichman.
    #2 Caladan, Jul 1, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2009
  3. Harmonious

    Harmonious Well-Known Member

    May 30, 2008
    Orthodox Jew
    I'll see what I can do.
    1. There is not ONE good answer I could give you. You can either believe it or not.
      That isn't about mold. Tzara'at is a complicated punishment, but the whole of it died out during the Second Temple era, when Evil Speech (the sin for which Tzara'at was a common punishment) was so rampant that getting the disease for a punishment was more likely to spur gossip (!) about the person who developed it than to stop the sin that caused the problem.
      The answer to this question is quite complex. The simple answer involves eating only mammals that both chew their cud and have cloven hooves (think bovine, ovine, deer, and the like), assuming they were slaughtered properly, as well as salted and bled out. The only seafood to be eaten have to have fins and scales (like bass, tuna, whitefish, pike, trout, cod, and the like. Lobster, shrimp, shark fin soup is right out). Birds are more complicated to explain, but they have to be slaughtered properly. Chicken, turkeys, geese, ducks, doves, quail, pheasant, pigeons, and probably a few other birds I've forgotten are permitted to be eaten, as long as they were slaughtered properly, salted, and bled out.
    In all concepts I've discussed so far, it is FAR more complicated than that, but that is the bare bones. Oh, and in addition to all of this, Jews must keep dairy and meat products separate. We can't cook them together, we can't eat them together, and we can't get any benefit from them being together. (For example, I couldn't give YOU a cheeseburger, even if it made you happy. You are free to eat one, but I couldn't make myself happy by giving it to you.)
    1. That is a LONG and complicated process that won't be simply answered here in one post. If you want to discuss the idea, we can do that, but it is not a cut and dry "Do this and you're in" thing.
      Lots of things, really. They have to be fed before the humans in the family, for one. But no matter how you slice it, the answer is rather complicated. We can get into it, if you like.
      That's a good question. We don't know what it is like. We merely know there is one.
      No. But praying with more people is better than praying alone, if you can swing it, and not violate any other commandments in the process.
      It is forbidden, unless it is saving the life of the mother.
      It is forbidden, but if a person merely has the desire but doesn't act on it, they are perfectly fine, and are not to be treated badly or differently because of their tastes.
      It should be used very sparingly. There is a longer answer, but it would depend on what the actual question is.