Judaism vs. Islam - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 31 Old 01-18-2009, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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How are they different, theologically? Since they are both Abrahamic religions, I can think of a number of ways in which they are similar. In fact, to me they seem more similar to each other than either is similar to Christianity. Both have one God, not incarnate, angels and prophets and many of the same stories even. But I'm having a harder time coming up with differences. Correct me if I'm wrong on any of these...

- The afterlife/judgment is more pronounced in Islam
- There is no concept of Israel/a chosen people in Islam
- There are more mitzva/rules in Judaism than in Islam
- The Qu'ran is considered the actual word of God vs a collection of writings
- Islam wouldn't mind it if everyone to be Muslim while Judaism sometimes almost discourages converts and encourages people to live by the Noahide laws instead

But like, theologically how are they different? What am I not getting?
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#2 of 31 Old 01-18-2009, 04:27 PM
 
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I am neither Jewish nor Muslim, but I was raised as a Baha'i and we were raised to believe that there is a succession of prophets for each age, so Muhammed would be the prophet after Jesus.

Baha'i's are also a Judeo-Christian religion so, they accept all previous propehts, but also believe the Bab and Baha'u'llah were prophets as well.
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#3 of 31 Old 01-18-2009, 06:25 PM
 
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: I really don't know enough about Judaism to contribute, but the subject interests me.
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#4 of 31 Old 01-18-2009, 09:14 PM
 
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I'm in the same boat as Liquesce. I can tell you that I did the Belief-O-Matic quiz and it pegged me as an Orthodox Jew. Makes me think they must be pretty similar. :
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#5 of 31 Old 01-18-2009, 09:53 PM
 
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I have always found them to be very similar. Much more so than either to Christianity.

The biggest difference to my mind is that Islam sees itself as being intended for all people. Judaism does think their God is the creator of all, but believes he especially chose their people to follow the law which he gave them. So they don't generally go out trying to convert people.

Some questions I would ask in trying to tease out the differences:

In each religion,

What role is Islam/Judaism meant to play in the wider world as an institution or as a people?
What is the nature of the law, or the rules, given by God?

What type of action are we supposed to take in response to what God has said? What duties do we owe to him?

What happens when we fail to do what God wants?

What is the afterlife like?

What happens to non-believers? or in the case of Judaism, what part do non-Jews play and what is their relation to God?

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#6 of 31 Old 01-18-2009, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Those are really good questions to ask....

Has anyone been in a position where they tried to pick EITHER Judaism OR Islam to follow as a religion? Was there any specific pull in either direction? Was one an obvious choice - i.e. husband was Muslim - or was it a conscious decision to follow one or the other? Is part of the difference just cultural? You feel you "fit in" better with one group or the other?
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#7 of 31 Old 01-18-2009, 11:15 PM
 
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Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
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#8 of 31 Old 01-19-2009, 12:53 AM
 
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How are they different, theologically? Since they are both Abrahamic religions, I can think of a number of ways in which they are similar. In fact, to me they seem more similar to each other than either is similar to Christianity. Both have one God, not incarnate, angels and prophets and many of the same stories even. But I'm having a harder time coming up with differences. Correct me if I'm wrong on any of these...

- The afterlife/judgment is more pronounced in Islam
- There is no concept of Israel/a chosen people in Islam
- There are more mitzva/rules in Judaism than in Islam
- The Qu'ran is considered the actual word of God vs a collection of writings
- Islam wouldn't mind it if everyone to be Muslim while Judaism sometimes almost discourages converts and encourages people to live by the Noahide laws instead

But like, theologically how are they different? What am I not getting?
They are amazingly similar, and definitley more similar than say Judaism and Christianity or Christianity and Islam. I actually went through a three-four year period where I wondered which one to revert to.

Almost everything you've written is correct, BTW. Although the "chosen people" is mentioned and does refer to the Jews, because God chose to send Prophets to them.

Quote:
“O Children of Israel (the Israelites), remember and mention the favor which I bestowed upon you, and that I favored you amongst all the worlds.” (Quran 2:47, 2:122)
Quote:
“And indeed We gave the Children of Israel (the Israelites) the Scripture, and the understanding of the Scripture and its laws, and the Prophethood; and provided them with good things, and preferred them above all the worlds.” (Quran 45:16)
Quote:
“Indeed God took the covenant from the Children of Israel (Jews), and We appointed twelve leaders among them. And God said: “I am with you if you establish the prayer and offer the Zakat (compulsory charity) and believe in My Messengers; honor and assist them, and lend to God a good loan. Verily, I will remit your sins and admit you to Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise). But if any of you after this, disbelieved, he has indeed gone astray from the Straight Path.” (Quran 5:12)

If you look at scripture itself, the Qur'an gives more rights to women. (Of course, practice today may be different in both camps. ) Women had the right to own property, even back in the 7th century. Women had the right to inherit...as did all sons... wheras, traditionally, the elder son would inherit everything. Women had the right to choose/approve of their marriage partners. Women had the right to divorce. Women receive the dowry upon marriage, etc. Women are to be educated as well as men, etc.

Does this help??

I think that on paper, for me, Islam was a better fit. However, in practice, I think much of the Muslim world (whether by choice or force) is living counter to the Qur'an and Spirit of the Prophet's teachings.

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#9 of 31 Old 01-19-2009, 11:11 AM
 
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... in practice, I think much of the Muslim world (whether by choice or force) is living counter to the Qur'an and Spirit of the Prophet's teachings.
Yes, agreed, umsami. Unfortunately, it seems no matter what a person's religious path, they are often living counter to their path's teachings! I know I struggle.


I'm no expert on this subject, OP, but I did pick up this book at our library and it seemed interesting and perhaps helpful to you?

An Introduction to Islam for Jews by Reuven Firestone

http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-I.../dp/0827608640
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#10 of 31 Old 01-19-2009, 07:53 PM
 
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How are they different, theologically? Since they are both Abrahamic religions, I can think of a number of ways in which they are similar. In fact, to me they seem more similar to each other than either is similar to Christianity. Both have one God, not incarnate, angels and prophets and many of the same stories even. But I'm having a harder time coming up with differences. Correct me if I'm wrong on any of these...

- The afterlife/judgment is more pronounced in Islam
- There is no concept of Israel/a chosen people in Islam
- There are more mitzva/rules in Judaism than in Islam
- The Qu'ran is considered the actual word of God vs a collection of writings
- Islam wouldn't mind it if everyone to be Muslim while Judaism sometimes almost discourages converts and encourages people to live by the Noahide laws instead

But like, theologically how are they different? What am I not getting?
Judaism indeed does have plenty to say about the afterlife. However, since a person can only do mitzvot (Torah commandments) in *this* life, we focus on bringing holiness into this world as our mission.

The Torah is not a collection of writings. Orthodox Jews (and Judaism was always Orthodox until the Reform movement sprouted in the 19th century) consider the Torah to be the Word of G-d. The Oral Law (Mishna/Talmud) is also considered to be directly from G-d -- it's an explanation of how to keep the Torah.

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#11 of 31 Old 01-20-2009, 09:50 PM
 
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When I was young I researched both Judaism and Islam and settled on Islam. The major reason being that I knew that I believe in strict monotheism and all of the Prophets, including Jesus. In Islam, we believe that Jesus is a prophet of God, but not a god or part of God. Like Christians, we believe in the virgin birth and that Jesus is alive in heaven and will return.

Islam also teaches that there were thousands of Prophets sent to all of the peoples on the earth. Most of their teaching have been lost or corrupted but those Prophets were sent specifically to their own people for each peoples' own reasons. The prophet Muhammad was sent as the Last Prophet and his message was intended for ALL people, to unify everyone and the Qur'an is the only revelation from God that has remained unchanged and uncorrupted. So while we are obligated to only actually follow the laws and distinct beliefs about the nature of God brought by the Prophet Muhammad, we are allowed to believe in the possibility that, say, Buddha was in fact a Prophet. (But anyone after the Prophet Muhammad was not a prophet.) AFAIK, there is not a similar belief in Judaism.

Just as Christians see Christianity as a "reformation" of Judaism, Muslims see Islam as a "reformation" of Christianity & Judaism both. Does that make sense?

The other difference I notice anecdotally is that Jews seem (to me) to anthropomorphize God a lot. In Islam this is totally unacceptable, as God as seen as totally distinct in nature from all other beings. Although we can have "godly" qualities, we cannot ascribe human weakness and flaws to God.
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Originally Posted by UmmZaynab;[I
13033148The other difference I notice anecdotally is that Jews seem (to me) to anthropomorphize God a lot. In Islam this is totally unacceptable, as God as seen as totally distinct in nature from all other beings. Although we can have "godly" qualities, we cannot ascribe human weakness and flaws to God[/I].
Can you explain this, please? With examples? As an Orthodox Jew I can tell you that such a thing is antithetical to Judaism.

We do have different Hebrew words that refer to different 'aspects' of G-d, but they do not anthropomrphize. They simply are a way of accessing some of the infinite facets of the Unknowable.

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Just as Christians see Christianity as a "reformation" of Judaism, Muslims see Islam as a "reformation" of Christianity & Judaism both. Does that make sense?
I get the general concept, except that Islam seems to accept a great deal from Judaism, but find much of Christianity wrong, and reverse its "reformations."
For example, Judaism practiced circumcision; Christianity declared it no longer necessary; Islam revived the practice.
Judaism had specific dietary laws; Christianity decided those could be set aside; Islam brought them back.
This same pattern is also there when you look at theological differences.
I know Muslims see the three religions as a progression, but it seems more like a progression from Judaism to Islam, with Christianity a kind of detour that throws the whole thing out of whack.
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Can you explain this, please? With examples? As an Orthodox Jew I can tell you that such a thing is antithetical to Judaism.

We do have different Hebrew words that refer to different 'aspects' of G-d, but they do not anthropomrphize. They simply are a way of accessing some of the infinite facets of the Unknowable.
Maybe it's a non-Orthodox thing I hear then? I feel like I hear Jews frequently telling stories that involve God thinking/feeling like a man. I'm sorry I can't think of a specific example now...

What are the Hebrew words that refer to "aspects" of God? This sounds similar to the 99 Names of God in Islam.
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I get the general concept, except that Islam seems to accept a great deal from Judaism, but find much of Christianity wrong, and reverse its "reformations."
For example, Judaism practiced circumcision; Christianity declared it no longer necessary; Islam revived the practice.
Judaism had specific dietary laws; Christianity decided those could be set aside; Islam brought them back.
This same pattern is also there when you look at theological differences.
I know Muslims see the three religions as a progression, but it seems more like a progression from Judaism to Islam, with Christianity a kind of detour that throws the whole thing out of whack.
Well, I think some Christians would dispute the idea that Christianity deems all of the laws obsolete, correct? Isn't there a verse in the NT somewhere where Jesus says he came not to nix the laws but to confirm them?

Also, Islamic views of these things are distinct from Judaism. The dietary laws in Islam are very simple: No pork, no alcohol, no dead meat, no carnivores. Judaism does not forbid alcohol either. The "halal" method of killing is not necessarily the same as the Kosher method. It doesn't have to be "blessed" by a specific person (such as a rabbi), it just has to be killed in an approved human manner and drained of excess blood.
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I get the general concept, except that Islam seems to accept a great deal from Judaism, but find much of Christianity wrong, and reverse its "reformations."
For example, Judaism practiced circumcision; Christianity declared it no longer necessary; Islam revived the practice.
Judaism had specific dietary laws; Christianity decided those could be set aside; Islam brought them back.
This same pattern is also there when you look at theological differences.
I know Muslims see the three religions as a progression, but it seems more like a progression from Judaism to Islam, with Christianity a kind of detour that throws the whole thing out of whack.
Correct me if I am wrong, but if I remember correctly the changes in Jewish laws that he Christians made were not actually changes made by the prophet Jesus, but actually by his followers in order to gain more converts. I am pretty sure I read that somewhere. I'll haveto look it up to be sure.
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Also, Islamic views of these things are distinct from Judaism. The dietary laws in Islam are very simple: No pork, no alcohol, no dead meat, no carnivores. Judaism does not forbid alcohol either. The "halal" method of killing is not necessarily the same as the Kosher method. It doesn't have to be "blessed" by a specific person (such as a rabbi), it just has to be killed in an approved human manner and drained of excess blood.

Kashrus has nothing to do with the food being blessed by a rabbi.

Kashrus is about what we may eat (which animals); how those animals are to be slaughtered (specific method, swift to prevent cruelty/suffering); and how we are to eat (no ingestion of blood; no mixing of milk and meat products).

Jews bless Hashem (G-d) before we eat food (which blessing depends on the kind of food); and afterwards.

A shochet (kosher butcher) says a bracha before commiting the act of shechita (slaughter) to thank G-d for allowing us the privilege of eating meat; and to mark the act of a mitzvah.

Special kind of rabbinic supervisors (mashgichim) do supervise the manufacture/processing of all kinds of foods to ensure they remain kosher (do not mix, are not cooked with, etc. unkosher ingredients).

At no time does a rabbi 'bless' the food to make it kosher.

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I know Muslims see the three religions as a progression, but it seems more like a progression from Judaism to Islam, with Christianity a kind of detour that throws the whole thing out of whack.
I would say more that it draws heavily on both, and rejects much of both. In legalistic aspects, yes, much more similar to Judaism, even where the rules themselves differ. The more or less acceptance of the story of Mary and a great deal of the Christian story of Jesus is no small matter, though, in terms of progressing from Judaism to Islam.
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What are the Hebrew words that refer to "aspects" of God? This sounds similar to the 99 Names of God in Islam.
Of course G-d doesn't think/fell like a human. We, however, as humans, with our feeble and finite minds, speak this way sometimes in order to be able to have a conversation about G-d. This does not mean though, that we attribute those qualities to G-d.

There are many, many Hebrew expressions about G-d. This cannot be anywhere near an exhaustive list, but some include:

Hashem (The Name...used in regular conversation)
HaKadosh Baruch Hu (The Holy One, Blessed be He)
HaMakom (the Place)
Shechinah (Divine presence)
Avinu Malkeinu (Our Father, Our King)
k'l Melech Ne'eman (Our Faithful King)
Melech HaMelachim (King of Kings)
Av HaRachamim (Father of Mercy)
HaDayan HaEmes (The True Judge)
Ribbono shel Olam (Master of the World)
HaBorei (The Creator)
Magen Avraham (Shield of Abraham)
Tzur Yisroel (Rock of Israel)

others we use only in prayer. -- here I am not writing out the true word because it would be extremely disrespectful --.."Ado-shem" (Lord); "Elo-k-im" (Ruler); the 'tetragrammaton' (four letter initials that represent G-d's name, unpronounceable and unknowable) y-k-v-h

There are tons more, just don't have time to go into them all now. Like I said, they all represent facets of G-d and a way for us, as humans, to reach a place where we can come close. But they are not anthropomorphisms.

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#21 of 31 Old 01-21-2009, 12:54 AM - Thread Starter
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I get that. In many (though definitely not all) neo-pagan traditions you often view various gods/goddesses from different pantheons as facets of the Divine. They represent various aspects. Kwan Yin might represent a mothering aspect, Sekhmet might represent an aspect of anger and fury, that sort of thing. But none of them are actually considered THE great spirit, just aspects for us to relate to better.
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#22 of 31 Old 01-21-2009, 12:58 AM - Thread Starter
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I know there are rules LIKE the mitzva in Islam as well. For example rules about cleansing before prayer. Are they written down in a list anywhere? When I think of Islam I tend to think of the pillars of Islam or the shahadah but I know there are more rules and such. i.e. while reading the Koran you have many rules about divorce and many matters. Are the pillars KIND OF like the ten commandments, and the rest are like the mitzva? In an extremely crude analogy? (Like, "these are the very basics, but do xyz too" ?)
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Maybe it's a non-Orthodox thing I hear then? I feel like I hear Jews frequently telling stories that involve God thinking/feeling like a man. I'm sorry I can't think of a specific example now...

What are the Hebrew words that refer to "aspects" of God? This sounds similar to the 99 Names of God in Islam.
I'll take a stab at this; let me know if you are thinking about a different type of example.

I'm not sure how Jews usually interpret these kinds of passages, but when Christians interpret them (I'm thinking of OT ones especially though not exclusively), it's generally recognized as anthropomorphizing; it's a description of how the situation seems to the people involved. So although God might be described as "angry" that is because the people he is "angry" at are feeling the weight of having done what is not right in the sight of God. Any time we try to describe God, it can never be quite accurate, because we don't have the words or concepts, so that we use the ones that come closest to describe the situation.

I should make a disclaimer, not every Christian would agree with my answer, but it's a very traditional position. I once heard a sermon from a priest though saying how the Bible shows us that God can change his mind. Oh well.

But are there not similar kinds of passages in Islamic literature?

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Well, I think some Christians would dispute the idea that Christianity deems all of the laws obsolete, correct? Isn't there a verse in the NT somewhere where Jesus says he came not to nix the laws but to confirm them?
Yes, he does say that, the translation is also sometimes fulfill, which I like better. Paul also says it, and expands upon it.

What Paul says is that all people are subject to law. Jews are subject to strict and specific laws set by God. But even pagans have laws revealed by their own understanding and conscience. (Murder is wrong) Those laws also come from God. He goes on to say that we have to follow whatever law we have, but also that it is through the law that we sin. So a person who does not know right and wrong cannot sin, it is by understanding God's rules that we are put in a position where we fail to keep them. But, that doesn't mean we are not bound by those laws - obviously we can't go around doing things we know to be wrong.

He also says that converted pagans do not need to keep the Jewish laws, but they do need to keep the laws of conscience. He suggest that Jews who have converted to Christianity should continue to keep Jewish law. There is some argument over why this is, and how it should work practically.

Christians in the early church came to the conclusion from these texts that the summary of the law was what they were bound to - love God, love your neighbor. So all law, including the OT laws, had to be interpreted in that light. The ten commandments are a good example, they all clearly are based on the summary of the law. Dietary laws, mostly, aren't seen that way, they are considered to be part of God's special calling for the Jews.

However, even converted Jews must always practice their law in light of the law of love. (That's isn't just a Christian position, though, it was a pretty common interpretation of how to interpret law at the time Jesus lived. However, not everyone was practicing it.)

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#25 of 31 Old 01-21-2009, 12:03 PM
 
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Just another thought is that being a "reformation" doesn't mean throwing the baby out with the bathwater, kwim? Neither Christianity nor Islam should have to completely deviate from all of the laws or beliefs of the former religions in order to be considered a reformation. "Reform" is not necessariliy a complete overhaul.

Apologies for typos, the keyboard on my laptop is going bad here and typing is becoming very difficult...
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The Torah is not a collection of writings. Orthodox Jews (and Judaism was always Orthodox until the Reform movement sprouted in the 19th century) consider the Torah to be the Word of G-d. The Oral Law (Mishna/Talmud) is also considered to be directly from G-d -- it's an explanation of how to keep the Torah.
The way this was explained to me by a Rabbi, was that Orthodox Judaism consider the Torah to be Revelation from G*d and Reform Judaism sees the Torah as an Inspiration from G*d.

Also, my understanding of the current Orthodox Judaism is slightly different. Ie Judaism was not always 'orthodox' like it is today. The current Orthodox interpretation of Judaism is a backlash to the Reform movement. Where Judaism has been evolving and changing through the ages, with the birth of the Reform movement there was an understandable need to keep the traditions of Judaism alive. And so a movement that looked to preserve the Judasim of the day was born at around the same time. Orthodox Judaism from Eastern Europe and the Judaism from North Africa and the Middle East are quite different from each other. But the histories of the communities living in these different areas is also very different. (Also worth noting that Reform Judasim has gone through changes and Reform in Israel is different from Reform in the USA)

The differences and similarities between Ultra Orthodox, Modern Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist are really interesting to delve into. When I have more time, I am wanting to look into it all a bit more closely.

Anyway, back to Islam. I have understood that the Qu'ran was Revealed by G*d and that the book itself is holy. Each and every Qu'ran. Including the stand that it is read off, and the stick that it is read with (sorry - don't know the terms ) Is the Hadith (spelling?) similar to the Shulchan Aruch? (ie a 'how to' for every day living based on the Holy Scriptures and the religious rulings).

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#27 of 31 Old 01-22-2009, 10:07 AM
 
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Also, my understanding of the current Othrodox Judaism is slightly different. Ie Judaism was not always 'orthodox' like it is today. The current Orthodox interpretation of Judaism is a backlash to the Reform movement. Where Judaism has been evolving and changing through the ages, with the birth of the Reform movement there was an understandable need to keep the traditions of Judaism alive. And so a movement that looked to preserve the Judasim of the day was born at around the same time. Orthodox Judaism from Eastern Europe and the Judaism from North Africa and the Middle East are quite different from each other. But the histories of the communities living in these different areas is also very different. (Also worth noting that Reform Judasim has gone through changes and Reform in Israel is different from Reform in the USA)

Well sure the cultural differences between Ashkenaz and Sepharad, and Edot HaMizrach (communities from Middle Eastern and other Eastern areas) are different. However all share the same commitment to Torah and not one disputes it was given by G-d. In fact, one of the amazing things about the disparate communities is that even through all the centuries of exile and isolation, each kept the same Torah.

The Torah of the Yemeni community is the same as the Persian, is the same as the North African, is the same as the Egyptian, is the same as the Ashkenazi, is the same as the Bukharian and Afghani...etc. Cultural customs might be somewhat different, but even prayer nusach (service) is very, very similar. Same Shemona Esrei (major prayer). Same Sh'ma. Same Tehillim. Same all around. Maybe the order of things is a bit different, maybe different p'erakim (chapters) in Pesukei d'Zimra (early morning prayers), etc. Otherwise, the same.

All of those non-western communities, by the way, never had the splits in 'denomination' as did Ashkenaz. No Reform/Conservative/Reconstructionist movement. Those who were less observant...were /are just less observant. They are very traditional. You know that expression...'the shul we/they don't go to is Orthodox.'

Which is why Reform and Conservative hasn't caught on much in Israel the way it did in the US. Since the majority of the population is Sepharad/Edot HaMizrach and very traditional (even if not 'observant') the change in hashkafic focus (religious perspective) in the Reform/Conservative mvmts is just too...much. From my experience with this (significant, as it was a part of my dissertation) they think those movements are a joke -- even if they go to soccer games and the beach on Shabbat.

Anyway, back to the topic. Regardless of those kinds of issues, I would never ever characterize any Jewish movment as calling the Torah a 'collection of writings.' But still, for the purposes of comparison with another religion, it's worthwhile to use as a marker the kind of Judaism that's been around for almost 4,000 years as opposed to a break-off movement that's less than 200 years old. Dontcha think?

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#28 of 31 Old 01-22-2009, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyway, back to the topic. Regardless of those kinds of issues, I would never ever characterize any Jewish movement as calling the Torah a 'collection of writings.' But still, for the purposes of comparison with another religion, it's worthwhile to use as a marker the kind of Judaism that's been around for almost 4,000 years as opposed to a break-off movement that's less than 200 years old. Dontcha think?
I'm sorry if I offended anyone by calling the Torah a collection of writings. I wasn't trying to be disrespectful. Basically I was referring to the whole idea that there were at least four authors of the... Tanakh? And they're considered inspired BY God but not, say, dictated by God word for word, the way the Koran is believed to be? Then again I also remember something along the lines of that some of the Koran was dictated later on by the Prophet and people wrote it down in short pieces here and there and then only later compiled it completely, after his death. But I'm very fuzzy on this all so I'm definitely open to correction!
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#29 of 31 Old 01-22-2009, 04:31 PM
 
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Then again I also remember something along the lines of that some of the Koran was dictated later on by the Prophet and people wrote it down in short pieces here and there and then only later compiled it completely, after his death. But I'm very fuzzy on this all so I'm definitely open to correction!
There are some differences of opinion on the matter. What can be said is that the Qur'an came to Muhammad in pieces over a period of twenty-six years, that there was (and remains today) a strong oral traditions surrounding the texts, by which believers were/are encouraged to memorize the whole of the text or as much as they are able, and that the first known Qur'an to have been written as one whole, complete, officially sanctioned text came in the reign of the third successor to Muhammad: Uthman, a close companion to the prophet, who put it under the care of Muhammad's personal scribe. That would be about 15-20 years after Muhammad's death. Earlier known texts are known to exist, showing substantial differences ... critics tend to argue that it indicates that the Qur'an took time to be codified, believers tend to argue that it gives evidence as to what was going on that compelled Uthman to fear the original words would be lost if he did not produce a state-sanctioned written version. Neither POV can really be proven one way or the other.

Anyway ... that's pretty far . Back to your regularly scheduled discussion.
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#30 of 31 Old 01-23-2009, 02:59 AM
 
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How are they different, theologically? Since they are both Abrahamic religions, I can think of a number of ways in which they are similar. In fact, to me they seem more similar to each other than either is similar to Christianity. Both have one God, not incarnate, angels and prophets and many of the same stories even. But I'm having a harder time coming up with differences. Correct me if I'm wrong on any of these...

- The afterlife/judgment is more pronounced in Islam
- There is no concept of Israel/a chosen people in Islam
- There are more mitzva/rules in Judaism than in Islam
- The Qu'ran is considered the actual word of God vs a collection of writings
- Islam wouldn't mind it if everyone to be Muslim while Judaism sometimes almost discourages converts and encourages people to live by the Noahide laws instead

But like, theologically how are they different? What am I not getting?
Well, you have to define which part of Judaism are you talking about. If you are talking about Orthodox Judaism, then some of your assumptions above would be way off. Afterlife and concept of judgment with reward and punishment are central - Reform and Conservative down play them or don't believe in them. The Torah is considered to be the word of G-d transmitted to Moses.

Jewfaq.org is a great website to get the low-down on Jews and what they believe from the traditional POV. It also gives you the skinny on Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist basic theology.
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