Beginnings of Judaism : The Great Courses: Judaism

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Isaiah M. Gafni
  • Series: The Great Courses: Judaism
  • 12 hrs and 18 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

For thousands of years, Jews have looked to the Hebrew Bible, also known as the Old Testament by Christians, for their origins, and have located in them the tenets of their faith. However, much of what is recognized today as Judaism does not appear in the Bible. How did Judaism develop from its biblical roots to the highly developed system we know today? What has changed - and what has remained constant? In this series of 24 spirited and provocative lectures, Professor Gafni investigates how the Jewish faith struggled to continually redefine itself during the first thousand years after the completion of the last books of the Hebrew Bible, tenaciously clinging to existence through circumstances that might well have torn it asunder.
The two landmark events that altered Jewish history forever were the two destructions of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. This sacred place was first destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E., and, after having been rebuilt 70 years later, was razed once again by the Romans in 70 C.E., after the Jews waged a fierce uprising against Roman rule in the province of Judea.
The events surrounding these destructions lie at the heart of understanding Judaism. As you explore the evolution of an ancient faith into a system of beliefs, practices, and laws recognizable today as Judaism, you'll discover a tradition of vigorous and joyous debate - where reinterpretation coexists with profound acceptance of the original instructions from God regarding the practice of faith.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

What I Never Learned in Hebrew School

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Every post Bar Mitzvah age young Jewish adult should listen to this
When I was a child going to Hebrew school 50+ years ago, we went over all of this in a hurry I never really understood how Judaism developed from a Temple with sacrifices, to a modern worldwide book based religion. I never understood how the Jews came to leave Israel and went out into the world and carried down their belief in one G-d. This really helped me to understand my background. I feel more a part of the Jewish community now that I've heard this. I am an assimilated American Jew. I only know my great grandparents arrived in the USA as part of the great Jewish migration in the 1880 s to escape the Progrums. I cannot trace my history back beyond that. I do not know exactly where my great grandparents came from other than somewhere in Eastern Europe. I do not have any idea how their ancestors got to Eastern Europe other than to presume they came from the Iberian Peninsula after the Inquisition or understood how the Jews left Israel and came to settle in all of the Mediterranean countries. I never knew how a belief in one all knowing G-d was carried down for 2500 years. I wish I had heard this when I was in college.

What did you like best about this story?

It greatly enhanced my understanding of my Jewish background and gave me some insist into how Christianity developed.

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- CA

Gafni is Music

Detail with expression. Argument with passion. Focusing on the difficult, late transitional period with minimal overlap on other offerings.
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- Stanley Jungleib

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses