1. Religion: Deed or Creed?
Exploring what is the definition of a “good Jew.”
Before beginning this course, students will need to purchase the book, Understanding Judaism by Rabbi Benjamin Blech. Each of the 18 lessons in this course will include a few pages of required reading from this book.
Understanding Judaism – Introduction p. xvii – xxii
(1) How is the word 'religious' defined by Catholicism? How is it defined in Judaism?
(2) Faith and religion are often considered to be interchangeable concepts. According to Rabbi Blech, why is this misleading?
(3) What is considered to be the 'key' phrase of the Christian Bible? What does a Christian have to do in order to attain a favorable judgment and "go to heaven"?
(4) According to the Torah, what does a Jew have to do in order to attain a favorable judgment and a place in heaven?
(5) What was the response of the Jewish people at Mount Sinai when God asked if they wanted to accept the Torah? What was the significance of the order of the words used in their response?
(6) What is the place of "creed" in Judaism? Is it necessary? Why?
(7) Can a non-believer have a share in heaven according to Christianity?
(8) Can a non-believer have a share in heaven according to Judaism?
(9) What is the definition of a "good Jew"? Is it possible to be a good Jew through belief alone?