The Timeless Tradition of Judaism Essay

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The Timeless Tradition of Judaism

The best way to understand the Jewish tradition is to dive fully into the primary sources that make up their religion. Over the course of storied Jewish history, texts have transformed along with understanding and law. As a religion primarily rooted in law and understanding of historical documents, knowing a Jew is as simple as picking up a document and reading their history, or so it would seem. The previously quoted text comes directly from the begging of the Maggid section of the Passover Seder, part of the Passover Haggadah. Within this text is a strong indication of what it means to be a Jew. Judaism is a timeless religion deeply rooted in tradition with strong foundations of community and
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Second, the Maggid welcomes all Jews to the Passover celebration. “Let all who are hungry come and eat; let all who are in need come to our Passover feast” (Alexander 75-76). What this does is solidify a strong community of generosity and charity. Jews recognize the similarities among them just as the Israelites did thousands of years before. The start of the Jewish community was the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, and the present day sense of community is deeply rooted in that historical event.

Immediately recognizable to scholars of Judaism is the similarity between the celebration of Passover and the weekly celebration of Shabbat. “…to those who observe Shabbat, it is a precious gift from G-d, a day of great joy eagerly awaited throughout the week…”. The festive atmosphere surrounding Shabbat and Passover characterize them as important, joyous days in very superficial surface characteristics. Additionally, the method of preparing the house for both celebrations is similar: “The process of cleaning the home of all chametz in preparation for Pesach (Passover) is an enormous task”. Just as important is the preparation for Shabbat: “…the mood is much like preparing for the arrival of a special, beloved guest: the house is cleaned, the family bathes and dresses up, the best dishes and tableware are set, a festive meal is prepared”. 1 But beyond these ritualistic comparisons is a deeper connection between the two