Matzah and Seder
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Matzah and Seder
Matzah is the unleavened bread that is eaten during Passover to remember the movement of the Israelites form Egypt. 3 matzahs are used by the Jews as they read the Haggadah during the holiday meal eaten during Passover. The Seder is a specialized plate that contains symbolic foods that are used by the Jews during Passover. Each of the elements that are arranged on the plate has its own significance in telling the tale of exodus from the land of Egypt that is usually the main attention of this holiday meal. A stack with 3 Matzahs is always put on its own plate on the table with the Seder (Jones, 2005).
Mohamed and jihad
When Mohammed escaped the trap that had been set for him and proceeded to live in an oasis called Medina, he evolved to become the political and religious leader of a large community. Therefore, one of his challenges was wrestling with the difficulties of creation of a new society. In the process the holy Quran was being revealed to him and the message was spiritual (Jones, 2005). The message also focused on the delineation of the concept of war and the permission to fight that is formal is applied during this period in Medina when the Muslim community was fighting for its life. This is what is referred to as Jihad.
Hagar and Abraham
Hagar was an Egyptian maiden of the wife of Abraham, Sarah. Sarah is the one who suggested that she becomes the 2nd wife of Abraham because Sarah had not given birth even in old age. She gave birth to a boy called Ishmael who is highly deemed as the Arabic patriarch, or the Ishmaelite (Jones, 2005). Fourteen years after the birth of Ishmael by Abraham and Hagar, God allowed Sarah to bear a son called Isaac and Abraham expelled Hagar and Ishmael into the wilderness reluctantly because of the wishes of Sarah. God promised Ishmael the son of Hagar that he will give him a great nation.
Phillip and Mary Magdalene
The gospel of Phillip is the one that came with the idea that Jesus married Mary Magdalene. The gospel of Phillip dedicates itself to the discussion of the sacred nature of marriage and one of the passages in the gospel overtly refers to Mary Magdalene and the close relationship she had with Jesus. The story goes like this; there were some three people who always walked with the lord, the first one was his mother marry, the second one was his sister and the third one was Mary Magdalene (Jones, 2005). The story is interesting for the way it brings out the issue of the sister of Jesus.
Orthodox and Reformed Judaism
Orthodox Judaism is the conventional type of Judaism that takes the scriptures in a literal way and the rabbinic traditions in a very serious way (Jones, 2005). They are strict in the way they observe the torah following the interpretations of Talmud and other scholars of the Jewish tradition. The reformed Judaism began in the 19th century in Germany who felt that the old one was too outdated and could no longer be tenable. The reformers version wanted to modernize the Judaism religion. They did not see the bible as a word of God that is infallible, but as a record of the consecration to God by the Israelites.
5 pillars of Islam
The five pillars of Islam refer to the main tasks that every Muslim of the Sunni type must conduct. These are shahada or faith, salah or prayer, zakah or alms, sawm or fasting on Ramadan, and Hajj or the pilgrimage to Mecca (Jones, 2005). The five of them are essential to the Sunnis, eight to the shi’te but some of them overlap the five pillars. The concept is drawn from the concept of collections of hadith. However, the Muslim holy book the Koran does not address the five pillars though they can be found indirectly referring to other practices of the Muslim faith
Dao de Jing and Lao Zhou
The Dao religious book of the Lao Zhou Dynasty is one aspect that is significant to the philosophies of Taoism and has a strong influence on other schools like modern Confucianism and legalism. When it was brought to china for the first time the Taoists using their own language (Jones, 2005) interpreted it. Both the Taoists and the Buddhists in china use it. Most Chinese fine artists have used the dae de jing as an inspiration source. It has a lot of influence even away from the East Asian side where it is commonly used and has been made available in many world languages.
Four noble truths
The four noble truths include suffering that encompasses birth, ageing, illness, death, sorrow, grief, despair, lamentations, and pain, everything that is displeasing, separation from what is pleasing and not getting what you want. The other noble truth is origin of suffering, a craving that develops existence that is fresh, with a lot of delight or even lust, as you seek to be delighted everywhere (Jones, 2005). The craving for pleasures that are sensual, existence and extermination are also encompassed here. The other noble truth is the cessation of suffering that leads to non-reliance and giving up and the fourth truth is the way that leads to the cessation of suffering that involves everything that is right.
Wu Wei and Yin Tang
Wu Wei is a concept of yin yang that means without action or doing something effortlessly. This is a basic principle of the philosophical thought of the Chinese and the Taoist school of thought really emphasizes it. The main objective of this tenet is the achievement of near perfect state of equilibrium, or Taoist alignment, which enables one to achieve invincible strength that is soft. The action does not include struggling and it is part of the martial arts of the Taoists. Wu Wei complies with the features that are distinctive with Taoism, which is becoming natural for all human beings (Jones, 2005).
PART 4: Bhagavad-Gita Gita, Lord Krishna and Yoga
According to Krishna, the best way to reach Brahman is shedding the life’s burden, karma burden and all the blameworthiness that is residual for all the sins in their present and former lives. Krishna gives three approaches for ones togetherness with God. These are Yoga, the action way, Yoga, the knowledge way and Yoga Bakti, the devotion way. Each person should do his or her task in a faithful way not hoping to benefit his or herself. This is the faith and the indifference to pursuing ambitions that lead people to pursue the karma Yoga to release their burden of Karma. It is only through the shedding of the burden that people can be released from a virtuous cycle of incidences that involve suffering. The Jana Yoga helps people to have union with the deity by contemplation, meditating and self and word soul realizations. The Bakti Yoga
is worshiped as an image or as a spirit by the followers of Krishna. Every worshiper must approach that deity with a heart that loves and will be accepted fully (Jones, 2005). In this respect, the deity will take any offering, whether big or small as long as a loving heart has given it. The union with Brahman frees one from the incessant cycle of suffering if there is utmost devotion to Krishna. Bakti emphasizes on practice and devotion that goes above the ordinary rituals and is represented informs of inter human relationships especially, lovers, parent to child, friend to friend and master to servant. It is associated with the Sahkats who worship Krishna. The Bragavad gita uses bakti to illustrate a path that is religious and is developed well by the Bhagavata pulana.
In theology, the concept of monotheism stands for the belief that there is only one God. It is inherent in most religions including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The concept overlaps with concepts that are unitary like monism, which adheres to a single divinity in a sense that is strict. Polytheism refers to the worship of more than one deities or God. They are assembled into a figure that is usually called pantheon together with the mythologies that accompany them and also the rituals (Jones, 2005). Many religions both modern and even the traditional ones have a belief in the concept and these include the Shinto, Slavic and neopagan. They do not worship all the gods in equal measure, some times each deity is worshiped at its own time or season. It contrasts with monotheism which is the most widely belief in the globe today. Polytheists believe that monotheism asserts itself by opposing it. Pantheism is the View that everything is a God in its own right and the nature; the universe and the God are equivalent. It promotes the tenets that God can be well understood by looking at him as a body that is abstract representing the natural law and the universe. Pantheists do not believe a god is personal and God to them is the nature or the universe. A metaphysical religion follows the philosophiocal principles. They believe that God is everything and vice versa (Jones, 2005). Henotheism refers to monotheism with a polytheistic mind. This means worshiping a single God while accepting that there is a possibility of other Gods existing. Ma Muller while criticizing the western concepts that are akin to the religions of the east coined this term. He focused on the dogma that defined monotheism very well making it superior to all other conceptions of deity. There are people who try to encompass polytheism and monarchial monotheism to henotheism creating conceptions like monolatory. In most cultures, the choice that one makes is dictated by cultural, historical, political, social or geographical reasons.
PART 4: SIMILARITIES BETWEEN LORD KRISHNA AND CHRIST
Scholars have been trying to look at the relationship between Krishna and Jesus, the two founders of different religions who lived hundreds of years apart. Though the two differ in the concerns of their different religions, the two kings of their religions share some core features. These include the incarnation that is divine, childhood and youth hoods that were pastoral and their heroic deeds. Here are similarities between Krishna of the Hindus and Christ of the Christians plus some amazing coincidences. First, both were called sons of God and both were sent to earth from heaven in human form. They were the saviors in their respective religions and their real fathers were either spirits or ghosts. The shepherds visited the two at night and the wise men and a star guided the visitors. In both cases, the angels had sent a warning that the ruler would issue a decree for their murder upon birth and the two went to the wilderness when they were adults where they did fast. Jesus was referred to as the lion of Judah while Krishna was regarded as the lion of saki (Jones, 2005). Both had the claim that they are the resurrection and they were partly human and partly divine. They were both sinless and the two were deemed omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. The two religious kings would heal and perform miracles. They also cast out demons and both had their own disciples. The two kings were very meek merciful and they encountered the wrath of the people for dealing with sinners. They would forgive their enemies and they cerebrated a last supper.
PART FIVE: SELF EVALUATION
Working on this material, I spent 10 hours each week and I held discussions with my friends every Friday after conducting research throughout the week. This is one cause, which I have dedicated my resources to, and I had a lot of fun conducting the research. I also consulted some theologians who gave me invaluable insight. The most difficult part of the course has been Taoism while the most rewarding experience was the delivery of the professor in class that made everything to seem easy though the topics were generally tough. The areas I did well were the ones that concerned Judaism because it was a very interesting area and the thing that I could change if I were to repeat this process is my initial attitude towards the course that made me have the wrong start, but this was changed by the delivery of the professor. I would approach the course with a lot of seriousness from the word go. The best method that the instructor used that helped me in the overall understanding was the use of the PowerPoint presentations the field trips and the writing guidelines. All in all the whole experience from the professor was very outstanding and I would recommend that he take us in many of the remaining courses. The part of the course that I accomplished in the class was being able to make analysis and interpretations of texts and documents and the development of my critical skills to be able to recognize philosophical premises and arguments. Honestly, I expect to get an A in this course because it is one of the courses that I have dedicated my energies to the whole semester.
Jones, L. 2005, The encyclopedia of Religion, Thomson Gale, New York