Issues and Traditions in Western Religions

Essay by hoodoggerUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, January 2009

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Religion in society is not always a welcome topic or subject for conversation, many times religion will spark an argument rather than a typical conversation. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are three religions I will discuss. First, I will identify some conflicts inside or outside of the religion. Then, I will analyze some of the customs or practices and its effect on society within the religion.

Judaism in itself raises many concerns and conflicts, and has been such before and after the birth of Christ. Today one of the most obvious concerns is the acceptance of Jesus Christ as a messiah, and a man of flesh who perished for the sins of many. Many Jews are currently seeking physical evidence of the existence of the so called "savior" and "King of the Jews." Followers of Judaism also struggle with the anxiety and hope awaiting the return of the Messiah (Rich, 1995).

Most Jews who practice Judaism celebrate Chanukah, which is much different than single day events. "Chanukah is an eight day celebration about the rededication of a temple in Jerusalem after it was defiled by the Selucid Greeks (Rich, 1995)." Many people associate Chanukah with Christmas, although there is no direct association, other than the same time of year. Antiochus IV began to oppress the Jews and prohibited the practice of the Jewish religion. He also massacred thousands of Jews. The Jews revolted and reclaimed control of the temple and forced out the Seleucid Greek government.

Another of Judaism's common occurrences is Yom Kippur, which is the Jewish "Day of Atonement." This day is set aside for all believers to relax and to atone for all sins committed the previous year. Accompanying this ritual is rest, fasting, and to demonstrate repentance. Atonement is only between the individual and God,