Judaism or Judaisms?

Essay by ari sprungUniversity, Bachelor'sB, March 1995

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It has been argued that Judaism can be seen not only as a single

religion, but as a group of similar religions. It has also been

pointed-out that through all the trials and tribulations that Judaism

has suffered through, that there have been common themes that have

proven omni-pervasive. Any institution with roots as ancient and varied

as the religion of the Jews is bound to have a few variations,

especially when most of its history takes place in the political and

theological hot spot of the Middle East.

In this discussion, many facets of Judaism will be examined, primarily

in the three temporal subdivisions labeled the Tribal / Pre-Monarchy

Period, the Divided Monarchy, and the Hasmonean / Maccabean and Roman

Era. Among all the time periods where the religion has been split,

these three seem to be the most representative of the forces


As for a common thread seen throughout all Judiasms, the area of focus

here is the place associated with the religion : Jerusalem.

This topic

will be covered in detail first, and then the multiple Judaism arguments

will be presented. In this way, it is possible to keep a common focus

in mind when reading about all the other situations in which the

religion has found itself. A brief conclusion follows the discussion.

A Place to Call Home

No other religion has ever been so attached to its birthplace as

Judaism. Perhaps this is because Jews have been exiled and restricted

from this place for most of their history. Jerusalem is not only home

to Judaism, but to the Muslim and Christian religions as well.

Historically this has made it quite a busy place for the various groups.

Jerusalem is where the temple of the Jews once stood; the only place on

the whole...