Shared Flashcard Set


Week 4
World Religiom
Religious Studies
Undergraduate 2

Additional Religious Studies Flashcards











Right or wrong of an action, decision, or way of living






  • Moral philosophy emphasizing the value of human beings
  • acknowledges and respects humans both individually and collectively







In Confucianism, the virtue of humaneness





  • one ought to behave in ways that are in harmony with the natural order of the world
  • to aviod violation passivity or action thur inaction is encouraged
  • value simplicty
  • encourage practice of modesty and humility



Divine Command Theory

  • Philosophic approch where morality is whatever God (or gods) command
  • Islam, Judaism, Chirstianity



Ten Commandments




Moral rules given by God to the prophet Moses, according to the Hebrew Bible




Natural Law




Universal moral principles found in the natural order or derived by devine reason                    





  • live in accordence with dharma
  • practice nonviolence
  • have empathy
  • treat everyone with kindness and respect




  • five great vows
  • nonviolence
  • remove tendencies toward greed or want




  • refine one's consciousness in a way that results in a desirable reincarnation 
  • five precepts
  • lying,harm,sexual misconduct,stealing, and drinking




  • ten commandments
  • kindness and compassion
  • social-justice (justice, peace, and benevolence)
  • help others and respect self




  • ten commandments
  • golden rule




  • five pillars
  • creed, prayer, charity to the poor, fasting during ramadan, pilgrimate to mecca



Biblical Period

  • 1700-500 BCE
  • emergence of Judaism and the story of the ancient Hebrew tribes
  1. the patriarchs
  2. joseph in egypt
  3. servitude in egypt
  4. moses and the exodus
  5. the judges
  6. the first kings
  7. the 2 kingdoms
  8. babylonian exile
  9. the second temple



The patriarchs

  • life of Abraham-settles family clan in canaan
  • life of Issac- only son of abraham
  • life of jacob, later called "israel"-son of issac

               *father of ten tribal leaders

               *moves tribes to egypt




Joseph in Egypt

  • Life of Joseph-favorite son of Jacob

             *sold into slavery in Egypt

             *later becomes viceroy there 




Servitude in Egypt




Tribes suffer enslavment under Egyptian rule for as long as four centuries




Moses and the exodus

  • Life of Moses-

            *Liberates tribes from Egypt;

            *Recieves 10 commandments on Mt Sinai;

            *Tribes wander the Sinai wilderness for 40 years:

            *Leads tribes to Canaan 




The judges

  • Joshua conquers Canaan (c. 1400 BCE)
  • Tribal elders and a succession of nine charismatic Judges rule the tribes for abour 4 centuries



The first kings

  • Reign of Saul (begins c. 1022 BCE)
  • Reign of David (dies c. 962 BCE)-

           *Unites all tribes of Israel under his rule;

           *Establishes Jerusalem as capital

  • Reign of Solomon-son of David;

            *Builds the first temple (completed c. 976 BCE)




the 2 kingdoms

  • Jereboam's rebellion (c. 922 BCE) divides the kingdom-

            *Israel in the north-its capital Samaria;

            *Judah in the sotuhits capital Jerusalem

  • Succession of kings rule for two centuries
  • assyrian king Sargon II conquers Israel (722 BCE)
  • assyrian king sennacherib conquers jadah (701 BCE)
  • Jerusalem is left intact
  • both events entail the deportation of many Jews to Assyria 



Babylonian exile

  • babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II-

           *conquers Isreal and Judah (597 BCE);

           *Sacks Jerisalem, destroys the first temple (586 BCE);

           *deports many jews to babylonia 




the second temple

  • persian king ctrus II conquers Babylonians (538 BCE)-

            *permits exiled Jews to return to palestine

  • the second temple is completed 516 BCE

            *(ultimately destoryed by Romans in 70 CE) 




return from exile

(538-332 BCE)

  • persian king Cyrus II allowed departed Jews to return to palestine to rebuild their temple (conqueror of the babylonians)
  • rebuild was finished in 516 BCE w/ bitter controversy
  • Judah jews prevented from samaritian jews from participating in the temple rebuild
  • 444BCE persians granted jews a charter that allowed the Torah to become law of palestine
  • midrashim were invented to explain inconsitencies (halakha, oral law)



Hellenic period

(332 BCE- 135 CE)

  • Judaism under the rule of the Hellenic empires of ptolemaic egypt and seleucid asstria, up to the destruction of the second temple by the Roman Empire



The greeks and the Maccabees

(332-63 BCE)

  • 332BCE Macedonian king alexander the great conquered the persian empire
  • jews embraced the hellenic culture
  • jews were treated respectfully and had a considerable amount of freedom
  • jews established dozens of greek cities and educational insistutions in palestine
  • alaxanders general continued the tolerence when alexander died
  • jews received more freedom under seleucid king antiochus III (descendent of alexanders general)
  • jews were granted charter of self-governance under the laws of the torah
  • 12 BCE - 48 CE Philo of Alexandria is recgonized as the first jewish theologian
  • philo work laid the foundation for the philosophical prespective of the early chirstian church



Second temple Roman rule 

(63 BCE - 135 CE)

  • 63 BCE roman general Pompey the great arrived in Jerusalem to arbitrate and resolve the Hasmonean civil war
  • 47 BCE Idumaean called antipater was awarded the governorship of Judaea by Julius caesar
  • Romans installed Herod the Great as king of Judara
  • 37 BCE Herod overthrew Hasmoneans (lasted 42 years)
  • 6 CE Judea offically designated a province of roman empire 
  • pontius pilate



The sadducees

  • were conservative, rationalistic, hellenized jews
  • accepted written torah alone as authoritative
  • rejected concept of oral law 
  • rejected divine inspiration of the prophets, immortality of soul, rewards or punishments of an afterlife, resurrection of the body after death, existence of angels, and God's ongoing governance of worldly matters
  • represented the status qup
  • supported by wealthy classes
  • allied later with Hasmoneans
  • favored by romans
  • big on an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth
  • extremely unpopular with common people
  • dominated the temle and it's priesthood



The pharisees

  • society of lay scholars, scribes, and pietists
  • believe that the torah consisted of both written and oral aspect
  • constant re-interetation of the law to adjust to changing social conditions
  • harmonize letter of torah with ideas implicit in it
  • remain an essential tenet of renninical Judaism
  • sought to wrest pratice of Judaism from the sole control of the priest hood
  • worship of god should not be restricted to temple alone
  • encouraged the development of the synagogue
  • believed in immortality of soul, rewards and punishments of an afterlife, resurrection of body after death, existence of angels, and God's ongoing governance of wordly matters
  • ideas attracted a large popular following (lower class)
  • didn't perticipate in jewish war against Rome (66-70 CE)







A place where Jews gather for worship, education, and communal affairs




Post-Biblical Period Rulers

  • 538-332 BCE; achaemenid persian empire (zoroastrian), the persian language, aramaic, replaces hebrew
  • 332-167 BCE; Hellenic greek- alexandrian macedon, ptolemaic egypt, and seleucid assyria
  • 167-63 BCE; Hasmonean dynasty (jewish)
  • 63 BCE-313 CE; Roman Empire (pagan)
  • 313-636; eastern roman, or byzantine, empire (christian), ruling from constantinople
  • 636-1099; arab caliphs (muslim) from damascus, baghdad, and egypt
  • 1099-1291; crusaders (christian) from europe
  • 1291-1517; mamluks (muslim) from egypt, ruling from damascus
  • 1517-1917; ottoman empire (muslim), ruling from istanbul
  • 1917-1948; great britian and france (christian), ruling through mandates
  • 1948-present; state of israel



wars of rebellion

  • 66 CE- most disastrous war against rome, jews of jerusalem expelled the romans from city, zelots overthrew provisional governement and occupied temple during internecine conflict that ensued
  • 70 CE- roman general titus sacked jerusalem and destroyed second temple, loss of temple signaled end of sadducees and of judaism's priestly traditions
  • 73 CE- roman army breched walls of masada and found all 960 inhabitants had comitted suicide as a final guester of defiance
  • 115-117 CE; rebellion of exiles was a widespread revolt waged by lukuas against roman emperor trajan
  • 132-135 CE; final jewish war led bt simon bar kokhba against emperor hadrian, jews were ejected from jerusalem and prohibited to practice circumcision or teach the torah publicaly



The Essenes

  • were ascetics
  • eschewed material possessions and sensual gratification 
  • most were celibate
  • practiced ritual cleansing, meditation, prayer, and scriptural study
  • held strong apocalyptic views
  • anticipated the end of time and the coming of the messiah



The Christians

  • unremarkable at the time
  • christian sect proved to be the most important historical development of the roman period
  • embraced many aspects of hellenism, particularly under the leadership of paul, himself a hellenized jew
  • didn't believe in the strict observance of the torah
  • nazarenes accepted jesus as the messiah and as divine
  • insisted that the laws of the torah continued to be sacred and binding
  • ebionites regarded jesus as the messiah, they rejected his divinity



From priesthood to Rabbinate

  • jews turned to the rabbinical ideology and practice of pharisees when their temple was razed and their holy city off limits
  • pharisaic tradtion-independent of the priesthood and the temple
  • viable alternative to the loss of acient practice
  • romans favored the transition
  • rabbis provided spiritual direction
  • torah was still jewish law, must be studied and obeyed
  • centralized church elminated
  • became a diaspora religion
  • hopre for redemption







Jews living outside palestine; the dispresion of jews, from the greek "a scettering (of seeds)"




Rabbinical period





the development of judaism in the diaspora (away from the ancestral homeland) as a decentralized, nonpriestly religion




Creation of the mishna


  • hillel's- interpretations of the law were the more flexible, lenient, and forgiving of the two
  • simon ben gamaliel standarized the practice of jusdaism after the destruction of the temple
  • simon remebered as one of the tannaim (the "repeaters")
  • rabbis whose codifying work on the collections of midrashim lead to the creation of a compendium of law, lore, and commentary; called the mishna (the "repetition")
  • best know is Judah the prince (simons son); greatly intensified the effort and ultimately completed the mishna around 220 CE
  • shortly after the tosefta (additions) was compiled







A collection of ancient rabbinic writings on jewish law and tradition

(the mishna and the gemara)




Creation of the 2 Talmuds 


  • amoraim (interpreters); given to those rabbis of this period who wrote commentaries on the mishna
  • commentaries are referred to as the gemara (the "completions")
  • combined collection of these writing is called the Talmud (the "instruction")
  • contents of the talmud would expand to include many other commentaries
  • 2 sets of gemara; one for each of the 2 principle jewish communitied of the day (palestine and babylonia)
  • palestinian less comprehensie and is considered less authoritative; compiled bt 400CE
  • babylonian standard tool of reference for legal precedent and religious orthodoxy for the jews babylonia and eventually for jews everywhere; complied by 650CE
  • final redaction of the babylonian talmud was undertaken by a generation of scholars known as savoraim (the "explicators")



The Geonim


  • rapid conquest of kingdoms in the middle east, north africa, and spain by islamic rulers; provided political framework for the practice of judaism in this period
  • two principle babylonian academies were referred to as the geonim
  • offical arbiters of jewish religious law, heads of the high courts, and religious leaders of all muslimsheld jewish communities
  • saadia ben joseph as gaon of sura restored order and respect



Judaism in Medieval Europe


  • two major branches of jewish culture evolved in europe (the sephardim and the ashkenazim)
  • jews and christians of europe coexisted inrelative harmony until start of 11th century
  • violence against jews; mainz (1096), england (1198), franconia (1298), france (1320)
  • blood libel; claimed jews engaged in murder of christian children in order to use their blood to make unleavened bread
  • jews were often blamed and punished for occurences of plagues or other natural disasters
  • pope innocent III decreed in 1199 that jews were to be regulated to prepetual serviture for killing jesus
  • jews were kicked out of england (1290), france (1306), and spain (1492)
  • marranos; unclean jws who practiced in privates and didn't convert to christianity
  • 17th and 18th cnetury considered darkest history of rabbinic judaism
  • 1000-1150 is the golden age of hebrew literature in spain



The Sephardim

  • in muslim spain, jews served in important government positions and were highly valued
  • embraced arabic culture
  • took and active interest in politics and engaging deeply in social and intellectual life of community
  • jews of spain undertook to elucidate rabbinic judaism in philosophical terms
  • merit of jewish literary output during this period is unparalleled in jewish history
  • poetry, math, astronomy, medicine, philosophy, political theory, aesthetics, and fiction
  • brought a fresh approach to rabbinic texts



The ashkenazim

  • lived primarily as an urban merchant class in christian realms of the holy roman empire
  • experienced no intellectual inspiration from christian doctrine
  • christians were prohibited from having any social contact with jews
  • 9th and 9th century jews had religious tolerance and autonomy
  • jews suffered periodic waves of hatred, violence, and progressive restriction of their freedoms
  • 1150 jews established their own unique culture and literature
  • german jewish mystics emphasized merits of asceticism, penitence, and martyrdom



Modern period


  • beginning with hasidic movement, and continuing woth doctrinal reforms of post-enlightenment judaism and including 20th century, holocaust, and founding of the nation-state of israel
  • jewish enlightenment (haskala); starting point of jewiish madernity
  • begins with the abandoment of the idea of prepetual exile; idea that jewish people are supposed to suffer quielty in foreign lands until being rescued
  • skepitical spirit of the enlightenment is present in the philosophical writing of baruch de spinoza



Persecutions in 19th-century Russia

  • haskala in russia was unable to overcome the entrenched prejudices of the tsars and the russian orthodox church
  • jews were blamed for the assassination of tsar alexnder II in 1881
  • many jewish communities were tragets of organized massacres called pogroms
  • russian church also remaind active in propagating the blood libel
  • infamous cases emerged in damascus (1840), hingary (1882), and odessa (1911)



Zionism and the Creation of Israel

  • nazis didn't invent anti-semitism
  • Zionism was a political movement calling for the establishment of a jewish nation; a homeland in which jews could be free of persecution and degradation
  • zionist movement first came into international attention during world war I
  • colonialist control of the midle east by france and england made zionistic goals virtually unachievable
  • holocaust created support for the creation of the jewish stateisreal was created may 14th 1948; only state in the world with a majority of jewish population







a negative and hostile attitude to jews and the jewish religion cometimes involving persecution








belief that jews should establish a homeland in what was the historic land of israel




Israeli-palestinian conflict

  • arrabs of palestine also wanted a creation of independent state
  • pan-arabism felt betrayed by the french and british mandates in 1922
  • haj amin al-husseini fought to say that zionism was an enemy to palestinians independence
  • husseini created the huge conflict between jews and muslims
  • husseini partnered with hitler to try and end zionism
  • creation of israel considered a muslim defeat
  • isreals first year of existence has egypt, iraq, transjordan, syria, and lebanon simutaneously declear war on them
  • israel has fought six wars with surrounding muslim states
  • constant warfare with arabs
  • palestinians support a two-state compromise wherein muslims and jews would politically share the region



Jewish Assimilation

  • in 1806 Napoleon I of franced convened a high council of rabbis that he labeled the grand sanhedrin
  • purpose was to answer 12 questions
  • political aim in doing so was to ascertain assurances that he could rely on the loyalty of french jews during his reign
  • french rabbis concluded 1) a jews fatherland should be considered the country of birth 2)any gentile acquaintance should be respected as a jewish one 3) any interfaith marriage should be recognized as legal and binding
  • orthodox jews are fervently anti-assimilationist and don't sanction interfaith marriage
  • conservatives encourage a conversion to judaism before an interfaith union is made and vary widelt on issue of assimilation
  • feform jews are comfortable with both assimilation and interfaith marriage



Key Beliefs

  • being a jew is primarily a birth right
  • considered a jew if one is born to a jewish mother
  • judaism's most sacred object is its people
  • "judaism is not a religion of fixed doctrines or dogmas but a complex system of evolving beliefs" 
  • beliefs and practices of judaism vary according to the denomination
  • god is yahweh
  • worship of god begins with moses
  • patron god of abraham was never called yahweh
  • 1 god of abraham is also god of moses







A form of the hebrew name of god




God is one

  • judaism asserts that there exist only one god
  • formless, omniscient and eternal
  • god's uniqueness is considered the singular defining characteristic of judaism 
  • creator of the world







in judaism an agreement between god and the jewish people




jewish people are choosen

  • god has established a unique relationship with the jewish people
  • choosen to become a kingdom of priests and a holy nation
  • jewish people are to be sole focus of gods interaction with the world
  • entitlement will require jewish people their obeisance to god alone, and to his elaborate set of commandments



god's laws must be followed

  • torah provides a complete guide to religious practice and moral conduct
  • includes performance of rituals, observance of holy days, and the governance of group dynamics and individual behavior
  • orthodox jews have identified 613 distinct mitzvth (commandments) in the torah
  • 10 commandments
  • halakha- totality of judaism's laws and ordinances (the way)



the messiah will come

  • universal aspiration of the jewish people is to be redeemed by the messiah (the anointed one)
  • a man will emerge among them to reestablish the kingdom of isreal, the davidic monarchy, the temple of jerusalem, and the sanherdrin, and to create thereafter an earthly realm of justice and peace
  • messianic belief has permeated jewish thought and action for millennia



ten commandments



1 I am Yahweh your god, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
2 You shall have no gods except me. You shall not make yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything in heaven, or on earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them. For I, Yahweh your god, am a jealous god, and I punish the father's faults in the sons, the grandsons, and the great grandsons of those who hate me. But I show kindness to those who love me and keep my commandments.
3 You shall not utter the name of Yahweh your god to misuse it. For Yahweh will not leave unpunished the man who utters his name to misuse it.
4 Remember [or: Observe] the sabbath day and keep it holy [as Yahweh your god commands you]. For six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath for Yahweh your god. You shall do no work that day, neither you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your servants, men or women, nor your animals [or: nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your animals], nor the stranger who lives with you. For in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and all that these hold, but on the seventh day he rested—that is why Yahweh has blessed the sabbath day and made it sacred [or: Thus your servant, man or woman, shall rest as you do. Remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and thatYahweh your god brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm—because of this, Yahweh your god has commanded you to keep the sabbathday].
5 Honor your father and your mother [as Yahweh your god commands you], so that you may have a long life [and may prosper] in the land that Yahweh your god has given to you.
6 You shall not murder.
7 You shall not commit adultery.
8 You shall not steal.
9 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10 You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his servant, man or woman, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is his. [Or: You shall not covet your neighbor's wife. You shall not set your heart on his house, his field, his servant, man or woman, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is his.]



Jewish Religious Practice

(6 basic principles of virtue)

  1. do good works; help others, help yourself, volunteer, ne philanthropic, be honest, conscientious, dutiful, available, do the right thing
  2. be charitable; give generously and frequently to those in need, be benevolent, humane, unselfish, altruistic
  3. act with kindness; be compassionate, understanding, merciful, empathetic, affectionate, loving
  4. speak with kindness; don't lie, don't be slanderous or defamatory, dont be verbally abusive or cruel, dont gossip, be complimentary
  5. be hospitable; open your home, to guests, be neighborly, welcoming, friendly, be socially gracious, generous, cordial, respectful
  6. comfort the infirm; contact and vist those who are ill, console them, attend to their needs, be positive, comforting, reassuring



Written Law

  • 24 books of the jewish bible are traditionally grouped into three sections
  • the torah (instruction)
  • the neviim (prophets)
  • the ketuvim (writings)
  • TNK (tanakh)



The torah

  • first five books are ascribed to moses
  • Torah
    Bereshit ("In the beginning...") Genesis ("Origin")
    The cosmogony, and the start of Jewish history
    Shemot ("Names...") Exodus ("Departure")
    The story of the tribes leaving Egypt
    Vayikra ("And he called...") Leviticus ("Of the Levites")
    Matters pertaining to the tribe of Levy, the priests
    Bamidbar ("In the desert...") Arithmoi ("Numbers")
    Contains a census of the tribes while in the desert
    Devarim ("Words...") Deuteronomy ("Second Law")
    Reiterates some older laws; adds some new ones



The Neviim

  • 8 books and grouped in two sections
  • The Former Prophets—the historical books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel (I & II), and Kings (I & II)
  • The Latter Prophets—the oracular books of: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and The Twelve —The Minor Prophets: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. (Their entries are short and treated as one book.)



The Ketuvim

  • 11 books
  • consist of liturgical poetry, secular love poetry, wisdom literature, history, apocalyptic literature, a short story, and a romantic tale
  • grouped in three sections
  • The Sifrei Emet ("books of truth"): Psalms, Proverbs, and Job
  • The Megillot ("scrolls"): Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther
  • Prophecy/History: Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, and Chronicles (I & II)



Oral law

  • ancient wisdom concerning a wide range of subjects
  • traditionally classified according to its content  into
  • haggada (narrative); dealing with non-legal aspects of the scriptures
  • halakha (law); dealing strictly with the legal, doctrinal, and ritual aspects of the torah



The Talmud

  • compendium of legal interpretations and opinions
  • consists simply of the mishna and the gemara
  • Mishna is a collection of Pharisaic interpretations and amplifications of the Torah, compiled in the third century CE
  • Gemara is a collection of commentaries and elaborations of the Mishna, compiled in the seventh century
  • itself is a formidable and ingenious reference tool, organized according to subject matter addressed in mishna 



Orthodox Judaism

  • what was simply called judaism 300 years ago
  • intent on retaining its ancient customs and assuring they would not vanish
  • maintain that the ultimate responsibility of a jew is the strict observance and solemn study of the torah
  • rejects the notion that the scriptural laws can be fundamentally altered or eliminated 
  • recognizes hasidism, reformism, and conseratism
  • major branch within judaism that teaches a relatively strict interpretation and application and jewish laws and ethics



Reform Judaism

  • 18th century
  • jews began to call for a reformation of judaism and for the eimination of what they saw unnecessary, antiquated elements
  • jewish reform in early 19th century under leadership of israel jacobson
  • first reform service held in 1810 at a synagogue in seeesen germany
  • advocated abandoning distinctive jewish dress, allow for work on the sabbath, ceasing daily worship, and relinquishing all jewish dietary laws
  • after jacobsons death movement grew in strength and popularity
  • outside of us referred to as progressive or liberal judaism
  • want to conform and adapt to the conditions of contemporary life



Conservative Judaism

  • sees to preserve jewish tradition and ritual, but has less strict approch to the interpretation of the law, largely found in north america
  • middle ground between reform and orthodox
  • disagreed with the radical measures of the reformist movement
  • zacharis frankel founder of conservative judaism
  • masorti or neolog judaism



Reconstructionist Judaism

  • doesn't believe in a personified God and believes that jewish law and tradition are man made
  • small, influential american reform movement 
  • founded in 1922
  • judaism is merely the religious expression of jewish people
  • rejects notion of an interested deity who made an agreement with his choosen people
  • doesnt accept the torah as divinely inspired
  • mordecai kaplan (1881-1983)
  • jewish culture more fundamental to being a jew than judaism
  • encourages jews to value all aspects of their common cultural heritage
  • stronly supports modern state of israel as a unifying concept for the worlds jewish population
  • closely associated with conservative judaism




  • sect of orthodox jews the follows the mosaic law strictly and emphasizes prayer and deeds of kindness
  • 18th century
  • leadership of israel ben eliezer aka baal shem tov (lord good name)
  • conceived idea while taking long walks in the forest of his native poland
  • ultimate goal of religious practice is to achieve a personal, spiritual unification with god



Holy Days

Rosh Hashanah Start of the new year; Day of Remembrance; ceremonial blowing of the ram's horn (shofar)
Yom Kippur Day of Atonement; ten days after Rosh Hashanah; fasting required; ceremonial blowing of the shofar
Sukkoth Feast of the Tabernacles; five days after Yom Kippur; remembers the wandering in the wilderness of Sinai
Hanukkah Feast of dedication, Feast of the Maccabees, Feast of Lights; celebrates the victory of the Maccabees, dedication of the Second Temple, and the miracle of the candles; celebrated for eight days; ceremonial lighting of the menorah (candelabra)
Purim Feast of Lots; remembers the sparing of the Jews from slaughter by the Persians; requires fasting
Pesach Feast of the Passover, feast of unleavened bread (matzo); celebrates the liberation from Egyptian slavery, and the miracle of Jewish children being spared from death when they are "passed over" by the angel of death; strict diet required for seven days; a ceremonial dinner (Seder) takes place on the first night or nights of the holiday
Shavuot Festival of the Weeks; celebrates the giving of the Law to Moses at Mount Sinai
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