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The word ‘mitzvah’ means the divine commandment or rule from god, the purpose of these rules are to make life easier for people to live, make them purer and closer to god. These rules were made to insure people could become a better person and to make the world a better place to live in. The mitzvot are rules that God want us to do, all mitzvot are written down with in the torah, altogether they total to 613! There are many mitzvot some about: food, holidays, prayers, kindness, cleanliness, how to treat others and many more.
According to the Orthodox Jews the Taryag mitzvot come from God and are therefore always relevant, they tend to use the mitzvot to deal with the problems of modern everyday life. Where as Reform believe God gave the mitzvot to ancient Jews and were extremely relevant and useful at the time, but God did not mean the mitzvot apply forever, therefore if Reform Jews believe that a certain mitzvah has no relevancy they have no need to follow it.
Following the Taryag Mitzvot has a big impact on a Jews life: the way they eat, dress and their way of life.
The mitzvot allows a Jew to lead a sensible and practical life, many of the mitzvot are reasonable so there are good reasons for using them. For example some Jews follow the mitzvah of ‘Shabbat’ (this is the day of rest) This allows Jews to relax, rest and regain energy in order to not fall ill and maintain a healthy balanced life, this is considered as a reasonable mitzvah as it has good and beneficial reasons for following this certain mitzvah.
Another mitzvah is ‘to honour the old and the wise’ this is basically means to respect your elders, this is a very sensible and respectful rule, as it is polite and it really does make you a better person as it shows your respect to those who are elder to you. These sorts of reasonable Mitzvah’s allow Jews to build a sensible life, to grow and develop into a better person, and help them make sensible and beneficial decisions throughout their lives.
Another benefit of the mitzvot is that it also allows you to build a disciplined and organized life, as it provides mitzvah’s on food, business, trials and more. There are many Mitzvot rules which create a real sense of discipline, for example the eating mitzvah rules provide a strict diet in order to keep healthy and still stay pure. This is the kosher diet (the term used to describe food prepared with the diet guidelines of Jewish law).
This diet insures that a Jew doesn’t eat certain foods e. g. pork and doesn’t prepare food in the wrong way e. g. boiling meat in milk, possibly for reasons not discovered yet, or perhaps to test the Jewish faith (the chunkim- the mitzvot that exceed the limits of thought) The Taryag mitzvot provides rules for every aspect of a Jews life, all these rules insure a Jew’s life has a sturdy structure or framework providing a well disciplined and sensible life.
The Judaism belief is that God gave humans the mitzvot in order to refine (make them pure) people, when a Jew keeps and performs the mitzvot it allows them to become a purer person, to develop a pure and good way of life. Mitzvot makes Jews purer people as it makes Jews practice good things, and keeps them away from sinful actions and wrong doings. By performing and practicing good actions you become a purer and good person where as carrying out bad deeds makes you a sinful person.
Each and every Mitzvah has its own lesson for you to learn from, the mitzvah ‘do not kill’ teaches a Jew to not only respect and understand how important life is but also the life of others too. It teaches you how to lead a non sinful life, how to become a better person. Jews are taught to think about themselves, their actions, how to be better people, to be more responsible and purer people. Mitzvot can teach them how to act responsible, help those in need and treat others well.
Overall the mitzvot allows Jews to live a refined and good life. Jews have a special agreement with God called the covenant (an agreement, usually formal, between two or more persons to do or not do something specified), the patriarch (the male head of a family or tribal line) Abraham made this covenant over a thousand years ago. He made the Covenant that he and his fellow Jews would follow Gods mitzvot, so God promised to constantly bless the Jews.
The Jews keep in contact with their history and show respect to their ancestors and ancient Jews by keeping the mitzvot today. By keeping and constantly practicing the mitzvot allows Jews to keep the ancient covenant alive. The Chukim (the mitzvot that exceed the limits of thought) is a type of Mitzvah, these are the types of Mitzvah’s that don’t seem to be reasonable as humans cant find a good reason to follow them therefore they seem irrational but perhaps these rules are to test the faith, or possibly reasons that have simply just not been discovered yet.
One example is that Jews are not allowed to eat meat and dairy products together even though it is safe and healthy to eat this combination of food. Jews believe that God only knows the reasons for the chukim. As unreasonable as they maybe if a Jew really believes that the mitzvot come from God then they will follow them all as a test of their faith. By following the Chukim it allows a Jew to show his complete faith and trust in God and develop a life showing faith. “God wrote himself into the torah” is an ancient Jewish teaching.
This basically mean the words with in the Torah (the whole body of the Jewish sacred writings and tradition including the oral traditions) – which also contains the miztvot- are the actual words of God. Jews believe the mitzvot with in the Torah show what God wants from us as humans, what he wants us to be – good people. The mitzvot notify Gods intelligence and devotion to help people to live good lives, the mitzvot is almost a way of communication from God towards the Jews, by following these mitzvot Jews displays that they listened to Gods words.
By practising what he requested them to do, they show God that they believe in, admire and love him. Following the mitzvot –for Jews – is a way of communicating with god to live a life that allows them to become closer to God. In conclusion by following the Taryag mitzvot Jews lead a very beneficial and purer life, as the Mitzvot not only offers them a reasonable and sensible life but a practical one too. It allows Jews to have a sense of discipline and organization, also to be pure and clean with in.
It allows them to keep in contact with their history and give & show respect, to display and feel complete faith and trust towards God by following the Chukim and finally to be able to have the power to communicate with God by practicing the Mitzvot. Differences between Orthodox and Reform Jews There are many differences between Orthodox and Reform Jews and here are some of them: Orthodox Jews tend to be strict with their rules and follow the ancient Jewish traditions where as, Reform Jews are less strict and adopt ancient Jewish teachings to work with modern life.
Orthodox Jews believe that every single word from the Torah was given on Mount Sinai to Moses however, Reform Jews suggest that the Torah comes from God but wasn’t given to Moses and that God worked with in the hearts and minds of many Jewish writers who contributed to the Torah. The Reform also believe that although the Mitzvot to ancient Jews were relevant and useful, the mitzvoth didn’t apply forever therefore if a mitzvot is no longer relevant then they didn’t have to follow as there was no need, but Orthodox Jews Think the Mitzvot ome from God and are always relevant no matter what, they tend to use the mitzvot for modern life problems.
According to the Reform, most Jews don’t work on Shabbat, work in their cases means not doing their ‘normal’ job, as lighting a fire is considered the modern equivalent to turning on a light switch and since turning on a light switch is hardly considered work it is acceptable to do so. Reform will drive to the synagogue on Shabbat as its not considered tiring or ‘work’, in contrast to Orthodox who do not work at all on Shabbat, this means not doing any modern equivalent, so they will simply rest and not do any work.
Orthodox Jews ensure a kosher diet at all possible means, humans may not be able to understand the relevance of their diet however, there could be possible reason for it yet to be discovered or maybe simply to test their faith (the chukim). On the other hand Reform Jews believe that God originally gave these mitzvot to Jews mainly for health reasons, as Pork goes of very quickly with out refrigeration, but since we have modern equipment these certain foods can stay fresh so therefore reform Jews suggest there is no need to follow kosher rules.
According to Orthodox beliefs females were created to have children and to become good wives but they are still equal to mean it’s just that they have different rights and roles. In comparison to reform, who believe that yes, in the past women may have had the role to have children and be good wives and mothers but now they believe in complete and utter equality of men and women, they both have equal rights, roles and responsibilities and so on.
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