Comparison of Judaism vs Buddhism
In this essay I will be comparing the rituals, and festivals chosen from two different religions. The two religions that I will be comparing are Judaism and Buddhism.
Judaism and Buddhism have many rituals and beliefs. There is a wide range of Jewish beliefs, Stan Fischler emphasizes on these major points. Reformed Jews believe that being Jewish gives them a common culture, while Orthodox Jews try to keep all the laws and customs commanded by the Torah. The basic Jewish religious beliefs is in the existence of one, eternal, invisible God. The Jews also believe they were chosen to receive Gods Torah. They believe that by looking at its many meaning, and by living according to its laws, they can spread justice throughout the world. At the right time, they believe that the Messiah will come to bring this perfect world. Reward for good deeds will largely be granted in the world to come. Jews believe that seven weeks after the Israelites left Egypt, God chose them to receive the Torah. Moses climbed Mount Sinai to hear the Torah and bring the Commandments back to the people, carved into stone tablets. They also believe that on the first day of the creation of the world, God made night and day. Earth and heaven were created on the second day, and seas and land were created on the third day. On the forth day, the Sun, Moon and stars were created, and on the fifth day, the fish and birds. On the sixth day God made all animals and people. On the seventh day God rested. Many Jews carry out even everyday activities in special ways, believing that this brings them closer to God. Water is a symbol of purity in Judaism and is used in other ceremonies. People sometimes immerse themselves in living water – rain, river or sea water in a special pool called a Mikveh. A convert to Judaism uses the Mikveh as a symol to show re-birth as a Jew. Judaism is observed in the home as well as the synagogue, in the home, such as Kashrut, the preparation of food so that it is ritually acceptable, for example Kosher foods. Foods containing milk are never mixed with meat, nor eaten at the same meal. The weekly Sabbath is observed in the home, and begins with a women of the house lighting Sabbath candles. Observant Jews recite blessings before eating over wine, bread and other foods.
In Buddhist religion author Gary Miles of the book All About Buddhism emphazises mostly on these points, monks and nuns lead simple, strict lives, studying the sacred texts, learning to chant and meditate and helping in the daily running of the monastery. Some also work or teach in the local community. The monks and nuns obey a set of monastery rules called vinaya. Many monasteries have 227 rules, but the number can vary. The rules include the Ten Precepts, which the monks vow to keep. These are the five precepts which ordinary Buddhists follow:
1.) Not to harm or kill any living thing
2.) Not to steal or take anything that is not freely given.
3.) To control sexual desire
4.) Not to tell lies
5.) Not to drink or take drugs
Together with five extra rules not eating after midday, not singing or dancing in a frivolous way, not to wear perfume or jewlery, not sleeping on a bed and not taking gifts or money.
As part of their simple lifestyle, these monks in Thailand have only 2 meals a day. The first is eaten early in the morning, at about 7am. The second must be eaten before noon. The meals are made up of food placed in the monks alms bowls that morning by the local people. After this the monks fast until the next morning, with only water or tea without milk or sugar to drink. This teaches them self-discipline and helps them to train their minds.
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