Sephardic Diaspora: Essay Question Main Points

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Summary of Baruch Spinoza's ideas

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Summary of Baruch Spinoza's ideas

  • ideas should be based on reason only -there are no miracles -God has no special relationships with people -all people are equal -God is not a "being" -There is no covenant

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How did the Christian community respond to Spinoza's ideas?

His book was listed as a "forbidden book."

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How did the Jewish community respond to Spinoza's ideas?

He was excommunicated.

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How do Kabbalah, Rabbi Isaac Luria, and Shabbtai Tzvi relate to the rise of messianism and mysticism in the 17th Century?

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According to Rabbi Isaac Luria, what problem did God have when he wanted to create the world?

Since God is infinite, there was no space for the world. He had to contract to make space.

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Lurianic Kabbalah: What happened after God contracted?

God had to store His divine light in vessels.

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Lurianic Kabbalah: What happened to the divine light stored in the vessels?

Since the finite vessels couldn't hold something infinate, the vessels shattered.

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Lurianic Kabbalah: Why is there evil in the world?

When the vessels broke, they sparks of divine light and bits of the vessels got hidden in the world. This created evil.

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Lurianic Kabbalah: How does one get rid of the evil in the world?

By doing mitzvot, the divine light is returned to God and the shards from the vessels are released.

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Lurianic Kabbalah: What do we call the action of redeeming these divine sparks?

Tikun Olam

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What does Tikun Olam literally mean?

Repairing the world

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What will happen when the world has been repaired?

The messiah will come.

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Why did Rabbi Joseph Caro feel that a new guide to Halacha (Jewish Law) was needed. (Give 3 reasons)

  1. He saw that as Jews spread to new places, there were disagreements as to how to observe the law.

  2. He wanted to promote Jewish unity

  3. He thought the information could be organized more clearly for the average person.

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What was the name of Rabbi Caro's new guide to Jewish law?

Shulchan Aruch

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What invention enabled the Shulchan Aruch to become so popular.

The printing press

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Why might someone choose to look up a halachic question in the Shulchan Aruch instead of the Talmud?

It is much shorter than the Talmud and it is arranged by topic. This makes it easier to find the information you need.

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