Comparision Of Judaism And Zoroastrianism Essay, Research Paper
A Comparison of Judaism and Zoroastrianism
Religion has been a major focal point in any society and in any culture. Starting from the first civilizations in Sumer and Ur to the vast metropolitans of today like New York and London, religion has been around and played a key part in lives of people. Possibly two of the oldest religions in the world, Judaism and Zoroastrinism share distinct qualities that are still alive today. Both religions are practiced but Zoroastrianism is not as popular as it once was. Meanwhile, Judaism is one of the world’s largest religions. These two religions are similar in the way that they are designed and practiced throughout history.
Judaism originated in the Middle East. Judaism calls that all things are under Gods rule. This brings Judaism into its most essential feature. The most essential of all Jewish beliefs is that a single, transcendent God created the universe and continues providentially to govern it. Another important feature of the Jewish religion is the Torah. The Torah is Gods revealed instruction to his people and for humankind expressed in commandments. The covenant is also a major concept to the Jewish religion. The covenant is an agreement between God and his people. This agreement said that they would acknowledge God, agreeing to obey his laws; God, in turn, would acknowledge Israel as his particular people.
Traditionally, Jews pray three times a day if they get the chance to do so. Studying the Torah is also considered an act of worshiping God. Jewish people celebrate the Sabbath, the seventh day of each week, which is spent in prayer and in rest.
Unlike the Jewish people today, some Jews did not deny the existence of other gods from other cultures. The Jewish people had laws that were covered in the Talmud. These laws were the foundations of Jewish ideology. Women were treated unfair and were considered impure because they gave childbirth and went through the menstruation cycle.
The Jewish religion has many key components, which were derived from other religions such as Zoroastrianism. The prophet Zoroaster founded Zoroastrianism in Persia. The doctrines preached by Zoroaster are preserved in his metrical Gathas (psalms), which form part of the sacred scripture known as the Avesta. Zoroastrianism is one of the first monotheistic beliefs in the world. The beliefs are outlined in the Gathas. The basic tenets of the Gathas consist of a worship of Ahura Mazda and an ethical dualism opposing Truth and Lie, which permeate the entire universe.
Upon death in Zoroastrianism a person’s soul will be judged at the Bridge of Discrimination; the follower of Truth will cross and be led into paradise, and the adherents of Lie will fall into hell. Zoroastrianists believe that evil will be wiped off the face of the Earth and will be burnt. The Gathas and the Seven Chapters form part of the larger work, the Yasna. In the Yasna there are hymns that praise specific Gods, and the code of law that they are to follow.
Both Judaism and Zoroastrinism share many characteristics in common. The most obvious and probably one of the most important is the fact that both religions are monotheistic. In ancient times many civilizations were polytheistic. These two religions emerged as the first two monotheistic belief system. Both religions emerged in the Middle East. In Zoroastrinism, a person’s soul is judged at the Bridge of Discrimination. They either go to heaven or to hell. The Jewish religion shares this similar belief, in that if one obeys Gods laws he will go to heaven and if he disobeys them he goes to hell. They both have a common Holy Book, Zoroastrinists read and believe in the Yasna, which is compiled of hymns, psalms, stories and laws. Jewish people believe in the Holy Book, Torah. In the Torah you can find hymns, and laws. This law that the Jews use is called the Covenant. Jews have their agreement with God that they will follow all the laws set aside by God and they will be rewarded by going to heaven.
These two religions were very different from early Mesopotamian religions in some ways. The most obvious difference is that early Mesopotamian religions were polytheistic. Judaism and Zoroastrinism were both monotheistic. The early Mesopotamian religions did not have a law to follow or a Holy Book to follow. Both Zoroastrinism and Judaism have laws and Holy Book to worship.
Today Judaism is one of the most popular religions in the world. They influenced us greatly because a religion that we practice today is a root from Judaism and we call it Christianity. They started the whole monotheistic movement. The Arabs conquered the Zoroastrinists who then began to live in the hills and practice their religion very discreetly. Then Islam came into play with the Arabs. Islam is the most populated religion in the world today. Without these two religions we still may have been a polytheistic society and praying to a god for everything we see.
Zoroastrianism and Judaism share distinct qualities that make them similar. Throughout thousands of centuries these religions have been around. They were the starting points of monotheistic thought. And the beginning of a religious revolution that took place in the ancient world that is still practiced today.