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History, moreover, disclosed not only God’s purpose but also humankind’s inability to live in accord with it.
Even the chosen community failed in its obligation and had to be summoned back, time and again, to its responsibility by the prophets—the divinely called spokespersons who warned of retribution within history and argued and reargued the case for affirmative human response.
The biblical authors believed that the divine presence is encountered primarily within history.
God’s presence is also experienced within the natural realm, but the more immediate or intimate disclosure occurs in human actions.
Israel’s role in the divine economy and thus Israel’s particular culpability were dominant themes sounded against the motif of fulfillment, the ultimate triumph of the divine purpose, and the establishment of divine sovereignty over all humankind.
In nearly 4,000 years of historical development, the Jewish people and their religion have displayed a remarkable adaptability and continuity.
The universal goal of the Jewish people has frequently expressed itself in messianism—the idea of a universal, political realm of justice and peace.
In one form or another, messianism has permeated Jewish thinking and action throughout the ages, and it has strongly influenced the outlook of many secular-minded Jews ( eschatology).
Furthermore, each period of Jewish history has left behind it a specific element of a Judaic heritage that continued to influence subsequent developments, so that the total Jewish heritage at any given time is a combination of all these successive elements along with whatever adjustments and accretions have occurred in each new age.
According to Judaic belief, this divine guidance is manifested through the history of the Jewish people, which will culminate in the messianic age.
Judaism, whether in its “normative” form or in its sectarian deviations, never completely departed from this basic ethical and historical monotheism. This formulation could be theologically reconciled with the assumption that Christianity had been preordained even before the creation of the world.
In the second section the beliefs, practices, and culture of Judaism are discussed.
Bible reports contemporary events and activities for essentially religious reasons.Although other ancient communities also perceived a divine presence in history, the understanding of the ancient Israelites proved to be the most lasting and influential.It is this particular claim—to have experienced God’s presence in human events—and its subsequent development that is the differentiating factor in Jewish thought.This one and only God has been affirmed by virtually all professing Jews in a variety of ways throughout the ages.