Het jodendom is een van de oudste continu beoefende religies ter wereld en is ongeveer 4.000 jaar geleden begonnen. Tegenwoordig wordt het jodendom wereldwijd door ongeveer 15 miljoen mensen beoefend. Deze oude religie was de eerste die monotheïstisch was (geloven in één God) en is de wortel van de twee grootste religies van vandaag, het christendom en de islam.
De leerlingen kunnen een verhaal illustreren dat betrekking heeft op of over het jodendom om een beter begrip van de religie te krijgen!
EXODUS: HOW MOSES LED THE ISRAELITES OUT OF EGYPT
MOSES IS BORN AND PHARAOH'S CRUEL DECREE
GOD'S REVELATION ON MOUNT SINAI
Moses is considered the most important prophet in Judaism and is also an important prophet in Christianity and Islam. A large part of the story of Moses is found in the Book of Exodus, the second book in the Torah. The Israelites had been living in the land of Canaan (Israel) for many years. Widespread drought and famine forced them to Egypt. While they were initially welcomed, they became brutally enslaved by the Egyptians and remained so for 430 years!
PHARAOH REFUSES AND GOD SENDS TEN PLAGUES
Around 1300 BCE, in a barbaric effort to decrease the Hebrew population, a cruel Pharaoh ordered that all Hebrew baby boys be killed! In an attempt to save her son, Jochebed and her young daughter, Miriam, placed their baby boy in a basket in the Nile River near where the Pharaoh's daughter regularly bathed. The Pharaoh's daughter found the helpless infant and rescued him. She named him Moses and he was raised as a prince of Egypt.
THE ISRAELITES FLEE EGYPT AND WALK THROUGH THE RED SEA
As a man, Moses received revelations from God speaking to him through a burning bush on Mount Sinai. God told Moses that he had been chosen to free his people from slavery and lead them out of Egypt and back to their lush and fertile Promised Land. Following God's command, Moses boldly went to the Pharaoh and said "Let my people go" but the unyielding Pharaoh refused.
MOSES RECEIVES THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other gods before meYou shall not worship false godsYou shall never take my name in vainYou shall keep the sabbath day HolyHonor your Father and MotherYou shall not murderYou shall not commit adulteryYou shall not stealYou shall not lieYou shall never want what belongs to others
To punish the wicked Pharaoh, God sent terrible plagues. They were: water turning to blood, frogs, lice, flies, livestock pestilence, boils, hail, locusts, and darkness. The cruel Pharaoh still refused to free the Israelites. God sent one final and dreadful plague: the killing of all firstborn children in Egypt. God instructed Moses to tell the Israelites to sacrifice a lamb and smear its blood over their doors so that the angel of death would "pass over" their houses and do them no harm.
The Pharaoh relented after the final plague claimed the life of his own son. As the Israelites began to leave, the Pharaoh changed his mind. He pursued the Israelites all the way to the Red Sea. God commanded Moses to point his staff at the Sea, which miraculously parted the waters. The Israelites walked across the sea bed to safety. After crossing, Moses again waved his staff and the sea returned to normal, drowning the Pharaoh's army and saving the Israelites!
Moses and the Israelites traveled through the desert for forty years searching for home. At Mount Sinai, God once again appeared to Moses and revealed the Torah, including the Ten Commandments written on two stone tablets. This new covenant with God, named the Mosaic Covenant, was a promise between God and his people asking them to follow the commandments and worship only Him, the one true God. In return, the Jewish people would be blessed by God with a nation in the Promised Land of Israel.