- Hinduism and Judaism are a confluence of two deep-seated faiths
- The article will talk about contrast and comparison of Hindus and Jews
- Duty, karma and adherence over belief are the teachings of both the religions
JULY 5, 2017: Hinduism and Judaism are the two foundational religions in the East and the West. Referred by scholars as Sanatana Dharma, Hinduism shares its underlying concepts such as karma and liberation from samsara with Buddhism and Jainism. A thorough compare and contrast provide better apprehension.
Professor B.Holdrege elucidates that Hinduism and Judaism represent a definite form of religion, keen to “practice, observance and law.” The religions are regarded by scholars to be ethnic religions sharing common elements in regard to purity codes, dietary restrictions among others. Hinduism and Judaism, each “defines itself in relation to a particular sacred language and to a particular corpus of sacred texts.”
Classical Judaism holds that there is only one God in cosmos, a creator of all that exists. God made a relationship, a covenant, with the people of Israel taking two forms. The first being an eternal relationship with the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, King David and his descendants as the leaders of the congregation. The second is a reciprocal relationship that applies to the followers to fulfil God’s commandments.
The commandments encompass social, ethical components such as prayer, the observance of Sabbath, marriage and family practices. The commandments are articulated in the written Torah- the Five Books of Moses. It serves the purpose of making Israel a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation”. The Oral Torah compliments and explains the Written Torah. With the guidance of Torah, the practitioners of Judaism come to understand God’s will and the sacred tenets.
Hinduism maintains that the cosmos is sacred. Like Judaism, Hindu Dharma concerns itself with attitude and practice and emphasises these features over dogmatic belief. Dharma is committed to the deep abiding laws of nature, and to society. Like Judaism, Hinduism girdle around ethical, social and ritual components. The Hindu Dharma functions like commandments to its followers. The Dharma recognises the unique, intellectual and spiritual outlooks. Dharma sources, written and customary, are mainly composed in Sanskrit. The distinction of Dharma from the Western sense of religion is crucial to the understanding of Hindu religious identity. The word Sanatana, meaning immemorial and eternal emphasises the unbroken continuity of Hindu tradition.
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