“the Covenant Underpins All Jewish Practice Today.”

“The covenant underpins all Jewish practice today.”

The main goal in a Jewish life is ‘to live in harmony with God" (Spiritual World: 9/12/10) so Judaism does not, ‘conceive itself as a religion’ (Unterman, A. 1981:7) but as a community of people and a ‘covenanted relationship between God and Israel’, Unterman, A. (1981:7). The relationship to God is a very special one and it is a mutual love and commitment that is ‘formally embodied in a binding legal agreement, known as ‘the covenant’.’, De Lange, N. (2000:155). The most important figure in Judaism is Abraham who is the ‘founder of the Jewish religion’, Braybrooke, M. (1995:52). Jews have maintained a distinct and vibrant tradition based on the principles of the covenant that was made between God and Abraham.

Abraham’s former name was Abram, which means ‘father of Arom’, Blech, B. (1999:70) which restricted his leadership to a small group, thus God changed it to ‘Abraham’ which means, ‘father of many nations’,   Hodder & Stoughton (2005:Gen 17:5).   Abraham was told by God to leave his country and journey to the ‘land that God would show him’, Braybrooke (1995:53), which is known today as Israel. Jewish people still have a special attachment to Israel whether they are a devote Jew or not, calling it the Promised Land.   They believe that someday they will be able to return to what was rightfully theirs as it ‘was included in the covenant’, (Rossel:10/12/10).

Abraham is central to Jews as he is seen as ‘the servant of God…a friend of God’, Braybrooke (1995:53) and as ‘a model of all virtue’, Braybrooke (1995:52).   Abraham obeyed all the laws of the written and oral Torah and many Jews strive to have a close connection with God as Abraham did and follow the traditions and expectations of the covenant. There are many Jewish practices today but all of them remain influenced to support the covenant teachings to achieve this relationship with God.

Judaism is a ‘religion of a people’, Kung, H. (1995:19) and...