REL 2250- Religions of the World- Fall Term I 2014
Professor Cassie Lipowitz
September 28, 2014
Reflection Paper, Assignment #5
It is a fact that Human Beings depend on interaction with others to survive. In order to preserve the quality of such interaction, it is essential that moral awareness be part of society in general. It is also a fact that moral rules need to be established to keep us functioning as society. Basically, we all need to understand, and be aware of how far we can go to avoid damaging other people. Moral rules are necessary and exist to remind us of what is right and what is wrong. At the same time, they also protect us from being threaten by others possible intentions. Smith states in his book, The World’s Religions, that the Hebrew Bible contains 613 commandments to guarantee the integrity of the vital relationship among human beings.
The commandments mentioned, cover four ...view middle of the document...
Our families or our first care providers play an important role too. In other words, such guidelines are important not only to keep others but also our own integrity in the way we interact with others. However, we should naturally have the knowledge of such important concepts of morality.
In this paragraph, I decided to reflect about the stories in the Hebrew bible. Are they “true” literally or symbolically? Since Judaism is the faith of a people, I believe it is what really matters for its followers. Such faith is a peculiar element that perhaps keeps Judaism alive. The Hebrew bible stories might have never happened but I do not believe this really matters. The stories are symbolic and they rely on people’s faith to interpret them. It also does not mean that they should be taken literally. Also, as Smith states, one important factor that made Judaism a permanent religion was the Jews passion for meaning what gives us a great idea of how important it is for them to interpret symbolic stories.
Based on that, I totally believe that those stories even not being literally true can still have a moral affect. In my opinion, the most important is to believe, to practice faith. Although those stories might be invented, people can always relate to it and adjust according to their faith. It is the same affect when we read a fictitious book or watch a fictitious movie with a moral lesson that somehow inspires us. It causes that affect because it helps us believe that it is possible to achieve something. Questioning the legitimacy of such stories is not the goal as long as they add something positive in people’s life.
In terms of faith and spirituality achievement, I do not think that a work has to be literally to be true. Interpretation is the key point. This is again a good example of how the Jews emphasize the importance of meaning. Stories have to be interpreted according to people’s faith. Faith inspires us to be better Human Beings. We need to believe in something to keep inspired. Those stories also help people’s awareness of morality. They serve as a reference and do not need to be true.
Smith, Huston. The World's Religions. New York: HarperOne, 2009. Print