Faith and teachings were very important in ancient Israel. It was imperative to teachers that all who sought out faith learned in one uniform system. In order to properly understand and interpret the texts and teachings of the Torah, the methods to which it was taught had to be unwavering and exactly the same in order for the Jewish community to flourish.
Rituals can be an imperative portion of learning a religion. For example, Catholics rigorously follow rituals in mass such as songs, prayers, and the act of receiving communion. In the scripture Nehemiah 8, the Jewish community follows certain rituals just as in any other religion. One in particular would be the reading of the Torah to the Jewish followers following their return from exile in Babylon and the rebuilding of the wall in Jerusalem.
The ...view middle of the document...
The Israelites became the new Jewish community and played a dynamic role in the rebuilding of religious life in post-exilic Judah.
The indications that the Torah is in the process of becoming the new sacred text of the Jewish community is the fact that it was being used as a unifying method to teach the whole community. The purpose of reading it to the followers at that specific time was to show the crowd that the Torah should now be their centerpiece as a religious text. The people wanted to learn and understand the teachings within the Torah and they praised it thus making it the “new norm” as a sacred text.
In Nehemiah it says that the Isrealites “asked Ezra the scribe to bring the scroll of the Teaching of Moses with which the Lord had changed Israel.” They were asking for the Torah because they had genuine interest in learning it, and with that information one can assume that the Torah is on its way to becoming the uniformed sacred text of the Jewish community.
The term sacred text can be interpreted in many ways, but as I have grown up in the Catholic church I understand the term sacred text as the Bible. For me sacred text means a written depiction of teaching and sort of a list of guidelines on how your life should be lived according to your God. I understand it as a manual on the dos and don’ts of whatever faith it may be. A sacred text is something universally accepted by the authority of each certain religious belief, for example the Pope relies on the Bible, so therefore the rest of the Catholic church does as well. The dictionary defines sacred text as “writing that is venerated for the worship of a deity” which basically means a religious piece of writing that is used in worship. I see the use of the Torah in the Jewish religion as being the equivalent to the Bible in Catholicism.