Judaism Is The Most Physical Of The Monotheist Religions

In his seventh lecture on the book of Genesis in 1992, Dennis Prager says: “Israel is where it’s at. This is what God intended for the Jews — to build a holy society. You can only build a holy society in a place. Judaism is profoundly physical. It is the most corporeal religion of the monotheist religions. It is bound to land, bound to people, bound to family, bound to law. It is not a metaphysical religion. It has metaphysical elements but the religion is uniquely physical. The mitzvot are physical. The laws of Judaism are very physical. You will take this meat and you will eat this way and you will slaughter this way and you will take this branch of palm and you will take this etrog and you will wash your hands this way. You will wear fringes on your garment. You will go three times a year up the mountain in Jerusalem to bring the sacrifices.

“It is a very physical religion and the reason is that we live in a very physical world. If you don’t invest the physical with holiness, if you separate holiness and the physical, then you will have a bad world. The purpose of Judaism is to sanctify the non-sanctified, to sanctify physical, which is not sacred. You make the land sacred. After all, the land was lived on by the Jebusites and the Peruzites and Canaanites and others and it wasn’t sacred. You make it sacred.”

“We have tried to spiritualize Judaism more than it is. It is filled with the spiritual but it is not just spiritual. That is why it can be seen by some people as a lower form of religiosity because it is pre-occupied by the physical. What is it Jesus is reputed to have said in Matthew? It is not what goes into your mouth that matters but what comes out. Judaism holds that both is important.”

“This land I give you and this is the land over which the battle for humanity will take place, as I God see it. That’s Judaism. The Jew embodies it. This is why the Torah doesn’t talk about hereafter while what happens after you die is a major theme in the New Testament.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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