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Alien Abduction: Judaism

Length - 5:44
Published - Jun 2013
Keystage(s) - 3

Alien Abduction: Judaism – Orbiting Earth at this very moment, the alien survey ship “Pantheon” is abducting people to collect data about their belief systems. Rabbi David is beamed into the interrogation chamber to answer questions about Judaism.

TrueTube films are designed for use in a number of ways. Some ideas of where this film could link to your curriculum are below:


Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teaching and practices - Judaism - Introduction to Judaism - Introduction to the idea of common and divergent views within Judaism. Key beliefs: The nature of God - God as one. Key beliefs: Beliefs about life after death - Beliefs about life after death, including judgement and resurrection. The origins and value of the universe - Religious teachings about the use and abuse of animals, including animal experimentation and the use of animals for food. Family life and festivals - Festivals and their importance for Jews in Great Britain today, including the origins and meaning of Pesach. The synagogue and worship - Shabbat in the home and synagogue and its significance. Worship in the home and private prayer.


Area of Study 1 – Judaism - Section 1: Jewish Beliefs - The nature of the Almighty: how the characteristics of the Almighty are shown in the Torah, and why they are important in Jewish life today, including One, Creator, Law-Giver and Judge. Jewish beliefs about life after death: divergent Jewish understandings of the nature and significance of life after death including reference to different forms of Orthodox and Reform Judaism; Jewish teachings about life after death including interpretations of Ecclesiastes 12; the nature of resurrection and judgement; why belief in life after death may be important for Jews today. Section 3: Living the Jewish Life -The nature and purpose of Jewish public acts of worship: the nature, features and purpose of Jewish public worship, including interpretations of Psalms 116:12–19; the nature, features and importance of synagogue services for the Jewish community and the individual. Jewish festivals: the nature, history, purpose and significance of Jewish festivals; the origins and meaning of specific festivals, including Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot, including interpretations of Leviticus 23 (Rosh Hashanah); divergent understandings of why festivals are important to different forms of Orthodox and Reform Judaism today. Section 4: Matters of Life and Death - Jewish teachings about life after death: Jewish teachings and beliefs that support the existence of a life after death 


Component Group 1 - Judaism - Practices- Rituals • The meaning and importance of rites of passage • The form and meaning of Jewish birth ceremonies including: •• The welcoming of a baby girl •• The connection between Brit Milah and the covenant with Abraham •• The circumcision •• The roles of the father •• Mohel and Sandek •• The importance of birth rituals for the community • The form and meaning of Bar/Bat Mitzvah including: •• The preparation •• The nature of the service •• Subsequent preparations •• The meaning and nature of Bat Chayil The meaning and importance of burial rites including: •• The nature of burial •• The tearing of clothes •• The Kaddish Dietary laws • The origin and nature of dietary laws •The mitzvoth and traditions regarding the slaughter and consumption of animals •The mitzvot and traditions regarding the consumption of poultry, fish, fruit and vegetables •The mitzvot and traditions regarding the consumption of meat and milk together • The importance and impact of dietary laws on Jewish lifestyle • The meaning of the terms Kosher and Terefah • Issues related to the dietary laws, including pikuach nefesh and breaking the laws of kashrut • Common and divergent emphases placed on the dietary laws by different Jewish groups, including the preparation of food by non-Jews
Festivals • The origins and importance of Rosh Hashanah, including Teshuva, the Shofar, symbolic foods, the synagogue service and Tashlich • The origins and importance of Yom Kippur, including the connection to Rosh Hashanah, the Book of Life, Kapparah, the rules of Yom Kippur, the importance and nature of fasting, the synagogue services and Neilah •The origins and importance of the Pilgrim Festivals, including the story of the Exodus, the importance of chametz and the Seder meal • The origins and importance of Sukkot, including the building of sukkah and the four species • The origins and importance of Hanukkah • The origins and importance of Pesach
Law• The form and content of the Tenakh (the Written Law) • The Chumash and the Sefer Torah • The nature of the Talmud (the Oral Law) •The relationship between the Talmud and the Torah, including the ways in which the Talmud is used in relation to the Torah • The use of the Torah in the synagogue • The use of the Tenakh in private worship • The way that the Torah provides structure to the life of a Jew, including the use of the Neviim and Ketuvim in public and private worship •The significance of the use in daily life of the Tenakh and the Talmud •Issues related to the law, including the different views held amongst religious Jews regarding the nature of the Torah and the Talmud • Common and divergent emphases placed on the Tenakh and Talmud by different Jewish groups •Different interpretations and emphases given to sources of wisdom and authority by different Jewish groups Beliefs and Teachings - Sanctity of life• The meaning and concept of sanctity of life •The siginifcance that Judaism places on the sanctity of human life • The concept and meaning of Pikuach Nefesh (the obligation to save life) •The significance of Pikuach Nefeshin Jewish personal, social and community life •Issues related to the sanctity of life, including what kinds of life are sacred • Common and divergent emphases placed on the concept of the sanctity of life by different Jewish groups, including the difference between human and non-human lives • Common and divergent emphases placed on the concept of Pikuach Nefesh by different Jewish groups, including whether the principle extends to relieving suffering/illness Nature of G-d• The meaning of the terms G-d as One, Creator, Law-Giver, Judge and Eternal •The signifa nce of the following characteristics for Jews: •• All-powerful •• All-good •• All-knowing •• Everywhere •• Beyond time and space •• Concerned with humanity •• Intervening in the world •• Transcendent and immanent • Issues related to the nature of G-d, including the problem of evil and suffering • Common and divergent emphases placed on these characteristics by different Jewish groups, including beliefs about the Last Day of the world as Judgement day and the judgements made by G-d on Rosh Hashannah Promised Land • The concept of the Promised Land: to whom was it promised and in return for what? • The origins of a belief in the Promised Land in the Covenant with Abraham •The significance of the Covenant with Abraham • The role of Abraham and his importance in Judaism • Issues related to the Promised Land, including whether this concept is equally important for all religious Jews

2.1 Unit 1 PART A - Part A Christianity - Core beliefs, teachings and practices – Practices - Church  Diversity of Christianity: Catholic, Anglican, Church in Wales, non-conformist churches and chapels  Role of the local church  Diverse features of churches and chapels and diversity of worship practices.  Importance of prayer, communal and private - Matthew 6:5-13, Matthew 18:20  Social and community functions of churches, examples in Wales: food banks, the work of the Salvation Army, the work of Shelter Cymru  Christian groups working for Social justice, Reconciliation, Inter-faith dialogue e.g. Interfaith Council for Wales, World Council of Churches, Christian-Muslim Forum, Council of Christians and Jews  Persecution of Christians in the modern world (Matthew 10:22)


Component 3: Study of a World Faith - Option 4:Judaism - Beliefs and teachings - The nature of God ➢ Issues of God as: One, Creator: Genesis 1: 3-5; 1: 26-28, The Shema ➢ Law-Giver and Judge: Exodus 20:1-15 ➢ The nature and significance of shekhinah (the divine presence) Messiah (Mashiach) ➢ Different views within Orthodox and Reform Judaism about the nature and role of the Mashiach (Messiah); special person who brings an age of peace, ourselves, his arrival as signaling the end of the world, praying for his coming, concerned more with living life according to the mitzvot Covenant ➢ The meaning and significance of the Abrahamic Covenant: Genesis 12:1-3, 17:6-8, 17:11-14 including the importance of the ‘Promised Land’ ➢ The meaning and significance of the Covenant with Moses at Sinai: Exodus 3:11-15 including the continuing importance of the idea of a ‘Promised Land’ ➢ Importance of the Ten Commandments: Exodus 20:2-14 The afterlife ➢ Orthodox and Reform beliefs and teachings about life after death, judgement and resurrection; spiritual and/or bodily resurrection, immortality of the soul and the belief that we must focus on this life in preparation for whatever happens in the next. Practices - Worship: practices in Britain and elsewhere ➢ The nature and importance of Orthodox and Reform synagogue services; Shabbat service, the significance of prayer including the standing prayer (Amidah) ➢ Worship in the home; siddur, recitation of Shema and Modeh Ani, display of mezuzah. The importance of preparing for and celebrating Shabbat: Exodus 20:8-10 ➢ Items worn for worship; tallith, tefillin and kippah The Synagogue ➢ Features of different synagogues in Britain: significance of bimah, aron hakodesh, Torah scrolls, ner tamid, seating, minyan; Exodus 20:4-5 ➢ Worship, social and community functions of Orthodox and Reform synagogues serving Jewish communities in Britain. Rituals ➢ The role and importance of Brit Milah: Covenant, identity, features of the ceremony ➢ Bar Mitzvah: Law and personal responsibility, features of the ceremony ➢ Orthodox and Reform views regarding Bat Mitzvah and Bat Chayil and features of the ceremonies ➢ Marriage: Genesis 2: 24, features of the ceremony ➢ Mourning rituals: onan, kaddish, sheva, yarzheit. Role of chevra kaddisha Daily life ➢ Significance of use of the Tenakh and the Talmud in daily life; ➢ Dietary laws: kosher/treyfah, parev, the prohibition of milk with meat, requirements of a kosher kitchen: Leviticus 11:1-23 ➢ Keeping kosher in Britain: benefits and challenges Festivals: practices in Britain and elsewhere ➢ The origin, meaning and celebration of the following festivals among different Jewish communities in Britain ➢ Rosh Hashanah ➢ Yom Kippur ➢ Pesach: Exodus 12:14 

Alien Abduction: Judaism

Robot          Survey ship Pantheon orbiting planet: Earth. Dominant life form: Human. Belief system: Various. More information required. Scanning for samples. Welcome to survey ship Pantheon, our mission is to investigate the culture of your planet, and you have been selected to represent your belief system. Please state your name.

Rabbi David Lister      Rabbi David Lister.

Robot          Religion.

Rabbi David Lister      Judaism.

Robot          Holy book.

Rabbi David Lister      Torah.

Robot          Holy building.

Rabbi David Lister      Synagogue, sometimes referred to as a shul.

Robot          Symbol.

Rabbi David Lister      The Star of David or a seven branched lamp called a menorah.

Robot          You will now be asked a series of questions from the categories on screen. You have 30 of your Earth seconds to provide a satisfactory answer to each one. Failure to comply will result in matter dispersal. Are you ready?

Rabbi David Lister      Yes.

Robot          Standby. Choose the first category.

Rabbi David Lister      God.

Robot          What do you believe about God?

Rabbi David Lister      We believe that God is a creator, just the one, and he made everything in the universe, and he looks after people in this world by giving them a spiritual job to do. If they do that job very well, then they will develop themselves, and after death they will be able to enjoy a special closeness to God.

Rabbi David Lister      Life after death.

Robot          What do you believe will happen to humans after death?

Rabbi David Lister      A person's body is put in the ground, their soul is released from the body and returns to God. The better we have worked in this life on doing the things that God has asked us to do, the more we will be able to understand and appreciate what it's like to be with him after we die. We don't understand much about what it's like after death, but we know that it is a good thing to be in that state.

Rabbi David Lister      Beginnings.

Robot          How did your religion begin?

Rabbi David Lister      It started when God spoke to Abraham, nearly 4000 years ago. Abraham had a family that went down to Egypt, and their descendants came out of the slavery in Egypt after 210 years there. We went to Mount Sinai in the Sinai desert. God came down on the mountain, spoke to us, said the Ten Commandments, and then we received the Torah from Moses.

Rabbi David Lister      Everyday life.

Robot          How does your religion affect everyday life?

Rabbi David Lister 2   In lots of different ways. We have rules about what we eat so all our food must be kosher. We have rules about what we wear. We're not allowed to wear a garment that has both wool and linen in it. Jewish men are supposed to wear a kippah on their heads. We have to pray. We have to behave to each other in a kind and gentle way, and most of all, I think, we're supposed to think about ourselves and the world in a cheerful and positive way. Festivals.

Rabbi David Lister      In lots of different ways. We have rules about what we eat so all our food must be kosher. We have rules about what we wear. We're not allowed to wear a garment that has both wool and linen in it. Jewish men are supposed to wear a kippah on their heads. We have to pray. We have to behave to each other in a kind and gentle way, and most of all, I think, we're supposed to think about ourselves and the world in a cheerful and positive way.

Rabbi David Lister      Festivals.

Robot          What is the most important festival in your religion?

Rabbi David Lister      There are many important times in our year. There's Pesach or Passover when we remember and relive the Exodus from Egypt. And there's Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which is a big new start for everybody. My favourite festival, if you can call it that, is Shabbat, which happens every single week. That's our Sabbath starts on Friday afternoon and finishes Saturday night. It's a time when we can't do lots of things, and we have to calm down and listen to each other.

Rabbi David Lister      Rites of passage.

Robot          What is a bar mitzvah?

Rabbi David Lister      Bar mitzvah means son of commandment. It's a time when a boy turns 13, and we celebrate the fact that he's now obliged to keep the commandments like every other Jewish adult. He will normally celebrate this by going to the synagogue and reading a portion of the Torah, and having a party afterwards. A girl will have a bat mitzvah, which means daughter of the commandment, when she turns 12, and she will also celebrate this by going to the synagogue and perhaps reading a speech.

Rabbi David Lister      Random.

Rabbi David Lister      What's so bad about pigs?

Rabbi David Lister      Um, pigs aren't such a big deal in Judaism. They're part of a non-kosher group of animals, like the horse, the rabbit, um, any animal that doesn't have both split hooves and many stomachs is not kosher, and we may not, we may not eat it. We're a bit worried about the symbolism of the pig, because on the outside it looks kosher, because it has split hooves, but inside it only has the one stomach, so it's regarded as a faker.

Robot          Thank you. Your answers are satisfactory. Matter dispersal beams powering down. You will now be returned to Earth, human. Goodbye.