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What Judaism Offered, What Judaism Lacked

Judaism, however, offered an extremely firm morality: "the one God, the care for the sick and the poor, the stern law to do good and shun evil, the strict rules of sexual conduct, the God who cares, and cares not only in this life" (Chadwick 14). "Its clarity cut through the chaos of the religion in the Greek and Roman world" (Chadwick 36). And yet while these codes were tempting, Judaism probably didn't win over many full fledged converts because of some of its stricter, less congenial rules: circumcision, dietary restriction, and the like. Greeks who were interested in this sort of thing and yet didn't have the desire to completely convert, so-called "God-fearers," would sit in the back of the synagogues and hear the prayers of the Jews (Chadwick 14).

And yet Judaism of that era lacked the extremely personal component possessed by Greek Religion. It was a more communal sort of affair with a less personal God. Certainly He offered a firm morality, was all-powerful, and was beyond such trivial things as fate, but He wasn't approachable in the same manner. At the very most, He might occasionally speak to a single prophet in a single age who would go on to tell His will. Beyond Moses, He never actually starkly appeared to anyone. Ten people – a minyan – were required, by Talmudic thought, for a congregation before God; nothing less would do (I reccolect an old Jewish proverb along the lines of "God will hear ten thieves, but not nine rabbis").

It was, in many regards, the opposite extreme.

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