Stories of Faith
Judaism is a religion of story and tradition.
The Jewish Scriptures are one of the greatest collections of stories in the world.
It is difficult to say which are the most important and central stories of the faith. The stories are sacred because they are part of the revealed word of G-d and, at least to Orthodox Jews, are therefore divine truth.
The stories of the Jewish Scriptures are the essential accounts of G-d’s developing relationship with his people. They demonstrate G-d’s love and care for his people and his righteousness and righteous judgement. They also show the fallibility of humanity which, despite its promises and undertakings, goes against G-d’s wishes and disobeys the commandments again and again.
The key stories might be considered as:
– The Creation and the Fall (Genesis 1-3) – Cain and Abel (Genesis 4) – Noah and the flood (Genesis 6-9) – The Covenants with Abraham (Genesis 12, 15 & 17) – Abraham and the sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22) – Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25-27) – Joseph (Genesis 37-47) – The Exodus from Egypt and the Sinai Covenant (Exodus) – David and the building of the Temple (1 Samuel16 – 1 Kings 2) – Jonah- Job- Ruth
This is simply a selection, and anyone might produce a different list from a faith with so many stories to tell. They are all important because they show the developing relationship between G-d and the children of Israel and help Jews to understand how that relationship evolved.
Of course, many of these stories might be read as myths and interpreted accordingly but for many Jews they are true accounts of events in the life of the chosen people.
These stories are read in the synagogue, studied by Rabbis and told to young children. They are central to an understanding of the faith.