Compare and Contrast Zoroastrianism with Judaism
Zoroastrianism became the national religion of the Iranian people for many centuries. Though, the believers had been decreased by number when Alexander III of Macedon invaded the Achaemenid Empire, and eventually Islam religion was introduced in the country from 7th century onwards. The political power of the pre-Islamic Iranian dynasties paved the way for Zoroastrianism immense prestige in ancient times, and some of its leading doctrines were adopted by other religious systems. Modern period has already introduced new religious beliefs and influences that greatly influence on people’s beliefs, practices, values and perceptions, but still associated with the traditional belief and faith.
Zoroastrianism is a religion and philosophy that formulated through the teachings of prophet Zoroaster also known as Zarathustra in Avestan. This is also considered one of the largest religions in the world, which founded before the 6th century BCE in Greater Iran. In this type of religion, the believers have their own Creator named Ahura Mazda who is all good and no evil have distinct sources. The term “druj” means evil which tries to destroy the creation of Mazda (asha), which in contrast, tries to sustain the good distinct sources. Mazda is believed not immanent in this world. Hence, his creation is represented by the Amesha Spentas and Yazatas. Through them, works of God are evidently revealed to humanity, as well as the worship of Mazda. Majority of the written works about Zoroastrianism are with Avesta. But, the important part of it has been lost, and only liturgical portion has been survived all through this time. The lost works have been known and recalled through references and several brief quotations in the succeeding religious works from 9th century up to 11th centuries. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoroastrianism )
Zoroastrianism differs from Judaism in terms of their belief that there is only one God and Creator to be worshiped in the earth. For the people who believe in Zoroastrianism, for them, there is only one universal and transcendent God, and that is in the presence of Ahura Mazda. On the other hand, in Judaism religion, believers have direct faith in God. However, Zoroastrianism is similar to Judaism in terms of principles in how to live in accordance to what is right. Relatively, the Judaism principles are not far from the principles and beliefs of Zoroastrianism such as Zoroastrians believe that truth and order must always prevail among people, and chaos and killings must be prohibited strictly in every society, so as to falsehood and disorderliness are only results of “druj” or evil acts.
Hence, there are many religion states as well in Iran and some other parts of the globe that actively participate. Because they also believe that it is necessary to ensure happiness and peaceful living among people of the God they believe in. Free will of the people is the core element of Zoroastrianism which really oppose the concept of monasticism. This religion strongly believe that the universe will come to a point that has to undergo a total renovation. And, the believers strongly believe that the entire universe will vanish in the final renovation. Then, only people with good souls, and even the dead good souls will return into life together with a born-again world. Moreover, in Zoroastrianism, there are major elements of ritual purity, the water or (apo), and fire or (atar). In Zoroastrian cosmogony y, water and fire are respectively the second and last primeval elements that were created, and they are both considered life-sustaining elements in the universe. Same as both water and fire are represented within the precinct of a fire temple. As a traditional belief and customs, Zoroastrians normally pray with some form of fire as their guiding light. While water is used during the culminating rite of the principle act of worship. Because water is considered the source of wisdom, and fire is considered the medium through which spiritual sensibility and wisdom gained by believers while praying to their God.
Majority of the Iranians do not allow conversion of some Iranians into another religion within their country. However, like many other faiths, Zoroastrians are strongly encouraged to marry others of the same faith by other religious sectors in the society. In Zoroastrian tradition, life is only temporary state that people should not loved the material world the most. Instead, they must prepare themselves into living their lives in the spiritual dimension in the other world. Consequently, Zoroastrianism believes also for the “safe” disposal of dead bodies. This has been practiced only in Zoroastrian communities in the Indian regions. . Other modern Zoroastrian communities practice cremation on their dead. Sometimes, they prefer to bury the dead body in a tomb. (http://judaism.about.com/ )