Ezra played an essential role in building Judaism. He helped the exiled Jews resettle in their homeland and return their worship life by obeying the Torah or the “teachings of the Law.” “For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.” (Ezra 7:10)
Father of Judaism
He was called the “Father of Judaism” because of his efforts and was also known as “Ezra the Scribe” for his prolific writings for the Jewish people. He contributed to the 1 and 2 Chronicles and the book of Nehemiah. They also believed that Ezra wrote Psalm 119, the longest chapter of the Bible, entailing God’s Word’s beauty.
Artaxerxes, king of Persia, was permitted to send a mass of Jews back to Jerusalem. With Zerubbabel and Nehemiah, Ezra soon rebuilds the temple and its walls to their former glory. While the two were focused on the infrastructure, the priest was concerned with the people’s spiritual life.
He saw that they were no longer obeying God’s commands in the law of Moses. They were intermarrying with foreigners and observed detestable practices.
As soon as Ezra knew this, he tore his garments and confessed the people’s sins in despair before God. Then, he called for the gathering of the exiles to repentance. He urged the men to separate from their foreign wives, to which they obeyed.
Realigning to the Torah
In their gathering, Ezra also read out the Torah to the crowd. As a result, they were reacquainted with the Laws of Moses and kept the Jewish customs and rituals such as the High holidays and Sabbath.
Ezra’s name in Hebrew comes from “Azaryahu,” which means “God helps.” Indeed, Ezra was God sent because his life was an instrument in helping God’s people realign their ways to His.
Reference: Bible Study Tools