Judaism is an ancient monotheistic religion; in fact, it’s the oldest of the monotheistic religion, with the Torah as its foundational text (part of the larger text known as the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible), and supplemental oral tradition represented by later texts such as the Midrash and the Talmud.
Jews believe that God appointed the Jews to be his chosen people in order to set an example of holiness and ethical behaviour to the world.
Judaism is the original of the three Abrahamic faiths, which also includes Christianity and Islam. There were around 15 million Jewish people in the world, most residing in the USA and Israel. Not all countries recognise Israel as state and has been in conflict since it’s creation after the 2nd World war. It has been linked to the plight of Jewish people but does not define the religion.
- Judaism originated in the Middle East over 3500 years ago
- Judaism was founded by Moses, although Jews trace their history back to Abraham.
- Jews believe that there is only one God with whom they have a covenant.
- In exchange for all the good that God has done for the Jewish people, Jewish people keep God’s laws and try to bring holiness into every aspect of their lives.
- Judaism has a rich history of religious text, but the central and most important religious document is the Torah.
- Jewish traditional or oral law, the interpretation of the laws of the Torah, is called Halakhah.
- Spiritual leaders are called Rabbis.
- Jews worship in Synagogues.
- 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust in an attempt to wipe out Judaism.
There are many people who identify themselves as Jewish without necessarily believing in, or observing, any Jewish law.