JUDAISM What is Judaism?
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JUDAISM What is Judaism?

Judaism is described the covenant between God and his people.. Judaism as “the living . in . the Jews of the past and . with. the Jews of the present.”. Importance of group identity in Judaism..

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JUDAISM What is Judaism?

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What is Judaism?

Judaism is described the covenant between God and his people.

Judaism as “the living in the Jews of the past and with the Jews of the present.”Importance of group identity in Judaism.

The Jewish community numbers between 13 and 20 million people, with roughly 35% of the Jewish population living in Israel and 38% of the Jewish population living in the United States.


Historical Foundations of Judaism

Judaism is not the first historically-monotheistic religion.

Judaism is the main monotheistic source for the Western World.Judaism holds that God revealed God’s self to humanity through his personal name (YHWH)

God is also a transcendent God, infinitely powerful, all-knowing and beyond the limits of space and time.

The revelation of God as God was radical for the time and place where it developed, as all of the neighbors of Israel were polytheistic cultures.


Beliefs and Teachings

The Torah

refers to the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.) It is also known as the “Law,” the “Pentateuch” or the “Books of Moses.”



is the primary statement of the religious laws of Judaism.

The word Tanakh describes the Bible in general.Tanakh comes from the Hebrew words




(The Prophets) and

Ketuvim (The Writings).The Mishnah and Talmud are the collected teachings of Jewish rabbis. The Mishnah is seen as a sacred text, almost on the same level as the Tanakh. The Talmud is an extensive commentary on the Mishnah.The Mishnah and Talmud continue to be interpreted in the 21st century, and are important texts for modern rabbis.


Classical Judaism

The Patriarchs (2000 to 1500 B.C.)

The Exodus and Revelation (1290 B.C.)The Monarchy of David and Solomon (1004 to 928 B.C.)

The Building of the First Temple

Babylonian Exile and Captivity (587 to 538 B.C.)

The Rebuilding of the Temple (515 B.C.)

Greek Conquest of Palestine (332 B.C.)

The Development of Sadducees, Pharisees, Essenes and Zealots

Destruction of the Second Temple (A.D. 70)


Medieval Judaism:Moses Maimonides and the Thirteen Principles of Faith

The belief in the existence of God.

God's unity.God's spirituality and incorporeality.

God's eternity and timelessness.

God alone should be the object of worship and prayer.

Revelation through God's prophets.

The preeminence of Moses among the prophets.

God's law given on Mount Sinai.

The immutability of the


as God's Law.

God's foreknowledge of human actions.Reward of good and retribution of evil.The coming of the Jewish Messiah.The resurrection of the dead and human immortality.


Modern Judaism


Jewish mysticismThe Torah can be taught and interpreted on many different levels, each bringing a person closer to God.


Based on


, it holds that God is known first and foremost in the human heart.Emphasis on the personal relationships with God and the community under the leadership of the


, or a holy man with a close relationship with God.

Zionism, Anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and the State of Israel

Reform vs. Orthodox vs. Conservative Judaism

Reform: Judaism and modern lifestyles are compatible (33% of Jews in the United States)Orthodox: The Torah is the standard of truth, and life in modern society must always conform to the Torah. (10% of Jews in the United States)Conservative: Strict observance of traditional Jewish practices, including liturgy, kosher laws and the Sabbath. (about 50% of Jews in the United States)


The Way of the Torah

Daily Life

The Synagogue and the SabbathRosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur



Rites of Passage

Birth and Naming: Brit milah (circumcision)Coming of Age:

Bar mitzvah


Bat mitzvah


Death and Mourning Rituals