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Ju·da·ism

  1. The monotheistic religion of the Jews, having its ethical, ceremonial, and legal foundation in the precepts of the Old Testament and in the teachings and commentaries of the rabbis as found chiefly in the Talmud. Compare Conservative Jew, Orthodox Jew, Reform Jew.

  2. Belief in and conformity to this religion, its practices, and ceremonies.

  3. This religion considered as forming the basis of the cultural and social identity of the Jews: He called assimilation a threat to American Judaism.

  4. Jews collectively; Jewry.

Religious Practices

The essence of the Jewish faith is contained in the biblical “Shema” that is recited every morning and evening by a devote Jew: “Hear O Israel the Lord is our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you today shall be upon your heart.” [Deuteronomy 6:4-6]. In addition to this and other scriptural mandates, Jewish practice incorporates an ever-growing body of rabbinic commentary and interpretation.

an excerpt from the Handbook of Religious Beliefs and Practices

Famous religious quotes

A wise man's question contains half the answer.

Solomon Ibn Gabirol ben, Philosopher

Energy is the basis of everything. Every Jew, no matter how insignificant, is engaged in some decisive and immediate pursuit of a goal… It is the most perpetual people of the earth…

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe German dramatist, novelist and poet (1749 - 1832)

For the Jewish impact on humanity has been protean. In antiquity they were the great innovators in religion and morals. In the Dark Ages and early medieval Europe they were still an advanced people transmitting scarce knowledge and technology. Gradually they were pushed from the van and fell behind, by the end of the eighteenth century, they were seen as a bedraggled and obscurantist rearguard in the march of civilized humanity. But then came an astonishing second burst of creativity. Breaking out of the ghettos, they once more transformed human thinking, this time in the secular sphere. Much of the mental furniture of the modern world too is of Jewish fabrication.

Paul Johnson

Purpose of life

Judaism, like Buddhism, is entirely deeds-based. This means that you must act correctly. You will be judged but, that does not mean you will go straight to the promise land. I have read that "it's better to be an atheist saving lives than a believer living a pretty bad life." Worship of God is fundamental to Judaism. God does not need worship but, It does keep you closer to God.

History

Judaism traces its history back to what they believe is the creation of mankind. Jewish historical origins begin with Abraham and the Hebrews, according to the Torah. They believe that God commanded Abraham to go to the region of Canaan, which its loaction is near or in, modern Israel and Lebanon. They also believe that the Hebrews lived as slaves in Egypt, then returned to Canaan. It is said that the Hebrew people were herdsman and farmers and they were organized into tribes while living in Mesopotamia.

Most scholars date the beginning of the Jewish religion around 2000-1800 B.C.E.

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