The Judaism was the first monotheistic religion in human history (more than three thousand years).
Despite being the smallest in number of believers (about 15 million, most of them in North America and Israel), it is one of the great Abrahamic religions, along with Christianity and Islam.
Judaism is a word of Greek origin ( Judaïsmós ) for the toponym “Judah“.
According to Jewish tradition, God would have made a covenant with the Hebrews, making them the elect people who will enjoy the promised land.
This covenant came with Abraham and his offspring and was strengthened by the revelation of divine Laws to Moses on Mount Sinai.
Therefore, the Jew is indirectly a member of the tribe of Judah, one of the twelve sons of Jacob and founding patriarch of one of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Similarly, the Jewish religion is basically of a family character. It is in this social nucleus that it is preserved and diffused in view of the non-messianic character of Judaism.
The synagogue, the Jewish temple, fulfills the function of gathering the faithful to practice reading the sacred texts under the guidance of a priest. He is called Rabbi and does not necessarily have a differentiated social status that gives him privileges.
Despite the existence of courts for Jewish law, religious authority rests with the sacred texts, of which the “Torah” is the most important.
Its authorship is attributed to Moses and narrates the “Origin of the World”, besides bringing the “Divine Commandments and Laws”.
On the other hand, it is worth mentioning that Judaism is not a homogeneous religion; roughly speaking, we can divide it into:
- Orthodox: who regard the Torah as the unchanging source of divine knowledge, but do not strictly follow the laws.
- Ultra-Orthodox: They have traditions that strictly follow the sacred laws.
- Conservatives: They have moderate, reformist attitudes and interpretations.
Judaism Practices and Customs
The liturgical language is Hebrew, with which they address the absolute entity of Judaism, Yahweh or Jehovah, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent creator of all that exists.
Some of the Jewish sacraments are:
- the Circumcision (Brit milah), performed on newborn males;
- the Rite of Passage to Adulthood (B’nai Mitzvah);
- the wedding and Mourning (Shiv’a).
Among the most important dates is Easter, when the liberation of the Jewish people in Egypt is celebrated (1300 BC); Saturdays ( Sabbath ) are special days in the Jewish religion, because they are reserved for spirituality.
History of Judaism
Judaism began when Abraham was commanded by God to abandon polytheism and migrate to Canaan (Palestine) in the mid 1800s BC.
From his grandson Jacob come the twelve founding sons of the twelve tribes who made up the Jewish people, who are enslaved in Egypt, until they were set free by Moses in 1300 BC.
Later, under the reign of Solomon the son of David, come the kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of Judah. These kingdoms will succumb to the Babylonian empire and, in the first century, to the Romans.
It will be in 1948, after the Holocaust that killed millions of Jews during World War II, that Judaism will strengthen again with the creation of the state of Israel, which continues to this day.
- The greatest sin in Judaism is idolatry.
- The mystical knowledge of Judaism is called “Kabbalah.”
- Judaism considers “Jewish” all those born of a Jewish mother, in addition to those who were converted.
- The hats used in the synagogues is called ” Kippah ” and represents respect for God.
- Judaism is not a missionary religion, so it does not seek the conversion of people, such as Christianity.