Judaism

What is Religion anyways?

Religion is a system of beliefs that influence a person's morals and answers questions that can not be explained, such as "What is the meaning of life?", "Who created the universe?" and "How did life begin?". There are many religions that have different beliefs that answers the unexplainable. Judaism is one of them.

Basic Beliefs of Judaism

Jews believe that there is only one God that not only created all of creation, but with whom every Jew can have an individual and personal relationship. They believe that God continues to to work in the world, affecting everything that people do. They believe that God's relationship with the Jewish people is covenantal and eternal.

How Judaism Began

It all began 4000 years ago, circa 2000 BCE, when God called Abraham and his wife, Sarah, to leave Mesopotamia and go to the land of Canaan. In exchange for having faith in the one true God, Abraham became prosperous and had many descendants.

Journey route which Abraham and Sarah traveled

Turning point in Judaism

Judaism was a temple religion where Jews would worship in synogogues or temples, listen to priests, and practice sacrifices. However in the year 70 BCE, the Romans destroyed the temple located in Jerusalem. Because of this, Judaism became a religion of the book. This book is called the Tanakh. It composed of three main subdivisions - The Torah, the Nevi'im, and the Ketuvim. Each of the sections references a different topic. The Torah instructs and offers a way of life for those who follow it. The Nevi'im is also known as the books of the prophets, which former prophets of that time had written. The Ketuvim consists of writting, many which are poetic, also written by prophets.

Judaism Today

Today, there are 14 million jews, worldwide, 6 million located in Israel and 5 million in the United States. They attend the synagogue and have worship services Friday evenings and Saturday mornings. Jews celebrate many religious holidays including:

Rosh Hashanah

This is the new year festival held on the first and sometimes the second day of the Jewish month, Tishir (in September). It is marked by blowing the shofar and begins the ten days of atonement. Apples and honey are iconic to Rosh Hashanah because it symbolizes a good and sweet year to come.

Yom Kippur

Also known as the "Day of Atonement", Yom Kippur is set aside to afflict the soul and allow Jews to reflect upon themselves, atoning for their sins of the past. They will refrain from work, fast, or attend synagogue services.

Pesach (The Passover)

This holiday celebrates the freedom of the Children of Israel from slavery in ancient Egypt. (http://www.lifeway.com/Article/sermon-god-delivers-exodus-12-egypt-israel for the story found in Exodus) There are several unique customs and rituals done on Pesach: the eating of unleavened bread, the eating of bitter herbs, abstention from eating leaven, removal of leaven from the home and participation in the seder meal and telling the story

Hanukkah

A less Jewish festival, lasting eight days from the 25th day of the Jewish month, Kislev (in December) and commemorating the redemption of the Temple in 165 BCE by the Maccabees tribe after its fall by the Syrians. It is marked by the lighting of eight candles for each day of the holiday.

Created By
Peyton Sean John
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Created with images by Zachi Evenor - "Flag of Israel"

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