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Judaism 101 – A Complete guide to Judaism!

Blog! Judaism 101 – A Complete guide to Judaism!
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This article will give you information about the religion of Jewish people, Judaism. The religion of the Jewish people, which is Judaism, is defined as the entirety of the Jewish people’s practices, cultures, and beliefs. God gave the Jewish people’s practices, cultures, and beliefs. These were noted in the Hebrew Bible, which is Torah and followed by the Judaism sacred writings.

Are there Different Kinds of Jews?

Jews

People of the same faith know and believe that every creature of God has the same connection with Him. And every Jew also has this equal connection with Him. The Jewish people believe that the plenty mitzvah they are doing, the more of Hebrew Bibles they are studying, and the more you work on these, the bigger the chance that you are having a stronger connection with God. Essentially,  the more the chance you can refine your character. Keep in mind that there is no group of people, or an individual has the key to enter the door of heaven.

In Biblical times, Israel has 12 tribes, and each tribe has its different area of that land. The first tribe was known as Levi’s tribe which is given the work to be the servant of God. They are the ones who will take care of their Holy Temple and teach the Hebrew Bible or the Torah to their people. Within the tribe of Levi, some priests or kohanim offers sacrifices for the sake of their Holy Temple. In today’s time, almost all the number of Jewish people don’t have any idea on which tribe they came from. However, the people who belong in the tribe of Levi and the priests were excluded. And many of them prefer to preserve the identity of their tribal.

Rabbis are knowledgeable people who are expert in every area of the Hebrew Bible or Torah. Rabbis are being compared with doctors in today’s time because they can recommend some medicines and provide some medical advice. Rabbis are the ones who were awarded the “rabbi” title. They are considered as the most trusted and perfect channel of the tradition of the Jewish people, practices, cultures, and beliefs.

Is Judaism a Religion, and who is Judaism For?

Judaism a Religion

It may not be known for a lot of people, but Jewish people can conduct their worship in any area. And the automatic religion of the Jewish people is Judaism. A Jewish person will be considered a Jew either he or she was converted into Judaism religion with an authentic court of rabbis, or when his or her mother is born as a Jewish person. Some Jewish people lapse the practices of their religion with no exact or valid reasons. While some Jewish people may proclaim that they lapse the Judaism practices because of not believing with their beliefs and they believe more in the beliefs of other religion now. But these Jewish people who lapse the Judaism practices are still considered as Jewish because of the teachings of the Hebrew Bible will always remain in their heart and soul.

The Non-Jewish people are not being bounded through the teachings of the Torah. But these non-Jewish people are being encouraged to have their life according to the Seven Noahide Laws that will settle the foundation into a just and moral type of society.

Sacred Places of Judaism

jerusalem
jerusalem

Israel is considered as the sacred place where every Jewish person was born. Jerusalem is also considered as the holiest place that you can see in Israel. Jerusalem is the place where G-d chooses to live in with His presence. While the Temple Mount is located in Jerusalem and is considered by the Jewish people as the most sacred and holiest area. The two Holy Temples of the Jewish people were located in the Temple Mount. Since the Jewish people cannot go in that area, the Western Wall came to be the central place for the prayers of the Jewish People.  Western Wall for them is also known as the Kotel.

The Jewish people in every corner of the world frequently gather to conduct prayer in the shuls, or the more popular term is the synagogues. At the front part of the shul or the synagogue, is the route where the synagogue is facing the place of Jerusalem. The Jewish people consider synagogue or the shul as the Holy Ark. It is a kind of cabinet where the holy bible of Hebrew scrolls, and where every Hebrew Bible was written on a parchment.

But the worship of the Jewish people can take place in any area, and each area can be considered as a place of holiness. If you do one thing that makes your God so proud in any place, then you have made that place a sacred and holy one.

The Language of Judaism

hebrew
hebrew

The Hebrew Bible or the Torah of the Jewish people is written down in Hebrew. Hebrew is the only language that was used by God in creating the world. During that time, the Jewish people started to use the Aramaic language, and Aramaic is the language that was being used by the Talmud.

When the Jewish people move in a particular area of Europe, they started to use the different languages that were being used by both German and Spanish. Those languages came to be known as Yiddish and Latino. There are also some Arabic dialects that some Jewish people used.

The Holidays of Jewish People

Kiddush cup
Kiddush cup

During fall seasons, there are high holidays that every Jewish person is celebrating. The New Year or the so-called Rosh Hashanah is what the Jewish people celebrate as a holiday through conducting a prayer. Apprehending the blast of the horn of the ram or the shofar. Jewish people also celebrate this kind of high holiday through having a feast that consists of the traditional dishes that were made up of apples that sank in the sweet taste of honey. The Day of Atonement or the so-called Yom Kippur, it is one of the high holidays during fall season where the Jewish people are being gathered to have a prayer. They also celebrate this kind of high holiday through not drinking or eating something within 25 hours. And the last one is the so-called Sukkot. The Jewish people were celebrating it through residing in the sukkahs or the special huts.

What Jewish People Do?

The Hebrew Bible or the Torah of the Jewish people consists of 613 instructions called the mitzvahs. While the other mitzvahs are connected in the Holy Temple of the Jews, some are the instructions that are appropriate to the everyday lives of the Jewish people. The following are some of the basic instructions written in the Hebrew Bible of the Jewish people.

Mezuzah

Mezuzah Scrolls
Mezuzah Scroll

Mezuzah is a little parchment that you can scroll. This Mezuzah contains the handwritten Hebrew words through a scribe of the Shema. The Mezuzah is being turned upward and is being attached in the Jewish people home’s doorposts. This will identify the home of a specific Jewish person, and it will remind every Jewish person who is living there that they still have a stronger connection to their God and His Kingdom.

Tallit and Tefillin

tallit jewish
tallit

The male Jews are being encouraged to wear particular adornments. These kinds of adornments are being dressed every time they are conducting a prayer. The term Tefillin refers to the boxes that were made up of leather and are being fasten in their arms and head during weekdays to fulfill the verse of the (Deut. 6:8), saying that “You shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be for a reminder  between your eyes.” The tefillin also comprised of different sacred scrolls, which also includes the snippets of their Hebrew Bible, including of course the Shema. Tefillin is also considered by the male Jewish as the very powerful mitzvah. This is also stated that when you put tefillin in your head and the upper part of your arm, it will change your life.

Related:  Tzedakah definition

The term tallit refers to the garment that has four corners. The garment usually colored with black and white stripes. It is usually worn hanged over the Jew’s shoulders. When you are going to take a look in the tzitzit or the strings or fringes in every corner of the tallit, you will always be reminded upon their God and the commandments He made.

Prayer

We all know that the Jewish people are frequently conducting a prayer to their God, and it is often done in the synagogue. At the very back part of the service of the prayer by the Jewish people, there you can see a line that came from the Hebrew Bible Torah so called the Shema, which read as the Shema Yisrael A-donai E-lohainu A-donai Ekhad. These are the additional words that every Jewish person should say during night and day, this kind of prayer is also stated as the preparation of an individual Jew person to proceed on his or her next life with their God.

Kosher

In the Hebrew Bible, the God of the Jewish people settles a very essential and essential food to eat by His people. The only food that His people must eat should be a particular kind of animal where there is no shellfish or pork. The animal meat should be liquidated fundamentally and adequately, and the dairy and the meat should be remained separated.

Shabbat

Shabbat Candlesticks Nickel
Shabbat Candlesticks

God produced the universe within six days and He takes a rest in the seventh day. He also ordered His creatures especially the human to do the same thing He does. During the seventh day of the week, from the night of Friday up to the night of Saturday, the Jewish people conduct a feast, hold a prayer and enjoying their break from their works. The Shabbat is being assisted with a candle lighting late during the afternoon of Friday.

The Torah: The Sacred Text of Judaism

There is a person who is named Moses, and he was the one who came to be the leader who helps the Jewish people to get out of the place of Egypt. He is the instrument of God where He communicates to the Jewish people of Mount Sinai. This event was noted in the history of the family of Abraham and the story of creation until the time of Moses that has become popular in the term Torah, which means the Five Books of Moses. Furthermore, the Hebrew Bible or the Torah consists of the different instructions of God for both the communal and personal life of a person.

Oral Torah

The law of the Torah
The law of the Torah

Next, to the sacred traditions that were being noted by Moses in the Hebrew Bible, there are plenty of commandments of God that were written in a detailed way that was also preserved and communicated through oral speaking. As the tie goes by, the philosophers in every generation talked about the Hebrew Bible, or the Torah expanded on its every principle. Those conversations were written in a very detailed way. It becomes the Talmud, Mishnah, and Midrash.

All of those written works are still being explored, studied, and expanded on until today’s time. As additional information to the philosophers or other scholars, there are some yeshivahs or academies where some of the Jewish people also study about their different kinds of traditions. In some places, the children of the Jewish parents are always present in their private schools and are ready to learn about the works written in the Torah or in the Hebrew Bible to have additional knowledge about their beliefs and traditions. Some of the children of the Jewish parents may also go to the Hebrew school, wherein they can comprehend about Judaism after their class hours. After the year 1994, the study about the Hebrew Bible by the Jewish children or Jewish people came to be more accessible through having some pages online.

Prophets and Writings

As additional information to the Torah or the Hebrew Bible, there are still 19 other sacred books that every Jewish people read. These 19 other sacred books are being grouped into Ketuvim and Neviim or the Prophets and Writings. Each of the19 sacred books also consists of the Jewish people’s history for the past decades from after the death of Moss. Those books also contain the prophetic communications of the Jewish people to their masters.

Where does Term Judaism Come From?

Western Wall
Western Wall

The following names are the names of Abraham’s descendants. The Torah or the Hebrew Bible talks about that Abraham is a Hebrew, where the name Hebrew usually talks about to the Jewish people which are considered as his descendants. And the word Hebrew is also considered on having the connection about the language used by the Jewish people.

The grandson of Abraham who is known in the name of Jacob was also given Israel’s second name. And the second name of Israel has a closer connection on the homeland of the Israelite. For the lives of the Jewish people, Israel is not just an ordinary place. It is the place where the soul of a particular people can find his or her happiness. This is also the place where you can find your true self, the place where you belong, as stated by Yom Kippur.

Jacob has 12 sons, and out of his 12 sons, Judah is the only one who possesses the role of being a leader. At a particular time, Judah is the superior tribe included those people who live in Israel. With his leadership, the whole nation came to be known as the Jewish people, and their religion is Judaism.

The Story of Judaism

Judaica
Judaica

The Jewish people’s story started with the creation of the universe by the single creator which is God within just six days. He took a rest on the seventh day. That is the reason why the Jewish people also enjoy their break from their work on the seventh day of the week. After that, He chooses Abraham and the children of Abraham to come to be God’s special and influential people who will reside in Israel where He considered as a special place.

After so many years of being a slave of the Egyptian people, God brings His Jewish people in the area of Mount Sinai, where He created an agreement between Him and His people and then He provides His people the life’s commandments.

For the following 40 years of roving, the people who lived in Israel finally entered the so-called Promise Land. By that time, the Israelites construct a Holy Temple that they called the Beit Hamikdash in the land of Jerusalem. This is their place where they can present their sacrifices and prayers to have a stronger connection with their God.

The Roman attackers demolished the Holy Temple that was built by the Israelites. As a result, the people who lived there were separated and are disband in every corner of the world. But the story of Judaism is not yet over just by that scenario. The Jewish people will always have faith and hope, and they do believe that they will be all together in their place and reconstruct again the Holy Temple they built once. This is the place that is peaceful and full of the words by their God.

Related:  Kosher Definition

The Basic Beliefs of Jewish People

man puts on tefillin
man puts on tefillin

The Jewish People believes that their God is the only person who created the universe. He creates the world without the help of many people. He has no rivals and no children. We all know that the presence of God can be felt anywhere. He has no properties and can’t even distinguish if He is a “he.” In the beliefs of the Jewish people, God is the only invisible person that was behind every happening in this world. He knows everything- the things happened in the past and the things that will happen in the future.

God also grant His people to have the freedom to choose anything as His gift. When a certain Jewish individual goes after His ways, as the things written in the Hebrew Bible, they believe that their God will give them a special reward. The term reward mentioned here refers to the things that can be happened or get in this world or the things that might happen to you in the World to Come, which we knew that will only come after the death of a particular individual.

It is just like every individual living in this world who give his sweat to achieve all of his wants by following the path that their God walks through, so this whole universe will be moving toward the place where you can experience eternal peace and love. The time that was referring by that is known as the Moshiach era or the era of Messiah. Throughout this time, the Jewish people will come back to their homeland which is the Land of Israel, and they are going to reconstruct the Holy Temple they created in Jerusalem. One of the most surprising features in this era is that the death of a particular individual will end, and the individual who died will be returned in his life.

The Origins of Judaism

White Shofar kosher
Shofar kosher

The religion Judaism derived in the Middle East nearly 4,000 years ago with a single couple named Sarah and Abraham. Sarah and Abraham is the single couple whom God choose to begin new kinds of people in the chosen place which is Jerusalem. God gives the couple to move to a new place which is now known as the Land of Israel that God showed at the couple. In return for the sincere devotion of the couple, God gave a promised to Abraham that the couple would have plenty of children and their children will be the main origin of the blessings that they will give to other people.

As noted in the Book of Genesis or the book of the world’s beginning, the Creator declared the phrases:

 “I have known [Abraham] because he commands his children and his household after him, that they should keep the way of the Lord to perform righteousness and justice so that the Lord bring upon Abraham that which He spoke concerning him.”

Jewish People and Their Religion Judaism

Tzitzit man

For the past centuries, the Jewish people were all been separated in every corner of the world, and they begin to learn the different language of the country they belonged. Therefore, Hebrew is remained as the sacred language of the Jewish people, while the languages they used in their everyday life will always depend upon their host country, by that it gives for the Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-German or Yiddish and the Judeo-Spanish or Ladino to rise as their language.

In spite of all the struggles that every Jewish individual experienced, they always remain as the people of God, they remain as the devotee of God just like Abraham, fill with the teachings of God just like Moses, and dedicate their lives to God according to Him.

The Rabbis and the Talmud

When there is a time that there is a change in the circumstances in the lives of the Jewish people, God ordered the rabbis of old to do the task on guarding the Hebrew Bible or the Torah. The rabbis of old add liturgy as one of the critical components that will help the Jewish people who do not believe in their religion anymore to see again the importance of their religion and the place they build in Jerusalem which is the Holy Temple.

Netilat Yedayim Cup

The continuous enlargement of the collection of the Jewish people tradition, scholarship and the law they implemented are all been noted in the Talmud. The Talmud has the major text that you can see is the so-called Mishnah. Mishnah is the abrupt teachings that were collected and are written in the Hebrew language. This Mishnah was edited by Rabbi Judah the Prince in a year after the ruination of the second Holy Temple built in Jerusalem by the Jewish people.

After several numbers of hundred years, the rabbis of the old continue their work on expounding and teaching the texts of the Mishnah. Two great bodies collect the teachings of the rabbis, the first one is the Babylonian Talmud, which features all the rabbi’s teachings in the people of Babylon and the second one is the Jerusalem Talmud that contains the rabbi’s teachings to the people in the land of Israel. The two great bodies are all written in the dialect of Aramaic that is being used by the people in both Babylonia and Israel.

Torah as the Creed of the Religion Judaism

The Israelites found themselves in place of Mount Sinai after the 10 sicknesses that were healed miraculously. By that, God gave the Israelites the Hebrew Bible which is known as Torah after the huge lightning, thunder and thick clouds. The Torah consists of the instructions of God on how to live the lives of His Jewish people. The Hebrew Bible is considered as the foundation of all the Jewish people and the basis of their practices and beliefs. The Torah is the number one basis of all the Jewish people to know their spiritual and physical aspects in life. The 613 mitzvahs or 613 God’s commandments are consists of the Jewish holidays, the Shabbat or Sabbath, the procedures on building the Holy Temple and the basis on the marriage and divorce of a particular Jewish couple are all included in Torah.

Jewish People was All Slaves

Zefat

After the previous decades, Sarah and Abraham’s great-great-grandchildren find their place in E, where they come to be the slaves of Pharaoh which is considered as the cruel leader of Egypt. The great-great-grandchildren of the couple are now separated into 12 different tribes who own different lands. Jews are also known in the term of Hebrews and Israelites. After the Jewish people experienced lots and lots of struggles in the hands of the cruel king of Egypt, God gave them the two brothers named Aaron and Moses. These two brothers will be the one who will help the Jewish people get out in the cruel hands of Pharaoh.

What is Judaism?

There are two types of religion, the monotheistic religion, and the polytheistic religion. When we say a polytheistic religion, it means this kind of religion believes in many gods and goddesses. From the word poly, it means many or plenty. On the other hand, monotheistic religion is a kind of religion that believes in only one God. From the word mono, it means single or one. So, Judaism religion is a type of monotheistic religion. Judaism was first created in the old Hebrews. Judaism is the religion of the Jewish people who believe in only one God that is said that He will reveal Himself with the two persons, which is Moses and Abraham. He also reveals Himself with the Hebrew prophets who believe in Him. Judaism is the religion of Jewish people who based their everyday life with Torah or the Hebrew Bible. Torah consists of the laws, theologies, cultures, traditions, beliefs and many more by the Jewish people.

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The Beliefs of Judaism Religion

Kiddush Cup cm Golden Tint
Kiddush Cup Golden Tint

The Jewish People believe that their God is the only creator and an absolute leader in the world. He is also considered as the most powerful individual in this world. When God revealed the Hebrew Bible in place of Mount Sinai, the Jewish people believe that they will have a stronger relationship with Him if they will follow all the instructions written in the Torah. They also believe that if they obey the law of God, they will witness the mercy of God. Jewish people also believe that humans are not innately sinful. Human has the ability and knowledge to make decisions on choosing between good or bad. He also has the freedom to choose whether to follow God’s way or to rebel with Him. Jewish people also believe that their God can connect with His people through prayers. The commandments and laws of God were all written in the Torah. They also believe that the resurrection of a particular individual is real.

 Do Christians and Jews have the Same Religion?

We all know that both the Christians and the Jewish people believe in only one God. Does it mean that they have the same beliefs and religion? The religion of all the Jewish people is the so-called Judaism. Judaism is considered as the oldest monotheistic religion that still exists in this world. For your information, the parent of both Islam and Christian religion is the Judaism religion. According to the Bible, these three monotheistic religion believes in only one God so-called Yahweh. While on the Torah- the bible of the Jewish people which is written in Hebrew have 613 commands, the Christian Religion has the 10 commandments that are in need to follow for them to be in the Kingdom of God after their death.

Messiah is the very unusual and foremost aspect that most Jewish people believe in. According to the Bible, the Creator will give His messenger which be named as the Messiah that will lead the Israelites to be in the right path. But in today’s time, there are plenty of Jewish people who are no longer believes in the Messiah, but they are still hoping that there will be a miracle that will open their eyes in the truth. For some of the Jewish people, they are still hoping that their so-called Messiah will still appear not by now but n the near future.

The difference between Judaism and Christianity is that Judaism rejects the Trinity of Christians. And also rejects Jesus as a prophet or as someone to listen to. Judaism rejects the entire New Testament – which was written 200 years after the death of Jesus.

The main difference between Judaism and Christianity is:

The Jews believe in the God revealed to all the people of Israel together and all the people of Israel prophesied at Mount Sinai.

On the other hand, Christianity claims the prophecy of one man that no one can verify whether he is a prophet or not.

What do Jewish People Believe About God?

What do Jewish people believe about God? Some of the Jewish people believe that the term God is just the same as the term Crusades and pogroms. While other Jewish people believe that God is the only teacher of the Jewish people, both the Christians and the Jews believe in life after death.

Groupings of Judaism Religion

The following are the major groups of Judaism. These groups were developed depending on the religious practices and beliefs, lifestyles, ritual observance and degree of acculturation.

Reconstructionist Judaism

This type of Judaism group has a closer connection to Conservative Judaism. This Judaism group is considered as the most recent branch, and the smallest group who follows a Judaism approached Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan made that. This type of Judaism group emphasizes the values of human and the central factor of the Jewish people.

Reform Judaism

Reform Judaism is considered as the non-authoritarian and most liberal type of Judaism. This type of Judaism based on the writings written in the Torah as their guide to have a strong connection with their God. This type of Judaism emphasizes the ritual law of all the Jewish people. Reform Judaism believes that Judaism Religion is still existing and evolving.

Conservative Judaism

This Conservative Judaism is a type of Judaism that emphasizes the historical development of the Jew’s religion which is Judaism. By that means, it will allow making some adjustments because it usually thinks about the most ritual and theological concepts of Judaism. With this third type of Judaism group, it gives stronger importance to preserve the Israelites.

Orthodox Judaism

This is the last type of Judaism group that declares the Torah’s divine origin. This kind of Judaism is considered as the strictest and greatest because it has its concern on maintaining the beliefs of the Jewish people and they also observe the right behavior and codes of their Judaism Religion.

Facts About Judaism Religion

The term Jew comes from the names of people who are living in the old Kingdom of Judea. And as additional information, the term Jew is from the word that has a connection on the Jewish people who have faith in only one God.

Interesting Facts about Jewish People’s Religion

1.    When a certain Jewish individual whether girl or boy turns into 12 years old. They will celebrate their birthday in the so-called Mitzvah Bar. They considered it the right and perfect way on their path to adulthood.

2.    During the festival of lights or the so-called Hanukkah, every family of the Jewish people will require to light 8 candles within 8 days and nights. On the first day, they will light only one candle, on the second day, they are required to light two candles, on the third day, they are required to light three candles and so on.

3.    The Jewish people also have their special clothing which they use during special occasions. There is the kippah or the brimless skullcap usually worn by men Jewish in any occasions they attend. A tefillin or a tiny box that was made up of leather that is usually worn by both men and women every weekday when they conduct a morning prayer. A Kittel or a white, knee-length over clothing that is usually worn during the celebration of high holidays. Lastly, the tzitzit or fringes that are usually rolled up in the corners of the Tallit.

4.    We all know that Hanukkah is considered as the significant and special holiday in the lives of the Jewish people, but this kind of holiday is not written in the Hebrew Scriptures because it is a holiday made after the Hebrew Scriptures written down.

5.    In this present time, there are almost 14,000,000 higher or lower Jewish people who are living in this world.

6.    The Star of David is the most common symbol of the Judaism Religion.

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