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Time of Founding
Around 2000 BC
Around 600 BC
Where was it important?
Fertile Crescent
Persia (Iran)
Name of gods
Judaism focuses on relationships: the relationship
between God and mankind, between God and the
Jewish people, between the Jewish people and the
land of Israel, and between human beings.
Judaism Vocabulary
Torah- The most important books are referred to as
“The Law.” It includes the first five books of the
Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and
Deuteronomy. The Torah also includes the rest of the
Old Testament
Covenant- the agreement between God and the
ancient Israelites, in which God promised to protect
them if they kept His law and were faithful to Him.
Monotheism- Belief in ONE god
Hebrew History
 The founder of the Hebrew people was Abraham.
 Abraham once lived in Sumer.
 He left Sumer and led his people through the desert to
 Modern Jews trace their heritage through Abraham’s
grandson Jacob (also called Israel) whose twelve sons each
started a tribe called the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
 The Hebrews migrated to Egypt and were enslaved for 400
 Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt and across the desert.
 Moses received the 10 Commandments from Yahweh.
 Moses agreed that the Hebrews would obey these
commandments and formed a covenant.
Law and Ethics
 “eye for an eye” however the Torah places greater value on
human life than Hammurabi
 The law demanded kindness toward the poor and toward
 Death sentence only used for severe crimes, such as adultery,
kidnapping, and sacrifices to idols.
 The Hebrews believed that people had a choice between
good and evil.
 Yahweh held them responsible for their choices, but allowed
the freedom to make those choices for themselves
 Earthly political rulers had no claims to divinity, only
Yahweh was divine.
 The Jewish system of ethics influenced the founding of
 Began in Persia (Iran) around 600 B.C.
 Founded by a prophet named Zoroaster
 Zoroaster taught that on Earth people receive training for a
future life.
 He said the forces of good and evil battle one another and
people must choose between them.
 Those who chose good would be rewarded with eternal
 Those who chose evil would face punishment.
 In the distant future, the forces of good would triumph and
then Earth would disappear.
Central beliefs
A single god Ahura Mazda who is all powerful
An evil spirit of violence and death, Angra Mainyu
Free will to choose good or evil
the idea of final judgment and an afterlife
Good thoughts, good words, good deeds
Time of Founding
Where was it important?
Name of gods
Main ideas
These are things Judaism and Zoroastrianism have in Common:
These are differences between Judaism and Zoroastrianism: