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The Basic Teachings of Judaism
The basic basics:
Faith in one God, who made heaven and earth, took the Israelites out of the bondage in Egypt, revealed His
teachings in the Torah, and brought them to the Holy Land.
Maimonides Thirteen Fundamentals (often criticized!!!)
Philo of Alexandria (20 B.C. –50 A.D.)
The Belief in God
From “The Guide for the Perplexed” 13th Century
The belief that there is only one God
• God is the creator of all that is
The belief that God created the world; but
• God is one
the world is not eternal
The belief that there is only one universe
• God is incorporeal
The belief that God cares for the world and
• God is eternal
all its creatures.
• God alone is to be worshipped
• God communicates to humans through the medium of
• Moses was the greatest of the prophets to whom God communicated in the most direct manner
• the whole of the Torah was revealed to Moses by God
• the Torah will not be changed or supplanted by another revelation by God
• God knows of the deeds of mankind and is concerned
about them
“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is One. And you
• God rewards and punishes people for their good or evil
shall love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your might. And
• the Messiah, descendent of the line of David, will usher in
these words which I command you this day shall be
the Messianic age
in your heart.”
• Resurrection of the dead (the most criticized point)
I know the Twelve (From the “The Story of Passover”)
Twelve are the Twelve Tribes
Eleven are the stars in Joseph’s dream
Ten are the Ten Commandments
Nine are the months of gestation
Eight are the days of circumcision
Seven are the days of the Sabbath-week
Six are the books of the Mishnah (Oral law)
Five are the Books of the Torah
Four are the Mothers (Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel and Leah)
Three are the fathers (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob)
Two are the Tablets of the Covenant
One is our Lord, ruler of heaven and earth!
Quick Review
1. What is the essential key to understanding
2. It seems that the Jews have a lot of rules. Why?
How does the Exile experience impact this?
3. What can other religions learn from the Jews?
What have the other religions learned from the
Jews? How does this basic overview of Judaism
impact your understanding of your own beliefs?
Where Learning is a Value