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Lesson 2- Jewish Beliefs and Texts Jewish Beliefs and Texts The Big Idea The central ideas and laws of Judaism are contained in sacred texts such as the Torah. Main Ideas • Beliefs in God, education, justice, and obedience anchor Jewish society. • Jewish beliefs are listed in the Torah, the Hebrew Bible, and the Commentaries. • The Dead Sea Scrolls reveal many past Jewish beliefs. • The ideas of Judaism have helped shape later cultures. Belief in one god Judaism is the world’s oldest and possibly the first monotheistic religion. Monotheism is the belief in only one god. Belief in education Teaching children, mostly boys, has always been important to Jewish society. Belief in justice and righteousness Jews are expected to be kind and fair in dealing with other people, in a display of justice. They are also supposed to be righteous and do what is proper. Belief in obedience and law They obey moral and religious laws such as the Ten Commandments and Mosaic law. The Torah • This is a collection of five books that make up the most sacred text in Judaism. • Nearly every synagogue has one. The Hebrew Bible • This is made up of the Torah, the Proverbs, and the Book of Psalms. • It is also made up of eight books that describe the messages of the prophets. The Commentaries • Because some laws are hard to understand, scholars wrote commentaries to explain them. • They can be found in the Talmud. The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947. It is suspected that they were written between 100 BC and AD 50. The scrolls included prayers, commentaries, letters, and passages from the Hebrew Bible. Judaism helped shape the largest religion of Western society today, Christianity, as well as Islam. Many people still look to the Ten Commandments as a guide and do not work on the weekends, to honor the Sabbath. People also give to charities, which is largely based on Jewish teachings.