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• About 3500 years
old, Judaism is the
mother religion of
Christianity and
• Monotheism: belief in and worship of only
one god.
• Jews believe they were chosen by God to
practice and teach monotheism: the
chosen people.
• Abraham was the
father of the
Hebrew people,
and Moses was
the law-giver.
• The Law refers to
the Torah: the
commandments of
God to His chosen
• The Torah was
originally the Ten
Commandments and
now includes the
Hebrew Bible (the
Old Testament).
• The Torah also
includes the Talmud,
a very complex
philosophical text to
interpret law and
discuss all fields of
• The Law has 613
mitzvoth or
commandments to
guide the Jew through
• At age 13 boys
participate in bar
mitzvah. In some
types girls celebrate
bat mitzvah.
• Various prayers are to
be recited morning,
afternoon, or evening.
• Three divisions of
Judaism: Orthodox,
Conservative, and
• Many Jews “keep
kosher,” or only eat
certain foods
prepared in certain
ways. This would be
mandatory for
Orthodox Jews and
voluntary for Reform.
• The rabbi is the
spiritual leader
and counsels the
congregation on
law and ritual.
• The rabbi in the
picture is wearing
the traditional
white prayer
• Destruction of
temple at
Jerusalem in
586 BC caused
the Jewish
people to be
Western or wailing wall of Solomon’s
• Jews did not have a homeland again
until Israel was founded in the Holy
Land in 1948.
• Days vary because
the Jewish calendar
varies from the
Christian one.
• The Sabbath (holy
day) commemorates
Creation - sundown
Friday to sundown
• Passover (March 15-22) commemorates
the Exodus from Egypt over 3,000 years
• Rosh Hashanah (New Year - early Sept.)
- mourning the fate of the Jews.
• Yom Kippur (Sept. 10) - Day of
• Hanukah/Chanukah Festival of Lights celebrates oil that lasted
8 days.
• Hitler blamed
Germany’s problems
on the Jews and
persecuted them
during WWII.
• The Holocaust claimed
the lives of around 6
million Jews in
concentration camps.
• There are only about
15 million Jews in the
world - it is not a
missionary religion.