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The Roots of Judaism
‫שורשים של יהודה‬
Where it Began
• Judaism originated in ancient Israel
• Group of people known as the Hebrews founded it about 4,000
years ago
Basic Beliefs
• The Hebrews > unique > monotheistic
• Belief in one God
• Belief > history and faith were interconnected, and everything
that happened reflected God’s plan for their people
• Written in the Torah, their most sacred text
History of Judaism
• Starts with Abraham
• Father of the Israelite people
• Lived in region called Canaan
• God made a covenant with Abraham
• Two declarations
• God has special relationship with Abraham and his people
• Canaan promised to Israelites
• Later, Israelites forced to move to Egypt
• Moses leads them in their exodus
Kingdom of Israel Est.
• 1000 BC > Kingdom of Israel est.
• 12 separate tribes fighting
• King David unites them into one nation
• Solomon follows as king
• Makes city of Jerusalem an impressive capital
• Completes a temple to God
Israel Falls
• Revolts caused
• Kingdom split into Israel in the North and Judah in the South
• Later
• Assyrians conquered Israel
• Babylonians conquered Judah
• 539 BC > Cyrus of Persia defeated Babylon and freed the Jews
• Still lived under Persian rule
Jewish Law
• Torah is often referred to as the Book of Law
• Dealt with everyday matters to criminal law
• Patriarchal society
• Men held the power > eldest in the family
Jewish Law Cont.
• Heart > Ten Commandments
• Example > Keeping the Sabbath
• Prophets taught ethics, moral standards by which to live
• All are equal before God
• Jews believed their leaders were fully human, but bound by
God’s law
Judaism Spreads
• For a 500-year period beginning at the Babylonian Captivity,
many Jews moved to different parts of the world
• This spread of people is called Diaspora
• Maintained their unique culture by living in close-knit
• This leads to persecution.
• Judaism served as the bases for Christianity and Islam.
• These are the Abrahamic religions, since the first prophet was