Facts On Judaism Essay

1625 words - 7 pages

Facts on JudaismThe faith of Judaism and its beliefs came about gradually starting approximately 4000 years ago. The known patriarchs of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are the spiritual as well as the physical ancestors of this Jewish faith. These ancestors founded the religion of Judaism and their descendants became the Jewish people. Jewish history states that Abraham left his home to go on a journey to teach his beliefs to others because that is what he believed God wanted him to do (Judaism Resources, 2008). Following I will answer a few questions regarding Judaism that will help to further define the religion.Describe the major beliefs of the Jewish religion (nature of God, approach to ethics and morality rituals, sacred texts, influential figures, etc.). What are the basic characteristics of Judaism, and how do modern expressions of Judaism differ from one another?Judaism has no formal set of beliefs that one must hold to be Jewish. In Judaism, actions are far more important than beliefs, although a place for beliefs certainly exists within Judaism (Judaism Resources, 2008). Jewish followers believe that only one God exists and that he is always present. Jewish people believe that God knows everything and that God made everything in the world. Jewish people believe that God cares about everyone and everything and that he listens to people when they pray to him. They believe prayer is to be directed to God alone and that God’s name is very important and should be used with respect. When Jewish people pray to God they call him Adonai which means Lord (Wikipedia, 2008). Jewish people believe that Moses was the greatest of all the Prophets and the words of all the prophets are the truth. Jewish people believe that the Torah, both the written Torah as well as the oral Torah, were given to Moses and no other Torah exists nor will one ever exist. Torah will ever exist. Jewish people believe that the Messiah will return and resurrection of the dead. Unlike many other religions, Judaism does not focus on abstract cosmological concepts. Although Jews have certainly considered nature of God, man, the universe, life and the afterlife at great length, no mandated, official, definitive belief on these subjects exists outside of the very general concept discussed above (Mechon Mamre, 2008). Substantial room exists for personal opinion on these matters.Observant Jews pray in formal worship services three times a day, everyday; at evening (ma'riv) in the morning (shacharit), and in the afternoon (minchah). Daily prayers are collected in a book called a Siddur, which derives from the Hebrew root meaning "order" because the Siddur shows the order of prayers (Mechon Mamre, 2008). A Synagogue is the buildings where Jewish people go to worship God and is the Jewish equivalent of a church. Several terms for a Jewish house of worship exist and one can tell a great deal about people by the terms they use. “Orthodox Jews typically use the word "shul", which is...

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