Point of origin

Judaism is a religious tradition with origins dating back nearly four thousand years, rooted in the ancient near eastern region of Canaan (which is now Israel and Palestinian territories).

How did the religion or philosophy spread?

One way that Judaism has spread and will spread is that since there is a lot of Judaism around the world already all of their children will most likely become Jewish as well. Unless something very bad happens then the Judaism population will only become only bigger. The many powerful kings have also built many Jewish temples so the more people that see these temples may convert because the Jewish people are so faithful. Also many historical circumstances have made Judaism popular around the world converting more and more people to Judaism. People also believe that Jewish people traded and traveled so they had to have spread their culture while they were trading and traveling.

Who is/are the main or major deity(ies)?

Other Jewish names of God include:

  • Adonai Emet (Truth)
  • Tzur Yisrael (The Rock of Israel)
  • Elohei Avraham, Yitzchak v'Ya'acov (God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob)
  • Ehiyeh sh'Ehiyeh (I Am That I Am)
  • Avinu Malkeinu (Our Father, our King)
  • Ro'eh Yisrael (Shepherd of Israel)
  • Ha-Kadosh, Baruch Hu (The Holy One, Praised be He)
  • Melech ha-M'lachim (The King of Kings)
  • Makom (literally, the Place; means "The Omnipresent")
  • Magen Avraham (Shield of Abraham)

Who founded this faith? When?

The historical founder of Judaism is Abraham. Judaism was founded in 1988.

What do the followers call their scriptures or holybook(s)?

The Torah

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How is the religious leadership organized?

General Followers and Spiritual Mentors

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What are the basic beliefs of Judaism?

Rambam's 13 Principles of Faith

  1. God exists

  2. God is one and unique

  3. God is incorporeal

  4. God is eternal

  5. Prayer is to be directed to G-d alone and to no other

  6. The words of the prophets are true

  7. Moses' prophecies are true, and Moses was the greatest of the prophets

  8. The Written Torah (first 5 books of the Bible) and Oral Torah (teachings now contained in the Talmud and other writings) were given to Moses

  9. There will be no other Torah

  10. God knows the thoughts and deeds of men

  11. God will reward the good and punish the wicked

  12. The Messiah will come

  13. The dead will be resurrected

What sects of Judaism have developed over time?

The different sects or denominations of Judaism are generally referred to as movements. The differences between Jewish movements today are not so much a matter of theology, but more a matter of how literally they take the scriptures, how much they think biblical requirements can be changed, and whether those requirements are mandatory.

  • The first of the modern movements developed in Eastern Europe. This movement, known as Chasidism, was founded by Israel ben Eliezer, more commonly known as the Baal Shem Tov or the Besht. Before Chasidism, Judaism emphasized education as the way to get closer to God. Chasidism emphasized other, more personal experiences and mysticism as alternative routes to God. Chasidism was considered a radical movement at the time it was founded. There was strong opposition from those who held to the pre-existing view of Judaism. Those who opposed Chasidism became known as mitnagdim (opponents). Today, the Chasidim and the mitnagdim are relatively unified in their opposition to the liberal modern movements.
  • There are three major movements in the U.S. today: Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox. Some people also include a fourth movement, the Reconstructionist movement, although that movement is substantially smaller than the other three. Orthodox and sometimes Conservative are described as "traditional" movements. Reform, Reconstructionist, and sometimes Conservative are described as "liberal" or "modern" movements.