By: Nishali N, Timothy B, Vanshika G

Origin of Judaism

Origin of the religion

It is rooted in the ancient near eastern region of Canaan (which is now Israel and Palestinian territories). Under the Roman Empire, Jewish communities established outside the Near East (lands bordering east end of Mediterranean Sea and Israel), but in 70 A.D. the Romans destroyed the temple in Jerusalem, and the Jews scattered in the Diaspora.

Classification of religion

Ethnic religion, because it is appeals to one group of people that are concentrated in lands bordering east end of Mediterranean Sea , and the state of Israel.

Branches or divisions of the religion

There are 5 branches, denominations, or sects of Judaism they are Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, and Humanistic Religion. The three most important branches are Orthodox Judaism, Conservative Judaism, and Reform Judaism. Each division is different in their beliefs.

Orthodox: Orthodox Jews believe that God gave Moses the whole Torah (Written and Oral) at Mount Sinai

Conservative: Conservative Judaism maintains that the ideas in the Torah come from God, but were transmitted by humans and contain a human component.

Reform: Reform Judaism believes that the Torah was written by different

human sources, rather than by God, and then later combined.

Basic religious beliefs

First religion to teach monotheism, the belief that there's only one God. Consider themselves, the “chosen” people, because God selected them to live according to his ethical and moral principles, Ten Commandments, as well as practice same religion as Jesus, when he was born. Read the teachings of the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible) which is the heart of the faith is carried and communicated through the way, the path, and the teachings of Torah and the Old Testament. They consider Abraham the patriarch/ father of Judaism.

Most well Known religious beliefs: Their most well-known beliefs are in one almighty God, that humankind is created in the divine image (every person is equally important and has the potential to do good in the world, and if they don’t they face the consequences), all Jews are apart of a global community, regardless of location, believe that the Ten Commandments are most important in Torah, believe that Land of Israel was part of the covenant made between God and the Jewish People and lastly, believe that one day a Messiah (a person from God) will unite the world and bring peace to humanity.

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Geographic Distribution

How the religion diffused: Begins in Babylon, then spreader to Israel and and Jewish Diapora.

Holy Places: Jerusalem

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Where it is practiced today: All over the world, Jews make up less than 1% of the world, examples - (Israel, U.S., Russia, Canada, England and France).
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Number of followers: 12-14 million people even though the percentage of people is shrinking.
Map illustrating the distribution of followers:
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Unique Features

Key Figures and Important People

God is the immortal highest person in the religion. There is only one god and he is almighty.

There is also Moses who the biggest prophet which spoke to god face to face. He got the ten commandments form god and put them into use. He wrote the first give books:Genesis,Exodus,Leviticus,Numbers, and Deuteronomy. He was considered the messenger for god.

Lastly there is Abraham who started thinking that all of the universe is created and ruled by one creator and he spread this belief and taught it to others. He started Judaism after god spoke to him and said to leave his family and make an establishment somewhere else which is where Judaism started.Abraham had many children including Issac and Jacob who both spread Judaism, but didn’t have a too important part in the belief of Judaism.

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

Holy Texts

Torah is an important text traditionally written on a scroll, all the teaching inside the Torah are made by Moses, The covenants with with Abraham, Exodus in Egypt, the ten commandments, the Israelites in the desert, and a recap of the experience shortly before entering the promised land.
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Religious Symbols

Magen David (Star of David) has no official meaning, but Jews were identified with the star of David and it has stuck since then. There are some believed theories like there are twelve sides which represent the twelve tribes another theory is that it represents the relationship between the jewish people and God, the triangle pointing up represents god and the star pointing down represents the people on earth. The picture below shows the star of david. Another symbol is the menorah which is a common symbol which is seen in most synagogues around the world. It has seven branches the traditionally was placed by the Israelies in the Tabernacle and later in the temple in Jerusalem.

Place of Worship

Synagogue is used to teach children and older people. The key item in a synagogue is the Torah which is read to teach the people and used for spiritual reference. The synagogue is usually used for teaching of younger and older people. The synagogue doesn't have normal weekly events like the Christian churchs do.
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Impact on Social and Family Structures

Most Jewish families are selective in their social customs so many Jews live in an isolated community and don’t interact with many people. Although they may live in a big city they live in an ethnical neighborhood which isolates them from the other people.They usually have a large family 2-4 people maybe more. Many families pray together everyday or every other day. Women are allowed to work in this religion

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Impact on Cultural Beliefs and Expectations

Some people discriminate against Jews like during world war two the Nazis captured, tortured, and killed many Jewish people. This lasted for a couple of years and impacted many Jews to migrate to different places like Israel and America.They also have restrictions on what they can do like no pork, fish can be eaten only if it has fins and scales, and no wine.

Essential Question

How are Jews affected in the western culture?