One of the six major world belief systems! -Bryanna Sims
Where did it originate? Is it monotheistic or polytheistic? Who founded it? when?
The religion of Judaism originated in the middle east. About 4000 years ago Abraham (a Hebrew man) is considered the father of the Jewish faith because he promoted the central idea of the Jewish faith: that there is one God.
How did Judaism spread? Where is it most influential today?
in 586 BC, the Babylonians overran Jerusalem, taking many captives that then spread the news to their capturers, and then so on from there until almost the whole world knew. This religion today is most influential in Israel and in the United States.
What do the followers call their scriptures? How is their leadership organized?
Followers of Judaism call their scriptures the "Torah". Jewish leadership is split into categories: Rabbi, the teacher; Chazan, leads the prayer; Gabbai, assists with reading the Torah; Kohein, is the original high priest; Rebbe, the leader of a chasidic community; Tzaddik, a righteous person with spiritual power.
What are the basic beliefs? What sects have formed over time?
Judaism does not have any formal mandatory beliefs. The most accepted summary of the Jewish beliefs are summarized in Rambam's 13 Principles of Faith, even these have been debated. Some Jewish sects or "movements" are Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, Hasidism, and Kabbalah.