Judaism is the oldest of the Abrahamic religions, and one of the oldest monotheistic religions in the world, it is 3000 years old. Judaism is associated with the Jewish people, since the religion is not a missionary faith, meaning that it is not open to people of non-Jewish origins. Today, the Jewish population is approximately 14.5-17.4 million.
The Jewish faith is founded on the idea of monotheism, where Jews believe in one true God, omnipotent and omniscient, creator of the whole universe. This deity alone is worthy of worship without middlemen or intermediary.
The Jews also believe in the uniqueness of the Jewish people, since they are the people of God, where God promised Abraham to make his offsprings a great nation that will inherit the land of Canaan "Promised Land." The Jews circumcise their males in fulfillment of this covenant. Jews also believe in redemption and other life, but their belief in the salvation of man is not attached to his faith, but solely on his good deeds. The Jews agree on the idea of the Messiah, a savior who comes at the end of time and overcome the hostile powers.
All Jewish laws and faith are drawn from their religious books which are divided into two types:
Written law: known as Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) and contains: Torah, Nevi'im, and Ketuvim:
Torah is the oldest Jewish religious texts and it consists from the five books of Moses, written in his life, detailing a lot of past events starting from the creation of the universe to the creation of human beings and covering the stories of the prophets of the past, and the history of the children of Israel, and their entry to Egypt and the rise of Moses and his exodus with his people from Egypt to Sinai and then the death of Moses and the entry of Jews to the Promised Land.
Nevi'im covers a series of Jewish prophets and the Jewish kingdoms in Palestine and consists of 19 books, The history of the Jews and their conflicts with their surroundings and ends with the desolation of Jerusalem.
The Ketuvim is the last section of the Tanakh formulated from 11 books, manuscripts, poems, and stories of late prophets
Oral law: Known as Talmud and it is a collection of discussions of Jewish rabbis about morals, customs, philosophy, in addition to that, covers a lot of Jewish history. It consists of two parts Mishnah and Gemara.
The Jewish People
41% of the Jews live today in the United States of America, about 40.5% live in the State of Israel, and the rest are distributed throughout the world. Despite their small numbers , and being a minority for most of history, Jews made invaluable contributions to the development of science and philosophy, some of the most prominent names include: the Roman Jewish historian Josephus Flavius, who died in 100 AD, Moses Maimonides philosopher and the Jewish scholar and physician, who died in 1204; Baruch Spinoza Dutch philosopher who lived in the seventeenth century. The Jews and those who belong to Jewish origins, born in the nineteenth century, have a great role in science, culture, literature, and philosophy. We find Albert Einstein, Karl Marx, Franz Kafka, and Sigmund Freud.
one of the most important Jewish holidays and is celebrated for seven days in commemoration of the Exodus of Jews from Egypt to Palestine. This day is the national day of the Jewish people.
The Jews arrived in Egypt in the time of Joseph, where they lived with their descendants. Jews condition took a hard turn soon after that and they became subject to harsh treatment and enslavement by the Egyptians until the times of Moses who lead them out of Egypt on the night of the 14th of Abib of the Jewish calendar after 430 years in Egypt.
The most important holiday tradition is the dinner, where families gather to recite passages from the Torah and drink wine. It is very important today to refrain from eating unleavened bread in reference to the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt where they did not have time to wait for the bread to rise.
Celebrated on the sixth day of the month of Sevan on the Hebrew calendar and comes seven weeks after Easter. On this day the harvest is celebrated and a feast was given to the Temple of Solomon, after the destruction of the temple, it is now presented in the local synagogue.
The special occasions usually mark the beginning of children's education in Hebrew, as the Torah was revealed on the Shavuot. It is also mentioned that the prophet David was born and died on this day, and it is customary to recite the Psalms and visit Mount Zion where David is believed to have been buried.
Only matched by the Passover and the Shavuot, this eight-day celebration starts from 15 of Tishri. The festival is a memorial to the tabernacles that have sheltered the Israelites in their migration from Egypt. It is considered traditional for each family to set up tabernacles or a tent from the palms near its home or in the balcony.
Yom Kippur (Yom Kippur)
A great religious ceremony for the Hebrews, where it represents the day that Prophet Moses descended from Mount Sinai to tell the Jews that God had forgiven them for worshipping the golden calf. The Jews spend this day fasting and abstaining from doing what they do every Sabbath.
The feast is celebrated on the 10th day of Tishrei in the Jewish calendar. It is a 25 hour fast beginning from the sunset of the ninth day of the month after the sunset after the tenth of the month. Jewish people spend this day fasting, worshipping, praying and seeking forgiveness.
On the third of Adar in the Hebrew calendar. It commemorates the anniversary of the Jews' salvation in Persia from a massacre perpetrated by Haman, Grand Vizier to the Persian Emperor Khashayarsha I, where the wife of the emperor and her cousin Mordecai saved the Jews from this plot. The rite of celebration is the reading of Esther's book.
The first day of the Hebrew New Year, and also the first ten days of repentance that ends on Yom Kippur. The shofar is played during the day for celebration.
A feast celebrated for eight days of the twenty-fifth of the month of Kislev, which corresponds to November or December. The holiday is a happy time in which grief and mourning are banned and families make eight candlesticks for the celebration, starting with one candle and gradually increasing each day.
The festival dates back to the anniversary of the inauguration of the Second Temple, where Jews did not have enough oil to light the holy candelabra. A miracle occurred and the candlestick burned for eight days with little oil until they were able to prepare the new oil.