Basic Judaism

What is Judaism? When did Judaism begin?

What is Judaism? What do Jews believe? When did Judaism begin? Rabbi Berel Wein explains the core beliefs and frameworks of Judaism, and what makes it different from other religions

What is Judaism?
Judaism is the oldest of the monotheistic religions in the world. The basic ideas and moral values of Western civilization are based on Judaism.
 
Judaism is unlike Christianity and Islam because Judaism doesn’t actively proselytize anyone. Judaism believes that all human beings have a share in the world to come.
 
Judaism obligates Jews to perform daily ritual commandments of the Torah , such as the Sabbath, dietary laws, family purity laws etc.
 
Jews are meant to be the influential moral force in the world, like G-d said to our Forefather Abraham “The world will be blessed through you and your descendants”.
 
Judaism is based upon the fact that there was a revelation at Mount Sinai in front of millions of Jews. At the revelation on Mount Sinai the Jewish People received the 10 commandments and the Torah. The Torah (Hebrew Bible) is the book by which G-d intended Jews to live by and which influences all of mankind. The revelation at Mount Sinai is the central core of Jewish belief.
 
Judaism is clearly defined; it is a system of behavior that is divided into laws that govern our relationship with the Creator and our relationship with other human beings. The Torah is a way of pleasantness, kindness and goodness, as well as a practical way of life.
 
Judaism includes the Written Torah, the Oral Torah, Torah Laws, customs, traditions mysticism and more.
 
Judaism doesn’t preach intolerance to others and doesn’t force itself upon others. Judaism however is particular to the Jewish People and demands a great deal from the people as a whole and from each and every individual Jew.
 
Judaism teaches us that we are responsible for our actions and that reward and punishment are a part of life and afterlife. It teaches us that there is immortality to the soul; that life doesn’t end with death. It teaches us that raising children and having a family is itself the blessing G-d wanted us to have.
 
Jewish life and Jewish continuity is dependent upon the behavior of Jews in each and every generation.
 
There are ‘so to speak’ different streams of Judaism today, though those streams don’t define Judaism, they define different types of Jews. The idea of knowing, understanding and learning about Judaism is therefore central to Jewish life and Jewish survival.
 
A Jew should always attempt to become knowledgeable and know more about his faith, the history of the Jewish People and the reason we were created.
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