Judaism

Judaism (יהודה, Yehudah, “Judah”) is the religion of the Jewish people. It is an ancient, monotheistic, Abrahamic religion with the Torah as its foundational text. It encompasses the religion, philosophy, and culture of the Jewish people.

 

Judaism is considered by religious Jews to be the expression of the covenant that God established with the Children of Israel. Judaism encompasses a wide corpus of texts, practices, theological positions, and forms of organization.

Shalom

Shalom

Shalom Shalom (שָׁלוֹם‎ shalom; also spelled as sholom, sholem, sholoim, shulem) is a Hebrew word meaning peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility and can be used idiomatically to mean both hello and goodbye. As it does in English, it can refer to either peace between two entities (especially between man and God or between two countries), or to the...

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Divine Providence in Judaism

Divine Providence in Judaism Divine providence in Judaism (השגחה פרטית‎ Hashgochoh Protis or Hashgaha Peratit, lit. divine supervision of the individual) is discussed throughout rabbinic literature, by the classical Jewish philosophers, and by the tradition of Jewish mysticism. The discussion brings into consideration the Jewish understanding of nature, and its reciprocal, the miraculous. This analysis thus underpins...

Hanukkah Candles

Jewish Holidays

Jewish Holidays Jewish holidays, also known as Jewish festivals or Yamim Tovim (ימים טובים‎, lit. ‘Good Days’, or singular יום טוב Yom Tov, in transliterated Hebrew, are holidays observed in Judaism and by Jews throughout the Hebrew calendar. They include religious, cultural and national elements, derived from three sources: biblical mitzvot (“commandments”); rabbinic mandates; Jewish history and the history of the State of Israel....

Birkat Hamazon is recited after consuming a meal eaten with bread

Birkat Hamazon

Birkat Hamazon Birkat Hamazon (בִּרְכַּת הַמָּזוׂן‎, The Blessing of the Food), known in English as the Grace After Meals (בֶּענְטְשֶׁן‎‎; bentschen or “to bless”, Yinglish: Bentsching), is a set of Hebrew blessings that Jewish Halakha (“collective body of Jewish religious laws”) prescribes following a meal that includes at least a kezayit...

Detail of Dayenu in the Birds' Head Haggadah

Aniconism in Judaism

Aniconism in Judaism Aniconism in Judaism covers a number of areas. The portrayal of God in any kind of human or concrete form is not encouraged. The Tanakh A number of verses in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) refer to prohibitions against the creation of various forms of images, invariably linked directly with idolatry. The strongest over-all...

Moses and burning bush

Idolatry in Judaism

Idolatry in Judaism Idolatry in Judaism is prohibited. Judaism holds that idolatry is not limited to the worship of an idol itself, but also worship involving any artistic representations of God. In addition it is forbidden to derive benefit (hana’ah) from anything dedicated to idolatry. However, aniconism in Judaism has not prevented traditions of Jewish art at various periods....

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Jewish State

Jewish State Jewish state is a characterization of the nation state of Israel as a sovereign homeland of Jewish people. Modern Israel came into existence on 14 May 1948 as the homeland for the Jewish people. It was also defined in its declaration of independence as a “Jewish state,” a term that appeared in the...

Though not subject to the Inquisition, Jews who refused to convert or leave Spain were called heretics and could be burned to death on a stake

Apostasy in Judaism

Apostasy in Judaism In Judaism, apostasy refers to the rejection of Judaism and possible defection to another religion by a Jew. The term apostasy is derived from Ancient Greek: ἀποστάτης, meaning “rebellious” (מורד) Equivalent expressions for apostate in Hebrew that are used by rabbinical scholars include mumar (מומר, literally “the one that was changed”), poshea Yisrael (פושע ישראל, literally,...

Kaunas pogrom in German-occupied Lithuania, June 1941

Persecution of Jews

Persecution of Jews Persecution of Jews has been a major part of Jewish history, prompting shifting waves of refugees throughout the diaspora communities. Historically, what began as a conflict over religious beliefs evolved into a systematic policy of political, economic, and social isolation; exclusion, degradation and attempted annihilation. It did not begin in the Nazi...

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Trinity: Jewish Objections

Trinity: Jewish Objections TRINITY: The fundamental dogma of Christianity; the concept of the union in one God of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three infinite persons. It was the Nicene Council and even more especially the Athanasian Creed that first gave the dogma its definite formulation: “And the Catholick...

Egyptian depiction of the visit of Western Asiatics in colorful garments, labeled as Aamu. The painting is from the tomb of a 12th dynasty official Khnumhotep II at Beni Hasan, and dated to c. 1900 BCE. Their nearest Biblical contemporaries were the earliest of Hebrews, such as Abraham and Joseph.

Jews

Jews Jews (יְהוּדִים‎ ISO 259-2 Yehudim) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and a nation originating from the Israelites and Hebrews of historical Israel and Judah. Jewish ethnicity, nationhood, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the ethnic religion of the Jewish people, while its observance varies from strict observance to complete nonobservance. Jews originated as an ethnic...

Synagogue in the village of Wolleka in Ethiopia.

Haymanot

Haymanot Haymanot (Ge’ez: ሃይማኖት) is the branch of Judaism which is practiced by the Beta Israel, also known as Ethiopian Jews. In both Geʽez and Amharic, Haymanot means ‘religion‘ or ‘faith.’ Thus in modern Amharic, it is common to speak of the Christian haymanot, the Jewish haymanot or the Muslim haymanot. The term is only associated with a particular religion (Judaism) in Israel. Religious leaders Nabiyy...

Illustration of Sabbatai Zevi from 1906 (Joods Historisch Museum)

Sabbateans

Sabbateans The Sabbateans (or Sabbatians) were a variety of Jewish followers, disciples, and believers in Sabbatai Zevi (1626–1676), a Sephardic Jewish rabbi and Kabbalist who was proclaimed to be the Jewish Messiah in 1666 by Nathan of Gaza. Vast numbers of Jews in the Jewish diaspora accepted his claims, even after he outwardly became an apostate due to his forced conversion to Islam in the same year. Sabbatai Zevi’s followers,...

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Noahidism

Noahidism Noahidism or Noachidism is a monotheistic, Jewish religious movement based upon the Seven Laws of Noah and their traditional interpretations within Orthodox Judaism. According to the Jewish law, non-Jews (Gentiles) are not obligated to convert to Judaism, but they are required to observe the Seven Laws of Noah to be assured of a place in the World to Come...

Deportation and exile of the Jews of the ancient Kingdom of Judah to Babylon and the destruction of Jerusalem and Solomon's temple

Jewish History

Jewish History Jewish history is the history of the Jews, and their nation, religion and culture, as it developed and interacted with other peoples, religions and cultures. Although Judaism as a religion first appears in Greek records during the Hellenistic period (323 BCE – 31 BCE) and the earliest mention...

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Noahide Laws

Noahide Laws According to Jewish tradition, the Noahide Laws (Hebrew: שבע מצוות בני נח, Sheva mitzvot b’nei Noach), also called the Brit Noah (“Covenant of Noah”) refer to seven religious laws that were given by G-d to Adam and Noah, which are considered to be morally binding on non-Jews. These laws are listed in the Talmud and...

Passover sacrifice

Slaughter Offering

Slaughter Offering A slaughter offering in the Hebrew Bible (זָבַח‎, zevakh) is a type of Jewish animal sacrifice. The term specifically refers to the slaughter of an animal to God followed by a feast or a meal. This is distinguished from the burnt offering, shechita, guilt offering, sin offering, korban sacrifice, and the gift offering (Hebrew minchah). A common subcategory...

Kohanim blowing silver trumpets and carrying lambs to the place of the offering. Temple Institute

Korban

Korban In Judaism, the korban (קָרְבָּן qorbān), also spelled qorban or corban, is any of a variety of sacrificial offerings described and commanded in the Torah. The plural form is korbanot, korbanoth or korbans. A korban was a kosher animal sacrifice, such as a bull, sheep, goat, or a dove that underwent shechita (Jewish Ritual Slaughter). Sacrifices could also consist of...

Jewish Atheism

Jewish Atheism

Jewish Atheism Jewish atheism refers to the atheism of people who are ethnically and (at least to some extent) culturally Jewish. Because Jewish identity is ethnoreligious (i.e., it encompasses ethnic as well as religious components), the term “Jewish atheism” does not inherently entail a contradiction. Based on Jewish law’s emphasis...

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Jewish Reactions to Intelligent Design

Jewish Reactions to Intelligent Design The reaction of Jewish leaders and organizations to intelligent design has been primarily concerned with responding to proposals to include intelligent design in public school curricula as a rival scientific hypothesis to modern evolutionary theory. Intelligent design is an argument for the existence of God, based on the...

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