Judaism Facts

Judaism Facts
Judaism is an Abrahamic religion that originated approximately 3500 years ago in the Middle East. Many believe that Moses was the founder of Judaism although its history dates back to Abraham (as does Christianity and Islam). The most important religious text of Judaism is the Torah and its laws are called Halakhah. Judaism teaches that there is one God. The Hebrew bible is called the Tanakh and followers of Judaism are Jews. The word Jew originated from the name of people who were from the ancient Kingdom of Judea (presently Israel). Eventually the word Jew came to be associated with people of the Jewish faith.
Interesting Judaism Facts:
Jewish followers refer to God as Yahweh.
People of the Jewish faith attempt to make every aspect of their lives holy in some way.
Spiritual leaders of Judaism are called Rabbis.
Jewish places of worship are called synagogues.
The Torah consists of the five books of Moses (Old Testament in Christianity).
In the 1100s a Jewish philosopher Maimonides wrote the 13 Articles of Faith which summarized Jewish beliefs.
Judaism has several different sects that have developed over time including conservative Judaism, orthodox Judaism, Hasidic Judaism, and reformed Judaism.
Jewish holidays commemorate important events in history, important times of the year, and important times in people's lives.
Jewish holidays include the Sabbath, Passover, the Day of Atonement, the Festival of Booths, the Jewish New Year, the Festival of Trees, Purim, and the Days of Awe which include 10 days beginning on Rosh Hashanah and ending 10 days later on Yom Kippur.
Although Hanukkah is an important Jewish holiday it was not part of the Hebrew Scriptures because it is meant to celebrate an even that occurred after the Scriptures were written. It celebrates the victory over the Syrian-Greek rulers of Jerusalem by the Maccabees, and the Temple's rededication in 164 BCE.
In Judaism the most important religious practice is following the 613 Commandments in the Law of Moses.
Special Jewish clothing includes the kittel (white, knee-length over-garment worn on High Holidays), kippah (brimless skullcap worn on many Jewish occasions and at all times by some men), tallit (prayer shawl) and tzitzit(tassels on the Tallit's four corners), and tefellin (small square leather boxes worn during weekday morning prayers).
There are approximately 14,000,000 Jewish people in the world today.
In the Second World War, more than 6 million Jewish people were murdered by the Nazis in an attempt to eradicate the race. It is referred to as the Holocaust.
Traditional Jewish law states that any child born to a Jewish mother is also a Jew.
There are three pilgrimage festivals in Judaism including Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot.
During Hanukkah (Festival of Lights), Jewish families light eight candles over a period of eight days. On day one they light one candle, on day two they light two candles, etc...
The religious symbol of Judaism is the Star of David.
In order for food to be Kosher it cannot contain pork - Jewish followers do not eat pork.
When a Jewish boy turns 13 or a Jewish girl turns 12 they celebrate their Bar Mitzvah. This is a rite of passage leading into adulthood.


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