monotheistic religion still practiced in the world today. Its
fundamental teachings have been influential and are the basis for more
recently developed religions such as Christianity and Islam.
Founder-Abraham is generally recognized as the founder of
Judaism due to
his covenant with God. However, Moses is also considered a founder due to his role in the liberation of the Hebrews from Egypt, and
his delivery of the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai sometime around 2000
Geographic Origin-Developed in the Middle East in and around the area
that is currently Israel.
Currently Practiced-Worldwide, but the greatest majority of
Jews reside in Israel, the United States, and the former Soviet Union.
Significant Writings-Torah and
Places of Worship-Jews worship in temples called synagogues.
Significant Religious People-Rabbis are Jewish
scholars charged with
conducting religious services, ensuring that Jewish laws are observed, and
serving as a spiritual guide for the community.
Teachings and Beliefs
Judaism teaches that there is one God who is the creator of all things.
After the Hebrew exodus from Egypt, many Hebrews began
to lose their faith in God. During this time, Moses went
atop Mount Sinai and returned with two stone tablets
containing laws that all Hebrews needed to follow. These
laws, recorded in Exodus 20:3-17, became known as the Ten Commandments and include:
- You shall have no other gods before Me.
- You shall not make yourself any graven image, or any likeness of
anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or
that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down yourself to
them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the
iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth
generation of those who hate Me, but showing mercy and steadfast love to a
thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain; for the
Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
- Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor
and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your
God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, your daughter,
your manservant, your maid-servant, your domestic animals, or the
sojourner within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heavens and
earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. That
is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
- Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land
the Lord your God gives you.
- You shall not commit murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not witness falsely against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet your neighbor's house, your neighbor's wife, or
his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything
that is your neighbor's.
Geography of Judaism (Morehead University)