World Religion Report on Judaism

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Date Submitted: 11/01/2010 02:33 PM

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Judaism began in the Middle East among nomadic tribes and eventually agricultural people, these were the ancient Hebrews. 3500 years ago in Israel God spoke to Abraham and asked him to sacrifice his son; because of this Abraham is considered the father of the Jewish people. Judaism is a monotheistic; which is the belief in only one God. Judaism is considered a religion of deed; the way humans understand and respond to God's teaching is laid out in the 613 Mitzvot, or commandments, of Judaism. Judaism was the forerunner to Christianity and half a century later has a role in the beginnings of Islam. Judaism most sacred text is the Torah, which is the first five books of the Tanakh given to Moses by God (add inline ref). The population of Jews is in the world is estimated at over 12 million; and the population of Jews in North American is approximately 6 million.

Controlling the Middle East has always made Israel an area of interest; Judaism in Israel has changed over the centuries in response to these takeovers and the desire for a homeland. Judaism started as a cult religion but has evolved worldwide into religion where the study of God's teaching and how humans can follow the Law is practiced. Jerusalem remains spiritual center for Jews everywhere and Israel remains the homeland for those of Jewish faith.

Services at temple, or the Synagogue, often speak of redemption; from God’s interactions with Moses at Mount Sinai to the promise of a homeland. Much of the teaching and lore in Judaism is around the interpretation of the ancient Biblical texts. Actual religious practices can be found in the Halacha; and philosophical stories and poetry can be found in the "Aggadah". The Talmud, which is the written version of the Oral Law and which offers expanded thought on the Tanakh, is probably the most important text after The Tanakh. There is mysticism as well in Judaism that can be read in mainly the Kabbalah which includes the Zohar. The Zohar teaches that God is in...