The Origin of Judaism

Judaism is one of the most ancient religions in the world, dating back nearly 4,000 years. Judaism followers believe that there is one God who revealed himself through ancient prophets. Most jews believe that the Messiah has not come and will come one day.

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It is believed that the founders of Judaism were Moses, Abraham and his descendants. The origins of Jewish beliefs are explained throughout the Torah; the Torah is one of the first five books of the Tanakh, it explains the laws for Jews to follow, sometimes it is referred as the Pentateuch. The Tanakh is known as the Hebrew Bible.

The first holy jewish temple was built by Salomon which was later destroyed and the jewish were separated into two groups which led to the creation of the second jewish temple; Around 1000 B.C., King David ruled the Jewish people. His son Solomon built the first holy Temple in Jerusalem, which became the central place of worship for Jews.The kingdom fell apart around 931 B.C., and the Jewish people split into two groups: Israel in the North and Judah in the South.Sometime around 587 B.C., the Babylonians destroyed the first Temple and sent many Jews into exile. A second Temple was built in about 516 B.C. but was eventually destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. (Judaism) When the second temple was destroyed it caused a big commotion because Jewish people no longer had a primary place to gather, so they shifted their focus to gather in local synagogues.

Throughout history, Jewish followers have been persecuted and executed for their religious beliefs, some known events include: 1066 Granada Massacre, The First Crusade, The Spanish Expulsion and the Holocaust in which more than 6 millions jews were killed. Due to this difficult and unfair circumstances in where jews were kidnapped, tortured and killed, in today’s society they are trying to preserve their religion Jewish memory constitutes an original Jewish insight, which has profoundly affected and enriched the thinking of the Western world in its entirety; Jewish memory has been carefully and effectively preserved by Jews over the ages, at least down through the corrosive changes associated with modernity; Jewish memory is in considerable measure the key to the remarkable capacity of the Jews to survive over the millennia under difficult circumstances. (Chazan 283)

There are different types of jewish sects and they can be classify as: Orthodox Judaism is known as the strict conservation of traditional Jewish laws and rituals; Reform Judaism values ethical traditions over strict observance of Jewish laws; Conservative Judaism respect the traditions of Judaism while allowing modern values; Reconstructionist Judaism believes that Judaism is a religious that is constantly evolving and Messianic Judaism implies a modern movement combining the beliefs of Judaism and Christianity. By virtue of these two features, the two modern Orthodox streams perceived the jewish present as religiously open to the universal world both culturally and socially.(Fishman 91)

According to Livingston, Jews celebrate many events that fall under similar celebrations that non-jewish practice, Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the year, New Year’s Day, a fall festival originally associated with the harvest but now initiating a time of the Days of Awe, a week of remembrance, judgement and penitence. This period culminates in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the year, in which jews confess their faults and ask for the forgiveness of God and their fellows. (Livingston 305). Jews meet in holy places known as synagogues, where they have a spiritual leader called rabbi. Jewish celebrations occur mostly at Jewish temples and synagogues anto celebrate events such as; Shabbat, Rosh Hashanah, Selichot, Rosh Hashanah, Tzom Gedalia, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, Hanukkah.

Each religion has its own way of communicating and emanating their love for either a god or spiritual belief yet at the end the purpose is to feel satisfied and in peace with our inner-self. When you believe in something, you feel protected and happy, in Judaism the six-pointed Star of David is a symbol of protection for jews. This figure symbolizes that God rules over the universe and protects it from all six directions: north, south, west , east, up, and down with the center of the hexagram expressing spiritual belief. Jews believe that there is only one God that protect them, that is external, meaning that he is everywhere and he knows everything. He cares about its followers and listen to them when they pray to him; Jews state that a prayer is only to be directed to God no other figure, Jews refer to God as Adonai which means Lord. Most people may also feel identify with Judaism because of cultural characteristics, ethics and morals.

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