Lesson 2- Jewish Beliefs and Texts
Jewish Beliefs and Texts
The Big Idea
The central ideas and laws of Judaism are contained in
sacred texts such as the Torah.
Main Ideas
• Beliefs in God, education, justice, and obedience anchor
Jewish society.
• Jewish beliefs are listed in the Torah, the Hebrew Bible,
and the Commentaries.
• The Dead Sea Scrolls reveal many past Jewish beliefs.
• The ideas of Judaism have helped shape later cultures.

Belief in one god
 Judaism is the world’s
oldest and possibly the
first monotheistic
religion. Monotheism is
the belief in only one god.

Belief in education
 Teaching children, mostly
boys, has always been
important to Jewish
society.

Belief in justice and righteousness
 Jews are expected to be kind and fair in dealing with other
people, in a display of justice.
 They are also supposed to be righteous and do what is
proper.

Belief in obedience and law
 They obey moral and religious laws such as the
Ten Commandments and Mosaic law.
The Torah
• This is a
collection of five
books that make
up the most
sacred text in
Judaism.
• Nearly every
synagogue has
one.
The Hebrew
Bible
• This is made up
of the Torah, the
Proverbs, and
the Book of
Psalms.
• It is also made
up of eight books
that describe the
messages of the
prophets.
The
Commentaries
• Because some
laws are hard to
understand,
scholars wrote
commentaries to
explain them.
• They can be
found in the
Talmud.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947.

It is suspected that they were written between 100 BC and
AD 50.

The scrolls included prayers, commentaries, letters, and
passages from the Hebrew Bible.

Judaism helped shape the largest religion of Western
society today, Christianity, as well as Islam.

Many people still look to the Ten Commandments as a
guide and do not work on the weekends, to honor the
Sabbath.

People also give to charities, which is largely based on
Jewish teachings.