• Canaan (Palestine) is the ancient home of
the Hebrews or Jews
• The history of the religion is recorded in the
Torah, their holy book (about 2000 B.C.E)
• Abraham is known as the “father” of the
Hebrew people
• Important figures in the faith: Abraham,
Moses, David & Solomon
Basic Beliefs
• Monotheistic- believe in one God, Yahweh
• Covenants – promises between Yahweh and
Abraham & Moses
• Goal – to worship Yahweh & to live a moral
life according to the laws of the Torah
Holy Texts
• Torah is the first five books of the Christian
• Ten Commandments offer guidelines for
how to live
– Ex: Thou shalt not kill
Major God(s)
• Yahweh = Monotheistic
• Yahweh was not a physical being and there
were not supposed to be physical images
made of him
Important Traditions/Customs
Synagogue- Jewish house of worship
Rabbi – religious teacher
Yom Kippur – religious holiday
Dietary Restrictions- Jewish laws establish
what is kosher, or acceptable
– Can not eat things seen as “unclean” like pig
Where is this religion today?
• After the Exodus, when Moses fled Egypt the
Kingdom of Israel was established
• King David, around 1000 B.C.E. set up the capital
city Jerusalem
• His son, King Solomon, built a temple in
Jerusalem to hold the Ark of the Covenant, which
is sacred to all Jews
• Hebrew population was often dominated by
other groups but the religion is
predominately found the U.S. and in modern
day Israel.
History of Judaism
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