Judaism 101

Judaism 101
Mr. Richards
Global Studies
According to most historians,
Judaism began around 2000 BC
when Abraham made divine
covenant with God. Because of
this, Abraham is considered to be
the Father of the Semitic religions
(Judaism, Christianity and Islam).
Important Texts
 Tanakh
(called the Old Testament by
– The Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus,
Numbers and Deuteronomy)
 “Teaching
or Instruction”
– The Nevi’im (Joshua thru Malachilsaiah)
– The Ketuvim (Psalms thru Chronicles)
Important Texts
 The
Talmud (a collection of stories,
laws, medical knowledge and so on)
– “Learning or Study”
 The
Mishnah’s (Hebrew laws)
 The Gemara (a HUGE collection of
sayings from Rabbis)
Basic Jewish Beliefs
God exists.
 God is one and unique.
 God is incorporeal.
 God is eternal.
 Prayer is to be directed to God alone and
to no other.
 The words of the prophets are true.
 Moses was the greatest of the prophets
and his prophecies are true.
Basic Jewish Beliefs cont.
 The
Torah was given to Moses.
 There will be no other Torah.
 God knows the thoughts and deeds
of men.
 God will reward the good and punish
the wicked.
 The Messiah will come.
 The dead will be resurrected.
 If
God knows the thoughts and deeds
of men then why do bad things
 Why do some deeds go unpunished?
 What divisions are apparent between
Christianity and Judaism?
Synagogues are led by
Rabbis (teachers well
educated in Jewish law and
Temples…the temple is
in Jerusalem.
The temple was the
only place a sacrifice
could be administered.
The temple in
Jerusalem was
Baltimore, Maryland
Kosher Practices
Specific Dietary Practices
Blood must be drained from the
meat or broiled out of it before it is
eaten .
Fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables and
grains can be eaten with either
meat or dairy.
Utensils that have come into
contact with meat may not be used
with dairy, and vice versa.
Anything in the water that has fins
and scales is acceptable. This
therefore excludes shellfish such as
lobsters, oysters, shrimp, clams and
crabs, all of which are forbidden.
Rodents, reptiles, amphibians, and
insects are all forbidden.
The Rabbi
Earned by passing extensive
examinations on the Torah and Talmud.
Study at a yeshiva, or holy school, like
a seminary program.
He is not required to wear a particular
uniform, and he can dress just like any
other Jew.
Permitted to Marry.
May have children.
Neighborhood counselor.
Inspire community members to become
better people.
All people of the Jewish faith
worship on Saturday, follow
strict discipline…the laws set
forth in the Torah, regular
attendance at Synagogue.
Passage into Adulthood
 Children
are ushered
into adulthood with a
big ceremony
– usually around age 13
 Bar
Mitzvah for boys
 Bat Mitzvah for girls
Liberal Denominations
 Reform
– Torah was written by humans, not God, but
later combined (liberal).
– Does not accept binding nature of Jewish law
 Reconstructionist
– “evolving religious civilization”
– Jews are not the chosen people by God (less
– Can observe Jewish Law is they choose to
because it is a cultural remnant.
Conservative Denominations
 Conservative
– Torah comes from God, transmitted by
humans, and contains a human component.
– Accepts binding nature of Jewish Law but it
Orthodox Judaism
– God gave Moses the entire Torah, written (first
5 books of the bible) and oral at Mount Sinai.
– Strictly observe Jewish Law.
– 613 mitzvot (commandments)
– Chasidic Jews do not assimilate.
Important Jewish Holidays:
Passover – Celebrates the
birth of the Jewish nation
Rosh Hashanah – Jewish New
Yom Kippur – Day of
Atonement," is the holiest day
of the Jewish year
Sukkoth – Harvest festival
Hanukkah – Rededication of
the holy temple in Jerusalem
after a military victory
Purim – Queen Esther saved
the Jews of Persia from
Shavout – Commemorates
the giving of the Ten
Commandments to the Jewish
People on Mount Sinai.
 This
text is the “teaching or
instruction” of the Old Testament…
 Torah
collection of stories, “learning or
 Talmud
 The
words of the prophets are…
 true
 Can
Rabbis marry and have children?
 Yes