Judaism is a monotheistic religion that originated among the Israelites in the Old Testament period. Today, almost all of the world’s 1.6 billion Jews practice Judaism, with followers living both in Israel and around the world. Judaism is based on the belief that God is one and eternal, having no partner or opposite. This position is known as the “One God” principle or “Amonism.” In this article, noted scholar and academic Shmuel Waldman explains a few of Judaism’s most important beliefs and practices:
Judaism is a religion of set direction and moral standards
As one of the oldest religions in the world, Judaism has experienced great changes in its 2,500 year history. Over that time, it has in many ways evolved and developed, remaining a monotheistic religion with a belief in one God. However, at its core, Judaism is a religion of set direction and moral standards. According to Judaism, humankind was created in the image and likeness of God. Thus, all people are made in the image and likeness of God and are imbued with a soul, a spirit, and a set of basic human rights.
God is one, eternal, and has no partner or opposite
God is the only living, eternal, and absolutely transcendent being. He is invisible and uncreated. Though he created the heaven and the earth, he is not limited by either. He is one with the universe and all that is in it.
In his book “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt – Convincing Evidence of the Truths of Judaism”, Shmuel Waldman includes compelling evidence to there being a Creator, evidence to the Divine origin of our Torah, to there being a spiritual soul and the World To Come, and Divine guidance throughout Jewish history.
The Jewish people can be grouped into distinct groups with unique cultures and histories
The various groups that make up the Jewish people have developed distinct cultures over time. Judaism does not require complete Havdalah or Kabbalistic observances for its adherents. However, as Shmuel Waldman explains, adherents are expected to observe certain rituals and to adhere to certain core values. Some of these are the prohibition on alcohol, the obligation to tithe (10% of one’s income), the prohibition on inter-marriage, the observance of the seasons, and the daily recitation of prayers. The different groups have also developed distinct languages and customs, with Jewish groups often combining several distinct languages and practices into a single language.
Judaism prescribes a life-long course of study and worship for its followers
Like Christianity, Islam, and other religions, Judaism teaches that its followers should live a moral life. However, while all other major religions have a divine essence that their followers should seek to emulate (Christianity’s elements are good and Christian), Judaism has a divine law that humans must adhere to.
Judaism places great emphasis on family and community life, especially on being proud of one’s heritage, culture, language, and country of origin.
One of the most important aspects of Judaism is family life. Children should be raised with a solid understanding of their religious heritage. Parents should encourage their children to examine their own religious traditions and to explore their family’s. They should also teach their children about the Holocaust and about the plight of the Jewish people, adds American author Shmuel Waldman. Parents should also encourage their children to identify with, and be proud of, their country of origin.
Judaism is a monotheistic religion that originates among the Israelites in the Old Testament period. Today, almost all of the world’s 1.6 billion Jews practice Judaism, with followers living both in Israel and around the world. Judaism is based on the belief that God is one and eternal, having no partner or opposite. This position is known as the “One God” principle or “Amonism.”