Judaism Beliefs

Jewish people believe in one God. This supreme being established a covenant—or special agreement—with them. God communicates to believers through prophets. He rewards good deeds and punishes evil.

Judaism believes that a Messiah will come one day but hasn’t yet arrived.

Jewish people worship in synagogues. Their spiritual leaders are called rabbis. The six-pointed Star of David is the symbol of Judaism.

Today, there are about 16 million Jews worldwide. Most of them live in the United States and Israel.


The Jewish sacred text is called the “Hebrew Bible.” It includes the same books as the Old Testament in the Christian Bible.

The first five books of the Bible are called the Torah. The Torah gives religious laws for Jews to follow.

Founder of Judaism

According to the Torah, God first revealed himself to a Hebrew man named Abraham, who became known as the founder of monotheism.

Jews believe that God made a special covenant with Abraham.He and his descendants were the chosen people who would create a great nation.

Abraham’s son Isaac and his grandson Jacob are also central figures in ancient Jewish history. Jacob took the name Israel, and his children and future generations became known as Israelites.

The Israelites were enslaved in Egypt for hundreds of years. The prophet Moses led them out of Egypt. According to the Torah, God then revealed the Ten Commandments to Moses at Mt. Sinai.

Jewish Temples

Around 1000 B.C.E., King David ruled the Jewish people. His son Solomon built the first holy Temple in Jerusalem. The Temple served as the central place of worship for Jews.

Around 931 B.C.E., the kingdom split into two: Israel in the North and Judah in the South. In approximately 587 B.C.E., the Babylonians destroyed the first Temple. Many Jews were sent into exile.

A second Temple was built in about 516 B.C.E. The Romans destroyed it in 70 C.E.

Following the destruction of the second Temple, the Jewish people no longer had a central place to gather. They began to worship in local synagogues.

Judaism and Persecution

Throughout history, Jewish people have been persecuted for their religious beliefs. One such event was the Spanish Expulsion in 1492. Spain’s rulers issued a royal edict that declared all Jews who refused to convert to Christianity would be expelled from the country. Experts estimate about 200,000 people were exiled and tens of thousands died while trying to reach safety.

In the Holocaust during World War II, the Nazis systematically murdered more than 6 million Jews.

Source: Judaism
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