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Judaism is the religion, philosophy and way of life of the Jewish people. A monotheistic religion originating in the Hebrew Bible (also known as the Tanakh) and explored in later texts such as the Talmud, Judaism is considered by religious Jews to be the expression of the covenantal relationship God established with the Children of Israel. Rabbinic Judaism holds that God revealed his laws and commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai in the form of both the Written and Oral Torah. Historically, this assertion was challenged by various groups such as the Sadducees and Hellenistic Judaism during the Second Temple period; the Karaites and Sabbateans during the early and later medieval period; and among segments of the modern reform movements. Liberal movements in modern times such as Humanistic Judaism may be nontheistic. Judaism claims a historical continuity spanning more than 3,000 years. Judaism has its roots as a structured religion in the Middle East during the Bronze Age. Of the major world religions, Judaism is considered one of the oldest monotheistic religions. The Hebrews / Israelites were already referred to as \Jews\ in later books of the Tanakh such as the Book of Esther, with the term Jews replacing the title \Children of Israel\. Judaism's texts, traditions and values strongly influenced later Abrahamic religions, including Christianity, Islam and the Baha'i Faith. Many aspects of Judaism have also directly or indirectly influenced secular Western ethics and civil law. Jews are an ethnoreligious group and include those born Jewish and converts to Judaism. In 2010, the world Jewish population was estimated at 13.4 million, or roughly 0.2% of the total world population. About 42% of all Jews reside in Israel and about 42% reside in the United States and Canada, with most of the remainder living in Europe. The largest Jewish religious movements are Orthodox Judaism, Conservative Judaism and Reform Judaism. A major source of difference between these groups is their approach to Jewish law. Orthodox Judaism maintains that the Torah and Jewish law are divine in origin, eternal and unalterable, and that they should be strictly followed. Conservative and Reform Judaism are more liberal, with Conservative Judaism generally promoting a more \traditional\ interpretation of Judaism's requirements than Reform Judaism. A typical Reform position is that Jewish law should be viewed as a set of general guidelines rather than as a set of restrictions and obligations whose observance is required of all Jews. Historically, special courts enforced Jewish law; today, these courts still exist but the practice of Judaism is mostly voluntary. Authority on theological and legal matters is not vested in any one person or organization, but in the sacred texts and rabbis and scholars who interpret them.

Judaism Top Facts

Judaism is a monotheistic religion originating in the Hebrew Bible (also known as the Tanakh) and explored in later texts such as the Talmud. It has been defined ethnically as "the religion, philosophy, and way of life of the Jews" and religiously as "a covenant between God and the Jewish people that can be traced back to the prophets Abraham and Moses". Rabbinic Judaism holds that God revealed his laws and commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai in the form of both the Written and Oral Torah.
JudaismJudaismMonotheistic religions

Orthodox Judaism
Orthodox Judaism is the approach to Judaism which adheres to the traditional interpretation and application of the laws and ethics of the Torah as legislated in the Talmudic texts by the Sanhedrin and subsequently developed and applied by the later authorities known as the Gaonim, Rishonim, and Acharonim. Orthodox Jews are also called "observant Jews"; Orthodoxy is known also as "Torah Judaism" or "traditional Judaism".
Orthodox JudaismOrthodox JudaismJewish religious movements

Halakha (ha-la-chAH) — also transliterated Halocho (ha-LUH-chuh), or Halacha — is the collective body of Jewish religious law, including biblical law and later talmudic and rabbinic law, as well as customs and traditions. Judaism classically draws no distinction in its laws between religious and ostensibly non-religious life; Jewish religious tradition does not distinguish clearly between religious, national, racial, or ethnic identities.
HalakhaHebrew words and phrasesOrthodox JudaismLegal codesJewish law and rituals

Kabbalah, also spelled Kabala or Cabala, is an esoteric method, discipline and school of thought. Its definition varies according to the tradition and aims of those following it, from its religious origin as an integral part of Judaism, to Christian, New Age, or Occultist syncretic adaptions. Kabbalah is a set of esoteric teachings meant to explain the relationship between an unchanging, eternal and mysterious Ein Sof (no end) and the mortal and finite universe (his creation).
KabbalahPanentheismOntologyHebrew words and phrasesJewish mysticismKabbalahPhilosophy

Hasidic Judaism
Hasidic Judaism or Hasidism, from the Hebrew: חסידות‎—Ḥasidut in Sephardi Hebrew, Chasidus in Ashkenazi Hebrew and Yiddish, meaning "piety", is a branch of Orthodox Judaism that promotes spirituality and joy through the popularisation and internalisation of Jewish mysticism as the fundamental aspects of the Jewish faith. It was founded in 18th century Eastern Europe by Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov as a reaction against overly legalistic Judaism.
Hasidic JudaismPeople excommunicated by synagoguesJewish religious movementsHasidic Judaism

Reform Judaism
Reform Judaism is a phrase that refers to various beliefs, practices and organizations associated with the Reform Jewish movement in North America, the United Kingdom and elsewhere. In general, Reform Judaism maintains that Judaism and Jewish traditions should be modernized and compatible with participation in the surrounding culture.
Reform JudaismReform JudaismJewish historyJewish religious movements

Conservative Judaism
Conservative Judaism (also known as Masorti Judaism outside of the United States and Canada) is a modern stream of Judaism that arose out of intellectual currents in Germany in the mid-19th century and took institutional form in the United States in the early 1900s.
Conservative JudaismJewish religious movementsConservative Judaism

Reformed churches
The Reformed churches are a group of Protestant denominations characterized by Calvinist doctrines. They are descended from the Swiss Reformation inaugurated by Huldrych Zwingli but developed more coherently by Martin Bucer, Heinrich Bullinger and especially John Calvin. In the sixteenth century the movement spread to most of Europe, aligning with national governments in most cases, though several of these national or specific language based churches later expanded to worldwide denominations.
Reformed churchesChristian termsProtestant ReformationChalcedonianismReformed denominations

The Khazars were semi-nomadic Turkic people who established one of the largest polities of medieval Eurasia, with the capital of Atil and territory comprising much of modern-day European Russia, western Kazakhstan, eastern Ukraine, Azerbaijan, large portions of the northern Caucasus, parts of Georgia, the Crimea, and northeastern Turkey. A successor state of the Western Turks, Khazaria was a polyethnic-multifaith state with a population of Turkic, Uralic, Slavic, and Palaeo-Caucasian peoples.
KhazarsFormer countries in EuropeKhaganatesTurkic dynastiesHistorical Turkic statesKhazarsHistory of the Turkic peoplesGroups who converted to Judaism

Haredi Judaism
Haredi, or Charedi/Chareidi Judaism (pl. Haredim) is a term used to describe the most conservative form of Orthodox Judaism, often referred to by outsiders as ultra-Orthodox. Haredi Jews, like other Orthodox Jews, consider their belief system and religious practices to extend in an unbroken chain back to Moses and the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. As a result, they regard non-Orthodox, and to an extent Modern Orthodox, streams of Judaism to be deviations from authentic Judaism.
Haredi JudaismOrthodox JudaismHaredi Judaism

Second Temple
The Second Temple was an important Jewish shrine which stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem between 516 BCE and 70 CE. It replaced the First Temple which was destroyed in 586 BCE, when the Jewish nation was exiled to Babylon.
Second TempleNumeric epithetsSecond Temple

History of the Jews in Poland
The history of the Jews in Poland dates back over a millennium. For centuries, Poland was home to the largest and most significant Jewish community in the world. Poland was the centre of Jewish culture thanks to a long period of statutory religious tolerance and social autonomy. This ended with the Partitions of Poland, in particular, with the persecution of Jews by Tsarist Russian authorities.
History of the Jews in PolandPolish JewsJewish Polish history

American Jews
American Jews, also known as Jewish Americans, are American citizens of the Jewish faith or Jewish ethnicity. The Jewish community in the United States is composed predominantly of Ashkenazi Jews who emigrated from Central and Eastern Europe, and their U.S. -born descendants. Minorities from all Jewish ethnic divisions are also represented, including Sephardi Jews, Mizrahi Jews, and a number of converts.
American JewsAmerican JewsEthnic groups in the United States

A hazzan or chazzan is a Jewish cantor, a musician trained in the vocal arts who helps lead the congregation in songful prayer.
HazzanHebrew words and phrasesHazzansOrthodox rabbinic roles and titlesJewish musicSinging

The Pharisees (Latin pharisæus, -i; from Hebrew פְּרוּשִׁים pĕrûšîm, pl. of פָּרוּשׁ pārûš, meaning “set apart”, Qal passive participle of the verb פָּרָשׁ pārāš, through Greek φαρισαῖος, -ου pharisaios) were at various times a political party, a social movement, and a school of thought among Jews during the Second Temple period beginning under the Hasmonean dynasty (140–37 BCE) in the wake of the Maccabean Revolt.
PhariseesJewish religious movementsOral TorahJews and Judaism in the Roman EmpireAncient Israel and JudahJews by periodEarly Christianity and JudaismNew Testament historyJesus and historyAncient Jewish Greek history

History of the Jews in Germany
The presence of Jews in Germany has been established since the early 4th century. The community prospered under Charlemagne, but suffered during the Crusades. Accusations of well poisoning during the Black Death (1346–53) led to mass slaughters of German Jews, and their fleeing in large numbers to Poland. From the time of Moses Mendelssohn until the 20th century the community gradually achieved emancipation, and then prospered.
History of the Jews in GermanyJewish German history

The Tabernacle, according to the Hebrew Torah/Old Testament, was the portable dwelling place for the divine presence from the time of the Exodus from Egypt through the conquering of the land of Canaan. Built to specifications revealed by God to Moses at Mount Sinai, it accompanied the Israelites on their wanderings in the wilderness and their conquest of the Promised Land. It contained the Ark of the Covenant which was eventually placed in the First Temple in Jerusalem.
TabernacleTabernacle and Jerusalem TemplesBook of Exodus

Rabbinic literature
Rabbinic literature, in its broadest sense, can mean the entire spectrum of rabbinic writings throughout Jewish history. However, the term often refers specifically to literature from the Talmudic era, as opposed to medieval and modern rabbinic writing, and thus corresponds with the Hebrew term Sifrut Hazal (ספרות חז"ל; "Literature sages blessed memory," where Hazal normally refers only to the sages of the Talmudic era).
Rabbinic literatureRabbinic literatureChazal

Mizrahi Jews
Mizrahi Jews or Mizrahim, also referred to as Adot HaMizrach (עֲדוֹת-הַמִּזְרָח) are Jews descended from the Jewish communities of the Middle East, North Africa and the Caucasus. The term Mizrahi is used in Israel in the language of politics, media and some social scientists for Jews from mostly Arab-ruled geographies and adjacent, primarily Muslim-majority countries.
Mizrahi JewsJewish ethnic groupsEthnic groups in IsraelMizrahi Jews topicsSemitic peoples

Lithuanian Jews
Lithuanian Jews or Litvaks are Jews with roots in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania:. The term is sometimes used, especially in Israel, to cover all Orthodox Jews who follow a "Lithuanian" style of life and learning, whatever their ethnic background. Lithuania was historically home to a large and influential Jewish community that was almost entirely eliminated during the Holocaust: see Holocaust in Lithuania. Before World War II there were over 110 synagogues and 10 yeshivas in Vilnius alone.
Lithuanian JewsJews and Judaism in BelarusLithuanian JewsBelarusian JewsJews and Judaism in LithuaniaJews and Judaism in UkraineUkrainian Jews

Rabbinical Eras Chazal Zugot Tannaim Amoraim Savoraim Geonim Rishonim Acharonim The Tannaim were the Rabbinic sages whose views are recorded in the Mishnah, from approximately 10-220 CE. The period of the Tannaim, also referred to as the Mishnaic period, lasted about 210 years.
TannaimRabbis by rabbinical periodMishnah rabbisChazal

Karaite Judaism
Karaite Judaism or Karaism is a Jewish movement characterized by the recognition of the Tanakh alone as its supreme legal authority in Halakhah, as well as in theology. It is distinct from Rabbinic Judaism, which considers the Oral law, the legal decisions of the Sanhedrin as codified in the Talmud, and subsequent works to be authoritative interpretations of the Torah. It is thought to have arisen in the 7th-9th centuries CE in Baghdad and possibly in Egypt.
Karaite JudaismJewish religious movementsJudaism-related controversiesKaraite Judaism

Names of God in Judaism
The numerous names for God have been a source of debate among biblical scholars. Elohim (god, or authority), El (mighty one), El Shaddai (almighty), Adonai (master), Elyon (most high), Avinu (our father), are not names but titles, highlighting different aspects of YHWH and the various roles of God. In Jewish tradition the sacredness of the divine name or titles must be recognized by the professional sofer (scribe) who writes Torah scrolls, or tefillin and mezuzah.
Names of God in JudaismDeities in the Hebrew BibleNames of God in Judaism

Aggadah refers to the homiletic and non-legalistic exegetical texts in the classical rabbinic literature of Judaism, particularly as recorded in the Talmud and Midrash. In general, Aggadah is a compendium of rabbinic homilies that incorporates folklore, historical anecdotes, moral exhortations, and practical advice in various spheres, from business to medicine.
AggadahJewish philosophyOral TorahJewish textsJewish folkloreAggadic Midrashim

Jewish Christian
This article deals with the historical concept. For modern day ethnic Jews who practice Christianity, see Messianic Judaism.
Jewish ChristianHistory of Christianity by geography or ethnicityChristianity-related controversiesSchisms in ChristianityJudaism-related controversiesAncient Christian controversiesChristian termsChristianity in JerusalemJewish ChristianityEarly Christianity and JudaismNew Testament historyJesus and history1st-century Christianity

Religious Zionism
Religious Zionism is an ideology that combines Zionism and Jewish religious faith. Religious Zionists are observant Jews who support Zionist efforts to build a Jewish state in the Land of Israel.
Religious ZionismReligious ZionismTypes of ZionismJudaism-related controversies

Modern Orthodox Judaism
Modern Orthodox Judaism (also Modern Orthodox or Modern Orthodoxy) is a movement within Orthodox Judaism that attempts to synthesize Jewish values and the observance of Jewish law, with the secular, modern world. Modern Orthodoxy draws on several teachings and philosophies, and thus assumes various forms. In the United States, and generally in the Western world, "Centrist Orthodoxy" – underpinned by the philosophy of Torah Umadda ("Torah and Knowledge") – is prevalent.
Modern Orthodox JudaismModern Orthodox Judaism

History of the Jews in Romania
The history of Jews in Romania concerns the Jews both of Romania and of Romanian origins, from their first mention on what is present-day Romanian territory. Minimal until the 18th century, the size of the Jewish population increased after around 1850, and more especially after the establishment of Greater Romania in the aftermath of World War I.
History of the Jews in RomaniaJewish Romanian history

High Priest (Judaism)
The High Priest (Heb. כהן גדול kohen gadol) was the chief religious official of Israelite religion and of classical Judaism from the rise of the Israelite nation until the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem. The high priests belonged to the Jewish priestly families that trace their paternal line back to Aaron, the first high priest and elder brother of Moses.
High Priest (Judaism)Hebrew words and phrases in the Hebrew BibleJewish sacrificial lawKohanimReligious leadership rolesTorah peopleHigh Priests of IsraelTabernacle and Jerusalem TemplesOrthodox rabbinic roles and titles

Jewish history
Jewish history is the history of the Jews, and their religion and culture, as it developed and interacted with other peoples, religions and cultures. Jewish history is over 4000 years long and includes hundreds of different populations.
Jewish historyReligions of the Greco-Roman worldJewish historyNational histories

Rabbinic Judaism
Rabbinic Judaism or Rabbinism has been the mainstream form of Judaism since the 6th century CE, after the codification of the Babylonian Talmud.
Rabbinic JudaismOral TorahJewish historyJudaism

Reconstructionist Judaism
Reconstructionist Judaism is a modern American-based Jewish movement based on the ideas of Mordecai Kaplan (1881–1983). The movement views Judaism as a progressively evolving civilization. It originated as a branch of Conservative Judaism, before it splintered. The movement developed from the late 1920s to 1940s, and it established a rabbinical college in 1968. There is substantial theological diversity within the movement.
Reconstructionist JudaismJewish religious movementsReconstructionist Judaism

Anthroposophy, a philosophy founded by Rudolf Steiner, postulates the existence of an objective, intellectually comprehensible spiritual world accessible to direct experience through inner development. More specifically, it aims to develop faculties of perceptive imagination, inspiration and intuition through cultivating a form of thinking independent of sensory experience, and to present the results thus derived in a manner subject to rational verification.
AnthroposophyOccultPhilosophical movementsSpiritualityPhilosophical schools and traditionsEsoteric schools of thoughtEsoteric ChristianityAnthroposophyRudolf SteinerGnosticism

The term offering as found in the Hebrew Bible in relation to the worship of Ancient Israel is mainly represented by the Hebrew noun korban (קָרְבָּן) whether for an animal or other offering. Other terms include animal sacrifice (zevah זֶבַח), traditionally peace offering and olah, traditionally "burnt offering. " In Hebrew the noun korban is used for a variety of sacrificial offerings described and commanded in the Hebrew Bible.
KorbanJewish animal sacrificeJewish sacrificial lawHebrew words and phrasesShacharitTabernacle and Jerusalem TemplesSiddur of Orthodox Judaism

Conversion to Judaism
Conversion to Judaism is a formal act undertaken by a non-Jewish person who wishes to be recognized as a full member of a Jewish community. A Jewish conversion is normally a religious act and always an expression of association with the Jewish people. A formal conversion is also sometimes undertaken to remove any doubt as to the Jewishness of a person who wishes to be considered a Jew.
Conversion to JudaismJewish courts and civil lawConverts to JudaismReligious conversion

Union for Reform Judaism
The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), formerly known as the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC), is an organization which supports Reform Jewish congregations in North America. The current President is Rabbi Richard Jacobs, and the Chairman of the Board is Stephen Sacks. The origins of the URJ began with the founding of the UAHC by Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise in 1873, based at Cincinnati, Ohio. At the time it consisted of 34 congregations.
Union for Reform JudaismReform synagogues in the United StatesProgressive Jewish communal organizationsReligious organizations established in 1873Summer camps in CanadaJewish summer camps

Reform means to put or change into an improved form or condition; to amend or improve by change of color or removal of faults or abuses, beneficial change, more specifically, reversion to a pure original state, to repair, restore or to correct. Reform is generally distinguished from revolution. The latter means basic or radical change; whereas reform may be no more than fine tuning, or at most redressing serious wrongs without altering the fundamentals of the system.

Messianic Judaism
This article is part of the series: Messianic Judaism Messianic Judaism Theology and practice Messiah · YeshuaSeal Religious texts Messianic Bible Translations Movement leaders and organizations CPM · MBI · MIA MJAA · AM · UMJC Related movements Hebrew Christian Movement Jews for Jesus Opposition Counter-Missionary Jews for Judaism Messianic Judaism portalvte Messianic Judaism is a syncretic religious movement that arose in the 1960s and 70s.
Messianic JudaismMonotheistic religionsMessianic JudaismSubcultures of religious movementsNew religious movementsJewish Christianity

Brit milah
The brit milah is a Jewish religious circumcision ceremony performed on 8-day-old male infants by a mohel. The brit milah is followed by a celebratory meal.
Brit milahJewish medical ethicsCircumcisionReligion and childrenBirth in JudaismHebrew words and phrasesPenisJewish law and ritualsJewish observancesRites of passage

Jewish culture
Secular Jewish culture embraces several related phenomena; above all, it is the international culture of secular communities of Jewish people, but it can also include the cultural contributions of individuals who identify as secular Jews. Derived from philosophy of Moses Mendelssohn, since the early 19th century the international community of Jewish people is generally considered to be an ethnoreligious rather than solely a religious grouping.
Jewish cultureHaskalahJewish historySecular Jewish culture

Persian Jews
Persian Jews are Jews historically associated with Iran, traditionally known as Persia in Western sources. Judaism is among the oldest religions practiced in Iran and the Biblical Book of Esther contains references to the experiences of the Jews in Persia. Jews have had a continued presence in Iran since the time of Cyrus the Great of the Achaemenid Empire. Cyrus invaded Babylon and freed the Jews from Babylonian captivity.
Persian JewsJewish ethnic groupsThe Lost TribesIranian Jews

American Jewish University
The American Jewish University, formerly the separate institutions University of Judaism and Brandeis-Bardin Institute, is a Jewish, non-denominational educational institution in Los Angeles, California. Its largest component is its Whizin Center for Continuing Education in which 12,000 students are enrolled annually in non-credit granting courses.
American Jewish UniversityAmerican Jewish UniversityJewish universities and colleges in the United StatesEducational institutions established in 1947National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities membersSchools accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Holy of Holies
The Holy of Holies is a term in the Hebrew Bible which refers to the inner sanctuary of the Tabernacle and later the Temple in Jerusalem where the Ark of the Covenant was kept during the First Temple, which could be entered only by the High Priest on Yom Kippur. The Ark of the Covenant is said to have contained the Ten Commandments, which were believed to have been given by God to Moses and the Israelites at Mount Sinai.
Holy of HoliesJewish sacrificial lawEastern Christian liturgySuperlatives in religionHebrew Bible words and phrasesTabernacle and Jerusalem TemplesYom KippurEthiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church

Who is a Jew?
"Who is a Jew?" is a basic question about Jewish identity and considerations of Jewish self-identification. The question is based in ideas about Jewish personhood which themselves have cultural, religious, genealogical, and personal dimensions. The question was of importance during the rule of the Nazi party in Germany and was addressed by the Nuremberg Laws.
Who is a Jew?Religious identityPolitics of IsraelJewish lawJudaism-related controversiesJewsIsraeli lawReligion and raceSecular Jewish culture

Hellenistic Judaism
Hellenistic Judaism was a movement which existed in the Jewish diaspora that sought to establish a Hebraic-Jewish religious tradition within the culture and language of Hellenism. The major literary product of the contact of Judaism and Hellenistic culture is the Septuagint translation from Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Aramaic to Koine Greek, which began in the 3rd century BCE in Alexandria. The decline of Hellenistic Judaism in the 2nd century CE is obscure.
Hellenistic JudaismJewish religious movementsChristianity and the Greco-Roman worldHistory of HanukkahSecond TempleHellenistic philosophy and religionEarly Christianity and JudaismAncient Jewish Greek historyHellenistic civilizationJudeo-Christian topics

Jewish religious movements
Jewish religious movements (Yiddish: ייִדיש רעליגיעז מווומאַנץ), sometimes called "denominations" or "branches", include different groups which have developed among Jews from ancient times and especially in the modern era among Ashkenazi Jews living in anglophone countries.
Jewish religious movementsJewish religious movements

People of the Book
This article is about the theological concept in Islam. For the novel by Geraldine Brooks see People of the Book (novel).
People of the BookChristian interfaith and secular relationsIslamic termsIslam and other religionsArticle Feedback 5Judeo-Islamic topicsChristianity and Islam

Judaizers is predominantly a Christian term, derived from the Greek verb ioudaïzō (ἰουδαΐζω "live according to Jewish customs", see ioudaioi). This term is most widely known from the single use in the New Testament where Paul publicly challenges Peter for compelling Gentile believers to "judaize", also known as the Incident at Antioch.
JudaizersNew Testament words and phrasesChristianity-related controversiesAnti-JudaismGreek loanwordsSchisms in ChristianityJudaism-related controversiesChristian termsNew Testament peopleOld Testament theologyChristian and Jewish interfaith topicsEarly Christianity and JudaismNew Testament historyJudeo-Christian topics

Reform Judaism (North America)
Reform Judaism is the largest denomination of American Jews today. With an estimated 1.5 million members, it also accounts for the largest number of Jews affiliated with Progressive Judaism worldwide.
Reform Judaism (North America)Reform Judaism

Jewish cuisine
Jewish cuisine is a collection of the different cooking traditions of the Jewish people worldwide. It is a diverse cuisine that has evolved over many centuries, shaped by Jewish dietary laws and Jewish Festival and Sabbath traditions. Jewish Cuisine is influenced by the economics, agriculture, and culinary traditions of the many countries where Jewish communities have existed and varies widely throughout the world. In turn, Jewish cuisine has also influenced the cuisines of many countries.
Jewish cuisineJewish cuisine