There are different religious groups in the world and one of the oldest religions known is Judaism. It existed for more than three thousand years, with Abraham as the founder. Judaism is said to be the sole religion that lost its holy land but was able to regain it and its traditions and beliefs continuously flourish up to the present times. Read this article to know more distinct and interesting facts about Judaism.
What is known long ago as the “Children of God” is replaced with the name “Jews” at the present. Hebrews and Israelites are likewise referred as Jews and many of them still speak their original language, which is Hebrew. Judaism is a monotheistic religion that is why Jews pray to only one God and they do their prayer and study in synagogues.
How can a person become a Jew ? When a child is born with Jewish parents or converted to Judaism, then the child is also considered as a Jew and this includes the parents’ responsibilities in rearing the child with Jewish identity.
When one is not a Jew but wants to practice Judaism, he or she can be converted as this religion accommodates sincere converts. The converts are then called as “ben Abraham” or “bat Abraham” and must go through evaluation done by an authority to see to it that they are sincere about what they are going through. According to the beliefs of Traditional Judaism, when one becomes a Jew, he or she is then considered as a Jew until his last days.
There are many Jews in the world, whether naturally born Jews or converts. As of 2010, a population of 13.4 million Jews was recorded and a large percentage of them reside in Israel, United States of America and Canada and a small percentage reside in Europe.
Judaism is divided into different groups. There are Orthodox Judaism, Conservative Judaism and Reform Judaism. What is the main difference between these groups? They may be divided into these religious movements but their difference is only pointed to their approach to Jewish Law.
Orthodox Judaism strictly adheres to the laws dictated by the Torah. They consider the Torah as divine and eternal and should not be disobeyed. On the other hand, Conservative Judaism still follows some of the traditions of Judaism while being liberal while Reform Judaism only uses the Jewish laws as guidelines as they do not want to stick with the restrictions and obligations imposed on Traditional Judaism.
Jews are guided with laws and traditions that they respect. These are all found in the Torah, or also called the Pentateuch or the Five Books of Moses. This Jewish literature contains 613 commandments and specific commandments are also applicable to certain types of groups like men, women and ancient priestly congregations. Aside from what is written in the Torah, Jews also follow oral laws that were believed to have originated from the Pharisee sect during the ancient Judaism.