The Fundamentals of Judaism

1994 Words8 Pages
The Fundamentals of Judaism I am a very spiritual person and am always interested in learning about other religions, especially the three monotheistic faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. I feel I have an adequate knowledge of Christianity and Islam, but I do not know much about Judaism. This paper will focus on the questions I have about Judaism. I have always wanted to know the fundamental beliefs of Judaism. I want to know how many Jews there are in the United States and in the world. I often see Orthodox Jewish men wearing yarmulkes and prayer shawls, and I wonder what is the purpose of wearing these. And finally, I wanted to know what is the role of women in Judaism. As the oldest living monotheistic religion in the Western world, Judaism teaches that there is only one God. Jews follow the laws from God and other prophets as revealed in the Torah, the Hebrew Bible (also known as the Old Testament by Christians.) The Torah includes the "Five Books of Moses" and includes laws on how Jews should conduct their lives in everything from business and agriculture to family and death. Because the Torah can be interpreted in a number of ways, a supplement to the Torah Law came in the form of the Talmud. This is called the "Oral Law" and was developed over several centuries after the Torah and eventually it was put into writing. It was written by Israel's best minds and religious leaders, and it includes different points of view on several issues. The Torah and the Talmud together dictate the manner in which people should behave and how they face the problems they deal with (Shalev, 1999). There are several branches of Judaism, but the three most common are the Orthodox, the Conservative, and the Reform parties. Regard... ... middle of paper ... ...a Jewish woman remarry if she divorces or is widowed? What happens exactly to her finances if she works? As a Muslim, a lot of this information is very similar to Islamic beliefs. I basically wanted to research this because I wanted to compare Judaism to Islam. But now I wonder, what do Jews think of Islam? I'm referring to people who do not let politics influence their thoughts. In all, this research was very interesting and educating, although I am leaving this feeling a bit dissatisfied. Works Cited Keltzer, Rabbi Morris. N. What is a Jew? New York: MacMillan Publishing Company, 1993. Rich,Tracey. Judaism 101. Updated 6 June 1999. Available http://www.jewfaq.org/index.htm (9 June 1999). Shalev, B. and Shalev, K. What and Who are Jews? Updated 1 June 1999. Available http://judaism.about.com (8 June 1999).
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