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Transcript of Judaism
a. What is the point of origin?
Judaism originated in Canaan, Mesopotamia.
b. How did the religion/philosophy spread?
As religious social conditions worsened for Jews in Palestine, Jewish life was transfered from Israel to Babylonia. There, the Muslim empire split into regional factions leading to the demise of the Babylonian Jewish community and the move westward to Spain, northwest Africa, and Egypt. During this period between the 11th-15th centuries, the Jewish community flourished in Spain.
c. Where is this tradition most influential today?
Judaism is most influential in Israel, Europe, and the U.S.A.
d. How many followers are there worldwide?
There are 14 million followers today.
e. Is this a monotheistic or polytheistic religion?
Judaism is a monotheistic religion.
f. Who is/are the main/major deity(ies)?
God is what Jews call there main deity.
g. Who founded the faith? When?
Abraham founded Judaism in 2500 B.C.
h. What do the followers call their holy book(s)?
The Tanakh with the Talmud and the Torah are the main holy books of Judaism.
i. How is the religious leadership organized?
In biblical times, there were three highest authorities. The king was the leader in matters of state, both internal and external; the Sanhedrin (chief Sages) were the legislators and headed the highest court; and the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) was the highest authority in the Holy Temple. Today, no central leadership in the Jewish religion. Each synagogue has its own structure, usually (but not always) with the Rabbi and the Board of Directors or Council at the top. Synagogues may optionally be members of Jewish unions.
j. What are the basic beliefs of the religion/philosophy?
While individual Jews have different views about things like kashrut and halahkah, in general most Jews believe in God, humankind was created in the divine image, Jews are uniquely connected with each other, regardless of where we live in the world, all Jews are part of a global Jewish community, the Torah, the Ten Commandments, the land of Israel was given to the Jews, and the Messiah will come.
k. What sects of the religion/ philosophy have developed overtime?
Early on, there was a serious disagreement between the Hasidic and non-Hasidic Jews. Some of the reasons for the rejection of Hasidic Judaism were their nontraditional worship and the concern that it might become a messianic sect. Since then all the sects of Hasidic Judaism have transformed Orthodox Judaism, particularly Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. Also, in the late 18th century, Europe was swept by a movement known as the Enlightenment. Judaism developed into several distinct denominations in response : Reform Judaism and Liberal Judaism, many forms of Orthodox Judaism, Conservative Judaism, and a number of smaller
groups as well.