Origin of Judaism

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Question 1: Explain the beginning of Judaism.

Judaism originated with three men, known as the patriarchs. These men were Abraham, his son Isaac, and his grandson Jacob. Abraham was born in the city state of Ur by the name Abram. Abram’s father was Terach. In Terach’s time, people worshiped idols and a monotheistic religion did not exist. They worshiped idols. When Abram was a little boy, he took a hammer and broke all of the idols with a hammer except for the largest one, and told his father, Terach, that the largest idol became angry and broke all the other idols. The silliness of this statement caused Terach to realize that worshiping statues was wrong.

According to Judaic history, God spoke to Abram offering the rise of a new powerful nation if Abram followed a set of rules that God gave him. Abram agreed, thus establishing the base for Judaism. This offer that God gave Abram is known as the covenant by Jewish people. They believed that if they followed the word of God, they would receive gifts from God. Later on, when Abram turned 100 years old, God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, which means “father of many” in Hebrew. This was when Abraham had his son, Isaac.

God wanted to see just how faithful Abraham was, so he asked him to sacrifice his son for him. Abraham, being completely devoted to God, agreed and was about to sacrifice his son, but God stopped him. This was a moral lesson from God that would go into the Torah. One of the biggest points that Judaism made was that humans are valuable and are not meant to be sacrificed. This order from God also tested Isaac’s faith, and Isaac was completely willing to give his life to God.

After Isaac came Jacob. Jacob was Isaac’s son, and he had 12 sons himself. Each of his sons separated and created their own tribe. Jacob’s name was then changed to Israel, and that is why the 12 sons of Jacob are known as the “Children of Israel”. After King David came Solomon. Solomon’s death split the Kingdom of Israel...
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