Topics: Judaism, Torah, Israel Pages: 1 (427 words) Published: November 2, 2014

Of the three Abrahamic faiths, including Christianity and Islam, Judaism is the original. There were around 13.1 million Jewish people in the world in 2007 with the most residing in the USA and Israel, according to the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute. Judaism orginated in the Middle East over 3500 years ago and was founded by Moses. Most Jews, however, trace their history back to Abraham. The Torah is considered the central and most important religious document in Judaism even though the religion has a rich history of religious text. Rabbis are considered the spiritual leaders and worship is done in synagogues. Jews believe that there is only one God with whom they have a covenant. This covenant between God and the Jewish people is a constant throughout the early parts of the Bible and considered the central theme of Judaism. The covenant is based on God asking Abraham to do certain things, in return for which he promises to take special care of them. This covenant is the basis for the idea of the Jews calling themselves the chosen people. Jewish men are circumcised as a symbol of this covenant. The Torah, the aforementioned central religious document of Judaism, is the first part of the Jewish Bible. It refers to the five books of Moses which are known in Hebrew as Chameesha Choomshey Torah. These books include the Bresheit (Genesis), Shemot (Exodus), Vayicra (Leviticus), Bamidbar (Numbers), and Davarim (Deuteronomy). “Jews believe that God dictated the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai 50 days after their exodus from Egyptian slavery. They believe that the Torah shows how God wants Jews to live. It contains 613 commandments and Jews refer to the ten best known of these as the ten 10 statements.” The Torah scrolls are used in Judaism in portions read in the synagogue three times each week after they are removed from the Ark yet not directly touched unfurled on the Bimah which is the raised platform in the middle of the synagogue. On Mondays and Thursdays...
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