Essay by ttmom09College, UndergraduateA+, June 2008

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Judaism � PAGE �1�



Introduction to Judaism

Judaism is a monotheistic religion that dates back more than 3,000 years. It is more than a religion to the Jews (or the people of Israel), it is a religious civilization (or as phrased to me by Rabbi Sidney Zimelman - a "faith family"). It is possible to be born a Jew or to convert to Judaism. A person born Jewish, but chooses to reject Judaism or converts to another religion does not entirely lose his identity as a Jew. This is what differentiates this religion from other faiths. One example is that one can be born into a Christian family, but not actually be a Christian. A person is not considered to be a Christian until individual faith is placed in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of the world. However, if a Christian chooses to reject their faith and convert to another religion, they are no longer considered a Christian.

The name Judaism is derived from the region of Judah. The region of Judah was located in the southern area of ancient Israel. Judaism began with the patriarch, Abram (later called Abraham) a Chaldean. (Genesis, NIV) He believed in and worshipped only one god. His relationship with his one true god caused him to shun and abolish the pagan idol worship of his native people. This was the beginning of their belief in one omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing) and omnipresent (in all places at all times) god who is the creator of everything, who is eternal, and who communicates to people through chosen people called prophets. Judaism believes the Land of Israel was part of the covenant made between God and the Jewish People at Mount Sinai. Since the time of Abraham, there has...