History of Judaism

History of Judaism

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The history of Judaism is about a religion that worshipped one god only, Yahweh, and His covenant with the Children of Israel. It also represents the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It includes the sacred texts, practices, theological positions, and organizational structure of the faith. The Torah is part of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and the oral tradition embodied by later texts such the Talmud. Judaism is the tenth largest religion in the world.

Judaism includes a variety of religious movements, mostly stemming from Rabbinic Judaism. This holds that God revealed his laws and commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai in both the Written and Oral Torah. But historically, this has been challenged by Sadducees and Hellenistic Judaism.

Today, the largest Jewish religious movements are Orthodox Judaism, Conservative Judaism, and Reform Judaism. Their differences exist in how they approach Jewish law, the Rabbinic tradition, and the meaning of the State of Israel. But there are restrictions and obligations whose observance is required of all Jews. Special courts still exist to enforce these requirements, but the practice of Judaism is mostly voluntary. Judaism’s religious and moral authority is vested in the sacred texts and the rabbis and scholars who interpret them.

Judaism got its start as an organized religion during the Bronze Age, and is considered one of the oldest monotheistic religions. Its sacred texts, traditions and beliefs strongly influenced later Peoples of the Book in their practice of Christianity and Islam. Moreover, the Judaic faith played a key role in the development of Western civilization through its role in early Christianity.

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Ancient Judea Index | Society: OriginsPeople of AbrahamWomenFamilySexuality | Culture: Literature: Texts: Hebrew Bible | Religion: JudaismPeople of the Book: Genesis | Prophets: JeremiahIsaiahMosaic Code | Jerusalem | Temple of Jerusalem | Babylonian Captivity | Hellenistic Judea: SocietyCultureReligionPower: Antiochus IVMaccabean Dynasty | Roman Judea: Judaism in the Roman Empire: Society : DispersionCommunities | Literature: Josephus | Religion: BeliefsScribesSects | Power: RebellionLater Temple | Economy | Holocaust: Anti-SemitismSS and the EinsatzgruppenDeath Camps | Israel: PowerArab-Israeli Conflict

Judea: Index


Society: Origins

Society: People of Abraham

Society: Women

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Society: Family

Society: Sexuality

Society: Marriage


Culture: Literature

Culture: Texts

Texts: Hebrew Bible

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Religion: Judaism

Judaism: People of the Book

People of the Book: Genesis

Judaism: Prophets

Prophets: Jeremiah

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Prophets: Isaiah

Judaism: Mosaic Code

Religion: Jerusalem

Jerusalem: Temple of Jerusalem


Power: Babylonian Captivity

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Power: Hellenistic Judea

Hellenistic Judea: Society

Hellenistic Judea: Culture

Hellenistic Judea: Religion

Hellenistic Judea: Power

Power: Antiochus IV

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Power: Maccabeean Dynasty

Roman Judea

Roman Judea: Judaism in the Roman Empire

Judaism in the Roman Empire: Society

Society: Dispersion

Society: Communities

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Culture: Literature

Literature: Josephus

Religion: Beliefs

Religion: Scribes

Religion: Sects


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Power: Rebellion

Religion: Temple of Jerusalem



Holocaust: Anti-Semitism

Holocaust: SS and the Einsatzgruppen

Holocaust: Death Camps


Israel: Power

Power: Arab-Israeli Conflict

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