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Understanding Judaism

Judaism is a strong and influential religion in the United States in spite of only representing less than one quarter of one percent of the world’s population. This is primarily because many Jews fled to the United States where they found sanctuary during the Holocaust.

Matzo production line at Manischewitz-slide0
Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Israelis visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum, which commemorates the six million Jews killed by the Nazis during World War II on January 27, 2014 in Jerusalem.
Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

Judaism is the 4000 year old religion of the Jewish people who once were known as Hebrews. It is based on the principles and ethics found in the Jewish Bible, also known as the Tanakh, and the Talmud.

Scholars believe Judaism, which is the 11th largest religion in terms of followers, is among the oldest religions in practice today.

Unlike other religions, Judaism does not have a central authority figure. Sacred text and traditions are followed by practitioners who are taught by Rabbis who devote themselves to the study of God’s laws. These laws were given by God in a recorded in the Torah with further explanations in the Talmud.

This is part of a series on the cultures of religions excerpted from of Rochester Hills, Mich. It looks at Christian, Muslim, Hinduism, Buddhism, atheism, Sikhism, and Judaism. To view more, click here. It is used by their permission.

©2014 Max Impact, used with permission.

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