What is Judaism | Who is Abraham


Jewish religion symbols and Abraham, the father of Judaism

Symbols of Judaism and Abraham, the father of Judaism

 What is Judaism and Who is Abraham

What is Judaism? The religion, philosophy and way of life of the Jewish people. It recognizes Abraham as the Patriarch (Old Testament of the bible), and to a lesser extend Jacob and Isaac. It’s considered by religious Jews to be the expression of the covenantal relationship God developed with the Children of Israel (the chosen ones). Due to the nature of the covenant, the Jewish race is still very pure compared to other races that intermix more. God, religion and Israel are tightly connected

 

Name:

Judaism, Abraham

Birth, Age, Death:

Circa 1000BC

Nationality:

Jewish

Method/Religion started:

Judaism has roots from the time of Abraham. Founded by a covenant established between God and Abraham around 1812 BC. And again another via Moses (the leader who freed them from slavery in Egypt & protected them from the wrath of God, and negotiated with God on their behalf) 500 years later when the Torah (Jewish Law), the primary document of Judaism, was given to the children of Israel. This was the beginning of Judaism as a structured religion The Jews, under God’s guidance became a powerful people with kings such as Saul, David, and Solomon, who built the first great temple.

From then on Jewish worship was focussed on the Temple (synagogue), as it contained the Ark of the Covenant, and was the only place where certain rites could be carried out.

Holy book/teachings:

Talmud, Written and Oral Torah

Followers:

Circa 13 Million

Lifestyle requirements:

Strict dress, food and moral order for orthodox, flexible for others. 613 commandments. Three main types of sects, Orthodox, Reform, Conservative

Form of practice:

Prayer (Kaddish), Shabbat, havdalah

Wiki (encyclopedia) link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaism

 

The practice of Judaism consists of many prayers, blessings, rituals and observances/holidays, food must be kosher (that conform to Jewish law (this means no mixing of dairy and meat, no pork or pork products and no shell fish)), males circumcised, certain garments worn and daily devotional service must be observed.

The Jewish calendar starts with the day when Adam and Eve were created (the Sixth Day of Creation). Men and women usually sit separately in the Synagogues with Men required to cover their heads. In most cases worship takes place in Hebrew. The most important day of the week for Jews is the Sabbath starting at sunset on Friday and continues until sunset on Saturday. During the Sabbath, observant Jews will do nothing that might be counted as work. Among the things that they can’t do are driving and cooking.

One significant difference between Jews and other religions is they  are raised with the idea that they are better than Gentiles, that they have a right to control them, take whatever belongs to them, and look down on them. This false concept has caused problems for Jews (see here why). Of course not all act like that, since the core principles of the religion are about love and belief in God. In addition to that, the core principles reinforce that what they have (the torah, religion and lifestyle) is all they need.

In summary, the essence of the teachings are :

  1. God is real, great and infinite – also known as Jehovah, Jahweh [note, Normally Gods name cannot be spoken or used in vain]
  2. Only worship and pray to God, but the words of all the prophets are all true; especially Moses
  3. God spoke and gave his words to Moses, so there cannot be another Torah
  4. God knows what we think, say and do and will reward the good and punish the bad
  5. The messiah will come and the dead will be resurrected

Who is Abraham

 

According to scripture Abraham was born circa 1800 BC. From his early childhood Abraham understood that the entire universe was the work of a single Creator, and he began to teach this belief to others.

Abram tried to convince his father of the stupidity of idol worship. One day, when Abram was left alone to mind the store, he took a hammer and smashed all of the idols except the largest one. He placed the hammer in the hand of the largest idol. When his father returned and asked what happened, Abram said, “The idols got into a fight, and the big one smashed all the other ones.” His father said, “Don’t be ridiculous. These idols have no life or power. They can’t do anything.” Abram replied, “Then why do you worship them?”

Eventually God spoke to him and made him an offer: if Abram would leave his home and his family, then God would make him a great nation and bless him. Abram accepted this offer, and the covenant between God and the Jewish people was established providing much material blessing over a very long period.

The idea of covenant is fundamental to traditional Judaism: we have a covenant, a contract with God, which involves rights and obligations on both sides. We have certain obligations to God, and God has certain obligations to us. The terms of this covenant became more explicit over time, until the time of the Giving of the Torah. Abram was subjected to ten tests of faith to prove his worthiness for this covenant. Leaving his home is one of these trials.

Abram, raised as a city-dweller, adopted a nomadic lifestyle, travelling through what is now the land of Israel for many years. God promised this land to Abram’s descendants. Abram is referred to as a Hebrew, possibly because he was descended from Eber or possibly because he came from the “other side” of the Euphrates River.

But Abram was concerned, because he & his wife were old and had no children. The common practice at the time was to take another child-bearing woman. She bore a son, Ishmael, who, according to both Muslim and Jewish tradition, is the ancestor of the Arabs.

When Abram was 100 and his wife 90, God promised Abram a son by Sarah. Sarah bore Abraham a son, Isaac, who was the ancestor of the Jewish people. Thus, the conflict between Arabs and Jews can be seen as family fighting! So who is Abraham (he real name was Abram, only changed to Abraham by God). Abraham was a master and leader of the Jewish people, his covenant with God was the dharma he taught.