WHAT IS JUDAISM?
That is a hard question. As with many areas regarding the Jewish people, there are multiple answers.
Judaism is religion, family, community, culture, social law, moral law, diet and political structure. It’s a large concept that perhaps can be broken down into the following: Judaism is the expression of faith by which the Jewish people live. It is a physical, cultural and spiritual lifestyle centered around the commandments of Torah as given to the Jewish people by the Creator, G-d.
You will find many aspects of the ‘Jewish’ (through the lens of Judaism) lifestyle displayed within the Jewish Musuem. The Major Holidays and life events are curated for and our staff are more than ready and willing to walk and talk visitors through our displays, explaining the milestones of the Jewish year and Jewish life.
WHAT IS JEWISH FAITH?
While Judaism has branched off into various different forms the core of the faith still maintains what many see as the minimum requirements, Rambam’s ’13 Principles of Faith’.
- The Creator, G-d exists.
- The Creator, G-d, is one and unique. Not part of a larger group or body.
- The Creator, G-d, is incorporeal. He has no form, no body.
- The Creator, G-d, is eternal, He has no beginning and no end.
- Worship and prayer must only be directed and addressed to G-d, no other.
- The Prophets of the Tanakh are trustworthy and true. (The Tanakh is the Jewish Bible)
- Moses spoke the truth and was the greatest of all Prophets.
- The First 5 Books of the Tanakh, (the Written Torah) and the Oral Torah that is contained within the text of the Talmud were given to Moses.
- There will be no other Torah given.
- G-d knows every man, his heart, thoughts and deeds.
- G-d judges every man on his own merit, rewarding the Good and punishing the Evil.
- The Messiah will come.
- There will be a resurrection of the dead.
Here are some links to sites that will give you more detailed answers to questions you might have.
For Students and Teachers: The Judaism and Jewish Life section under www.theholocaustexplained.org has excellent information on Jewish Beliefs, Religous Practice and Festivals.