What is Judaism?

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Judaism refers to the religion, culture, philosophy, beliefs, and practices of the Jewish people. The religious base of Judaism is founded on the Hebrew Bible called the Torah with some teachings rooting from other supplemental writings such as that of the Talmud and the Mishnah. For most Jewish people, Judaism started with the Lord’s commandments toward the people of Israel as what is described in various religious articles and books.

For the religious part of Judaism, God is considered as unitary and solitary. As described in their holy book, the Torah, God’s relationships are said to be with the people of the world, the same people that He created. Two basic principles of Judaism include the commandments of loving God alone and to love other people. For the people of Israel, these God’s commandments are the two most sacred teachings of God and are considered the main substance of Judaism as a religion. Studying the Hebrew Bible is also important in the practice of Judaism. Young people are encouraged to read and study the Torah because it is believed to be a great way to experience the teachings of God.

Aside from religion, Judaism is also referred to as a way of life and culture. Various Jewish denominations exist across the world aside from the main religious group in Israel. Many of these denominations have different religious practices and traditions which is why experts themselves cannot provide an exact definition of what is Judaism and who is Jewish or not. For most people, Judaism is a way of life including people’s practices and cultures. Being born in a Jewish family may mean being exposed to the practices of Judaism in terms of faith, religion, culture, and way of life. In this sense being Jewish or practicing Judaism is not confined to the religious aspect of it but rather encompasses experiencing the Jewish culture or religion as a whole.

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