Judaism is one of the oldest religions in the world that still exists today. Its history, beliefs, and traditions were recorded in the Hebrew Bible beginning as early as the 8th century BCE.
Although it never achieved dominant numbers, the faith of the Hebrews—just one of many ancient Middle Eastern tribes—continues to exert a profound influence in the modern western world.
Jewish beliefs center on the conviction that there is only one God. This was a minority view in its time, but monotheism is now dominant in the western world—thanks to the influence of Judaism on the powerful religions of Christianity and Islam.
Today, approximately 14 million people identify themselves as Jews. There are three main branches of Judaism, each with different approaches to religious life. Jewish life is rich in traditions, rituals and holidays, which commemorate the past, celebrate the present, and express hope for the future.