Judaism Facts


adherents 14 million
adherents are called Jews
size rank 12th
clergy rabbis
original language Hebrew
sacred text Hebrew Bible (Tanakh)
texts Hebrew Bible (Tanakh); Talmud
date founded c. 7th century BCE
early expansion little expansion; mostly confined to Palestine area throughout history
founder(s) no one founder
origins The religion of the Hebrews (c. 1300 BC), especially after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD.
place founded ancient Palestine
major splits Reform-Orthodox (1800s CE)
afterlife Not historically emphasized. Beliefs vary from no afterlife to shadowy existence to the World to Come (similar to heaven).
bad afterlife eternal Gehenna or none
good afterlife generally no afterlife; some believe in heaven
authority after Scripture Talmud, Midrash, Responsa
god(s) One God: Yahweh (YHVH)
human nature two equal impulses, one good and one bad
Jesus was false prophet
birth of Jesus normal birth
death of Jesus normal death
divinity of Jesus no
Jesus' purpose none
resurrection of Jesus no
future return of Jesus denied
human life Obey God's commandments, live ethically. Focus is more on this life than the next.
revelation method(s) prophets, recorded in Hebrew Bible
revered humans prophets
God's role in salvation divine revelation and forgiveness
view of sacred text views vary
type of theism strict monotheism
homosexual orientation Orthodox: Condemned as rebellion against God.
Conservative: Neither condemned nor affirmed.
Reform: Generally accepted as an alternative.
homosexual activity Orthodox: Strongly condemned.
Conservative: Violation of Jewish law, disqualifies from Jewish marriage and religious leadership.
Reform: Approved in context of committed relationship; civil marriage supported, but generally not religious marriage.
practices Circumcision at birth, bar/bat mitzvah at adulthood. Synagogue services on Saturdays. No pork or other non-kosher foods. Holidays related to historical events.
main day of worship Saturday
house of worship synagogue or temple