Just the facts on religion.

History of Judaism

History is of the utmost importance in Judaism. Whereas the sacred texts of most ancient religions focus on myths and philosophical concepts, the Jewish Bible is centered around historical narrative; and most Jewish holidays are intended to connect modern Jews with their historical ancestors and traditions. These past events often significantly inform Jewish beliefs.

  • Biblical Period of Jewish History

    The period of Jewish history designated by some historians as "Biblical Judaism" is the centuries covered by the narratives of the Tanakh, from the creation and primitive history of mankind to the last of the prophets in the 4th century BCE... full article →
  • Haskalah

    During the period of the European Renaissance and Enlightenment, significant changes were happening within the Jewish community. The Haskalah movement paralelled the wider Enlightenment, as Jews began in the 1700s to campaign for emancipation from restrictive laws and integration into the wider European society... full article →
  • Judaism in the Middle Ages

    ## Eastern Roman Empire The Eastern Roman Empire, under assault from barbarian invasion, passed a number of laws in the early Middle Ages, including the legislation of Justinian, which culminated in the principle of taking away civil rights from heretics and unbelievers and of making their existence as difficult as possible... full article →
  • Rabbinical Judaism

    Rabbinical Judaism developed out of the Pharasiac movement and in response to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. The rabbis sought to reinterpret Jewish concepts and practices in the absence of the Temple and for a people in exile... full article →
  • The Holocaust

    Anti-Semitism was common in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s (though its history extends far back throughout many centuries during the course of Judaism)... full article →
  • When Was Judaism Founded?

    Judaism has no official founder or founding date and the dates given for Judaism's beginnings depend largely on what one means by "Judaism." Most Jewish and academic sources define Judaism as the religion of Abraham, along with all its developments since that time... full article →
  • Zionism

    The Holocaust and its aftermath left millions of refugees, including many Jews who had lost most or all of their family members and posessions, and often faced persistent anti-Semitism in their home countries... full article →