Judaism is the religion of the Jewish people, based on principles and ethics embodied in the Bible (Tanakh) and the Talmud. According to Jewish tradition, the history of Judaism begins with the Covenant between G-d and Abraham (ca. 2000 BCE), the patriarch and progenitor of the Jewish people. Having started approximately 4,000 years ago, Judaism is the first recorded monotheistic faith and among the oldest religious traditions still in practice today. Jewish history and doctrines have influenced other religions such as Christianity, Islam, Samaritanism and the Bahá'í Faith.
While Judaism has seldom, if ever, been monolithic in practice, it has always been monotheistic in theology. It differs from many religions in that central authority is not vested in a person or group, but in sacred texts and traditions. Throughout the ages, Judaism has clung to a number of religious principles, the most important of which is the belief in a single, omniscient, omnipotent, benevolent, transcendent G-d, who created the universe and continues to govern it. According to traditional Jewish belief, the G-d who created the world established a covenant with the Jewish people, and revealed his laws and commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai in the form of the Torah. The traditional practice of Judaism revolves around study and the observance of God's laws and commandments as written in the Torah and expounded in the Talmud.
- ↑ For an exploration of the Jewish population, please see Jewish population and Jews by country on Wikipedia.
- ↑ William Wilson (2006), An Incomplete Education, Ballantine Books ISBN 978-0-7394-7582-9
- This article copies heavily from the Wikipedia's article on Judaism