A Guide to Religions, Religious Information and Help in Search for God
Judaism & Zionism
Judaism is a religion with an estimated 18,000,000 followers or Judaists.
(Based on an estimated world population 6,409,765,942 by the United States Census Bureau for 1/1/2005,
that is 0.28% of all people).
Judaism was founded by Abraham (born in Ur of the Chaldees) circa 2000 B.C..
Jews regard Abraham as founder of the Hebrew people through his son Isaac (whose mother was Sarah).
Judaism is one of four religions that recognize Abraham as a Patriarch and the forerunner of the others,
which include Bahá'í, Christianity and Islam.
Islamists or Muslims regard Abraham as founder of Arab peoples through his other son Ishmael (whose mother was
the servant Hagar).
Some other key biblical figures were Jacob (son of Isaac), Moses, Joseph (son of Jacob) and David (Slayer of Goliath and
King of Israel and Judea).
The main symbols of Judaism include the Menorah, Star of David and Ten Commandments.
Judaism is the monotheistic religion of Jews or Jewish people. Note that being a Jew or Jewish is not a race or nationality.
There are three divisions of Judaism - Orthodox, Conservative (or Neo-Orthodox) and Reform. A new and possibly,
fourth division is Reconstructionism. Furthermore, like other major religions, there are also sub-divisions.
For example, Hasidim is a Jewish Orthodox religion, in which very distinctive dress and language are essential.
Hasidic Jews (like Pennsylvania Quakers) stand out in a crowd by the way they dress.
According to Orthodox and Conservative Judaism, a baby of a Jewish mother is automatically a Jew.
According to Reform Judaism, a baby of either a Jewish mother or father is automatically a Jew.
Non-Jews can undergo a conversion process to become a Jew.
The foundation scriptures of Judaism include the Torah and Talmud.
There are two parts to the Torah: Tanakh and Oral.
The Tanakh (or Written Torah) includes the Hebrew Scriptures:
Chumashe Torah (or the Pentateuch or five books of Moses, including Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy),
Nevi'im (or Prophets, which are prophecies or what God told to the prophets) and
Ketuvim (or Writings by the Hebrew prophets).
The Oral Torah are explanations of the Written Torah and transmitted verbally and referred to as the Mishnah.
The Talmud, which combines the Mishnah (in written form) with the Gemara (Q&A about the Mishnah),
and covers Jewish law and tradition.
The Kabala (KAB-ah-lah) is an interpretation of Hebrew Scriptures in an esoteric manner giving way to mysticism.
This practice includes meditation (which is a regular activity in the major religion Hinduism)
and leads one to magic (or spiritual experiences).
Some people (like Adolf Hitler) hate Jews and go so far as to discriminate and persecute them.
Such is referred to as "anti-Semitism".
Zionism (NOTE: Zionism should not be equated with Judaism.)
According to Jews, their Biblical Israel was destroyed by Romans circa 70 A.D.. According to others,
the destruction of the Homeland of God's Chosen People could ONLY have been done by the wrath of God.
Perhaps, Yeshua of Nazareth (or Jesus Christ) was their Messiah.
While not a religion, Zionism is a "worldwide movement" that was originally formed in the late 19th century
to resurrect Israel. Zionism claims that Jews have the right to all land between the Nile and the Euphrates because
it was given to them by "YHWH" (equated by some to Jehovah, a name for God) in Genesis 15:18.
This objective was fulfilled in 1947, after anti-Semitic Adolf Hitler massacred Jews.
The United Nations declared the creation of two states (one for Israel and one for Arabs)
in the area that was previously considered as the country Palestine.
The United States was the main supporter, while the Middle Eastern nations were all opposed.
Afterwards, the aim of Zionism shifted to the support of the modern Israel formed by the United Nations.
Zion is the ideal nation or society envisaged by Judaism.