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One of the Abrahamic religions, Judaism encompasses the religion, culture, and philosophy of the Jewish people.

In the larger sense, the roots of Judaism go back more than 3,000 years, making it one of the world's oldest monotheistic religions. The religion of Abraham, ancestor of both the Jewish and Arab people, began in around the 18th century BCE.

Was that Judaism or did Judaism begin when Moses received the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai, about five hundred years after Abraham? Did Judaism begin when the Hebrew scriptures were completed?

What we recognize as Judaism today differs considerably from the biblical religion. Modern Judaism is often referred to as rabbinic Judaism, the way of life constructed by the rabbis from about the 2nd century CE and onward. Rooted in the Torah, and later texts such as the Midrash and the Talmud.

Although Reform Jews place less significance on the teachings of the rabbis than do the Orthodox Jews, rabbinic Judaism is the reference point for the beliefs and practices of both.

Some scholars describe rabbinic Judaism as the religion of the dual Torah because it recognizes both the written Torah (Hebrew scriptures) and an oral Torah, or tradition, by which the written scriptures are interpreted or supplemented.

Jews, as well as Christians, trace their spiritual descent back to Moses, Abraham, and Adam and Eve, and the Christians take the Hebrew scriptures as their own, although they interpret them in light of the New Testament rather than in accordance with the oral Torah of the rabbis.

Rabbinic Judaism has represented mainstream Judaism since the 6th century CE. It is rooted in the belief that the written Torah can only be accurately interpreted by the oral Torah and the volumes of literature that specifies what behaviors are sanctioned by the Torah.

A late 18th-century intellectual movement among European Jews, known as the Jewish Enlightenment, divided Western (Ashkenazi) Jewry into various religious denominations, particularly in the English-speaking countries. Today, the chief denominations outside of Israel are Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform. Others include Reconstructionist Judaism, Jewish Renewal, and Humanistic Judaism.

Although there are differences within communities, the Sephardi and Mizrahi Jewish communities are not prone to follow the movement framework that has become popular within Ashkenazi Judaism. This is particularly true in Israel, which contains the largest communities of Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews.

Israeli Jews tend to refer to themselves as secular, traditional, religious, or Haredi.

Haredi Judaism represents separate groupings of Orthodox Jews who reject modern secular culture, and may be referred to as strictly Orthodox.

Religious Jews would be considered Orthodox Jews in North America, but that term is not generally used in Israel.

In Israel, traditional and secular Judaism often overlap, as they cover a wide range of worldviews and religious observances. Israeli families of Western origin often identify as secular when their Jewish identity is a powerful force in their lives but they view it as being independent of traditional religious beliefs or practices.

Karaite Judaism may be thought of as the remnants of the non-Rabbinic Jewish sects of the Second Temple period, such as the Sadducees. They accept only the Hebrew Bible and what they see as the simple (Peshat) meaning. They do not accept non-biblical writings as authoritative.

The Samaritans are a small community situated around Mount Gerizim in the West Bank and in Holon, near Tel Aviv. They identify as the descendants of the Israelites of the Iron Age Israeli kingdom. Their beliefs are based on the literal text of the written Torah and the Samaritan Book of Joshua.

Ethiopian Judaism is known as Haymanot and, as they separated from the other branches of Judaism earlier, their version of Judaism differs considerably from that of the Rabbinic, Karaite, and Samaritan Jews.

Topics related to any of these divisions, denominations, or sects of Judaism are appropriate for this category or subcategories, as well as any that may not have been mentioned here.

Messianic Judaism is a movement that began in the 1960s that incorporates elements of Judaism with Christian beliefs and practices. Arguments can be made that Messianic Judaism is a Christian and not a Jewish sect. Most Jewish scholars would not consider Messianic Judaism to be Judaism, but most Messianic Jews do. For the purposes of categorization, we will include it here, while recognizing the objections.

However, sites relating to Semitic Neopaganism, which incorporates pagan or Wiccan beliefs with Judaism, will be listed within the Neopagan category.

Sites whose focus are on Judaism are the focus of this category.

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Apologetics

Beliefs & Practices

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Introduction to Judaism

Judaism Resources

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