There are approximately 14 million Jews worldwide concentrated mainly in the United States and Israel. The Jewish people believe the place of origin is Israel, in the Middle East, where Abraham was believed to have talked with God, or in Hebrew Yahweh. Jewish people believe Abraham is the founder of Judaism because God first revealed himself to him. Abraham is believed to be the first patriarch of Judaism because God made a covenant with him and his descendants are the chosen people, Jews. The covenant is a mutual relationship with God and Jews in which the Jewish people become the “Holy Nation” and must live up to His commandments; however, if they disobey God, He shall punish them. They believe that God is the one and only true God who created the world and all humanity starting with Adam and Eve. God is believed to be transcendent, omniscient (all-knowing), and omnipotent (almighty). Although God is referred to as a He, He is neither female nor male, He is a spirit who is described in human terms, so humanity can better understand Him. The Jewish people believe He imparted an ethical principle in which the Jewish people live by and follow. The Jewish practice strictly from the Torah, which is the first five books of the Christian Bible, in which it refers to the entirety of God’s revelations. The Jews also practice from a book called the Talmud, which is a collection of biblical law written by Rabbis, Jewish priests. The Talmud also called the “Oral Torah”, explains how God’s Ten Commandments should be carried out and explains Jewish traditions in depth.
The question of humanity’s origin
Jewish people believe God created humanity and the world we live on. In the Torah, the book of Genesis describes the six days God spent creating the world, animals, and humanity. The Book of Genesis reveals that God created Adam from the dust on the ground and breathed life into him, then God created Eve from the rib of Adam. Since woman came from man, man shall unite them in one flesh; therefore, when the Jews get married, they believe man and woman unites into one because it was destined by God. Humanity originated from Adam and Eve, the first people God put on earth, and everyone is a descendant of them.
The question of purpose: why I am here
God created humanity, so God could reward His people, the Jewish Chosen People who are descendants of Abraham; however, God wants His people to earn the reward themselves. To earn the reward of an afterlife with God, the Chosen People must live by a strict mandate, the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments, in summary, say to be kind, honest, not to harm others, and only worship God. They believe in a Messiah, Mashiach in Hebrew meaning anointed one, who is a liberator of the Jewish people and who would come for the final judgment and renew life on earth. Christianity believes that Jesus was the messiah, but Judaism believes the Messiah has not come to earth yet, rather he will come “at the end of time” (Brood, 360). The Jewish people believe we were sent to earth to carry out God’s word and live a life devoted to God because after they die they will be rewarded in the afterlife by returning to God’s side.
The question of eternity
In Judaism, there is an afterlife, which they call “the world to come”. When they die their soul goes into the underworld and souls remain there until Judgement Day when the dead are resurrected, and God comes to judge the living and the dead. Everyone is born with an immortal soul and when a person perishes their soul is sent to heaven or hell where they will spend eternity. A person cannot move from heaven to hell or hell to heaven, they are sentenced to live everlasting in where God’s judgment has placed you. When the Messiah comes down to earth the Messianic Age will begin, and the dead will rise from the ground and they will be judged.
The question of pain and suffering
God created the world with perfect peace and harmony between nature and humanity; however, when Adam and Eve were created God told them not to eat from the forbidden tree, but they did. Adam and Eve created the original sin; therefore, everyone created thereafter was born with sin and into sin. The sin does not mean God does not love us; on the contrary, God loves His creations wholeheartedly and those who believe in Him shall live with Him in heaven. The pain and the suffering in this world are due to the sinful nature we have been born with, but if we try and follow God’s word and His Commandments then we shall live in peace knowing we are saved.
Jews are descendants of Abraham, who had talked with God first and therefore founded Judaism in Israel. The Jewish religion believes in an eternal soul, heaven and hell, one and only God, and a judgment day for all. To be saved from eternal damnation they must live by God’s Ten Commandments and follow in the way God had intended humans to live. Jews follows the Torah and the Talmud which gives them guidance on living in such a way that God will save them. Sin is a normal part of life and came about with the original sin of Adam and Eve, but God will save those who believe in Him and try to live in a way that He will save us. When a person dies there is no reincarnation, Jews believe God gave them one life to live and they must live in accordance with the Torah to dedicate their lives to serving Him. God is the one who gave them life and God will make them live forever in a state of grace in heaven.