Judaism, unlike Christianity, focuses more on this life than the afterlife, which is hardly mentioned in their scriptures and highly debatable. Most Jews do not believe in Satan at all, nor do they believe in Hell. Judaism also rejects the concept of original sin. Judaism arose several thousand years ago in the Middle East , descending apparently from the local polytheistic traditions of twelve technically thirteen, one of the tribes was in fact a combination of two tribes that held common descent tribes of an ethnic group known as the Hebrews traditionally, the ancient nations of Israel, Judah, Edom, Moab, and Ammon ; these people may have had their origins in itinerant tribes known in Egyptian as "Habiru" in the ancient Middle East.
The precise origin is lost to history, but is described with unknown accuracy in Biblical mythology dealt with in depth at Wikipedia. The Jewish kingdoms in Canaan were often at war with neighboring kingdoms, leading to several periods of Exile and Return.
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After the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans , the modern Diaspora took place, scattering the Jewish population throughout the world, but especially into Europe the Ashkenazi and Sephardi , Mesopotamia , Central Asia, and North Africa. Judaism has gone through a great many developments since its early origins among Hebrew -speaking Canaanites during the Bronze Age , from being a possibly polytheistic form of the traditional Middle Eastern temple-state traditionally based around Jerusalem to a Monolatry ,  to the modern variants of Rabbinical Judaism with no temple at all.
From its early origins, Judaism began to take its modern shape with the earliest codification of the Torah the Jewish law in the reign of King Josiah of Judah known to Biblical scholars as the Deuteronomic Reform , though it retained its priestly trappings until the destruction of the Second Temple by the Roman Empire c.
Modern Judaism derives from the legal codes of the Pharisees , a scholarly branch of the faith that was one of three major factions in 1 st century CE Judaism the other significant ones were the Saducees, a faction that preferred emphasis on priestly functions, and Essenes, largely a monastic and ascetic tradition represented in the Bible by John the Baptist.
The Pharisees were the ones whose philosophies survived the collapse of the Jewish state and the purge of the other branches; marginalized earlier was the Hellenistic tradition that attempted to combine the widening influence of the Greeks with Jewish tradition that resulted in the creation of the Septuagint , the Greek-language version of the Tanakh still used by the Eastern Orthodox Christian churches. Hungarian-British author Arthur Koestler wrote a book called The Thirteenth Tribe , which speculated that a great number of Ashkenazic Jews are descended not from ancient Hebrews, but from a Turkish tribe called the Khazars , who ruled in much of what is now southwest Russia and Georgia and converted to Judaism en masse.
Anti-semites seized on this hypothesis as proof that modern Jews were not truly Jewish at all but usurpers, and that those who had Semitic ancestry came not from Judah but the Edomites of the Negev desert these claims are circulated widely in the Arab world as part of anti-Israel propaganda. Modern genetic studies have largely disproved the Khazar hypothesis and supported Levantine ancestry for the vast majority of modern Jews, even going so far as to prove the existence of a Y-chromosomal Aaron again, more at Wikipedia who is a common ancestor of a great many Jews identified as being of priestly ancestry; this and similar genetic markers have been used to support some claims of widely distributed groups throughout Africa and western Asia to be of Jewish ancestry.
In fact, despite the survival of the Khazar canard among anti-Jewish hate groups, modern descendants of the Khazars have yet to be positively identified. Oddly enough Koestler himself was Jewish and a non-religious Zionist ; he actually believed that his book would help end anti-Semitism.
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The following describes the general divisions of Judaism as they're known in the United States ; the exact terminology sometimes differs in other countries. One should keep under consideration the fact that most Jews, regardless of the orthodoxy of their beliefs, tend to view other Jews as all belonging to the same religious identity, in contrast to many Christian sects which view themselves as separate from each other. The equivalent community is in the United States is usually referred to as "Yeshivish," a reference to the yeshivos religious schools of higher study in which men spend part or all of their adult lives, and whose deans function as community leaders.
Judaism has several more liberal sects often describing themselves as movements , with varying degrees of adherence to halakha. Adherents of liberal Jewish sects generally are less strict about observance than many Orthodox, and generally more accepting of gender and class equality as well as Western moral ideals.
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A few on the fringe practice syncretist faiths with aspects of Buddhism or neopaganism or are outright atheist , treating Jewish practice as a cultural rather than religious observance. Many liberal Jewish congregations mostly Reform and Reconstructionist, but also many but not all Conservative permit female rabbis , and as a general rule tend to be more tolerant of homosexuality and intermarriage.
A Harris survey in the US found that Jews who are members of a synagogue break down thus: .
The main divisions in the UK are: . The word "Jews" is used to refer to both practitioners of the religion of Judaism and people who are ethnically Jewish. The two usages are fundamentally intertwined most ethnic Jews practice Judaism , but an ethnic Jew who converts to another religion may still be considered Jewish, as may someone who is not ethnically Jewish but converts to Judaism.
There are several Jewish ethnic groups with different practices. There is no conflict between them beyond a friendly rivalry, and the occasional bit of racism, like how everyone's the same religion but still feuds in Lord of the Rings. Jewish holidays are observed according to the lunisolar Hebrew calendar, and so their dates move around in the Gregorian calendar from year to year. The Babylonian Talmud recounts a debate over why God created humanity last of all the living beings. One Rabbi suggested that people were the pinnacle of creation.
He compared God to a king who prepared a fantastic feast and, after all was readied, invited the guest of honor. Thus, God made the entire natural world for the sustenance and enjoyment of humanity. Contrary to the critique of Lynn White and many others, mainstream Judaism did not interpret this as a divine carte blanche to exploit nature without remorse. Abusing the rest of the creation is a sign of debasement rather than dominion. Furthermore, the true significance of the mandate given to humanity in Genesis 1 is not defined until the second half of the creation account, which is found in Gen — Many biblical critics of the past century have emphasized the discrepancies between these two stories, attributing them to different authorial traditions.
However, Jewish tradition—and an increasing number of literary-minded contemporary scholars—view the accounts as complementary. It introduces the concept of stewardship.
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Humans adam are formed from humus adamah. God set us in the garden and told us to work it and watch over it. This is what our dominion actually entails.
Genesis 2 defines the mandate set forth in the previous chapter. We are guardians of a divine trust. From the start, God seems to recognize that people will frequently choose to misinterpret their stewardship as license to plunder the natural world. Therefore, immediately after forming humanity, God establishes an essential constraint on our destructive tendencies, the Sabbath. This is the crown of creation, a day on which all forms of work are forbidden. Once a week then, we are called upon to refrain from all labor that employs the things of nature for the achievement of human ends.
The Sabbath is a tangible reminder that the creation is worth more than any monetary considerations. No wonder Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel considered this day the last, best hope of modern women and men who seek a vision of peace with all things in our profane age of clattering commerce.