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Judaism is a monotheistic religion that began in the Middle East over 4000 years ago. These days Judaism is said to have over 10 million followers worldwide.
Abraham and Moses are considered to be the founding fathers of Judaism. Abraham is recognized as the first Jew (the first ”chosen” one) because he is the person that God chose to act as an example of goodness and holiness for the rest of the world to follow. Abraham went on to teach others that there was just one God, not many, as people had believed in the past
In return for promoting this monotheistic faith Abraham is said to have been rewarded with many children who would continue to promote the idea of one almighty God.
The word that Abraham’s children and grandchildren preached attracted many believers and soon Judaism became a powerful religion, but some time around 900 BCE everything is said to have fallen apart. Jewish communities were separated and some Jews were exiled, while others were sent into slavery in Egypt.
It was Moses who is said to have been eventually sent by God to free the enslaved Jews in Egypt. Moses led the Jews out of slavery and back to a Holy Land that they had been promised by God.
On the way to the Holy Land God spoke to Moses on the top of Mount Sinai and gave him a set of rules that he said all Jews should abide by. These rules had to do with everything from diet to family relationships, but Jews observe each of these rules differently depending on whether they are Orthodox or Liberal Reformists.
Jews believe that God created the universe and therefore affects every aspect of what goes on within it. For this reason it is consider essential that each Jew develop a personal relationship with God.
The key principles of Judaism are thought to be embodied within the Torah and the Talmud, two of the most important Hebrew scriptures.