Judaism is one of the oldest ethnic religions in the world that can be predated somewhere between 4,000 or 5,000 years in the past. It is filled with numerous cultural and religious traditions, various beliefs and it shows the path for the true way of life for Jewish People.
Jews believe that Judaism was passed down from God Himself to the Children of Israel. God passed down the biblical covenant known as the Torah of Pentateuch which was a collection of various texts, forms of organizations and practices that the Children of Israel are required to follow. Naturally, in today’s modern world the rules of the Torah are to be followed by anyone with Jewish heritage, not just those who were born or live in Israel.
To fully understand this culture and the religion’s attitude and beliefs, you will first need to know a few things about its history.
How it was founded
You can find out all about the formation of this culture through the Torah, but if you do not feel like going through the entire biblical covenant, we can help you understand the history of Judaism in a much shorter explanation.
According to the Torah, the transcendent God first showed himself to Abraham who is considered to be the founder of this religion. Both God himself and Abraham decided to form the Torah which was a covenant that would be used as a guide to form a nation that would unite all the people under one name – Israelites.
Other important figures in the history of Judaism are Isaac and Jacob who were one of the first generations to name themselves Israelites under the nation named Israel.
Almost a thousand years later after the communication between God and Abraham, the well-known prophet Moses who is also important in Christianity became the leader of all Israelites because he managed to liberate his people who were enslaved by an Egyptian Pharaoh.
This is where the world-famous story about Moses using his staff to ask for God’s power to split the Red Sea in half to lead his people away from the Egyptian Pharaoh.
Beliefs and Attitude
Now that we went through one of the most important parts of the religion’s history, we can get into detail about the beliefs and attitudes Jews are accustomed to.
Ahava – Love
Jewish people learn through the Torah that love is one of the most important gifts given to the people and that they should cherish it as much as possible. And speaking of gifts, you can always check HolyArt, which has an amazing collection. Whether it is between friends, between two soul mates, between a mother, father and a child and sometimes even love toward materialistic things and nature is very important. Valuing the strength of this emotion is what keeps Hebrew people so close even when they are spread out all over the world.
Shalshelet Hakabala – Tradition
To be more precise, this term basically means that the Hebrew people need to preserve the chain of tradition. The more you share the traditions with your children, the bigger the chances that the Jewish culture will survive in the future. Whether the traditions are about beliefs or attitudes, about clothing, items that decorate and keep our homes safe, you should never quit trying to preserve the chain.
Another way of preserving the chain of tradition is through Jewish items such as mezuzahs, menorahs, tzitzits, tefillin and so on. Check out jewish.shop to find any of the items we mentioned above.
Avoda – Service
Another important belief that Hebrew people follow is Avoda which means service. In the past, Avoda meant to always provide service to God, but today in the modern world, it has a few different meanings. Some people interpret it as a service to the world. That they need to constantly strive to help others and better the world through work, charity, and overall positivity. No matter how poor or rich you are, you need to help those in emotional or financial need. This is what the Torah teaches the people.
Pleasures of the body
Hebrew people believe that we do not come to this world as physical beings for no reason. Our bodies can interpret thousands of different types of pain and pleasure. We were created to endure this and there is no reason why we shouldn’t pay respect to those pleasures. So, whenever you found yourself in a situation for pleasure, do not pass it up. Enjoy the most basic things like kisses, hugs, food, a comfortable bed and so on.
We already mentioned just how important is the acceptance of emotions and physical pleasures for Hebrew people, but they also give importance to spirituality too. Being properly spiritually developed is a huge part of the culture. It is vital that you push everyone around you to keep build and develop your spirits. The younglings, your friends and even your elders need a bit of encouragement sometimes.
Some of the ways to improve your spirit are by doing charity work, meditating, studying, learning more about Judaism and its people and worshipping God. Of course, you always have the choice which one of these you would use to develop yourself.
Sh’lom Bayit – Love and peace at home
We already mentioned just how close and loving this relationship is, but what is even closer are the families. The Torah teaches the Jews that keeping your family close is one of the most crucial steps to ensure that the community will strive and prosper. The stability of your family will reflect on how the Jewish community will hold together.
So, anyone with whom you share your household deserves love, respect, and nurture. The more peaceful the home, the more a person’s character can develop spiritually, emotionally and physically.
Bitul z’man – Respect time
We were brought to this world for a reason. Our lives are a gift from God and we shouldn’t be spending it aimlessly. Every second, minute and hour is precious and should be used to the full extent. Always strive to be as productive as possible to make the world a better place. This is just how much Jews believe we should respect time.