What Is Judaism?

Judaism is a cultural and religious identity associated with Jewish people. The cultural aspects of Judaism includes food, holidays, rituals, customs and other traditions. The religious aspect refers to the tenets of the Jewish religion. A person is considered Jewish by being born into the Jewish lifestyle or by practicing and converting to the Jewish religion, so being Jewish is not exclusive to one nationality or race.

The main branches of Judaism are Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist and Reform. These denominations vary in how they interpret different laws and religious texts.

Judaism is a monotheistic religion, which means that Jews believe there is only one god. According to Judaism, all humans were made in the image of this god and thus everyone has the capacity to do good, and no one is better than anyone else.

The Torah is the main religious text in Judaism. It includes the Ten Commandments that are found in the Bible and also has 613 other commandments called mitzvot. While all branches of Judaism recognize the importance of the Ten Commandments, there are differences on how the mitzvot are interpreted.

Judaism also teaches that a Messiah will one day come to bring peace to the world, and tradition holds that this person will be a descendant of King David. This belief in a coming Messiah is the key difference with Christianity, which holds that the Messiah has already come and was Jesus Christ.